New Thomas & Friends books help teach kids about rail safety

Metrolinx community engagement staff are doing book readings as part of Rail Safety Week 2022.

Thomas the tank engine is synonymous with all things train.

Whether you played with little blue train as a child or bought the toys for the kids in your life – it feels like Thomas & Friends have been around forever.

And the story keeps growing as Operation Lifesaver is teaming up with Mattel Canada, CP Rail and Metrolinx to launch two new safety-focused Thomas & Friends books for Rail Safety Week 2022.

The books, titled “Stay Safe with Thomas” and “Stand Back” are meant to teach kids about the dangers of not stopping at rail crossings and standing too close to the platform edge at train stations.

The two new books were officially launched at Toronto’s Union Station on Sept. 17 and Metrolinx News was there to take it all in.

“We’re excited to be able to offer these books in the lead up to Rail Safety Week 2022, to help parents and educators teach kids about rail safety in a fun and age-appropriate way,” says Sarah Mayes, national director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.

“These books are the perfect way for young children to learn the rail-safety rules they need to know to stay safe.”

Free version of book available for download

Operation Lifesaver will be offering a digital version of its new Thomas & Friends books, free of charge.

Anyone can download the PDF version of the Stay Safe with Thomas storybook, and teachers and community groups can order batches of 25 storybooks and Stand Back activity books using a form on the Operation Lifesaver website .

Metrolinx out in the community

Kids have been playing with the famous blue steam engine for decades – in fact Thomas & Friends have been around since 1984.

He may not be green and white like the GO Train, but his friend Percy sports the GO colours and happens to be on the cover of “Stay Safe with Thomas”.  

Metrolinx staff are also out in the community reading the book to kids as part of Rail Safety Week.

Community engagement team members and other transit staff are making stops at Toys R Us locations in Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Kitchener, St. Catharines, North York and York Region.

Follow Operation Lifesaver Canada on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more information on the Thomas & Friends books as well as Rail Safety Week.

Story by Scott Money, Metrolinx editorial content manager