This article is about the annual story. You may be looking for the magazine story.
"It's nice to feel useful, isn't it?"
— Toby reminiscing

The Strawberry Special is a 1985 annual story.


Toby tells Thomas and Percy a story from the time when he worked in East Anglia. It is nearly the end of the strawberry season and the farmers want to move their fruit before the end of the season. There are forty-eight vans in the train and Toby's driver riskily agrees to take them all at once. Toby starts to struggle when he reaches a bridge that crosses a canal near a steep hill, but he is very glad when they manage to get over it. At last, they reach a small station, where his driver stops. He says that there is not enough water to get Toby home with the train, but that he will be fine on his own. Then Toby has an idea: he would go and get some water at the sheds, then come back and get the train. It works splendidly and Toby's controller thanks him for not letting the tramway down.



  • This story was later adapted into the Railway Series story, Toby's Megatrain.
  • This story is based on a real-life incident from the Wisbech and Upwell tramway. No. 7131 was the engine involved.
  • A reference to the Railway Series story, Triple Header is made.


  • In the first illustration, Thomas and Percy are out of proportion.
  • Toby is wearing his number "7" before becoming part of the North Western Railway.
  • In the third illustration, Toby's front cowcatcher is flat like his bufferbeam, Rather than sloped to the front.


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