Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends will be visiting two heritage railways in Kent this autumn.

Thomas fans will be able to experience a ride on a real steam engine, meet the Fat Controller and take part in themed activities such as face painting and storytelling.

If you know someone who’d love this day out, here’s when and where you’ll be able to see the country’s favourite Really Useful Engine:

Kent and East Sussex Railway

This September you can enjoy a train ride like no other at the Kent and East Sussex Railway.

Thomas and his friends will be coming all the way from the Island of Sodor on September 23 and 24.

Unlimited rides behind Thomas to and from Rolvenden Station are included in the ticket price, as well as a number of other activities and attractions.

You’ll be able to shake hands with the Fat Controller, meet Thomas’ pals Rusty & Dusty, and collect your very own goody bag and certificate to take home.

Little ones will also be free to have fun in the Imagination Station, have their faces painted, watch a magic show and a Thomas DVD screening, as well as balloon modelling, live story re-enactments and unlimited playtime on the roundabout, bouncy castle and in the soft play area.

Tickets cost £18 for adults, £13.50 for kids ages 3 to 15 years, and £45 for a family ticket. Visit www.kesr.org.uk to book.

Spa Valley Railway

On 30 September and 1, 7 and 8 October, Thomas and friends will be pulling into Spa Valley Railway.

Thomas will spend most of the day greeting visitors at his Ffarquhar Station, but special trains to and from Tunbridge Wells West will be pulled by his Steam and Diesel friends.

At Tunbridge Wells West children will have the chance to take part in several activities, including the fun Imagination Station, face painting/temporary tattoos, Thomas film screenings, and some wonderful vintage penny machines.

After boarding your pre-booked train at the Tunbridge Wells West station, you’ll be taken for a ride along the branch line by one of Thomas’ friends to where Thomas himself will be waiting to meet you.

If you are travelling on the last two trains of each day, Spa Valley advise that you arrive early in order to visit the attractions at Tunbridge Wells West, as they are only open from 10:15 to 16:00, so will be closed before your train returns.

Want to squeeze even more fun out of your day? You can also pre-book a place on the Fat Controller’s Tea Party train (final departure of each day ONLY). Fares for this train cost an additional £6 for children and include a tasty tea party box.

Advanced tickets cost £13 for adults, £11 for children (£17 for the Fat Controller’s Tea Party train) and £45 for a family of two adults and two children. Children under 18 months go free.

Visit www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk for more information and to book.