Archive for May, 2010

Day Out With Thomas™ is a family event that offers aspiring engineers and their families the unique opportunity to take a ride with the classic storybook engine, Thomas the Tank Engine™ at regional heritage railroads across the country.

Since Thomas the Tank Engine left the depot more than 60 years ago, this Really Useful Engine and his Island of Sodor friends have chugged their way into the hearts of preschoolers and grownups worldwide.

Based on The Railway Series of classic stories authored by a father who loved trains and wanted a shared experience with his son, Thomas & Friends™ is a rite of passage that inspires the imagination while teaching the life lessons of friendship, exploration and cooperation.


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old fort train depot

By Mike Conley | The McDowell News

Old Fort will again celebrate its railroad heritage with exhibits, music and fun-filled activities for young and old alike.

The Third Annual Railroad Day in Old Fort will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Depot, which for many years was a station for the Southern Railway. The event is free to the public.

At Railroad Day, folks will be able to enjoy trackless train rides around the streets of Old Fort. There will be face painting for the kids and the local band Rewind will provide music.

Larry Weed will have two model railroad layouts set up inside the Depot. One will be a Z-scale layout, which is a very small scale, and another will be an HO-scale Thomas the Tank Engine layout. These exhibits have been set up through Old Fort Model Trains.

Local resident Karen Allison will have her custom T-shirts and other items that feature the railroad track and tunnels that wind through the Swannanoa Gap between Old Fort and Ridgecrest. The Western North Carolina Model Railroaders will have a display at Saturday’s event. Representatives of the McDowell Quilt Trail will be on hand with interesting quilt block items for sale.old fort train

The Depot’s visitors center and railroad museum will be open, along with the former Southern Railway bay window caboose.

The event is hosted by the Old Fort Mountain Heritage Alliance. The alliance is a committee working in corporation with the town of Old Fort, HandMade in America’s Small Towns Program and the N.C. Rural Center’s STEP program to increase economic development opportunities in Old Fort.

The alliance’s Web site is

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