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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the diesel engine, the Buzz Book, or the Story Library book.

“Trucks should be where you want them, when you want them!"
―Toby and Mavis arguing

Mavis is the fourteenth episode of the third series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Tramway Engines.


Mavis is a young new 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, at a goods station, Diesel meets Mavis. When she complains to him about Toby claiming he says that only steam engines can manage trucks, 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, but is oblivious that Diesel knows nothing about trucks.

How absurd. Depend upon it Mavis, anything steam engines can do, we diesels can do better!

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 cross in frosty weather. Toby has found a solution to this: he stops just before the dip, his fireman stops the traffic at the crossing and then he takes a run at the dip, using the weight of the trucks to help push him across without trouble. Not only is it the safest way to cross the lane in frosty weather, but also the easiest. Toby tries to tell 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. However, she does not realize that the trucks - who are tired of being bumped around - plan to pay her out. Mavis reaches the farm lane, but instead of stopping before the dip, she stops just before the road. Bertie and Terrence halted and Mavis - who believes she has got one over on Toby - tries to leave. However, 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 sand the rails and try to dig away the frozen mud, but it was 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. Toby's driver reminds him that they are actually his trucks and Mavis is technically not allowed to leave the yard. Knowing that he will also be in trouble if the Fat Controller finds out, 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 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. Mavis is too humiliated to thank Toby for his help and says nothing. Instead, she takes the trucks to the shed, and quickly heads back home to the quarry as the sunsets.




  • Diesel replaces Daisy's role from the original Railway Series story since Rick Siggelkow disapproved of Daisy's design around this time.
  • Mavis exclaims "Fiddlesticks!" at the beginning of this episode, instead of "Fudge!" in the original book. This was likely to avoid any criticism for alluding to profanity in the television series.
  • This is the first episode to use diesel engine squeaking wheels, albeit faintly.
  • In the restored version, the scene of Mavis looking mad at the end after being rescued by Toby is extended and the shot of her taking the trucks to the sheds is shortened.
  • This episode marks the last to use a few music cues:
    • The full outro music, as well as the only episode in the third series to use said music bit.
    • Diesel's original theme from the second series.
  • Both this episode and the next episode aired on Christmas Day 1991 in the United States.
  • This is the second episode named after a single character, the first being Daisy, not counting the American title for Thomas, Terence and the Snow.


  • 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 dub aired on the Shining Time Station episode "Do I Hear?" as well the 1992 release of Trust Thomas and Other Stories, the ending was shortened, muting the outro theme. However, on the New Zealand release of Trust Thomas and Other Stories, the last bit of the outro music is heard before the end credits start. This was later fixed on the 1995 version of Trust Thomas and Other Stories, 10 Years of Thomas and Thomas & Friends Classic Volume 3 on Amazon Prime and the Roku Channel.
  • 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 (viewers' right). Also, the quarry appeared instead of the yard.
  • When Mavis passes the level crossing her brake van is a BR 20. But when she approaches the lane, it is now a SR 25.
  • Mavis' brake van disappears at the end of the episode, and is replaced with an extra truck.


Toby: Trucks/Freight cars should be where you want them when you want them.
Mavis: Fiddlesticks! [leaves]

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

Mavis: Toby's an old fusspot.
Narrator: Diesel sensed trouble and was delighted.
Mavis: Toby says only steam engines can manage trucks/freight cars.
Diesel: How absurd. Depend upon it, Mavis. Anything steam engines can do, we diesels can do better.
Narrator: Diesel knew nothing about trucks/cars, but Mavis didn't realise this.

[upon hearing the bad news about Mavis]
Toby: I warned her!
Driver: She's young yet. And...
Toby: She can manage her trucks/cars herself!
Driver: They're your trucks/cars, really. Mavis is supposed to stay at the quarry. If the Fat Controller finds out...
Toby: Hmm, yes.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Mavis
Chinese Mandarin 麦维斯
Czech Mavis
Danish Mavis fra Stenbruddet
Dutch Mavis
Finnish Maija
German Mavis
Greek Η Μέιβις
Hungarian Rigó
Italian Mavis
Japanese いしきりばのメイビス
Korean 메이비스
Latin American Spanish Mavis
Norwegian Mavis fra Steinbruddet
Polish Marta
Romanian Mavis
Russian Мэвис
Serbian Mejvis
Slovenian Manca
Swedish Mavis fra Steinbruddet
Turkish Mavis
Ukrainian Мевіс
Welsh Mefis

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  • Thomas, Percy and the Post Train


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  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4