Archive for Thursday, June 1, 2006

It’s time for Thomas to call again

June 1, 2006

For the fifth consecutive year, Thomas the Tank Engine will be taking over Midland Railway in Baldwin City, as Friday marks the first day of two fun-filled weekends.

Day Out With Thomas 2006: Come Ride the Rails Tour is set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will return June 9, 10, 11.

Event Supervisor Tim DeMott said the preparation for the event is almost complete, but a few things are still left to do.

"We are as ready as we can be for three days out," DeMott said Tuesday. "There is a lot of set up that still has to be done, but it will all come together."

This year's celebration is a little more special for the Midland Railway crew. Russell Meier, former Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Midland Railway Historical Association who was director of the Thomas the Tank Engine project, passed away in February.

"We lost one of our key members early on," DeMott said. "We're doing this in memory of him."

The 2006 Thomas the Tank celebrations will have something extra for the return visitors. DeMott said the straw maze will return this year and will be added along with a treasure hunt and a couple other surprises.

"We're trying to spice it up for our repeat customers," DeMott said. "About 30 percent will be repeat customers, so we are trying to add something new this year."

(Featuring stamps?)At the depot, children can meet and take a photo with Sir Topham Hatt. They can also experience the Thomas and Friends Imagination Station, which includes featuring stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts and crafts activities, coloring sheets and engineer certificates, storytelling, video viewing and live music.

Other activities will include a magician, model trains, moonwalk, inflatable slide and bubble act.

The 25-minute train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine will depart every 45 minutes, rain or shine, between 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. on Fridays and between 9 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Approximately 12,000 the 20,000 tickets for the two weekends have been sold.

"Since we got some new cars last year, our capacity is slightly over last year and near 20,000," DeMott said. "We suggest the Baldwin City community and local people to come out Friday afternoon or Sunday."

DeMott hopes everyone enjoys the weekend and that the weather cooperates.

"We're looking good with the weather forecast," DeMott said. "We think everything ought to go off without a hitch. We are looking to make Baldwin a fun and festive place."

Tickets for the Day Out With Thomas 2006: Come Ride the Rails Tour are $16 for ages two and up.

Tickets are on sale now and are available by calling toll-free 866.468.7630 or logging onto For more information and directions contact the Midland Railway at 800 651 0388 or visit

For general information or to find a Day Out With Thomas 2006: Come Ride The Rails Tour event near you, visit

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