Their summer offering to entice families has kicked off and includes a complimentary 45 minute Railmotor ride for everyone on weekends and a free cardboard box train, costume-building activity for the kids.
The Railmotor waiting to depart historic Thirlmere station
A Railmotor is a like a tram on a railway line, and while it lacks the excitement of a steam train, a trip on any type of train will delight little children. When Trainworks offer steam train rides, an extra fee is charged in addition to the museum entry fee, but over summer the Railmotor ride is included for free. The bumpy and rocky trip takes you back to a time when trains didn't glide so well and timber and brass fittings were the norm, so even parents will find the Railmotor interesting.
Parents will need to get hands on to help their young ones build a train costume out of a cardboard box. Instructions and all supplies are included but there are no staff to help. Make sure your car has enough room in the boot before you leave home so your kids can take their creations home. An example of a finished product is there for families with enthusiastic kids who lack the patience to wait for parents to understand the instructions.
This is all in addition to the standard activities that are available all year round, which include an outdoor playground with a 7 metre high climbing frame, toy train tables - which seem to have had many pieces go missing - and colouring tables that had Christmas-themed printouts for our visit in December. Kids of all ages will love looking at the big steam engines and walking through some of the carriages.
Families are free to bring their own lunch or you can buy something to eat from the Trainworks cafe that is operating over the weekend during summer.
Most of the museum is undercover, which is great for hot days. Only the walk to the Railmotor and the outdoor play area has no weather protection. If you want to let your kids play in the outdoor play area, you should structure your visit so they can play there when it isn't so hot.