Children have been meeting dinosaurs face-to-face this week.

It’s all part of Isle of Man Transport’s ‘Dino Express’.

It is one of its celebratory events to mark 150 years of the Isle of Man Heritage Railways.

People taking part travel from Douglas Station to Ballasalla Station on the steam train, with a dinosaur treasure hunt on the way, including dinosaurs at each station.

The event is running for five days, having started on Tuesday and finishing tomorrow (Saturday), with each session lasting two and a half hours.

More than 1,000 tickets for the event have been sold.

Lottie Bennett, hospitality and events executive officer at Isle of Man Transport, said: ‘Dinosaurs are a passion of all children. They love dinosaurs so we have been thinking for the past year about how we can bring them across.

‘We started to look at what they do in the UK, and then we had to look at the costs involved and budget accordingly.

‘We worked in collaboration with the Steam Packet who were great at helping support the event and Manx National Heritage as well, who let us use Rushen Abbey.

‘We wanted to make it really interactive so that all the children could be very much a part of it.

‘We tried to make it so the children can get up close and personal, with them being able to stroke the dinosaurs, but there is also the educational side of it as well.

The experience consists of taking the steam train from Douglas station to Ballasalla station.

A Jurassic Ranger takes attendees to a bus as they make their way to Rushen Abbey, where Bronwen the Brontosaurus, Loki the Velociraptor and a T-Rex will be waiting for them.

We asked how the mechanics of the dinosaurs worked and Ms Bennett simply said: ‘It is all part of the magic. They have come from Jurassic World.’

She added: ‘For the kids, just to get them comfortable, we start with the smaller sizes of the dinosaurs and then we work up to the larger species, and the kids have been amazing and even babies have been smiling away.

‘What has surprised me the most, is the adults’ reaction, they all comment on how realistic the dinosaurs look, and they also love it.’

‘On the educational side, rangers teach the children the difference between a herbivore and a carnivore, how the dinosaurs battle each other, how they defend and protect themselves, the various sizes and how the dinosaurs grow, and we give a full description of how the dinosaurs lived.

‘The rangers also tell attendees how you co-ordinate a dinosaur when it is really big.’

Each session has 60 people as a maximum which enables the experience to be more interactive.

The event aligns with the 150 year celebration of Isle of Man Heritage Railways.

Ms Bennett said: ‘We wanted to do a big celebration, because since the Victorian era, families have played a big role with the Isle of Man Railways, so we wanted to do something where the families were interlinking with the railways and what we bring to it.

‘We have more family events coming up. We have a fabulous Victorian Fair on July 1, and we have the summer festival from July 23 to July 30.

‘We also will be bringing the dinosaurs back next year.’

For more information on future events, visit: