Thomas the Tank Engine™ first appeared in the early 1940s, when the Reverend W Awdry lovingly crafted a small blue train engine made of wood for his son, Christopher. The stories that he made up to accompany the wonderful toy were first published in 1945. In the years since, generations of children and their families have come to know and love Thomas and his many friends on the imaginary Island of Sodor through the many books written about them.

During his own childhood in England, the Reverend Awdry would lie in bed at night listening to the trains of the Great Western Railway that ran along tracks close to his home. He would imagine all the engines talking with one another and invented characters for them.  It was these engines and their imagined characters that inspired the Reverend to write the original books in the Railway Series. Today, children the world over can embark on adventures with Thomas & Friends through timeless stories that gently emphasize the importance of friendship, kindness, cooperation, and the wonders of discovery.