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“You're the drip.”
―Thomas to Percy

More About Thomas the Tank Engine is the thirtieth book of the Railway Series.


Dear Friends,
Sometimes Thomas and Percy both think they are the most important engines on the branch line. We know better, of course, and so does the Fat Controller, which is why he did not intervene when Thomas and Percy had a quarrel. Like most quarrels, it wasn't serious to start with. It began when Percy... But why not turn the page and read about it for yourself?
The Author


Thomas, Percy and the Coal

Thomas brags that blue paint is the only proper colour for a Really Useful Engine. Next day, Percy is shunting when the door on a coal truck opens and coal dust covers Thomas. Thomas and Percy are furious at one another, and the argument gets worse and worse. Several days later Percy goes to get a drink but collides with a coal bunker, much to Thomas' delight.

The Runaway

One day, Thomas wakes up feeling ill, so Duck looks after his branch line while he is being mended. When Thomas returns from the Works, his brakes are left stiff. One day, a "relief" fireman forgets to put Thomas' brakes on and Thomas starts off. Although an inspector tries to stop Thomas at Dryaw, Thomas is going too fast and Harold takes the inspector to Toryreck. Annie and Clarabel hold back so the inspector can leap aboard and stop Thomas.

Better Late Than Never

The arches on the Viaduct need strengthening and the big engines are late at Knapford to meet up with Thomas. One day, Bertie teases Thomas that he could beat him in a race - something Thomas vehemently denies. James later holds Thomas up, but just outside the tunnel, Thomas sees Bertie broken down. Thomas offers to help Bertie's passengers home, and the next day Bertie comes to Ffarquhar to thank Thomas.

Drip Tank

Percy wants to make things up with Thomas, but when he gets scratched by a branch, Thomas is rude and Percy decides against it. Later, Percy asks Toby what a drip is, having heard a boy call his friend one at the platform, but Thomas interrupts and calls Percy a drip. Thomas soon gets his comeuppance when his side rod snaps and punctures his watertank on his way home. When Percy goes to help him, Thomas feels ashamed and apologises to Percy, thus mending their friendship.




  • Christopher Awdry has stated he did not like the book's title, saying it was unimaginative. He has also regretted including the offensive term "drip" in the book, since it has largely fallen out of use.
  • This book is unique in the fact that it was written specifically for television, due to a part of a deal signed between Britt Allcroft and the Awdrys saying that all stories that were televised had to be in print form first. As a result, the stories were written specifically to include Harold and Bertie who were popular characters.
    • Despite having been written specifically so it could be included in the television series, "Drip Tank" was never adapted into an episode.
    • Thomas, Percy and the Coal was originally excluded from the second series's lineup, but after an adaption of The Missing Coach was cancelled, the former took the latter's place.
  • Since its release Christopher Awdry has expressed dissatisfaction with this book, saying he had written it in a hurry to meet a deadline with Britt Allcroft Productions.
  • This book marks a last of things:
  • In "The Runaway", a reference to Thomas and the Guard is made.
  • The first illustration of "Better Late Than Never" is similar to the seventh illustration of "Domeless Engines".
  • The second illustration of "Drip Tank" is similar to the second illustration of "Woolly Bear".
  • The events of this book took place in 1985.
  • The Runaway is based on a real event to one of the "Jazz" trains out of Liverpool Street.


  • In the fifth illustration, it states "Thomas was grumpy in the Shed that night," but on the top left it appears to be daytime.
  • Some illustrations in "The Runaway" shows Annie or Clarabel without their faces.

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