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From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere

December 2007

Thomas the Tank Engine.

Thomas is a fictional anthropomorphic tank locomotive created by the Rev. W. V. Awdry in his Railway Series books, made into the British children's television series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and its American spinoff Shining Time Station.

In his first appearance in the television series he was described as follows:

"Thomas is a blue tank engine who lives at a big station on the Island of Sodor. He's a cheeky little engine with 6 small wheels, a short stumpy funnel, a short stumpy boiler and a short stumpy dome" -narrator Ringo Starr from the episode "Thomas & Gordon" (aka "Thomas Gets Tricked", as it was titled for the US release). He has also been described as "a little engine with a long tongue".

Thomas the Tank Engine first appeared in 1946, when stories about him were published in The Railway Series by the Reverend W.V. Awdry. He is considered to be the most widely-known fictional locomotive in the world.