Dozens of eager children gathered in downtown Hood River on Friday morning to be formally introduced to Thomas the Tank Engine.
Mayor Paul Cummings presented a key to the city to Sir Topham Hatt, the Superintendent of Thomas’ railroad on the fictional island of Sodor. Thomas the Tank Engine was made famous in books and on PBS in “Thomas and Friends.”
“On behalf of the city of Hood River I wish to extend a warm welcome to Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt,” Cummings said.
Cummings was kept busy signing autographs until Thomas departed for his first run. Jack Mills, Mount Hood Railroad board member, was thanked many times by exuberant young riders for giving them a “Day Out With Thomas.”
Weekend tickets for a half-hour excursion about Thomas have already sold out, but events run until July 7. The tickets also includes activities at the depot including music, balloon making, video viewing and coloring stations, Learning Curve Station, a food court and gift store, and Sir Topham Hatt.
It costs $14 to ride the train, which runs hourly from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 800-872-4661 for reservations. The Hood River Lions will manage parking at the Hood River Expo Center at $3 per car ($4 on July 4 if visitors wish to stay for the fireworks). A shuttle will run from the Expo Center between 7:30 a.m. at 7 p.m. Handicapped passengers should be dropped off at the railroad station prior to parking at the Expo Center.