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All aboard for Day Out With Thomas!

Have your photo taken with Thomas the Tank Engine during the annual Day Out With Thomas in Burnet on September 28-29. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

One of the most famous steam engines returns to Burnet on September 28-29.

The Austin Steam Train Association is hosting a Day Out With Thomas at the Burnet Community Center and Depot, 401 E. Jackson St. Families can have a fun time exploring the world of Sodor at this annual event.

Thomas the Tank Engine came to life in the mind of a young Wilbert Vere Awdry, who grew up listening to steam engines chug through the English countryside, creating personalities for them. As a parent, Awdry spun tails of those steam engines for his son, Christopher.

In 1945, those tales became the first of “The Railway Series” books featuring Thomas and his friends. Eventually, the books spawned a TV series and movies.

During a Day Out With Thomas, you can ride on the famous train. Departures are about every 50 minutes from 8:30 a.m.-5:40 p.m. both days from the Burnet station. It’s a 25-minute ride.

Purchase tickets online, but do so quickly — several of the rides are already sold out. Parking is free for the event, where kids can also jump on an inflatable, watch magicians and balloon artists, meet Sir Topham Hat, climb a rock wall, do crafts, and listen to storytellers.

Just a heads-up for the holidays: The Austin Steam Train Association is hosting the North Pole Flyer on select weekends in November and December. This year’s train leaves from the historic 1912 Bertram Depot, 170 S. Gabriel St. Rides tend to sell out quickly, so purchase your tickets now.

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