Here, we'll do our best to keep you informed
of the latest happenings in the Thomas world...
Thomas & The New Producer!
28th of January 2017
Winter and Ian McCue get promoted
have seen Micaela Winter’s name
featured as part of Thomas & Friends
from around 2014 when she stepped in to become the Production Manager for the
series.We first met her at the
screening of Tale of the Brave, and various
outings with Team Thomas since, and only have the highest of praise for this
bright, friendly, warm and generally lovely person – not to mention a reliable
pair of hands who has been one of the people key to the success of Team Thomas.
Micaela took up the task of becoming the new
Producer on Thomas & Friends,
taking over from Ian McCue in May, and the first work being produced under her
will be Series 21 and Journey Beyond Sodor.The news was disclosed to us at a special
screening of The Great Race in London
in July.We did ask if she had any grand
plans to shake things up again, however, assured us that the standard of work
that Ian McCue had begun would continue – and Andrew Brenner was remaining
firmly in the Head Writer’s chair to guide the writing team!
However, our good friend Mr McCue hasn’t stepped
away from Thomas & Friends – far from
it.The people above him at Fisher Price
and HIT Entertainment have recognised his hard work and rewarded him with a
promotion – Ian will now be serving as Senior Producer across all HIT
Entertainment brands, such as Bob the
Builder and Fireman Sam.He
still remains very much hands-on with Thomas & Friends, and is still a
very big part of Team Thomas.
We hope you’ll
all welcome Micaela with open arms
as the new Producer, she’s an absolute gem of a human being, a great friend and
supporter of SiF and someone we always enjoy meeting at Team Thomas days.She’s
been part of the winning team for many
years, and she’s just going to make things better again.
Wanted: Your Days Out With Thomas
Pictures & Videos!
July 17th, 2012
Sodor Island Fansite need your pictures and your videos!
People of the interwebs, we are currently in the process of renovating our Days
Out With Thomas page, and we need your help to finish it and make it look more splendid than ever.
We are in need of photographs and videos taken at Days Out With
Thomas events featuring engines dressed up as Thomas characters. We will welcome pictures from the United States,
Canada, Australia and other places that hold Days Out With Thomas events. No matter where they've been taken
or when, we will endeavour to use them as best we can. We particularly need images from The Mid-Hants Railway of their
Thomas and James, but we will accept videos and pictures from every railway that's held a Thomas event.
Our upcoming page is building up very nicely with info on the development of Days
Out With Thomas events, and how the engines from the Skarloey Railway have became frequent long-term visitors
to the Talyllyn Railway, among other items of interest!
Thomas & Friends Production
Moves To Arc Productions
February 6th, 2012
Thomas Moves To Toronto For Series 17 At Arc Productions
We had been aware of the news that Thomas was moving production houses since around the turn of the year.Whilst I had been told in strict confidence by my source, the other SiF staff found
out through other means, and all I could do was confirm the news.
Whilst we are not aware of when the decision for the changeover of animators was made, we are aware that Andrew
Brenner was working with Nitrogen Studios for part of 2011 at least.We had hoped
to break the news earlier this year, but with Nitrogen Studios still subject to confidentiality agreements, there was no means
of ethically confirming or denying this development.All signs had pointed to
Nitrogen producing the 17th series prior to the Arc takeover.
Fans can rest assured that all work done by Nitrogen is expected to be passed over to Arc Productions for work
on the upcoming seasons of Thomas, so very little is expected to change in terms of visual quality we have been seeing since
the end of 2009.
SiF would like to extend a very deep thanks to Nitrogen Studios for their dedication, hard work and stellar
visuals which have made the last four seasons and specials. We would like to
pay special tribute to Greg Tiernan, whose outstanding contribution and enthusiasm for Thomas’s world has been tremendous.Through the personal kindness and correspondence we have enjoyed with him, Greg will
always be a friend of Sodor Island Forums. We will endeavour to get some response we can publicise in the near future.
The new production team will see Rob Silvestri take over as Director and Kallan Kagan
assume the role of Producer.
Nitrogen’s last Thomas production will be Blue Mountain Mystery, due in September of 2012.
Series 16 launches in the UK on the 20th of February 2012!
New Voice Talents
The current voice cast will be joined by two new members: Steven Kynman
(best known as the voice of Fireman Sam in the CGI series) will be the new voice of Peter Sam and Paxton, whilst
Michael Legge will voice Luke in Blue Mountain Mystery. All three characters will maintain
the same voices for the UK and US versions.
An Old Face Returns
Some of the SiF Staff have known about the return of this character for quite
some time, but we have taken a vow of silence so as not to ruin the surprise for everyone else. We are not divulging
the name or giving any great clues as to who it is, as it would ruin the surprise. Unlike Butch, they are not expected
to be a leading player.
The Mystery Link
The Mystery Link is intended to go live tomorrow at 9am (UK time)
and give a bit of a pleasant surprise. An affiliate of SiForums and Fansite has exclusive and exciting news which you
are unlikely to hear anywhere else!
Series 16 due to launch this month!
February 3rd, 2012
Series 16 launches in the UK on the 20th of February 2012!
Episode 1: Race To The Rescue
Flynn is worried about travelling on the road for the first time, and chooses
to try and save the Fat Controller's shed by using the rails - instead of the quicker road route when Charlie makes fun of
Episode 2: Ol' Wheezy Wobbles It's
a bad day on Misty Island. Ol' Wheezy has stopped working! The Logging Locos don't know what to do, but Thomas is sure he
Episode 3: Express Coming Through It's
a big day on Sodor! The Fat Controller's mother, Dowager Hatt, is having a party and she has invited some very important visitors.
Episode 4: Percy and the Monster of Brendam On
the island of Sodor, the fog is beginning to swirl into Brendam Docks. Percy is there, listening to one of Salty's tales!
Episode 5: Ho Ho Ho Snowman
Charlie loves the snow and decides to show
Henry that it really can be fun! He hides behind a snowman and as Henry passes, Charlie pretends to be it!
SiF's MAGIC RAILROAD Mini-Site
November 17th 2011
The Magic Railroad Mini-Site is open for business!
After months of extensively overhauling and reorganizing the Magic Railroad Mini-Site,
we're pleased to officially relaunch this popular section of the Fansite! New content, some never before seen has been added,
so you're all invited to check out the changes!
Toy Giant Mattel to become Thomas's new controllers!
After months of rampant speculation, HIT Entertainment has finally been bought out by toy giant
Mattel for a sum of £420 million pounds – well down on the original estimation of over £1 billion which the company
had been touted for several months ago.The move will prove extremely lucrative
for Mattel in the long run, with the company holding exclusive rights to produce toys and games for the HIT Entertainment
brands which they are now due to own when the final transaction is made by early next year.
In our recent poll for Part 3 of our Thomas & The Takeover series of blogs, Mattel were not highly rated by fans of Thomas – and were not seen as likely contenders with
the likes of Disney in the running to buy up HIT as well and add it to their ever-growing portfolio of companies.
is the right home for Thomas & Friends®. This powerhouse brand is joining the ranks of such iconic brands as Barbie®,
Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price® and American Girl®,” said Robert A. Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer of
Mattel. “Thomas & Friends® routinely ranks among the world’s leading preschool toys. Additionally,
with more than half of the Thomas & Friends® revenue generated from non-toy products, this transaction will marry Mattel’s
global marketing, distribution and brand management capabilities with HIT Entertainment’s global programming and licensing
expertise to accelerate growth of the combined portfolio.”
Mattel are already the producers of several Thomas &
Friends toys, however, will take over exclusive production of merchandising over the next few years, with the addition
of the Thomas Wooden Railway franchise from 2013, which is currently under licence to the RC2 firm until the end of 2012,
when Mattel hope to expand this side of their business.Mattel previously acquired
the Die-cast metal / plastic line of toys from RC2 following the lead paint fiasco, and rebranded the Take-Along Thomas toy
line as Take And Play instead, whilst retaining the original tooling and distinctive look of the toy brand.
Mattel have been involved with the production HIT Entertainment
as recently as this year, with character designs for the 2014 movie done by the company for HIT Movies.Whilst the signs have been there that the two companies would soon be joining forces, they had been somewhat
ignored as the prospect of a takeover by a media group seemed more likely to fans.However,
given the emphasis that has been placed on the production and sale of toys for the Thomas brand particularly, it seems like
Mattel could be a natural choice.
Look out for a special edition of Thomas
& The Takeover – The Winning Bid later this week!
SiF to launch special auction to raise money for cancer charity in Matt Dawson’s memory
honour the memory of SiF member, Matt Dawson, who passed away in August after a prolonged battle with cancer, the SiF Staff
Team are currently preparing to launch a special auction to raise money for Clic Sargent Children Cancer Charity.
suffered from the most aggressive
form of Rhabdomyosarcoma – a cancer that affects the soft tissues and only affects about 50 children in the UK per year.However, despite this grueling challenge, he remained courageous and maintained a
positive outlook and won a great deal of support on SiF throughout his time with us.
We will launch a special E-bay Auction on Wednesday the 7th of September, which
will run for 10 days.Up for grabs is a very special package containing a copy
of Railway Series 42, Thomas And His Friends, signed by Christopher Awdry, along
with a copy of the Rev. W. Awdry’s biography – The Thomas The Tank Engine
Man, and a copy of Sodor: Reading Between The Lines.
This is a very special auction, the proceeds from which, will go to help a lot of children
suffering with cancer within the UK. Do not be discouraged from bidding if you live
outside of the UK, as we will gladly ship the books worldwide.
We would also like to encourage as many individual donations that people are willing to give
outwith the auction as possible.This will contribute to our overall total, and
everyone who donates will receive a place on our Roll of Honour.Even if it’s
only £1 or $1, it’s a contribution that will count toward the final total and help Clic Sargent fund their incredible
So please, bid on the auction or just give what you can to help us raise money for Clic Sargent Children Cancer Charity in memory of Matt Dawson.
SiF's New Look Thomas Episode
Guide Launches This Friday!
July 15th 2011
SiFansite now linked to from Juniper Junction and ToonHound!
SiF will be relaunching the Thomas Episode Guide this coming Friday. The Guide
has been updated with new banners and logos, as well as providing a range of links where to buy DVDs, and linking
to Channel 5's On Demand Service for Thomas.
The brand new Series 15 Page boasts links to Simon's Series 15 Blog Reviews,
the Roll Along Blog's Series 15 DVD poll, and a brand new parody written by Professor Vengeance, which is exclusive to the
We hope you enjoy the alterations we've made when they launch this Friday!
Chris Awdry pulls out of SiF Interview
August 6th 2011
SiF's Interview With Chris Awdry called off...
We are sad to announce that our interview with Christopher Awdry has been called off.Christopher had endeavoured to answer our questions last weekend, whilst conducting a Book Tour for Book
42, however, mitigating circumstances did not allow for this to happen.Although
he wishes us and fans of the Railway Series well, and thanks us for our support, he has decided to withdraw from the interview
at this present time.
Whilst we are disappointed about this, we accept the situation and send our
regards to Mr Awdry.This will not affect the upcoming competition that we hope
to run this month, however, where we will be giving away a signed copy of Railway Series 42 to one lucky winner.Full details will be coming soon.
Meet SiF's Equivalents From Japan!
July 26th 2011
SiFansite Interviews To Be Translated Into Japanese!
SiF’s many interviews with cast, crew, writers and musicians are to be made available to
a wider audience as they are translated into Japanese, to be showcased on the Peep
Peep Thomas Fansite, run by KC in Japan.Similar to ourselves, KC runs a
site, an associated YouTube Channel and tie-in Blog, all for the benefit of Japanese fans.
SiF has struck an agreement with Peep Peep Thomas that we will try to help each other out in future,
and pool our knowledge and expertise to provide many great benefits to the wider fanbase across the world.There is much to be learned from one another, and we hope to build on that in the coming months and years.
We are proud to be associated and linked with Peep Peep Thomas, and wish them dry rails and smooth
running for future.
SiFansite now linked to from Juniper Junction and ToonHound!
Prior to launching our Classic Kids Vids month, we showcased a trailer for
excellent stop-motion production, Juniper Junction, on Sodor Island Fansite. The response to the video was extremely
encouraging, and after a friendly exchange with the creators, we are now linked on their website and they can be found in
our links page.
SiFansite will launch a very special competition at the end of this week, where
three lucky people will win copies of Juniper Junction. Keep checking here for more details.
In addition to Juniper Junction, we are now also linked to from the excellent
ToonHound website, a brilliant reference guide for British animation, and a must-see for nostalgics who want
to relive their childhood. We will also be linking back to ToonHound to show our appreciation for their help.
EXCLUSIVE: Nitrogen Studios Reveal
Hand In Building E2 Thomas For 2014 Movie Poster
June 20th, 2011
Nitrogen Studios get a hand in creating authentic E2 Thomas for the
Many people have been in awe and pored over the poster of for the new Thomas Movie,
which sees our favourite blue tank engine authentically and faithfully depicted as a genuine E2 Billington Tank Engine.
Given that the press releases associated with the movie have named WNET as the source of the movie's special effects, we can
exclusively reveal that they did not build the E2 model for the poster.
There was speculation from the quality of the image that it was not the work of
Nitrogen Studios... SiF can exclusively reveal that Greg Tiernan and his team built the new Thomas model and supplied it for
the poster to be created. He is absolutely chuffed to the gut that people recognised it as a proper E2, and the
Nitrogen team are thrilled with the reaction it's been receiving and would like to pass on their gratitude
to the fans for their praise.
'The E2 that we built is based on two or three of the E2s that are pictured
in the Lawson Billinton biography, as well as some missing parts of the DNA (i.e. Areas on the engine that were not visible
in the photographs) being supplied by our referencing the restored Birch Grove E4.'
As a fellow Rail Fan, and a man with a passion for locomotives in general, I had
a funny feeling that Greg would be involved somehow. He has called the experience of building the E2 model 'extremely
satisfying', and given the quality of the work done, we can see why. It is as yet unconfirmed if Nitrogen will have a role within the actual production of the
new Thomas Movie due out in 2014. However, Greg assures us that if they are involved, Thomas fans will not be disappointed
with the quality of their work.
Helmer Shane Acker Named as New Thomas
Movie Director Plus Teaser Poster Art!
June 8th, 2011
9's Helmer Shane Acker will
With our many thanks to SiF's crscottjr
for sharing the following information.
It has been revealed that 9's award-winning film
director Shane Acker has been recruited to direct the upcoming Thomas theactrical movie. In an interview with Deadline.com, Acker reveals
the background plot that will serve as the basis for the movie.
"The tale will revolve around a pre-teen
boy who has drifted apart from his father. The son is introduced into this world of Sodor, a place his father visited as a
child but can't remember. There is a bonding experience."
The article also mentions that in addition
to Josh Klausner, the script was co-written by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, credited as writers for The Tale of Desperaux (2008). New Zealand's WETA digital, the renown company currently working of Rise of the Apes and Peter Jackson;s The Hobbit will
be creating the special effects for the Thomas Movie.
The movie itself will be geared for a slightly
older audience than the traditional pre-school age target of the current TV Series, but will still be considerate of
the younger viewers:
"Acker acknowledges that he wants to broaden
the movie's audience beyond pre-schoolers, but has no interest in causing nightmares."
What is encouraging is that movie spin-off merchandise will be sold in the toy vehicle section of retail stores
and kept separate from the line of toddler-geared Thomas products.
If the teaser poster artwork of our
favorite Billington E2 engine is an indication of the movie's quality, it indeed serves well as a movie we can all
look forward to seeing!
SiF wishes Mr. Acker and his team all the best with
dry rails with his upcoming work on the Thomas Movie!
Egmont Reveal Final Cover Art For
New Railway Series Book
The first synopsises of the new Railway Series
book, Thomas and his Friends have been revealed by Egmont Books:
Thomas and the Swan: Thomas rescues a swan from a bridge
parapet, and Pip and Emma make a welcome return.
Buffer Bashing: Donald and Douglas cause trouble
by smashing into the buffers.
Gordon's Fire Service: Gordon proves a hero on the
scene of a fire
Centenary: The engines prepare to celebrate the
centenary of the birth of the Thin Clergyman but must work quickly to make sure the celebration happens after an important
The first story is likely to be a rehash of
an Annual Story, adapted for use as a full Railway Series story. We would like to extend our thanks to modelsofsodor
on YouTube for revealing the information, however, would also like to make the public aware that the titles and subject matter
are subject to change as the sales information was uploaded before the book was actually written. There may be more
surprises in store before July's official release!
Railway Series 42 Cover Art Revealed
May 22nd, 2011
Egmont Reveal Final Cover Art For
New Railway Series Book
Whilst browsing on the Egmont website, we have found the official cover-art for the upcoming Railway
Series book, which is now confirmed to be officially titled Thomas & His Friends.
The cover-art seems to be an updated illustration of the Railway Series 39 – Thomas & The Fat Controller’s Engines.Why this has been
done remains to be seen, Egmont have not been forthcoming with details about the upcoming release, however, SiF will continue
to pursue them before the publication date in July.
Real Lives Of Thomas Contribute
To Royal Mail Awdry Centenary Stamps
May 21st, 2011
Real Lives Of Thomas Site To Be
Recognised In Royal Mail Publication Bulletin
SiF would like to extend our congratulations to our friends over at The Real Lives of Thomas site, who have had small input into the creation of the Royal Mail Stamps to celebrate
the 100th Birthday of the Reverend Wilbert Awdry in June.
SiF were contacted last weekend through our e-mail to consider allowing use of one of our articles
for the Royal Mail Bulletin, however, there was a failure on our part to act quickly enough, and we missed our chance to grant
permission to use our services.However, The
Real Lives of Thomas will be referenced in the upcoming Bulletin and fly the flag for the Railway Series and the original
The Real Lives of Thomas site is the only site dedicated to the works of the Reverend Awdry and the Railway Series books,
and not the Thomas The Tank Engine TV Series.Given the importance of 2011 as a year for the Awdry family and fans of the Railway Series, we would encourage all
visitors to Sodor Island Fansite to pay them a visit and learn about the true origins of the Island of Sodor.
Following Greg Tiernan’s promise that things were going to be looking up for Thomas and Friends,
we can now reveal that there is change on the way.Amidst
changes across the board at HIT Entertainment, Thomas’s Head Writer of seven series, Sharon Miller, has stood down from
the post to make way for new blood in the form of writing veteran, Andrew Brenner.
Whilst Greg had only stated that improvements and changes would take place, he never stated what
these would be explicitly.However, through a trusted source, the information
was revealed to us in mid-March, although we were asked not to say anything at that stage.We have since been given the blessing to confirm that the rumours currently circulating are true, and will yeild some hope for those let down by the Series 15 output.
Andrew has had previous involvement with Thomas, back in the days of the Britt Allcroft Company
when he was involved with comic stories which were adapted to the screen for Series 3.Since then he has gone on to become Head Writer for series such as Tractor Tom,
Angelina Ballerina, The Cramp Twins and
the new CGI Fireman Sam, as well as creating his own series Humf for Nick Jr. UK.
At this point, we do not know what Andrew’s definitive plans for the series are, and if they
will be accomplished.However, rumour
has it that he hopes to return the writing of the series to the original style, which hopefully means an end to the current
imposing, formulaic writing style.
However, Sharon Miller will still be involved with Thomas & Friends as the Voice Director for
the series.Her final contributions to the writing of the series will
come as part of Series 16, due to air in the autumn of this year, and is likely to have penned her final ‘Special’
for Thomas & Friends prior to this. The likelihood is that Andrew’s first contributions to the series will
air in 2012 when Series 17 airs.
The Sodor Island Community would like to wish Sharon all the best in future endeavours, and extend a
hearty welcome to Andrew Brenner as the new Head Writer for Thomas & Friends.
Extended Railway Series Guide
Launching In Stages Throughout 2011
May 1st, 2011
Brand New Mini-Site Launched!
Writing for new volumes as part of The Extended Railway Series Overhaul
was completed in December of 2010 after a long, painstaking process on the part of the ERS Staff.
Since then, the laborious job of completing the Extended Railway Series Online Guide has been going on steadily,
with new profiles for each of the characters being written up, and new profile images for each of the featuring Railway
Series and Extended Railway Series characters being created. There's still a long way to go, but each
section of the guide will be slowly pieced together over time.
The first piece to be semi-finalised for release is the SodOil Refinery, home to Kaiser the Fireless Engine.
We will be releasing more over time, and hope you will enjoy learning more about the developments we have made across
Sodor since the Railway Series left off in 1996.
Coming Later This Week...
April 4th, 2011
A Brand New Interview Coming This
Now that the time for April Fools gags has passed, Sodor Island Fansite
is proud to announce that our latest interview will be coming out this Friday – with none other than Greg Tiernan of
Nitrogen Studios, the current Director of the new CGI Thomas series.
Greg and Nicole Stinn have been kind enough to answer our extensive
range of questions over the series, their previous knowledge of the Railway Series, locomotives they’d like to see in
the series, and tell us a little bit about how they came to be where they are today with the excellent work that Nitrogen
Studios are providing.You may have been witness to their work before and never
This is by far our longest interview to date, and we thank Greg and
Nicole wholeheartedly for their honest, informative and very interesting answers.We
hope you’ll enjoy reading it when it launches this weekend!
First, A Few Final Words About The April Fool's Prank...
If you haven't already done so, we highly recommend
that you read Simon's SiF Blog entry about the motives behind this year's April Fool's prank. In the blog, Simon stresses the importance of why we should
all be excited about RWS No.42, and in comparison to how the early TV series generated positive memories that endure to this
day. To drive this message home, we shall not dwell upon the performance of the recent Series, but instead reflect back on
the way things used to be. On the 9th October 1984, a new Children's television series made its debut in the United Kingdom,
and two very prominent figures appeared on Good Morning Britain that day to promote the show...
This text will be replaced by the player
It is comforting to see the Rev. Awdry in such good
cheer as he endorses the new series. You will notice that at one point, the good Rev. is very complimentary of artist Clive
Spong, who at that time had illustrated son Christopher's 2nd RWS book: James and the Diesel Engines. Twenty-seven
years later, Clive demonstrates his continued loyalty to the RWS by providing the artwork for Volume 42 which will grace bookstall
shelves later this summer.
It is therefore fitting that we all pitch in to promote
No.42 whenever and however we are able to. In closing, we hope that this little treat inspires you to do that!
Note: We apologize for the clip's quality - it
was recorded by some anonymous Beatles fan on their VCR over a quarter-century ago!, and was found on a DVD of fan-compiled
Beatles telecasts. We hope to upload the edited clip to SiF's YT Channel in the near-future - in the meantime, enjoy! :)
No Word On Railway Series 42 As
April 1st, 2011
We'd Start Earlier This Year...
We are very sorry for getting people's hopes up, but this has probably been the best
April Fools Day gag we have pulled to date. There was a major clue left in the initial statement, which few people have
picked up on. I constructed the italics to read 'this is not true', and a few people caught us out early on
when they noticed. However, the hysteria it has caused on the Forum with speculation, and with the Thomas Wikia and
various blogs reporting the news, it's clear that not everyone read between the lines.
Above is an image of Sodor Castle, gifted to me from my good friends on the Sodor Island Staff Team back in August,
and painted beautifully by one of my favourite Railway Artists. The face is not a permanent fixture, it's been
photoshopped on for display purpose here.
As yet, no formal details have been revealed regarding Railway Series 42. Therefore, the book still
has a lot of surprises in store for fans of the books, and that mystery is most likely adding to the excitement and enthusiasm
that most are feeling for the book's publication date on the 4th of July this year. Given the disappointment felt by fans following HIT Entertainment's
most recent series, we would strongly encourage people to buy this book when it is published. It's a much-anticipated
release, and in the same breath, it's a restoration of our faith in Thomas when we need it the most.
SiF would like to wish Christopher Awdry and Egmont Books the best of luck with the new Railway Series
Fools Day Everyone!
Sodor Castle To Visit The Battlefield
March 27th, 2011
Railway Series favourite makes a personal appearance!
He’s featured in dozens of Extended Railway Series volumes, been committed to Trainz as a
Si3D model, and now Sodor Castle will be making his first public appearance at the Battlefield Railway on the 2nd of
April 2010 as a static display at the railway’s Day Out With Thomas events.
Sodor Castle will join Thomas, Fergus, BoCo, Daisy, The Fat Controller and Mr Conductor as they
have a fun and exciting day, filled with games, storytelling and races up and down the station at Shackerstone Station.
a brilliant event at the Battlefield Railway!
EXCLUSIVE: New RWS Character Identity
To Be Revealed By SiF
March 19th, 2011
News Regarding Railway Series 42
SiF have received
new information that the new Railway Series character due to debut in Book 42 will be a little ‘closer to home’
for SiF than anyone could have predicted or hoped for.We have received confirmation
on the character’s identity, and given our blessing for its use so that the artist may proceed with completing the images
prior to the publication.
This is by far a major milestone in SiF History, and we are delighted by the acknowledgement.The source has promised to share a sample of the as yet uncompleted artwork for the
new character toward the end of the month, and given us special permission to post it here for all to see.We ask that it is not reproduced on YouTube or elsewhere out
of respect to our source and their kindness.The SiF staff still cannot believe
the news is true!
To SiFansite For Updates On Railway Series 42!
HIT Confirm Info On
Series 15 & Day Of The Diesels
March 8th, 2011
Information Regading Series 15 & Day of The Diesels
HIT Entertainment have released a statement exclusively
to SiF with regards to the broadcasting status of Series 15, and the way it sits with regards to the upcoming Special.
For more information and to read the statement that HIT have released to us, please
visit The SiF Blog.
Amazon.co.uk have revealed what we hope is simply the prototype artwork for The Railway
Series 42 - Thomas & His Friends. It's highly unlikely that this is the finished product due out in July, given
the fact that they have reused an image which dates back to 1995 and Book 39, and the 'working title' is still in place.
Greg Tiernan & Nicole Stinn Send Their
Regards To SiF
March 4th, 2011
Greg and Nicole encourage the fans to keep the faith –
better things are coming!
If you’ve been reading The SiF Blog this week, you’ll have
read Simon’s reviews on Series 15 and the general state of affairs with the current Thomas & Friends production
as a whole.The reviews and comments with regard to the writing have been particularly
scathing, but a great deal of favour has been found with the CGI production itself.
Much to my surprise this evening, I received a lovely e-mail from Greg Tiernan (Director)
and Nicole Stinn (Producer) to assure SiF’ers and the wider fandom that better things are coming:
Just a quick note to congratulate you and everyone at the Sodor Island Forums on reaching the million and a
half hits mark. It's a very noteworthy achievement and testament to you and the SiF members' dedication and support of the
Rev. Awdry's legacy.
We also want to thank you and the SiF members for your support and appreciation of Nitrogen's
contribution to Thomas & Friends. Our team works very hard and is extremely dedicated in our attempt to make our work
on each show and special better than the last. We make our fair share of mistakes, 雴Ᏹ>but it really does mean
a lot to us to see that our efforts are being appreciated by the older fan base of the show.
We're very aware of the
current disappointment among Thomas' fans with the writing on the show, but we sincerely hope that this current disappointment
will not dampen your members' enthusiasm for future Thomas seasons and specials. To quote the Fat Controller, "... you will
see, Diesel 10, that some things are worth waiting for...".
With our best wishes for continued success for yourself
and for all at SiF,
Although there is still a ‘wait and see’ period, we have been assured by
Greg and the team at HIT that there are improvements on the way for the series in terms of writing.These should kick in around Series 16 when it’s released this autumn, and you can expect some surprises
forthcoming with more returning characters.
In essence – keep the faith!
SiF Donate Funds From Charity
March 4th, 2011
SiF Donate £118.50 to Charitable Causes
Sodor Island Forums have donated and topped up the funds
accumulated from the Charity Auction for the British Railway Series Canvas print.In
February of this year, DealAjani won the auction and the print, which has now been sent out with a personalised message and
signature from Simon Martin.
SiF Staff members, Simon & Ryan have topped up the
funds raised from £66 to £100, and made for an even 50/50 split between the two chosen charities – The Corris Falcon
Fund, to build a brand new narrow gauge steam locomotive, and The Railway Children Charity, which helps vulnerable street
children across the world.
For the Corris Falcon Fund, we chose to sponsor the production
of the Cylinder cover leading casting, which came to a cost of £56. For The Railway Children, we donated £50, which with Gift Aid, will rise by £0.25 for
every pound, bringing the grand overall total up to £62.50.
Our ‘Favourite Charities’ page has been updated
again with the addition of the Bluebell Railway’s appeal to clear the ‘tip’ which is blocking their access
to East Grinstead Station.A video featured on the front page previously, produced
by two members of the Society who are passionate to see the ‘tip’ cleared and trains running into the station
has been embedded to continue the raising of awareness, in the hopes that people will part with their cash and help out.
We hope you will give generously to the causes we’re promoting
– it’s well worth it!
Railway Series 42 - 'Working Title'
February 18th, 2011
Nothing Of Note For Railway Series 42 Yet!
Egmont Books are still no further to revealing any great detail about the next Railway Series book, due for
release in July.While it has been confirmed that Christopher Awdry has been
writing new material for the release, due to mark 100 years of the Rev. W. Awdry, there has been very little said about the
new book itself.I sent off an e-mail to Egmont on Monday and received this back
Thank you for your email and I am delighted to hear that you
are looking forward to the new Railway Series title which we will publish in the summer. The working title at present is,
Thomas and his Friends. The stories in the book will cover a variety of topics.
The working title is likely to be subject to change when the final publication date looms closer, and will hopefully
yield something closer to the heart of the subject matter Christopher Awdry is or has compiled. However, it is in disappointingly stark contrast to the news for Thomas & Victoria in 2007, which
not only saw SiF break the news first, six months ahead of the publication, but also gave a fuller outline of what the book
Anyone hoping for this release to be a renaissance for the Railway Series,
will also be sadly disappointed.
At present we are committed to keeping the existing Railway
Series titles in print but unfortunately sales of the series are very low nowadays. Young fans of Thomas today tend to prefer
the books we produce that tie-in with the TV series. As a result, it is not commercially viable for us to produce a new Railway
Series title every year.
the news is not what we had hoped for - but the Awdry legacy is being kept alive through the infrequent releases, timed to
meet with moments of importance such as the re-release of the Christopher Awdry books and the Rev. W. Awdry's 100th anniversary.
We will continue to pursue Egmont Books for the time being until we receive conclusive answers regarding Book 42.
The Railway Series 42 will be
released on July 4th 2011.
SiF Keep The Spirit Alive!
craving a Railway Series 'fix' will be pleased to know that our Extended Railway Series Online Guide is progressing
well. The majority of the work has been discussed at length and finalised, and it is all currently being
pieced together on the new website, due to launch this spring. The ERS Guide will have story summaries, character histories,
route histories and much more to show how our interpretation of the Island of Sodor has developed in the face of privitisation
and adapted to modernity in the post-British Railways Britain.
to read the actual stories, you will need to join up to the Sodor Island Forums!
Day Of The Diesels Trailers Released!
February 14th, 2011
The Official UK & US Trailers for the 2011 Special Released!
Diesel 10, Arry, Bert, Diesel and a new Diesel engine are on a mission to take over the
Sodor Steamworks in the brand new Thomas & Friends special - Day Of The Diesels. Official trailers for the new movie
were released this morning on the official Thomas & Friends YouTube Channel, and we have them here to show you.
However, after 25 minutes, they had been privatised for the time being, so will not play
for now. The blue steam engine in the UK trailer display is 'Belle'.
Devious Diesel Next For Bachmann
February 13th, 2011
With Special Thanks To SnowflakeTH For The News
the release of official images for the new Bachmann Donald & Douglas models, it appears that the popular Thomas and Friends
villain, Devious Diesel will be hot on their heels. Diesel had been produced since the mid 1980s as part of
the Hornby Thomas range, but has recently been subject to the discontinuation of certain items.
It is as yet unknown
when Diesel will hit shelves, but more definitive dates will be released in due course.
report on the Bachmann Model Range will be added to SiF's Thomas Merchandise Page in the coming days. :)
1,500,000 Hits Overall / 1,027 Visitors In One Day / £56 raised through first charity auction!
Saturday, February the 12th 2011 at 11.17pm (GMT), Sodor Island Fansite rolled had officially hit the 1,500,000 visitors mark.We are absolutely thrilled at this achievement, and it’s been a testament to
the work that SiF’s contributors have ploughed in over the last six years.We
were expecting the milestone to come at some point today, but a sudden upsurge in visitors brought things forward in a big
to make things that little bit more special, the Fansite also achieved a tremendous feat when we pulled in 1,027 visitors
within that 24 hour period.No mean feat, and another ambition chalked off!
finally, our first charity auction has been successful, and the British Railway Series Canvas Print has sold to a SiF member.DealAjani’s bid of £56 went unchallenged and the print will now be heading out
to Miami, Florida with a personalised message.Simon and Ryan will be topping
up the funds that the print has raised and splitting the money equally between the Railway Children Charity and The Corris
A very special thanks to everyone again for your support, contributions, well-wishing and most of all,
your willingness to visit the Fansite so often.The Forum’s Open Event
is still ongoing, so we hope you will come by and join us before we close up again this evening.
to the next time we hit the million mark!
Go Go Thomas The Tank Engine!
February 12th, 2011
Possibility Of Power Rangers: Steam Team Looms Large...!
Power Rangers creator,
Haim Saban has now joined Disney, Viacom, Chorion, Hasbro, Mattel and others among the interested parties for the purchase
of HIT Entertainment and / or its assets.Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands,
who bought back Power Rangers from Disney in 2010 and recently relaunched the series with the latest Samurai incarnation,
has stated in an interview that the company are currently in talks with Apax Partners about buying out some of HIT’s
“By definition, it hits some sweet spots for
us.You can pretty much bet if there’s transactional activity in the kids
space on established brands that we are looking and aware of them. Whether or not we are pursuing or engaged is really on
a case by case basis.”
Based on the Toei Company’s Super
Sentai series, Saban’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was a global
phenomenon when it launched in 1993, and became a multi-billion dollar empire.He
is currently on a mission with his new company, Saban Brands, to restore the fortunes of the multi-coloured superheroes to
their former glory.It has not yet
been confirmed which HIT Entertainment assets the Saban wishes to acquire, if any at all.However, from the recent passion and commitment shown toward the launch of Power
Rangers: Samurai, it may be beneficial for a brand like Thomas & Friends
to be a big fish in a small pond.
Through the buyout of Gullane in 2002, HIT became the biggest children’s
production company outside of the United States.With the likelihood of a buyout
from an American company looming very large on the horizon, it’s a mantle they’re set to lose.Former Disney CEO, Michael Eisner is also thought to be interested in acquiring HIT or its assets for his
new company, Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, a buyout firm.
Could it be "Morphin' Time?" on the Island of Sodor? Let's wait and see!
To read the original source article for this story, click the link
the months since September, Sodor Island Fansite has seen the average visitor numbers rise significantly by 1,000 a week.Whilst Fansite hits had slumped since 2007, a sudden resurgence in September 2010
has remained consistent and strong, driving us to one and a half million visitors sooner than we previously anticipated.
over the weekend of the 11th to 13th February, Sodor Island Forums will be holding another Non-Member Open Event to celebrate
the milestone to say thank you to all of our supporters and visitors who are not currently part of the boards.We hope it will encourage more people to sign up to SiF as a result.
you to everyone who has visited the Fansite over the last six years, and we hope to see more of you very soon!
SiF & The BRWS Join Up For
February 2nd, 2011
The British Railway Series and Sodor Island Forums have joined forces to raise
money for our two supported charitable organisations – The Railway Children
and The Corris Falcon Fund.From 8am
on the 3rd of February 2011, you will be able to bid on a unique canvas print featuring the three main characters from The
British Railway Series.It’s the only one of it’s kind, and it will
be signed, with a personal message to the highest bidder, by Simon Martin.
We encourage everyone who can or wishes to, to bid on the item and give generously.However, if you’d rather donate privately to the fund we’re setting up, please let us know
a while, the SiF Staff Team have been discussing the possibility of fundraising for worthy charities and causes.The main sticking point for all of us has been how we would do it, and who we would do it for.
were a range of charitable causes discussed at length, such as those tackling cancer, child abuse, mental health and autism.Subjects such as railway preservation also came about, and as supporters of railway
heritage, the idea of sponsoring a locomotive’s restoration was also mooted.However,
the decision has been taken to raise funds for three organisations throughout 2011 and beyond, with SiF supporting The Railway
Children, to help homeless children, and the Corris Falcon Project, to build a new steam locomotive.
first fundraising venture will be to help The Railway Children charity, which was set up by Series 5 Railway Consultant, David
Maidment, in 1995.We already have a page promoting the charity on Sodor Island
Fansite, and would encourage people to give generously to help young people who are living on the streets across the world.We intend to kick off proceedings in the coming weeks with a very special auction,
where a very special item will be sold to the highest bidder.And if it goes
well, there will be more special items to come.
The much anticipated release of Thomas's first theatrical film release under
the HIT Movies franchise has been moved back again to 2012. Originally announced
for 2010, the film has been moved back repeatedly since the original announcement filtered through.
As the movie has been handled by the HIT Movies division, based in Los Angeles,
details of the film have been very vague with very little information to tell. The original draft of the script has been written by Josh Klausner, who penned Shrek The Third
for Dreamworks. Josh has communicated with Thomas fans through his Twitter page, and has said the film is due to
take place around the times of World War II. However, reports have suggested that funding for the feature
still remains an issue, hindering progress.
Thus far, there have been no confirmations of casting, but there are plans
to utilise a live action cast alongside CGI animation provided by Nitrogen Studios of Canada, who already provide production
for the television series.
Railway Series 42 - Available
January 5th, 2011
Online Retailer Amazon.co.uk have made the 42nd Railway Series title available for pre-order, ahead of
the July 4th release.
far, Egmont Books and the Awdry family have remained secretive over details regarding the upcoming book, however,
the vague blurb which accompanied the pre-order option on Amazon.co.uk has hinted that a new character will be introduced
into the Railway Series. However, with details thin on the ground as to the official title, the content, setting and
characters used in the new book, it's too early to state this as 'fact'. SiF will continue to research the new book
and report back with any significant findings before the July 2011 release.
the meantime, anyone wishing to pre-order a copy can do so here:
Why The Missing Christmas Tree
Feature Was Missing!
December 5th, 2010
It was with the fullest of intention on 5th of December to kick off our Christmas features with SI3D's Thomas
& The Missing Christmas Tree feature, filmed with Sodor Island 3D's Trainz models. However, a range of factors
impeded our progress yesterday, which meant this good not go ahead as planned.
were issues with the upload of the video as well as the access to the Fansite's Site Builder, which meant the exclusive showing
could not go ahead. Both SI3D Films and I apologise profusely to anyone who was looking forward to seeing the video
yesterday on the Fansite, and we will make it up to you all at some point.
SiF Gets Festive
December 3rd, 2010
For the next month, SiFansite is going to be getting in the festive mood. Throughout December, we will
be using the SiFivision to show some of the best fan-made Thomas Christmas videos on offer.
kick things off this Sunday with SI3D Films' Trainz adaptation of Thomas & The Missing Christmas Tree, which will be available
exclusively for first viewing on the Fansite for one day only. After that we have a brilliant mix of old and new to
follow with an adaptation from The Railway Stories, a vintage Music Video, a brand new Nostalgic Years story and the
return of a fan-favourite exclusive to Sodor Island Fansite - The Fat Controller's Christmas Monologue!
top of that, we will be compiling our festive content from years gone by into a special 'Christmas Hamper' for you
to download and get into the Christmas Spirit with later this month.
Railway Series 42 Due July 2011
November 15th, 2010
Egmont Books have confirmed to Sodor Island Forums member Silver Link that the publication date for Railway
Series 42 will be the 4th of July 2011.As yet, there
is no indication as to an official title, what the book’s content will involve or which characters will be focussed
upon.However, Christopher Awdry will be the author and Clive Spong returns again
as the illustrator.
SiFansite will continue to update fans with information regarding the status of the book’s
upcoming release over the next few months.
Site Renovations Continue...
June 18th, 2010
Character Profile pages are being updated one by one to make them more visually appealing. The Railway Character and
Non-Railway Character pages have already been completed, with Human Characters now being expanded to include notable animals
and featuring other notable characters we've left out over the years.
The Days Out With
Thomas page will be updated too with new writings on the History of the events and how they've grown over the years to
make for a throroughly enjoyable day out. This will also include other items like Drayton Manor's Thomas Land, as well
as the original Thomas Land from Japan - of which we have exclusive photography courtesy of Truro.
its become one of the premier places on the net for independent Thomas related media, the SiF Productions site is in need
of a radical makeover to make it more viable in the future. In
that, I am planning to discontinue some media and take it down off the bandwidth to create space. Old media will reappear
periodically for download as part of a 'Gone But Not Forgotten' page on the new media site. In conjunction with that,
a new layout will be made up for some pages, making media easier to find and navigate through.
Celebrating 65 Years In Style!
May 4th, 2010
Saturday, May the 1st, I had the pleasure of being invited down to the Battlefield Railway in Leicester for their
celebrations to mark the 65th Anniversary of Thomas and Friends.Seven of these events will be held across the United Kingdom to mark the milestone, one for each region of the country.However, the organisers will have to do a great deal to reach the standards that the
Battlefield Railway set with the first one.
I was witness to the meticulous organisation of the volunteers who were setting up for the event the day before,
and the level of commitment that HIT Entertainment and Zazz Project Management had to making sure that everyone, both young
and old, had to having a good time on the day.The event was a huge success for
both the railway and for HIT Entertainment, and I cannot sing the praises of the Battlefield Railway volunteers highly enough
for their tremendous efforts, warm reception and kind natures, it was wonderful to work with you all on the day.
I pass on the same praise to the families I met at the event.There
was not a single disappointed or sad face among the massive crowds, and everyone was very polite and friendly to deal with.Five years ago I received a message from a disappointed mother who had taken her children
to the 60th Anniversary Celebrations at Hatfield House.She commented
upon poor organisation, and how little there was for the children to do and enjoy.Five
years on, it seems that HIT Entertainment are getting their celebrations very right with the help of Britain’s Heritage
I also wish to pay tribute to the Battlefield volunteers who allowed us the opportunity to mark
the event by placing ‘The SiF Express’ headboard on Thomas for a photo.The headboard made its debut last year on the Talyllyn Railway, being carried on Peter Sam for the first official ‘SiF
Express’, and hopefully, it should be making runs again in future!
THE RAILWAY SERIES 42 DUE FOR RELEASE
April 8th, 2010
It has been confirmed by Egmont Books, liscenced publishers of
the Thomas & Friends brand, that The Railway Series will be continuing from where Thomas & Victoria
left off in 2007.
Book 42 is as yet untitled, and there is no confirmation whatsoever
on storylines or subject matter, however, we have been made aware that the book will be released in June 2011. Whether
this is a concious effort to mark the centenary of The Rev. W. Awdry is unknown, but we commend Egmont Books for adding another
title to the series, and HIT Entertainment for encompassing all areas of the Thomas brand.
We hope to have updates on the new book as time goes on, and will release new
information as and when we receive it.
INTERNET PROVIDER PROBLEMS FOR PROBOARDS
Thursday of 18th March, 2010
For those of you trying to visit Sodor Island Forums or
Sodor Island 3D Forums using SKY BROADBAND or BT BROADBAND
are likely to be experiencing problems accessing Proboards Forums. Proboards Support are trying to rectify the problem
along with SKY, and attempts are ongoing. There is nothing wrong with the forums or servers themselves, but there appears
to be a problem at the end of the SKY BROADBAND or BT BROADBAND end.
We urge all members who cannot currently access the forum to keep trying or
alternatively, keep checking Proboards Support for updates.
SiF SPEAK TO STEVE ASQUITH!
14th of February, 2010
Another major interview for Sodor Island Fansite with a man who spent
25 years of his life working to produce Thomas and Friends. Steve Asquith became the second official Director of the
series in 2004, taking over from David Mitton. In our interview, Steve clears up a number of rumours and mistruths,
explains a little about his own career away from Thomas, gives insight into the TV Series itself and shares his memories and
favourite moments of filmography from his twenty five years of the live-action model animation format of the series.
The interview will launch in the course of this week - so keep an eye out for
BRITT REMEMBERS THE GEORGE CARLIN
June 27th, 2008
Britt Allcroft has kindly offered her condolences to the late George Carlin
by offering a message of rememberance to him, revealing to the world a side of George that not many people familiar with his
comedy routine knew - his caring and loving side as the Storyteller for the American dub of Thomas the Tank Engine
and Friends, as well as his part as Mr Conductor in Shining Time Station, as well as a personal friend to her
long after they parted professional company, who provided George with many happy times.
With some amusing anecdotes and heart-warming sentiment, here's Britt's memories
of George, as told through the LA Times:
AMERICAN STORYTELLER - GEORGE CARLIN
- PASSES AWAY
23rd June, 2008
Another blow to Thomas Fans of the older generation in the
Within a month of David Mitton, we are sad to report that the man
who gave Thomas his first American voice, George Carlin, has also passed away. George died of heart-failure on the 22nd
of June, after being taken to hospital complaining of chest pains.
George was the first proper American storyteller for Thomas the
Tank Engine between 1991 and 1995, allowing American children to engage with the characters in their own native accent, and
therefore allowing Thomas to thrive more readily in the American market. In
that time, he told the stories for Series 3 and 4, as well as retelling the original material that Ringo Starr had
put out previously and rebranding it for the American audience.
He followed in Ringo's footsteps again as he became Shining
Time Station's second resident storyteller, the eighteen-inch tall, Mr Conductor, playing Ringo's cousin
after his character went off to the North Pole. George played the character for two full seasons of the show as well
as the remaining specials prior to Shining Time Station going into syndication in the mid 1990s.
George left the series to pursue his comedy act, and in 1998, Alec
Baldwin took up the role of Thomas's American storyteller, and after which, became the third and last person to don the blue
Mr Conductor suit for Thomas and the Magic Railroad. George went on to star in other movie roles such
as 1998's Dogma with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, as well as carrying on his comedy stage act and touring across
Although not as widely regarded as Ringo Starr is for his contribution
to Thomas, fans across the world owe a lot to George Carlin. He was a masterful storyteller and the way he crossed the
barriers of his comedy content to entertaining children across the world is undoubtedly a testament to him.