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“She's got no wheels and her roof leaks like a sieve. Don't even think about it.”
―Thomas' driver

Thomas and Victoria is the forty-first book of The Railway Series.

Foreword

Dear Friends,
Here are four new adventures from Thomas's branch line. In them you will meet up again with several old friends, including, of course, Thomas himself. Oh, and there is a new friend for you called Victoria - we all hope you will like her as much as we do.
The Author

Stories

Overloaded

Bertie is ill and Henrietta has to carry the workmen to the quarry all by herself, but there is not enough room and some have to crowd on Henrietta's balcony. A policeman sees the event while cycling past, and the next day pays a visit to the quarry manager to inform him of a by-law forbidding passengers to be carried on coaches' balconies. Both the manager and the Fat Controller have no ideas, but a few days later Thomas' driver sees an old coach in a garden near Elsbridge. Thomas has an idea, and shares it with the Fat Controller...

Avalanche

Edward is at the works when he sees a familiar-looking coach. After a conversation, the two discover they know each other from their days on the Furness Railway. Victoria, the coach, worked on a branch line running to Windermere with another coach, Helena, and an engine, Albert, who Victoria notes only ever had one accident. One snowy day after boasting about snow, Albert had stopped outside the mouth of a tunnel while collecting passengers at Haverthwaite. When he started, he gave off so much steam that he caused an avalanche so great he became buried in snow and, although he was rescued the next day, he never bragged about snow again.

Eels on Wheels

As summer arrives, Daisy often sees grass snakes near the line. When she tells the engines about them Percy is worried, but Daisy simply thinks him silly. Then, some days later Daisy has to take some boxes up to Ffarquhar for a restaurant. One is knocked onto the platform and the cargo - live eels - is spilt onto the rails; to Daisy's horror, some wriggle underneath her wheels. The eels are rescued, but Daisy has blown a fuse and Thomas has to take her passengers while Toby and Percy make jokes about wriggly things.

Toby's Vintage Train

Victoria's restoration is completed and Edward takes her to Knapford, where she is coupled up to Annie and Clarabel. At Elsbridge, they are told Terence is in some trouble and go to see what the matter is. Terence, who had been building a barn, had to swerve for a boulder near the tunnel and his trailer fell down the cutting, balancing dangerously upon a tree. The trailer is secured and Thomas makes it to Ffarquhar, where Victoria is coupled to Toby and Henrietta, making a train now known as Toby's Vintage Train.

Characters

Overloaded

Avalanche

  • Edward
  • Victoria
  • Albert (does not speak)
  • Helena (does not speak)
  • BoCo (mentioned)
  • Sir Stephen Topham Hatt III (mentioned)

Eels on Wheels

Toby's Vintage Train

  • Toby
  • Victoria
  • Terence
  • Sir Stephen Topham Hatt III
  • Thomas (does not speak)
  • Edward (does not speak)
  • Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
  • Henrietta (does not speak)
  • Farmer Finney (does not speak)
  • BoCo (mentioned)

Locations

Overloaded

Avalanche

Eels on Wheels

Toby's Vintage Train

Trivia

  • Despite being in the title, Thomas only speaks once in the first story.
  • Henrietta has a face on one of her doors in the last illustration of Overloaded.
  • Victoria and Albert are named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and her husband, Prince Albert. Helena was named after one of their daughters.
  • This was the first volume of The Railway Series to be published since 1996 due to the success of the SiF campaign to bring the books back into print.
  • This book had originally been intended to be published in 1997, but was cancelled once Britt Allcroft bought the rights from William Heinemann. New publisher Egmont Publishing had intended to continue the series after reformatting it, however the unpopularity of the new format resulted in them discontinuing the entire series.
    • Because of this book finally being published in 2007, this is the volume of The Railway Series to be released in the 21st century.
  • The book's elements were used for the twenty-second series episode, School of Duck.
  • The release of this book coincided with the release of the first two eleventh series episodes, Thomas and the Storyteller and Emily's Rubbish, in the UK.
  • "Eels on Wheels" is a pun on "Meals on Wheels", a company that brings food to the elderly.
  • Victoria's story in "Avalanche" is set on the Furness Railway branch line to Lake Windermere, which is now part of the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. Also, the author acknowledges the assistance of the Furness Railway Trust for providing the information as a guide for the story Avalanche.
  • "Ells on Wheels" is the only story not to feature or even mention Victoria in some way.
  • This book marks the last of a few things in The Railway Series:
    • The last book to introduce any new rail characters.
    • Henrietta and Terence's last appearances.
    • Edward and Daisy's last speaking roles.
  • This was also the only book in The Railway Series of several things as well:
    • Victoria's only appearance.
    • Henrietta's only appearance with a face. She later gained a face in the Television Series in the eighteenth series episode, Signals Crossed.
  • The present day events of this book took place in 2007 while Victoria's story takes place between 1891 and 1924.

Goofs

  • Henrietta's bufferbeam is grey instead of red.

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