UXBRIDGE: All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine is rolling back into North Durham this summer.
Following a wildly successful initial event last summer, the York-Durham Heritage Railway (YDHR) recently announced that ‘A Day Out With Thomas’ is coming back to Uxbridge for two weekends this August.
Close to 25,000 visitors are expected for the 25-minute train rides from the historic Uxbridge Train Station through the scenic Oak Ridges Moraine on the weekends of Aug. 12 to 14 and 19 to 21.
YDHR President Denis Godbout appeared before Council at their meeting on the morning of Monday, Jan. 11, requesting that the roads near the station be closed from Aug. 10 to 22 to accommodate the event, and provide an area for the many activities for kids that are part of the festivities.
As Mr. Godbout explained, last year’s sold out event was a tremendous tourism opportunity, attracting thousands of visitors to the area. Although the majority of riders were from the GTA, it was noted that the event attracted an audience from across North America, with people coming from as far as California, Alaska, and Newfoundland to take part in the festivities, adding that there was even some European visitors in attendance at the event.
Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor noted that it is imperative that the town do a better job of promoting itself this summer, with a more coordinated local effort.
“I think that Uxbridge has to do a better job of promoting what we have in town with that many people visiting,” commented Mayor O’Connor. “As a township, with the BIA, Heritage Railway, Tourism and Economic Development Committees we need to meet so we all have the same information on things like parking. This is our second time around and I think we’ll be able to do things better this year.”
Tickets for the event are $25 per person, and will go on sale on Friday, April 1. For additional information, please visit www.ydhr.ca.