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Pop Goes the Diesel/Dirty Work/A Close Shave is a Ladybird book based on the second season episodes Pop Goes the Diesel, Dirty Work, and A Close Shave. It is illustrated using photographs from the television series.


A new engine named Diesel comes to the Island of Sodor for a trial. He works with Duck, but is humiliated when Duck makes Diesel pull some old trucks from a siding which he fails to do. Soon the trucks start singing rude songs about Diesel and Diesel thinks that Duck is to blame. Diesel decides to get rid of Duck by telling lies about him to the trucks. The lies soon spread and Gordon, James, and Henry refuse to let Duck into the shed. Sir Topham Hatt arrives and they tell him what happened. Sir Topham Hatt decides to send Duck to Edward's station for a while until the situation is resolved. Later Duck helps Edward pull a goods train up a hill. When Duck is heading downhill, the train breaks away from Edward and chases Duck until he crashes into a barber shop. The barber gets mad and lathers Duck's face with shaving cream. Sir Topham Hatt arrives and talks to the barber who apologises to Duck and washes his face. Thomas pulls Duck away from the barber shop and Sir Topham Hatt tells Duck that he will return home after he is washed and mended. The Fat Controller goes on to say that Diesel was sent home because of his mischief. Duck returns home after he is repaired and all of the engines are glad to see him home again.



  • Photographs from Pop Goes the Diesel, Dirty Work, A Close Shave, Edward and Gordon, and The Runaway are used.
  • A cassette tape narrated by Ringo Starr was included with some of the books.
  • A scene from Pop Goes the Diesel is mirrored.