Thomas the Tank Tour to Pull into Tweetsie Railroad, in N.C.

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Are Thomas the Tank Engine™ and his friends a big part of your home? For years, my kids lived and dreamed Thomas, collecting new characters with distinct personalities with each passing birthday.

The “toot toot” of engines whistling as they rumbled over wooden tracks in my living room was fueled by my children’s imagination, which was lit by stories created by the Rev. W. Awdry for his son 50 years ago and turned into a PBS Kids series my children watched. The stories told of courage, adventure and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Now children can experience what it’s like to be aboard a real-life 15-ton replica of Thomas as he chugs across the U.S. and Canada, offering a Day Out with Thomas™: Mystery on The Rails Thomas-The-Tank-Engine-at-Tweetsie-RailroadSMALLVERTICAL.jpgTour at more than 45 cities. The tour will stop at Tweetsie Railroad, a theme park in the North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, from June 1-10 to offer children a ride of about 25 minutes with games and activities featuring a mystery element. They’ll also have an opportunity to meet the illustrious Sir Topham Hatt™, Controller of the Railway. The tour also will include storytelling, video viewing and live music, and merchandise and giveaways including a special poster previewing new engines and a new destination from the upcoming 2012 Thomas & Friends feature, “Blue Mountain Mystery.”

The train ride on Thomas the Tank Engine will depart every 30 minutes, rain or shine, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on both Saturdays (when the park is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Sundays through Fridays (when the park stays open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.). Tickets for the Day Out With Thomas: Mystery On The Rails Tour 2012 are $35 for adults and $22 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are admitted free.

You can buy tickets by logging onto or calling toll free 877.TWEETSIE (877.893.3874).  Print at-home tickets and Golden Rail Season Passes are available online. (Photo courtesy of Tweetsie Railroad)

If you go, you’ll find Tweetsie Railroad, which opened in 1957, offers treasures of its own, from amusement park rides for all ages to live entertainment including the Tweetsie Palace Saloon Show, Tweetsie’s Miner’s Mountain Magic Show and mascot characters.

Categories: Early Education, Family Fun, Food + Fun, Preschool Activities, Preschoolers, Seasonal, Seasonal Fun, Spring, Things To Do