Thomas the Tank Engine

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Thomas the Tank Engine History


Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends are based on the Railway Series of books written by an English clergyman, the Reverend W. Awdry (1911-1997). The stories were created in 1942 to entertain the Reverend's son, Christopher, who was confined to bed with the measles. That Christmas, a simple wooden train named Thomas was made for Christopher. This led to the creation of even more stories about Thomas Train and his railway friends. Eventually, at his wife's encouragement, The Reverend found a publisher for the stories and in 1945 The Three Railway Engines was published. The stories in this book featured Edward, Gordon and Henry. (Thomas isn't featured until the second book, Thomas the Tank Engine.)



Reverend Awdry published 26 books before retiring in 1973. In the early 1980s, Christopher continued in his father's footsteps. He began creating Railway stories for his own young son, Richard, and published his first story in 1983. In all, 40 Railway Series books were published. (You can read more about the Reverend and Christopher at the Awdry Family Web Site.)


More about Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas is a cheeky, fussy little engine who wears #1 on his side and never lets anyone forget it. Joining him in his adventures on the Island of Sodor are his engine friends, including cheerful Percy, moody James and the proud but boastful Gordon. They are joined by the coaches Annie and Clarabel, Bertie the Bus, Terence the Tractor and Harold the Helicopter, to name a few. Sir Topham Hatt, Superintendent of the railroad, is the kindly boss who keeps everyone in order.



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