13 FEB, 2011

Silverhill, Al.

Thomas the Tank Engine™ to visit Wales West Light Railway - April 30-May 1, May 7-8, May 14-15

It's "Steamies" versus "Diesels" and our favorite No.1 engine is right on track! Thomas the Tank Engine™ is set to roll into Silverhill for the Day Out With Thomas™: Leader of the Track Tour 2011. All little engineers are invited to cheer him on and take a ride with Thomas. The event, which takes place April 30-May1, May 7-8, May 14-15, 2011, will be hosted by Wales West Light Railway and presented by HIT Entertainment and sponsored by MEGA Brands, a leading toy company.

For 66 years, children have been captivated by the courageous adventures of Thomas and his engine friends. Pulling out of the station for its 16th consecutive ride on the rails, the Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 will visit more than 45 cities in the United States and Canada. Day Out With Thomas is the only place for families to take a ride with a 9-ton replica of everybody's favorite No. 1 engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, and enjoy Thomas-themed activities at the Imagination Station, including stamps, temporary tattoos and hands-on arts and crafts. Each year the tour grows, traveling to new destinations, adding new activities and welcoming new visitors.

Thomas the Tank Engine, star of Thomas & Friends™, on PBS KIDS® and Sprout® kicks off his Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 in March and is expected to welcome more than one million passengers through November. During the Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011, children will ride with Thomas up steep hills, around deep, blue lakes, and help him win the race against the diesel engines—if only in their imaginations. Day Out with Thomas 2011 activities include:

  • A 25-minute (approximate) ride with Thomas the Tank Engine

  • The opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt™, Controller of the Railway

  • A Thomas & Friends Imagination Station; featuring stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts & crafts activities and coloring sheets.

  • Commemorative activities, merchandise and giveaways to celebrate the 2011 Thomas & Friends DVD movie "Day of the Diesels" (Sept. 2011, Lionsgate), including:

    • A video viewing area that shows how steam engines work differently from diesel engines

    • Diesel engine tattoos

    • A special giveaway character wheel showcasing Steamie and Diesel engines from the world of Thomas & Friends

  • Storytelling, video viewing and live music

The tour provides a unique, interactive family experience at every station, offering a variety of entertaining activities that reflect the local flavor of each stop. At Wales West Light Railway activities will include: Professional interactive children's musician, huge model train display, hay bale maze, miniature railway ride, and bubble blowing/chalk art.

The approximately 25-minute train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine will depart every 45 minutes, rain or shine, with departure times at 9:45 am through 4:30 pm daily. Tickets for the Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 is $18 plus tax for ages two and up.

Tickets are on sale now by calling toll-free 866.468.7630 or logging onto http://events.hitentertainment.com For more information and directions contact the railway at 1-888-569-5337 or on the web at www.waleswest.com.

For general information or to find a Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 event near you, visit www.thomasandfriends.com/dowt.

For media use only: For high-resolution downloadable artwork or additional information please go to www.hitnewsonline.com and select Day Out With Thomas: Leader of the Track Tour 2011 Artwork.

About The Wales West Light Railway
Wales West Light Railway is the only authentic Welsh narrow gauge railway in America. Riders board authentic "Bread Box" cars at a beautiful Victorian style station for a scenic ride past quaint buildings, a lake, woodlands and pastures. So much attention has been paid to making the railway look and fell like a 19th. century English short line that you will think your on the Isle Of Sodor™ or traveling through a Welsh vale.

The railway has both steam and diesel locomotives. "Dame Ann" is our coal fired 0-4-2 Hunslet. Built in England in 2004 she is the 1st. Hunslet built in eighty three years and the last steam loco imported into this country in the twentieth century. "Gareth" is our vintage Simplex diesel loco also made in England. Wither the train your on is being pulled by "Dame Ann' or "Gareth" your senses will experience the thrill of riding on a true Welsh narrow gauge train.

Located near the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast the mile long railway is dedicated to providing wholesome family entertainment to kids of all ages. The railway offers 2 FT. gauge train rides to the public everyday of the year except Christmas day and New Years Day. Daily trains run from 10AM till 5PM. on weekdays and 1PM till 5PM on weekends. Special event trains run during the Easter, Halloween, and Christmas seasons. Thomas™ visits the railway each spring and special Train Robbery trains run on each weekend morning in June. The miniature 7.5" trains run at 4 special weekend meets each year. The 2FT. gauge train can also be rented for parties year round. See our web-site www.waleswest.com or call (888)569-5337 for details.

About Thomas & Friends™
Thomas the Tank Engine was created by a father for his son over 65 years ago and today is enjoyed by families in more than 185 territories and in 30 languages. The #1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. Children embark on adventures with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and cooperation. Thomas & Friends makes tracks to great destinations on PBS KIDS®, PBS KIDS SproutSM and with downloadable episodes available through iTunes. For more information about the world of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends, please visit www.thomasandfriends.com.

About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment's Fifi and the Flowertots™ and Roary the Racing Car™ in North America, as well as Wallace & Gromit™, Shaun the Sheep™, Timmy Time™ and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations. HIT also acts as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT's lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. HT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS SproutSM. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

About MEGA Brands
MEGA Brands is a trusted family of leading global brands in construction toys, games & puzzles, arts & crafts and stationery. They offer engaging creative experiences for children and families through innovative, well-designed, affordable and high-quality products. Visit http://www.megabrands.com for more information.