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Kids climb aboard for a Day Out With Thomas

Ethan Fussy is from St. Joseph, Minn. His family has made the trip to Duluth the past four years to visit Thomas. Ethan points out many Duluth landmarks throughout the ride, including the William A. Irvin, which he says is as big as the Titanic. "I just like trains," said Ethan. (Photo by Ryley Graham)1 / 6
Families line up to board Thomas the Tank Engine, which leaves the station every hour for a 20-minute ride up the North Shore. (Photo by Anna Jones)2 / 6
Charlie Richman with the train he made at the building table. He enjoys watching Thomas the Tank Engine on TV. "I really like it because I like trains," said Richman. (Photo by Anna Jones)3 / 6
Isla Snow attended Day Out With Thomas with her parents, Chris and Christina. (Photo by Anna Jones)4 / 6
Darian Driscoll and her son, Riley, came to see Thomas to celebrate Riley's second birthday. They watch Thomas on TV and are excited to finally meet him. (Photo by Ryley Graham)5 / 6
Children at Day Out With Thomas play in the bubble machine, one of the many activities available before boarding the train. (Photo by Anna Jones)6 / 6

Thomas the Tank Engine visited his friends in Duluth during the first two weekends in August. The Day Out With Thomas brought in visitors from 15 states in the Midwest as well as Canada. This is his fifth consecutive visit. After having drawn in thousands of riders, plans are to have him visit again next summer.

"It has grown so big because it's not just Thomas, which is a draw in itself, but it's all the other things that go with it," said Ken Buehler, executive director of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. "The magician, the live music show, which is especially tuned to kids. The bouncy houses, the face painting, the stick-on tattoos."