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“Thomas the Tank Engine is very proud of his branch line. He thinks it is the most important part of the railway.”
―The introduction to Thomas' Branch Line

Tank Engine Thomas Again is the fourth book of The Railway Series.


Dear Friends,
Here is news from Thomas' Branch Line. It is clearly no ordinary line, and life on it is far from dull.

Thomas asks me to say that if you are ever in the Region, you must be sure to visit him and travel on his line. "They will have never seen anything like it," he says proudly.

I know I haven't!
The Author


Thomas and the Guard

Henry is late at the junction and Thomas is impatient. As the guard signals Thomas to start, he trips on an umbrella and by the time he gets up, the train is out of sight. Annie and Clarabel beg Thomas to stop, but he pays no attention until they reach a signal. The guard does not come to tell Thomas what the matter is, and he soon finds out that he left him behind. Luckily, the guard runs up a few minutes later and climbs aboard.

Thomas Goes Fishing

Thomas often sees people fishing in the river and wants to go fishing too. He gets his chance when he finds the water tower is out of order and his crew decides to fill-up on river water, using a worn-out bucket. However, Thomas experiences pains and when an inspector and the Fat Controller examine him, they discover some fish in his tank. They fish them out and have a supper of fish and chips and the Fat Controller tells Thomas to never fish again, which Thomas heartily agrees.

Thomas, Terence and the Snow

Thomas meets Terence the tractor and makes fun of his caterpillar tracks. When winter comes, Thomas treats his snowplough terribly and it has to be repaired. The crew cannot fix the plough in time for his first train the next day and Thomas, over-confident, recklessly charges at a snowdrift outside the tunnel and sticks fast. He cannot get out, so a bus takes his passengers home and then Terence comes to pull him out. Thomas apologises to Terence and returns home.

Thomas and Bertie

Bertie, the bus from the previous story, teases Thomas about being slow, so they decide to have a race. Thomas takes the lead at a level crossing, but Bertie pulls ahead when Thomas has to stop to collect passengers and wait at a signal. Thomas gains the lead again after Bertie stops for a traffic light and although Bertie creeps in front, Thomas, with a burst of speed, rushes into Hackenbeck in style. Bertie congratulates him when he comes in and the two become friends.


Thomas and the Guard

Thomas Goes Fishing

  • Thomas
  • Sir Topham Hatt I
  • The Inspector
  • Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)

Thomas, Terence and the Snow

  • Thomas
  • Terence
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Farmer Finney (cameo)
  • Bertie (indirectly mentioned)

Thomas and Bertie

  • Thomas
  • Bertie
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • James (mentioned)
  • Terence (mentioned)
  • Sir Topham Hatt I (mentioned)


Thomas and the Guard

Thomas Goes Fishing

Thomas, Terence and the Snow

  • Terence's Field
  • Ffarquhar
  • Hackenbeck Tunnel

Thomas and Bertie

  • Knapford
    • Knapford Crossing
  • Toryreck
  • Elsbridge
    • Elsbridge Viaduct
    • River Els
  • River Callan
  • Hackenbeck Tunnel
  • Ffarquhar


  • This is the final Railway Series book released in the 1940's.
  • In the fourth illustration of Thomas and the Guard, an advertisement for the book, James the Red Engine is visible. There is also a sign reading, "All About Thomas, The Famous Tank Engine!"
  • This is the first book to not have "engine" or "engines" at the end of the title, the second being Toby, Trucks and Trouble.
  • Thomas' fireman sings There's a Hole in My Bucket, a song about a man named Henry asking a woman named Liza on how to mend a bucket.
  • The story of Thomas and Bertie was originally invented as a board game by the reverend to amuse his children on a wet holiday in Wales. [1]
    • This makes the story unusual as it is not based on a real-life event unlike most stories in The Railway Series. The Rev. W. Awdry has said that due to "reprisals from authority," such a race was unlikely, and he has carefully noted that "although, between you and me, they would like to have another race, I don't think they ever will."
    • The Ffarquhar branch line was created during the writing of the book when Christopher Awdry, Hilary Fortnam, and Veronica Chambers claimed the race between Thomas and Bertie in the book’s fourth story was unfair. To fix this, Wilbert Awdry drew up the branch line to show that Thomas and Bertie had the same amount of obstacles to overcome in order to win the race. As a result, the children deemed the race "fair."
  • An illustration from Thomas and Bertie was released as a Royal Mail stamp in 2011 to mark the Rev. W. Awdry's centenary.
  • The book was released digitally for Apple products on May 11, 2012.
  • A seventieth anniversary print was released on April 16, 2015.
  • Thomas and the Guard is based on a real event which occurred at Eastbourne, South East England, UK.
  • Thomas Goes Fishing is based on a real event which occurred on the Glasgow and South Western Railway (GSWR), when the driver kept fish in the engine's water tank "to keep the water clean."
  • This is the first book in the Railway Series where Edward and Gordon do not appear.
  • According to The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways, Thomas and Bertie takes place in 1948. It is unknown exactly when the other three stories take place, although it can safely be assumed that Thomas and the Guard takes place in 1925 as Henry is still blue.
  • Mark Moraghan narrated a shortened version of Thomas and the Guard as Mr. Evans in a Storytime with Mr. Evans segment.


  • In Thomas and the Guard:
    • Thomas is missing his red lining around his number in the the first illustration.
    • In the third illustration depicts Henry with a brass funnel, a Fowler tender and square buffers. The Reverend W. Awdry explained the last goof by saying that Henry needed new buffers and was using the same ones as Gordon's.
    • Also in the third illustration, Henry is smiling despite his "system being out of order", he has two cab windows instead of one and Thomas' right buffer is off.
    • He is also still painted blue despite the fact this book takes place after the next book.
  • In Thomas Goes Fishing:
    • In the first illustration, Annie and Clarabel change length dramatically.
    • In the fifth, sixth and eighth illustrations, Thomas is missing his rear bufferbeam.
  • The passengers are meant to be at the platform while Thomas is letting off steam painfully, but they are actually standing nearby.
  • In the first illustration of Thomas and Bertie, the station roof is not fully painted in.
  • In the third and fourth illustrations of Thomas and Bertie, Thomas' headlamp/code is not shown, despite the fact he is shown from the back.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Chinese Mandarin 托马斯的特别支线
Japanese がんばれ機関車トーマス
Korean 지선을 달리는 토머스 (1996)
탱크 기관차 토마스의 모험 (2005)
Swiss-German Neues von Thomas der Dampflok
Welsh Thomas Injian-Danc Eto
Helyntion Tomos y Tanc


Wedgwood China

Name Released Discontinued Highlights Image
Plate Unknown Unknown