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Thomas, Percy and the Coal is a magazine story.
It is a beautiful day on the Island of Sodor and Thomas' paint sparkles in the sunshine. At the station, Percy compliments Thomas, who says that blue is the only proper colour for an engine. Percy and Toby do not agree, so Thomas leaves, but not before stating that blue is the only colour for a really useful engine.
Later, Thomas is resting when Percy arrives. A large hopper loads Percy's trucks with coal. Thomas warns Percy to be careful, but with a tremendous bump, Percy's last truck passes the hopper too fast. The coal pours down all over Thomas. Percy cannot help laughing as Thomas' paint is covered in coal dust from smokebox to bunker. Percy teases Thomas by calling him disgraceful. Thomas is not amused and believes that Percy had caused the accident on purpose. It takes so long to clean Thomas that he missed his next train. Toby has to take Annie and Clarabel, who are most upset. Percy is cross about Thomas thinking that he had caused the accident on purpose.
The next day, Thomas is more cheerful as Percy brings some heavy coal trucks from the junction. Percy is tired, but his driver insists that he will feel better after a drink. The water column stands at the end of a siding with rather unsafe buffers. Suddenly, Percy finds that he cannot stop. He crashes through the buffers and ends up wheel-deep in coal. Thomas, who had seen it all, believes that Percy has now learned his lesson and chuckles.
The two engines make up their quarrel in the shed that night. They both agree to be more careful of coal in the future.
- In some illustrations, the sky is left uncoloured.