The East Lancashire Railway (ELR) is pleased and delighted to announce everyone’s favourite blue engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, will return to its tracks this summer.

For four dates in August and October, young engineers and their families will once again be able to enjoy the popular Day Out With Thomas experience at ELR.  Where the heritage locomotive will take them on a 45-minute round trip through Burrs Country Park and Summerseat.

Visitors will embark on their journey at Bury, where guests will be greeted by The Fat Controller, before Thomas makes a final stop at the beautiful Ramsbottom station.

The experience continues offboard, with performances from Sodor’s cheeky station sweepers Rusty and Dusty at Bury Transport Museum, Thomas-themed activities in the Imagination Station and socially-distanced entertainment, such as a magic show.

Tickets are now available for Day Out With Thomas at Summer events will take place on August 7 and August 8. Thomas will also return to ELR in October.

ELR Chairman Mike Kelly commented: “It’s an understatement to say we are more than delighted that Thomas & Friends™ will be returning to the ELR in August and October.

“I remember sitting down with my children and now grandchildren to read Thomas & Friends stories and watch them on TV, as Thomas the Tank Engine is such an iconic and much-loved childhood character – for both children and their parents alike. So Thomas’ return always brings so much joy to visitors of all ages and our volunteers who can get involved.

“After more than a year of lockdowns, we’re really pleased to be able to offer young people and their families a unique experience they can enjoy together.

“We have ensured that safety measures are firmly in place so visitors can enjoy a grand day out with peace of mind.”

The heritage railway has been awarded a We’re Good to Go industry standard and consumer mark by VisitBritain. Qualifying businesses must demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and have all required processes in place.