- “If I were you, I should leave the roads for what they were made for. You stay on the rails; you'll find them much more comfortable!”
- ―The Fat Controller to Toby
Toby, Trucks and Trouble is the thirty-second book of the Railway Series.
Trucks are silly things. They rattle, bang and chatter to each other so much that they can never hear what their engine says. Even if they did, they probably wouldn't take any notice. They pushed Mavis into a lorry, and that made extra work for Toby and Percy while she was being mended.
But on the other hand, perhaps they're not all bad - after all, they did teach Bulstrode a lesson. See what you think.
Mavis and the Lorry
Mavis is bringing trucks down from Anopha Quarry when she sees a lorry at the crossing, where vehicles often come across with dangerous speed and turns. The driver, who is new to Sodor and does not expect to see an engine, has his lorry turned over when it collides with Mavis. Although the driver is unharmed but surprised, Mavis' cowcatcher is bent, and while she is being mended Toby is sent to work at the quarry, leaving Percy with extra work.
Toby remiscises about his days working at a harbour in Yarmouth. One day, his crew told him they were allowed to go to a local village's seaside festival. After receiving brand-new paintwork, he set off to the village. After a night on a siding, Toby was told they did not have room for him, but the real reason was that they were afraid he would show everyone else up. However, Toby's daydream is interrupted when his crew returns. Toby leaves, noting the Fat Controller would have organised the whole event better.
Percy is told to go to Knapford Harbour to help with an emergency. There, the trucks ask him to unload their stone into Bulstrode, a cantankerous old barge, to get away from his constant complaining. Unfortunately as Percy starts to push, a coupling breaks and some trucks run into Bulstrode, who nearly drowns, but luckily for him the tide is out. The trucks are sad of losing their friends, but happy because they will not have to deal with Bulstrode anymore. The workmen rescue some stone, Percy takes the broken trucks to the scrapyard, and Bulstrode is towed to a beach so children can play in him.
Toby Takes the Road
Terence takes care of the shunting for Percy while he is at the harbour, and brags about how he can "go anywhere and do anything". Then one day, Toby is going to the quarry one frosty morning. At the crossing, the earth has swelled over the rails, derailing Toby and creating two long ruts in the road nearby. With some quick thinking on the fireman's part Toby gets back on the rails, and his crew spread some of his ashes to prevent that incident from happening again. The Fat Controller soon finds out, but all he says is that Toby should stick to the railway. Toby happily agrees.
- The Fat Controller
- One of Toby's Brothers (does not speak)
- 8783 (cameo)
- Farmer Finney (cameo)
- Thomas (mentioned)
- Henrietta (mentioned)
- Trevor (mentioned)
- The Quarry Tramroad
- Ffarquhar Sheds
- The Ffarquhar Stationmaster's House
- Knapford Harbour
- Great Yarmouth Docks
- It is likely that this book is set parallel to the events of Thomas and the Twins, as Thomas is nowhere to be seen in this book.
- This was the first Railway Series book that did not contain the word "engine" or "engines" in its title. Although Christopher Awdry is regretful of breaking from tradition, he has stated it created many new book title opportunities.
- This was the last Railway Series book to have a story televised until the twentieth series.
- This book also marks Mavis' last speaking role in the Railway Series.
- Toby's flashback in Toby's Seaside Holiday takes place in between 1923 and 1948.
- The events of this book took place in 1987.
- This book was published twelve weeks after the second series of the TV series was released on VHS in Australia.
- Mavis and the Lorry and Toby Takes the Road were based on a real events on the Wishbech and Upwell Tramway.
- The lorry was said to have left the road and skidded into a ditch, but in the illustration it just tipped on its side.
- In the second illustration of Bulstrode, the trucks are missing their buffers.
- When Toby comes off the rails, the sign reads Arlsburgh instead of Arlesburgh.