"Day Out With Thomas The Train" Rides 2021: Locations And Dates

Please note!  Due to COVID-19 many locations are not hosting Thomas The Tank Engine in 2021.  Look for the Updated! icon to see where he will be running this year.

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. 

Interestingly, the show even drew some interest from adults due to the superb craftsmanship of the models and layouts depicted.  Today, this has largely been replaced by CGI and computer animation.  

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.   Listed below is the 2021 schedule and dates regarding where Thomas The Tank Engine will be appearing.

Additional Scenic Train Information, Trips By State

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

New Hampshire

New Jersey

Nebraska

Nevada

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Please Note!  There are some locations which now also feature Percy.  These are designated below using a small thumbnail image.

The information presented is accurate to the best of my knowledge although if there is an error I do apologize.  If you do not see (Updated) by each listing, those dates are not for the 2021 calendar year.

Sometimes organizations switch operating dates/times and I will try my best to keep up with any changes.  For more information regarding purchasing tickets and where/when Thomas will be running please visit the links above. 

2021 dates are being added as they become available!  Please check back often.

Thomas The Train:  A Day Out With Thomas Train Rides, 2021 Schedule

Alabama 2021 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:  

Alaska

No Events Known.

Arizona

No Events Known.

Arkansas

No Events Known.

California 2021 Thomas The Train Rides

Roaring Camp Railroads (Felton):  Owned and operated by the same organization which runs 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:  ....  Percy will be present during these trips.

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 the spring and fall they host "A Day Out With Thomas":  ...

Colorado 2021 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:  ...

Connecticut 2021 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:  August 28-29 and September 4-5. Updated!

Delaware

No Events Known.

Florida 2021 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:  April 17-18, April 24-25. Updated!

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: 

Georgia 2021 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: June 12-13, June 19-20, and June 26-27. Updated!

Hawaii

No Events Known.

Idaho

No Events Known.

Illinois 2021 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: 

Indiana 2021 Thomas The Train Rides

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: 

Iowa 2021 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 

Kansas 2021 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." (Currently no dates in 2021) 

Kentucky 2021 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 

Louisiana

No events known.

Maine

No events known.

Maryland 2021 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 these dates: May 14-16 and May 21-23. Updated!

Massachusetts

No events known.

Michigan 2021 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: 

 ~Featuring Bob The Builder.~

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" with Bob The Builder on these dates:  August 20-22 and August 27-29. Updated!

Minnesota 2021 Thomas The Train Rides

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" hosted on these dates: August 6-8 and August 13-15. Updated!

Mississippi

No events known.

Missouri

No events known.

Montana

No events known.

Nebraska

No events known.

Nevada 2021 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 be featured this year on...

New Hampshire 2021 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."  Dates:   (Currently no dates in 2021) 

New Jersey 2021 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.  Dates:  July 9-11 and July 16-18. Updated!

New Mexico

No events known.

New York 2021 Thomas The Train Rides

Delaware & Ulster Railroad (Arkville):  The D&U operates over part of the same ex-New York Central corridor which the Catskill Mountain Railroad utilizes (The line's original builder was known as the Ulster & Delaware Railroad). 

Their train rides  travel through the scenic Catskill Mountain region and depart from the depot in Arkville.  In 2021 they will host Thomas on these dates:

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:  June 4-6. Updated!

North Carolina 2021 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: 

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 11-20.  Updated!

North Dakota

No events known.

Ohio 2021 Thomas The Train Rides

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (Brecksville):  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...  (Currently no dates in 2021) 

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: (Currently no dates in 2021) 

Oklahoma 2021 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:  ...

Oregon

No events known.

Pennsylvania 2021 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. Percy will be present during the trips!  These dates include: June 18-21 and September 17-20. Updated!

Rhode Island

No events known.

South Carolina

No events known.

South Dakota

No events known.

Tennessee 2021 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: (No dates in 2021) 

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:  May 1-2,  May 8, and May 15-16. Updated!

Texas 2021 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 

Grapevine Railroad (Grapevine): The Grapevine Railroad operates 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 on these dates:  October 1-3. Updated!

Utah

No events known. 

Vermont

No events known. 

Virginia

No events known.
 

Washington 2021 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 these dates: July 9-18. Updated!

West Virginia

No events known.



Wisconsin 2021 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...

Wyoming

No events known.
 

Canada 2021 Thomas The Train Rides

Elgin County Railway Museum (St. Thomas, Ontario)

Heritage Park Historical Village (Calgary, Alberta): 

York-Durham Heritage Railway (Uxbridge, Ontario)

West Coast Railway Heritage Park (Squamish, British Columbia):  August 21-22 and August 8-29. Updated!

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Header Photo: Drew Jacksich

SteamLocomotive.com

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

The amount of information found there is quite staggering; historical backgrounds of wheel arrangements, types used by virtually every railroad, preserved and operational examples, and even those used in other countries (North America and beyond). 

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



Researching Rights-Of-Way

A popular pastime for many is studying and/or exploring abandoned rights-of-way. 

Today, there are tens of thousands of miles scattered throughout the country.  Many were pulled up in the 1970's and 1980's although others were removed long before that. 

If you are researching active or abandoned corridors you might want to check out the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Historical Topographic Map Explorer

It is an excellent resource with thousands of historic maps on file throughout the country.  Just type in a town or city and click on the timeline of maps at the bottom of the page!