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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 - 1961

Thomas the Tank Engine is the second book of the Railway Series.

Foreword Edit

Dear Christopher, 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

Stories Edit

Thomas and Gordon Edit

Thomas the station pilot surprises Gordon, and Gordon, furious, wonders how to pay Thomas out. Next day, Thomas is late and forgets to get uncoupled after shunting Gordon's coaches. Gordon takes Thomas on a wild high-speed journey across Sodor. Thomas later resolves to never tease Gordon again.

Thomas' Train Edit

Henry is ill and Thomas is the only one available to take his train. Thomas, impatient, leaves too early and only stops when a signalman points 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 Edit

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 the trucks push 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 Edit

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

Characters Edit

Trivia Edit

  • This book marks the first appearance of Thomas, the line's station pilot, who quickly became the most popular character of the series to the point that the whole franchise was centered around him.
  • The book was released digitally for Apple products on May 11th, 2012.
  • Thomas and Gordon was featured in a 2010 magazine promoting the 65th Anniversary Edition.
  • This book was first illustrated by Reginald Payne. The illustrations were later modified by C. Reginald Dalby. One noticeable change was the fifth illustration of "Thomas and Gordon", where Thomas pulls the coaches in backwards, when originally painted he was pulling them in forward.
  • The 2015 edition of the book credits the illustrator as C. Reginald Dalby.
  • There were some new illustrations of "Thomas and Gordon" done by Loraine Marshall when Mr. Perkinswas reading for the Spills and Thrills UK DVD and the Wild Water Rescue and Other Engine AdventuresUS DVD, and new illustrations of "Thomas and the Breakdown Train" when Mr. Perkins read for the Tale of the Brave UK DVD and the Engines to the Rescue US DVD.  For the latter story, James had been recoloured red and given the number 5, making him consistent with his Television series appearance. There are also new illustrations of "Thomas' Train" when Mr. Perkins read for Railway Mischief UK DVD, with Henry recoloured green, making him consistent with his Television series appearance.
  • A 70th Anniversary print, along with the special anniversary edition, were released on April 16th, 2015.
  • The foreword of the book was used on US and UK broadcasts of the show on PBS and Nick Jr from 2004 to 2012.
  • The phrase "a really useful engine" was said for the first time in the series by the Fat Director in "Thomas and the Trucks."
  • Thomas and Gordon is based on a real event that occurred with an express train and the pilot leaving Liverpool Street Station in London.
  • Thomas' Train is based on a real event that occurred mostly in the GER "Jazz" service and at other places and other times.

Goofs Edit

  • In the second illustration of "Thomas and Gordon", Gordon's wheels aren't perfect circles.
  • In the fifth illustration of "Thomas' Train", Thomas is missing the red lining on the rear of his bunker.
  • In the first illustration of "Thomas and the Trucks", Edward's face is tilted and is a much darker shade of grey than usual.
  • As Thomas backs down on the trucks in the second illustration of "Thomas 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 of "Thomas and the Trucks".
  • In "Thomas and the Trucks", the text says Thomas passed several stations and bridges before enteringHenry's Tunnel. But in later maps of Sodor, there are no bridges or stations between Vicarstown and Henry's Tunnel.
  • In the fifth illustration of "Thomas 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 final illustration Thomas is missing a lamp iron.
  • In the last illustration of "Thomas and the Breakdown Train", Gordon gains two boiler bands and is missing a window.