“Percy, I take a very dim view of engines that don't obey signals.”
―The Fat Controller

Percy has Problems is a magazine story.


Early one morning, it is time for Percy's wash. Percy is being rather mischievous and refuses to be cleaned. He stubbornly refuses to budge until it is time for work. When the time arrives, Percy puffs away still covered in dirt and coal dust.

Percy is to pull a tourist train to the harbour and feels very excited. When Percy pulls into the platform, the tourists are surprised to see their engines looking so filthy. Soon, everyone is on board and waiting for the flag to be waved. Finally, the flag is waved and Percy sets off.

They hurry along through the countryside, up Gordon's Hill and past the China Clay Pits.

Before long, all the dirt and dust on Percy has started to run into his eyes, making them sting. Percy's eyes water so much that he does not see the red signal ahead telling him to stop. Although the driver tries to stop him, Percy runs straight through the station and all the passengers waiting at the platform.

Percy does not stop until he reaches the harbour where the Fat Controller is waiting for him. He tells Percy that he takes a very dim view of engines that do not obey signals and he orders him to go back and pick up the tourists at the last station. He then tells Percy to go back to the yard and have a good scrub. Percy apologises and promises to never do it again. The Fat Controller can see that Percy is very upset and forgives him.

From that day on, Percy's driver has given him a good wash every week.



  • Percy's dirt marks change throughout the illustrations.
  • In the second illustration, both of Percy's domes are yellow, part of Percy's bufferbeam is green instead of black and the back of Percy's rear buffer is red when it should also be black.
  • In the third illustration, Percy's sides are not finished.


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