- "Fairgrounds are lots of fun!"
"They certainly are!"
"And much more exciting than cows and sheep!"
- ―Thomas, James, and Toby
The Big Wheel is a magazine story.
Most days, Toby puffs from the quarry to the harbour. On his way, he passes through fields full of cows and sheep. He wishes he could see something more exciting like Thomas, who gets to pass through towns.
The next day, Toby has a surprise. The cows and sheep are gone and in their field is a big, colourful wheel which goes round and round. Toby is curious and rushes back to tell the others. James thinks the idea of a big rotating wheel is ridiculous, but Thomas tells them that it is a big wheel belonging to a fairground. Thomas, James, and Toby set off to have a look at the big wheel and they see lots of children enjoying themselves on it. The three engines agree that the fairgrounds are a lot of fun.