Note: clicking on many maps will open a larger version in a new window, or downloading them will get their true scale.

Sodor was "discovered" in 1949, when Thomas' branch from Knapford to Ffarquhar was drawn, and the connecting line to Tidmouth.

1949: Thomas' Branch Line (Knapford to Ffarquhar)
From "The Thomas the Tank Engine Man". Used with the approval of Brian Sibley

A map of the complete island came to light around 1950:

1950: Early map of Sodor
A leaf in the Rev W Awdry's model railway scrapbook. Part of the "Awdry Study" at the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum in Tywyn, Wales. With thanks to NGRM Secretary Chris White, Trustee Winston McCanna, Attendant Ron Whitaker and all other helpful TRPS members.

By 1952 this was beautifully realised in a large relief map by PR Wickham, comissioned by Edmund Ward for the Rev. Awdry, now part of the "Awdry Study" at the NGRM, Tywyn.

1952: Relief map built for the Rev. awdry by PR Wickham
 With many thanks to SiF member and recent NGRM patron, Clay H. for permission to post his photo of the map here. (Aug. 2007)

PR Wickham faithfully built stock for the Rev's model railway and produced other plans and at least one map, such as this of Thomas' branch in 1959:

1959: Knapford and Ffarquhar Branch
From Railway Modeller December 1959.

The Wickham relief map was the basis for this Edmund Ward publication of a 22" x 11½" map in 1958:

1958: First published map of Sodor
Also later reproduced for the endpapers of "Thomas the Tank Engine: The Complete Collection." Copyright control.

In the interim, Awdry produced this map in his typed book "Sodor History"

Map of Sodor in the Rev. Awdry's Sodor History book
Part of the "Awdry Study" at the NGRM, Tywyn.

And painted this one as a wall hanging in the late 1960s:

Hand drawn map of Sodor
Part of the Boston Collection, Cadeby, Leics. With many thanks to Audrey Boston, Dave Penny and Brian Kingett.

Which was the basis of this map by Peter Edwards in 1971 (Edwards I)

1971 map of Sodor: Edwards I
with many thanks to David Butchers, for saving this childhood companion where I had failed. Copyright control.

Edwards had another go in the mid 70s but this lacked cartographic data (Edwards II), and published in endpapers of Engine Stories. Edwards I was improved a bit for the endpapers of More Engine Stories (also mid 70s) (Edwards III):

Sodor: Edwards II
Sodor: Edwards III
Sodor: Edwards II
Sodor: Edwards III
Both of which thanks to Robert Michael Shemilt. Copyright control

Peter Edwards also had a go at Thomas' Branch in the "Surprise Packet" of 1972

Thomas' Branch Line
with many thanks again to David Butchers. Copyright control.

Edwards III was the basis for another elaboration of Sodor which included Christopher Awdry stories up to "Henry and the Express" in 1992:

1992 Map of Sodor
with many thanks to Jim Gratton for this fine, crisp image. Copyright control.

Another map with the same cartographical roots was published in the "Island of Sodor" (1987, 1992). The version below was painstakenly reproduced by hand by contributor Tony Griggs from the map plates found in the book.

Tony Griggs' map of Sodor
with many thanks to Tony Griggs

Map plates found in the book: The Island of Sodor
With thanks to Jim Gratton -map plates - including main and branch lines from TIOS - Copyright control

Later maps: Thomas fandom has created new versions of the map, such as Amos Wolfe's very lovely creations as a graphic map and intriguingly in the Harry Beck style of a tube map:

Amos Wolfe's map of Sodor Railways
Amos Wolfe's symbolized mpa of Sodor's railways
which can be seen at his wiki page - thanks for the link this way. Some rights reserved, wiki style.

Fandom diverges : there is this brilliant Google Earth simulation from Jim Gratton, to whom many thanks.

Jim Gratton's Sat. simulation of Sodor

... and this official version. At least it has the same shape and the line follows the broad general direction, while surrounding land masses have disappeared. It must be said that validity ceased at the start of TV Series One which obliterated Tidmouth as the main terminus station and replaced it with Knapford.

The Television Series version of the Island of Sodor.
© HIT Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Egmont Books includes a much more attractive and detailed map of the TV-Universe version of Sodor with the 2010 edition book packet of: My Journey with Thomas the Tank Engine. As contributor Chris Signore (with our thanks!) adds in his own words: "...with all the locations from Seasons 8 - 12 included."
Map included with "My journey with Thomas the Tank Engine" - Egmont Books (2010)
©Egmont Books & Gullane (2010)

The packet book (32 pages) with this map and other included goodies can be purchased directly from Amazon U.K. and U.S.

My Journey with Thomas the Tank Engine book packet

Egmont Books Ltd (7 Jun 2010)
ISBN-10: 9781405251495
ISBN-13: 978-1405251495


To accompany your country rambles and explain place names, you may like to read the full history of Sodor from Roman times onwards, compiled from Tony's notes on "The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways" by George and Wilbert Awdry. A Phrase Book is included to brush up your Sudrian.

The history of the North Western Railway is also available from the same source with descriptions of all the stations.

Likewise the Mid Sodor Railway, which can be traced in detail on many of the maps abover. This page contains a tour of the Rev W. Awdry's MSR layout.

As Diana Awdry points out, the 1958 map includes the (real) Isle of Walney, home to the real "Vickerstown", while other maps leave it out in favour of Sodor and the fictitious "Vicarstown".

The 1971 map omits Mavis' quarry line, as the Rev Wilbert's last book had then yet to be written. The later maps are up to date to the end of 1972.

Through the kind offices of David Devoy in Edinburgh, we have the British Library catalogue data for some standalone Sodor maps.

Place/Subject:
SODOR (Island). Railways - Maps and charts
Title:
The Rev. W. Awdry's railway map of the Island of Sodor. Showing where Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends live and work. Designed by Peter Edwards
Publication Details:
London : Kaye & Ward, [1971]
Scale:
Scale 1: 270 000
Physical Details:
84 x 52 cm
Names:
AWDRY, Wilbert Vere
Notes:
A map of an imaginary island situated between the Isle of Man and Barrow-in-Furness
First published 1958
Former Shelfmark:
1296.(1.)
Shelfmark:
1296.(1.)

Place/Subject:
Imaginative cartography - maps
Title:
Thomas the tank engine railway map : Island of Sodor
Publication Details:
London : Heinemann, 1992
Scale:
[ca. 1:175 000]
Physical Details:
1 map : col,ill ; 47x61cm, folded to 11x5cm
Names:
Awdry, W. (Wilbert), 1911-
Awdry, Christopher
Notes:
Companion to Thomas the tank engine story books -
Cover title ISBN/Control No: mlc0742053
ISBN/Control No:
mlc0742053
ISBN:
ISBN 0434963488
Shelfmark:
Maps X.1275.

Place/Subject:
Imaginative cartography - maps
Title:
Island of Sodor : railway map
Publication Details:
Tadworth : Kaye & Ward Ltd, 1983
Scale:
[ca. 1:172 000]
Physical Details:
1 map : col ; 47x62cm
Names:
Spong, Clive
Notes:
First published: 1958
ISBN/Control No:
mlc0700216
ISBN:
0718208412
Shelfmark:
Maps X.891.

For other pre-TV series merchandising, see the page of Miscellaneous Awdryania.