Christopher Awdry

Christopher Vere Awdry (born 2 July 1940)[1] is an English author. He is known for his contributions to The Railway Series of books featuring Thomas the Tank Engine, which was started by his father, Wilbert Awdry (1911–1997). He has also produced children's books based on a number of other railways, as well as non-fiction articles and books on heritage railways. He was born at Devizes, the family moving to Kings Norton, Birmingham when he was aged 5 months. Awdry was educated at Worksop College, a public school in North Nottinghamshire.

Christopher Awdry
Christopher Vere Awdry

(1940-07-02) 2 July 1940 (age 81)
Devizes, Wiltshire, England
EducationWorksop College
Years active1983–2011
Notable work
Thomas the Tank Engine
Parent(s)Wilbert Awdry (1911–1997)
Margaret Wale (1912–1989)
RelativesHilary Fortnam (sister)
Veronica Chambers (sister)

Christopher Awdry and the Railway SeriesEdit

Christopher Awdry is in a way responsible for the creation of Thomas and his railway, which started as a story told to him by his father during a bout of measles in 1943. When his father retired in 1972, he wrote several Thomas books himself. The series came to be called Thomas & Friends after that.[2]

In 2006, the current publishers, Egmont Books, decided to reprint the entire series in their original form; the fourteen books by Christopher were re-released at the beginning of August 2007. His favourite character is Toby.

The new interest from the publishers has gone beyond merely re-releasing the existing books. Christopher Awdry has written a new book for the series, titled Thomas and Victoria, which focuses on stories relating to the railway preservation movement. This, the forty-first book in the series, was released on 3 September 2007. In April 2010, Egmont Books confirmed that another Railway Series book, no 42 in the series, would be published in 2011.[3] The publication date was later confirmed as 4 July 2011, and the illustrator as Clive Spong.[4] It was published under the title Thomas and His Friends. This book would become the final book in the Railway Series to be published.

Other worksEdit

In 2001, Christopher Awdry wrote six stories featured in two books concerning railway safety, which were distributed to every primary school and library in the country. They were called: Bad Days for Thomas and His Friends / More Bad Days for Thomas and His Friends. The train operator Virgin Trains produced a colouring book for young passengers based on the stories.

A series of six books has been produced featuring locomotives from the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway, and illustrated by Marc Vyvyan-Jones.


Railway Series volumesEdit

Other 'Thomas' booksEdit

Thomas easy-to-read booksEdit

Published by Dean (Reed Children's Books), 1990–1997, illustrated by Ken Stott.
(Also published as Egmont 'mini books' (1997–1998))

  • Thomas and the Tiger
  • James and the Balloons
  • Percy and the Kite
  • Thomas and the Birthday Party
  • Henry and the Ghost Train
  • Thomas and the Dinosaurs
  • Thomas and the Pony Show *
  • Thomas goes to School *
  • Henry Goes to the Hospital *
  • Thomas the Tank Engine Easy-To-Read Treasury (1997) – incorporating the 3 titles marked * in a combined volume.

Eastbourne SeriesEdit

  • 01. General Takes Charge - illustrated by Marc Vyvyan-Jones
  • 02. Rachel and the Goose - illustrated by Marc Vyvyan-Jones
  • 03. Western and the Lost Ring - illustrated by Marc Vyvyan-Jones
  • 04. Oily Keeps Things Going - illustrated by Marc Vyvyan-Jones
  • 05. Eastbourne's Wedding Special - illustrated by Marc Vyvyan-Jones
  • 06. Oily and the Flood - illustrated by Marc Vyvyan-Jones

Other railway storiesEdit

  • Railway for Sale
  • Luke Goes Flying – illustrated by Jonathan Clay[5]
  • LOTI and the Enchanted Forest
  • LOTI and the Lost Locket
  • The Chips Express
  • Heave-Ho Hamish
  • Hugh Goes Sliding


  • Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0049-7. OCLC 19514063. CN 8983.
  • Awdry, Christopher (1995). Awdry's steam railways. London: Boxtree. ISBN 0-7522-1600-7. OCLC 34723449.
  • Awdry, Christopher (2001). The Nene Valley Railway. Kettering: Past & Present. ISBN 1-85895-170-4. OCLC 59557758.


  1. ^ Sibley, Brian. The Thomas the Tank Engine Man. p. 90.
  2. ^ "Christopher Awdry: why sour Lefties are wrong about Thomas the Tank Engine". The Telegraph. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  3. ^ "The Railway Series 42 Due for Release in April 2011". (Thomas news). Sodor Island. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Railway Series 42 Due July 2011". (Thomas news). Sodor Island. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  5. ^ Book launch at Exbury Gardens Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine – accessed: 1 June 2007

External linksEdit