|This article is about 'the Golden book'. You may be looking for 'the special, the storybook or the Step into Reading book'.|
The Great Race is a book based on the special of the same name.
One day, Thomas puffed into Vicarstown when he saw a shiny green next to him. Gordon told him that it's his brother, the Flying Scotsman. Scotsman told the two engines that he is going to the Great Railway Show on the Mainland, but he's not sure if any of the engines on Sodor will be going, Thomas was excited, and wanted to go. He later found Sir Topham Hatt and suggested that an engine with streamlining can be part of the Great Railway Show, with the controller saying that it's an excellent idea, and the engine that will be streamlined is Gordon, with Thomas being sad as that's not what he had in mind.
The next day, a railway ferry made a delivery to Brendam Docks, with Thomas excited to see the engines appearing out the boat. The Dock Manager asked one of the engines where they're heading off too, with Axel saying they're going to the Great Railway Show. The manager told them that it's not the mainland, so the engines jostled back onto the ferry. But just as that happened, a brightly coloured engine named Ashima bumped into Thomas when trying to get inside the departing ferry, and is dangling off the quay! The dockworkers and Ashima helped pull Thomas back onto the rails. She apologised for what happened, and asked Thomas if there's another way to get to the mainland, but the blue tank engine didn't replied back and went away in a huff.
- Flying Scotsman
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Dock Manager
- Axel (not named)
- Henry (does not speak)
- Den (does not speak)
- Dart (does not speak)
- Paxton (does not speak)
- Norman (does not speak)
- Victor (does not speak)
- Annie (does not speak)
- Kevin (does not speak)
- Raul (not named; does not speak)
- Gina (not named; does not speak)
- Ivan (not named; does not speak)
- James (cameo)
- Emily (cameo)
- Connor (cameo)
- Ryan (cameo)
- Yong Bao (cameo)
- Vinnie (cameo)
- Carlos (cameo)
- Shane (cameo)
- Frieda (cameo)
- Salty (cameo)
- Winston (cameo)
- Dowager Hatt (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Bridget Hatt (cameo)
- Mr. Percival (cameo)
- There are a few differences between the film and the book:
- Philip does not appear in the book and due to this, there is no flag carrier for Team Sodor.
- Spencer, Hiro, Rajiv and Etienne also do not appear in the book. As a result, Spencer and Axel are not participating in the Great Race and Vinnie is participating in the race instead.
- When Thomas got covered in paint, there is less paint on him in the book than in the special, he and Norman have also switched tracks at Knapford before they crash.
- When Thomas crashes into Norman, Thomas loses his right buffer but in the movie, he loses his left.
- Unlike in the special, Thomas carries Gordon's safety valve on top of his running board rather than in his cab.
- Thomas was at Vicarstown saying goodbye to the engines heading to the mainland, rather than at the Steamworks. Also, the Fat Controller departs on Winston instead of Gordon. Mr. Percival is also departing with the others, when in the special, he is never seen going to the show with the engines.
- The Vicarstown Bridge is different in the book rather than in the special. It strongly resembles a green painted version of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with rails and also Thomas does not jump it.
- Vinnie participates in the Great Race, but in the special, he participated in the Strength competition. Because of Philip's absence, the subplot between the two was never touched in the book.
- Andrew Brenner is not credited in the book for writing the original story. Only Wilbert Awdry is credited on the spine.
- The story states that Gordon received a new nameplate after he was streamlined, but he never appears with one in the book or the special.
- The lining on the back of Thomas' bunker is missing when Ashima rescues him.
- Emily and James are not painted in the liveries they received for the Best Decorated Engine Parade.
- In the Sodor Steamworks illustration, the white, yellow and green paint on Thomas is on the correct spots, but changes in later illustrations.
- When Thomas is at the Steamworks, Victor is on standard gauge track.
- In the shunting race, Thomas was said to compete against bigger engines, but the other engines are the same size as him. This is most likely due to the fact Vinnie was going to be in the competition in the actual special.
- In the first illustration, Ryan is missing three of his boiler bands.
- The Dieselworks building is missing the five fan wheels.
- Some of the characters are missing the following details:
- Thomas is missing the lining on the back of his bunker.
- Diesel is missing his lamp.
- Dart does not have his brake pipes nor lamp.
- Henry and James do not have tail lamps.
- Most of the engines are missing their crew in many illustrations.
- In the last illustration, Flying Scotsman's rivets are red.
- In the last illustration, Gordon's streamlining is no longer burst.
- In the illustration when Thomas, Gordon, Vinnie and Flying Scotsman are at the starting line, the top part of Gordon's streamlining appears to be out of place.