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This article is about The Railway Series book. You may be looking for The Great Railway Show.


“My brothers and I were built to run fast goods trains, but we did it so well that they let us pull expresses too.”
―Green Arrow

Thomas and the Great Railway Show is the thirty-fifth book of The Railway Series.

Foreword

Dear Friends,
Henry, Gordon and James have been grumpy lately. They were jealous because Thomas had been asked to visit the National Railway Museum in York. The Fat Controller was afraid that they would go on strike, but they didn't.

"If Thomas wants to be a museum-piece", they said to each other, "what's that to do with us?"

Meanwhile Thomas was enjoying himself. I hope you will enjoy reading about how he did so.
The Author

Stories

Museum-Piece

Gordon, Henry and James are furious to discover Thomas has been chosen to represent the North Western Railway at a railway show in York. Thomas is delighted and leaves Sodor for the Mainland. However, his run is cut short when the lock on a crossing gate breaks and the wind blows it across the track. Thomas is unable to stop in time and crashes into the gate, damaging his front and rendering him unable to continue by rail.

Not the Ticket

A lorry is arranged to take Thomas to York. Thomas is mortified, but he enjoys traveling through the countryside from a different point of view. However, the lorry driver does not know the way to the National Railway Museum and parks the lorry in the wrong place to find a telephone. A traffic warden gives the disgruntled lorry driver a parking ticket.

Trouble on the Line

The damage to Thomas' buffer beam is fixed in the museum's workshop, where Thomas befriends a kindly engine named Green Arrow. Thomas is later put onto a special line with barriers put up beside. The first day goes without a problem, but the next day a bag is thrown onto the line. When Thomas brakes to avoid hitting it, a child is frightened by Thomas' steam and his furious mother leaves to complain to the manager. Thomas is upset, and things are exacerbated when it is discovered his brakes are damaged. His crew, however, are happy that the crowds may have learned that engines cannot stop abruptly.

Thomas and the Railtour

Green Arrow leads a special railtour to the seaside. When Green Arrow returns, he tells the other engines about the large numbers of visitors. As extra trains are an impossibility, more coaches are added to the special, and Thomas is allowed to double-head the train. On a return run, Thomas sees the ground ahead has been eroded by a nearby river and warns Green Arrow to stop. Buses take the passengers home, and Thomas and Green Arrow are able to make it across the rails safely. When the Fat Controller comes to visit a few days later, he and the museum director present Thomas with a special plaque and make him an honorary member of the National Railway Museum.

Characters

Museum-Piece

Not the Ticket

  • Thomas
  • The Traffic Warden
  • Henry (Does not speak; fantasy)
  • Gordon (Does not speak; fantasy)
  • James (Does not speak; fantasy)
  • Stephenson's Rocket (does not speak)
  • Class 08 (does not speak)
  • Sir Stephen Topham Hatt III (mentioned)

Trouble on the Line

Thomas and the Railtour

Locations

Museum-Piece

Not the Ticket

Trouble on the Line

  • National Railway Museum

Thomas and the Railtour

Trivia

  • Christopher Awdry mentioned in Sodor: Reading Between the Lines that "Trouble on the Line" focused on railway safety, but to Awdry's dismay this aspect was watered down by the publishers. The original plot of the book is unknown, but Awdry attested that it reflected badly on crowd control at the National Railway Museum. This was later amended when Awdry wrote Bad Days for Thomas and his Friends and More Bad Days for Thomas and his Friends.
  • The television series special The Great Race also features an event called the Great Railway Show, though the event is a competition rather than a museum exhibition.
  • The events of this book take place in the latter half of 1990.
  • This is the first book in which engines on the Mainland have faces.
  • "Not the Ticket" is based on a real event where a Nene Valley Railway locomotive on a low-loader was parked at Peterborough's old market square, as part of a charity fundraiser.
  • On the second illustration of "Museum Piece", the television series is acknowledged by Toby as, at the time, the series was currently past the second series.
  • This book was published before the repeat episode of A Close Shave on 13th August 1991

Goofs

  • In "Museum Piece", the text says it is raining, but no rain is seen.
  • In the first illustration of "Trouble on the Line", the workshop at the National Railway Museum is mis-illustrated as Crovan's Gate Works.
  • In the fourth illustration of "Trouble on the Line", Thomas' funnel is off-centred.
  • In "Thomas and the Railtour", Thomas and Green Arrow are depicted waiting at York station for a train to the coast. Taking into account the actual York station plans, from the platform plus the direction they are situated in, the engines should actually be heading towards either Doncaster or Leeds.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Korean 토머스와 대철도 전시회

Quotes

  • Thomas (to traffic warden): "Hullo."
  • Traffic warden: "Humph!"
  • Scared child: "I want to go home, Mummy, now!"
  • The furious mother: "You noisy great engine; I'm going to see the Manager!"

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