“Once again, on this wonderful island of ours, the engines saved the day!”
―Sir Topham Hatt

New Year Party is a magazine story. It was republished in 2016 without a title under the label "Bedtime Story".


The Fat Controller and Lady Hatt are busy getting ready to host their annual New Year's Eve party for the railway staff. The party is always popular with the workers and their families and always ends with a fireworks display.

The Fat Controller goes to pick up some lights from Knapford Station, but all of the railway workers ignore him and scurry off without even saying a word. Then, the Fat Controller travels to the Sodor Steamworks where the engineers are huddled in a group muttering to themselves. When they spy the Fat Controller, they turn their backs on him. The Fat Controller cannot imagine what is wrong and concludes that they must be very tired and hopes that the party will cheer them all up.

Meanwhile, Lady Hatt needs to take a train to Tidmouth to collect the food, but all the railway workers disappear when she arrives at Knapford Station. Lady Hatt cannot work out what is wrong; the railway staff are usually such a friendly bunch. She has to ride in Bertie to Tidmouth.

That night, the Hatt family wait for their guests to arrive, but no-one arrives. Lady Hatt decides to ring the stationmaster at Knapford to find out what has happened. As she opens the drawer of the desk to find the phone number, she pulls out a pile of party invitations; she had forgotten to send them out. Now the Fat Controller knows why they were being ignored all day. The Fat Controller explains the situation to the stationmaster at Knapford who orders all of the drivers and firemen to take out their engines to spread the word about the party. Soon all of the engines are whizzing around the island whistling to grab people's attention. The drivers all shout through loudhailers, too.

Finally, the doorbell rings at the Fat Controller's house as the first guests arrive. It's not long before the party is in full swing and the house is packed. At midnight, all of the engine line up outside to help whistle in the New Year. The Fat Controller then gives a speech to thank the engines for their help.



  • Tidmouth is called "Tidworth".

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