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Railroads  in  Fiction
Books For Young Railfans

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'Young Engineers' series

'The Little Engine That Could'

'Thomas the Tank Engine'

'Harry Potter' series

'Peter's Railway' series

other books


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"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can . . ."

"The Young Engineers" juvenile novels [1912-1920]
H. (for Harrie) Irving Hancock [1866?-1922] wrote dozens of juvenile novels and stories from about 1890 to 1920. Five of them featured the
Young Engineers, and two of the books are obviously railroad-oriented. The original publisher was Henry Altemus Co. of Philadelphia,
with series reprints by Saalfield Publishing Co. of Akron, Ohio. The plethora of pre-1928 public domain works being republished for
Kindle & Nook and on paper have made these books readily available. The six boys of Hancock's Grammar School Boys Series became
the athletes of the High School Boys Series, who then paired off as adults: Dick & Greg went to West Point, Dave & Dan to Annapolis,
while Tom Reade & Harry Hazelton trained to become civil engineers and then headed Out West.

The Young Engineers in Colorado / At Railroad Building in Earnest novel by H. Irving Hancock  "The Young Engineers In Colorado: or, At Railroad Building In Earnest"
[Altemus/Saalfield 1912 = #1]

Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [1/2012] for FREE {sic}
CreateSpace 9x6 pb [8/2013] for $6.64
Dodo Press 9x6 pb [3/2007] for $9.89
Bibliographical Center for Research 9¾x7 hardcover [12/2009] for $29.69
Saalfield Publng hardcover [1912 original] out of print/used
Altemus 7½x5 hardcover [1912 original] out of print/used
The Young Engineers in Arizona / Laying Tracks on the Man-killer Quicksand novel by H. Irving Hancock  "The Young Engineers In Arizona: or, Laying Tracks On The Man-Killer
Quicksand" [Altemus/Saalfield 1912 = #2]

Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [12/2012] for FREE {sic}
Kindle Edition from Library of Alexandria [12/2012] for $2.99
CreateSpace 9x6 pb [8/2013] for $6.64
Aeterna Books pb [2/2011] for $9.89
Kessinger Publng 9x7½ pb [9/2010] for $15.80
Kessinger Publng 9¾x7 hardcover [9/2010] for $26.60
Saalfield Publng hardcover [1912 original] out of print/used
Altemus 7½x5 hardcover [1912 original] out of print/used

The Young Engineers in Nevada / Seeking Fortune on the Turn of a Pick novel by H. Irving Hancock  "The Young Engineers In Nevada: or, Seeking Fortune On The Turn
of A Pick" [Altemus/Saalfield 1913 = #3]

Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [5/2012] for FREE {sic}
CreateSpace 9x6 pb [8/2013] for $6.64
Dodo Press 9x6 pb [3/2007] for $9.89
Saalfield Publng hardcover [1913 original] out of print/used
Altemus 7½x5 hardcover [1913 original] out of print/used
The Young Engineers in Mexico / Fighting the Mine Swindlers novel by H. Irving Hancock  "The Young Engineers In Mexico: or, Fighting The Mine Swindlers"
[Altemus/Saalfield 1913 = #4]

Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [5/2012] for FREE {sic}
CreateSpace 9x6 pb [8/2013] for $6.64
Kessinger Publng 9x6 hardcover [9/2010] for $30.92
The Young Engineers on the Gulf / Dread Mystery of the Million Dollar Breakwater novel by H. Irving Hancock  "The Young Engineers On The Gulf: or, The Dread Mystery of The
Million Dollar Breakwater" [Altemus/Saalfield 1920 = #5]

Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [5/2012] for FREE {sic}
CreateSpace 9x6 pb [8/2013] for $6.64
BiblioLife 9x6 hardcover [8/2008] for $24.29
Saalfield Publng hardcover [1920 original] out of print/used


"The Little Engine That Could" children's books
The story of the positive-thinking little blue engine appeared in various magazines and story anthologies beginning in 1906. A different version under the title "The Pony Engine" appeared in a magazine for children in 1916 as written by Mabel C. Bragg, a teacher. The story first appeared under the title "The Little Engine That Could" in 1920 in a set of books that was sold door-to-door in the U.S.; the story was labeled 'As told by Olive Beaupré Miller'. The best-known version was published in 1930 by New York City publishing firm Platt & Munk ('Watty Piper' was the pseudonym of publisher Arnold Munk [?-1957]); Munk personally hired Lois Lenski to illustrate the book. Platt & Munk published a slightly-revised version in 1954 with new illustrations by George & Doris Hauman; another slightly-revised version was published in 1976 featuring art by Ruth Sanderson. The classic children's story was adapted in 1991 as a 30-minute animated film produced in Wales, and again in March 2011 as a 3-D animated video release produced by Universal Studios.
book entry at Wikipedia

The Little Engine That Could children's book by Watty Piper  "The Little Engine That Could" [ages 4-8; Platt & Munk 1930]  PURPLE CHECK: listed on Amazon Editors '100 Children's Books To Read In A Lifetime' in August 2014
by {pseudonym} Watty Piper, Illustrated by Lois Lenski

Grosset & Dunlap 4¼x4¾ mini-hardcover [8/90] for $4.49
Grosset & Dunlap 7¼x8¼ hardcover [3/78] for $8.09
Grosset & Dunlap 9x9½ hardcover [8/90] for $13.98
Little Engine That Could color cartoon short   "The Little Engine That Could" [Coronet Educational Films 1963]
ten-minute color cartoon short based on the children's book; no info at either IMDb or Wikipedia
watch full cartoon [10:14] online at Internet Archive
The Little Engine That Could and the Big Chase children's book by Michaela Muntean & Florence Graham  "The Little Engine That Could™ and The Big Chase" [ages 4-8; 1988]
by Michaela Muntean, Illustrated by Florence Graham

Grosset & Dunlap 8x7½ pb [8/88] out of print/90+ used
Sagebrush Education Resources hardcover [8/88] out of print/used
The Little Engine That Could 1991 animated short  "The Little Engine That Could" animated short
[Universal Studios video release 1991]

"The Thrilling Animated Adaptation of The Cherished Children's Classic" 30-minute color animated film co‑produced & directed by Dave Edwards; screenplay by Ray Rhamey, based on the Watty Piper book
DVD/Blu-ray not available • MCA Home Video color VHS [9/96] for $22.92
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
The Little Engine That Could and the Snowy Blowy Christmas children's book by Watty Piper & Cristina Ong<  "The Little Engine That Could™ and The Snowy, Blowy Christmas" [ages 4-8; 1998] Based on the original story by Watty Piper, Illustrated by Cristina Ong
Platt & Munk/Grosset & Dunlap 7x6¾ pb [10/98] out of print/80+ used
Platt & Munk/Grosset & Dunlap hardcover [2005] out of print/used
Platt & Munk 8x8½ hardcover [2005] out of print/used
The Little Engine That Could Storybook Treasury book by Watty Piper & Cristina Ong  "The Little Engine That Could™ Storybook Treasury" [7 stories for ages 2-8; 2003]
Based on original stories by Watty Piper, Illustrated by Cristina Ong

Grosset & Dunlap 8x7½ pb [4/2003] out of print/40+ used
The Little Engine That Could Gets a Checkup children's book by Watty Piper & Francesc Mateu  "The Little Engine That Could™ Gets A Checkup" [ages 3-6; 2003]
Based on the original story by Watty Piper, Written by Monique Z. Stephens; Illustrated by Francesc Mateu

Grosset & Dunlap 8x7½ pb [7/2003] out of print/used
The Little Engine That Could Goes on a Class Trip book by Watty Piper & Jose Maria Cardona  "The Little Engine That Could™ Goes On A Class Trip" [ages 3-6; 2003]
Based on the original story by Watty Piper, Written by Monique Z. Stephens; Illustrated by Jose Maria Cardona

Platt & Munk/Grosset & Dunlap pb [7/2003] out of print/60+ used
Scholastic/Weekly Reader 8x8 hardcover with Read-Along CD [2007] out of print/used
The Little Engine That Could 2011 animated feature  "The Little Engine That Could" animated feature
[Universal Animation Studios video release March 2011]

82-minute CGI-animated feature directed by Elliot M. Bour; voice actors include Jeff Bennett, Jodi Benson, Jim Cummings, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chelsea Evered, Whoopi Goldberg & Rodney Saulsberry
Universal Studios widescreen color DVD [3/2011] for $5.48
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

basic logo for 'Thomas & Friends' merchandise
Spirit of America Bookstore's
"Thomas the Tank Engine" Books [est. 1945] & Television Pages

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"Harry Potter" Books [1997-2007] & Movies [2001-11] Page
at Magic Lantern Video & Book Store

The "Harry Potter" stories each contain at least minimal railroad elements, if only use of Platform 9¾ at King's Cross Station in London. Longer episodes about
the Hogwarts Express train include: Harry's first trip to Hogwarts in "Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone"; the 'incident on the train' in "Harry Potter and
The Prisoner of Azkaban"; and Fred and George's flying car chasing after the Hogwarts Express train in "Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets".


"Peter's Railway" children's book series
Peter is a young boy who lives with his family in a cottage at the edge of his Grandpa's farm. It is a long way by road between their two houses and Grandpa
does not own a car, so to make visiting each other easier, they build a miniature steam railway. There are so far 5 books in the main series, for ages 6-12 years (and to 90 years!).
The ten 'Little Peter's Railway' books are aimed at younger readers (3-6 years) • official booksite • no entry at Wikipedia

Peter's Railway book #1 by Christopher G.C. Vine   "Peter's Railway: A New Railway, Stories From The Old Railways, and How‑it‑works Pages" [#1 = 2008]
by Christopher G.C. Vine, Illustrated by John Wardle

self-publd 6¾x9½ hardcover [5/2008] out of print/many used
self-publd 6¾x9½ hardcover [5/2008] out of print/used
self-publd 6¾x9½ hardcover [5/2008] out of print/used

Peter's Railway book #2 by Christopher G.C. Vine   "Peter's Railway and The Moonlight Express" [#2 = 2009]
by Christopher G.C. Vine, Illustrated by John Wardle

self-publd 6¾x9½ hardcover [4/2009] out of print/used
Peter's Railway book #3 by Christopher G.C. Vine   "Peter's Railway and The Forgotten Engine" [#3 = 2009]
by Christopher G.C. Vine, Illustrated by John Wardle

self-publd 6¾x9½ hardcover [10/2009] out of print/used
Peter's Railway book #4 by Christopher G.C. Vine   "Peter's Railway To the Rescue" [#4 = 2010]
by Christopher G.C. Vine, Illustrated by John Wardle

self-publd 6¾x9½ hardcover [6/2010] out of print/used
Peter's Railway book #5 by Christopher G.C. Vine   "Peter's Railway Hits The Jackpot" [#5 = 2013]
by Christopher G.C. Vine, Illustrated by John Wardle

self-publd 6¾x9½ hardcover [7/2013] out of print/used

Little Peter's Railway Christmas Steam book by Christopher Vine   "Little Peter's Railway: Christmas Steam" [2011]
by Christopher G.C. Vine, Illustrated by John Wardle

self-publd 5½x6 pb [6/2011] out of print/used
Little Peter's Railway Surprise Goods book by Christopher Vine   "Little Peter's Railway: Surprise Goods" [2011]
by Christopher G.C. Vine, Illustrated by John Wardle

self-publd 5½x6 pb [7/2011] out of print/used
Little Peter's Railway A Bit of Energy book by Christopher Vine  "Little Peter's Railway: A Bit of Energy" [2011]
by Christopher G.C. Vine, Illustrated by John Wardle

self-publd 5½x6 pb [8/2011] for $6.75
Little Peter's Railway A Bit of Energy book by Christopher Vine  "Little Peter's Railway: A Dark and Stormy Night" [2011]
by Christopher G.C. Vine, Illustrated by John Wardle

self-publd 5½x6 pb [9/2011] out of print/many used

box cover for 'The Happy Little Train' board game        1957 Milton Bradley board game "The Happy Little Train"
for ages 5-12

Milton Bradley boxed board game [1957] out of prodn/used

The Little Train children's book by Lois Lenski  "The Little Train" [ages 3-7; Oxford Univ Press 1940]
Written & Illustrated by Lois Lenski

Series character Mr. Small is the engineer on a trip by train from Tinytown to the Big City and back, encountering tunnels and stations and passengers and freight.
Scholastic 6½x8 pb [2001] out of print/many used
Random House BFYR 7x8½ hardcover [8/2000] for $10.82
Random House Childrens Books hardcover [9/60] out of print/used

Tootle children's book by Gertrude Crampton & Tibor Gergely  "Tootle" [ages 3-6; 1945] by Gertrude Crampton, Illustrated by Tibor Gergely
listed by Publishers Weekly as #3 All-time Bestselling Hardcover Children's Book (2001); baby locomotive Tootle goes to school to learn the skills needed to become a Flyer on the railroad; but his practice runs are easily diverted, by a horse challenging Tootle in a race to the river and by the fun of playing in a meadow of buttercups; teacher Bill and the townspeople intervene and Tootle learns to Stay On The Tracks No Matter What.
Kindle Edition from Random House/Golden Books [8/2010] for $3.41
Golden Books/Western Publng pb [1973] out of print/used
Little Golden Book Classics 8x6½ hardcover [2/2001] for $3.59 {sic}

Little Train That Saved The Day children's book by Charlotte Stein & Rhonda Voo   "The Little Train That Saved The Day" [1947]
by Charlotte Stein, Illustrated by Rhonda Voo

Price Stern Sloan pb [10/91] out of print/used
Giant Wonderbooks hardcover [10/89] out of print/used
Wonder Books 8x6½ hardcover [1952] out of print/used
Wonder Books hardcover [1952] out of print/used
Forgotten Little Train children's book by Sally Fabry  
"The Forgotten Little Train" [1951] by Sally Fabry
"A story for boys and girls who love trains and like to ride on them, and especially for those who like little trains"
Whitman Publng Co. 8x7½ hardcover [1951] out of print/used
Forest of Boland Light Railway book by 'B.B.' & Denys Watkins-Pitchford  "The Forest of Boland Light Railway" [1955]
Written {as 'B.B.'} and Illustrated by Denys Watkins-Pitchford [1905-90]

Forest-dwelling gnomes build a steam railway to aid their mining activities while fending off evil leprechauns; interspecies tension builds until gnome Sneezerod must step forward to save his people; book aka "The Forest of The Railway"
Knight Books mass pb [1976] out of print/used
Hodder Children's Books 8x5½ hardcover [7/84] out of print/used
Dodd, Mead & Co. hardcover [1976] out of print/used
Eyre & Spottiswoode hardcover [1955] out of print/used
Antique Locomotives Coloring Book by Tre Tryckare Company  
"Antique Locomotives Coloring Book" [ages 6-14; 1971]
by The Tre Tryckare Company

Dover Publns 11x8¼ pb [6/76] for $4.99
'The Banshee Train' children's book  "The Banshee Train" [ages 5-8; 1995] by 'Odds Bodkin', Illustrated by Ted Rose
On a foggy night and with reports of flooding ahead, the engineer and fireman of Train Number One speed toward dangerous Gore Canyon Trestle, effectively blind.
Sandpiper 8x9¾ pb [9/96] out of print/used
Clarion Books 8¼x10½ hardcover [4/95] out of print/many used
Peacebound Trains children's book by Haemi Balgassi & Chris K. Soentpiet  "Peacebound Trains" [ages 8-12 {Lexile Measure 620L}; 1996]
by Haemi Balgassi, Illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet

Sumi's grandmother tells her of the family's escape from the Chinese army in 1950 Korea.
Kindle Edition from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt [2000 edition] for $5.35
HMH Books for Young Readers 9x7¼ pb [3/2000] out of print/many used
Clarion Books 9¼x8 hardcover [8/96] out of print/many used

Choo-Choo Charlie Littletown Train book by Michael Welply  
"Choo-Choo Charlie: The Littletown Train - A Pop-up Play Village with A Wind-up Toy Train!" [ages 3 & up; 1997] by Michael Welply
Andrews McMeel Publng 11½x9¼ hardcover [10/97] out of print/used
I Dream of Trains children's book by Angela Johnson & Loren Long  "I Dream of Trains" [ages 5 & up; 2003]
by Angela Johnson, Illustrated by Loren Long

book won Golden Kite Award from S.C.B.W.I.
Simon & Schuster BFYR 9¾x11½ hardcover [9/2003] for $14.49
Hear that Train Whistle Blow / How the Railroad Changed the World book by Milton Meltzer  "Hear That Train Whistle Blow! How The Railroad Changed The World"
[ages 11 & up; 2004] by Milton Meltzer

Random House YR/Landmark 9¼x8 pb [10/2005] out of print/used
Random House YR/Landmark 9¼x8 library hardcover [10/2004] out of print/used
Random House YR/Landmark 9½x8¼ hardcover [10/2004] out of print/used
The Last Train children's book by Gordon M. Titcomb & Wendell Minor  "The Last Train" [ages 3-8; 2010]
Based on a song by Gordon M. Titcomb, with lovely paintings by Wendell Minor

Kindle Edition from Roaring Brook Press [9/2010] for $9.99
Roaring Brook Press 10x10¼ hardcover [9/2010] for $14.54
Live Oak Media 10½x10½ hardcover with music CD [9/2010] for $28.95
Rising Son Records music CD [6/2005] 10 tracks - out of prodn/used
Trains National Geographic Reader book by Amy Shields  "National Geographic Kids: Trains" [ages 4-6; 2011]
by Amy Shields

Kindle Edition from National Geographic Kids [7/2012] for $3.41
National Geographic Kids 9x6 pb [4/2011] for $3.59 {sic}
National Geographic Kids 9¼x6¼ library hardcover [4/2011] for $12.51
Steam Train, Dream Train children's book by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld  "Steam Train, Dream Train" [ages 4-6; 2013]
by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Kindle Edition from Chronicle Books [4/2013] for $8.51
Chronicle Books 9¾x10¼ hardcover [4/2013] for $12.68
See Inside Trains book by Emily Bone & Colin King  "See Inside Trains" [2013] by Emily Bone, Illustrated by Colin King
with over 60 flaps to lift
Usborne Flap Books 11x8¾ hardcover [6/2013] out of print/used
Locomotive children's book by Brian Floca  "Locomotive" [2013] Written & Illustrated by Brian Floca
Not exactly fiction, more like a travelogue or documentary story for children – in blank verse; author's drawings and text are full of information, from how the Transcontinental Railroad was built to the machinery of the locomotive, and the changes in landscape speeding by outside the coach windows across America in 1869.
Kindle Edition from Simon & Schuster Digital Sales [9/2013] for $11.04
Atheneum/Richard Jackson 11¾x10½ hardcover [9/2013] for $12.95
How to Train a Train book by Jason Carter Eaton & John Rocco  
"How To Train A Train" [ages 4-8; 2013]
Written by Jason Carter Eaton, Illustrated by John Rocco

Candlewick Press 12x10 hardcover [9/2013] for $12.60
'Train' book by Elisha Cooper  "Train" [ages 4-8; 2013] Written & Illustrated by Elisha Cooper
Scholastic/Orchard 9x12 hardcover [9/2013] for $14.49
The Boundless book by Kenneth Oppel  "The Boundless" [ages 8-12; 2014] by Kenneth Oppel
Young Will Everett had always wished for an adventure, but he wasn't expecting it to start the moment that he boarded 'The Boundless', the largest and most magnificent train ever built.
Kindle Edition from Simon & Schuster Digital Sales [4/2014] for $6.99
Simon & Schuster BFYR 7½x5 pb [5/2015] for $6.41
Simon & Schuster BFYR 8¼x5½ hardcover [4/2014] for $11.89
Simon & Schuster BFYR hardcover [4/2014] out of print/used
Simon & Schuster BFYR hardcover [4/2014] out of print/used
Pullman Hilton Christmas Mystery book by Charlie Ryan  
"The Pullman Hilton: A Christmas Mystery" [ages 12-18; 2015]
by Charlie Ryan

Author grew up on Maple Street in Keyser, West Virginia - the setting for this novel of seven kids who find adventure and danger at the local railroad passenger car salvage yard.
Kindle Edition from Single Star [1/2015] for $6.99
Look Inside Trains book by Alex Frith & Colin King  "Look Inside Trains" [2015] by Alex Frith, Illustrated by Colin King
with over 50 flaps to lift
Usborne Flap Books 9x7¾ pb [4/2015] out of print/used
My Little Square Book / All About Trains / Steam Locomotives children's book by Bob Shepherd  "My Little Square Book" series - "All About Trains" by Bob Shepherd
Volume 1: "Steam Locomotives" [2015]
CreateSpace 8½x8½ pb [5/2015] for $12.95
Volume 2: "Steam Locomotive Tender Cars" [2015]
CreateSpace 8½x8½ pb [6/2015] for $12.95
Volume 3: "Railroad Box Cars" [2015]
CreateSpace 8½x8½ pb [6/2015] for $12.95
Volume 4: "Coal Cars" [2015]
CreateSpace 8½x8½ pb [8/2015] for $12.95
Volume 5: "Tank Cars" [2015]
CreateSpace 8½x8½ pb [9/2015] for $12.95
Volume 6: "Cabooses" [2015]
CreateSpace 8½x8½ pb [9/2015] for $12.95
Choo-Choo Charlie Presents Steam Locomotives book by Bob Shepherd  
"Choo-Choo Charlie Presents: Steam Locomotives" [2016]
by Bob Shepherd

interactive children's book with 'singing cartoon video' and fun test
Strawberries Press 11x8½ hardcover [2/2016] for $12.95
Charlie The Choo-Choo book by Beryl Evans/Stephen King & Ned Dameron  "Charlie The Choo-Choo: From The World of The Dark Tower" [2016]
by Beryl Evans {actually Stephen King}, Illustrated by Ned Dameron

Kindle Edition from Simon & Schuster Digital Sales [11/2016] for $9.99
Simon & Schuster BFYR 8x9 hardcover [11/2016] for $13.49


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