A look inside Exploration Place’s newest exhibit: Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails

Exploration Place Exhibit
Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails

Exploration Place


The newest exhibit at Exploration Place opens to the public today. The Thomas & Friends: Explore The Rails exhibit, which is included with museum admission, will run through January 8.

Inspired by the world’s most beloved #1 blue engine, this exhibit seeks to engage children ages 2 through 7 and their families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences.

Exploration Place: Thomas & Friends

Children will help Thomas and his friends solve a variety of challenges, from a simple sorting and shape identification to more complex engineering obstacles, such as completing a train track using track pieces with different levels of elevation. As children confront new challenges and test their abilities, the smiling faces of Thomas, Percy, Victor and others are there to offer encouragement and remind children how “really useful” they all are.

At this newest exhibit, children can:

  • Climb into Thomas’ cab and explore the engine’s inner workings.
  • Fix Percy’s wobbly wheel by removing and replacing parts and experimenting to find a combination of wheels, rods, and bolts that work.
  • Explore the favorite Island of Sodor destinations including: Tidmouth Sheds, Brendam Docks and the Sodor Search & Rescue Station on an over-sized Thomas Wooden Railway train table.
  • Work with old and new friends loading luggage, livestock and other freight into the coaches of two train cars.
  • Collaborate with others to get Percy moving by loading coal into his coal box and filling his tank with water from a water tower.
  • Suit up as the conductor to exchange money and sell tickets to other visitors taking a ride on the train.
  • Wander through a Thomas & Friends retrospective featuring model engines from the original live action series produced in London.
  • See copies of the original drawings and manuscripts from the Rev. W. Awdry, the creator of Thomas & Friends, and a collection of memorabilia documenting the history and evolution of Thomas & Friends through books, television, and toys.

Thomas & Friends is included in the Exploration Place admission, which is $12 for adults 12-64, $10 for seniors 65+ and youth 3-11 and free for children 2 and under.

Exploration Place is located at 300 N McLean Blvd, which is on the west side of the Arkansas River in the Delano neighborhood of Wichita. To learn more about their new exhibit, visit their webpage or Facebook page.

More video on Thomas & Friends is available through our YouTube page:


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