Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Main Page

For other uses, see Toby (disambiguation).

“Electric indeed! Electric indeed!”

Toby and the Stout Gentleman, retitled Toby the Tram Engine in American releases, is the twenty-first episode of the first series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Toby the Tram Engine.


A tram engine named Toby lives and works on his own little railway. He has cowcatchers and sideplates to help prevent accidents, which is a unique look unlike most steam engines. He has his own coach called Henrietta, who always rides along with him. Sadly, Toby and Henrietta have both seen better days since the amounts of passengers and trucks they take have been decreasing due to the increase of roads. The passengers would rather travel by cars or bus, while companies send their goods by lorry.

One day, a stout gentleman, who is actually the Fat Controller, his wife, and their two grandchildren visit the railway while on holiday. The two children note that Toby looks unusual for an engine, and the Fat Controller tells them that he is a tram engine. The Fat Controller's granddaughter Bridget accidentally offends Toby by thinking he is electric, but the Fat Controller explains while most trams are electric, Toby is a steam one. The two children want a ride and ask the Fat Controller, who agrees. The whole family take a ride in Henrietta, who cannot be happier to have passengers again. On the other hand, Toby is still insulted about being called electric.

Afterwards, the Fat Controller speaks to Toby, thanking him for a lovely journey. Toby notes to himself that the Fat Controller knows how to speak to engines. The family returns every day for a fortnight of their holiday, sometimes riding with the guard in Henrietta, or sometimes inside empty trucks. On the last day, they ride with Toby's crew in his cab. Everyone is sorry when the family has to leave, and Toby asks them to come back someday; the family promises.

"Wake up, Toby, and listen to this! It's a letter from the stout gentleman!"

As time passes, Toby finds himself carrying even fewer passengers and goods. Soon the inevitable happens, and Toby's controller decides to shut the line down, much to Toby's grief. Later that day, a lot of people come for the chance of a last ride on Toby's line, filling up Henrietta. Although the passengers treat the occasion like a celebration, Toby and his driver know it is anything but. Afterwards, the passengers wish Toby a sad goodbye before he returns to his shed, then falls asleep feeling lonely and unwanted. The following morning, Toby is woken by his excited crew, as they just received some very good news; an important letter from the stout gentleman.




  • In the restored version, the footage sometimes overlaps.
  • This marks the first appearance of several things:
    • The first appearance of Toby, Henrietta, Bridget Hatt and Lady Hatt in the television series.
    • The first appearance of Arlesdale End, Arlesdale Castle, Lake and Mountains Line in the television series.
    • The first episode where a line was closing down, in this case, it was Toby's Old Tramway.
    • The first episode where an engine had escaped from scrap, in this case, Toby was brought to the North Western Railway by the Fat Controller, although it was officially seen on the next episode, and the escape from scrap was not shown on-screen until the second series episode, Saved from Scrap.
  • In the Ukrainian dub, the English credits are used instead of the Ukrainian ones.
  • In a deleted scene and some behind the scenes footage, there is a turntable in front of Toby's shed. However, the turntable was not seen in the episode itself.
  • This is the only episode of three things:
  • When George Carlin's narration aired on Shining Time Station, the first shot was cut out.
  • The last day of Toby's line being in service and the last scene both take place during Thomas in Trouble.


  • In the shot where Toby said "Nobody wants me," part of the studio wall can seen behind the sky painting.
  • The water at the lake is made of aluminum foil, which makes the water completely still and does not move at all. The same would follow in episodes and music videos that used footage from this same location.
  • When the passengers say "We are sorry your line is closing down," Toby's cowcatcher is slanted.
  • In the restored version, Toby's bell is silver rather than gold in close-ups and studio equipment is visible in the top left corner at the beginning of the episode.
  • A small piece of blu-tak can be seen on the Fat Controller's shoes when Toby first meets him at Lower Arlesburgh.
  • In the second to fourth close-ups of the Fat Controller, the camera shakes slightly.
  • Some shots of Toby are on sets (such as the windmill) that are clearly on Sodor, even though the episode is set on the Mainland.
  • In the Welsh translated version, a few bits of footage were removed, such as Toby leaving the station on his last day and when Toby goes to his shed.
  • When the Fat Controller says, "Stop!" he has five holes in his face and hat.
  • In the first to third close-ups of the Fat Controller, a camera tripod is seen on the left corner of the screen.
  • In the first and last close-up of Stephen and Bridget Hatt and the two close-ups of Bridget Hatt, a light stand is seen.
  • In the US narration, after Toby complains about being called electric, it is said that he "was proud of being a steam train," but Toby is a steam tram pulling a train.
  • When Bridget says "Is it electric?" and "But trams are electric, aren't they?" there is red marking on her left (viewer's right) palm.


Henrietta: Hip-Hip-Hooray!
Narrator: But Toby didn't sing.
Toby: Electric, indeed. Electric, indeed!
Narrator: UK: He was very hurt. / US: He was proud of being a steam tram.

Grandchildren: Come on, Grandfather! Do look at this engine.
The Fat Controller: That's a tram engine, Stephen.
Bridget: Is it electric?
Toby: [angrily] WHOOSH!!
Stephen: Shh! Shh! You've offended him.
Bridget: But trams are electric, aren't they?
The Fat Controller: They are mostly, but this is a steam tram.
Stephen and Bridget: May we go in it, Grandfather? Please?
The Fat Controller: [to the guard] STOP!

[last lines in the UK version]
Toby's Driver and Fireman: Wake up, Toby, and listen to this; it's a letter from the stout gentleman.
Narrator: Toby listened and… but I mustn't tell you any more, or I shall spoil the next story!

[last line in the US version]
Toby's Driver and Fireman: Wake up, Toby! The mail has arrived, and there's a letter for us from the stout gentleman. Maybe it's good news.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Albanian Tobi dhe zotëria i shëndoshë
Brazilian Portuguese Toby o Bondinho
Chinese Mandarin 托比和胖绅士
Croatian Bruno i Krupni Gospodin
Czech Toby a Tlustý Pán
Danish Toby og den Fine Herre
Dutch Toby en de Dikke Meneer
Finnish Topi ja Tanakka Herrasmies
French Toby et le Gros Monsieur
German Toby und der elegante Herr
Hebrew טובי ואדון גדול גוף
Hungarian Toby és a Zömök Úriember
Italian Una Strana Locomotiva
Japanese トビーとハットきょう
Korean 토비와 노신사의 만남
Latin American Spanish Toby el Tranvía
Norwegian Toby og den Fyldige Herren
Polish Tobik i Gruby Dżentelmen
Romanian Toby şi Domnul Cel Solid
Romansh Tobias il tram a vapur
Russian Тоби и толстый джентльмен
Serbian Tobi i Obvožne Gospodin
Slovak Toby a Tučný Prednosta
Slovenian Tobi in Debelušni Gospod
Swedish Toby och den Fyllige Herren
Ukrainian Тобі і огрядний джентльмен
Welsh Tobi a'r Dyn Tew

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


DVD Packs


DVD Boxsets












  • The Flying Kipper (DVD)




DVD Packs