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All other trademarks, company names and logos held within this website are the property of their respective owners. The Railway Series is the series of children's books off of which Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends is based. The origins of the Railway Series can be traced back to Wilbert Awdry's childhood, listening to nearby steam engines struggle up the steep grade on the Great Western Railway. In 1943, during the height of the Second World War, Awdry's young son Christopher was ill with the measles.
During the early 2000s Christopher was not asked to write any new titles despite the popularity of the TV series.
Edward the Blue Engine - Edward is getting old, but proves he has plenty of life in him yet. Four Little Engines - The story of the Skarloey Railway engines working together to keep their line running.
Percy the Small Engine - Percy is fed up of being ordered about and gets a chance to shine when Thomas needs help.
The Eight Famous Engines - Already famous for their adventures the engines take a trip to England, but Thomas almost puts a damper on the trip. The Little Old Engine - Skarloey returns to find that things have changed on his little railway.
Branch Line Engines - Thomas has an accident and a lazy diesel-railcar named Daisy arrives.
Mountain Engines - We meet the Culdee Fell Railway engines, and Lord Harry makes up for a silly accident. Very Old Engines - Skarloey and Rheneas recall their early days and celebrate their 100th birthday. Main Line Engines - Gordon and James get into silly mishaps while Edward surprises everyone. Small Railway Engines - Three new engines arrive on Sodor to work a narrow gauge goods line. Enterprising Engines - Diesel power may be triumphing on the mainland, but it is quite the contrary on Sodor.
Duke the Lost Engine - Peter Sam and Sir Handel recall their old days as a search begins for an old engine.
Really Useful Engines - The engines may not have appeared in books for years, but that does not mean life on Sodor is dull.


Great Little Engines - Sir Handel is not necessarily the life and soul of the Skarloey Railway, as Peter Sam and Duncan prove. Gordon the High-Speed Engine - Gordon tries to prove he can go fast, and we meet Pip and Emma.
Jock the New Engine - A boastful new engine called Jock starts work on the Arlesdale Railway.
Thomas and the Great Railway Show - Thomas travels to the mainland for a grand railway exhibition. Thomas Comes Home - The tale of Percy, Toby and Daisy's adventures while Thomas is in England.
Wilbert the Forest Engine - Donald and Douglas desperately need help, but so do the branchline engines. Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines - The engines prepare for the fiftieth anniversary of the Railway Series.
All except the last volume were later compiled into Thomas the Tank Engine: The New Collection. Several Pop-Up books were released based on various Railway Series stories from previous books. There have been several Railway Series-related books published which were written by the Awdrys. These books mainly feature the Island of Sodor, dealing with its history, geography and industry in far greater depth than could ever be discussed in the Railway Series stories themselves. Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted to produce a musical based on the Railway Series, but the Reverend W.
Audio adaptations of the Railway Series have been recorded at various times under the title The Railway Stories. To entertain his bed-ridden child, Wilbert told stories of talking engines named Edward, Gordon, and Henry. In 1983, Christopher Awdry, who had written articles for railway magazines, decided to carry on the torch. Awdry's centenary is celebrated and Pip and Emma become permanent members of the Fat Controller's railway.
They were written partially due to Christopher Awdry's frustration at not being able to include a proper rail safety story in Thomas and the Great Railway Show. As a lifelong railway enthusiast, Wilbert Awdry was keen that his stories should be as realistic as possible.


This Submay sandwich menu is an example only, and prices and the availability of subs may have changed. Christopher demanded consistency among each retelling of the stories, so Wilbert wrote them down.
After being inspired by a story told by an engineman on the Nene Valley Railway, he penned Really Useful Engines. Four years later, to honour what would be his fathers one-hundredth birthday, he published Thomas and his Friends. The engine characters were almost all based upon real classes of locomotives, and some of the railways themselves were directly based upon real lines in the British Isles.
Lloyd Webber would go on to compose "Starlight Express", and create "The Really Useful Group", a name inspired by the catchphrase "Really Useful Engines". Genyuu Kuroiwa supervised the technical terms of the railway. Christopher's books, however, have yet to be translated into Japanese. It was not until Awdry was heavily persuaded by his family that he sent in his stories to be published, and in 1945, The Three Railway Engines was published.
Eager to put out new material to coincide with the upcoming television adaptation, publishers Kaye and Ward accepted the new book. This was the first book in the entire series to have "The End" written after the books conclusion. In some cases, these stories expanded upon earlier Railway Series books, in others they were entirely new, and some later rewritten and used as Railway Series stories. Awdry received letters from railwaymen who would read the stories to their children or grandchildren. Christopher consistently put out new Railway Series titles until the late 1990s, and Clive Spong was assigned as the current illustrator. At the 2014 Tale of the Brave premiere in Leicester Square, London, Alf Fortnam, widower of the late Hilary Fortnam, said Christopher Awdry was finished with the series.
Almost all of the stories in the Railway Series were based on a real event that happened to some engine, somewhere, at some time.



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