Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

Reed Children's Books also known as Reed International Books Limited was the owner of The Railway Series publisher William Heinemann from 1987 until 25th April 1998.


Reed International purchases Octopus Publishing, The Railway Series publisher William Heinemann's owner, in 1987 for £540 million.[1] However, they retained the "William Heinemann" imprint to publish some titles, including the Railway Series, and copyrights displayed on Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends merchandise and books worldwide.

On 25th April 1998, Reed International sold their children's books division to Egmont UK Limited and the copyright of the Railway Series to the Britt Allcroft Company for £13.5 million.[2][3][4]


  • The company displayed English books and translated books such as Japanese and Norwegian on the bookshelves.
  • A meeting about merchandise at the company was broadcast on The Thomas the Tank Engine Man documentary, where Ingrid Selberg, managing director of the company, and Liz Turner were interviewed.
  • Many merchandise and books displayed the copyright of "William Heinemann" until 1998, but some books displayed that "William Heinemann Ltd. an imprint of Reed Children's Books".


  1. Timeline on Reed Elsevier
  2. Egmont Buys Reed Children's Books on Publishers Weekly
  3. A Very Important Announcement by the Stationmaster on Reed Children's Books
  4. Frequently Asked Questions on Awdry Family Website

External Links