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The Eight Famous Engines

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"We are glad to see you. Those others did their best, but they don't know our ways. Nothing anywhere can compare with our Fat Controller's engines."
— The crowds cheering the engines home
EightFamousEnginesCover
The Eight Famous Engines
Author

Reverend W. Awdry

Illustrated by

John T. Kenney

Publisher(s)

Edmund Ward
Egmont Publishing

Published

1957 - present

Previous book

Percy the Small Engine

Next book

Duck and the
Diesel Engine

The Eight Famous Engines is the twelfth book of the Railway Series.

Foreword

Dear Friends,
Sir Topham Hatt's engines are now quite famous. They have been on the radio and had many other adventures. But he had another plan, too, for his engines, and this book will tell you what it was.
The Author

Stories

Percy Takes the Plunge

At Vicarstown, Percy is telling some tank engines about the time he braved bad weather when Henry arrives, tells the tank engines to go away, and calls Percy silly. Percy responds by reminding Henry about the time he stayed in a tunnel and runs off to Knapford, where he sees a board saying "Danger". Thomas tells him to obey it, but Percy wants to know more, and persuades the trucks to push him past. They do so, but go too far and Percy falls into the sea. After a scolding from the Fat Controller, he is "fished out" and sent to the Works.

Gordon Goes Foreign

When a foreign engine visits, an argument ensues between him, Gordon, and Duck over, of all things, the name of London's big station. Gordon wants to find out, but isn't allowed to pass Barrow. However, when the engine taking the Express to the mainland derails, Gordon jumps at the chance to take the train, and the next day the Fat Controller reads in the paper that Gordon received a hero's welcome. However, when he returns, Gordon is upset, having discovered that it's St. Pancras!

Double Header

Gordon is exhausted from his trip to London, so James does his work, and when Toby visits him on his way to the Works, James brags to him about his importance. When Toby later tries to get a drink, the signalman, who is new to the line, tells him he has to clear the line, and Toby struggles on. However, Toby's tank was nearly empty to begin with, and he soon runs out of water. The fireman goes back and asks James to push Toby to the Works. When they get there, some boys think Toby was helping James, who, furious, disappears in a cloud of steam.

The Fat Controller's Engines

Thomas arrives at Knapford to see some foreign engines arrive and Percy and Toby tell him the Fat Controller has something planned. At Tidmouth, the Fat Controller tells them they are going to England! The next day, Thomas is showing one of the engines, Jinty, around when he brags of his race, and dents his front when he runs into some buffers. Luckily, he is repaired in time for the trip.

Characters

Trivia

  • This book's working title was "The Fat Controller's Engines".
  • The Reverend W. Awdry considered making this the final book in the Railway Series.
  • The republished version of this book is called Eight Famous Engines.
  • This was the first book to be illustrated by John T. Kenney.
  • Gordon Goes Foreign is the first Railway Series story not to be adapted into a television series episode. It was later revealed to SiF by art director Bob-Gauld Galliers that the story was indeed planned to be filmed, but was cut for being too high budget.
  • The engines that went to London are Thomas, Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Percy, Toby, & Duck.
  • An Illustration from Percy Takes the Plunge was released as a Royal Mail stamp in 2011 to mark the Reverend Awdry's Centenary.

Goofs

  • In the second illustration of "The Fat Controller's Engines", Jinty appears to be faceless.
  • Percy and Toby were placed on flatbeds and coupled behind Edward for the journey to England, but the second to last illustration shows them coupled behind James.
  • In the third illustration of the "The Fat Controller's Engines", James has a red roof.
  • In the second illustration of "Gordon Goes Foreign", the lettering on Duck's tank is missing.
  • In the last illustration of "The Fat Controller's Engines", Percy and Gordon's red stripes on their cylinders are missing.
  • In the 6th illustration of "Gordon Goes Foreign", Gordon the Big Engine's firebox stripes are missing and he has 5 boiler stripes.

Gallery

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