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Thomas and the Great Discovery is a book based on the 2008 special The Great Discovery.
Thomas is going to the wharf to deliver three flatbeds of logs, but fearing that he will be late, he uses an old track thinking that it is a shortcut. Instead it is a track that lead to the lost town of Great Waterton. Sir Topham Hatt makes plans to restore the town and puts Thomas in charge. While Thomas is busy restoring Great Waterton, Sir Topham Hatt orders a new tank engine named Stanley.
Thomas sees a truck close to the entrance to Morgan's Mine, puffs too fast, and hits the truck, causing it to fly into the mine. Thomas follows the truck but soon derails and falls down the abandoned mine. Soon Stanley and Sir Topham Hatt are wondering where Thomas is. Sir Topham Hatt sends all the engines to look for Thomas. At the entrance of Morgan's Mine, Stanley whistles and Thomas whistles back. Stanley enters the mine and rescues Thomas.
A few days later, Great Waterton is ready for the grand opening and Lady Hatt announces that Great Waterton is open again.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Harvey (does not speak)
- Lady Hatt (does not speak)
- Henry (cameo)
- Gordon (cameo)
- James (cameo)
- Percy (cameo)
- Mavis (cameo)
- Alfie (cameo)
- Max (cameo)
- Ned (cameo)
- Cranky (cameo)
- Sodor Brass Band (cameos)
- There are a few differences between the film and the book:
- Thomas' race with James, Rolling River Bridge, Madge giving the news to the other engines and the accident with the trucks hitting the Water Works tower are omitted.
- Harvey lifts Thomas when he fell off the tracks, instead of Edward and Rocky.
- Thomas does not know about Stanley until his accident, unlike the special where he hears about him from James by the Great Waterton Sheds.
- Thomas goes into Morgan's Mine right after Sir Topham Hatt tells him that Stanley will be in charge, as the tower accident is omitted.
- Thomas gets stuck in the mine by coming off the rails, unlike the special where he is on a wooden raft floating down the flooded underground tunnel.
- Stanley rescues Thomas inside the mine.
- In one illustration, the Water Works tower is mistaken for a crane.