Two Days Out With Thomas:
Two Locations, Two States in 2014

Florida Railroad Museum, Parrish, Florida, 15-16 and 22-23 March 2014
SAM Shortline, Cordele, Georgia, 26 October 2014

I have been a perennial railfan since my childhood days from when Amtrak served St. Petersburg. I would go to the railroad station especially after school to see what used to be Train 82 depart the St. Petersburg station in the afternoon make its departure which would take it through Tampa, Lakeland and Orlando before combining with a section of the train from Miami in Jacksonville. From Jacksonville the train would make its way north towards Washington, D.C. and New York City. Unfortunately, Amtrak decided to discontinue service to St. Petersburg in 1984, but service to Tampa would remain which is to this day.

Fast forward many, many years to 2014 and my volunteer involvement at the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish. My first ever volunteer involvement was their Day Out With Thomas event, which is held over two weekends in March. Day Out With Thomas is based on the television series Thomas and Friends, a hit among the children. When I started out with the Florida Railroad Museum a year earlier in 2013 I worked on the ground assisting in ticket taking, wristband distribution and crowd control. Even from my first Day Out With Thomas event, I have seen the happy faces on the many children I have seen, knowing that they are going for a ride featuring their favorite character, Thomas the Tank Engine.

A year later, I was more involved with the Day Out With Thomas event for 2014 at the Florida Railroad Museum. Not only I participated in the setup (especially the technical setup) I was a volunteer on the train crew. I have seen the smiles that lit up on each and every child I have seen when they came out for the ride and when I gave each and every child their Thomas Junior Engineer certificate.

I have been fascinated with Thomas and Friends since my first volunteering stint at the Florida Railroad Museum in 2013. In fact, I purchased a CD of Thomas and Friends' All Star Tracks at the gift shop so that I could enjoy the music of Thomas and Friends on the way back home, as well as to have something to listen to whenever I wanted.

In October 2014 I wanted to experience another Day Out With Thomas, this time as a passenger. In order to do just that I took a weekend trip to the SAM Shortline, an excursion railroad located on the grounds of the Georgia Veterans State Park located west of Cordele, Georgia (about 10 miles west of Interstate 75's Exit 101 on US 280). It gave me a fun filled weekend activity for me to do, as well as a weekend roadtrip in the process!

So click on a Day Out With Thomas event in 2014 that you would like to explore and have an awesome time!

Day Out With Thomas, March 2014, Florida Railroad Museum, Parrish

Day Out With Thomas, October 2014, SAM Shortline, Cordele