The Thomas Story

Thomas the Tank Engine is a small fictional steam locomotive in “The Railway Series” books by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry and his son, Christopher. He became the most popular character in the series and is the title character in the accompanying television spin-off series, Thomas & Friends. When Reverend Awdry created Thomas the Tank Engine, the engine was only a wooden push along toy made from a piece of broomstick for his son Christopher.

Thomas first appeared in 1946 in the second book in the series, “Thomas the Tank Engine”. Thomas was the focus of four short stories as well as Thomas’ best friends Percy and Toby. Thomas arrived on the island of Sodor in 1915, when The Fat Controller bought Thomas for a minimal cost to be a pilot engine at “Vicarstown”. After rescuing James in “Thomas and the Breakdown Train”, he became a “Really Useful Engine” and was rewarded by being put in charge of the Ffarquhar branch line.

In 1979, the British writer/producer Britt Allcroft found the books, and organised to bring the stories to life in the TV series “Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends”, which was later simplified to Thomas & Friends. The series won awards around the world and a huge range of commercial products based on Thomas and Friends was developed.

Based on the Railway Series by the Reverend W Awdry. © 2008 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and Thomas & Friends are trademarks of Gullane Entertainment Inc. Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends is Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.