Thomas the Tank Engine is the central character in HIT Entertainment's Thomas & Friends. Thomas can be found in toys, books, videos and even a feature film. Millions of children around the world enjoy the magical world of Thomas the Train. That's because Thomas and his friends are more than just trains—they are a child's true blue friends. Little engineers ride along with the engines as they learn about life, fair play and teamwork.
Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends are based on the Railway Series of books written by the Reverend W. Awdry (1911–1997). The stories were created in 1942 to entertain the Reverend's son, Christopher, who was confined to bed with the measles. That Christmas, a simple wooden train named Thomas was made for Christopher. This led to the creation of even more stories about Thomas the Train and his railway friends. Eventually, at his wife's encouragement, The Reverend found a publisher for the stories and in 1945 The Three Railway Engines was published. The stories in this book featured Edward, Gordon and Henry. (Thomas isn't featured until the second book, Thomas the Tank Engine.)
Reverend Awdry published 26 books before retiring in 1973. In the early 1980s, Christopher continued in his father's footsteps. He began creating Railway stories for his own young son, Richard, and published his first story in 1983. In all, 40 Railway Series books were published.
Thomas is a cheeky, fussy little engine who wears #1 on his side and never lets anyone forget it. Joining him in his adventures on the Island of Sodor are his engine friends, including cheerful Percy, moody James and the proud but boastful Gordon. They are joined by the coaches Annie and Clarabel, Bertie the Bus, Terence the Tractor and Harold the Helicopter, to name a few. Sir Topham Hatt, Superintendent of the railroad, is the kindly boss who keeps everyone in order.
Each of Thomas' friends on the Island of Sodor has their own special job to do, and they each have unique and special personalities. Visit our Thomas & Friends Character Guide to learn all about the characters who live and work on the Island of Sodor.