-Thomas to Percy
More About Thomas the Tank Engine is the thirtieth book of the Railway Series.
Sometimes Thomas and Percy both think they are the most important engines on the branch line. We know better, of course, and so does the Fat Controller, which is why he did not intervene when Thomas and Percy had a quarrel. Like most quarrels, it wasn't serious to start with. It began when Percy... But why not turn the page and read about it for yourself?
Thomas brags that blue paint is the only proper colour for a Really Useful Engine. Next day, Percy is shunting when the door on a coal truck opens and coal dust covers Thomas. Thomas and Percy are furious at one another, and the argument gets worse and worse. Several days later Percy goes to get a drink but collides with a coalbunker, much to Thomas' delight.
When Thomas returns from the Works after an illness, his brakes are left stiff. One day, a "relief" fireman forgets to put Thomas' brakes on and Thomas starts off. Although an inspector tries to stop Thomas at Dryaw, Thomas is going too fast and Harold takes the inspector to Toryreck. Annie and Clarabel hold back so the inspector can leap aboard and stop Thomas.
The arches on the Viaduct need strengthening and the big engines are late at Knapford. One day, Bertie teases Thomas that he could beat him in a race - something Thomas vehemently denies. James later holds Thomas up, but just outside the tunnel, Thomas sees Bertie broken down. Thomas offers to help Bertie's passengers home, and the next day Bertie comes to Ffarquhar to thank Thomas.
Percy wants to make things up with Thomas, but when he gets scratched by a branch, Thomas is rude and Percy decides against it. Later, Percy asks Toby what a drip is, having heard a boy call his friend one at the platform, but Thomas interrupts and tells Percy he's a drip. Thomas soon gets his comeuppance when his side rod snaps and punctures his watertank on his way home. When Percy goes to help him, Thomas feels ashamed and apologises to Percy.
- Annie and Clarabel
- The Fat Controller
- Edward (does not speak)
- Duck (does not speak)
- Gordon (cameo)
- Donald and Douglas (mentioned)
- Henrietta (mentioned)
- Terence (mentioned)
- Christopher Awdry has stated he did not like the book's title, saying it was unimaginative. He has also regretted including the offensive term "drip" in the book, since it has largely fallen out of use.
- This book is unique in the fact that it was written specifically for television, due to a part of a deal signed between Britt Allcroft and the Awdrys saying that all stories that were televised had to be in print form first. As a result, the stories were written specifically to include Harold and Bertie who were popular characters.
- Despite having been written specifically so it could be included in the television series, 'Drip Tank' was never adapted into an episode.
- Since its release Christopher Awdry has expressed dissatisfaction with this book, saying he had written it in a hurry to meet a deadline with Britt Allcroft Productions.
- This book marks a last of things:
- In "The Runaway", a reference to Thomas and the Guard is made.
- The first illustration of "Better Late Than Never" is similar to the seventh illustration of "Domeless Engines".
- The second illustration of "Drip Tank" is similar to the second illustration of "Woolly Bear."
- In Better Late Than Never, Gordon's dome appears to be rectangular rather than circular.