Toot, Toot!

Toot, Toot!

He loves anything with an engine and toddles around the house shouting “toot, toot” with great enthusiasm.

Dinotrain is a bedtime favourite (I can recite it verbatim), the tracks on his train table are constantly being reconfigured and when we visit the State Library we almost always return home with a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD.

So imagine Hudson’s delight when we arrived at the Tasmanian Transport Museum to ride on a real steam engine.

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He loved running on to the train platform, clamboring aboard the gleaming timber carriage with dad’s help and sitting up like a big boy on the plush leather seats as the train driver tooted the horn and stoked the engine. And when the train started moving he could hardly believe it – his wide eyes and nervous giggles a cute indication of just how amazing he considered the whole experience to be. Us big kids enjoyed it too!

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The museum, which is tucked away beside the public swimming pool and KGV Oval at Glenorchy, is open on weekends and public holidays and runs steam train rides twice a month (typically the first and third Sundays of the month, but visit the museum’s Facebook page for dates). Entry for these open days is $10 for adults, $5 for children aged 2-16 (kids under 2 are free) and you can enjoy as many steam train rides as you want, plus explore the other lovingly restored hulks of metal that fill the museum’s many sheds – old buses and trams, trolley buses and plenty of railway locomotives, carriages and wagons. It’s definitely a great – and affordable – way to spend a couple of hours.

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A highlight for Hudson was the firetruck display – three gleaming firetrucks, of various vintage, parked in a neat row, just waiting for children to hop inside.

A friendly museum volunteer geared our Little Dinosaur up in a hard hat, introduced him to Wally the Wombat and put him in the driver’s seat of one of the trucks. Hudson was a little unsure when the sirens blared and the horn blasted his little ears but he still looked pretty pleased with himself as he gripped the steering and tried to press the horn again and again.

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Bryan felt nostalgic for his school days when he hopped aboard an old green and white Metro bus. I found plenty of cool memorabilia to photograph while Hudson was busy making phone calls.

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We even stumbled upon a working model train set, complete with Thomas the Tank Engine. And thankfully, we remained disease-free!

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All photos © Linda Smith and Little Green Dinosaur