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Gordon the Big Engine
Author Wilbert Awdry
Illustrator C. Reginald Dalby
Publication date June 19, 1953-Present
Published by Edmund Ward
Egmont Publishing
Publication Order
Preceded by
Toby the Tram Engine
Followed by
Edward the Blue Engine

Gordon the Big Engine is the eighth book of the railway series.


Dear Ian,

You asked for a book about Gordon. Here it is. Gordon has been naughty, and Sir Topham Hatt was stern with him.

Gordon has now learned his lesson and is a really useful engine again.

The Author


Off the RailsEdit

Gordon is angry when he has to take a goods train since never having an accident. His fire was slow to start, so Edward had to push him to the turntable. Gordon decides to "jam" the table by having it halfway, but when he moves forward, he crashes through a fence and slithers into a ditch. Sir Topham Hatt calls for Edward to take the special and Gordon to leave him there until the evening. Both Henry and James pulled Gordon out of the ditch using a rope and the big blue engine trundled home, a sadder and wiser engine.


Gordon has to shunt trucks around the yard after his accident and banned from pulling the express. James doesn't need help going up Gordon's Hill with the express as the tracks were slippery and with the leaves, they turn into mud. James suddenly goes back down the hill at a tremendous rate and with Gordon's help, the two engines reached the end of Gordon's Hill.

Down the MineEdit

Thomas smelt something funny after Gordon came in with a goods train, but Annie and Clarabel both rebuke about this. Thomas was shunting some trucks at a mine until the ground broke up and he fell in. Sir Topham Hatt was angry with the blue tank engine and called for Gordon to rescue him since a crane isn't strong enough to haul Thomas up due to the ground. After the rescue, Thomas and Gordon puffed home into the sunset.

Paint, Pots and QueensEdit

When some painters said that the Queen is coming to Sodor, the engines were finding out who's going to pull her train. Gordon says he is in disgrace, Edward says he is too old, James says Sir Topham Hatt will choose him but Henry says he will pull the train. One rainy day, Henry arrived in the station but his black smoke caused a painter to have him falling off a ladder and his paint pot splattered all over Henry. Sir Topham Hatt had made other arrangements and with Thomas pulling coaches, Gordon will pull the Royal Train.

With Toby, Henry, Percy and James bringing the passengers, Edward clears the line, Thomas pulling coaches and Gordon arrives with the Royal Train despite shiny blue paint like Edward and proudly carried the royal arms. Sir Topham Hatt meets and bows to the Queen, while she wants to see the engines. Then, the engines whistled while Toby rang his bell. The Queen since laughing at Sir Topham Hatt holding his ears due to the engines' whistling thanked Thomas, Edward and Gordon who arranged this special event for her.


Worldwide date Edit

  • June 19, 1953 (UK)
  • June 23, 1953 (USA)
  • July 10, 1957 (Australia)
  • September 5, 1957 (Russia)
  • May 15, 1958 (France)
  • June 19, 1958 (Germany)
  • April 4, 1974 (Japan)
  • June 23, 1985 (Canada)


  • In the last illustration of "Off the Rails", Henry, James and Gordon all lose their faces when they pulled Gordon out of the ditch.
  • In "Leaves", James loses one coach while going up Gordon's Hill.
  • In the first illustration of "Paint, Pots and Queens", James has an extra pair of wheels and should Henry move forward, he would collide with the shed column with his bufferbeam.