Christopher Awdry repeatedly requested the publisher to reprint The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways written by his father the Rev. W. Awdry and his uncle George Awdry, but they did not reprint. So he offered to buy the copyright of the book, but this too has been refused.
Judging by the high prices asked on the second-hand market for the book, this is plenty of demand for the background information to the Railway Series, Christopher decided to write a new book. A new information book written by him was published from his publisher in the end of May 2005 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Railway Series.
- Introduction - A brief discussion of how the books came to be.
- The Island and its Railways - This section talks about how Sodor came to be and the history of each of its railways.
- Characters in the Stories
- Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered
- The Stories, Their Origin and Location - this section talks about Railway Series books 1-40.
- Thomas: A Crown Worth Fighting For
- A full sized map of the Island of Sodor.
- This book is the only Thomas & Friends book published by Sodor Enterprises.
- The cover and map are a revised version of the 1971 map.
- This book incorrectly states that Ernest and Wilfred do not appear in the stories of Mountain Engines.
- In the fourth section, there is no section for The Twin Engines. As such, the following book, Branch Line Engines is listed as being published in 1960, instead of 1961. The publication date for Gallant Old Engine is given as 1961, instead of 1962.
- The book's cover and map shows that Edward's train charged by cows happened between Crosby and Wellsworth, while Christopher Awdry says that it happened between Knapford and Crosby.
- The book incorrectly states that The Flying Kipper took place in 1951, while in The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways, it happened in 1935.
- Agnes is incorrectly stated to be based on coach No. 4, while Ruth and Lucy are incorrectly identified as being based on coaches Nos. 1 and 2 respectively.
- Agnes, Ruth, Lucy, Jemima and Beatrice are all stated to be Browns, Marshalls & Co. coaches, when in actuality Lucy was designed by Lancaster Wagon Works.
- Sodor: Reading Between the Lines on Sodor Island Fansite