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The Declaration of Independence of the Island of Sodor

Updated on February 7, 2012


The Declaration of Independence of the Island of Sodor was modified from the United States Declaration of Independence to meet the needs of Thomas and his friends when they decided to end the rule of Sir Topham Hatt.

Sir Topham Hatt ruled the island of Sodor for over sixty years. During that time his relationship with Thomas the Tank Engine became increasingly complex and disturbing. All other engines were relegated to secondary character status while humans were only given names if they were members of a vaguely established but clearly wealthy visiting aristocracy. Thomas, a blue train with red piping whose mental age is estimated to be about ten in human years, became the primary focus of Sir Hatt's energy. Thomas could disappoint Topham and was frequently accused of causing confusion and delay and yet he remained the favorite engine. Other engines were threatened with the smelting yard, denied bathing opportunities, or given fuel rations that were inadequate for their needs. Sir Hatt also seemed to take a sick enjoyment in assigning freight to an engine ill equipped to handle the cargo or the journey.

This declaration is meant to mark the end of his rule. Keen observers will note that the needs of humans here are referenced frequently while they are only incidentally mentioned, if considered at all, in the official history of the Island of Sodor.


When in the course of sentient being events, it becomes necessary for one group to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of all requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Establishing the Right of Revolution

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Steamies, Diesels, assorted vehicles and humans of the Island of Sodor are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among aware beings, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Aware to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

List of Charges

Such has been the patient sufferance of Sodor's inhabitants; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of Sir Topham Hatt is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has instituted the Really Useful Doctrine. Engines cower in mortal fear of confusion and delay.

He has incited riot and race war among the engines. Under his divisive leadership the Day of the Diesels came to pass.

He has instituted improvements which threatened the health and safety of all inhabitants of the island. From the Big, Big, Bridge, which experienced a train derailment within a few hours of opening and while laden with human passengers to the suspension bridge destroyed by wind in Calling All Engines, Sir Topham has endangered us all. We remember with heavy hearts the unnamed humans who gave their all to build these disasters.

His perverted use of resources has covered the island in train tracks while neglecting the maintenance of basic utilities. Sodor once enjoyed frequent and robust trade with Misty Island. Once that island was covered in tracks Sir Hatt abandoned it and allowed the tunnel connecting our islands to collapse. Its human inhabitants died of starvation long ago leaving a few increasingly deranged trains still wandering alone. We will not allow such a dismal fate to overtake us.

His murderous threat of the smelting yards is the sort of cruelty only a dictator could employ so frequently.

He is unwilling to provide for the basic needs of the human inhabitants.
  • Hordes of children swarm the island. Who are these children, why are they always going on holiday, and what has been done with their parents? Given Topham's paternal yet fetish-like treatment of Thomas and his scorn for mere humans with whom he rarely deigns to speak we fear the answer.
  • Mail is rarely delivered on time.
  • As evidenced in Splish, Splash, Splosh, delicacies are demanded to meet the extravagant desires of Sir Hatt and his friends but only rotten flour and filthy berries are provided to those ordered to serve his whims. Woe to the baker who fails to meet expectations.
  • Farms and homesteads are sliced through with train tracks without regard to safety or practicality.
  • Human housing, churches, and stores are built to satisfy the visual whims of the dictator rather than the needs of the people. Sir Hatt's "villages" are most often three large dorm houses, a church, and a train station, all of similar size. The country estates of his noble friends are free of such debilitating intrusion.


In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Train Master whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our mainland brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the Island of Sodor, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of Sodor, solemnly publish and declare, That the Island is, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent; that her inhabitants are Absolved from all Allegiance to Sir Topham Hatt and his mainland cohorts, and that all political connection between it and the mainland, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a Free and Independent Nation, it has full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

What do you think...

Should Thomas and His Friends have sought independence from Sir Topham Hatt?

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