“What a weak whistle!”
―James referring to Thomas' whistle

Thomas's Bell! is a magazine story.


Thomas is busily shunting in the Main Station yard when James rolls grandly up behind him. James blows his whistle as loudly as he can - almost making Thomas jump right off the rails. James explains that he was testing his whistle as he likes to make sure everyone can hear him coming. He goes on to claim that his whistle is louder than Thomas'. Not wanting to be outdone, Thomas blows his whistle as loud as he can, but it is no match for James'. Thomas is cross as James leaves laughing.

The next day, the Fat Controller tells James that he is to pull the first train of passengers to the new Museum of Ships. James whistles with excitement so loudly that Thomas and the others cannot hear themselves puff. Thomas is given a special job too. He pulls a flat truck to a siding by the river. There a tall crane lowers an old steam boat onto Thomas' flatbed. Thomas then sets off for the museum. Thomas' driver is a big fan of boats so the steam boat's owner lends him an old ship's bell. Thomas' driver polishes the bell until it shines and then fixes it to Thomas' cab.

James is less than pleased with Thomas' bell. As James pulls out of the yard with his train destined for the Museum of Ships, he whistles excitedly. Thomas' driver rings Thomas' bell loudly in reply. The Fat Controller had allowed Thomas to use the bell for the museum's opening day. James tells Thomas to stop ringing the bell as he cannot hear himself whistle.



  • In the illustration, the car looks too small, the tip of Thomas' buffers are red when they should be black, and the flanges of his wheels are blue.


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