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Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, a world class museum of railroad history in Strasburg, PA.

Thomas the Tank Engine ©


Who Is Thomas?

How Can I ride Thomas?

How Can I Buy Thomas and Friends Merchandise?

Does Thomas Have a Web Site?

Thomas the Tank Engine on Strasburg Rail Road.
Thomas on the Strasburg Rail Road

Thomas the Tank Engine is often on the minds of our younger visitors. Although the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania does not have a Thomas, he adds excitement to the wonderful story of railroading, and licensed Thomas presentations are available in Strasburg and other places. And we do have on display a similar tank engine that was actually used on a major American railroad (see picture below).

Who is Thomas?

Thomas the Tank Engine was created in England by the Rev. W. Awdry about 50 years ago for his son Christopher. In 1984, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends was recreated by Britt Allcroft and has been widely viewed on the PBS program Shining Time Station. Thomas has captured the imagination of youngsters around the world, and rekindled popular interest in railroading.

  • Thomas and Friends involve a series of railroad characters, books and videos, and other presentations, including the opportunity to ride on trains pulled by licensed Thomas locomotives. Several of the Thomas locomotives in use in the USA were built in the shops of the Strasburg Rail Road here in Strasburg, PA.
  • Reading RR No. 1251, a tank engine.A tank engine is a locomotive that carries its water supply and fuel on board itself, rather than in an attached rail car called a tender. Such locomotives are often used as switchers in rail yards, and for relatively short runs. The museum's Reading switcher No. 1251, seen at right, is such a tank locomotive. It's the last steam locomotive to run on a Class 1 railroad in ICC service, and last operated in 1966. It's restored to its original appearance.

How to Ride Thomas

  • Just across the street from the Railroad Museum, the Strasburg Rail Road conducts several opportunities each year to ride a train pulled by Thomas and to participate in other related Thomas features. These events draw large crowds, and early ticket purchases are recommended. Information on these events is always available from the Strasburg Rail Road's Home Page.
  • The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is a great place to visit at these times too, to provide additional excitement and historical information on real American railroading.
  • Other railroad organizations in the US also provide varying Thomas appearances.

Buying Thomas Gifts and Merchandise.

Licensed Thomas items may be obtained from a number of sources, including:

Thomas's Own Web Site

This site provides the official information about Thomas and Friends.

Thomas and related terms and products are © Gullane (Thomas) Limited.

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