Locations around the UK to see engines featured in the Railway Series

Locations of Railways that served as inspirations for the Railway Series Snowdon Mountain Railway Snowdon Mountain RailwayStrathspey RailwayStrathspey RailwayGlasgow Transport MuseumGlasgow Transport MuseumRavenglass & Eskdale RailwayRavenglass & Eskdale RailwayNorth Yorkshire Moors RailwayNorth Yorkshire Moors Railway Snowdon Mountain RailwaySnowdon Mountain RailwayFfestiniog RailwayFfestiniog RailwayTalyllyn RailwayTalyllyn Railway Didcot Railway CentreDidcot Railway CentreMid Hants RailwayMid Hants RailwayBluebell RailwayBluebell RailwaySouth Devon RailwaySouth Devon RailwayBodmin and Wenford RailwayBodmin and Wenford Railway
(Thanks to Mark Sutherland for applying the necessary posterior impetus for me to update this map.)

Other locations

Railway
Description
Co-Bo World Website dedicated to these Metrovick diesel-electric wonders.
Corris Railway Thanks muchly to Richard Greenhough of the Corris for info. Update: The railway is making great progress, which Richard describes in this rather well-written "Railway Series" pastiche.
Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society For the latest updates on Henrietta. Mucho thanks to David King for info, link and pic.
Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway For info on Mavis. Gratitude to Tim Warner for info and pic.
Bodmin and Wenford Railway For the continuing saga of Judy and Alfred, alias Bill and Ben. More thanks due to B&W volunteer David Martin for info.
Dean Forest Railway For Wilbert. Thanks to John Hastings-Thomson for the pointer.

Thomas visits Mid-Hants Railway
Kudos to Mid-Hants Railway for recreating Thomas, James and other Awdry engines.
James visits Mid-Hants Railway

John Hastings-Thomson brings us up to date on the licenced Thomases, one of which must be present at any official Thomas event:

Railway
Thomas Double
Llangollen Railway LMS Jinty 47298
Severn Valley Hunslet
Nene Valley Railway Hunslet Clarke beautifully overhauled with a Lottery Grant - now on Thomas' page.
Mid-Hants Railway besides the Hunslet "Thomas", the "James" is an N class 2-6-0. They have also rebuilt one an Austerity 0-6-0ST as a tender engine with possible plans for it to masquerade as Donald/Douglas - "Any resemblance to the Caledonian original is purely coincidental!"

Link to Train Traveling website
Train Traveling Guide to official "Thomas" events both in the UK and the USA. Here you can also get ticketing for "real" trains on 6 continents.
(Contains a very nice review of this site and a link here - Thanks!)


A link to the personal website of Brian Sibley's website, author of The Thomas the Tank Engine Man, the definitive biography of the Rev Wilbert Vere Awdry, and a brilliantly written book in its own right. Brian is also an major authority on classic "children's" writers including such as JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and AA Milne, and is a regular BBC broadcaster. Many thanks to Brian for his prompt and kind replies to my enquiries.


Model Railway Shop

Hornby logo

Hornby are the byword for British scale model railways in "OO", 1:76 scale running on the HO gauge of 16.5mm with 12v DC from the track.

Hornby's Thomas range is here.


On the subject of model railways, you might like to check out a page devoted to my OO gauge model of Testbedford Junction.


PRE-SCHOOL SECTION

Sorry to micro-citizens and their parents who came here seeking suitable-age Thomas entertainment. Here is a page about our little boy Arm, proof positive our house contains more than one Thomas fan:

Here is a very nice link for parents and teachers considering a Thomas-themed party. Thanks very much to the "Teaching Heart" for incoming link.

UK
Tomy logo
USA
From Amazon (click a flag)
Durable, lead-free battery powered plastic toys made in Thailand (thanks for the free engines), to be seen in Arm's Corner.

Here's a supplier of high-grade Thomas Party supplies in UK, Party Pieces. They are of interest for being owned by Kate Middleton's Mum.

Click on any of the links below to play a game

The Official Thomas the Tank Engine Site – entertaining use of Flash to please the litluns, but there are a number of egregious inaccuracies, so caveat surfor.


CORPORATE NEWS SECTION

As of August 2002. HIT Entertainment acquired Gullane for £134 million (US$200 million). Here is some intriguing background to the deal, an interesting indicator of Thomas the Tank Engine's current net worth:

"The primary driver of this deal was of course the acquisition of Thomas. Bringing Thomas into the HIT portfolio of brands gives us greater retail presence and market share, strengthening our global operations." - Peter Orton, Chairman, HIT Entertainment PLC.

Oct 6, 2003:
Britt quits HIT... Click for more details from the Guardian's Thomas correspondent Owen Gibson.

May 26, 2005: HIT, and therefore Thomas, has now been acquired by Apax Partners. This private investor group's website is very financial and grey indeed. The acquisition of HIT appears to be species of management buy-out with the existing management retained and delisting from the LSE to free the company from stock market/analyst reporting obligations. With the focus still very much on the bottom line for Apax's investors, I cannot see much hope for the Railway Series Cause. :-(

Sunshine Acquisition Limited, a company formed by Funds advised by Apax Partners to acquire Hit Entertainment, announced it has completed the acquisition of Hit for £489.4 million.

February 1, 2012: Apax later sold off HiT Entertainment to Mattel in February, 2012. HiT's press release can be read HERE.


OTHER LINKS

Link to Sodor Island Fansite
- a Thomas fansite by SIF stalwart Ryan Hagan and collaborators. It gives equal coverage to the TV series and the Railway Series, and is the best destination for people from both TV and book eras. Includes interviews, and detailed episode guides.

Call yourself a real Thomas fan?!
Then get along and join the very well built and moderated Sodor Island Forums! Lots of rare info and Thomas-themed fun among like-minded people of all ages. In case you are wondering, I'm "Granpuff"! Lots of tidbits on this site come from forum contributors, including Ryan, Ci, Fatt Hatt, Kate669, FlyingScotsman, winwaed, Jim552, Troublesome Truck and many more, some of whom are thanked by name elsewhere on my site.
Link to Sodor Island Forums

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Click on this animated GIF of Gordon and Thomas I made from Dan MacKellar's collection of the little fellas, which you can see on his page. Thanks to Dan for sending people this way!

Dan MacKellar's website

Thomas der kleinen Lokomotive: Deutsche sprachende Seite dass hat dieser Seite in Deutsch ubergesetzt.
German speaking site which has translated some pages of this site into German - look under "Geschichten" and then "Herkunft". Thanks to webmaster Christoph Saam for a reciprocal link.

Nobu Sugimoto's website
The "Adult Thomas" blog of Nobu Sugimoto in Japan, who is methodically and cleverly building Thomas from an 0 gauge brass kit of an E2, and has interesting Japanese Railway Series collectibles. Thanks to Nobu for his link to this site.

Link to Japanese Thomas Site

A bunch of links now more or less superfluous

For those wishing to visit Sodor itself

Several maps for visitors have been produced which are in the MAP SECTION. This is now titled "The Mapping of Sodor"
Many thanks to Robert Michael Shemilt of the Ruislip Lido Railway Soc. Ltd for providing two very special maps, Tony Griggs for one more, and David Butchers for the rare 1971 map. Many thanks to other individuals including Audrey Boston for a photo of the Rev. Wilbert Awdry's hand-painted original map, and the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Tywyn for earlier maps. Tony has also kindly supplied histories of Sodor and its Railways, including Duke's old Mid Sodor Railway (page now also contains an account of the Rev W's own model layout of same). Click on the illustration below.

Link to Map Section
Where is Duke?
Fergus Duncan, the "Small Controller", points to Peter Edwards' super-accurate map.
The Rev. Teddy Boston holds the 1958 map in his hand, which won't be very helpful..
The Rev. Wilbert Awdry looks at a blow-up of Duke's Works area.

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Technical Notes and a Special Section for visitors from America

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2005 Competition
In 2005, The Real Lives of Thomas joined premier TV-RWS resource Sodor Island Fansite to hold an essay and artwork competition launched to celebrate both our anniversaries and the 60th of the Railway Series. Although the competition is now over, visitors can read about the competition details and admire contestant submissions in the competition gallery

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Visit the LIBRARY for all interesting books on Thomas the Tank Engine, including a complete bibliography of the Railway Series.

Here's what some of the people at the US Amazon site said about the Complete Collection:
"The book has given her a greater understanding of trains and railroads than the vast majority of adults have."
"The only reason that the books are a little darker than the TV series is because the TV series doesn't stick to the principles that the books adhere to."
"The stories were obviously written by someone who knows and loves steam engines and who understands boys very well, and who wrote only a few high quality stories per year for several decades."
"A great book written to be read to your children in people speak rather than toddler speak."

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MISCELLANEOUS AWDRYANIA - being a collection of pre-TV Series merchandise.

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Thomas and Gordon buffer to buffer
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