Thomas the Tank Engine (2024)

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“Having told stories about engines, we had to have models of them too. During the war years materials were hard to get, but I managed to make, out of odds and ends of wood, a push-along model of Edward with coaches and trucks to match. I never got far as making Henry or Gordon, but I did make a tank-engine which we called Thomas. Once we made Thomas, I had no peace until there were stories about him too!”
―The Rev. W. Awdry on Thomas' creation, 1961

Thomas the Tank Engineis the second book intheRailway Series.


  • 1 Foreword
  • 2 Stories
    • 2.1 Thomas and Gordon
    • 2.2 Thomas' Train
    • 2.3 Thomas and the Trucks
    • 2.4 Thomas and the Breakdown Train
  • 3 Characters
    • 3.1 Thomas and Gordon
    • 3.2 Thomas' Train
    • 3.3 Thomas and the Trucks
    • 3.4 Thomas and the Breakdown Train
  • 4 Locations
    • 4.1 Thomas and Gordon
    • 4.2 Thomas' Train
    • 4.3 Thomas and the Trucks
    • 4.4 Thomas and the Breakdown Train
  • 5 Trivia
  • 6 Goofs
  • 7 In Other Languages
  • 8 Merchandise
    • 8.1 Wooden Railway
    • 8.2 Plarail
    • 8.3 Capsule Plarail
    • 8.4 Wedgwood China


DearChristopher,Here is your friend Thomas the Tank Engine. He wanted to come out of his station yard and see the world. These stories tell you how he did it.

I hope you will like them because you helped me to make them.Your Loving Daddy


Thomas and Gordon[]

Thomas is a little blue tank engine who acts asthe station pilot and takes pleasure in surprisingGordon. Gordon, furious, wonders how to pay Thomas out. Next day, Thomas is late and forgets to get uncoupled after shunting Gordon'scoaches. Gordon takes Thomas on a wild high-speed journey acrossSodor. Thomas later resolves to never tease Gordon again.

Thomas' Train[]

Henry is ill and Thomas is the only one available to take his train. Thomas, impatient, leaves too early and only stops when asignalmanpoints out he is missing his coaches. Thomas goes back and is able to take the train that time, but is teased by the others for a long time afterwards.

Thomas and the Trucks[]

Thomas wants to see the world, but no one takes notice until Edward offers him to pull his train the next day. Thomas is excited but careless and thetruckspush him down Gordon's Hill. Thomas manages to stop in time and the Fat Director tells him to start shunting trucks at Wellsworth.

Thomas and the Breakdown Train[]

Thomas is shunting when some trucks push James across the Island and into a field. Thomas comes to his rescue withthe Breakdown Trainand is rewarded with two coaches andhis own branch line.


Thomas and Gordon[]

  • Thomas
  • Gordon
  • Henry(cameo)
  • Sir Topham Hatt I(cameo)

Thomas' Train[]

  • Thomas
  • Sir Topham Hatt I
  • Henry(does not speak)
  • Edward(cameo)
  • Gordon(mentioned)

Thomas and the Trucks[]

  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Troublesome Trucks
  • Sir Topham Hatt I
  • Henry(does not speak)
  • Gordon(does not speak)

Thomas and the Breakdown Train[]

  • Thomas
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Troublesome Trucks
  • Sir Topham Hatt I
  • Edward(does not speak)
  • Annie and Clarabel(not named; do not speak)
  • Henry(mentioned)


Thomas and Gordon[]

  • Vicarstown
    • Vicarstown Sheds
  • Crovan's Gate

Thomas' Train[]

  • Vicarstown
    • Vicarstown Sheds

Thomas and the Trucks[]

  • Vicarstown
    • Vicarstown Sheds
    • Vicarstown Yards
  • Henry's Tunnel
  • Gordon's Hill
  • Wellsworth
    • Wellsworth Yards

Thomas and the Breakdown Train[]

  • Wellsworth
    • Wellsworth Yards
    • Wellsworth Sheds
    • Wellsworth Bridge
  • Gordon's Hill
  • The Cow Field
  • Knapford


  • This book marks the debut of Thomas, who quickly became the most popular character of the series to the point that the whole franchise centred around him.
  • The book was released digitally for Apple products on 11 May 2012.
  • The storyThomas and Gordonwas featured in a 2010magazinepromoting the 65th Anniversary Edition.
  • This book was first illustrated byReginald Payne. The illustrations were later modified byC. Reginald Dalbyin 1950. One noticeable change was the fifth illustration ofThomas and Gordon, where Thomas pulls the coaches in backwards; when originally painted he was pulling them in forwards.
  • The 2015 edition of the book credits the illustrator as C. Reginald Dalby.
  • New illustrations done byLoraine Marshallwere made forMr. Perkinssegments. James and Henry were recoloured red and green respectively and James was given the number 5, making them more consistent with theirtelevision seriesappearances. Stories include:
    • Spills and Thrills(UK)/Wild Water Rescue and Other Engine Adventures(US) -Thomas and Gordon
    • Tale of the Brave(UK)/Engines to the Rescue(US) -Thomas and the Breakdown Train
    • Railway Mischief(UK)/Tales on the Rails(US) -Thomas' Train
    • Thomas and the Truckswas the only story from this book to not receive any new illustrations from Loraine Marshall.
  • A 70th Anniversary print, along with the special anniversary edition, were released on 16 April 2015.
  • A personalised version of the book was released by Signature Publishing.
  • The foreword of the book was used on UK and US broadcasts of the show onNick Jr.andPBSfrom 2004 to 2012.
  • The phrase "Really Useful Engine" was said for the first time in the series by the Fat Director inThomas and the Trucks.
  • Thomas and Gordonis based on a real event that occurred with an express train and the pilot leaving Liverpool Street station in London.
  • Thomas' Trainis based on a real event that occurred mostly in the GER "Jazz" service and at other places and other times.
  • Thomas and the Breakdown Trainwas based on a story Wilbert Awdry was told by a London, Midland and Scottish Railway guard.
  • This is the first Railway Series book to be directly adapted into the CGI Series, inThe Adventure Begins.
  • The first two stories of this book take place in 1924. The next two stories take place in 1925.
    • Subsequently, it is the only installment in the Railway Series to be directly adapted into the TV series twice, since thefirst,fifth,sixthandseventhepisodes ofSeries 1were also adapted from this book


  • In the fifth illustration ofThomas' Train, Thomas is missing the red lining on the rear of his bunker.
  • In the first illustration ofThomas and the Trucks, Edward's face is tilted and is a much darker shade of grey.
  • As Thomas backs down on the trucks in the second illustration ofThomas and the Trucks, a grumpy van is visible in front. However, for the remainder of the story, a coal truck is in front of it and what's more, the van appears to lose its face and even more, it turns into a utility wagon.
  • In later editions, Thomas is missing his "1" in the third illustration ofThomas and the Trucks.
  • InThomas and the Trucks,the text says Thomas passed several stations and bridges before entering Henry's Tunnel. But in later maps of Sodor, there are no bridges or stations between Vicarstown and Henry's Tunnel.
  • In the fifth illustration ofThomas and the Trucks, the third and fourth trucks appear to have fused together.
  • When James goes under the bridge, his tender is a plain cube shape.
  • In the last illustration ofThomas and the Breakdown Train,Gordon gains two boiler bands and is missing a window.

In Other Languages[]

GermanThomas die Tenderlok und andere Eisenbahngeschichten
Korean탱크 기관차 토머스 (1996)

탱크 기관차 토마스 (2005)

WelshThomas ya Injian Danc


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Wooden Railway[]

NameReleasedDiscontinuedHighlightsImage"60 Years" Edition James2005(Cancelled)
  • "60 Years" Edition James prototype courtesy ofThomasTankMerch
Introducing James20152017


NameReleasedDiscontinuedHighlightsImageGreen Thomas and Black James First Story Set2016
  • Toys "R" Us (Japan) Original

Capsule Plarail[]

NameReleasedDiscontinuedHighlightsImageRailway Series Thomas20152015
Black James20152016

Wedgwood China[]

  • released in a two pack with a plate based offHenry the Green Engine.

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