"Day Out With Thomas" Train Rides In Texas (2023)

Published: May 1, 2023

By: Adam Burns

Day Out With Thomas is a special train event that offers families the opportunity to ride on a full-sized, working replica of Thomas the Tank Engine. These events are held at various heritage railways, museums, and train stations across the United States and other countries.

In Texas, you can catch Thomas and Friends at the Grapevine Railroad in Grapevine, Texas.  More information about the railroad, and this event, may be found further below.

Each railroad or museum has their own unique twist on the event but a "Day Out With Thomas" typically begins with an interactive experience for children that includes storytelling, music, games, and other activities centered around the beloved children's book character. Children can participate in photo opportunities with Thomas and his friends, and even meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway.

After the activities, families board the train for a 25-30 minute ride, where Thomas serves as the lead engine. Along the way, passengers can enjoy scenic views and interactive entertainment from characters like Percy and the Troublesome Trucks.

In addition to the train ride, there are often other attractions and activities available for families to enjoy, such as bounce houses, face painting, temporary tattoos, and more. There may also be food and merchandise vendors selling Thomas-themed toys, apparel, and souvenirs.

Day Out With Thomas events are typically held over a weekend, and tickets must be purchased in advance. Prices vary depending on the location and package selected, but most packages include the train ride and access to all of the event activities.

Overall, Day Out With Thomas is a fun and exciting experience for children and families, providing a unique opportunity to ride on a real steam train and immerse themselves in the world of Thomas the Tank Engine.

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 in 2023.

2023 Dates

  • October 13 - October 15
  • October 20 - October 22

The Grapevine Railroad, also known as the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, is a heritage railway operated by the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau and offers passengers the opportunity to experience the charm and nostalgia of a bygone era of rail travel.

The history of the Grapevine Railroad dates back to the late 1800s when the Cotton Belt Route, a subsidiary of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, built a railroad through Grapevine. The railroad was an important transportation link for the town, which was a hub for the local agriculture and farming industries.

Today, the Grapevine Railroad operates a variety of steam and diesel-powered locomotives, including the 1896 steam locomotive "Puffy" (currently out of service) and a GP-7 diesel locomotive, #2199 (originally owned by the  Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad). 

"Puffy" is a 4-6-0 "Ten-wheeler" type, numbered 2248, and was built by the Cooke Locomotive & Machine Works for the Southern Pacific Railroad.  Passengers can ride in vintage passenger cars that have been restored to their original condition, complete with period furnishings and décor.

One of the most popular attractions is an excursion to the historic Stockyards, which takes passengers on a 21-mile round-trip journey between Grapevine and Fort Worth's historic Stockyards district. The journey takes approximately one hour each way and passes through scenic countryside and suburban neighborhoods.

The railroad also offers special themed events throughout the year, such as the "North Pole Express" during the holiday season and the "Grapevine Jazz Wine Train" in the spring. These events offer passengers unique experiences, such as meeting Santa Claus or enjoying live jazz music while sampling local wines.

In addition to passenger trains, the Grapevine Railroad also offers freight services for local businesses and organizations.   Overall, the Grapevine Railroad is a beloved attraction for locals and tourists alike, offering a glimpse into the rich history of rail travel in Texas. The vintage trains, scenic routes, and special events make for a memorable and enjoyable experience for passengers of all ages.

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