Thomas The Train:  "A Day Out With Thomas" 2015 Schedule And Dates

Thomas The Train, also affectionately known as Thomas the tank engine, has been a pop culture icon since the late 1970s with the TV series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. The television series, written and produced by Britt Allcroft, is actually based off the The Railway Series of books written by Englishmen Wilbert Awdry and his son in the 1940s. Thomas himself is based from a real steam locomotive design, the E2 Class, an 0-6-0T ("T" referred to tank) wheel arrangement conceived by Lawson Billinton of the early 20th century.  Please note:  The information below only lists those railroads, museums, or organizations which host Thomas the Tank Engine trips.  Most offer their own website for complete information and dates regarding these rides, which can be found via a quick web search.


While the history of Thomas the train is interesting, this section looks to highlight the "real life" tank engine which is featured at tourist railroads and museums as special events all across the US during the summertime operating season. Thomas the tank engine is actually featured worldwide at various tourist railroads and museums to allow visitors, especially kids of course, to view and sometimes ride behind replica versions of the locomotive. Thomas the train himself in this regard is licensed by HiT Entertainment, which acquired Allcroft's company (Britt Allcroft Company PLC), and has become an explosively popular draw wherever he goes, especially here in the United States.

(Check out the links below to find out where Thomas will be operating.  The dates provided for every event were taken from each organization's official calendar of operations.)

Alabama

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Florida

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Maryland

Michigan

Minnesota

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Oklahoma

Pennsylvania

Tennessee

Texas

Washington

Wisconsin

Canada

Many tourist railroads and museums see their peak visitor numbers annually if they have Thomas the tank engine booked and scheduled (officially known as the "Day Out With Thomas") to make a visit on a particular date or weekend. Listed below are the revised for 2015 scheduled dates Thomas the train is to make an appearance at tourist railroads and railroad museums in the United States. Lastly, it should be noted that there is only one operating Thomas the tank engine used for the "Day Out With Thomas" events.  It operates exclusively at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (also in North Carolina), and on the Essex Steam Train in Connecticut. The engine is not a E2 Class, as none survive, but modeled to look like so.  

There are also four other replica locomotives meant to look like Thomas the train, two of which are standard gauge and two others of which are narrow gauge. To make these replicas appear to be operational they usually have a diesel or steam locomotive pushing them along and use the operating locomotive's air compressor to operate Thomas' whistle.  Please Note!  There are some locations which now also feature Percy.  These are designated below using a smaller version of the Percy image above.  For more information about Thomas The Train, and his friends, please visit his official website by clicking here

A Day Out With Thomas 2015 Schedule And Train Rides

Alabama 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum (Calera):  The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum has been telling the Alabama's railroad history since 1963 and today offers a wide range of exhibits to see. The museum also offers excursion train rides from March through October, featuring both steam and diesel locomotives.  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates in the spring:  April 10-12 and April 18-19. 

Alaska 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No Events Known.

Arizona 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No Events Known.

Arkansas 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No Events Known.

California 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Roaring Camp Railroads (Felton):  Owned and operated by the same organization that operates the Skunk Train the Roaring Camp hosts a number of different trains throughout the year including a beach train and forest train.  They also feature other specials including "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  July 24-26, July 31-August 2, October 10-11, October 17-18, October 24-25, and October 31-November 1.  Please note that during Halloween they also feature Percy!

Orange Empire Railway Museum (Perris):  This railroad museum offers several excursion trains to choose from including steam powered trains and trolleys, which operate along their 1.5 mile system.  They also boast a large collection of historic railroad equipment.  During select dates in November they host "A Day Out With Thomas," which also features Percy:  November 7-8, November 11, and November 14-15.

Colorado 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Colorado Railroad Museum (Golden)The Colorado Railroad Museum, based in Golden, houses a large collection of rolling stock and locomotives.  They also host train rides during the weekends and other special events, including "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  September 12-13, September 19-20, and September 26-27.

Connecticut 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Essex Steam Train (Essex)The Essex Steam Train has become one of the more popular train rides anywhere in the country offering a variety of special trips from its home base in Essex, including the ability to make riverboat charters.  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" during select dates in the spring, including special appearances by Percy!  Dates:  April 18, April 25-26, and May 2-3.

Delaware 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No Events Known.

Florida 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Florida Railroad Museum (Parrish):  While the Florida Railroad Museum mostly focuses on preserving the state's and region's railroad history it also operates a nearly a 7-mile stretch of railroad between Parrish and Willow and includes your choice of an open-air or air-conditioned car. They host "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  March 14-15 and March 21-22.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum (Miami):  The Gold Coast Railroad Museum mostly features and displays its large collection of historic railroad equipment and items in its former Naval base hangars in Miami. One of its special excursions operated during the year is hosting "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  March 7-8 and March 14-15.

Georgia 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

SAM Shortline Railway (Cordele):  The SAM Shortline excursion features a nearly 70-mile round trip that makes stops along the four small towns that dot the line while also traveling through the Georgia Veterans State Park. The tourist train also hosts a number of special trains and events throughout the year including "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  October 16-18  and October 24-25.

Hawaii 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No Events Known.

Idaho 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No Events Known.

Illinois 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Illinois Railway Museum (Union):  The Illinois Railway Museum is one of the premier, and largest, railroad museums in the country.  The IRM, as it's also known, has an impressive collection of preserved and restored equipment at its amazing facility. They host "A Day Out With Thomas," featuring Percy, on these dates:  August 15-16, August 22-23.

Indiana 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Indiana Railway Museum/French Lick Scenic Railway (French Lick):  The Indiana Railway Museum operates the popular French Lick Scenic Railway based in French Lick, Indiana. They operate a 20-mile round trip excursion train which runs through the Hoosier National Forest. One of their special events is hosting "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  September 19-20 and September 26-27.

Whitewater Valley Railroad (Connersville):   The Whitewater Valley Railroad based Connersville operates a 19-mile line connecting to Metamora and they use one of several diesel locomotives on the property to power their trains. The railroad also hosts a number of special events throughout the year such as the Polar Express and "A Day Out With Thomas."  Dates:  June 19-21 and June 26-28.

Iowa 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Boone & Scenic Valley Railway (Boone):  The Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad is a museum and operating tourist railroad using former Chicago & North Western trackage (it was originally an interurban/trolley line).  Its trains feature both steam and diesel locomotives, as well as restored trolley car #50 (they also have a very extensive collection of non-operating locomotives and cars).  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" the tank engine on September 19-20 and September 25-27.

Kansas 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Midland Railway (Baldwin City):   The all-volunteer Midland Railway features an impressive collection of equipment and operate a railroad that stretches about 20-miles at farthest reach south, to Ottawa.  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" from May 29-31 as well as from June 5-7.

Kentucky 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Kentucky Railway Museum (New Haven):  The Kentucky Railway Museum dates back as far as the late 1940s.  Since that time the museum has grown steadily and today features large collection of rolling stock and even features excursion trains which are pulled by the most famous locomotive on the grounds, ex-L&N 4-6-2 Pacific Type #152.  Today, they offer numerous specials throughout the year including train robberies, dinner trains, murder mysteries, and host "A Day Out With Thomas" which makes his stop at the museum from June 6-7 as well as June 13-14.

Louisiana 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Maine 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Maryland 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum (Baltimore):  The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum today is one of the most recognized, respected and highly regarded railroad museums, not only in this country but also the world. It houses historic railroad equipment (not only from its namesake railroad, the Baltimore & Ohio but also many important historical pieces from other railroads around the country).  Finally, they also offer short excursions on the premises and host "A Day Out With Thomas" on April 24-26 as well as May 1-3.

Massachusetts 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Michigan 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Henry Ford Museum (Dearborn):  One of Michigan's most well-known museum this complex features an impressive collection of artifacts related to the history of transportation in this country including several pieces of rolling stock and steam locomotives.  A few of these machines are restored and even offer train rides including "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  April 25-26,  May 2-3, and May 9-10.

Huckleberry Railroad (Flint):  The Huckleberry Railroad is part of the Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad Park. While the railroad’s star attraction is narrow-gauge steam locomotives #464, originally owned by the Denver & Rio Grande Western, the Huckleberry has other motive power on the premises.  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  August 21-23 and August 28-30.

Minnesota 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

North Coast Scenic Railroad (Duluth):  The North Shore Scenic Railroad is part of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum and is the state's most popular tourist train. The 26-mile route and today the railroad operates its trains using both steam and diesel locomotives.  One of their special events is "A Day Out With Thomas" hosted on July 31 through August 2 as well as August 7-9.

Mississippi 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Missouri 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Montana 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Nebraska 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Nevada 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Virginia & Truckee Railroad (Virginia City):  The Virginia and Truckee Railway began when it was chartered in 1869 and meant to provide transportation services to the Reno and Carson City areas.  The railroad ceased to exist as a freight line by 1950 but slowly made a comeback as a tourist line over the years.  Today, about 15 miles of the line are operable although rebuilding of the route is not yet complete along with additional restorations of locomotives and equipment.  One of the ways they have attracted ridership is by hosting special events, such as "A Day Out With Thomas" which will feature in 2015 during May 15-17.

New Hampshire 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Conway Scenic Railway (North Conway):   The Conway Scenic Railroad is one of the more popular tourist trains in the country featuring first-class dining services on some of their trains as you enjoy your journey through beautiful New England in the Mt. Washington Valley. They also offer standard excursion trains as well as numerous seasonal trains and special events throughout the year such as "A Day Out With Thomas."  The event will also feature Percy in 2015!  Dates:  July 17-19 and July 24-26.

New Jersey 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Delaware River Railroad Excursions/New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society (Phillipsburg):   The Delaware River Railroad Excursions is operated by the New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society. Most trains are operated by a Chinese-built steam locomotive and the railroad features everything from wine trains to the Polar Express and "A Day Out With Thomas" the tank engine.  In 2015 Thomas will run on July 10-12  as well as July 17-19.

New Mexico 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

New York 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Adirondack Scenic Railroad (Utica):  In service since 1992 the Adirondack Scenic Railroad operates two, unconnected sections of this former New York Central branch that once extended from Utica all of the way to Lake Placid to the north, a distance of over 150 miles. Their operations include a short 10-mile section of railroad between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, and another 50-mile section between the town of Utica and Thendara.  The railroad's long-term goal is to restore the entire line.  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  June 19-21 and June 26-28.

Medina Railroad Museum (Medina):  The Medina Railroad Museum mostly looks to preserve the area's railroad history. The museum is housed in the New York Central's former freight depot and also operates a 34-mile round trip excursion train.  One of their specials is hosting "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates in 2015:  May 9-10 and May 16-17.

North Carolina 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

North Carolina Transportation Museum (Spencer):   The North Carolina Transportation Museum, located in Spencer, NC, is situated on the former Southern Railway’s largest steam locomotive repair shops which includes the Bob Julian Roundhouse, the Flue Shop, and the Master Mechanics Shop. As part of the museum they operate excursion trains and is one of just two locations in the United States to feature the live steam locomotive version of Thomas the tank engine.  Percy is also featured during "A Day Out With Thomas" which will be on these dates:  September 25-27 and October 2-4.

Tweetsie Railroad (Blowing Rock):  The Tweetsie Railroad has been operating since 1957 and is based from the historic East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad, a classic narrow-gauge system which once served both its namesake states. Today, they use three miles of narrow-gauge most often employing their, 4-6-0 "Ten wheeler", #12 to pull excursions.  "A Day Out With Thomas" makes a stop on these dates:  June 5-14.

North Dakota 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Ohio 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (Peninsula):  The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is the one most folks go to ride in Ohio.   The railroad uses no steam locomotives but does operate a fleet of historic Alco diesel locomotives. Throughout the year they operate they host special events including the popular "Day Out With Thomas" on May 16-17 and May 22-24.

Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad (Lebanon):   The Lebanon Mason Monroe offers a 1 1/2-hour trip on its property and features a number of special events during the year.  This includes "A Day Out With Thomas" during the late summer.  Dates:  September 4-6 and September 11-13.

Oklahoma 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Oklahoma Railway Museum (Oklahoma City):   The Oklahoma Railway Museum offers a wide collection of preserved equipment while also offering excursion trains on a short stretch of trackage.  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates:  September 25-27 and October 2-4.

Oregon 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Pennsylvania 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Strasburg Railroad (Strasburg):  The Strasburg Railroad, located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish community in Lancaster, is the country’s oldest railroad still in operation dating back to 1832. The railroad handles both freight and passengers but is also an operating history book featuring historic steam locomotives with restored, period passenger cars (dating to the 1800s).  They provide guests everything from dinner train service to an open bar car for adults.  One of their special events is hosting "A Day Out With Thomas" several times throughout the year.  These dates include:  June 20-28, September 12-20, and November 20-22.  The June and September runs also feature Percy.

Rhode Island 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

South Carolina 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

South Dakota 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Tennessee 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Tennessee Central Railway Museum (Nashville):   The Tennessee Central Railway Museum is focused primarily on preserving the state's railroad history. However, it also operates excursion trains throughout the year offering trips that travel as far as 180 miles, round trip!  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" during the late summer on these dates:  September 5-6 and September 12-13.

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (Chattanooga):   The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is mainly a tourist railroad operating on ex-Southern Railway trackage. Today, the railroad operates a six-mile round trip near Chattanooga and hosts numerous specials throughout the year.  "A Day Out With Thomas" makes a visit on these dates:  April 25-26, May 2-3, and May 9.

Texas 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Austin Steam Train (Burnet):   The Austin Steam Train is based in Austin, Texas operating through the state's "Hill Country" uses tracks once owned by the Southern Pacific. The line is 163-miles in length and used as both a commuter and freight rail line today.  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" on September 25-27.

Grapevine Railroad (Grapevine):   The Grapevine Railroadoperates between its headquarters and Fort Worth on trackage originally owned by the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (The Cotton Belt).  "A Day Out With Thomas" stops by several times during the spring including:  April 10-12 and April 17-19.

Utah 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Vermont 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Virginia 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Washington 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Northwest Railway Museum (Snoqualmie):  The Northwest Railway Museum, based in Snoqualmie, looks to preserve the area's railroad history and in doing so also hosts an excursion train between May and October.  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" on July 10-12 and July 18-19.

West Virginia 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.


Wisconsin 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

National Railroad Museum (Green Bay):  Started in 1956, the National Railroad Museum has been recognized by Congress as the "national" such facility in the country, although this is mostly in name only. The NRM today has a nice collection of rolling stock at their facility in Green Bay and while they do not really offer a true rail excursion they do offer train rides around the property.  They host "A Day Out With Thomas" at the start of the summer season running June 17-21.

Wyoming 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

No events known.

Canadian 2015 Thomas The Train Rides

Elgin County Railway Museum (St. Thomas, Ontario):  Dates:  July 16-19 and July 24-26.

Heritage Park Historical Village (Calgary, Alberta):  Dates:  May 2-3 and May 8-10.

York-Durham (Uxbridge, Ontario):  Dates:  August 14-16 and August 21-23.

West Coast Railway Heritage Park (Squamish, British Columbia):   May 16-18 and May 23-24.




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