Thomas has been pestering me to write about his Branch Line. “After all”, he said, “we are the importantest part of the whole railway”.
“What can I write about?” I asked.
“Oh, lots of things - Percy's Woolly Bear, Toby's Tightrope and...”
“...your Ghost”, I added.
“Don't put that silly story in”, said Thomas crossly.
I will, all the same. Thomas has been much too cocky lately. It will serve him right!
Percy claims his driver saw a "ghost train" the previous night, but Thomas does not believe him and Percy's driver confirms that the engine was on television. On his way home from working at the harbour all day, Percy crashes into a cart of lime that had become stuck at Crowe's Farm Crossing. When the signalman remarks that Percy looks like a ghost, Percy makes a plan and convinces Thomas he has crashed and returned as a ghost, scaring Thomas out of the shed.
Thomas is still annoyed at Percy and when Percy is delayed picking up hay bales, Thomas claims Percy is a "green caterpillar with red stripes". Percy, furious, resolves to be quick, but is delayed when a crate of treacle falls on him. The worst is wiped off, but as Percy returns home, a gale whips up and he is covered in hay. Now Thomas has the last laugh with Toby.
Mavis is a stuck-up diesel working at Anopha Quarry who loves rearranging the trucks in different sidings. This creates confusion and Toby is cross because the trucks are not in the places he wants them. When Mavis sees Daisy, she tells her that diesels are better than steam engines, making Mavis prouder than ever. One day, Toby instructed Mavis on how to take care on a certain spot of the level crossing, but Mavis was not keen to listen and as a result, the trucks hold her back on the level crossing and Toby has to come help.
After a stern talk with the manager, Mavis is restricted to the quarry for her incident. After a frost comes and goes, work increases and Mavis manages to convince the manager to let her go as far as the crossing. She formulates a plan to go further down the line and asks the trucks to push her at the crossing, but when Toby comes they decide to do it to him and he ends up suspended over a raging torrent on a wrecked bridge with dangling rails. Mavis rescues him and even though it was her fault, she is forgiven and allowed to go down the line.
- Sam the Farmer
- Daisy (cameo)
- Percy's Ghost Engine (mentioned)
- Annie and Clarabel (mentioned)
- Ffarquhar Quarry
- The Quarry Tramroad
- Ffarquhar River Bridge
- Mavis' Shed
- Ffarquhar (mentioned)
- Ffarquhar Sheds (mentioned)
- This book marks the ending for a few milestones;
- This is the final book written by the Rev. W. Awdry.
- The final book to be illustrated by Gunvor and Peter Edwards.
- The last Railway Series book to be published until Really Useful Engines in 1983.
- The final Railway Series book to have narration done by Willie Rushton.
- The final Railway Series book to have all of its stories televised.
- This is the first Railway Series book not to have a dust jacket cover.
- This is also the first appearances of Percy and Toby in the Railway Series since Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine.
- From this book onwards, Percy's design is more accurate to his basis.
- Percy and Toby spoof the "Three Little Pigs" fairy tale in the scene when Percy "haunts" the shed.
- The Rev. W. Awdry had previously said Percy looked like "a green caterpillar with red stripes" in the book Percy the Small Engine, which led to C. Reginald Dalby refusing to do any more illustrations for the series.
- Toby's Tightrope is based on a real event involving a timber trestle in the United States of America.
- Percy's smokebox changes between "Ghost Train" and "Woolly Bear".
In Other Languages
|Korean||광석 운반 기관차|