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East Lancashire Light Railway Museum (Greater Manchester)

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Bolton St ,Bury, Greater Manchester. tel = 0161 764 7790

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      30.05.2001 03:04
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      The East Lancashire Railway is situated just out side Manchester, by the A56 in Bury. You will find that it is more than just a haven for steam enthusiasts, it holds themed weekends and special events. The weekend event that I am writing this opinion about is the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends weekend. The Thomas weekends happen about 3 times a year, usually over a bank holiday weekend. The Thomas experience begins at Bolton St Station, where fans of Thomas will see familiar faces... and not just the human type. The Fat Controller is on the platform to welcome his passengers and also to keep his engines and employees in order! This is a good opportunity to have your photograph taken with the Fat controller and he is always happy to be snapped with fans of all ages! The next step is to ride in a break van pulled by Thomas,this your chance to ride in Poppy, Bluebell Buttercup or even Marigold. This is only a short ride, but the staff give out sweets and help make the day more special with a little camaraderie. Once this short ride is over it time to board another train pulled by yet another Thomas character. All the Thomas have moulded faces that do resemble the videos and programmes that you have seen. This train will take you all the way to Rawtenstall, but along the way there are more Thomas related themes at each station. At Ramsbottom you can see the troublesome trucks, which are accompanied by another friend of Thomas, they are watched over by the ELR’s own Thin Controller. Once you board the train and continue your journey and will end up at Rawtenstall; here you will see Daisy, and again another attraction to enjoy. There is also Punch and Judy here and a shop that sells Thomas merchandise. Then it’s the return journey back to Bury. Once back at Bolton St Station you can then journey across the road to the Transport Museum, where even more attractions can be found, these inclu de Bertie Bus and some friends. My Husabnd was more interested in the wagons and buses that were not part of the Thomas event....but he was an HGV driver! At the museum there is also a diesel tug of war and Thomas story time. Ramsbottom and the museum both have picnic areas so that you can watch the trains pass as you eat your lunch. There is a tearoom at Bolton St Station, as well as take away stalls. The toilets on Platform 2 have a baby changing area as well as facilities for the disabled. What I like about this day out is that you can choose your own itinerary, because you can do these events in the order you want. (As long as you have bought your ticket in advance) You could start the day at Rawtenstall or visit the museum first. The trains between Bury and Rawtenstall begin at 9am and finish at 5.30 and they run at regular intervals. (Not at all like a mainline experience!!) My children find the day fascinating and always want to return again, they even enjoy just watching out of the window as the train journeys between stations. This is an extremely worthwhile family day out, and I have a sneaky suspicion that many Dads’ and Grandad’s have as much, if not more fun than the children they take. ******************************************** The next Thomas the Tank Engine event at the ELR is on.... August 10th, 11th & 12th. I do suggest that you buy your tickets beforehand as this is an extremely popular dayout. By purchasing in advance you can then cut out the boring bit as there is always a queue on the day. ( Well, there has always been a queue when we have been here) Prices Adult.......................£7.50 Child over 3................£5.00 Family(2 adults/3 children..£22.00

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