The Engines of Sodor is a series that gave a proper backstory to a character introduced between the fifth and seventeenth seasons of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and it aired from July 1st to July 30th, 2015 on BBC.
The celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Railway Series was a sucess and now the Fat Controller has a big plan for the North Western Railway.
Sir Topham Hatt - I hearby announce an expansion project for the North Western Railway. I will be bringing new engines in to help.
Join the engines as they welcome a new group of engines into their railway.
Spencer - I'm Spencer.
Gordon - Oh, the indignity!
There will be all new locations.
Sir Topham Hatt - You will assisting in the building of the new Airport.
Duck - An extension?
Oliver - Wow, we'll have more tourists than ever.
Join in this summer in The Engines of Sodor.
An expansion project for the North Western Railway.
Airing from July 1st to July 30th on BBC.
There will be one non-canon to Adventures on Rails season and will be released from July 1st, to July 30th, 2015 after the last special of Adventures on Rails has been released. It will see engines like Murdoch, Arthur, Emily, and Whiff's own proper revised backstory that the Television Series never gave them. On June 2nd, the serie's creator MainLineEngines opened the possiblity of extending the series to 26 episodes. It has also been revealed it will take place during a time of a railway expansion. On June 18th, 2014, it was confirmed that the series would be 26 episodes, and Stephen, Millie, Connor and Caitlin, Derek, the Logging Locos and Porter would have their own introduction. On July 7th, 2014, the first details about the episodes were given, and more will be released throughout the rest of the year. It has also been announced that it will focus a lot more on the Kirk Ronan Branch Line, the Norramby Branch Line, and an extension for The Little Western up to Harwick. New locations will also appear, such as Great Waterton and Sodor Airport.
- Emily's New Coaches - Emily is a new engine who arrives to help on Thomas' Branch Line.
- Harvey to the Rescue - Harvey is at first discriminated by some of the engines for his strange appearence, but he soon proves his worth.
- Peace and Quiet - Murdoch is annoyed with all the noise at the sheds, but changes his mind after some sheep block his tracks.
- Gordon and Spencer - When a shiny new A4 named Spencer arrives on Sodor, he takes in a rivalry with Gordon due to their prestige on the LNER.
- Spotless Record - Arthur is a strong tank engine from the LMS with a spotless record who arrives to help out with the fish traffic.
- Double Teething Troubles - A new diesel named Derek arrives and his cooling system causes trouble for the engines at the Clay Pits.
- Molly's Special Job - Molly is not exactly the expert at handling coal trucks, but with Dodger's help she soon learns how to handle trucks and the importance of her job.
- Neville Proves a Point - Neville proves to the other engines, that despite his diesel appearence, he really is a good friend and a really useful engine.
- Mighty Mac - A Double Fairlie with opposing personalities arrive to help with vacationers on the Skarloey Railway.
- Rosie and Thomas - A new engine named Rosie starts bothering Thomas, so the Fat Controller sends her to the Kirk Ronan Branch Line.
- Fearless Freddie - A new narrow guage engine comes to the Skarloey Railway and he quickly earns the nickname of "Fearless" Freddie.
- Emily's Rubbish - Emily is given the task of collecting rubbish with a rubbish collecting engine named Whiff.
- Don't Be Silly, Billy! - A new engine named Billy soon learns the importance of patience on the Norramby Branch Line.
- Hector the Horrid! - A new truck named Hector starts causing problems for Molly and Dodger at the Coal Mines.
- Stanley Helps Out - Norman breaks down again, so the Fat Controller brings in another engine to help.
- Hiro of the Rails - After years of being hidden on an old line, Thomas is determined to help Hiro get back on the tracks.
- Charlie and Thomas - Charlie, a very playful engine comes to help out on Thomas' Branch Line.
- Scruff the Scruncher - A small tank engine comes to help Whiff out at the Rubbish Dump.
- Fiery Flynn - A fire engine who runs on both road and rail arrives on the Island.
- Big Belle - When the Manager of the Fire Station brings in a firefighting engine on rails, the fire engines begin to feel their position threatened.
- Welcome Stafford! - The Fat Controller decides the Peel Godred Electric Engines need help on their Branch Line.
- Sidney's New Wheels - When the Fat Controller proposes an extension from Arlesburgh to Harwick, the Little Western engines begin to think they might need help.
- The Rocket - An old friend of the Earl of Sodor comes to the reopening of Ulfstead Castle.
- Millie's New Job - A new engine named Millie arrives to help Stephen with tours at Ulfstead Castle.
- You Can't Catch Me! - Two fast streamlined engines come to Sodor to help with bringing in passengers.
- Down by the Docks - A new engine named Porter arrives to help Salty at Brendam Docks.
- Donald and Douglas
- Peter Sam
- 'Arry and Bert
- The Peel Godred Electric Engines
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Mr. Percival
- Mr. Hugh
- Sir Robert Norramby
- Emily - a beautiful Striling Single who comes to help out on passenger duties on Thomas' Branch Line.
- Harvey - a crane engine that works wherever needed and helps out in the case of accidents.
- Murdoch - a strong British Standard Class 9F who pulls heavy goods across Sodor.
- Spencer - an LNER A4 'Pacific' who takes a rivalry with Gordon.
- Arthur - a strong tank engine with a "Spotless Record" and likes the smell of fish.
- Derek - a BR Class 17 who often overheats.
- Molly - a big, powerful "Claud Hamiliton" who hauls trucks back and fowards from the Vicarstown Coal Mines and is good friends with Dodger.
- Neville - a steam engine who looks like a diesel that usually carries slow goods on the Kirk Ronan Branch Line.
- Mighty Mac - a double sided Fairlie locomotive with opposing personalities who work on the Skarloey Railway.
- Rosie - a small Southern Railway USA Dock Tank who shunts on the Kirk Ronan Branch Line.
- Freddie - an old engine who knows many secret routes on the Skarloey Railway.
- Whiff - an LNER X1 "Aerolite" who works at the Rubbish Dump.
- Billy - a Manning Wardle who pulls goods and passengers on the Norramby Branch Line.
- Hector - a hopper truck who usually resides at Vicarstown Coal Mines.
- Stanley - a cheerful, jovial tank engine who works on Edward's Branch Line.
- Hiro - an old Japanese engine who was lost in a forest until Thomas rediscovers him.
- Charlie - another Manning Wardle who comes to help on Thomas' Branch Line.
- Scruff - a small box-shaped steam engine who shunts on the Norramby Branch Line.
- Belle - a fire fighting engine.
- Flynn - a red fire engine.
- Stafford - a battery powered shunting engine who works at Killdane.
- Sidney - a forgetful BR Class 08 who shunts on the Little Western.
- Stephen - a very old engine who runs tours around Ulfstead Castle.
- Millie - a small French, narrow guage tank engine who runs tours around Ulfstead Castle.
- Caitlin - a streamlined engine who brings passengers to Sodor.
- Connor - a streamlined engine who brings passengers to Sodor.
- Porter - a tank engine who works with Salty at Brendam Docks.
About and Inspiration
The series will be about most characters introduced between the fifth and seventeenth seasons of the original Thomas the Tank Engines and Friends series that have no specific background or no established role in the series. It will also expand upon one-offs like Billy and Derek.
Inspiration came from the fact that the writer, MainLineEngines felt that these engines could have a lot of potential if introduced as real engines who worked on the British Railways and if they could have a proper role on Sodor. Because he felt introducing so many characters in a short time in the original series, Adventures on Rails, he created this series specifically for that purpose. It was also decided that one reason for so many engines would be a railway expansion, with several new projects such as an extension from Arlesburgh to Harwick, reopening of the Norramby Branch Line, and extension from Ffarquhar to Ulfstead on Thomas' Branch Line. It will also see more locations such as the Sodor Suspension Bridge, Great Waterton, Sodor Airport, Ulfstead Castle, just to name a couple. Each and every one of these engines will have a touching backstory that will make them interesting and also they will actually have a job that will make them Really Useful Engines.
Some of the characters featured in this series appeared in Thomas and the Avalanche. The Writer's original intent was to eventually include everything that had been introduced in the series. However, the plan was cancelled due to the changing standards of writing and the difficulty in integrating everything. It was decided that Molly would join the Adventures on Rails cast. This was made official by presenting her full backstory in Real Engines. In 2018, Emily also joined the cast after her status was disputed in the past two years. As of Work and Play, she is part of the cast. In addition, both engines were written into the revision of James and Percy further establishing them as part of the official cast. It has also been announced that Thomas and the Avalanche will be revised in December 2019 with Connor and Caitlin being replaced by Pip and Emma and Flying Scotsman.
- Paxton and Norman were meant to be introduced in this series, but instead joined the Adventures on Rails cast by being introduced in the thirteenth season.
- This series was also meant to given the main cast of Adventures on Rails (excluding Thomas, David, Dodger, Delete, and Russell as they had already been properly introduced) their own proper backstories most of them lack. This was cancelled due to lack of interest, and it was then decided that only characters not introduced should receive their proper backstory.
- This will be the last Adventures on Rails related project.
- The series was originally was going to be 20 episodes long, but then was extended to 26 episodes to given proper introductions to more recent characters of the Television Series. It was also due to air from July 1st to August 1st, 2015, but was rescheduled to July 1st to July 30th, 2015.
- This mini-series will lead right into the upcoming short, The End of the North Western Railway in November 2015.
- All episodes have forewords much like season post-Season 12 in Adventures on Rails.