Written by Awdry in 1943 to entertain his son, Christopher, who was suffering from measles at the time, this was the first book in what was to become The Railway Series.
The book tells the stories of kind Edward, pompous Gordon and foolish Henry.
The fourth book tells of Thomas’ adventures on his new Branch Line.
Here he forgets his guard, goes fishing, gets stuck in the snow and meets new road running friends Terence the Tractor and Bertie the Bus.
While on holiday, the Fat Controller happens upon a little tram engine called Toby, who becomes the highlight of his family's trip.
And when Thomas falls foul of an angry Policeman and a by-law on the Tramway, the Fat Controller knows who to call upon to help!
When Skarloey is laid up and his brother Rheneas is sent to be mended, two new engines, with a lot to learn, arrive on the railway to help out.
But when the need arises for the old engine to save the day, Skarloey rises to the occasion and is rewarded with an overhaul.
When a brand new Diesel engine comes to the yard, Duck teaches him a lesson in humility.
The Diesel gets his own back by spreading lies about Duck and having him sent away in disgrace. But Duck soon proves he's a really useful engine when he saves the day, helping Edward.
Thomas suffers an accident and is replaced by Daisy the Diesel Railcar, who proves to be troublesome in her own way!
But when Percy has an accident and Toby is left to run the Branch Line, the engines prove they can pull together and work well when it counts!
The Little Engines are introduced to a rather strange looking new engine called Culdee who works on Sodor's Mountain Railway.
Culdee tells them about colorful incidents that have happened on his line, and experiences new ones when he meets the haughty Lord Harry!
Donald and Douglas begin talking about "Verra Wee Engines" at the end of an old branch line, which makes Duck curious to find out more.
There, he meets Rex, Mike and Bert - the Small Engines of the Arlesdale Railway, who may be small, but are quite efficient!
Sir Handel and Peter Sam remember their old friend, Duke - who was left behind many years ago on the Mid-Sodor Railway.
Inspired by their stories, a rescue effort is galvanised to find Duke and get him back to work.
Awdry's most famous and loveable character comes to light in his first book, written by Awdry to follow up The Three Railway Engines - proving such a success through the strong and engaging storylines and bold illustrations by Reginald Payne, that it enticed Edmund Ward to commission another.
Already tired of shunting their own trains, when things go wrong for Gordon, Henry and James, they bring matters to a head and go on strike to spite the Fat Controller.
Meanwhile, Edward and Thomas welcome cheeky Percy to the yard.
Gordon gets too big for his wheels and tries to get out of pulling a goods train by jamming the turntable and running into a ditch.
Stripped of his Express duties, the big engine has a long way to go to gain back respect with the Fat Controller again.
Percy goes from shunting in the yard at the Big Station to pulling trucks on Thomas's Branch Line.
And goes from cheeky shunter to hero after beating the odds to get through flood water to bring the Vicar's Sunday School home!
Skarloey returns from overhaul to find his railway transformed - new rails, new coaches, new engines and new surprises await him.
He also has a surprise of his own when a film crew visit the railway and he tells them all about his twin in Wales - Talyllyn!
Peter Sam gets a new funnel, Sir Handel gets new wheels, Duncan doesn't get a polish. and Skarloey gets news that his brother Rheneas is coming home, and emphasises the importance of being really useful to Duncan, when he recants Rheneas's struggle to keep the line going in it's darkest hours.
As Skarloey and Rheneas prepare to celebrate their 100th birthday, the old engines tell the others stories about the days when they first arrived on the railway, and how they not only became useful engines, but firm friends after a bit of a bumpy start!
The Age of Steam is coming to an end on British Railways, but it still has some surprises to throw out before it's gone. Gordon's brother Flying Scotsman pays a visit, whilst Henry shows two Diesels what a steam engine can do!
But it's Oliver's arrival that sparks the most interest!
Thomas and Percy fall foul of each other when their teasing gets out of hand.
Meanwhile, Toby has to deal with the Quarry's new shunting Diesel, Mavis, who causes all manner of problems for him, including one which nearly proves disastrous!
These four stories tell of James the red engine, who, after his crash in Thomas The Tank Engine, settles down to be really useful.
He also has trouble with trucks, coaches and top hats, but proves himself after Gordon makes a mistake.
After years of illness, Henry gets new coal and a new lease of life, followed by a new shape and a larger firebox following an accident with the Flying Kipper.
Now so splendid and strong, he puts Gordon and silly boys very firmly in their place!
Edward proves his worth when he helps a Traction Engine avoid scrapping and saves James from a nasty accident when he runs away.
The Fat Controller's engines are invited to the Mainland as part of a big display for all their friends who have read about them in books.
But before that, they end up in quite a few scrapes on Sodor and in London!
The Fat Controller has ordered a new engine to tackle goods work on the railway, but is surprised to find TWO engines arrive in his yard.
When one proves as good and as bad as the other, he's left with a difficult decision on who to send home to Scotland!
The Fat Controller's engines meet Stepney, an engine who has entered preservation on a special railway looked after by volunteers.
Despite being out of Main Line running, the little engine still shows he's got life left in him when he helps out on the railway!
Bill and Ben the Tank Engine twins cause all sorts of trouble for newcomer BoCo, and make poor Gordon think he's going to be pushed into the sea.
James encounters some buzzy bees and Edward proves once again that he's the pride of the line!
Oliver and Duck settle down to work on the Little Western Branch Line.
But they soon find themselves having to work hard overcoming the odds when things go wrong with eggs, ducks, trucks, foolish pride and buses intent upon stealing their traffic.