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The Great Race (Golden Book)

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This article is about the book. You may be looking for the special or the storybook.

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. 



  • There are a few differences between the film and the book:
    • Philip doesn't appear in the book and due to this, there is no flag carrier for Team Sodor.
    • Spencer, Hiro, Rajiv and Etienne do not appear in the book either and because of this, Spencer and Axel are not in the Great Race and Vinnie is in the Great Race instead.
    • When Thomas got covered in paint, there is less paint on him in the book than in the film, he and Norman have also switched tracks.
    • When Thomas crashes into Norman, Thomas loses his left buffer but in the movie, he loses his right.
    • 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.
    • 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 doesn't 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. 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.
  • Thomas' rear lining 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.


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