Christopher Awdry (born 1940) is a British author best known for his contributions to The Railway Series of books featuring Thomas the Tank Engine, which was started by his father, the Rev. W. Awdry. 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.
Christopher Awdry and the Railway Series
Christopher Awdry is in many ways 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 1942. By the time of his father's death in 1997, Christopher had added a further 14 books to the series, as well as writing stories for several Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends annuals.
It was a great source of disappointment to Christopher (and fans of The Railway Series) that the publishers allowed the Railway Series books to go out-of-print. For several years, Christopher campaigned to have the books re-published, but to no avail. The books written by Christopher, especially the last two or three which were only reprinted a few times, started to command high prices from collectors. However, in 2006 the current publishers, Egmont Books, decided to reprint the entire series in their original form; the fourteen books by Christopher being due for re-release at the beginning of August 2007.
The new interest from the publishers has gone beyond merely re-releasing the existing books. Christopher 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, is due for publication on 3 September 2007.
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 volumes
- For books 1-26 in the series, written by the Rev. W. Awdry, see List of Railway Series Books.
- 27. Really Useful Engines (1983)
- 28. James and the Diesel Engines (1984)
- 29. Great Little Engines (1985)
- 30. More About Thomas the Tank Engine (1986)
- 31. Gordon the High Speed Engine (1987)
- 32. Toby, Trucks and Trouble (1988)
- 33. Thomas and the Twins (1989)
- 34. Jock the New Engine (1990)
- 35. Thomas and the Great Railway Show (1991)
- 36. Thomas Comes Home (1992)
- 37. Henry and the Express (1993)
- 38. Wilbert the Forest Engine (1994)
- 39. Thomas and the Fat Controller’s Engines (1995)
- 40. New Little Engine (1996)
- 41. Thomas and Victoria
- 42. Thomas & His Friends
Other 'Thomas' Books
- Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree (1986)
- Thomas and the Evil Diesel (1987)
- Thomas and the Hurricane (1992)
- Sodor: Reading Between the Lines (2005)
Thomas Easy-to-Read Books
Published by Dean (Reed Children's Books), 1990-1997, illustrated by Ken Stott.
(Also published as Egmont 'mini books' (1997-1998))
- 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.
- 01. General Takes Charge
- 02. Racheal and the Goose
- 03. Western and the Lost Ring
- 04. Oily Keeps Things Going
- 05. Eastbourne's Wedding Special
- 06. Oily and the Flood
Other railway stories
- Railway for Sale
- Luke Goes Flying – illustrated by Jonathan Clay 
- LOTI and the Enchanted Forest
- LOTI and the Lost Locket
- The Chips Express
- Heave-Ho Hamish
- Hugh Goes Sliding
- Awdry's Steam Railways
- Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies – Patrick Stephens Limited (1990)
- Book launch at Exbury Gardens – accessed: 01 Jun 2007
- Awdry Family Website
- Sodor Enterprises (publishing company)
- Official Thomas site
- Egmont Books - Interview with Christopher Awdry