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All Aboard For Adventure: Minnesota's "Day Out With Thomas" Train Rides (2024)

Last revised: March 18, 2024

By: Adam Burns

"Day Out With Thomas" is a family event that offers train rides with Thomas the Tank Engine, the beloved character from the children's book series and TV show "Thomas & Friends."  In Minnesota, he will visit the North Shore Scenic Railroad in Duluth. 

While each event is slightly different depending on the location, here are some of the general highlights:

Train rides: Children and their families get to take a 25-minute train ride on a full-sized Thomas the Tank Engine train.

Meet-and-greet with characters: Children can meet and take pictures with Thomas, as well as other characters from the series such as Percy and Sir Topham Hatt.

Live entertainment: The event includes live entertainment such as magic shows, storytelling, and music performances.

Interactive activities: There are plenty of activities for children to enjoy, including arts and crafts, face painting, and a petting zoo.

Thomas & Friends merchandise: Fans can purchase exclusive "Day Out With Thomas" merchandise, including t-shirts, hats, and toys.

The event is held at various locations across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It's a popular family-friendly event that offers a unique experience for children who love Thomas and his friends.

"Thomas & Friends" is a British animated television series aimed at preschoolers that follows the adventures of a group of anthropomorphic locomotives and other vehicles on the fictional island of Sodor. The series was first broadcast in 1984 and has since become a global phenomenon, loved by children and adults alike.

The show's central character is Thomas, a cheeky blue tank engine who is always eager to help out his friends. Other popular characters include Percy, James, Gordon, and Edward, as well as non-railway vehicles like Bertie the Bus and Harold the Helicopter.

Each episode of the show focuses on a moral or life lesson, such as the importance of teamwork, honesty, and perseverance. The stories are often based on the original books by Reverend W. Awdry, but the show has also introduced new characters and storylines over the years.

The show's animation style has evolved over time, but has always been bright, colorful, and full of energy. The series has also featured a range of memorable songs and catchy tunes, including the iconic "Thomas & Friends" theme song.

"Thomas & Friends" has become a beloved cultural icon and has inspired numerous spin-offs, merchandise, and even theme park attractions. The show has been praised for its positive messages, engaging storytelling, and its ability to capture the imaginations of children around the world.

North Shore 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" which will visit the railroad during the summer of 2024.  Train rides for this event typically last around 20-25 minutes.

2024 Dates

  • August 2 - August 5
  • August 9 - August 11

The North Shore Scenic Railroad is a unique and enjoyable way to experience the natural beauty and rich history of the Duluth region. Whether you're a train enthusiast or just looking for a fun and educational family outing, the North Shore Scenic Railroad is a must-see attraction.

The railroad currently operates about 26 miles of former Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range trackage between downtown Duluth and Two Harbors.  It is the only heritage railroad which skirts Lake Superior its entire length and offers fantastic views throughout the trip.


The railroad began hosting public excursions in 1990 when it was still owned by the DM&IR.  In 1996 the Lake Superior Railroad Museum took over operations and has been successfully carrying passengers ever since.  Throughout the year they host several special events, such as during Christmas, while also offering general excursions throughout the summer.

Finally, in addition to train rides the railroad also offers opportunities for visitors to learn about the region's rich history and culture through exhibits, displays, and presentations at its historic depot.


SteamLocomotive.com

Wes Barris's SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource on the study of steam locomotives. 

It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website. 

It is quite staggering and a must visit!