California steaming

Oxford Mail: Thomas Holland, seven, with driver Kevin Dare in his 1939 GWR pannier tank engine with guard Matt Baker Thomas Holland, seven, with driver Kevin Dare in his 1939 GWR pannier tank engine with guard Matt Baker

US tourist Thomas Holland was treated to a ride on a 1939 steam train locomotive on New Year’s Day.

Thomas, seven, of Palo Alto, California, climbed aboard as part of the Didcot Railway Centre steam day.

He said: “It was really fun and I had a wonderful day. My favourite bit was riding in the front of the carriage and also seeing the engine. It was exciting.”

Thomas, who visited the centre at Didcot Parkway Station with his parents Edward and Meg, stopped en route to Nottingham where his grandparents live.

Guard Matt Baker said: “It was a nice way to start the year off and show Thomas the 1939 GWR pannier tank train.

“This year is her 75th birthday, which we will be celebrating in June with a special event.”

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