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

Thomas the Tank Engine


Reverend W. Awdry

Illustrated by:

Reginald Payne C. Reginald Dalby


Edmund Ward Egmont Publishing


March 23, 1946-present

Previous book:

The Three Railway Engines

Next book:

James the Red Engine


Dear Christopher, Here is your friend Thomas the Tank Engine. He want 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 GordonEdit

We are introduced to Thomas – the tank engine shunter who works in the big station yard shunting coaches. A cheeky little thing, Thomas goes too far when he teases Gordon the big engine, who begins plotting revenge against him. Gordon ceases a chance to get his own back when Thomas is remained coupled to the back of his Express train, and he takes Thomas on a high speed run that he will never forget!

Thomas' TrainEdit

Our first indication of Thomas’s interest in big station life waning. He longs to see the world and gets his chance for a passenger run when Henry takes ill. But for an unexplained reason, Thomas isn’t coupled to the train and starts his journey without the coaches. He’s soon stopped at a signal, and much to his dismay, finds out that he’s not been pulling the train at all. Despite this, he returns back to the station to try again, and this time pulls the train. But he is subject to teasing for a while due to his folly!

Thomas and the TrucksEdit

Thomas’s quest to leave the big station continues, and once again, another chance arises for him to prove himself. Edward offers to swap his train of trucks for a day shunting in Thomas’s place. Thomas, not used to trucks, soon finds himself running into bother when they gain the upper hand on Gordon’s Hill and push him down the other side. Fortunately, Thomas has a safe escape and stops in front of the buffers, only to find the Fat Director waiting for him. He gives Thomas another chance to prove himself with trucks, and allows him to shunt them in the yard for a few weeks.

Thomas and the Breakdown TrainEdit

Thomas continues his work shunting in Edward’s yard and learning about trucks, with much encouragement from The Fat Director. One day in the yard, he spots a new engine, James, speeding through with his brake-blocks on fire. Thomas collects the Breakdown Train and heads off to James’ aid. After a busy afternoon of clearing the mess, Thomas brings James back to the shed and is rewarded grandly by the Fat Controller for his heroism with his own branch line. At long last, his hopes and dreams had been realised.

Characters presentEdit

Worldwide dateEdit

  • March 23, 1946 (UK)
  • June 19, 1946 (USA)
  • June 18, 1951 (Australia)
  • July 13, 1951 (Russia)
  • January 1, 1952 (France)
  • April 3, 1952 (Germany)
  • October 4, 1973 (Japan)
  • January 2, 1979 (Canada)


  • In the second illustration of "Thomas and Gordon", Gordon's wheels aren't perfect circles.
  • In the first illustration of "Thomas and the Trucks", Edward's face is tilted and is a much darker shade of gray 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.
  • 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 final illustration Thomas is missing a lamp iron.