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Chug into Fun: Georgia’s Day Out With Thomas Events (2024)

Last revised: December 4, 2023

By: Adam Burns

"Day Out With Thomas" train rides have become a popular family-friendly event around the world, attracting thousands of visitors every year. These events offer an immersive experience for children and adults alike, allowing them to step into the world of Thomas the Tank Engine and enjoy a day filled with fun and entertainment.

In Georgia, you can catch Thomas at the SAM Shortline in Cordele, which offers popular excursions throughout the year!  More more information about this event may be found further below.

Without question the reason for "Day Out With Thomas's" popularity is its appeal to young children. The event provides a unique opportunity for children to meet their favorite characters from the beloved children's book series and TV show, including Thomas, Percy, and Sir Topham Hatt. Children can interact with the characters, participate in activities and games, and take photos with them.

Another reason is the experience of riding on a real train. For many children, riding on a train is a thrilling experience, and Day Out With Thomas provides a safe and exciting way for families to enjoy a train ride together. The event allows children to experience the sights, sounds, and sensations of a real train, which can be a memorable and educational experience.  Most trips last anywhere from 20-25 minutes; it varies depending on location.

In addition to the train ride and character interactions, a "Day Out With Thomas" offers a variety of other activities and attractions. Families can enjoy bounce houses, face painting, temporary tattoos, and other entertainment. There are also food and merchandise vendors selling Thomas-themed toys, apparel, and souvenirs, allowing families to take home a memento of their special day.

Finally, there is the nostalgia factor. Many parents who grew up reading the Thomas the Tank Engine books or watching the TV show with their children can now relive those memories with their own families. The event provides a way for families to connect over a shared love of the series and create new memories together.

Overall, meeting Thomas and Friends has become a popular event due to their ability to provide a unique and memorable experience for families. From the character interactions to the train ride itself, the event offers a range of activities that can appeal to children and adults alike. It's no wonder that so many families continue to attend these events year after year.

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."

2024 Dates

  • June 1 - June 2
  • June 8 - June 9
  • June 15 - June 16

SAM Shortline excursions are a popular attraction that offers train rides on vintage railcars through the scenic countryside of Southwest Georgia. The train excursions provide an enjoyable and unique experience for visitors of all ages.

The excursions made their first trip on October 26, 2002, following two years of work acquiring equipment and funding, and have since become a beloved attraction in Cordele.  It operates a nearly a 70-mile round trip along a former Seaboard Air Line corridor that passes five small towns (Cobb, De Soto, Leslie, Americus, and Plains) between its home base of Cordele and Archery.

One of the most popular excursions offered is the Plains Express, which takes visitors on a 22-mile round-trip journey from Plains to Americus. The trip takes visitors through the picturesque countryside of Sumter County, passing through historic towns and landmarks such as the Andersonville National Historic Site, the Americus Historic District, and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.

Another popular excursion is the Sumter Explorer which travels from Georgia Veterans State Park to Archery.  This excursion travels from the Georgia Veterans State Park to the town of Americus, offering visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the beautiful natural landscapes of Georgia, passing through pine forests, wetlands, and streams.

The SAM Shortline also offers a variety of special events throughout the year, such as the popular Halloween Express train ride during Halloween season and the Candy Cane Express train ride during the holiday season. These events provide visitors with a unique and festive experience that is perfect for the whole family.

Overall, the SAM Shortline Excursions in Cordele, Georgia, offer visitors a unique and enjoyable experience that combines history, nature, and adventure. With a variety of excursions and special events throughout the year, there is something for everyone at this beloved attraction.


SAM Shortline


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