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Tramway Engines is the twenty-sixth book of the Railway Series.


Dear Friends,
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!
The Author


Ghost Train

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.

Woolly Bear

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.


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, until the trucks hold Mavis back on a certain spot of the level crossing and Toby has to help.

Toby's Tightrope

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.




  • This book marks the ending for a few milestones;
  • This is the first Railway Series book not to have a dust jacket cover.
  • This is also the first appearance 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.
  • The events of this book took place in 1962.


  • Percy's smokebox changes between "Ghost Train" and "Woolly Bear".
  • When Percy arrives at Elsbridge, hay bales appear in his trucks.
  • In the fifth illustration of "Woolly Bear", Thomas' headcode is wrong. Instead of a lamp on the smokebox iron to indicate a stopping passenger train, he has a lamp on the left iron for a goods train.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Japanese わんぱく機関車
Korean 광석 운반 기관차