- "I can just imagine the Fat Controller's face if I'm late again!"
Time Trouble! is a magazine story.
Thomas has stopped for lunch at the station. Soon it is two o'clock and Thomas is anxious to leave; he has been late once this week already and he can just imagine Sir Topham Hatt's face if he is late again! As Thomas puffs hurriedly through the countryside, he sees a group of nuisance ramblers strolling across a field. Much to Thomas' annoyance, the ramblers have dropped litter all over the field and have even left the gate open. At the next red signal, Thomas' driver jumps down from the cab and runs across to the field. Sheep, who had been grazing in the field, have escaped through the open gate and the driver helps Farmer Collett round up the sheep before they cause an accident. Soon, Thomas sees a fallen tree on the line ahead and grinds to a halt. An emergency lorry clears the tree from the track and Thomas is on his way once more. He arrives at the shopping centre and notices that an elderly lady has dropped her shopping. The driver kindly helps her pick up the shopping and instructs her to board the train for the return journey. Then, the Fat Controller arrives; he is very cross with Thomas for being late again, but the elderly lady tells him all about how Thomas' driver has helped her. Now, the Fat Controller cannot be cross with Thomas and just winks and tells him that sometimes even really useful engines can be late when they're giving someone a helping hand!
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Elderly Lady
- Farmer Collett (does not speak)
- Daisy (cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (cameo)
- The signal looks like a traffic light.