Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Thomas the Tank Engine?

Since Thomas the Tank Engine left the depot more than 70 years ago, this Really Useful Engine and his Island of Sodor friends have chugged their way into the hearts of preschoolers and grown ups 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?

Thomas the Tank Engine will be visiting the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat (15 Plains Road, Essex CT 06426). Parking for the event can be found at 15 Plains Road, Essex CT AND 55 Bokum Road, Essex, CT. The 55 Bokum Road parking  will require FREE shuttle bus transportation to and from the event site (8:15 am till 5:00pm).

When is the event?

April 22 & 23 / April 29 & 30, 2023

Gates open at 8:30 am and close at 5:00 pm

When do tickets go on sale?

Tickets are on sale now Please note: you need to purchase tickets for a specific departure time.

Who needs tickets?

Tickets are required for guests ages one and older (if the child has not yet reached their first birthday they do  not need a ticket)

How much are tickets?

Tickets are $28.50 (Ages 1 and older). Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets for $24.50 per person.

Do you recommend purchasing tickets in advance?

Due to the popularity of Day Out With Thomas, advance ticket purchase is encouraged. We expect all dates and departures to sell out in advance. When purchasing tickets, you will be asked to select a specific date and time for your ride with Thomas. Your ticket is valid only for that date and time.

How do I purchase tickets?

Tickets are available by clicking on the Purchase Tickets icon on the Day Out With Thomas main page, by calling Ticketweb at 866 -468-7630 .  Advance purchase of tickets is highly recommended to avoid sell-out.

How will I receive my tickets?

If purchased three weeks or more in advance of the event, guests will receive their tickets in the mail or may choose to have downloadable tickets emailed to them at time of purchase. Guests that purchase tickets closer to the event date can pick up their tickets at Will Call the day of the event or choose to have downloadable tickets emailed. Please review Ticket Webs mailing policy when ordering tickets for the most up to date information.

Are there any refunds?

There will be no refunds or exchanges.

What is included in the ticket price?

A ticket for Day Out With Thomas includes the train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, as well as a variety of Thomas & Friends themed entertainment. Guests will also get to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor, Percy the Small Green Engine, and to enjoy unlimited kid-friendly amusement rides.

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 the Small Engine be there?

This year, Percy is coming along to keep Thomas company. While Thomas pulls our passenger cars, Percy will be available for photos, will tell a story, and interact with visitors.

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.

What times do trains depart?

Trains depart on 45-minute intervals, from 9:00 a.m. through 3:45 p.m.

When should we arrive for our train ride with Thomas?

We recommend arriving at least an hour before your scheduled ride with Thomas. Early arrival will give you a comfortable amount of time to park and take the shuttle if needed. Shuttle operates 8:15 am till 5:00 pm. There are many things to do during your visit including unlimited carnival rides, petting zoo, entertainment, play areas, and more. We also have a selection of food & beverages so come as early as you’d like and share the day with your family.

Is there assigned seating on the train?

Tickets are assigned by time. Guests must be together during boarding if they wish to sit together on the train.

How long is the train ride?

The Thomas train ride is approximately 25 minutes.

Are you limited to just one train ride?

Yes. There is one train ride per ticket.

How do I get to there?

Please note: Our regular entrance is blocked with carnival rides, attractions, activities, etc.

Set your GPS to arrive at 15 Plains Road, Essex, CT. When you start seeing Day Out with Thomas signage, follow those signs over your GPS, and we’ll help you to park smoothly. We have free shuttle  buses to make your arrival comfortable.

  • Handicapped Parking: Handicap parking is only available at our 15 Plains Road, Essex (Route 153) location. You must have your blue placard in your window (or an appropriate plate) before you arrive to access handicap parking.
  • I-95 South: Exit 69 to Route 9 North to Exit 3; Left off ramp, follow DOWT signs to 15 Plains Road OR 55 Bokum Road, Essex.
  • I-95 North: Exit 65; Left off ramp onto Route 153 North; Follow DOWT signs to 55 Bokum Road, Essex.
  • Route 9 South: Exit 3; Straight off ramp and follow DOWT signs to 15 Plains Road OR 55 Bokum Road, Essex.

Alternately, use Google Maps

Is there parking available on site?

The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat provides ample FREE PARKING for the Day Out With Thomas Event at 55 Bokum Road and 15 Plains Road, Essex, CT. When you start seeing Day Out with Thomas signage, follow those signs over your GPS, and we’ll help you to park smoothly. We have free shuttles and buses to make your arrival comfortable.

  •   Handicap parking is only available at our 15 Plains Road, Essex (Route 153) location.

Is there an additional cost for parking?

No additional cost at 55 Bokum Road or 15 Plains Road, Essex, CT.  Parking is FREE.

What if there is inclement weather?

Day Out With Thomas events takes place rain or shine. Please dress accordingly.

Are cameras allowed?

Absolutely! Guests are encouraged to capture their Day Out With Thomas memories for their photo album. If you post photos to social media, our official hashtag is #essexsteamtrain

Will there be food available?

Yes, a variety of food is available for purchase onsite.

Is the event handicap accessible?

The train is not handicap accessible. Most of the event grounds are dirt and gravel. Some of the attractions are handicap accessible. Please call Essex Steam Train directly in regards to accessibility at 800-377-3987.

Are pets allowed?

No. Pets are not allowed at Day Out With Thomas.

Is there available lodging in the area?

You can find information about nearby restaurants and lodging, and other tourist attractions here.