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Close encounters with Thomas: Lots of smiles in Northwest Railway Museum's annual Tank Engine visit | Valley Record Photo Gallery

Annika Spitze, 2, grins as she gets up close with Thomas. Her mother, Jodie Spitz, grew up in North Bend. Her family now lives in Redmond. - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Annika Spitze, 2, grins as she gets up close with Thomas. Her mother, Jodie Spitz, grew up in North Bend. Her family now lives in Redmond.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

It was a kid’s world the last two weekends at the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie.

Good summer weather shone for thousands of visitors to the museum’s annual Day Out with Thomas excursion. Families trundled tykes around the museum grounds, checking out entertainers, munching on hot dogs and pizza, watching puppet shows and getting up close and personal with the main draw, Thomas the Tank Engine, from storybooks and television.

“It’s a good experience for him,” said dad Aaron Bolton of Covington, who hoisted up 2-year-old son Landon after he got a temporary arm tattoo of Thomas’ green friend Percy. “He loves Thomas,” explains dad. “It’s nice to be outside. We have the weather for it, finally.”

Anika Heines, 4, of Bothell, waves from the window of a passing Northwest Railway Museum passenger car during a Day Out with Thomas ride on Friday, July 19.

Fox Island resident Don Stott, with the Puget Sound Garden Railway Society, sends a G-gage train around the track. “I do it for the kids,” says the 60-year model railroad enthusiast. It doesn't take long, he says, for people to get interested in model railroading for life.

Families gather for photo memories in front of Thomas the Tank.

Cassandra Marquis, 2, gazes at Sir Topham Hat, meeting the storybook character with dad Eric and sister Alexandra. The Marquises are from Mount Vernon.

Everett Brehm, 2, of Redmond, smiles in a family photo with mom Vanessa taken in front of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Visitors race across Snoqualmie on a small speeder car.

The thrill of the bouncing house keeps Anika Heines, 4, of Bothell, and other children entertained at Day Out With Thomas. Grant Warwick, 3, in the striped shirt, is having a blast.

Landon Bolton, 2, gets a temporary train tattoo, packed by his dad, Aaron.

Entertainer Eric Ode puts on a show for children at the Thomas stage.

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