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“Fudge!”
―Mavis

Tramway Engines is the twenty-sixth book of the Railway Series. It is also the final book in the series to be written by Wilbert Awdry.

Foreword

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

Stories

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. Now Thomas has the last laugh with Toby.

Mavis

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.

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.

Characters

Ghost Train

Woolly Bear

Mavis

Toby's Tightrope

Locations

Ghost Train

Woolly Bear

Mavis

Toby's Tightrope

Trivia

  • 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 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.

Goofs

  • Percy's smokebox changes between "Ghost Train" and "Woolly Bear".

In Other Languages

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

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