Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The fictional island of Sodor

If you have spent any time with Thomas the Tank Engine you may be aware that he and his chums live on the island of Sodor. I was just looking up things on Wikipedia, and one thing led to another and there I was reading all about it.

Rev. W. Awdry who wrote the Thomas books went to a huge amount of trouble to invent the history and culture of Sodor and its railways, very little of which information ever found its way into the books. Sodor was said to be between the Isle of Man and the British mainland. A bridge connected Sodor to the real town of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Within the books British Rail is called The Other Railway.
The North Western Railway has had running rights into Barrow Central Station since the agreement with the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1925. There is a Scherzer rolling lift bridge of 120 ft (37 m) span and double track over the Walney Channel, designed by Topham Hatt and erected in 1915. The NWR built its headquarters at Vicarstown in 1915, but the administrative offices were relocated to Tidmouth in 1926. Until the construction of the Jubilee Road Bridge in 1977, the NWR had rights for a car-ferry and worked an intensive and profitable service. British Rail had running powers over the Bridge to operate the joint NWR/BR suburban service from Barrow to Norramby.
Can you believe he bothered to make all that up?

I have to say I have never been a big fan of Thomas but I do admire the dedication of those who have collated all this data on incredibly minor characters, such as these from Wikipedia:

Wilbert the Forest Engine was brought to the railway to help Donald and Douglas when they were overworked, but when Percy was involved in an accident with some porridge [etc etc… ] Wilbert is a Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST…

Bulgy was a red and cream double-decker bus who hated railways and had very left wing political views. He tried to steal Duck and Oliver's passengers by pretending to be a railway bus … he is now a henhouse by Duck's branch line.

2 comments:

SRA said...

Sometimes in life I find that its not the story itself that entrances us as much as the story behind the story that catches our attention and inspires us. Thanks for reminding me of something I almost forgot...to remember the story behind MY STORY! Have a Blessed Day and Thanks so much for writing this post today! :) L.T.Schulte (Serial Room Arranger) Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.

chris.dadness said...

Ah - so that's what SRA stands for. Hi and thanks for following!