The Rev. W. Awdry's Railway Map of the Island of Sodor was created as part of a program of diversification began by Eric Marriott following the death of Franklyn Edmund Ward in 1957, who had never favoured producing spin-offs based on the Railway Series. Announced in Edmund Ward's 1958 catalogue, the map cost two shillings and sixpence and was 22 in by 11 in. It was, like the best Ordinance Survey Maps, linen-backed, but printed, unlike O.S. Maps, in bright colours with distinctive 1950s lettering. The map had a nursery wallpaper border and was fancifully embellished boats, dolphins, mermaids and such, as it was intended as a decoration for childrens bedroom walls.
As there was to be no new book in 1971, Peter Edwards was commissioned to redraw the map for a second edition. The map was updated with new railways that had been "discovered" since the original publication and was reproduced to look like an authentic Ordinance Survey Map - complete with contour lines, rivers, railways, etc. at Edwards' own initiative. Some years after its publication, Edwards' saw the map as part of an exhibition at the British Mueseum on fictional cartography. This version of the map was included in Sodor: Reading Between the Lines.
When Christopher Awdry began writing books for the Railway Series, a third edition illustrated by Clive Spong was published. A modified version of this was included in The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways.
- Donald and Douglas
- Bill and Ben
- Sir Handel
- Peter Sam
- The events of Thomas the Tank Engine, James the Red Engine, Duck and the Diesel Engine and Very Old Engines are referenced.
- The Rev. W. Awdry sent a copy of the 1958 edition to The Right Reverend Benjamin Pollard, Bishop of Sodor and Man, to inform him that he'd discovered the "lost half" of his diocese.
- On the front cover of the 1958 edition, Percy is painted blue instead of green.
- Godred and Shane Dooiney are omitted from the 1971 edition despite being part of the Culdee Fell Railway.
- On the 1971 edition, Duke and Rusty are painted red, despite Duke being brown and Rusty being charcoal black in the Railway Series.