Thomas the Tank Engine delights families on the East Lancashire Railway

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EVERYONE’s favorite truly useful engine has made its way into town on weekends – to the delight of visitors young, old and in between.

With that instantly recognizable cheeky face on his iconic blue steam engine, it’s hard to believe Thomas the Tank Engine turned 75 last year.

But as it made its way to Bolton Street station in Bury on the East Lancashire Railway, the storybook’s much-loved steam locomotive proved it can still draw crowds.

The visit was part of ELR’s fantastic day with Thomas which took place on Saturday and Sunday, after a successful visit in August.

Families gathered on the platform where they were greeted by the Fat Controller before boarding one of the seemingly endless train cars to set off on a half-hour round trip to Ramsbottom and back.

The grease controller

The journey is much shorter than the usual steam train route from Bury to Rawtenstall, making it suitable for younger passengers.

There was a lot of fun on board with cheerful conductors bringing coloring sheets and round pencils, to accompany the activity packs given to each child.

Cheerful music from the TV adaptation played in the cars as the picturesque scenes of Burrs Country Park and Summerseat paraded.

People walking through the park and standing on the platforms waved in glee as the splendid engine passed, in what must have been a magnificent sight.

ELR day with Thomas

ELR day with Thomas

A cheerful voice sounded from the speaker on the train saying how wonderful it was to be back, as the ELR had been badly affected due to its closure during the pandemic.

When we returned to Bury the fun didn’t stop there as there was more to see and do at the Bury Transport Museum with funfair rides included in the price of admission.

Families rushed to the platform to take a photo with the main man himself and even take a peek inside the coal-fired steam engine.

The day with Thomas is certainly the highlight of the ELR calendar, but there’s a lot more to look forward to including the Santa Special, which will take place from next month.

Other events include Pull Days at Bury Transport Museum, Steam Sundays, Steam Gala, Union of South Africa farewell, and Halloween Ghost Trains.

For more information visit eastlancsrailway.org.uk


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