EVERYONE’S favourite blue locomotive looks set to continue his appearances at Alresford’s Watercress Line after it was confirmed he would not be returning to another Hampshire attraction.

After more than 15 years and thousands of train rides, Thomas the Tank Engine made his last appearance at Eastleigh’s Lakeside Country Park over the weekend, with hundreds of fans turning out to say farewell.

Tickets were sold out by 11.30am on Saturday as residents of all ages flocked to the railway to take one last ride on the little blue tank engine.

Now Mattel, which owns the rights to Thomas and Friends, has confirmed it will be continuing its partnership with Mid Hants Railway, the group behind the Watercress Line, after announcing its decision not to renew the licence at Lakeside.

The most recent decision by Mattel will be welcome news to those at the Watercress Line, as the hugely popular Thomas and Friends days provide a big financial boost.

As previously reported, one Essex family travelled two and half hours to see Thomas at the Watercress Line last month, only for the mother to give birth at the station.