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Aug 16, 2015 2:33 PM

1st U.S. Thomas the Tank Engine park opens in Massachusetts

The Associated Press

CARVER, Mass. — The nation's first Thomas the Tank Engine-themed amusement park opened in Massachusetts on Saturday.

Thomas Land is scheduled to open on 11 acres of the Edaville USA Railroad in Carver.

It features 11 rides based on the popular television show, including a 20-minute train ride on Thomas himself; a spin on Harold the Helicopter; and a Cranky Crane tower drop.

The United Kingdom and Japan have Thomas Lands, and they draw millions of visitors per year. The U.S. version is the largest.

The park has been under construction for a year.

Edaville USA is an active 250-acre cranberry farm long famous in the region for its annual Cranberry Festival and Christmastime Festival of Lights.

According to CNN, the Rev. W. Awdry, an Anglican priest and train enthusiast, created the children's books in the 1940s based on a story he'd told to entertain his young son when he was in bed with the measles. The long-running television series debuted in the UK in 1984 and has been carried by PBS affiliates in the United States since 1989.

The theme park will operate April 1 through January 1.


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