The Train Shed was an official Thomas & Friends based theme park in Sydney, Australia.
The Train Shed operated a 7.25" gauge Miniature Railway with a Thomas theme from 1996 until 2014 on the western outskirts of Sydney.
The railway was built over the 16 years of operation, growing to around 1km of track, with a turntable, traverser, storage sheds, tunnel, bridge, and three stations. The railway operated at its peak with seven four-car enclosed trains in continuous operation, for 150 days per year.
The park also operated Model Train-sets, where children could drive G scale or HO scale model Thomas trains, and an extensive HO scale NSWGR model railway. The model railway featured many limited edition Hornby models such as Bear (D7101), Toad and Oliver - the latter of which was sold before the park's closure as a static model as it's motor was too worn out for use. The park also featured a Thomas and Friends ToyShop specialising in short-run items, and a Kiosk for lunch and snacks.
Fully catered and hosted Birthday Parties were held three times per day in the ex-NSW suburban double-deck railway carriage. These included catering, a host to run the party, train rides and cake.
In 2014 the park was closed to make way for the new Badgery's Creek Airport. This was the end of 16 years of operation at Vicary's Winery, and 2 years of previous operation at Emu Plains with the Powerline business.
For a short time in 2012-2013 (?) a branch was operated at the Richmond Vale Railway Museum, outside Newcastle in NSW, Australia. This track continues to run as a private operation by the Museum, using non-Thomas equipment.
A portable track was also regularly taken to Exhibitions and Fetes, with Thomas and a second character running rides for the days.
The owners have continued their passion with the manufacture of ride-on miniature trains for home and clubs as Mini Train Systems. They sell individual engines as well as packs with rolling stock and 7 1/4" track layouts. The company also offers consultation on building a 7 1/4" scale railway, explaining gradient limits and track cost,
The Thomas characters were sold on after the park closed as either characters from the show, or repainted to look like real engines. One model of Thomas can be regularly seen at model railway shows where Mini Train Systems advertises it along with a few other engines as items for sale. Thomas has been repainted with a green livery and, as far as is known, has not yet been sold.
Thomas and Toby were built for use at Emu Plains when the original business was created, branching off from Powerline Models. These moved to the new site, where James, Percy, Mavis and then Gordon were built.
- Thomas (1994). A total of three were built, for mechanical backup and use on portable/secondary sites.
- Toby (1995) (?)
- James (1999)
- Percy (2004) (?)
- Mavis (2008)
- Gordon (2010)
Bill and Ben (2013) were constructed and tested as the next two characters for release. Prior to final painting, the notice was given that the site would be lost, and as a result the final paintwork was not completed. These engines ran for the final year as non-character locomotives, and saw extensive service.
Additional locomotives were built or saw service at the park over this time:
- NSWGR 4621, 5" gauge model, for the start of operations
- NSWGR Silver city comet, 5" gauge model, for the start of operations
- "Kemira", 7.25" gauge mining locomotive
- "Tassie", 7.25" gauge Tasmanian V-Class locomotive
All locomotives which were built for or saw regular service on the railway were Battery-Electric.
- 7.25" Gauge Miniature Railway
- 1km of track
- 3 stations
- 7 trains
- U-Drive Model Railway
- Built as G scale with Lionel models
- Rebuilt as HO scale with Hornby and Bachmann models
- Ex NSW Suburban Railway Carriage
- Display Model Railway upstairs, then later as part of the party area.
- Model Trainset Building Courses downstairs, then later as the main party area.
- Kiosk, for lunch and snacks
- Thomas and Friends ToyShop