Meet 'Trains Billy' - the six-year-old railway enthusiast who has become a social media star

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
At six-years-old, Billy Thompson already has his career planned out.

He is obsessed with trains and has been since the age of two. And he has befriended some of the drivers and even had tours of a railway haulage site.

Now all he wants to be when he grows up is a driver, which comes as no surprise to his family for his father is also keen on all things locomotive.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

His father Richard, 35, says: “I think he got it from me. I was a bit of a railway enthusiast and still am.

Train enthusiast Billy Thompson 6, , at his local train Station at Moorthorpe near South ElmsallTrain enthusiast Billy Thompson 6, , at his local train Station at Moorthorpe near South Elmsall
Train enthusiast Billy Thompson 6, , at his local train Station at Moorthorpe near South Elmsall

“It’s early days but all he wants to be is a train driver. I’m sure other things will interest him as he gets older but at the moment it’s just trains. I can see why he finds it so exciting. I did when I was his age and I still do. It’s an interesting hobby and people either love trains or they don’t. Billy loves them.

“It was when Billy was about two that we noticed he was interested in them. I think it’s a mixture of the size, noise, smell and speed of the trains. It’s overwhelming for the senses. It just draws you in.

“We do spend a lot of time at stations and luckily where we live there are a few to choose from.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And the family even use train-spotting apps and websites to work out the best places to go to see trains. His sister Elsie, six, shares his passion to some extent but older sister Lottie, 13, “couldn’t care less” about trains.

Mr Thompson said: “Elsie shows some interest but I don’t think she is as keen as Billy. She just likes spending time with him.”

The family from South Elmsall near Pontefract, spend a lot of time watching locomotives go by, making special trips to stations near their home.

“Some of the drivers have got to recognise Billy and they sound their horn when they go past,” said Mr Thompson.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“But some seem reluctant to sound the horn at a child. I can see why because the horns are very loud. He is showing some interesting in aeroplanes too and there are websites and apps showing the routes. There is something similar for trains too and Billy is all over it.

“You can see where the trains will be at a certain time and go and see them. Some of the drivers have got to know him and make a point of telling us where they will be at what time.”

Mr Thompson, who works as a warehouseman at a rail freight firm DB Cargo at Toton in Nottinghamshire, said: “He has had the full tour of the base and the more he learns the more he loves it.

“He’s been in the cabs of a few trains and it’s fantastic for him. The drivers are very good to him and they appreciate his interest.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He has become something of an internet sensation on X – previously known as Twitter – when some his clips of waving at passing trains went viral. He can be seen excitedly dancing as a freight trains passes a station sounding its horn.

He has hundreds of followers on X where he is known as @TrainsBilly.