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Egmont UK Limited, also known as Egmont Publishing UK or Egmont Books UK, is the current publisher of the Railway Series books and has the rights to release a variety of other Thomas & Friends books, including the My Thomas Story Library and Thomas Story Time ranges. Some books are published in the UK and Australia under the subsidiary Hardie Grant Egmont.


Egmont Books was started more than 130 years ago. From a fairytale that began in a little humble apartment on 15th May 1878 in Copenhagen, Egmont has developed into the media house it is today and a leading provider of entertainment in Scandinavia with operations in over 21 countries.

In the early years, Egmont remained a printing business but soon came to include creating and telling stories.

A dream comes true as the 17 year old Egmont Harald Petersen, with a loan on his mother's assets, buys a "flyswatter" - a hand operated, simple printing machine - to start his one man business. Egmont's ability to think along new lines and to innovate has the full backing of his mother Petrine who mortgages her own lifeline, her sewing machine, to enable her son to realise his dream.

On the very day Egmont H. is heading into town to pick up the first equipment for his printing shop, he finds a coin. This coin proved to be Egmont's lucky charm and is today kept at the Head Office in Copenhagen.

Already in 1880, there is not enough room in his mother's kitchen and during the following years the printing operation moves to ever bigger facilities. Egmont H. buys more machinery, hires more employees and becomes known across Denmark as a clever young printer who delivers quality products. To keep up with technology in the typographic industry, Egmont H. frequently travels abroad and is breaking new ground in printing methods until his passing. In 1892 Egmont H. prints the first colour picture in Denmark. It is also during this time that Egmont H. is given the nickname "ArtPetersen". He is recognised in the industry for his fine work and is awarded the honourable title of Printers to the Royal Danish Court, a distinction still held by the company today.

In April 2020, Egmont Groups was acquired by HarperCollins Publishers.[1]

The Railway Series

On 25th April 1998, Egmont UK acquired the children's book division of Reed International and the rights to publish the Railway Series.[2] In the same year, in spite of Christopher Awdry's opposition[3], they published reformatted versions of 14 books from the Railway Series. However, many people who were fans of the Railway Series and Thomas in general were displeased with Egmont's reformatted versions of the books, as Egmont cropped, omitted and altered most of the illustrations. As a result, the new format was discontinued and scrapped due to negative feedback. Egmont eventually reverted the Railway series books that they published back in 1998 to their original state in 2004.

Then, Thomas and Victoria, which was intended to be published in 1997, was published by Egmont in 2007. In 2011, Thomas and his Friends was published and the Railway Series reached the final book.

In April 2020, Egmont UK was acquired by HarperCollin[1], but it's unclear if the publisher and the imprint will change.



  • Kaye & Ward remains in being, but dormant, as part of Egmont.[4]
  • The episodes Egmont did not publish were Jack Jumps In, A Friend in Need, Twin Trouble, Jack Frost and Buffer Bother because they were cancelled books.


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