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“When is Thomas coming back? If he does - I shouldn't be surprised if he decides to stay as a museum piece!”
―Henry to Percy

Thomas Comes Home is the thirty-sixth book of the Railway Series.

Foreword

Dear Friends,
Daisy was most upset when she heard that people were saying there were no female engines on the Fat Controller's Railway.

"You must do something about it" she told me indignantly. "There's me and Mavis, and I was in charge while Thomas was away at that Great Railway Show, wasn't I?"

Well she wasn't really, but would you dare tell her? These stories are about what happened before Thomas came home.
The Author

Stories

Snow Problem

A snowfall on the Other Railway delays the diesel connecting with the Express, making Gordon late at Knapford. While Daisy waits for him, the blizzard blows over Sodor, covering everything in a blanket of white snow. Daisy is unconcerned and sets off, but the snowdrifts are too much for Daisy and she has to go back. Unluckily, the snow blocks her air-intake and Harold has to take her passengers to Dryaw, but he cannot do anything for Daisy. She is left stranded for a week until the snow melts enough to allow her to be rescued, and by that point Daisy has a very different opinion about snow.

Washout!

After the snow melts, the water level in a stream near Hackenbeck rises to dangerous levels, and Percy is worried. Toby brings news that the water level is dropping, to Percy's relief. Later, Henry jokes Thomas may actually be kept at the National Railway Museum, and Annie and Clarabel are so upset Percy is late after soothing them; matters are not helped when he has to take on water at Elsbridge. Percy is later crossing the bridge when he hears an ominous creaking, and no sooner has he crossed it than it is swept away. The line is closed while the bridge is mended, and although things are back to normal after its rebuilding, Percy has always been careful while crossing it.

Toby's Megatrain

Toby does the shunting at Knapford Harbour while Percy takes Annie and Clarabel. There are many trucks, and Toby is worried he may run out of water at some stage. One morning Mavis is unwell and is late to deliver her trucks, and so Toby eventually racks up a load of forty-eight trucks. Toby, forgetting his small tank and the uphill journey, decides to pull all forty-eight trucks at once, and at Elsbridge he discovers the watertower is empty. Toby's driver says they will have to go fishing like Thomas, but he is only joking and Toby goes to Ffarquhar to take on water, then runs back to take the trucks.

Thomas Comes Home

George is doing repairs on a road near the railway, and threatens Daisy to flatten her rails. The engines aren't sure whether to call his bluff, but all thoughts of George are expelled when they hear Thomas is returning in a week. On the great day, Daisy sets off with a special train, but at the crossing a traffic cone is blown under her wheels by the wind, jamming her brakes. A fitter works swiftly to repair the damage, and Daisy arrives just in time to see Thomas puff proudly in.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • This marks the final appearance of George in the Railway Series.
  • "Toby's Megatrain" is based on an incident from the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway where LNER J70 No. 7131 was recorded leaving Upwell with 48 wagons of about 400 tons of fruit. By Elm Bridge, it was short of water and had to run light to Wisbech to fill up. This had previously been adapted into the annual story, The Strawberry Special.
  • Despite the book's title, Thomas only appears in the last illustration, and he does not speak.
  • There are several references to past events in this book. In "Snow Problem", Daisy's crew mention about Thomas getting stuck in the snow; in "Washout!", Percy recalls getting stuck in the flood; also, in "Toby's Megatrain", Toby mentions Mavis' accident with the lorry, and his youth working at a harbour.

Goofs

  • In several illustrations, Clarabel is missing her face.
  • In "Toby's Megatrain", Toby is shown with a face on both his front and rear cabs, but in "Thomas Comes Home", Toby loses his rear cab face.
  • In the second-to-last illustration, the harbour and the main line bridge at Knapford are missing.

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