What is Day Out With Thomas™?
Day Out With Thomas™ is a family event that offers aspiring engineers and their families the unique opportunity to take a ride with the classic storybook engine, Thomas the Tank Engine™ at regional heritage railroads across the country.

Who is Thomas the Tank Engine?
Since Thomas the Tank Engine left the depot more than 65 years ago, this Really Useful Engine and his Island of Sodor friends have chugged their way into the hearts of preschoolers and grownups worldwide. Based on The Railway Series of classic stories authored by a father who loved trains and wanted a shared experience with his son, Thomas & Friends™ is a rite of passage that inspires the imagination while teaching the life lessons of friendship, exploration and cooperation.

What are the appropriate ages for Day Out With Thomas™?
Day Out With Thomas is a family event that welcomes passengers of all ages.

Where is the event?
The event is held at the N.C. Transportation Museum, at 1 Samuel Spencer Drive, Spencer, NC.

When is the event?
Sept. 28-30, Oct. 5-7.  The event runs from 8a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, though train ride times and performance schedules vary each day.  Be aware of this as you plan your visit to have enough time for the train ride(s) and all activities you’d like to see.

When do tickets go on sale?
Tickets are on sale as of April 1st, 2018. 

How much are tickets?
Tickets are $20 Fridays, $22 weekends, ages 2 and up. Combination Thomas & Percy Caboose Train tickets are $28 Fridays, $32 weekends. Percy Caboose Train tickets are only available as a combination ticket with your Day Out With Thomas™ ticket.  

Friday visitors can also purchase an “All Day Pass” that allows for unlimited train rides aboard Thomas for $32.  A Thomas “All Day Pass” plus one Percy Caboose train ride is $36.

Museum members receive a $2 discount (Saturday and Sunday only).


How do I purchase tickets?
Tickets can be purchased online, by clicking the red "Buy Tickets" box on the Day Out With Thomas™ page or by phone by calling TicketWeb at 866-468-3399.  Phone sales must be purchased through TicketWeb; if you call the museum, we’ll be happy to answer any questions, but we CANNOT take ticket orders over the phone. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the museum before the event, with cash or check payment only. Tickets may be available for purchase on site the day of the event, but some dates or ride times may sellout, so it is best to buy in advance.

Who needs tickets?
Tickets are required for guests ages two and up. The Day Out With Thomas™ ticket is inclusive of the train ride, DOWT activities and museum activities (see below).  No guests will be admitted to museum exhibits or DOWT activity areas without the purchase of a DOWT ticket, regardless of whether they plan to ride the train. All minor children must have a ticketed adult accompanying them for all event activities, including the train ride.

What is included in the ticket price?
A ticket for Day Out With Thomas™ includes the train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, the option to purchase a Percy Caboose Train ticket (extra fee required), and a variety of Thomas & Friends themed entertainment, including Storytelling and Video Viewing, Temporary Tattoos of Island of Sodor friends, and an Imagination Station with Arts & Crafts, a bean bag toss, face painting, model train layouts and more. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor. A children’s magical show and musical show, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and much more are also included in your Day Out With Thomas ticket.  A site map and schedule of activities will be available on site during the event.

How will I receive my tickets?
If purchased two weeks or more in advance of the event, guests will receive their tickets in the mail. Guests that purchase tickets closer to the event date can pick up their tickets at Will Call near the museum parking lot on the day of the event. ALL GUESTS will need to pick up armbands at ticket/information booths upon arrival.

Are there any refunds?
There will be no refunds or exchanges. This event is rain or shine.

Will Thomas the Tank Engine be there?
Thomas the Tank Engine has traveled all the way from the Island of Sodor and has arrived Right on Time to take a ride with you and your family.

Will Percy be there?
Yes!  Percy will be joining Thomas at the N.C. Transportation Museum.  He will be pulling the Percy Caboose Train, running on the same schedule as the regular Thomas train.  Those wishing to ride Percy can add that option as part of their Day Out With Thomas™ purchase for an additional $8 per ticket.  PERCY TICKETS ARE EXTREMELY LIMITED.  VISITORS ARE ADVISED TO PURCHASE IN ADVANCE, THOUGH LIMITED ADD-ON TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON EVENT DAYS.

Will Sir Topham Hatt be there?
Yes, Sir Topham Hatt will take time away from his busy schedule as Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor to meet and take pictures with guests.

Do you recommend purchasing tickets in advance?
Due to the popularity of Day Out With Thomas™, advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. It is not uncommon for events to sell out. When purchasing tickets you will be asked to select a specific date and time for your ride with Thomas. If you purchase a combination ticket, you will also be asked to choose a separate time for your Percy ride.  Your ticket is valid only for that date and the times listed.


What times do trains depart?
Friday train rides depart at 9:15 (Thomas only), 10, 10:45, 11:30 a.m. 12:45, 1:30, 2:15, 3, 3:45 p.m.  Additional Percy rides are available at 4:30 and 5:15 p.m. 

Saturday train rides depart at 9:15 (Thomas only), 10, 10:45, 11:30 a.m. 12:45, 1:30, 2:15, 3, 3:45, 4:30 and 5:15 p.m. 

Sunday train rides depart at 9:15, 10, 10:45, 11:30 a.m. 12:45, 1:30, 2:15, 3, 3:45, 4:30 p.m.  An additional Percy ride will be available at 5:15 p.m.

How should I plan my visit?
Your ticket is for a day of Thomas privileges.  The time specified on your ticket is for the Thomas train ride (and Percy ride, if applicable) and that is the only activity for which you are locked in to a particular time. Other activities, like the magician act and children’s musical show, have designated times throughout the event day.  Make sure that you’ve planned enough time before or after your train ride(s) to experience each activity.

When should we arrive for our train ride with Thomas?
It is recommended that guests arrive at the event at least one hour before their scheduled train ride departure.  Arriving early also allows plenty of time for finding parking, bathroom stops and getting in line. Arriving early will help us get the train boarded on time to keep Thomas on schedule, and will help make sure we don’t have disappointed passengers who have missed their train.

There are lots of activities in addition to train rides during Day Out With Thomas™.  Those with train departures scheduled later in the day may wish to arrive early enough to experience other event activities prior to the train ride. The site is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on each event day.
Is there assigned seating on the train?
Seating is assigned as guests board the train. Guests must be together during boarding if they wish to sit together on the train.   We encourage larger groups to be in line early to be seated together.

How long is the train ride?
Both the Thomas train ride and the Percy train ride are about 3 miles long and take about 25 minutes, occurring on the museum’s the 60 acre site.

Are you limited to just one train ride?
Regular Day Out With Thomas™ tickets ($20 Fridays, $22 Saturdays) allow for one train ride aboard Thomas.  An additional ride on the Percy Caboose Train can be added for an $8  per ticket.  Percy Caboose Train tickets can only be purchased as an add-on to your Day Out With Thomas ticket.

Those purchasing Friday tickets (Sept. 28 & Oct. 5) have the option of an All Day Pass which allows for unlimited Thomas train rides and all Day Out With Thomas activities for $32/ticket.  Those wishing to add the Percy Caboose Train (one ride only) can do so for $36/ticket.

How do I get to the N.C. Transportation Museum?
The N.C. Transportation Museum is conveniently located just minutes from I-85 in Spencer, N.C., about an hour's drive from Charlotte, Greensboro, or Winston Salem.  From I-85, take Exit 79 and follow the brown Historic Sites directional signs.  

You can also take North Carolina's Amtrak train to get to the event.  Free trolley service will be available from the Salisbury Depot to the N.C. Transportation Museum and back each day.  The trolley will be available for the southbound Piedmont #73 (9:14am), the northbound Piedmont #74 (12:44pm), the southbound Piedmont #75 (2:14pm) and will provide service departing the NCTM at 4:45PM for the northbound Piedmont #76 (5:59pm) and the southbound Carolinian #79 (7:55pm). Feel free to visit
www.ncbytrain.org for more information on train ride schedules and pricing.   CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Is there parking available on site?
There is parking available on site, with no charge.  Additional parking is available across the street, however, this is not museum property and there may be a parking fee.

Is there an ATM available?
There is not an ATM on the museum property.  The nearest is approximately a half mile north of the museum in the Food Lion shopping center.

What if there is inclement weather?

Day Out With Thomas™ events take place rain or shine. Please plan to bring an umbrella or raincoat if inclement weather is expected.  The Day Out With Thomas event takes place across our 60 acre historic site and there will be times spent outdoors walking between buildings and activities.

Are cameras allowed?

Absolutely! Guests are encouraged to capture their Day Out With Thomas™ memories for their photo album. Professional photographers are also available to take photos with Thomas and Percy for an additional charge.

Will there be food available?

Approximately six food vendors will be on site, mostly area civic groups with very reasonable prices. Some of these vendors may only accept cash. The museum has three picnic shelters, or if you prefer, you are permitted to leave the site and return the same day.  There are some restaurants in Spencer and Salisbury (about three miles away) has a wide selection of options.

Are strollers permitted?
Day Out With Thomas is a family event that welcomes guests of all ages. There is even a designated area for "stroller parking" during the train ride. Strollers will not be permitted on the train.

Are diaper changing facilities available?

A very nice diaper changing room is available at no charge during Thomas.  It will be easily found on the event map.

Is the event handicap accessible?
The Thomas train has a wheelchair lift, as is the N.C. Transportation Museum’s 60 acre site and all its exhibits.

The Percy Caboose Train, however is not handicap accessible.  Historic and antiquated rail passenger equipment used on this Caboose train is exempt from ADA regulations under US Code: Title 42: Section 12184.

If you have specific requests, simply ask a staff person who will do their best to accommodate your needs.  

The N.C. Transportation Museum is both a working railroad and a former industrial site. As such, please be aware that there may be areas of the site with rough footing and track crossings that may present an additional challenge for visitors in wheelchairs or with difficulty walking.

Are pets allowed?

No pets are allowed at Day Out With Thomas™ with the exception of registered service animals.  

Is there available lodging in the area?

Yes, and if you are staying overnight, there are special benefits available for Day Out With Thomas™ ticket holders.  Find out more HERE.  In SalisburyRowan County, there are a variety of lodging establishments just a few miles from the museum.  For more information on lodging options, please visit the Rowan Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

How do I find out about other Day Out With Thomas™ events?

You can find the complete Day Out With Thomas™ 2018 schedule.