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On the Fast Track! is a magazine story.
One day, Gordon steams past Thomas with a long line of express coaches. Gordon puffs through a puddle and water rains down on little Thomas, who wishes that he can pull the express and rush along like Gordon. Later, Thomas' driver tells the Fat Controller about the puddle. The Fat Controller admits that a really useful engine like Thomas deserves a chance at pulling the express.
The next day, the Fat Controller tells Thomas to pick up a football team that is visiting from France in the express. He tells them that they must get to the football stadium in time. Thomas speeds along the line as fast as he can. Signals change to allow him through - even Gordon has to wait for Thomas to go by.