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Chug Into Fun: Day Out With Thomas Train Journeys In Colorado!

Last revised: December 4, 2023

By: Adam Burns

The "Day Out With Thomas" events have grown into very popular attractions for children, held at various locations around the United States as well as Britain and Canada.  Each location's version is slightly different but typically includes a 20-25 minute train ride, meeting Thomas & Friends, ability to purchase merchandise, take part in games and other activities, and enjoy food and drinks.

In Colorado, Thomas will visit the Colorado Railroad Museum in September, 2024.  More information about this event may be found further below.  Why is the "Day Out With Thomas" events so popular? 

Brand Recognition: Thomas the Tank Engine is a beloved character from the children's book series "The Railway Series" by Rev. W. Awdry, as well as the popular television show "Thomas & Friends". The character has a huge following among young children, and his image and merchandise are easily recognizable.

Interactive Experience: The "Day Out With Thomas" events offer a unique opportunity for children and families to engage with the Thomas the Tank Engine character and his friends in a hands-on way. The events typically include a train ride on a replica of Thomas, as well as other activities such as storytelling, live music, and arts and crafts.

Family-Friendly Atmosphere: The events are designed to be family-friendly, with activities and entertainment geared towards young children. Parents and caregivers can enjoy the experience with their children, and the events are often held in outdoor or scenic locations, making for a memorable day out.

Limited Availability: The "Day Out With Thomas" events are often held for a limited time and at select locations, which can create a sense of exclusivity and urgency among fans. This can make the events feel special and highly sought-after, adding to their popularity.

Educational Value: "Day Out With Thomas" events can also have educational value, as they provide children with an opportunity to learn about the history of trains and railways, as well as basic science concepts such as how steam engines work.

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 three separate weekends in September.

2024 Dates

  • September 7 - September 8
  • September 14 - September 15
  • September 21 -  September 22

During this event the museum offers 20 minute train rides around the grounds, live theatrical entertainment, a hay bale maze, a scavenger hunt, outdoor scale model trains, visit Thomas and his friends, purchase merchandise, and more!  The museum states that since capacity is limited, advanced tickets are required. 

The Colorado Railroad Museum is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of railroading in Colorado and the American West. The museum is located in Golden, Colorado, and it was established in 1959 by a group of local rail enthusiasts, led by Robert W. Richardson and Cornelius W. Hauck, who were interested in preserving the state's railroad history.

The museum's collection includes over 100 locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, and cabooses, as well as numerous artifacts, photographs, and documents related to Colorado's railroads. The museum's exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including the development of railroads in the West, the impact of rail transportation on Colorado's economy, and the daily lives of railroad workers.

One of the museum's most significant exhibits is the completion of a replica roundhouse in 2000, named the Cornelius W. Hauck Roundhouse, named after one of the Museum’s founders. It has five stalls and houses the tools and equipment needed to restore and repair rolling stock.

The museum's collection also includes several historic locomotives, such as the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad No. 346, which is a 2-8-0 steam locomotive that was built in 1881 and was used to haul freight and passengers in Colorado for many decades.

Other notable locomotives in the collection include the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad No. 191, which is a narrow-gauge (3 foot) steam locomotive that was used to haul ore and passengers in the Rocky Mountains.

In addition to its exhibits, the museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year, including guided tours, train rides, and special events such as Railroad Days, which is held annually in August.

Overall, the Colorado Railroad Museum is an important institution that plays a vital role in preserving and interpreting the history of railroading in Colorado and the American West.

Its extensive collection of artifacts, documents, and locomotives provide a valuable resource for researchers, historians, and rail enthusiasts, and its exhibits and educational programs offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the role of rail transportation in shaping the history of the region.

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