Thomas Takes Time is a Thomas Story Time book.
One day when Thomas pulls Annie and Clarabel on his route, Bertie overtakes them and calls Thomas "slowcoach", which makes Thomas cross. When Thomas arrives at Dryaw Station, Bertie keeps teasing him. Thomas challenges the bus to a race to show that he is not slow. Eventually Thomas has to slow down because of sheep on the line, and later at a level crossing. Bertie speeds ahead and wins the race. Thomas cannot understand why Bertie always finishes first.
Later, Thomas meets Bertie at Dryaw again. He is worried that Bertie might call him more names, but he does not. Instead, he tells Thomas his secret. Thomas hears that Bertie takes a shortcut. That is why he always finishes first. This makes Thomas cross the following night, and he tells the engines at Tidmouth Sheds. Percy suggests that Thomas should find a shortcut too, then he will win for sure. Thomas thinks it is an excellent idea, but Annie and Clarabel do not. Thomas does not listen to his coaches.
The next day at Dryaw, Thomas and Bertie meet and start another race. Thomas takes another track at a junction in the hope of it being a shortcut, but it only leads to an old goods yard. The passengers grumble, but Thomas does not want to give up. Soon he spots a track that leads into the woods. Thomas puffs down that track, but it is old and overgrown. He hits a hidden buffer and comes off the track.
Luckily, Bertie comes along and takes Thomas' passengers to the next station. Thomas has to wait for Harvey to lift him back on the tracks. Sir Topham Hatt is very cross, but Thomas promises that from now on he will never take a shortcut. He will take his time and be a really useful engine.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Harvey (does not speak)
- Clarabel (does not speak)
- Edward (cameo)
- It is said that Thomas' wheels hit a hidden buffer, but his wheels cannot hit buffers.