UXBRIDGE: Thomas the Tank Engine will be rolling into Uxbridge for two weekends this summer.
Representatives from the York-Durham Heritage Railway made the announcement at council’s meeting on the evening of Monday, Feb. 23, that the beloved children’s character will be visiting Uxbridge on the weekends of Aug. 14 to 16, as well as Aug. 21 to 23, following months of planning and negotiations.
In what is planned to become an annual event, riders can experience a 25-minute train ride through the Oak Ridges Moraine aboard the heritage train, which will feature Thomas as the locomotive.
A portion of King St. will be closed during the event, which organizers expect will bring more than 10,000 people to town over each weekend. In addition to train rides, there will also be entertainment, face painting, food from local vendors and more to keep the entire family entertained.
Organizers added that they have already discussed the use of shuttle buses with township staff, after hearing concerns from Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor over the added traffic expected to be in town on both weekends.
Mayor O’Connor also suggested that the arrival of Thomas the Tank Engine could be promoted at BIA businesses through window displays.
“This event is a win-win scenario,” commented Mayor O’Connor, on the event’s potential positive effect on Uxbridge.
Ward 1 Councillor Pam Beach noted that the added visitors for the two weekends will be a great boost for the municipality.
“I’ve had a hard time keeping this quiet. It’s going to be a great boost for tourism and the town,” said Councillor Beach.