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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the 2011 or 2013 magazine story.

“I mustn't be late for story time! I'll chuff and I'll puff to be there on time!”

Time for a Story is the ninth episode of the thirteenth series.


New story books are to be delivered to the library for the school children's story time and the Fat Controller gives this special job to Thomas. Thomas goes to Maithwaite to collect the trucks full of books, but he is so excited about the children's storytime that he leaves too soon and does not wait for the stationmaster to cover the books to keep them inside the trucks. On his way to the library, Thomas sees a red signal ahead and goes down the branch line before he reaches the signal, so as to not be late for story time. However, Thomas soon pays the price for his impatience when he ignores warning signs about track repairs and hits the bumpy track, causing his trucks to derail, crash into Farmer McColl's Field and spill the books all over the field.

Thomas feels bad for being impatient, but he has an idea. Seeing how bright the colourful books are in the field, Thomas decides that instead of bringing the books to the children, he will bring the children to the books. So he collects Annie and Clarabel and then collects the schoolchildren and their teacher. Once back at Farmer McColl's Field, Thomas listens to the teacher telling a story about a boy who learned patience.







  • This episode was shown in select US theatres in October 2010.
  • In the US, one child was voiced by Martin Sherman. The sound of him saying "Hello, Thomas!" was later used in the fourteenth series episode, Pop Goes Thomas.
  • This is the only episode of the thirteenth series in which James did not appear.
  • In Poland, this episode premiered before Hero of the Rails, so the audience would not know about Victor, Kevin or the Sodor Steamworks.
  • The plot is similar to the eighth series episode, Thomas Gets it Right, with Thomas being impatience as well in said episode.


  • In the first shot of Gordon pulling the express, the brake coach is facing backwards.
  • In some shots, the tracks are completely smooth, yet Thomas and the trucks still bounce.
  • After the crash, Thomas says that the trucks are broken, but the trucks are still intact.
  • When Thomas is leaving the Steamworks, his wheels are moving slower than him.
  • Thomas puffs down the branch line despite the points being switched against him.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Catalan Hora d'explicar un conte
Chinese 故事会
Czech Čas na pohádku
Danish Læsedagen
Dutch Tijd voor een Verhaaltje
Finnish Erilainen Satutunti
French Un pique-nique imprévu
German Die besondere Vorlesestunde
Greek Ώρα για ένα παραμύθι
Hungarian Mesedélután
Icelandic Sögustund
Indonesian Watkunya Berceita
Italian L'ora delle Storie
Japanese すてきなおはなしかい
Korean 책 읽기 소풍 (EBS)/특별한 피크닉 (MNV)
Norwegian Eventyrstund
Polish Czytania Bajki
Romanian E Timpul pentru O Poveste
Russian Необычный пикник
Serbian Vreme za priču
Slovak Čas na rozprávku
Spanish Tiempo para un Cuento
Swedish Dags för sagostunder
Thai ปิกนิกฟังนิทาน
Welsh Amser stori

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


  • The Lion of Sodor

DVD Packs




  • The Lion of Sodor






DVD Boxsets


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