The first time we went to Bo’ness and Kinneil was when a friend told us there was going to be a special ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ extravaganza at the railway. Our wee boy was not quite three years old, and extremely fond of Thomas (and even more so of his good friend Percy, if you want to get specific about it). We thought it would be fun so we went on a scorching August day and had lots of fun. We’ve been back several times since and always enjoy it. It’s run by volunteers from the Scottish Railway Preservation Society with love and enthusiasm, and there are always happy, smiling faces on the platform to greet you. The railway is about twenty miles from where we live in Fife, and like most things in central Scotland, not too difficult to get to.
On this occasion, TMOMD was about to celebrate a birthday, so we thought it would be a fun excuse to book afternoon tea on the train. It isn’t a long round trip on the steam train – about an hour, I think, but it is through woods, over a gorge and along the side of the Firth of Forth at points too. Highly picturesque, and with the sound of the steam puffing away, it’s easy to let your mind wander back in time to sixty years ago when steam trains were everywhere, and train travel was a lot more fun than it is now!Afternoon tea was simple and filling and the young lady who served us was very friendly, polite and obliging. There were sandwiches, cakes and enormous, light scones with jam and cream. There was a table of ladies behind us who were having afternoon tea to celebrate someone called Betty’s birthday – they were having lots of fun too, and offered to share Betty’s birthday cake with us – very kind, but by that stage we were completely full!