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Fanfic Recs / Thomas the Tank Engine

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These are recommendations made by Tropers for Thomas the Tank Engine fanfics. Always remember to use the template found here. No name recommendations will be Zapped to the scrapyards and back.

Warn us when fics indulge in stuff that is NSFW, romanticized, or non-canon. We all know that it isn't appreciated by everybody.

General Fan fics

Horrors of the Rails by NarrowGauge

  • Recommended By: mrluntishysterical, Or just call me The F Presser
  • Status: Complete for 2018, but likely an annual thing.
  • Summary: A series of railway related horror audios that are some truly spooky things. Two of the stories are mere adaptations, but those ones do manage to to have their unique take on the source material. While another two do not have much to do with Thomas, they still remain rather spooky. But those stories are more than eclipsed by the shocking Caledonian Twins. The tale of the titular twins Donald and Douglas, and when while they were still working on British Rail, encountered an exceptionally and shockingly nasty diesel.
    • Heck, I could make the case for giving the series its own TV Tropes page. Or at least mentioning Caledonian Twins in the Other/Meta section of the show's Nightmare Fuel page.
  • Tags: Rather dark themes.

Behind Your Shed, I Never Move Again by Saffron Panther

  • Recommended by fruitstripegum
  • Status: Complete
  • Summary: Smudger was converted into a generator and left behind their shed. Duke was found years later, but Smudger's fate was never revealed after the railway closed. So here's the voice that never got to speak.
  • Comments: Tear Jerker doesn't begin to describe how heartbreaking this story is.

Sodor: The Early Years and Sodor: The Modern Years by WildNorWester

  • Recommended By: ThatFanwiththeGlasses
  • Status:
    • Sodor: The Early Years is complete, with five seasons, a miniseries, a feature-length special, and a "tie-in book" found on WildNorWester's Deviantart page.
    • Sodor: The Modern Years is currently in its second season, after having opened with a feature length special.
  • Summary:
    • Sodor: The Early Years, is a series that attempts to capture the feeling of the Railway Series and the early years of the TV show, while telling original stories.
    • Sodor: The Modern Years follows on from Sodor: The Early Years, picking up 15 years later in 2009.
  • Comments: Definitely two of the best fan series based on Thomas. Each episode feels like it could realistically come from the early years of the television show (hence the title of the first series), and the Sodor of this continuity builds upon and enhances Awdry's original.
  • Has its own wiki here.

Thomas Abridged by ToonGuy

  • Recommended by: SteelKomodo
  • Status: Completenote 
  • Synopsis: So, Thomas and Friends. You've heard of them, yes (of course you bloody have, you're browsing the Thomas fanfiction selection)? But back to the point; the history books tell you a different tale. This is an island where confusion and delay reign supreme and if anything really useful happens, it's a mistake. This is the Island of Sodor as you've never seen it before.
  • Comments: More than just a comedic re-write of the TV series, Thomas Abridged is laden with absurdist British humor and takes great delight in picking apart even the slightest of inconsistencies for laughs. On this version of Sodor, the engines are even more petty, vengeful and alcoholic than usual, the Fat Controller struggles to avoid an aneurysm (as well as his wrathful wife) and the fourth wall is torn to its very foundations. There's also a surprisingly compelling and serious side story woven in that rears its head around the Duck and Diesel arc, concerning the ghost of a useless background engine and the Other Railway. A delightfully funny treat to read from start to finish.
    • Has a sequel - Volume II (Dormant; last updated May 2019)
  • Tags: Frequent Alcohol and Drug Use, Mild Language (stronger language censored for comedy), Cerebus Syndrome and dark themes around Season 2 onwards.
  • Now has a trope page!

Thomas & Friends: Original Episodes by Chase the Ferroequinologist

  • Recommended by: ChaseT
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: A continuation of the current show done in beautiful form. Not only thriving on the current TV Series formula, but bringing in new characters, locations, and story opportunities to help the characters develops. Retaining a sense of continuity helps these stories come across as charming, fun, and a delight to read.
  • Comments: Although it is Fan Fiction, these stories fit right in with the current TV Series and are great for filling the gap between seasons if one needs to. Background characters like Norman and Glynn get episodes to themselves and unique personalities, and Rosie is due to be the protagonist of the upcoming special, Rampage of the Rail Bandits, which will be just as great as these stories judging by the trailer. Although some of them aren't as quite as good as the others (Terence's Train and Monkey Business are a little boring), many of them are awesome and highly recommended.
    • Seconded. "The Replacement" is one of the best Thomas stories I've ever read, with Norman managing to get some great development. Same with "Bugged!", which has one of the best OC's I've ever seen in the form of 103.

Rampage of the Rail Bandits by Chase the Ferroequinologist

  • Recommended by: ChaseT
  • Status: Complete.
  • Synopsis: When international railway criminals come to the Island of Sodor and frame the Fat Controller for their crimes, Thomas takes it upon himself to take the law into his own hands and stop them. However, Rosie, meanwhile, discovers crucial evidence to prove the identity of the Rail Bandits and thus has to save the day herself!
  • Comments: A brilliant special thus far with excellent tension, dialogue, and good lordy the original songs! It develops the underused character of Ascended Extra Rosie splendidly, as well as giving Oliver, Toad, Samson, Harvey, returnee Arthur, and original character Lucian (carried over from the above story) a lot of fun things to do in the background. The original characters themselves are also a whole lot of fun, with Jeb The Dragon, Smug Snake, slimy, manipulative camelback engine, Bonnie the Cloud Cuckoo Lander Jersey-accent boxcar, The Big Bad, Slim Jim Langley, a Large Ham crooked cowboy who ambushes trains for money and kicks, and Roy, a young By-the-Book Cop police buggy. It's a whole lot of fun and the most original longform Thomas story I've seen in a while!
  • Now has a trope page!

Waning Daylight by Waning Daylight/The Raging Blue Flame

  • Recommended by: Beatlewolf
  • Status: Complete.
  • Synopsis: When a railway historian comes to visit Sodor's 4449, Erika is forced to relive her life as California's Coast Daylight and reveal events she'd rather not remember.
  • Comments: Ever wanted to read an excellently-written melodrama where every character is a train? No? Well this ain't the story for you! Spanning across 40 chapters and almost 80 years, Waning Daylight is a beautiful story that wraps up a stunningly deep fictional world with actual railroad history and becomes an alternate universe in itself. Thomas and his friends only factor into a little bit of the story, as much of the focus is on Erika, also known as Southern Pacific 4449, but trust me when I say it's worth the read. The author also does art for the series too, so there's an additional plus!

Shipping Fan fics

Thomas and Emily's Relationship by AaronCottrell97

  • Recommended by: The Generic Primate
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: See how Thomas first met Emily and became friends with her. As they go through many adventures together and experience many emotional and life-changing experiences, their friendship gives birth to deep and powerful love that can never be broken.
  • Comments: This story utilises some episodes of the series and intertwines them with a number of genuine romantic moments between Thomas and Emily. There are, however, some interesting parts that discuss subjects such as an engine class being almost entirely withdrawn from service and scrapped, bullying, not being afraid to tell anyone if something's wrong, and conquering one's fears, plus Emily is given a rather surprising Freudian Excuse for her notorious bossy moments in some of the new series episodes. Thomas and Emily have some really sweet and lovely moments with each other throughout the fic, and the author isn't afraid to throw a bit of humour into it, either — there's a point where Emily starts calling Thomas "Tommy" as a pet name, and Thomas gets annoyed with it every time it gets mentioned. Oh, and I must mention that you might want to have a box of tissues at the ready because there are a lot of REALLY sad moments in the fic as well. I might not recommend it to anyone who feels that romance has no place in the series, but if you are among that shipping crowd, especially if you're a Thomas x Emily shipper, I'd say go ahead and give it a read.
  • Now with a trope page in the works.

Crossover Fan fics

Something Most Foul bytonygestaple

  • Recommended By: Emperor Max 2019
  • Status: Dormant (last updated November 2017)
  • Crossover With: Ivor the Engine and Shining Time Station
  • Synopsis: Thomas and his Friends wake up one morning to find that Something Most Foul has come to the Island of Sodor. A cry for help leads them to new discoveries that may change their lives forever.
  • Comments: Something Most Foul deftly incorporates Ivor The Engine and Shining Time Station into the story. The summary doesn't reveal much about the plot, but the author does a superb job at crafting a universe that melds the Railway Series, TV Series, and Magic Railroad continuities into a cohesive setting while telling an engaging narrative. To reveal anything else about the plot would spoil too much.
  • Tags: AU, Rated T for language (mainly from the railway staff and Jeanie), quasi-Dark Fic
  • Warning: This fic starts out fairly lighthearted but gets Darker and Edgier as the story goes on, and there are moments where Something Most Foul goes into really dark territory. But if you can stomach the dark parts, it's a very engaging and riveting tale of tragedy, triumph, perseverance, and mystery, with enough humor and Heartwarming Moments to avoid alienating the audience.

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