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- “Trucks should be where you want them, when you want them!"
- ―Toby and Mavis arguing
Mavis is the fourteenth episode of the third series.
Mavis is a young diesel engine who works in the quarry at the end of the branch line, where she shunts trucks and puts them in their proper place. She has sideplates like Toby to help prevent accidents on the line, but she is quite inexperienced and has her own ideas on how to do things; ideas she is very keen to implement. As a result, she puts the trucks in different positions every day making things hard for Toby, who tells Mavis off for this. Mavis, however, thinks Toby is just being fussy and boring and continues to do things her way until eventually Toby gives up and tells her she can take her own trucks to the station. Mavis is very pleased with this, as taking trucks makes her feel important.
Later, Diesel oils up to Mavis, who complains about Toby. Diesel sees a chance to cause trouble and tells Mavis that diesels are naturally better than steam engines before leaving. Mavis takes his words to heart, not realising that Diesel knows nothing about trucks.
The line Toby uses crosses a main road behind the station before reaching a farm lane. Here, there is a dip in the line which can be very difficult to ride across in frosty weather. Toby has found a solution to this; he stops just before the dip, his fireman stops the traffic on the road and then Toby takes a run at the dip, using the weight of the trucks to help push him across without trouble. Not only is it the only safe way to cross the lane in frost weather, but also the easiest. Toby tells Mavis about the farm lane and how to cross it, but Mavis thinks that Toby is just being fussy and ignores his advice.
Later, Mavis begins taking the trucks to the station not realising that the trucks, who are tired of being bumped around, plan to make her day difficult. Mavis reaches the farm lane, however, instead of stopping before the dip, she stops just before the road. All the traffic is halted and Mavis, who believes she has got one over on Toby, tries to leave. But the trucks take advantage of her mistake and hold back. Mavis is unable to move despite her best attempts, leaving the trucks to laugh at her mistake. Workmen try to dig away the frozen mud, but to no avail. Mavis is stuck, blocking the crossing, and making everyone who is caught in the resulting traffic jam cross.
Back at the yard, Toby is angry when he is told what has happened. Toby's driver tries to calm him down, reminding him that Mavis is young and needs to learn. Toby is not interested and is willing to let her manage the trucks herself. The driver reminds Toby that they are actually his trucks and Mavis is technically not allowed to leave the yard. Knowing that he will get in trouble with the Fat Controller, Toby decides to go and help after all.
Back at the lane, Mavis is facing an angry farmer when Toby arrives to help. After a lot of pushing, Toby finally starts to move Mavis and the trucks back across the lane. The hard work makes Toby's fire burn fiercely and his fireman spreads the hot cinders to melt the frozen mud. Finally Toby and Mavis wind up at the beginning of the lane and Toby wishes Mavis goodbye and leaves. Humiliated, Mavis takes the trucks to the shed, and quickly heads back home to the quarry.
- Terence (cameo)
- Bertie (cameo)
- Farmer Finney (cameo)
- Jem Cole (cameo)
- Sir Topham Hatt (mentioned)
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book, Tramway Engines.
- Diesel replaces Daisy's role from the original Railway Series story.
- This is the last episode to use the full outro music, as well as the only episode in the third series to use said music bit.
- Stock footage and a deleted scene from Donald's Duck are used.
- Both this episode and the next episode aired on Christmas Day 1991 in the United States.
- Just before Mavis approaches the lane, a steam platform can be seen.
- Mavis' last truck has a crooked face.
- When Toby complains that he warned Mavis, shadows pass over him in a couple of shots.
- When Toby pushes Mavis out of the lane, the scene has obviously been cut.
- Bertie is smiling when he is stuck at the crossing.
- Terence disappears when Toby pushes Mavis out of the lane.
- Toby's face moves when he says "I warned her!"
- When the US version aired on Shining Time Station, the ending was shortened, muting the outro theme. This was later fixed on the 1995 version of Trust Thomas and Other Stories and 10 Years of Thomas.
- When Mavis is in the lane, the sign warning the engines to "WHISTLE" at the crossing has disappeared. When Toby arrives at the lane to rescue Mavis, the "SLOW" sign is also gone.
- When the narrator says "Frosty weather makes the muddy lane rock hard and very slippery," a camera shadow can be seen on the ground.
- When the narrator says "Toby was in the yard when he heard the news," a black mark can be seen on Toby's left (viewer's perspective right) eye.
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