All Aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine(TM) Steams Into Town With Day Out With Thomas(TM) 2009: The Hero of the Rails Tour, Sponsored by The LEGO Group

    NEW YORK, Feb. 18 /CNW/ -- It's a bird! It's a's a train!
Everyone's favorite #1 engine, Thomas the Tank Engine(TM), welcomes friends
aboard as he steams across the nation visiting more than 45 heritage railroads
in the US and Canada as part of the Day Out With Thomas 2009: The Hero of the
Rails Tour presented by HIT Entertainment and sponsored by The LEGO Group. 
This fun-filled event offers preschoolers and their families the opportunity
to take a ride on a 15-ton replica of Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the
Thomas & Friends(TM) series, on PBS KIDS(R) and PBS KIDS Sprout(SM), and
features a variety of Thomas & Friends-themed entertainment.

    (Photo: )

    Each year the tour grows, traveling to new destinations, adding new
activities and welcoming new visitors.  Rolling out of the station for its
14th consecutive year, the tour begins in March and is expected to welcome
more than one million passengers at approximately 300 event days through
December 2009.

    During the Day Out With Thomas 2009: The Hero of the Rails Tour, children
will be provided with a "Tour Map," that guides them through the four station
stops -- the Imagination Station, the Meet & Greet with Sir Topham Hatt, the
Storytelling/Video Viewing area and the gift shop.  After receiving four
stamps on their map, each child will receive a 3-D Thomas poster with glasses
(while supplies last).

    Other highlights for Day Out With Thomas 2009: The Hero of the Rails Tour

    --  A meet & greet with Sir Topham Hatt(TM), Controller of the Railway on
        the Island of Sodor.
    --  Thomas & Friends Imagination Station: featuring LEGO DUPLO bricks,
        hands-on arts and crafts activities, coloring sheets, temporary
        and engineering certificates.
    --  Storytelling, video viewing and live music.
    --  Performances by Bob the Builder(TM) (select locations). In a
        sing-along performance, Bob the Builder asks for aspiring Can-Do Crew
        members to help him build a shed for Thomas to sleep in while he's
        visiting the railroad.
    --  A large LEGO(R) replica of Thomas the Tank Engine (select locations).
    --  Exclusive Thomas & Friends commemorative merchandise including a 2009
        Day Out With Thomas passenger car.
    --  A variety of activities that reflect the local flavor of each stop!

    Tickets are available for this event by calling toll-free 866.468.7630 or
logging onto  For general information or to
find a Day Out With Thomas 2009: The Hero of the Rails Tour event near you,
please visit

    See complete tour schedule (below).

    To download artwork, please visit



    Railroad                    City              Dates

    Gold Coast Railroad         Miami, FL         March 7-8 & 14-15
    Heart of Dixie RR Museum    Calera, AL        March 27-29 & April 3-5
    Grapevine Railroad          Grapevine, TX     March 27-29 & April 3-5

    West Texas Special          Lubbock, TX       April 10-11 & 17-19
    Fillmore & Western          Fillmore, CA      April 17-19 & 24-26
    Henry Ford Museum           Dearborn, MI      April 24-26 & May 1-3
    Tennessee Valley Railroad   Chattanooga, TN   April 24-26 & May 2-3
    B & O Railroad Museum       Baltimore, MD     April 24-26 & May 1-3

    Heritage Park Historical    Calgary, AB       May 2-3 & May 9-10
     Village Calgary
    Medina Railroad Museum      Medina, NY        May 8-10 & 15-17
    Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RR   Peninsula, OH     May 16-17 & 22-24
    Heber Valley Railroad       Heber City, UT    May 21-25
    Upper Hudson River          North Creek, NY   May 22-24 & 29-31
    Midland Railway             Baldwin City, KS  May 29-31 & June 5-7

    Tweetsie Railroad           Blowing Rock, NC  June 5-14
    West Coast Railway          Squamish, BC      June 6-7 & 13-14
    Kentucky Railway Museum     New Haven, KY     June 6-7 & 13-14
    National Railroad Museum    Green Bay, WI     June 10-14
    Strasburg Rail Road         Strasburg, PA     June 13-21
    Durango & Silverton RR      Durango, CO       June 19-21
    Edaville USA                Carver, MA        June 20-21 & 26-29
    Whitewater Valley           Connersville, IN  June 19-21 & 26-28
    Mt. Hood Railroad           Hood River, OR    June 19-22 & 26-28

    Delaware River Railroad     Phillipsburg, NJ  July 3-5 & 10-12
    Montana Rail Link           Billings, MT      July 10-12
    Northwest Railway Museum    Snoqualmie, WA    July 10-12 & 17-19
    Conway Scenic Railroad      N Conway, NH      July 10-12 & 17-19
    Elgin County Railway        St Thomas, ON     July 17-19 & 24-26
    Fremont & Elkhorn Valley    Fremont, NE       July 17-19 & 24-26
    Great Smoky Mts. Railroad   Bryson City, NC   July 24-28 & July 30-August
    Roaring Camp Railroads      Felton, CA        July 24-26 & July 31-August
    RR Museum of New England    Thomaston, CT     July 31-August 2 & August
    Tumbleweed Express          Lakeville, MN     August 1-2, 8-9 & 15-16
    Boothbay Railway Village    Boothbay, ME      August 7-9 & 14-16
    IL Railway Museum           Union, IL         August 14-16 & 22-23
    Crossroads Village &        Flint, MI         August 14-16 & 21-23
     Huckleberry RR
    Edaville USA                Carver, MA        August 29-30 & September

    Tennessee Central Railway   Nashville, TN     September 5-6 & 12-13
    Lebanon Mason Monroe RR     Lebanon, OH       September 4-6 & 11-13
    Strasburg Rail Road         Strasburg, PA     September 12-20
    Colorado Railroad Museum    Golden, CO        September 12-13,19-20 &
    Boone & Scenic Valley RR    Boone, IA         September 19-20 & 25-27
    North Carolina Trans        Spencer, NC       September 25-27 & Oct 2-4
    Oklahoma Railway Museum     Oklahoma City, OK September 25-27 & Oct 2-4

    Austin Steam Train          Burnet, TX        October 9-11
    Tumbleweed Express          Granite City, IL  October 10-11 & 17-18
    Texas State Railroad        Rusk, TX          October 16-18 & 23-25
    SAM Shortline               Cordele, GA       October 23-25 & 30-31,
                                                   Nov. 1

    Essex Steam Train           Essex, CT         November 7-8 & 14-15
    Orange Empire Railway       Perris, CA        November 7-8, 11 & 14-15

    Strasburg Rail Road         Strasburg, PA     December 4-6


For further information:

For further information: Nicole Tubman, +1-212-981-5135,, or Beth Mellow, +1-212-981-5143,, both of Dan Klores Communications, for HIT
Entertainment Web Site:

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