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Adventures on Rails is a series that was created on June 20th, 2011 and spawned twenty seasons from 2011 to 2015 on BBC. The series has also released thirteen shorts and has one more planned for 2019 and several more in the future.

For a closely related series, see The Engines of Sodor.

Adventures on Rails
AORlogo

Created by

MainLineEngines

Writer/s-

MainLineEngines, Rev. W. Awdry, and Christopher Awdry

Director/s

MainLineEngines

Studio/s

Adventures on Rails Studios

Released by

Pom-Pom Productions

About

The series revolves around the engines on the Island of Sodor, their everyday mishaps, and adventures. It captures the feel of the Railway Series and early television series with a Season 5-7 format. It mostly follows Railway Series continuity, but incorporates some Television Series elements.

History

The series first started on June 20, 2011, 3 days after the wiki was created. The episode was called The Pilot Episode or The First Episode It ended July 1, 2011.

The season two pilot episode titled 'Pilot 2' aired August 9, 2011. The season three episode, 'Gordon's Foggy Day' aired on October 21, 2011 and ended October 31, 2011.

The fourth season was in production and the original pilot episode was 'The Christmas Hype', but the idea was scrapped and instead 'A Thanksgiving Celebration' took its place and aired November 24, 2011 or Thanksgiving Day and will end February 9, 2012. It was originally going to air from November 23, 2011 to February 8, 2012 and 'A Thanksgiving Celebration' wasn't planned to be there.

Season 5 aired February 14 to the 19th, 2012. Then a special titled Thomas, his Friends, and the Secret Island followed on March 2, 2012 with Season 6.

On July 1st 2012, the Adventures on Rails studios in conjunction with Pom-Pom Productions rebranded the series with a new name, Adventures on Rails, and a new format for the episodes, and releasing of the episodes. The seventh season became the first season under its new format, and is considered as the 'prototype' season.

The fourth special, 'Thomas vs. Stanley' released shortly before the end of the eighth season. Around that time the 2013 special was confirmed as 'The End of Sodor'.

The ninth season started a week before Halloween and the specials were given release dates. Percy and Kevin's Adventure followed on 12th of November, and the tenth season aired from 22nd of November to New Year's Day 2013.

The eleventh season began with Toby the Tram Engine and two Railway Series episodes before going to original content, and aired from the 4th of January to the 5th of March.

In January 2013, it was confirmed that the series The Engines of Sodor was going to give proper back-stories or adaptations of the engines' back-stories on Sodor. Later in February, a draft title for a special about the Restoration of Vicarstown was made. Nix's Determination was given an early release as a follow up to the stories about her in the eleventh season. Small Railway Adventures began airing July 19th, alongside the thirteenth season.

Surprising news came when all the episodes for both the fourteenth season and the fifteenth season were revealed, after the writer expressed his interest in the 1989 annual and seven annual stories will be adapted for the fifteenth season whilst the fourteenth season will all original content except for Ghost Train.

On October 15th, a sixteenth season was officially confirmed, and a seventeenth season was rumoured to be in the works. The seventeenth season was officially confirmed on November 18th. An eighteenth and nineteenth season were rumoured to be in the works. On December 26th, 2013, the eighteenth season was officially confirmed by the series' writer and director, MainLineEngines.

It has also been announced that all seasons now will be 'previewed' by either an episode that did not make it on to the season or a rewrite from a Thomas the Tank Engine episode, and also there could also be a bonus episode; either a special episode explaining a certain event in the season or an episode that did not make it onto the final ten.

On March 13th, it was announced that the nineteenth season is in the works, and that there would be a 90% chance of the twentieth and final season.

On May 30th, the seventeenth season began airing, and it celebrated the 3rd anniversary of Adventures on Rails. More details have also been released about The Restoration of Vicarstown, with the special taking a similar format to Calling All Engines!

More on the cliffhanger and The Case of the Missing Engines will be given over the next few months. At the beginning of June, MainLineEngines, the writer of the series expressed an interest to extend the series to 26 episodes. This was later confirmed on June 18th, 2014. Currently, work on the nineteenth and twentieth seasons have started.

On September 18th, 2014, the series' creator and writer, MainLineEngines expressed an interest in developing a story/special about Percy and James, about their history, detailing a bit more about their arrival, and how their rivalry started. This was rumoured to replace The Case of the Missing Engines as the 2014 special, but it was confirmed on September 28th, 2014 that that would remain as the 2014 special, and that the James and Percy special would be a short and will release in January 2015 between the nineteenth and the twentieth seasons, and was been given the draft title of "James and Percy". It will concur with the events of the last three episodes of the eighteenth season, and first episode of the nineteenth.

On September 30th, 2014, the eighteenth season started airing. On October 19th, it was announced that the Halloween episode would be released on October 30th, instead of the 31st.

On November 28th, 2014, it was announced that a Halloween special for 2015 was in the works, along with another special with a darker tone, similar to The End of Sodor about the end of the North Western Railway.

In late December, the nineteenth season started airing and the pilot, Rescue Mission which ended the cliffhanger from the previous season. Shortly after the airing of the nineteenth and prior to the release of the twentieth, the series' first short, James and Percy was released on January 19th.

Shortly thereafter, the last season of Adventures on Rails was released. This season contained five more episodes than the previous thirteen seasons. The season's pilot was Oliver and the Electric Engines and the season aired a new episode every Friday until May 1st where Ceremonium was aired as the season and series finale, also celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Railway Series.

Between the middle of May and beginning of June, an exclusive look at the original script and deleted scenes from James and Percy was released. It was also confirmed that The Restoration of Vicarstown would released on June 15th and a Christmas short was announced for December 2016.

On August 1st, the creator and writer hinted at a possible short about Donald and Douglas. This was later confirmed on August 3rd with a draft title of The Escape Plan, although he is still unsure when it will be released or if that will be the official name. The 2016 Christmas short was also given the draft title of "Thomas and the Avalanche".

In April 2016, another short titled The Hurricane was announced and it is set to release on June 15th, 2016. Two shorts for announced for 2017 as well. In May, another short for 2017 was announced; focusing on the Culdee Fell Railway's No. 7 and 8, Alaric and Eric.

On June 15th, on the fifth anniversary of the franchise, The Hurricane was released along with a trailer for Thomas and the Avalanche. Two shorts focusing on the early Sodor years of Thomas and James have also officially been confirmed. No release date has been confirmed but it is speculated that one will be released in January and another in June.

On August 1st, the creator announced the title of one of the 2017 shorts, Thomas, the Really Useful Engine along with a teaser of the respective short. He also announced that the titles for the other two 2017 shorts would be revealed quite soon.

In September, the writer collaborated with fellow writer, Mays for an all-new short titled The Legend of the Gold Train. The following month, the titles for the remaining two shorts were announced. He also stated there is an idea for a short in 2018, but no official announcements has been given.

Saving the Mountain Engines was due for a November release around Veteran's Day but later for a November 27 release. However, outside circumstances caused a hiatus in the release. The short was released on December 27, 2017.

On January 2, 2018, the writer announced that there would be two shorts in 2018 along with revisions of past episodes. The first, Very Famous Engines was released on March 30 and the next short, That's What Friends Are for will be released on June 25. In May, the writer announced that there would be one short for 2019. Later, a trailer for the second 2018 short was released and subsequently, some interesting plot details and connection to the 2019 short were also revealed and explained.

The 2019 short was announced on July 1st as Work and Play and it will follow off from the previous short and the events of Wilbert the Forest Engine with the Fat Controller acquiring the engine he needs.

In August, the writer announced two more upcoming shorts: a second for 2019 and one to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Railway Series. He also confirmed that all three shorts starting from Work and Play would utilise a four story format akin to the Railway Series.

In September, a new short was commissioned for release in Autumn. It will cover and slightly retcon Molly, Dodger and David's pre-Sodor life. Another short was announced titled You Lucky Engine but no exact release date was given. Late into the month, Real Engines was released as a way to officially recton David, Molly and Dodger's pre-Sodor life.

You Lucky Engine was confirmed in October for a February 2021 release and announced another upcoming short titled Visiting Engines and he mentioned that it will showcase several real-life engines visiting Sodor. It was also announced that there will be re-writes for several productions including the short James and Percy, Molly's Special Job and The Football Special throughout the rest of 2018 and into 2019 although the former will be after the release of Work and Play (March 2019).

Seasons

Seasons Air Date Numbers of Episodes Ending Air Date
1 June 20th, 2011 9 July 1st, 2011
2 August 9th, 2011 15 August 16th, 2011
3 October 21st, 2011 36 October 31st, 2011
4 November 24th, 2011 77 February 3rd, 2012
5 February 14th, 2012 5 February 19th, 2012
6 February 28th, 2012 13 March 11th, 2012
7 April 1st, 2012 10 June 4th, 2012
8 July 9th, 2012 10 September 10, 2012
9 October 22nd, 2012 10 October 31st, 2012
10 November 22nd, 2012 10 December 31, 2012
11 January 4th, 2013 10 March 5th, 2012
12 April 5th, 2013 10 June 15th, 2013
13 July 4th, 2013 10 September 5th, 2013
14 October 22nd, 2013 10 October 31st, 2013
15 November 27th, 2013 10 January 1st, 2014
16 February 3rd, 2014 10 March 31st, 2014
17 May 30th, 2014 10 August 1st, 2014
18 September 30th, 2014 10 December 2nd, 2014
19 December 23rd, 2014 10 January 1st, 2015
20 January 23rd, 2015 15 May 1st, 2015

Specials

  1. British vs. Americans - November 11th, 2011
  2. Percy and Old Slow Coach - March 2nd, 2012
  3. Thomas, his Friends, and the Secret Island - June 1st, 2012
  4. Thomas vs. Stanley - September 3rd, 2012
  5. Percy and Kevin's Adventure - November 12th, 2012
  6. Saving Donald - April 1st, 2013
  7. Nix's Determination - June 15th, 2013
  8. The End of Sodor - November 11th, 2013
  9. The Case of the Missing Engines - November 11th, 2014
  10. The Restoration of Vicarstown - June 15th, 2015

Shorts

  1. James and Percy - 19 January 2015
  2. The Legend of the Ghost Train - 26 October 2015
  3. The End of the North Western Railway  - 11 November 2015
  4. The Escape Plan - 18 January 2016, 2019 (revised)
  5. The Hurricane - 15 June 2016
  6. Thomas and the Avalanche - 19 December 2016
  7. Thomas, the Really Useful Engine - 16 January 2017
  8. James and the Fat Controller - 19 June 2017
  9. Saving the Mountain Engines - 27 December 2017
  10. Very Famous Engines - 30 March 2018
  11. That's What Friends Are for - 25 June 2018
  12. Real Engines - 29 September 2018
  13. Work and Play - 11 March 2019
  14. Home Sweet Home - November 2019
  15. Best Engines Ever - May/June 2020
  16. You Lucky Engine - January 2021
  17. Visiting Engines - Mid or Late 2021

Other

Mini-Series

  1. Branch Line Adventures (February 9th, 2012)- The adventures of Duck, Percy, Daisy and Toby in Thomas' absence.
  2. Delete the Mixed-Traffic Engine (May 12th, 2012)- Delete's start on the North Western Railway.
  3. Dodger the Coal Mines Engine (2012 and 2013)- Dodger's start on the North Western Railway.
  4. The Dark Days of Thomas the Tank Engine (February-May 2013)- A recap of Thomas' early days.
  5. Small Railway Adventures (July 19th-30th; August 18th-28th)- The daily mishaps and adventures on the Small Railway.
  6. Culdee Fell Railway Adventures (canceled) (Probably was to air in late 2013.)

Trivia

  • 100 episodes were reached in the New Year's A Bad Omelette. The 200th episode was The Unstoppable Nix. There were 300 episodes in total by the time of the last episode in the twentieth season.
  • Thomas Proves His Point, The Return of Henry, and Dodger Saves Christmas are the only episodes not to be on a season, instead they were stand-alone episodes that were released separately. Dodger Saves Christmas however, is a pre-season story, unlike the first two.
  • The series produced some mini-series.
  • Percy and Kevin's Adventure, The End of Sodor, and The Case of the Missing Engines are dedicated to veterans who have fought for our countries.
  • From the fifteenth season onwards, a rewrite of an episode from the Thomas the Tank Engine TV series will air preview to the season, and/or a special episode explaining some sort of event in the season might also air.
  • From the twelfth season onwards, there is a foreword at the beginning of each season.
  • The series is over seven years old as of June 2018.
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