On Sunday 5th October we took the small boy and his cousin to East Lancashire Railway for a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine and friends. We arrived bright and early in Bury, Greater Manchester, in time for the Fat Controller (or Sir Topham Hat if you like) to open up proceedings. The boys were a bit overwhelmed by their surroundings, so we took them for a fortifying hot chocolate and watched Thomas pull into the station and pick up his first load of passengers; much to their delighted amazement.
Once the boys had settled we managed to grab some seats on James and have a ride up to Ramsbottom. Ramsbottom was a much smaller station than Bury and we’d heard that the troublesome trucks would be passing through. We didn’t have to wait long until Diesel pulled the trucks in. They were indeed troublesome. The boys enjoyed climbing in Diesel and having a good look at the trucks.
We had a quick picnic lunch and we heard that Percy would be coming in shortly to have a drink (see picture below), the boys were fascinated with this process and we talked about why steam engines needed lots of big drinks of water. Picnic over we clambered aboard Mavis and chugged back to Bury.
In Bury we decided to get some (temporary) tattoos of Thomas to remind us of the day; then we joined the (long-ish) queue to catch a ride on Thomas. We queued for around half an hour, but took turns to take the boys into the gift shop and buy them a reminder of their day out with Thomas, so it didn’t feel like a horribly long wait.
Thomas once again pulled into the station and we found somewhere to stand in the carriages. t was a short journey, but it was long enough for the boys to have a memory they can enjoy for a long time to come. They also got certificates to show they’d been on Thomas the Tank Engine. They were delighted.
We took one last steam train ride up through Ramsbottom to Rawtenstall and back. Afterwards we finished off our picnic, watched the world go by and talked about our fabulous day out with Thomas.
We bought a family ticket and it cost £44 which was we felt good value for a family day out; that’s just £11 per person and you can have as many train journeys as you want. They also have various Thomas themed free activities you can partake in on the day; including the temporary tattoos and free access to the Bury Transport Museum.
We would definitely have another day out with Thomas at East Lancashire Railway.