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Food for Thomas

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"I need food to keep me going too - but my food is coal! Peep! Peep!"
— Thomas

Food for Thomas is a magazine story.


Every week, Thomas travels to the docks to collect a load of fresh fruit and vegetables which come in from the Mainland. Thomas then takes them to the market. As he puffs along his branch line, Thomas thinks about how humans need food to be fit and healthy, but engines can keep going without any food at all.

At the docks, Thomas' trucks are loaded with the fruit and vegetables and he makes his way towards the market. Thomas loves the busy market with all its sights and smells. As he puffs along, Thomas feels himself slowing down. His driver tells him that they are running out of coal to feed the fire.

Thomas puffs along slowly and eventually pulls up at the market. However, Thomas is upset, he has not got enough coal to get home again. Thomas' driver has an idea and he and the fireman jump out of the cab and rush into the market. When they return, they have six sacks of coal on a trolley that they had bought from Bert the coal merchant. Thomas' fireman stokes up the fire and soon it is burning brightly. Thomas now feels much better and realises that his "food" is coal.



  • In the fourth illustration, the inside of Thomas' coal bunker is not coloured.
  • In the first illustration, Thomas' brake-pipe and lamp irons are not coloured.
  • Bert Coke seems to have an empty coal sack coming out of his head.


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