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“Why are you looking at old tin cans?”
―Whiff to Toby

Toby's Discovery! is a US magazine story, illustrated using photographs from the television series.


One morning, Sir Topham Hatt arrives with the engines' duties. He sends Henry to the Scottish castle, Emily is to take children to Black Loch and Thomas to Great Waterton. Toby waits for his job. The Fat Controller tells him to take workmen. Toby feels sad; he wants a special job like his friends. Toby watches them happily head off to their duties. His friends have discovered things on their routes; Emily saw some seals at Black Loch, Henry had found the flagpole for the castle and Thomas had discovered Great Waterton. Toby decides he must find something special, too.

As Toby chuffs along, he sees something shiny and red in the trees. Toby thinks he may have found some treasure, but it turns out to be an old boot. He rolls along, still desperate to make a special discovery. Suddenly, Toby spots what he believes to be a treasure chest. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, it is just a truck of old tin cans which Whiff arrives to collect.

Toby is sad, but trundles away still keen to make a discovery. Toby travels down a lonely old track and spies something metal in the bushes. Unfortunately, it is just an old piece of scrap metal. Worse of all, Toby has travelled so far that he has ran out of coal. He has not delivered the workmen and feels like a really useless tram engine. Then, he has an idea and asks the workmen to bang of the piece of metal while he rings his bell.

At Great Waterton, Sir Topham Hatt hears the sound and goes to help. When he has found Toby, Sir Topham Hatt tells the workmen to put the old piece of metal in Whiff's truck. When they lift it out of the bushes, they all gasp: Toby has found the old Great Waterton Tram Shed sign. Sir Topham Hatt thinks the sign is a tremendous discovery. Toby's pistons pop with pride.