NSW Rail Museum
Frequently asked questions
Why doesn’t Thomas pull the train ride?
The train ride is pulled by Donald. Thomas is on display all day inside the event so every visitor can get up close, climb into his cab, toot his whistle and have a photo taken him. If Thomas pulled the train he would be offsite for most of the day and no-one would be able to see him!
Mini Thomas usually pulls one of the trains on the miniature railway! Head there for a Thomas-pulled train.
What should I expect during my train ride?
When you get to the station, look for the signs to help you locate your carriage. Someone will check your ticket at the door and help you find your seat.
The train ride goes from Sodor (Thirlmere Station) to Buxton and back, and takes around 40-45 minutes in total. The track is mostly straight and runs through semi-rural towns. There are no tunnels or bridges.
Children will receive a ‘Day Out With Thomas’ certificate during their train ride.
Each carriage has a passenger attendant to assist you with any questions or issues during your trip.
Do I have to sit in my allocated seat?
Yes, please sit in the seat indicated on your ticket. If you sit elsewhere you will be taking the seat of another paying customer. If you have any issues please see the passenger attendant in your carriage for assistance.
What happens if I miss my train?
Your train ride will leave at the designated time so please be seated and ready to depart by the time shown on your ticket. We appreciate your understanding that we cannot hold up a whole train of passengers to wait for latecomers.
Day Out With Thomas train rides are always sold out, we cannot put you on a later train if you miss your designated train trip – those seats will belong to someone else on the next ride.
Can I bring my pram on the train?
No, you will not be able to bring prams onto the train. We provide a pram parking station which you will find near the gate as you head towards the station.
Are there toilets on the train?
There are no toilet facilities on the train. Please go before you board the train.
May we stick our heads out of the train windows?
Please do not stick your head out the window – the latches are old and sometimes the windows drop suddenly. You may also get soot in your eye, which is very uncomfortable!
What happens during a fire ban?
In the unlikely event of a fire ban, we will replace the steam engine with a diesel engine. We are prohibited from running steam trains during fire bans.
How long can I stay at the event?
Your ticket includes entry to the event all day between 9am and 5pm. You are welcome to come as early and stay as late as you like.
What activities are included in the ticket price?
All activities are included in the ticket price. This includes: meet Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt, unlimited mini Thomas train ride, unlimited Toby rides, Henry cab visits, face painting, storytelling, jumping castles, Imagination Station (colouring-in competition, Thomas & Friends toys and movies), all of the NSW Rail Museum exhibits and displays.
Where are the jumping castles?
The jumping castles are near the Great Train Hall, at the southern end of the museum site. Make sure you walk right through the Museum Exhibition Building to get out to the Great Train Hall – this is where most of the collection is displayed!
When can I meet Sir Topham Hatt?
Sir Topham Hatt makes regular appearances with Thomas and throughout the Main Exhibition Building during the day for photos and to meet and greet visitors. We thank you for understanding that Sir Topham Hatt is a real person who occasionally needs to have a quick rest and a drink of water.
What happens if it rains?
A Day Out With Thomas goes ahead regardless of weather, unless weather conditions are extreme and/or management consider the conditions unsafe. Some activities, such as the mini train and jumping castles, will cease operation for safety reasons during wet weather.
Is there parking?
There is parking available in streets around the NSW Rail Museum, however, you should expect a walk of a block or two to reach the entrance.
Is there public transport?
Unfortunately there is limited public transport to the NSW Rail Museum. The nearest train stations are Picton and Tahmoor, neither of which are in walking distance. There are very limited bus services.
Use the Transport for NSW Trip Planner to help you work out the best way to get here: https://transportnsw.info/
Are there baby change tables?
Yes! There are baby change tables at multiple locations across the site. If you can’t find one just ask one of our team members.
What are the food options?
Our volunteers run a sausage sizzle as a fundraiser for the activities of the NSW Rail Museum.
Local catering company, PB Catering, will be operating the museum café and a food tent in the museum grounds, selling a range of hot food (such as fish and chips, nuggets, bacon and egg rolls, burgers, steak sandwiches), sandwiches and wraps, soup, hot and cold drinks.
A coffee cart as well as donut and ice cream vans are also on-site.
There is also a range of take away shops in Thirlmere village within a short walk of the NSW Rail Museum.
Why can’t we go inside all of the carriages on display?
As a museum, our main job is to preserve items of rail heritage. Lots of feet walking through the more fragile carriages can cause deterioration over time. Other items are waiting their turn for restoration and are not yet safe for public access. Wherever possible we provide a way for you to look through the windows of the carriage we are unable to provide full access to.
Can I take photographs inside the NSW Rail Museum?
Yes, please feel free to take photographs. You may even like to share them with us: #NSWRailMuseum #DayOutWithThomas @nswrailmuseum
Can we bring a dog?
No, dogs are not permitted onsite, except for assistance dogs.
What should I do if I have lost my child?
Please alert the nearest NSW Rail Museum team member. Most team members will be carrying a 2-way radio which can be used to call for assistance and all available team members will help look for your child. All staff and volunteers will be wearing blue Thomas & Friends vests so they can be easily identified.
Please consider taking a photo of your child before you arrive at the event. In the heat of the moment it may be hard to remember details like what clothes your child is wearing and a photo will help.
You might also consider putting your mobile phone number somewhere on your child – for example, on the wristband they’ll be issued on entry, on a piece of paper in their pocket, on a lanyard or written on their arm.
We hope you have an excellent Day Out With Thomas!
For more Thomas & Friends visit www.thomasandfriends.com
Day Out With Thomas™ © 2021 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. Thomas & Friends™ Based on The Railway Series by The Reverend W. Awdry. © 2021 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. Thomas the Tank Engine, Thomas & Friends and Day Out With Thomas are trademarks of Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2021 Mattel. All Rights Reserved. ® and ™ designate U.S. trademarks of Mattel, except as noted.