- “This is a railway, not a whale-way!”
The Beached Whale! is a magazine story.
One windy day, Duck is puffing along the coastal line, watching the crashing waves. Then, Duck sees something astonishing; a great, big whale washed up on the beach. The driver explains that sometimes whales swim too close to the shore and get stuck on land. When this happens, they need help fast as they need water to survive. As soon as Duck arrives at the next station, the driver rushes to the telephone to contact the R.S.P.C.A. who care for animals in distress.
All of the other engines are soon alerted. Thomas is taking a team of football players home from a match. He is called to the beach so that the footballers can help the whale. Bertie the bus soon arrives, too. He has brought lots of strong farmers from a nearby village. Everyone wants to help the whale. Just then, Harold flies overhead. He has been asked to help film the rescue for television.
Thomas and Duck watch to see how the men can save the whale. The fire brigade arrive with buckets to keep the whale wet with sea water. Everyone does their bit to help the whale while waiting for the R.S.P.C.A. to arrive. They soon get there with a whale expert and a special vet. The special vet gives the whale a check-up. After that, the farmers and footballers help the whale expert put a special stretcher under the whale which they then pump air into. The excited engines watch as the tide starts to come in. The water lifts the whale on the airbed back into the water. It is a truly amazing sight. Everyone cheers as the whale swims off into the sea with a flick of its tail to say goodbye.
As the rescue came to an end, Percy, who doesn't understand much about rescuing whales, arrives and asks why Thomas couldn't have given the whale a lift. Thomas tells Percy that he left it to the experts and jokes that he works on a railway, not a "whale-way". All of the engines laugh and hurry home to tell everyone about their incredible day.
- The R.S.P.C.A appear in this magazine story. They are a real-life animal charity.
- The plot is similar to the nineteenth series episode, Toad and the Whale.