Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

Thomas the Tank Engine

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This article is about the Railway Series book. You may be looking for the engine, the Television series, the baby, the VHS, the Story Library book, the Engine Adventures book, the Railway Series compilation book, the magazine story, the video game, the 1984 handheld game, the 1993 console game or the Kids Station game.
""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.


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


Thomas and Gordon

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

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

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

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.




  • 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 centred around him.
  • The book was released digitally for Apple products on May 11th, 2012.
  • The story "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 forwards.
  • The 2015 edition of the book credits the illustrator as C. Reginald Dalby.
  • New illustrations done by Loraine Marshall were made for Mr. Perkins segments. James and Henry were recoloured red and green respectively and James was given the number 5, making them more consistent with their television series appearances. Stories include:
  • A 70th Anniversary print, along with the special anniversary edition, were released on April 16th, 2015.
  • The foreword of the book was used on UK and US broadcasts of the show on Nick Jr. and PBS 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.
  • This is the first Railway Series book to be directly adapted into the CGI Series, in The Adventure Begins.


  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 last illustration of "Thomas and the Breakdown Train", Gordon gains two boiler bands and is missing a window.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 機関車トーマス Thomas the Locomotive
Chinese 小淘气托马斯 Thomas the Tank Engine
Korean 탱크 기관차 토마스 Tank locomotive Thomas


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