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“We must look busy!”

Busy Engines is a book in the Thomas Story Time series illustrated using photographs from the CGI television series.


It is a special day on Sodor, a railway inspector is coming. The Fat Controller tells Thomas to shunt coal trucks because the inspector will want to see busy engines. Thomas decides to find more engines to help him shunt trucks. At Maron, he persuades Percy to leave his mail train and go to the docks to shunt trucks. When the inspector arrives at Maron, he is not very pleased to see that Percy is not there.

Thomas huffs to the quarry, where he finds Mavis shunting slate trucks. Thomas asks her to go to the docks to help shunt the coal trucks. Although Mavis has a lot to do, she agrees. When the inspector arrives at the quarry, Mavis is not there. He is not very pleased.

Thomas hurries cheerfully back to the docks, where Mavis and Percy have already shunted a long line of coal trucks. Then Thomas hears Gordon's whistle as he steams into the docks with the inspector. The engines wants to look busy so Percy shoves and Mavis shunts and the coal trucks bashed together, sending coal dust everywhere. The Fat Controller is very cross and Thomas feels terrible.

Thomas has to put everything right. He shunts Gordon, who has got coal dust down his funnel, to the Steamworks for repairs. Afterwards, the pair race back to the Docks where Thomas is finally ready to be a busy engine. He shunts until all the trucks are in their correct places. The inspector is very pleased and so is Thomas.




  • In the final illustration, Thomas is in the Steamworks when he should be at the docks.