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The Railway Series

book by Wilbert Vere Awdry

The Railway Series (1945–96, 2007, 2011) is a set of story books about a fictional railway located on the fictional Island of Sodor and the engines that lived on it.

Note: This article generally contains quotes from stories that have not been adapted for the television series "Thomas the Tank Engine".


Wilbert Awdry's EraEdit

The Three Railway EnginesEdit

Edward's Day OutEdit

Edward and GordonEdit

Trucks: [after Edward bumps them] OOH! Whatever is happening?!

The Sad Story of HenryEdit

Henry: [hides in a tunnel] The rain will spoil my lovely green paint and red stripes.

Narrator: Everyone pulled except the Fat Controller, because...
The Fat Director: Ahem! My doctor has forbidden me to pull.
Narrator: But still, Henry stayed in the tunnel. Then they tried pushing from the other end. The Fat Controller said...
The Fat Director: 1, 2, 3, PUSH!!
Narrator: But he didn't help.
The Fat Director: My doctor has forbidden me to push.

Edward, Gordon and HenryEdit

Thomas the Tank EngineEdit

Thomas and GordonEdit

Narrator: Thomas was a tank engine who lived at a Big Station. He had 6 small wheels, a short stumpy funnel, a short stumpy boiler, and a short stumpy dome.

Thomas' TrainEdit

Signalman: Hello, Thomas. What are you doing here?
Thomas: I'm pulling a train. Can't you see?
Signalman: Where are your coaches, then?
[Thomas looks back in shock]
Thomas: Why, bless me! If we haven't left them behind!
Signalman: Yes. You'd better go back quickly and fetch them.

Thomas and the TrucksEdit

Thomas: I'm tired of pushing coaches. I want to see the world!

The Fat Director: What are you doing here, Thomas?
Thomas: I brought Edward's trucks.
The Fat Director: Why did you come so fast?
Thomas: I didn't mean to. I was pushed!
The Fat Director: Haven't you pull trucks before?
Thomas: Um… no, sir.
The Fat Director: Then you've got a lot to learn about trucks, Thomas. After pushing them about here for a few weeks, you'll know almost as much about them as Edward. Then you'll be a really useful engine.

Thomas and the Breakdown TrainEdit

Thomas: [pushes the breakdown train to the scene of James' accident] Bother those trucks and their tricks! I hope poor James isn't hurt.

James the Red EngineEdit

James and the Top-HatEdit

James and the BootlaceEdit

The Fat Controller: If you can't behave, I shall take away your red coat and have you painted blue.
Narrator: James didn't like that at all.

Troublesome TrucksEdit

The Fat Controller: I see you are sorry, James. I hope now that you will be a better engine. You have given me a lot of trouble. People are laughing at my railway, and I don't like that at all.
James: I'm very sorry, Sir. I will try hard to behave.
The Fat Controller: That's a good engine! I want you to pull some trucks for me.

James and the ExpressEdit

James: Hello, Gordon. Is it tomorrow? [Gordon only lets of a feeble puff of steam] Did you lose your way, Gordon?
Gordon: No. It was lost for me. I was switched off the main line onto the loop. I had to go all around and back again!
James: Perhaps it was instinct!
Passengers: [shout at the ticket window] We want our money back!

Tank Engine Thomas AgainEdit

Thomas and the GuardEdit

[Henry arrives at the station late]
Thomas: And where have you been, lazybones?!
Henry: Oh, dear. My system is out of order. No one understands my case. You don't know what I suffer!
Thomas: Rubbish! You're too fat! You need exercise.

Thomas: Beep, beep, beep! Where is the guard?! [whistles]
Annie and Clarabel: We've left him behind!

Thomas Goes FishingEdit

The Fat Controller: [looks into Thomas' tank] Inspector, can you see... fish?! Gracious, goodness me! How did the fish get there, driver?!

Thomas, Terence and the SnowEdit

Terence: Hello! I'm Terence. I'm plowing.
Thomas: I'm Thomas. I'm pulling a train. What ugly wheels you've got!
Terence: They're not ugly. They're caterpillars! I can go anywhere. I don't need rails.
Thomas: I don't want to go anywhere. I like my rails. Thank you.

Thomas: [stuck in the snow] Oh, my wheels and coupling rods! I shall have to stop here till I'm frozen! What a silly engine I am!

Thomas and BertieEdit

Thomas: Hello! Who are you?
A bus: I'm Bertie. Who are you?
Thomas: I'm Thomas. I run this line.
Bertie: So you're Thomas. Ah! I remember now! You stuck in the snow. I took your passengers and Terence pulled you out. I've come to help you with your passengers today.
Thomas: Help me!? I can go faster than you!
Bertie: You can't.
Thomas: I can!
Bertie: I'll race you!
Stationmaster: Are you ready?! GO!

[after the race]
Bertie: Well done, Thomas! That was fun, but to beat you over that hill, I should have to grow wings and be an airplane.

Troublesome EnginesEdit

Henry and the ElephantEdit

Henry: An elephant pushed me, an elephant hooshed me!

Tenders and TurntablesEdit

Gordon: You don't understand, little Thomas. We tender engines have a position to keep up. It doesn't matter where you go, but we are important. And for the Fat Controller to make us do shunting, fetch coaches, and go on some of those dirty sidings, it's... It's... Well, it's not the proper thing!

Henry: It's shameful to treat tender engines like this, Gordon has to go backwards and people think he's a tank engine, James spins around like a top and everyone laughs at us! And to add to that, the Fat Controller makes us all shunt in dirty sidings!
Gordon: UGH! Listen!
Narrator: He whispered something to the others.
Gordon: We'll do it tomorrow. The Fat Controller will look silly.

Trouble in the ShedEdit

The Fat Controller: Come along, Henry. It's time your train was ready.
Gordon: Henry's not going! We won't shunt like common tank engines. That was Thomas' job! We are important tender engines! You fetch our coaches, and we will pull them. Tender engines don't shunt!
The Fat Controller: Oh, indeed. We'll see about that. Engines on my railway do as they are told. [gets into his car and drives off to get Edward] The yard has never been the same since Thomas left to run his branch line.

The Fat Controller: Bless me! What a noise!
Edward: They all hissed me, Sir. They say tender engines don't shunt, and last night, they said I have black wheels! I haven't, have I, Sir?
The Fat Controller: No, Edward. You have nice blue ones, and I'm proud of you. Tender engines do shunt, but all the same, we do need another tank engine here.

Percy Runs AwayEdit

Gordon: [approaches Percy] Ohhhh!! GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!

Gordon: [helps Percy out of the earth bank] Well done, Percy! You started so quickly that you stopped a nasty accident!
Percy: I'm sorry I was cheeky.
Gordon: You were clever to stop.

Henry the Green EngineEdit


Henry: I suffer dreadfully, and no one cares.
James: Rubbish, Henry! You don't work hard enough!

The Flying KipperEdit

[after the accident]
Henry: The signal was down, Sir.
The Fat Controller: Cheer up, Henry. It wasn't your fault. Ice and snow caused the accident. I'm sending you to Crewe, a fine place for sick engines. They'll give you a new shape and a larger firebox. You'll feel a different engine, and you won't need special coal anymore. Won't that be nice?
Henry: [doubtful] Yes, sir.

Gordon's WhistleEdit

Gordon: Why should Henry have a new shape? A shape good enough for me is good enough for him. He goes gallivanting off to Crewe, leaving us to do his work and comes back saying how happy he feels. It's disgraceful… and there's another thing - Henry whistles too much! No respectable engine ever whistles loudly at stations. It isn't wrong, but we just don't do it!

Percy and the TrousersEdit

Sir Topham Hatt: [seizes his top hat] Mine! Percy, look at this.
Percy: Yes, Sir. I am, Sir.
Sir Topham Hatt: My best trousers, too.
Percy: Yes, Sir. Please, Sir.

Henry's WhistleEdit

Driver: Henry has plenty of ashes. Please keep all windows shut till we pass the bridge. Henry's as excited as we are. Aren't you, old fellow?
Narrator: Henry didn't answer. He was feeling "stuffed-up".

Toby the Tram EngineEdit

Toby and the Stout GentlemanEdit

Grandchildren: Come on, Grandfather! Do look at this engine.
The Stout Gentleman (The Fat Controller): That's a tram engine, Stephen.
Bridget: Is it electric?
Toby: [angrily] WHOOSH!!
Stephen: Shh! You've offended him!
Bridget: But trams are electric, aren't they?
The Stout Gentleman: They are mostly, but this is a steam tram.
Stephen and Bridget: May we go in it, Grandfather, please?
The Fat Controller: [to the guard] STOP!

Henrietta: Hip-Hip-Hooray!
Narrator: But Toby didn't sing.
Toby: Electric, indeed. Electric, indeed!

Thomas in TroubleEdit

Policeman: Engines going on public roads must have their wheels covered and a cowcatcher in front to protect people and animals from being dragged under the wheels if they stray onto the line. [directly to Thomas] You haven't, so you are dangerous!
Thomas' Driver: Rubbish! We've been along here hundreds of times and never had an accident!
Policeman: That makes it worse.

Dirty ObjectsEdit

James: [eyes Toby and Henrietta] Yecch! What dirty objects!
Toby: [offended] James, why are you red?
James: I am a splendid engine. Ready for anything. You never see my paint dirty.
Toby: Oh, that's why you once needed bootlaces... to be ready, I suppose.

Toby: Look here, Percy! Whatever is that dirty object?
Percy: That's James. Didn't you know?
Toby: It's James' shape, but James is a splendid red engine, and you never see his paint dirty.
Narrator: James pretended he hadn't heard.

Mrs. Kyndley's ChristmasEdit

Gordon the Big EngineEdit

Off the RailsEdit

Gordon: [in his sleep] It's really tiring to be such a large and splendid engine. One does have to keep up appearances so.
[Henry shows up unexpectedly]
Henry: Beep, beep, beep, beep! Hello, fatface!
Gordon: What cheek! That Henry is too big for his wheels. Fancy speaking to me like that. Me, who has never had an accident!
Percy: Aren't jammed whistles and burst safety valves accidents?
Gordon: No, indeed! High spirits! Might happen to any engine, but to come off the rails like Henry did… Well, I ask you, is that right… is it decent?!

The Fat Controller: [on the phone] So Gordon didn't want to take the special train and ran into a ditch!? What's that you say, the special's waiting? Tell Edward to take it, please, and Gordon? Oh, leave him where he is. We haven't time to bother with him now.


Down the MineEdit

Thomas: PHEW! What a funny smell! Can you smell a smell?
Annie: I can't smell a smell.
Thomas: A funny, musty sort of smell.
Gordon: No one noticed it 'til you did. It must be yours.
Narrator: Not long ago, he had fallen into a dirty ditch. Thomas enjoyed teasing him about it.
Thomas: Annie, Clarabel? Do you know what I think it is? It's ditch water!

Thomas: [after falling down the mine] Fire and smoke! I'm sunk! Oh, dear! I am a silly engine!

Paint Pots and QueensEdit

Edward: I'm too old to pull important trains.
Gordon: I'm in disgrace!
James: He'll choose me, of course.
Henry: You!? You can't climb hills! He'll ask me to pull the train, and I'll have a new coat of paint.

Edward the Blue EngineEdit


Henry and Gordon: [after hearing about Edward's problem with his cattle trucks] Fancy allowing cows to break your train! They wouldn't dare do that to us. We'd show them!
Toby: [to Edward] You couldn't help it, Edward. They've never met cows. I have, and I know the trouble they are!

Henry: [finds Gordon on the bridge, where a cow is blocking his way] What's this, a cow?! I'll soon settle her. Be off, be off!
Narrator: But the cow turned and mooed at him. Henry backed away.
Henry: I don't want to hurt her.

Bertie's ChaseEdit

Edward: Beep! Beep! We're late! Where's Thomas?! He doesn't usually make us wait!
Fireman: [sings] Oh, dear. What can the matter be? Johnny's so long, and...
Driver: Never you mind about Johnny! Just you climb on the cab and look for Thomas.

Bertie: [to the passengers, after his second attempt to catch up to Edward has failed] I'm sorry.
Passengers: Never mind. After him quickly. Third time lucky, you know. [to Bertie's driver] Do you think we'll catch him at the next station, Driver?
Driver: There's a good chance. Our road keeps close to the line, and we can climb hills better than Edward. I'll just make sure.
Narrator: He spoke to the stationmaster.

Saved from ScrapEdit

Vicar: Morning, Charlie. Morning, Sidney. Hello, Edward. You look upset. [to the driver] What's the matter, Charlie?
Charlie (Edward's driver): There's a traction engine in the scrap yard, Vicar. He'll be broken up next week and it's a sham. Jem Cole says he never drove a better engine.
Edward: Do save him, sir. You've got room, sir.
Vicar: Yes, Edward. [laughs] I've got room, but I don't need a traction engine.
Edward: He'll saw wood and give children rides. Do buy him, sir, please.
Vicar: We'll see.

Old IronEdit

James: Edward is impossible! He clanks about like a lot of old iron, and he is so slow, he makes us wait!
Narrator: Thomas and Percy were indignant.
Thomas and Percy: Old iron, slow?! Why, Edward could beat you in a race any day!
James: Really?! I should like to see him do it!

Four Little EnginesEdit

Skarloey RemembersEdit

Workmen: We're gonna mend you now, Edward. Come along.
Edward: Goodbye, Skarloey! Your railway is a lovely line!
Skarloey: Oh, it is! It is! You've cheered me up, Edward! Goodbye!

Sir HandelEdit

Sir Handel: Whatever next?! Those aren't coaches. They're cattle trucks!
Coaches: WHOO! What a horrid engine!
Sir Handel: It's not what I'm used to.

Sir Handel: Hello. Who are you?
Gordon: I'm Gordon. Who are you?
Sir Handel: I'm Sir Handel. I've heard of you, you're an express engine! So am I, but I'm used to smart coaches, not these cattle trucks. Do you have smart coaches? [observes Gordon's train] I see you do. We must have a chat. Sorry I can't stop. We must keep time, you know.

Peter Sam and the Refreshment LadyEdit

Henry: [to Peter Sam] This won't do, youngster. I can't be kept waiting. If you're late tonight, I'll go off and leave your passengers behind.

The Refreshment Lady: What do you mean by leaving me behind?
Peter Sam: I'm sorry, Refreshment Lady, but Henry said he might leave without us!
The Refreshment Lady: [laughs] You silly engine! Henry was teasing you! He wouldn't have gone without our passengers. He's a guaranteed connection!
Peter Sam: Well… well, where's that Henry?!

Old FaithfulEdit

Skarloey: [to the owner] You were right, sir. Old engines can't pull trains like the young ones can.
The Owner: They can if they're mended, old faithful, and that's what's going to happen to you. You deserve it!
Skarloey: Oh, sir.

Percy the Small EngineEdit

Percy and the SignalEdit

Inspector: Show a wheel, James. You can't stay here all day.
James: The Fat Controller told me to stay here. He sent a message this morning.
Inspector: He did not. How could he? He's away for a week.

Duck Takes ChargeEdit

The Fat Controller: [to the bigger engines, who are whistling impatiently] Stop that noise!
Gordon: They won't let us in!
The Fat Controller: Duck, explain this behavior.
Duck: Beg pardon, Sir, but I'm a Great Western Engine. We do our work without fuss. But begging your pardon, Sir, Percy and I would be glad if you would inform these engines that we only take orders from you.
[the other engines furiously blow their whistles again]
The Fat Controller: SILENCE!!! Percy and Duck, I'm pleased with your work today, but not with your behavior tonight. You have caused a disturbance. [to the big engines] As for you, you've been worse! You made the disturbance! Duck is quite right. This is my railway, and I give the orders!

Percy and HaroldEdit

Percy: Hello. Who are you?
The helicopter: I'm Harold. Who are you?
Percy: I'm Percy. What whirly great arms you've got!
Harold: They're nice arms. I can hover like a bird. Don't you wish you could hover?
Percy: Certainly not. I like my rails, thank you.
Harold: I think railways are slow. They're not much use, and quite out of date.

Percy: I say, Toby, that Harold, that stuck-up whirly-bird thing, says I'm slow and out of date! Just let him wait! I'll show him!

Percy's PromiseEdit

The Fat Controller: Harold told me you were a wizard. He says he can beat you at some things, but not at being a submarine. I don't know what you to get up to sometimes, but I do know that you're a really useful engine.
Percy: Oh, Sir.

The Eight Famous EnginesEdit

Percy Takes the PlungeEdit

Henry: [about to take Percy to the engine works] Well, well, well. Did you like the water?
Percy: No!
Henry: I am surprised. You need more determination, Percy. Water's nothing to an engine with determination, you know. Perhaps you will like it better next time.
Narrator: Percy is quite determined that there won't be a "next time"!

Gordon Goes ForeignEdit

Gordon: When I was young and green, I remember going to London. Do you know the place? The station's called King's Cross.
The Engine: [snorts] King's Cross! London's Euston. Everybody knows that.
Duck: Rubbish! London's Paddington. I know. I worked there.

Narrator: They argued till they went to sleep. They argued when they woke up. They were still arguing when the other engine went away.
Gordon: [irritated] Stupid thing. I've no patience.
Duck: Stupid yourself. London's Paddington, PADDINGTON, do you hear?
James: Stop arguing, you make me tired. You're both agreed about something anyway.
Gordon and Duck: What's that?
James: [laughs] London's not Euston. Now shut up!

Gordon: I'm sure it's King's Cross. I'll go and prove it.

Gordon: Come on! Let's go
Narrator: It was only afew minutes before the Guard blew his whistle; but Gordon thought it was ages!
Gordon: [to the coaches] COME ON, COME ON!

Gordon: Never mind I like a good run to stretch my wheels.

The Fat Controller: I wonder how Gordon's getting on.
The Station Master: Excuse me, Sir. Have you seen the news?
The Fat Controller: Not yet. Why?
The Station Master: Just look at this Sir.
Narrator: The Fat Controller took the news paper.
The Fat Controller: Good gracious me! There's Gordon. Headlines too! "FAMOUS ENGINE AT LONDON STATION. POLICE CALLED TO CONTROL CROWDS".

The Fat Controller: I see you had a good welcome in London.
Gordon's Crew: We certainly did, Sir! We signed autographs till our arms ached, and Gordon had his photograph taken from so many directions at once that he didn't which way to look!
The Fat Controller: Good! I expect he enjoyed himself. Didn't you Gordon?
Gordon: No Sir, I didn't.
The Fat Controller: Why ever not?
Gordon: [sadly] London's all wrong, they've changed it. It isn't King's Cross any more. It's St Pancras.

Double HeaderEdit

One Child: The express is late, and double header too! You know what I think? I think James couldn't pull the train on his own, so Toby had to come and help him.

The Fat Controller's EnginesEdit

Duck and the Diesel EngineEdit

Domeless EnginesEdit

Gordon: Good riddance! Chattering all night, keeping important engines awake. Who is he, anyway?
Duck: He's City of Truro. He's famous.
Gordon: As famous as me? Nonsense!
Duck: He's famouser than you. He went 100 miles an hour before you drawn or were even thought of.
Gordon: So he says, but I didn't like his looks. He's got no dome! Never trust domeless engines. They're not respectable. I never boast, but I'd 100 miles an hour would be easy for me. Goodbye!

Pop Goes the DieselEdit

Trucks: [groan while Diesel tries pulling them] We can't! We won't!

Trucks: [sing at Diesel] Trucks are waiting in the yard, tackling them with ease'll.
Show the world what I can do.
Gaily boasts the Diesel.
In and out, he creeps about, like a big black weasel.
When he pulls the wrong trucks out, "POP" goes the Diesel!

Dirty WorkEdit

Duck: Shut up! [bumps the noisy trucks hard] I'm sorry our trucks were rude to you, Diesel.
Narrator: Diesel was still furious.
Diesel: It's all your fault. You made them laugh at me.
Henry: Nonsense! Duck would never do that. We engines have our differences but we never talk about them to the trucks. That would be dis-dis...
Gordon: Disgraceful!
James: Disgusting!
Henry: Despicable!

A Close ShaveEdit

Duck: [after crashing into the barber shop] Beg pardon, sir. Excuse my intrusion.
Barber: No, I won't. You frightened my customers. I'll teach you! [lathers shaving cream on Duck's face]

The Little Old EngineEdit


Gordon: Our controllers don't understands our feelings. Now if you were ill, you couldn't go, could you?
Sir Handel: Good idea! I'll try it!

Sir Handel: I'm sorry about your accident. I always stand well back. Trucks don't like me.
Peter Sam: Why didn't you warn me?!
Sir Handel: I didn't think.
The Thin Controller: You never do. You can start thinking now while you're doing Peter Sam's work as well as your own. That'll teach you to pretend you are ill.
Narrator: Sir Handel did start thinking. He thought about Thin Controllers, and thought about Gordon. He wanted give Gordon a piece of his mind.

Home at LastEdit

Duncan: [stuck in the tunnel] I'm a plain blunt engine! I speak as I find! Tunnels should be tunnels and not rabbit holes! This railway is no good at all!
Driver: Don't be silly! This tunnel is quite big enough for engines who don't rock and roll.

Rock 'n' RollEdit

Duncan: Nothing's happened, nothing's happened! Smelly old diesel, clever me!
Driver: Steady, boy!
[suddenly, Duncan derails]
Duncan: Sleepers and ballast! I'm off!

Little Old TwinsEdit

The Twin EnginesEdit

Hullo Twins!Edit

Narrator: The trucks complained bitterly, but then, trucks always do and no one takes much notice. The coaches complained too. No sooner had they arrived with one train, then they had to go out again with fresh passengers as another.

Coaches: We don't know whether we're coming or going. We feel quite distracted.
Henry: [grumbles] No one can say that we're afraid of hard work, but…
Gordon: We draw the line at goods trains.
James: Dirty trucks, dirty sidings. Ugh!
Duck: What are you boiler aching about? I remember on the great western–
Gordon: That tinpot railway...
Duck: Tinpot indeed! Let me tell you...

The Fat Controller: I hear you've lost your numbers. How did that happen?
The Scottish Engines: They maun hae slyly slippit, Sir. Ye ken hoo it is.
The Fat Controller: I know. "Accidentally" on purpose.
The Scottish Engines: Sir! Ye wadnae be thinkin' we lost them on purrpose?

The Fat Controller: I'm not so sure. Now then, which of you is 57646?
The Scottish Engines: That, Sir, is juist what we canna mind.

The Fat Controller: What are your names?
The Scottish Engines: Donal an' Douggie, Sirr.
The Fat Controller: Good! Then your controller can tell me which is which.
Donald and Douglas: Och! Ye'll get no muckle help fae him, Sir.
The Fat Controller: Why?
Donald and Douglas: He disna ken oor names, Sir. Hoo could he? We only gien oorsels names when we lost oor nummers.
The Fat Controller: One of you is playing truant. I shall find him out and send him home. Inspector give these engines numbers, and set them to work.

The Missing CoachEdit

Donald (No. 9): Ye may hae noticed, Douggie, that yon penters forgot somethin'.
Douglas (No. 10): What did they forget?
Donald: They painted braw new nummers on oor tenders, but they put nane on uz.
Douglas: [grins] Ye mean… that we can–?
Donald: Juist that. Haud yer wheesht. Here's the inspector.
The Inspector: Now 9 and 10, here's Duck. He'll show you round before you start work.

Donald: We like it fine here.
Duck: That's good, but take my tip - watch out for Gordon, Henry and James. They're sure to try some nonsense.
Douglas: [chuckles] Dinna fash yersel. We'll suin settle them.
Narrator: Donald and Douglas had deep toned whistles.
Gordon: They sound like buses.
Henry: [sniggers] Or ships.
Gordon: [laughs] Tug-boat Annie! Ha! Ha!

Donald: Ye wadnae be makkin' fun o' uz wad ye noo?
Gordon: [jumps] Er, no.
Henry: [jumps] No, no, certainly not.
Douglas: That's fine. Noo juist mind the baith o' ye, and keep it that wey.
Narrator: That was the way Gordon and Henry kept it!

The Fat Controller: Ah! No. 9, and why have you not taken the goods?
"Donald" (Douglas who has his twin's tender): My tender is awa' Sirr.
The Fat Controller: I see, some defect no doubt. Tell me, why did #10 leave so quickly?
Douglas: [has Donald's #9 tender] Maybe, sir, he saw ye comin' and thought he was late.
The Fat Controller: Hm.

The Fat Controller: Douglas, why are you masquerading with Donald's tender?

Break VanEdit

Donald: You're a mockle nuisance! It's to leave you behind, I be wantin'.
Brake Van: You can't! I'm essential!
Donald: Och! Are you?! You're nothin' but a screechin' and a noise when all's said and done. Spite Doggie, would ya? TAKE THAT!! [rams the van]
Brake Van: OW! OOH!
Donald: There's more comin', should ya misbehave!

[after Donald has crashed into a signal box]
The Fat Controller: I am disappointed, Donald. I didn't expect such... such clumsiness from you. I had decided to send Douglas back and keep you.
Donald: I'm sorry, Sir.
Narrator: But he didn't know what he was sorry for. We know, don't we?
The Fat Controller: I should think so, too. You have upset my arrangements. Now, James will have to help with the goods work while you have your tender mended. James won't like that.

The DeputationEdit

The Fat Controller: Hello, Percy. It's nice to be back.
Narrator: Percy jumped and some trucks went flying.
Percy: [jumps] Uh, uh, yes, Sir! Yes, Sir! Please, Sir!
The Fat Controller: You look nervous, Percy. What's the matter?
Percy: Please, Sir, they've made me a "desperation", Sir, uh, to--to speak to you, Sir. I-I don't like it, Sir.
Narrator: The Fat Controller pondered.
The Fat Controller: Do you mean a deputation, Percy?
Percy: Yes, Sir, please, Sir. Uh, it's Donald and Douglas, Sir. They say, Sir, that if you send them away, Sir, well, they'll be turned into scrap, Sir. That would be dreadful, Sir. Uh, please, Sir, don't send them away! They're very nice engines, Sir.
The Fat Controller: Thank you, Percy. That will do.

Branch Line EnginesEdit

Thomas Comes to BreakfastEdit

Driver: You know just where to stop, Thomas. You could almost manage it without me.
Narrator: Thomas had become conceited. He didn't realize his driver was joking.

The Fat Controller: [firmly] You are a very naughty engine.
Thomas: [with guilt] I know, Sir. I'm sorry, Sir.


Daisy: [after a milk truck has been coupled to her] Do they expect me to pull that?!
Driver: Surely. You can pull 1 van.
Daisy: I won't! Percy can do it! He loves messing about with trucks.

Bulls EyesEdit

Daisy: You're afraid of getting hurt yourself.
Toby: I'm not!
Daisy: Yes, you are. I don't have stupid cow-catchers, but I'm not frightened. I'd just toot and they'd all go away.
Toby: But they don't.
Daisy: They would with me. Animals run if they toot and look them in the eye.
Toby: Even bulls?
Daisy: Even bulls.

Percy's PredicamentEdit

Toby: Hello, Percy. I see Daisy's left the milk behind again.
Percy: I'll have to make a special journey with it, I suppose. Anyone would think I had nothing to do.
Toby: Tell you what, I'll take the milk. You take my trucks.

Gallant Old Engine (book)Edit

Special FunnelEdit

Sir Handel: [sings] Peter Sam's said again and again, his new funnel will put ours to shame.
He went into the tunnel and lost his old funnel.
Now his famous new funnel's a drain!

Steam RollerEdit

George: Railways are no good! Turn them into roads! Pull 'em up! Turn them into roads! Railways are no good! Turn them into roads! Pull 'em up! Turn them into roads!

George: Hmph! You're Sir Handel, I suppose.
Sir Handel: And you, I suppose, are George. Yes, I've heard of you.
George: And I've heard of you. You swank around with your steamroller wheels, pretending you're as good as me!
Sir Handel: Actually, I'm better. Goodbye!

Passengers and PolishEdit

Duncan: Aren't you gonna polish me too?
Nancy: Sorry. Not today. I'm going now. I'm helping the refreshment lady this afternoon. We must get the ice cream ready for the passengers. Never mind, Duncan. I'll give a good rub tomorrow.
Narrator: But Duncan did mind.
Duncan: It isn't fair! Peter Sam gets a special funnel, Sir Handel gets special wheels, passengers get ices, and I'm not even polished!

Gallant Old Engine (story)Edit

Driver: [to Rheneas] You're a gallant little engine! When you're rested, we'll mend you, so you'll be ready for tomorrow.

Rheneas: You know, this helps a little engine to feel that at last, he has really come home!

Stepney the "Bluebell" EngineEdit

Bluebells of EnglandEdit

Stepney's SpecialEdit

Thomas: Shunted, and on my own branch too! It's a disgrace!

Train Stops PlayEdit

[after a cricket ball flies into Stepney's train]
Players: Stop!
Stepney: [to his trucks] Come along, come along!
Players: Our one and only ball!

Caroline: [about steam engines] They have their uses. They can save the wear on a poor cars wheels!

Bowled OutEdit

Gordon: Disgraceful!
James: Disgusting!
Henry: Despicable!
Donald and Douglas: To say such things to us! It's to teach him a lesson he be wantin', now how do we do it?

Main Line EnginesEdit

The DiseaselEdit

BoCo: [looks up at Bill] Do you mind?
Bill: Yes. I do. I want my trucks, please.
BoCo: These are mine. Go away!
Narrator: Bill pretended to be frightened.
Bill: You're a big bully! You'll be sorry!
Narrator: He ran back and hid behind the trucks on the other side. Ben now came forward.
Ben: Truck-stealer!
Narrator: He ran away too. Bill took his place.

Buzz, BuzzEdit

James: What's that, Duck, are you afraid of bees? They're only insects after all, so don't let that buzz-box diesel tell you different.
Duck: His name is BoCo, and he didn't. We–
James: I wouldn't care if hundreds were swarming around! I'd just blow smoke and make them buzz off!
Duck: Buzz, buzz, buzz.

Wrong RoadEdit

Gordon: It's not fair.
Edward: What isn't fair?
Gordon: Letting branch line diesels pull main line trains.
Edward: Never mind, Gordon. I'm sure BoCo will let you pull his trucks sometimes.
Narrator: Gordon spluttered.
Gordon: I won't pull BoCo's dirty trucks! I won't run on branch lines!
Edward: Why not? It would be a nice change.
Gordon: The Fat Controller would never approve. Branch lines are vulgar!
Narrator: Gordon puffed away. Edward chuckled and followed him to the station.

Bill: What's that?
Ben: SHH! It's Gordon.
Bill: It looks like Gordon but it can't be. Gordon never comes on the branch lines. He thinks them vulgar.
Narrator: Gordon pretended he hadn't heard them.
Ben: If it isn't Gordon, it's just a pile of old iron.
Bill: Which we'd better take to the scrap yard.
Ben: No, Bill. This lot's useless for scrap. We'll take it to the harbor and dump it in the sea.

Edward's ExploitEdit

[Edward struggles to pull his train]
Henry: Did you see him straining?
James: Positively painful.
Gordon: Just pathetic! He should give up and be preserved before it's too late!
Duck: Shut up! You're all jealous. Edward's better than any of you!
BoCo: You're right, Duck. Edward's old but he'll surprise us all.

Charlie (Edward's driver): We've loosened the couplings, Edward. Now you can pick up your coaches one by one, just as you do with trucks.
Edward: That'll be much easier.

Small Railway EnginesEdit


Donald and Douglas: Verra wee engines bring the ballast doun fra the hills.

Gordon: I don't believe it. Donald and Douglas have pulled our wheels before.

Rex: What d'you think of our chute? Good, isn't it?
Duck: Where did you spring from?
Rex: I've been here all the time. I'm Rex and you, I'm sure, are Duck.
Duck: How did you know?
Rex: That's easy, there's only 1 great western engine in these parts.

Rex: [to Duck] As you can see, the Small Controller's given us different coats.
Mike: [grumbles] Silly nonsense
Bert: [protests] I like being blue.
Mike: [fumes] It's all right for you, but not for me. Passengers'll say I look like a pillar box!
Rex: Shocking! [winks at Duck] Consider my feelings. When we were both green. Passengers kept calling me Mike!
Mike: [splutters] You... you...
Bert: Stow it, you two. Duck, have you seen our coaches?
Duck: Where are they?
Bert: Over there.
Duck: But they're tru... [finishes lamely] I mean, they're not like ours.
Rex: I agree. They are like trucks, but they behave surprisingly well.
Mike: [rudely] Sez you.

Tit for TatEdit

Bert's driver: We've got visitors today
Mike: We have 'em every day.
Bert's driver: But these are special. One takes 'moving pictures' and the other writes books. So mind you all behave.
Bert: I don't want to be a moving picture in a book. I want to stay as I am.

Bert: They did it on purpose.

Bert: They splashed me, they splashed me! Pictures indeed! I'm a nice picture… covered in mud!

Narrator: He sizzled crossly when the Fat Clergyman sat in his tender for the journey back.
Bert: Driver oughtn't to allow him after what he's done! [to himself] I know how to pay the Fat One out. It's a lovely plan. I only wish the Thin one was there too.

Bert: Tit for Tat, tit for tat!

The Small Controller: You're a very naughty engine. I won't have rudeness to visitors.
Bert: [falters] They splashed me. I only– [probably crying as he's talking]
The Small Controller: That's no excuse! I'm ashamed of you.

Bert: [to Rex and Mike] Those visitors are nice. They came and said "sorry" and I said "sorry" too, then they cleaned me like driver does. They know lots about engines. The Thin One's writing about me in a book. He promised he'd write about you too. Think of that!

Mike's WhistleEdit

Mike: [mimics Duck's jammed whistle] Shplee, shplee! It's shocking! If engines can't whistle properly, they shouldn't try.
Bert: Then why do you?
Mike: Why do I what?
Bert: Try to whistle, of course.
Mike: Shut up! You're jealous.
Narrator: Mike was proud of his shrill whistle.
Mike: Mine's better than yours anyway.
Rex: Listen, Mike. If I had a whistle like yours, d'you know what I'd do?
Narrator: He paused impressively.
Rex: I'd lose it!
Mike: [splutters] The Idea! Whistles are important, let me tell you. Engines without whistles aren't proper engines at all.
Narrator: Mike went redder than ever with fury. His steam pressure went up suddenly, and his safety-valves blew off.
Mike: Whoooooosh!
Mike's driver: Hullo! As you're ready first, you'd better take the 'passenger'.
Mike: What, and leave my goods?
Mike's driver: Yes, Bert can do that. We can't have you blowing off in here. Come on!

Mike's driver: What's bitten him? He doesn't like coaches, but he's never been as bad as this.

Mike: [muttering] They're jealous, they're jealous. I'll show 'em, I'll show 'em!
Mike's driver: [remarks] He's in a flaming temper about something.

The Small Controller: I've no spare whistles, so you'll have to wait. It serves you right for being such a cross patch.

Bert: [as Mike comes in] What's that?
Rex: Shsh! [whispers] Take no notice. It's an improper engine.
Bert: Why improper? He looks all right to me.
Rex: [whispers] He's got no whistle.
Bert: Oh, dear! How shocking! We don't approve of his sort, do we?

Useful RailwayEdit

Narrator: Mike had trouble with some sheep. He grumbled about them dreadfully.
Rex: They're silly but they're useful.
Mike: What?!
Rex: Farmers sell their wool.
Mike: What's that?
Rex: People make clothes from wool. You know, things they wear instead of paint.

Bert: But I don't understand, Sir. We can't drive sheep down the line. They wouldn't go straight.
Rex: Silly! We don't drive sheep, we take their wool in bales on trucks. It'll be easy.
The Small Controller: [laughs] Very well, Rex. You seem to know all about it, so you shall take the next train.

Willie: Crumbs! That's torn it! I must warn Rex.

Rex: [happily to himself] I said it was easy, I said it was easy!

Rex: Stop, stop, STTOOOOOOOOPPP!!!
Trucks: On, on, on!

Passengers: Oooh! Look! There's been an accident!

Rex: That accident served me right for being swanky.
Bert: No, it wasn't your fault at all.
Mike: Sorry we laughed.

The Small Controller: I'm proud of you all. Thanks to Rex, the accident did little harm. Bert and Mike worked like heroes, and our customers admire the way we managed. They thought we were a "toy railway", but now they say we're Really Useful. They've promised us plenty more work when the wool traffic is done.

Enterprising EnginesEdit

Tenders for HenryEdit

Super RescueEdit


Little WesternEdit

Oliver the Western EngineEdit

Donald's DuckEdit

Duck: You don't understand, Donald, how much the Fat Controller relies on me.
Donald: Och, aye.
Duck: I'm Great Western, and I...
Donald: Quack, quack, quack!
Duck: What?!
Donald: Ye hear. Quack, quack, ya go. Sounds like you're an egg layer. Now wheesh, and let an engine sleep!
Duck: Quack yourself!

Donald: [about the egg under Duck's bunker] Well, well, well! Ye must've laid it in the night, Duck. All unbeknownst!
Duck: You win, Donald. It'd take a clever engine to get the better of you!

Resource and SagacityEdit

Henry: Amazing.
James: Oliver has resource.
Gordon: And sagacity. He's an example to us all!
Oliver: You're too kind.

Toad Stands ByEdit

S.C. Ruffey and the trucks: [sing] Oliver's no use at all, thinks he's very clever.
Says that he can manage us, that's the best joke ever!
When he orders us about with the greatest folly, we just push him down the well! "POP" goes old Ollie!


Oliver: Bulgy's friend has come. He's red and rude too! He's taking Bulgy's passengers home, so it's leave him free to steal ours!
Duck: But he can't! Ours wanna go to the big station.
Oliver: Bulgy bets he can get there before us!
Duck: Rubbish! It's much farther by road!
Oliver: Yeah, but Bulgy says he knows a shortcut!

Duke the Lost EngineEdit


Stuart and Falcon: Engines come and engines go. Granpuff goes on forever.
Duke: You impertinent scalywags. Whatever are you engines coming to?
Stuart and Falcon: Never mind, Granpuff. We're only young once.
Duke: Well, you'd better mind, unless you want to end up like #2.


Duke: Listen. The mountain road is difficult. You take the train and I'll couple in front.
Falcon (Sir Handel): No, I'll lead. How can I learn the route with you lumbering ahead blocking the view?

You Can't WinEdit

Duke: [about his journey] It's not so easy, it's not so easy! But I'll manage, I'll manage.

Sleeping BeautyEdit

Peter Sam (Stuart) and Sir Handel (Falcon): He's here! Shh! Shh!
Duke: You woke me up! In my young days, engines were–
Peter Sam: Seen and not heard, Granpuff. Remember?

Tramway EnginesEdit

Ghost TrainEdit

Toby: Percy's had an accident!
Thomas: Poor engine! Botheration! That means I'll be late!
Toby: They've cleared the line for you, but there's something worse!
Thomas: Out with it, Toby! I can't wait all evening!
Toby: I've just seen something! [stutters] It looked like Percy's ghost! It said it was coming here... to warn us!
Thomas: Ha! Who cares?! Don't be frightened, Toby. I'll take care of you.

Woolly BearEdit

Percy: [whistles as if he were a ghost] WHEEEEEEEESH!!!
Narrator: Percy gave a ghostly whistle.
Percy: Don't be frightened, Thomas. It's only me!
Thomas: Your ugly fizz is enough to frighten everyone. You're like...
Percy: Ugly, indeed! I'm....
Thomas: A green caterpillar with red stripes. You crawl like one, too.
Percy: I don't!
Thomas: Who's been late every afternoon this week?
Percy: It's the hay!
Thomas: I can't help that. Time's time, and the Fat Controller relies on me to keep it. I can't if you crawl in the hay until all hours.
Percy: Green caterpillar, indeed!

Percy: [arrives at the station, covered in hay] Sorry I'm late!
Thomas: Look what's crawled out of the hay!
Percy: What's wrong?
Thomas: Talk about hairy caterpillars. It's worth being late to have seen you.


Toby: [to Mavis] I can't waste time playing "Hunt the Trucks" with you. Take them yourself!

[upon hearing the bad news about Mavis]
Toby: I warned her!
Driver: She's young yet, and–
Toby: She can manage her trucks herself!

Toby's TightropeEdit

Mavis: [after saving Toby from the damaged bridge] I'm sorry about the trucks. I can't think how you managed to stop them in time.
Toby: Oh, well. My driver told me about circus people who walk tightropes, but I just didn't fancy doing it myself.

Christopher Awdry's EraEdit

Really Useful EnginesEdit

Stop Thief!Edit


Mind That BikeEdit

Percy's driver: What happened to Tom?
Percy's fireman: And his old van? No wonder the new postman looked cross. Trying to carry mailbags on a bicycle would make anyone miserable!

Triple HeaderEdit

More About Thomas the Tank EngineEdit

Thomas, Percy and the CoalEdit

Thomas: Blue is the only proper color for an engine.
Toby: Oh, I don't know. I like my brown paint.
Percy: I've always been green. I wouldn't wanna be any other color, either.
Thomas: Blue is the only color for a really useful engine.

The RunawayEdit

Annie and Clarabel: [about Duck] Such nice manners. It really is a pleasure to go out with him.

Better Late Than NeverEdit

Thomas: Time's time! Why should I keep my passengers waiting while Henry and James dawdle about all day on viaducts?
Henry: Don't blame me. If we hurried across the viaduct, it might collapse, and then you'd have no passengers at all. What would you do then, eh?
Thomas: Run my train on time for one thing.

Drip TankEdit

Toby, Trucks and TroubleEdit

Mavis and the LorryEdit

Toby's Seaside HolidayEdit


Toby Takes the RoadEdit

Other RWS booksEdit


Thomas and TrevorEdit

Old Square WheelsEdit

Rusty Red Scrap IronEdit

Galloping SausageEdit

About the booksEdit

  • I started my life-long interest in railways approximately 50 years ago when, one Christmas, I received a first edition of Thomas the Tank Engine in a parcel from Santa Claus. As a book dealer, I very much regret that I do not still own that first edition. My mother gave it away to the local hospital with a load of Eagle annuals and other things, which I also regret I no longer own.
    From a childhood enlivened by the Reverend W Awdry's books, I remember the wonderful character of the Fat Controller. He was a bureaucrat; he was a man with a hat; and he was derided by the people who really ran the railway – who, in those stories, were the engines – for not knowing much about rail engineering. It sounds a little like Railtrack.
    • Lord Greaves, House of Lords Railtrack debate, Hansard, 5 April 2001

See alsoEdit