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|This article is about the magazine story. You may be looking for the episode, the DVD or the Chinese DVD.|
The Fat Controller announces that a VIP is coming to the Island of Sodor. The engines are unsure what a VIP is and the Fat Controller explains that it is a very important person, in this case, the Deputy Minister who is coming to present them with an award for services to transport. The engines are very excited and Gordon volunteers himself to collect the minister. The Fat Controller tells him that Spencer is already bringing him.
Meanwhile, Spencer is speeding along trying to impress the Deputy Minister by getting him to Knapford early. He goes so fast that he misses a red signal and almost collides with Edward at a junction. The signalman at the junction had set the points to send Edward along the branch line, but when Spencer arrives first, he is sent along the branch line instead.
Eventually, the Deputy Minister thinks they should be at Knapford by now and Spencer realises he is going the wrong way and ends up at the Clay Pits.
When Spencer arrives at Knapford with the minister, he is very late indeed. The Deputy Minister is very cross and refuses to travel back with Spencer. All the engines hope they will be chosen to take the minister back and spend the rest of the day trying to show how fast they are. Thomas even manages to cover his coaches in coal when he brakes too hard. The Fat Controller is very cross and the engines apologise. Spencer even apologises to the minister for his mistake and the Deputy Minister agrees to give him a second chance.
The next day, the engines complete their jobs successfully without rushing and the Deputy Minister is impressed and gives the Fat Controller an award. It is soon time for Spencer to take him home and this time he promises not to rush to get the minister there early. Instead, he vows to get him home right on time.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Deputy Minister
- Edward (does not speak)
- Toby (cameo)
- Duck (cameo)
- Annie (does not speak)
- Clarabel (mentioned)