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Thomas The Tank Engine

Model Railway Advice



Introduction

 

Thomas the tank engine models are produced by Hornby for 00 gauge railways. The models are a bit lacking in detail but this also makes them resistant to abuse from children. Hornby also produce a wide range of rolling stock and buildings and has recently expanded the range (2005).

Hornby Thomas The Tank Engine - R351

Hornby have also produced a set of its track packs for a specific Thomas the tank engine layout. Personally if I was to build a train set for my children I would build the normal track mat layout and run Thomas locomotives, wagons and coaches as the specific Thomas layout is shorter in length and has more sidings and variety.

 


The World of Thomas The Tank Engine

 

"Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends" is situated on the Island of Sodor where an extensive Island railway is worked by a group of engines each with there own personality. The Locomotives on the Island of Sodor are mainly Steam trains, with the Island being untouched by the modernisation of most Railway systems.

 


The History

 

Thomas the Tank Engine is based on a series of books by W.V. Awdry which were based on stories that Awdry told his Son Christopher when he was suffering from the measles.

 

Britt Allcroft bought the television rights to the stories in 1980 and began making the first series. The first series was narrated by Ringo star better known for being the drummer for the beatles.

 


The Track

(Positioning the track and designing the layout)

 

Before you start laying the track you will have to build a baseboard. To get advice on building you baseboard click here

To get advice about model railway track click here. To get advice on building and designing a layout click here

 

On the TV show the island of Sodor has three tracks on its main line suggesting the use of three ovals. This is probably two much for young children so I would stick to just two which is depicted on the Sodor branch lines. This will also make more space for sidings to store your troublesome trucks.

 

You will require lots of sidings for your trucks and coaches for Thomas and his friends to move around the layout. you should electrify all the points which are difficult to reach. This will add and extra level of play into your layout. By including an electronic turntable like the Hornby one pictured below you can effectively create Tidmouth Engine sheds. It will also allow you to easily store all your locos.

 


The Buildings And Places

 

Tidmouth Engine shed - Probably the most famous location on the island of Sodor is the Tidmouth engine sheds and turntable. Electronic turntables are available from Hornby (R070 see below) and by positioning a couple of double track engine sheds around it you should be able to recreate the whole scene. (picture shows two Hornby Engine sheds R8004 end to end)

Hornby electronic turntable R070 Hornby Engine sheds R8004

Station - Sodor has many stations but the most famous is Natford Station which has more than 5 platforms and is covered by a canopy. I don't think this would be easy to model for people with restricted space so I would advise that you build the smaller station that is depicted at the beginning of Thomas the tank engine TV show. It is a small single platform station and could be positioned in many places on your layout. Below are two possible Hornby stations that you could use. The first is the Thomas Building Pack A (R9081) RRP 19.99

Hornby Thomas Building Pack A R9081

And the Second is the Hornby Country Station (R8000) RRP 25.99

Hornby country station (R8000)

Both can be extended by buying extra sections of platform although you will have to buy a pack of fencing (R513) if you don't want gaps.

 

Gordon's Hill - Gordon's Hill is a three track section of the line which goes up a steep hill. It has featured in story lines where one of Thomas's friends does not have enough strength to pull a heavy train up it. The read how to create inclines click here

 


Possible Story lines

 

Running Passenger Services - A lot of the work on the island of Sodor involves the movement of people from one side to the other, from station to station. The larger engines (Gordon, Henry) Pull the express trains where as the smaller engines pull the slower branch lines. The Island has two airports and a bus station to take passengers too.

 

Moving Freight - Whether it be delivering coal in troublesome trucks or Delivering the mail with the mail train, there is always something that needs to be moved to and from a part of the island. The island has the places where freight comes form and goes to.

 

Slate Quarry (and 4 other quarries)

Brendam Docks

Haunted Mine

Knapford Harbour

Scrap Yard

Fuel Depo

Coaling Plant

Wood Saw Mill

Dryaw Airfield

to name but a few.

 

Train crash - It seems Like most of the episodes that I have seen involve a crash or natural disaster, and I would not be surprised if children playing with a set will also want to do this, whether it be running a locomotive into coaches, wagons, or something on the track (eg a fallen tree) or a pretend storm that destroys buildings and blocks the track.

 

Breakdown crane - With crashing comes recovery and what better than having an excuse to use a breakdown crane to pick the train up and put it back on the rails, or to help rebuild the signal box that was destroyed in the storm and to clear the track of fallen trees. Hornby Produce a hand operated Breakdown crane (R9216) which is great for little kids (and us big kids) to play out crash scenes.

Hornby Thomas Large Breakdown Crane R9216


Thomas The Tank Engine Model List

 

Steam

Name

Wheel

configuration

Hornby Code

Prototype

(The Real Life Loco)

Hornby Thomas The Tank Engine - R351

Thomas

The Tank Engine

0-6-0

R351

London, Brighton and South Coats (LBSC) Railway E2 Steam Tank Engine

Hornby Edward - R9232

Edward

The Blue Engine

4-4-0

R9232

Modified Furness Railway with Larger Seagull

Hornby Henry The Green Engine - R9049

Henry

The Green Engine

4-6-0

R9049

LNER A3 Steam Tender Engine, Later LMS Railway 5MT "Black Five" Steam Tender Engine

Hornby Gordon The Big Blue Engine - R383

Gordon

The Big Blue Engine

4-6-2

R383

LNER A1 Steam Tender Engine, rebuilt with LMS running gear and tender.

Hornby James The Red Engine - R852

James

The Red Engine

2-6-0

R852

LMS Pre-group Steam Tender Engine such as a Hughes 2-6-0 of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway

Hornby Percy Saddle Tank - R350

Percy

Saddle Tank

0-4-0

R350

Avonside Steam Saddle Tank Engine Heavily Modified W.Awdry seemed uncertain as to Percy's Prototype

Hornby Toby The Tram - R9046

Toby

The Tram

0-6-0

R9046

Wisbech Steam Tram J70 0-6-0T

Hornby Duck GWR Pannier Tank - R382

Duck

GWR Pannier Tank

0-6-0

R382

GWR 57xx Steam Pannier Tank Engine

N/A - No.9

Donald

0-6-0

 

 

N/A - No.10

Douglas

0-6-0

 

 

Hornby Oliver - R9070

Oliver

0-4-2

R9070

GWR 1400 Class Steam Tank Engine

Hornby Stepney - R9069

Stepney

Bluebell Engine

0-6-0

R9069

LBSC 0-6-0 Class A1X Terrier

         

Hornby Emily - R9231

Emily

4-2-2

R9231

GNR Stirling Single Steam Tender Engine

Hornby Bill - R9047

Bill

0-4-0

R9047

Bagnall Steam Saddle Tank Engine

Hornby Ben - R9048

Ben

0-4-0

R9048

Bagnall Steam Saddle Tank Engine

         
Hornby Thomas The Tank Engine Spencer R9257

Spencer

4-6-2

R9257

LNER A4

Hornby Thomas The Tank Engine Flying Scotsman R9098

Flying Scotsman

4-6-2

R9098

LNER A3

 

Diesel

Name

Wheel

configuration

Hornby Code

Prototype

(The Real Life Loco)

Hornby Devious Diesel R9050

Devious Diesel

0-6-0

R9050

British Railways Class 08 Diesel Shunter

Hornby Arry Diesel

 Arry The Iron Works Diesel

0-6-0

R9067

British Railways Class 08 Diesel Shunter

Hornby Bert Diesel

 Bert The Iron Works Diesel

0-6-0

R9066

British Railways Class 08 Diesel Shunter

D7101

Bo-Bo

R9097

 

Hornby Diesel Loco

Diesel Loco

Co-Co

R9064

British Railways Class 37

  

 

Coaches

Name

Wheel

configuration

Hornby Code

Prototype

(The Real Life Loco)

Hornby Thomas Annie Coach R110

Annie 4 Wheel Coach

 

R110

 

Hornby Thomas Clarabel 4 Wheel Coach R112

Clarabel 4 Wheel Coach

 

R112

 

Hornby Thomas James Composite Coach R9051

James Composite Coach

 

R9051

 

Hornby Thomas James Brake Coach R9052

James Brake Coach

 

R9052

 

Hornby Thomas Gordons Composite Coach R120

Gordon's Composite Coach

 

R120

 

Hornby Thomas Gordon's Brake Coach R121

 Gordon's Brake Coach

 

R121

 

 

 

Wagons

Name

Wheel

configuration

Hornby Code

Prototype

(The Real Life Loco)

Hornby Thomas Large Breakdown Crane R9216

Large Breakdown Crane

 

R9216

 

Hornby Thomas Sodor Fuel Tanker R9055

Sodor

Fuel Tanker

 

R9055

 

Hornby Thomas Milk Wagon R105

Milk Wagon

 

R105

 

Hornby Thomas Tar Tanker R9006

Tar Tanker

 

R9006

 

Hornby Thomas Brake Van R109

Brake Van

 

R109

 

Hornby Thomas Troublesome Truck 2 R9054

 Troublesome Truck 2

 

R9054

 

Hornby Thomas Troublesome Truck 1 R9053

Troublesome Truck 1

 

R9053

 

Hornby Thomas Sodor Scrap Co Wagon R9056

Sodor Scrap Co Wagon

 

R9056

 

Hornby Thomas Open Wagon R107

Open Wagon

 

R107

 

 Hornby Thomas S C Ruffy Wagon R9068

S C Ruffy Wagon

 

R9068

 

 

Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends Reviews

Hornby Model Railway Thomas The Tank engine And Friends, Annie and Clarabel  Review Hornby Model Railway Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends - Percy and 2 Troublesome Trucks Review Hornby Model Railway Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends - Toby and 3 Trucks Review

 

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