- “Oh, no! I skidded on some oil and I can't stoooop!”
One day, at the main station, Thomas hears a bunch of children chattering excitedly. The driver tells Thomas that it is the first day of the school term and they are catching up with each other after the summer holidays. Just then, Thomas spots a quiet little boy holding his mother's hand. The boy looks scared being around all the bigger children. The boy's mother takes the little boy, who is called George, over to see Thomas. The mother explains that it is George's first day at school and if he is good, she has promised him a ride on Thomas on Saturday. Thomas says he is going to Norramby with the Seaside Express on Saturday. He wishes the little boy a good day at school and the little boy shyly waves at Thomas before going off.
On Saturday morning, Thomas wakes up early; he has another job to do before he takes the Seaside Express. It is a lovely sunny day as Thomas trundles off to the Animal Park to deliver some seed to the animals.
As Thomas heads back towards the main station, he sees James coming round the bend at a tremendous speed. James shouts out to tell Thomas that he has skidded on some oil and he cannot stop. James leaps off the rails and comes to a stop just in front of Thomas. However, Thomas is less than sympathetic; he is cross with James for blocking the line. It takes quite a while for Rocky to turn up and put James back onto the rails. Thomas thinks he might still be in time to take the Seaside Express and rushes back towards the main station.
As Thomas approaches the main station, he is suddenly diverted into a siding. A mail worker calls out to tell Thomas that an urgent parcel needs to get to the castle and all the other engines are busy. In the distance, Thomas spots Henry heading of towards the seaside. Thomas realises he had been too late to take the Seaside Express. Thomas is ever so disappointed and he knew George would be too.
When Thomas returns from the castle, he is called to platform one of the main station. There are crowds of people waiting on the platform. The Fat Controller explains that as it is such a splendid day, more people want to go to the seaside and he has had to put on a second Seaside Express. Then, Thomas spots a little hand waving at him - it's George with his mum at the back of the queue. Thomas discreetly asks his driver to let George and his mother board Annie before everyone else. George beams with delight. Both he and Thomas had made the Seaside Express after all.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Henry (mentioned)
- Annie (mentioned)
- Rocky (mentioned)
- The Teacher (cameo)
- In the image that goes with this story, Thomas is not on the rails, he is not coupled to Annie and Clarabel and they are at Bluff's Cove, not Norramby.