The Rev. W. Awdry, who delighted generations of children with his tales of “Thomas the Tank Engine,” died Friday, his publisher said.
The cause of death was not announced, but the 85-year-old writer had been in poor health for some time. He died at his home in Stroud in Gloucestershire, said Jo Markham of Reed Books.
Wilbert Vere Awdry produced his first book in 1945 and kept at it until “Thomas’ Christmas Party” in 1984, although his son Christopher had assumed main responsibility for the series in 1972.
The son of a train-loving clergyman, Awdry started spinning tales of railway engines for his son.