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Railway Museum Will Include A 'Sensory-Friendly Train' During Its Day Out With Thomas

Northwest Railway Museum

Museums are increasingly making accommodations for people with special needs, including children on the autism spectrum. Families with young train enthusiasts will want to take note that this Sunday in Snoqualmie, the Northwest Railway Museum will run a “sensory-friendly train” as part of its Day Out With Thomas event.

Day Out With Thomas gives families a chance to take a 25-minute ride on an actual Thomas the Tank Engine train. Rides are taking place all weekend, but Sunday morning is when the museum has set aside time for families of children with special needs.

The museum’s executive director, Richard Anderson, said they’ll limit the number of passengers during that time. This is the first time the railway museum is offering a sensory-friendly train during its Thomas event, but it’s already made that kind of accommodation for its wintertime Santa trains.

“It’s approximately 50 percent of the normal number of people on the train, and it really does make a big difference,” Anderson said. “That’s the formula we came up with for the Santa train and it really reduces the stimuli for the young children and makes it a much more enjoyable experience.”

Anderson said there will also be a bouncy house, train tables, live music and a person dressed up as Sir Topham Hatt.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.