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Goodbye Fat Controller

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Warning! This page contains MAJOR spoilers from a recently released or soon to be released product. Caution is advised.

"The Fat Controller (Sir Topham Hatt) won't still be here, will he?"
"No, no. He won't be here. I'll find out when he's going."
"Well, the sooner he's gone, the better. So we can get started.
— The Painters

Goodbye Fat Controller, retitled Goodbye Sir Topham Hatt for US releases, is an episode of the nineteenth season.


One morning, Percy pulls into Knapford with the mail train. He notices a group of people talking to the Fat Controller outside his office. As he leaves for a moment to answer the telephone, one of the men tells the other two that he'll soon find out when Sir Topham Hatt is leaving. Percy is very surprised to hear this. The men catch him listening, so he hastily leaves the station. When he meets Thomas later that day, Percy tells him what the men had said. They conclude that the Fat Controller must be leaving the Island of Sodor.

By that evening, all of the engines are talking about it. Edward and Gordon both agree that they will miss the Fat Controller once he's gone, even though he sometimes gets very cross with his engines. Emily reminds them that they're always causing confusion and delay, and Percy comes to the conclusion that maybe that's why he's leaving: because of them. Thomas decides that they must convince him to stay.

The next morning, Sir Topham is very surprised to see the engines arriving at Knapford bright and early. Thomas tells him that they're doing their best to make Sodor a very good railway. All day long, the engines work hard to show Sir Topham how reliable they can be, much to his confusion. In the evening, Emily nearly collides with Diesel's goods train. Diesel begins to snap at her before stopping himself as to not upset Sir Topham. As Diesel leaves, the controller asks Henry why the engines are behaving so strangely. Henry tells him how happy they are that he's running the railway, and Sir Topham replies that he loves the railway very much.

At Tidmouth Sheds, Henry tells the engines what Sir Topham said. They all begin to think that maybe he is not leaving Sodor at all, but Percy is still not sure what to think as he leaves to take the mail train.

The following morning, Percy arrives at Knapford and sees the same group of men. This time, they are taking the Fat Controller's belongings out of his office, including his beloved telephone. Percy hurries back to the sheds to tell the other engines. They are all very sad when they realise that he must be leaving after all. Thomas decides to put his wheel down and tells the engines that they must go on strike, to persuade Sir Topham to stay on Sodor.

At Knapford, the passengers are all complaining about their trains running late and telling each other what a bad railway it is. The stationmaster tells Sir Topham about the engines refusing to leave the sheds, so he hurries to see what is going on. When he arrives, Thomas tells him all about their strike to persuade him to stay. But it turns out the Fat Controller is not leaving at all. He explains to them that his office is being redecorated and his belongings had to be moved to a temporary one. All of the engines feel very silly as they leave to start work.

Thanks to their strike, the engines have caused confusion and delay, and have to work very hard to make up for lost time. Meanwhile, Sir Topham struggles to work in his temporary office: a small shed next to Knapford in the yard.




  • An instrumental snippet of Sir Topham Hatt is heard during the montage scene. Sir Topham Hatt's classic series theme is also heard a few times.
  • A portrait of a Climax engine similar to Ferdinand can be seen in Sir Topham Hatt's office.
  • This episode is similar to the magazine story Come back, Please! and the engines' strike is similar to the first season episode, Trouble in the Shed.


  • When Gordon says, "So that's what's going on?" Henry is out of scale.
  • Diesel emits steam when he leaves Knapford.
  • When the Fat Controller orders his engines to get back to work, they all leave the sheds at once, but the turntable only has room for one engine at a time.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese トップハム・ハットきょうにサヨナラ Goodbye to Sir Topham Hatt
Dutch Vaarwel Dikke Controleur Farewell, Fat Controller

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