We collected our tickets near the booking office and walked onto the
platform at about 9.45 ( got there early so able to park car ).
Bit of confusion as to which was the first train out but we did
eventually set off on the right train .... the carriages were
freezing ? Tried to get cut of tea to warm us up at Leicester North
but the Q was too long so we returned to Loughborough standing in the
The trip on Thomas was only a short shunt down the line with an 0-6-0
diesel pushing at the back. Sir Topam was very good with the children
even if he had gone a bit modern with a radio mike.
The main thing is our son enjoyed himself. Had a ride on Donald ( or
was it Douglas ? ) a couple of times, Thomas with Diesel as I said,
plus Daisy. Brought back not so fond memories of trips to Nottingham
when the vibration used to make me feel sick.
It's a pity the days of 'Thomas Days Out' may be numbered due to what
I have been told is insurance restrictions by Hit Entertainment. I
know several preserved railways have been unable to hold one this year.
We were a bit later - after one. Carriages were nicely warmed up by then and
as I said, Daisy was waiting - so on we went. terrible, not just a diesel
but a DMU to boot !
As always at GCR we had a great time. However as you said, Hit Entertainment
screwed things up - the engine shed had to be closed ! Children go to see
Thomas, parents can visit the shed and all enjoy it, but no, its a dangerous
world etc etc.
Did you see the Thomas layout - from Barrow on Soar group, its their visit
to Swannington next month - good show with very nice atmosphere and children
appear wellcome - they dont just say they are wellcome !
" Did you see the Thomas layout - from Barrow on Soar group, its
their visit to Swannington next month - good show with very nice
atmosphere and children appear wellcome - they dont just say they are
wellcome ! "
Yes we did ! Bit of a squeeze getting in the small museum were it was
housed, along with the face painting, but tidy little layout.
" So, authentic British Rail service then? :o) "
Freezing carriages, Q for tea, standing in the corridor or all
I lost count at the number of times I had to stand until Leicester on
my trips down to London ...... at least the GCR carriages were clean,
well on the first train out anyway.
Is there more than one "Thomas" as I am sure it's not the same loco we
saw a few years back at Ruddington ? Rubber tyres as well :-(
Most of the children in the 'Miracles to believe in' group had autism
and they are normally very aware of things being 'false' but they just
took it in their stride. One chap was confused as to why Diesel's
face was on his back not the front. I told him that as a diesel has a
engine it needs the front clear for it's radiator, like a car, and
he just accepted it.
It was quite refreshing going to one of these events without the
people around me 'picking flies' out of the thing :-)
Yes HIT entertainment have I have been told have gone health & safety
mad. They could of opened the workshops and let the children onto the
foot-plates but the insurance cover would have made it uneconomical to
run the event. YES ! railways can be dangerous places and YES ! I do
thing H & S is important but IMHO they are going OTT !
"Dragon Heart" wrote
They have also increased their percentage take of the turnover from 16% to
20%, have insisted that ALL additional attractions are specifically Thomas
related, that all Fat Controllers are provided by themselves OR have
undergone training by them at a cost of £2,000 each, and that all volunteers
at the events are subjected to Criminal Record checks (whether or not they
are in contact with children). Furthermore, a full risk assessment of the
event has to be carried out by themselves (and charged for).
The Bluebell and North Yorkshire Moors are just two railways that have
refused to accept the proposals.
Purely coincidentally, (!) a £4.5 million development to turn 6,000 square
metres of park "into the magical land of Sodor" is being carried out near
Tamworth, Staffordshire. The Troublesome Trucks will appear in their own
special rollercoaster. There will also be a brand new Thomas (outline but
not steam) Train that will take fans of all ages on a five minute journey
Source: Days Out Guide UK.
I understand that there are at least another two "Thomas Lands" being
constructed or considered in the UK
DW (A volunteer on a railway where Thomas will not be appearing this year).