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Locals get first dibs on "Thomas" tickets

Snoqualmie Valley residents have a chance to get in early on the toot-tooting Thomas the Tank Engine visit to Snoqualmie, set for this July.

The Northwest Railway Museum started selling tickets on Monday, March 31 to Valley residents, who have a few days to purchase Thomas passes before they go on sale to the general public on Saturday, April 19. Tickets normally sell out very quickly once that happens.

Valley residents can bring proof of residence, such as utility bills, to the ticket office at the downtown train depot, 38625 S.E. King St., Snoqualmie, to buy presale tickets. The depot is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

The Day Out With Thomas 2008 Great Discovery Tour is planned for July 11 to 13 and 18 to 20.

This is Thomas' 13th consecutive year at the Northwest Railway Museum. The tank engine, popular from storybooks and the Thomas & Friends television show on PBS, typically draws more than 10,000 visitors to the Valley.

The event allows families to take a ride with a 25-ton replica of the little engine and enjoy Thomas-themed activities at the Imagination Station, including stamps, temporary tattoos and hands-on arts and crafts, and the opportunity to meet and take a photo with Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway.

Day Out With Thomas visits 45 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Each year, the event grows.

Tickets are $18 for ages two and up.

Starting on April 19, tickets will be available by calling toll-free to (866) 468-7630 or by logging onto www.trainmuseum.org. For information and directions, contact the Northwest Railway Museum at (425) 888-3030.

For general information, visit www.thomasandfriends.com.

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