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LNERW1 Starts Arguments-Episode II: The Thomas Menace

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LNERW1

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See title. There is a huge following for the children's TV show "Thomas and Friends". I am one of the people who make up that following. This is an area created for Irish Thomas fans (and they do exist) to share news directly related to the show and any Irish links it may have. Slightly worried about putting this on a serious model railway forum, but hopefully nobody's going to extract the urine out of me for it. I'm not going to try to justify it because people have a problem with niche hobbies...

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11 hours ago, LNERW1 said:

See title. There is a huge following for the children's TV show "Thomas and Friends". I am one of the people who make up that following. 

 

Anybody who either doesn't or hasn't like or liked Thomas and Friends has no soul.

 

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11 hours ago, LNERW1 said:

See title. There is a huge following for the children's TV show "Thomas and Friends". I am one of the people who make up that following. This is an area created for Irish Thomas fans (and they do exist) to share news directly related to the show and any Irish links it may have.

A person on Facebook said (and when your only source is Facebook you know your in Trouble) said that one of Audrey’s stories was directly inspired by one incident on the Cork and Macroom Railway. The incident in question happened in 1952. The post was accompanied with the following article. I, naturally, have never followed this up with any further research….So take with a pinch of salt! 
 

if this is true, then making up a train of some cattle wagons and a GSWR F6 tank engine shouldn’t be to hard to recreate. 

32858A8C-6608-4A30-93D1-1F0076482F9F.thumb.jpeg.18699e15ad2a37026dd1df396716d805.jpeg

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Interesting in confusing the Macroom de-railment and Muskerry train/steam roller 'race"

Loose-coupled goods breaking apart (broken coupler or broken wagon axle) and the driver not realising that anything was wrong were failrly common.

There was a newspaper (Indo) article on a wagon on a Mayo-Line goods breaking and wagons piling up behind it at Ballyhaunis, the driver did not realise anything was wrong until the Signalman at Claremorris asked what happened to the remainder of his train.

The last Kingsbridge-Tralee Goods (1978) broke apart and ran back into the station when a coupler failed as the train climbed the Gullet. Hopefully the guard jumped off when he realised the train was running back, the wagons would have piled up over and around the van when it hit the buffers at Heuston Station

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The role of the goods guard is easily underestimated - they had a crucial job to do managing coupling tension on a loose coupled train. A fantastic display inside a brake van at Bucks Railway Centre, Quainton Road, opened my eyes on this, which I hadn’t really twigged before.  The work involved in getting a long train over a difficult curved and steep road such as Portadown to Derry or Sligo to Enniskillen was challenging to put it mildly…..

Edited by Galteemore
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11 hours ago, Westcorkrailway said:

A person on Facebook said (and when your only source is Facebook you know your in Trouble) said that one of Audrey’s stories was directly inspired by one incident on the Cork and Macroom Railway. The incident in question happened in 1952. The post was accompanied with the following article. I, naturally, have never followed this up with any further research….So take with a pinch of salt! 
 

if this is true, then making up a train of some cattle wagons and a GSWR F6 tank engine shouldn’t be to hard to recreate. 

32858A8C-6608-4A30-93D1-1F0076482F9F.thumb.jpeg.18699e15ad2a37026dd1df396716d805.jpeg

A bit of a blood bath for what is a kids book, no?

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The Little blue tank engine, helped by COVID-19 boredom is what got my interest in Railways going, and despite my interest in the railway series being overshadowed by the real thing in recent months, Awdreys creation still holds a place in my heart. Looking forward to seeing whose names come up in this thread.

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One thing I've had thoughts about every now and again is what if the 8 Famous Engines (and others) were given an Irish basis.

And on that line of thought, the GNR Qs are an almost dead ringer for Edward. Large gap between boiler and running board, funnel's the right shape, dome's in the right place, round-topped firebox, even the gnr tender 131 runs with these days is about the right sort. The dates also match fairly well, so that's a nice bonus. Only major difference is the cab being completely off. 

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10 hours ago, minister_for_hardship said:

A bit of a blood bath for what is a kids book, no?

The illustration in the book simply shows the split train, with no evidence of dismembered cattle parts or blood spattered planks. The clear impression is that - however contrary to the laws of physics - the cows broke through unscathed. 

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I much prefer the "original" Thomas series, as voiced by Ringo Starr. Main reason being they were actual films, which used (I think) Gauge One models and were based on the Awdrey books. Less sure about all the new stuff, which seems a bit twee and cartoon like. Nostalgia IS what it used to be! However, if it gets kids interested in railways, that's fine by me.

 Serious, 0 gauge modellers should note that the Connoisseur LNER Wisbech and  Upwell Tramway etched brass kit comes complete with a nice set of Toby nameplates. Built one years ago and bought the Awdrey book so I could draw a face on a piece of card for each end. Was initially worried what the purists might say, but it just made everyone smile and kids loved it.

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My aunt in the uk was a great one for picking up second hand books and passing them on to me, some really old ones too; I was convinced that Ceylon and Rhodesia still existed. I was given one book from the original Railway Series (which somehow survived to this day) and bought maybe a handful of later Ladybird style of Thomas books in the 80s, the illustrations looked like stills from the Ringo era shows. I never watched the TV shows, as we had a two channel house.

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2 hours ago, David Holman said:

I much prefer the "original" Thomas series, as voiced by Ringo Starr. Main reason being they were actual films, which used (I think) Gauge One models and were based on the Awdrey books. Less sure about all the new stuff, which seems a bit twee and cartoon like. Nostalgia IS what it used to be! However, if it gets kids interested in railways, that's fine by me.

 Serious, 0 gauge modellers should note that the Connoisseur LNER Wisbech and  Upwell Tramway etched brass kit comes complete with a nice set of Toby nameplates. Built one years ago and bought the Awdrey book so I could draw a face on a piece of card for each end. Was initially worried what the purists might say, but it just made everyone smile and kids loved it.

Not at all, David. Johnny Morris reading the books on LPs was The Man.

Now, I'm showing my age!

Even the great Mac Arnold - not an easy man to please - said that Mr Awdry's books were pretty correct technically and he encouraged his grandchildren to read them.

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8 minutes ago, leslie10646 said:

Not at all, David. Johnny Morris reading the books on LPs was The Man.

Now, I'm showing my age!

Even the great Mac Arnold - not an easy man to please - said that Mr Awdry's books were pretty correct technically and he encouraged his grandchildren to read them.

Fabulous - if Mac approved that’s a seal of approval indeed. Awdry’s initial story series was entirely drawn from real life railway incidents. 

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I vaguely remember the Rev Awdry (Well the operator was wearing a dog collar so I'm pretty sure it was him) showing a Thomas the Tank Engine layout at Central Hall Westminster in the original MRC Annual Exhibition CA 1970. The layout plan also figured in Cyril Freezer's Peco 'Plans for Smaller Layouts' booklet.

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2 hours ago, David Holman said:

I much prefer the "original" Thomas series, as voiced by Ringo Starr. Main reason being they were actual films, which used (I think) Gauge One models and were based on the Awdrey books. Less sure about all the new stuff, which seems a bit twee and cartoon like. Nostalgia IS what it used to be! However, if it gets kids interested in railways, that's fine by me.

 Serious, 0 gauge modellers should note that the Connoisseur LNER Wisbech and  Upwell Tramway etched brass kit comes complete with a nice set of Toby nameplates. Built one years ago and bought the Awdrey book so I could draw a face on a piece of card for each end. Was initially worried what the purists might say, but it just made everyone smile and kids loved it.

I think the original models used were G scale, with 0 gauge for the narrow gauge engines.

 

Awdry's writings were a great introduction to the world of railways and he always strived to ensure technical accuracy to his stories. From a modelling POV, reading the depth of history he wrote for Sodor is appladable and appeals for the modeller wanting to do something a little different. The MSR a mashup of Corris, Ffess and WHR practices, what's not to love?

 

20230508_224819.jpg.446387186c495b4bf52271500cdc75fe.jpg

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20 hours ago, Hadren Railway said:

One thing I've had thoughts about every now and again is what if the 8 Famous Engines (and others) were given an Irish basis.

And on that line of thought, the GNR Qs are an almost dead ringer for Edward. Large gap between boiler and running board, funnel's the right shape, dome's in the right place, round-topped firebox, even the gnr tender 131 runs with these days is about the right sort. The dates also match fairly well, so that's a nice bonus. Only major difference is the cab being completely off. 

Funny actually, I’ve always thought that James’ TV series model looked far closer to the DSER’s Woolwich Moguls than his supposed basis, the Lanky class 27. As in, he looks nothing like the L&Y loco and almost identical to the DSER one.

Also, wow! Really shows how accepting and open-minded ye are that this conversation is entirely positive. If this was a US-based forum, I shouldn’t wonder it would be different…

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2 hours ago, skinner75 said:

Someone put together this horror themed movie of Thomas the Tank Engine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4SLJM9A2NA

One of the many horror stories made by Thomas’ community- this one based around more shock and gore than anything, but many of the spooky tales made by fans are based more around psychological horror. Search YouTube for “The Half Engine”, I would recommend [thebogieboy]’s video. And yes, that is the formatting used by the channel.

This video is an overview of notable ones.

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14 hours ago, David Holman said:

... were actual films, which used (I think) Gauge One models...

Correct, more or less. All seasons from 1984's Season 1 to 2008's Season 12 used Gauge One models to represent the standard gauge locos on the North Western Railway (North Western Region under BR), with 0 gauge being used to represent the narrow-gauge locos of the Skarloey and Mid Sodor railway when used in shots with the Gauge 1 models, but larger more detailed Gauge 1 (which at that point is basically being used as G) used in shots displaying just the narrow gauge. There were also Gauge 3 models made of Thomas and Percy, in about 2002 IIRC, for use with the Gauge 1 narrow gauge props and the larger scale models used for the short-lived 2002-or-3-I-cant-quite-remember spinoff, Jack and the Pack. There were also larger scale models of the engines cabs built for use with larger model figurines, and a full-sized version of Thomas' cab, bunker and firebox, albeit painted entirely green, for use with human actors in 2000's Thomas and the Magic Railroad. So yes, mainly gauge 1.

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On 3/3/2024 at 9:38 PM, Westcorkrailway said:

A person on Facebook said (and when your only source is Facebook you know your in Trouble) said that one of Audrey’s stories was directly inspired by one incident on the Cork and Macroom Railway. The incident in question happened in 1952. The post was accompanied with the following article. I, naturally, have never followed this up with any further research….So take with a pinch of salt! 
 

if this is true, then making up a train of some cattle wagons and a GSWR F6 tank engine shouldn’t be to hard to recreate. 

32858A8C-6608-4A30-93D1-1F0076482F9F.thumb.jpeg.18699e15ad2a37026dd1df396716d805.jpeg

That story would probably be the beginning of the Season 2 episode “Moo!”. I can’t remember the name of the story it was based on.

Also, the Season 5 episode “A Better View for Gordon”, or involves a crash through the end of a terminus that took heavy inspiration from Montparnasse, but may have bern partially inspired by the 1900 Harcourt St. crash.

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On 5/3/2024 at 1:59 PM, DJ Dangerous said:

Lots of behind-the-scenes videos on YouTube, such as this:

 

 

The line at the end- "Thomas seems unlikely to run out of steam for years to come". Little did they know, thirty years later Mattel would be finishing up the short, swift and painful process of running it into the ground. The fact that this year marks the 40th anniversary of a series that is still going (In some form), really impresses me.

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There’s a similar line which must have drawn its inspiration from Thomas, and that’s “Ivor the engine”, just one engine set with in Wales with the folks round him. I would think that this could be adapted to an Irish setting quite easily.

Theres a simple layout constructed on this theme described in this issue of the “Dispatch”, just page down until you reach “Ivor the Engine”

https://micromodelrailwaydispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Issue-6_final1.pdf
 

 

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17 hours ago, Northroader said:

There’s a similar line which must have drawn its inspiration from Thomas, and that’s “Ivor the engine”, just one engine set with in Wales with the folks round him. I would think that this could be adapted to an Irish setting quite easily.

Theres a simple layout constructed on this theme described in this issue of the “Dispatch”, just page down until you reach “Ivor the Engine”

https://micromodelrailwaydispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Issue-6_final1.pdf
 

 

Ivor predates the 1984 TV series by a decade at least. It may have taken a little inspiration from the Railway Series, but is generally quite a different experience from watching Thomas. There is a running joke in the Thomas fandom going along the lines of “Say it with me- not every show about talking trains is a ripoff of Thomas”. It’s true, and in fact Ivor doesn’t even talk!

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1 hour ago, LNERW1 said:

Ivor predates the 1984 TV series by a decade at least. It may have taken a little inspiration from the Railway Series, but is generally quite a different experience from watching Thomas. There is a running joke in the Thomas fandom going along the lines of “Say it with me- not every show about talking trains is a ripoff of Thomas”. It’s true, and in fact Ivor doesn’t even talk!

Yes, although the original Thomas books long precede Ivor. Awdry himself may well have drawn inspiration from a 1930s Hamilton Ellis cartoon….

IMG_0819.jpeg.f5022117508e78b6e390ac59feed219c.jpeg

There’s also a long forgotten series - which had an accompanying layout that regularly visited shows in the 50s-60s - called Sammy the Shunter. 

IMG_0816.jpeg

Edited by Galteemore
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  • 1 month later...

Can a manufacturer other than Bachmann start making Thomas models? Like, Bachmann's models are fine, but they're toy-grade and expensive, and I feel like Accurascale could do a Cl92 job and make a brilliant model for not a lot of money. So, really, I'm just waiting for an Accurascale E2, K2, Black 5, A1, GWR 0-40ST, J70, (duck done), CR 812, 14XX, Stirling Single, Class 08, Stroudley 4WL coaches, ummm...

List to be continued.

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1 hour ago, Brack said:

Nope. The license costs a lot and the IP owners enjoy a bit of legal action.

Yeah, I’ve heard of an instance where Mattel copyright struck a YouTube video for containing a PUBLICLY AVAILABLE and FULLY CREDITED clip that they themselves had released. (This was Thomas btw)

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50 minutes ago, RobertRoche said:

Has anyone watched this series on Youtube? I found it quite good at the time:

 

Love stuff like that. Reminds me of the “Jimmy the Jinty” series by DCG12B on YouTube. I’ll get a link now.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/5/2024 at 10:16 PM, LNERW1 said:

Yeah, I’ve heard of an instance where Mattel copyright struck a YouTube video for containing a PUBLICLY AVAILABLE and FULLY CREDITED clip that they themselves had released. (This was Thomas btw)

Should have mentioned that the clip fell under US fair use (both the creator and Mattel were/are based in the USA) and UK fair dealing. Also, as I’m currently looking at getting into Thomas YouTube, does anyone have the Irish equivalent of those laws?

On 3/5/2024 at 9:29 PM, RobertRoche said:

Has anyone watched this series on Youtube? I found it quite good at the time:

 

I can’t watch that- YouTube recommended the last episode where (I think) they all die, so it’s entirely ruined for me now… oh, the misery.

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