Barry the Rescue Engine (lost production material of cancelled "The Railway Series" book; 1980s)

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The basis of the book's titular character, Barry.

Status: Lost

Barry the Rescue Engine was intended to be an installment of the popular British children's book series, The Railway Series, on which the television show Thomas And Friends is based. The book was to be written by Christopher Awdry, the son of original author Rev. Wilbert Awdry.

Awdry wrote the book sometime in the 1980s and would have introduced the titular character Barry (who has been confirmed to be a LMS Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T), who is named after the scrapyard in South Wales where he was rescued. The book has been confirmed to heavily feature the owner of the railway Sir Topham Hatt (otherwise known as The Fat Controller).

However, the company that published The Railway Series demanded to have more Thomas-centric books, and refused to publish Barry's debut appearance in the series. This was likely compounded by the fact that, at the time, the television show based on the book was running strong and had catapulted Thomas into the spotlight. At the time, Britt Alcroft (producer of the television series) was under contract that she could only make episodes based on stories from the book. Therefore, it is likely that the book More About Thomas the Tank Engine, a book specifically written for that reason, replaced Barry the Rescue Engine.

Sadly, Barry hasn't seen the light of day since his debut book got cancelled, outside of a few fan-made projects made using the Trainz software engine. Considering the highly merchandised-based aspect of The Railway Series and Thomas the Tank Engine at this point, there is still a chance Barry could make his way into the official series.

It is likely that some drafts of the stories in the book reside with the Awdry family, and possibly some stories in the book might be in other books, published after More About Thomas the Tank Engine.

In the 2023 Awdry Extravaganza, Richard Awdry (son of Christopher Awdry) stated that Barry was a LMS Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T, not a BR Standard Class 2 (as had been stated by the Sodor Island Fansite many years ago), but also said that he didn't know if the book had gotten past the planning stages.

See Also

Thomas & Friends

Thomas the Tank Engine


External Links