Christopher Vere Awdry (born 2 July 1940) is an English author best known for his contributions to The Railway Series of books featuring Thomas the Tank Engine, which was started by his father, the Rev. W. Awdry. He has also produced children's books based on a number of other railways, as well as non-fiction articles and books on heritage railways. He was born at Devizes, the family moving to Kings Norton, Birmingham when he was aged 5 months. Awdry was educated at Worksop College, a public school in North Nottinghamshire.
Christopher Awdry and the Railway Series
Christopher Awdry is in many ways responsible for the creation of Thomas and his railway, which started as a story told to him by his father during a bout of measles in 1942. By the time of his father's death in 1997, Christopher had added a further 14 books to the series, as well as writing stories for several Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends annuals.
In 2006 the current publishers, Egmont Books, decided to reprint the entire series in their original form; the fourteen books by Christopher were re-released at the beginning of August 2007.
The new interest from the publishers has gone beyond merely re-releasing the existing books. Christopher Awdry has written a new book for the series, titled Thomas and Victoria, which focuses on stories relating to the railway preservation movement. This, the forty-first book in the series, was released on 3 September 2007. In April 2010, Egmont Books confirmed that another Railway Series book, no 42 in the series, would be published in 2011. The publication date was later confirmed as 4 July 2011, and the illustrator as Clive Spong. It was published under the title Thomas and His Friends.
In 2001 Christopher Awdry wrote six stories featured in two books concerning railway safety, which were distributed to every primary school and library in the country. They were called: Bad Days for Thomas and His Friends / More Bad Days for Thomas and His Friends. The train operator Virgin Trains produced a colouring book for young passengers based on the stories.
A series of six books has been produced featuring locomotives from the Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway, and illustrated by Marc Vyvyan-Jones.
Railway Series volumes
- For books 1–26 in the series, written by the Rev. W. Awdry, see List of Railway Series Books.
- 27. Really Useful Engines (1983)
- 28. James and the Diesel Engines (1984)
- 29. Great Little Engines (1985)
- 30. More About Thomas the Tank Engine (1986)
- 31. Gordon the High Speed Engine (1987)
- 32. Toby, Trucks and Trouble (1988)
- 33. Thomas and the Twins (1989)
- 34. Jock the New Engine (1990)
- 35. Thomas and the Great Railway Show (1991)
- 36. Thomas Comes Home (1992)
- 37. Henry and the Express (1993)
- 38. Wilbert the Forest Engine (1994)
- 39. Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines (1995)
- 40. New Little Engine (1996)
- 41. Thomas and Victoria (2007)
- 42. Thomas and His Friends (2011)
Other 'Thomas' Books
- Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree (1986)
- Thomas and the Evil Diesel (1987)
- Thomas and the Hurricane (1992)
- Sodor: Reading Between the Lines (2005)
Thomas Easy-to-Read Books
Published by Dean (Reed Children's Books), 1990–1997, illustrated by Ken Stott.
(Also published as Egmont 'mini books' (1997–1998))
- Thomas and the Tiger
- James and the Balloons
- Percy and the Kite
- Thomas and the Birthday Party
- Henry and the Ghost Train
- Thomas and the Dinosaurs
- Thomas and the Pony Show *
- Thomas goes to School *
- Henry Goes to the Hospital *
- Thomas the Tank Engine Easy-To-Read Treasury (1997) – incorporating the 3 titles marked * in a combined volume.
- 01. General Takes Charge
- 02. Rachel and the Goose
- 03. Western and the Lost Ring
- 04. Oily Keeps Things Going
- 05. Eastbourne's Wedding Special
- 06. Oily and the Flood
Other railway stories
- Railway for Sale
- Luke Goes Flying – illustrated by Jonathan Clay
- LOTI and the Enchanted Forest
- LOTI and the Lost Locket
- The Chips Express
- Heave-Ho Hamish
- Hugh Goes Sliding
- Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0049-7. OCLC 19514063.
- Awdry, Christopher (1995). Awdry's steam railways. London: Boxtree. ISBN 0-7522-1600-7. OCLC 34723449.
- Awdry, Christopher (2001). The Nene Valley Railway. Kettering: Past & Present. ISBN 1-85895-170-4. OCLC 59557758.
- Sibley, Brian. The Thomas the Tank Engine Man. p. 90.
- "The Railway Series 42 Due for Release in April 2011". (Thomas news). Sodor Island. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- "Railway Series 42 Due July 2011". (Thomas news). Sodor Island. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
- Book launch at Exbury Gardens – accessed: 1 June 2007
- Awdry Family Website at the Wayback Machine (archived April 17, 2008) – Formerly www.awdry.family.name (Dead link discovered April 2010)
- Sodor Enterprises (publishing company) at the Wayback Machine (archived December 22, 2007) – Formerly www.sodor.co.uk (Dead link discovered April 2010)
- Official Thomas site
- Egmont Books – Interview with Christopher Awdry