|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Buzz Book or the magazine story.|
| Toby and the Stout Gentleman/|
Toby the Tram Engine
November 6th, 1984
Toby and the Stout Gentleman, retitled Toby the Tram Engine in American releases, is the twenty-first episode of the first season. In the US, this episode aired on the Shining Time Station episodes Ring in the Old and How the Station Got Its Name.
Toby is a tram engine, who lives and works on his own little railway. He has cowcatchers and sideplates to help prevent accidents, causing him to look quite unlike a steam engine. He has his own coach called Henrietta, who always rides along with him. Sadly, Toby and Henrietta have both seen better days and the amount of passengers and trucks they carry have been reducing due to the roads. The passengers would rather travel by bus, while companies send their cargo by lorry. As a result, Toby's trucks and Henrietta are usually empty.
One day a stout gentleman, his wife, and two grandchildren visit the railway while on holiday. The two children note that Toby looks unusual for an engine and the gentleman tells them that he is a tram engine. After accidentally offending Toby by thinking he was electric, the two children want a ride. The gentleman agrees and the whole family take a ride in Henrietta, who could not be happier to have passengers again.
Afterwards, the gentleman speaks to Toby and thanks him for a lovely journey. Toby notes to himself that the gentleman knows how to speak to engines. The family returns everyday for two weeks for rides with Toby, sometimes riding with the guard or sometimes inside empty trucks. On the last day of the holiday, they ride with Toby's crew in his cab.
Everyone is sorry when the family has to leave and Toby asks them to come back one day; the family promises. After bidding goodbye, Toby and Henrietta leave and the family waves until Toby is out of sight.
As the months pass, Toby finds himself carrying even fewer passengers and goods. Soon the inevitable happens and Toby's controller decides to shut the line down much to Toby's grief.
The next day, a lot of people come out for the chance at a last ride on Toby and fill up Henrietta to capacity. Although the passengers joke and treat the occasion like a celebration, Toby and his driver know it is anything but. That night, the passengers wish Toby a sad goodbye and he returns to his shed, falling asleep feeling lonely and unwanted.
The next morning, Toby is woken by his excited crew, who has just received some very good news; an important letter from the stout gentleman.
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book, Toby the Tram Engine.
- There are differences in Ringo's US and UK narrations. Some differences are:
- After Toby grumbles, "Electric indeed!" Ringo says that Toby "was very hurt." in the UK narration. In the US narration he says that Toby "was proud of being a steam train."
- In the UK narration, it was said that the stout gentleman and his grandchildren came to ride Toby everyday for a fortnight. In the US narrations, they came everyday for two weeks.
- When Toby's driver comes with a letter, in the UK narration, he says "Wake up, Toby and listen to this! It's a letter from the stout gentleman!" and the narrator says, "Toby listened and... but I mustn't tell you any more, or I shall spoil the next story!" In the US narration, his driver says "Wake up, Toby! The mail has arrived and there's a letter for us from the stout gentleman! Maybe it's good news!"
- In Germany, this episode is named "Toby and the Elegant Men". The Croatian title is "Toby and Mr. Big". The Italian title is "A Strange Locomotive". In Wales, this episode is called "Toby and the Fat Man".
- In the restored version, the footage sometimes overlaps.
- When the narrator says, "We are sorry your line is closing down", Toby is slanted.
- Toby already has his 7 before joining the North Western Railway.
- In the restored version, Toby's bell is silver rather than gold in closeups.
- In the US narration, it is said that Toby "was proud of being a steam train", but Toby is a steam tram.