Day Out with Thomas

Take a trip on Sodor’s number one tank engine and meet Sir Topham Hatt on this spectacular day out with Thomas. It’s all aboard the famous blue steam train for a magical ride on Thomas the Tank Engine at the ELR.

The steam team’s number one blue engine – Thomas himself – is waiting for you on the East Lancashire Railway, for one great big adventure!

Your Day Out With Thomas on the ELR starts with the timed entry on your ticket – join us at our Bury Bolton Street Station up to 45 minutes in advance. That’s just enough time to build up lots of excitement!

You’ll meet Sir Topham Hatt at the station, say hello to Thomas on the platform and then climb aboard a carriage. Thomas will pull your train through the amazing countryside on a fun-filled journey to our Ramsbottom station.

After a quick break here, one of our dazzling diesel trains will pull you and Thomas back to Bury Bolton Street, where the doors to Bury Transport Museum are open for you.

Here you’ll find loads more Thomas-themed activities, including stories, activities and hilarious performances by Rusty and Dusty – Sodor’s cheeky station sweepers. They’ll be singing, dancing and entertaining throughout the day. You can also enjoy fun fair rides, face painting, balloon modelling plus lots more! Please note, a Day Out With Thomas ticket is needed for entry into the Bury Transport Museum.

Tickets now on-sale!

Please note: refunds and exchanges are not available. Full terms and conditions are available here.

2024 Dates

3-4 August

5-6 October

Tickets now on-sale!

Important Information

Download the pre-event information you will need here.

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Tickets on sale now and must be purchased in advance, either online or by phone.

Family ticket discounts are automatically applied at check-out.

Prices listed exclude booking fees. All transactions are subject to a non-refundable 0.75p transaction charge and non-refundable 10% booking fee (8% on a family ticket).

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Are ticket refunds and exchanges available?

No. Full terms and conditions are available to view on the Day Out With Thomas website

Are tickets available to purchase on the day?

Yes, but only from Bury, Bolton Street Station.

Travel on the ‘Thomas’ train and access to the entertainment within the Bury Transport Museum Complex is only for ‘Day Out With Thomas’ ticketholders, on the date stated on pre-booked tickets. To gain admission, please bring your advance purchase ticket with you on the day.

Ordinary Fares are available for sale on the day to travel on the ‘Non-Thomas’ services.

Where can I park?

Chargeable parking is available in Bury.

CLICK HERE to view local parking

Why not start your journey at Heywood? Parking is free on the day and the Whistlestop Café at Heywood Station will be open serving drinks and an impressive selection of cakes. There are regular shuttles operating between Heywood and Bury Station, ensuring you will have plenty of opportunity to reach the main event.

Visitors with a Day Out With Thomas Ticket can travel on the shuttle for free.

Will other trains be available to travel on?

Yes. There will be other trains to ride on in addition to your journey riding behind Thomas The Tank Engine. This makes it possible to explore the full route of the East Lancashire Railway, between Heywood and Rawtenstall. Travel is included within your Day Out With Thomas ticket. These services include:

  • Additional steam-hauled train, operating to/from Rawtenstall
  • Scenic diesel railcar running from/to Heywood. Either start your day at Heywood and take the train to Bury, or if you start your day at Bury, board the heritage diesel train for a return journey to Heywood and be sure to visit the Whistlestop Café.

If starting your journey from another station, please check the timetable to ensure there are connecting services both prior and after your Thomas train ride.

How long is the Thomas ride?

Up to 45 minutes round trip, boarding at Bury to Ramsbottom and return with Thomas leading at the north end and a heritage diesel at the south end of the train. Upon arrival into Ramsbottom, please remain on the train as it is planned to reverse and return to Bury. Photos with Thomas will be available at Bury Station.

Are the Thomas rides unlimited?

No, guests must travel on the ‘Thomas’ train as advertised on their pre-booked ticket. Guests can access the platform up to 60 minutes prior to departure where Sir Topham Hatt will be on platforms 3 and 4. Also, look out for the Troublesome Trucks!

Is there additional entertainment?

Yes. The Troublesome Trucks will make an appearance at Bury Station Platform 4 at intervals throughout the day. A short walk from Bury Station takes you to the Bury Transport Museum and courtyard. Show your Day Out With Thomas pre-booked ticket for admission to enjoy the additional activities on offer. Day Out With Thomas ticketholders can access Bury Transport Museum throughout the day as dated on their ticket.

Can my baby have their face painted?

Face Painting is for ages three and above.

Are there refreshments available to purchase?

Drinks and snacks will be available on the day, including Whistlestop Cafe at Heywood, The Trackside Pub at Bury Station, Cafe at Bury Station (Platform 3), Bury Transport Museum and Buffer Stops Pub at Rawtenstall. The Cafe at Rawtenstall Station will also be open.

What time does the event open and close?

The Day Out With Thomas event opens its doors at Bury Station from 8:20am and finishes at approximately 5pm.

What time is the last entry to Bury Transport Museum?

Last entry is 4:30pm. Bury Transport Museum will close at 5pm.

Are dogs allowed to attend the event?

Dogs are not permitted to attend this event, excluding service dogs.