|Thomas and Victoria|
Thomas and Victoria is the forty-first book of the Railway Series.
Here are four new adventures from Thomas's branch line. In them you will meet up again with several old friends, including, of course, Thomas himself. Oh, and there is a new friend for you called Victoria - we all hope you will like her as much as we do.
Bertie is ill and Henrietta has to carry the workmen to the quarry all by herself, but there's not enough room and some have to crowd on Henrietta's balcony. A policeman sees the event while cycling past, and the next day visits the quarry manager to inform him of a by-law forbidding passengers to be carried on coaches' balconies. Both the manager and the Fat Controller have no ideas, but a few days later Thomas' driver sees an old coach in a garden near Elsbridge. Thomas has an idea, and shares it with the Fat Controller...
Edward is at the works when he sees a familiar-looking coach. After a conversation, the two discover they know each other from their days on the Furness Railway. Victoria, the coach, worked on a branchline running to Windermere with another coach, Helena, and an engine, Albert, who Victoria notes only ever had one accident. One snowy day after boasting about snow, Albert had stopped outside the mouth of a tunnel while collecting passengers at Haverthwaite. When he started, he gave off so much steam that he caused an avalanche so great he became buried in snow and, although he was rescued the next day, he never bragged about snow again.
Eels on Wheels
As summer arrives Daisy often sees grass snakes near the line. When she tells the engines about them Percy is worried, but Daisy simply thinks him silly. Then, some days later Daisy has to take some boxes up to Ffarquhar for a restaurant. One is knocked onto the platform and the cargo - live eels - is spilt onto the rails; to Daisy's horror, some wriggle underneath her wheels. The eels are rescued, but Daisy has blown a fuse and Thomas has to take her passengers while Toby and Percy make jokes about wriggly things.
Toby's Vintage Train
Victoria's restoration is completed and Edward takes her to Knapford, where she is coupled up to Annie and Clarabel. At Elsbridge, they are told Terence is in some trouble and go to see what the matter is. Terence, who had been building a barn, had to swerve for a boulder near a tunnel and his trailer fell down the cutting, balancing dangerously on a tree. The trailer is secured and Thomas makes it to Ffarquhar, where Victoria is coupled to Toby and Henrietta, making a train now known as "Toby's Vintage Train".
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Albert (does not speak)
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- Helena (does not speak)
- BoCo (mentioned)
- Bertie (mentioned)
- This marks the final appearances of Henrietta and Terence in the Railway Series.
- Despite being in the title, Thomas only speaks once.
- Henrietta has a face on one of her doors in the last illustration of "Overloaded".
- Victoria and Albert are named after the once reigning King and Queen of England. Helena was likely named after one of their daughters.
- This was the first Railway Series volume to be published since 1996.
- "Eels on Wheels" is a reference to "Meals on Wheels", a company that brings food to the elderly.
- Victoria's story in "Avalanche" is set on the Furness Railway branch line to Lake Windermere, which is now part of the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. Also, the author acknowledges the assistance of the Furness Railway Trust for providing the information as a guide for the story "Avalanche".
- This was the last Railway Series book to introduce a new non-human character.
- Henrietta's bufferbeam is grey instead of red.