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Toby and the Stout Gentleman

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Buzz Book or the magazine story.
"Electric indeed! Electric indeed!"
— Toby
Toby and the Stout Gentleman/
Toby the Tram Engine

David Mitton


David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

December 11th,
1984 (UK)
May 4th,
1987 (AUS)
April 9th,
1989 (US)
August 21st,
1990 (JAP)
June 11th,
1993 (George
Carlin US

Previous episode

Whistles and

Next episode

Thomas in Trouble/
Thomas Breaks
the Rules

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 increase of roads. The passengers would rather travel by bus, while companies send their cargo by lorry.

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, 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 some day; the family promises. 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.

Later that day, a lot of people come out for the chance at a last ride on Toby and fill up Henrietta. Although the passengers treat the occasion like a celebration, Toby and his driver know it's anything but. Afterwards, 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.
  • In the restored version, the footage sometimes overlaps.
  • In the Ukrainian dub, the English credits are used instead of the Ukrainian ones.
  • In a deleted scene and some behind the scenes footage, there is a turntable in front of Toby's shed. However, in the episode, there is no turntable.


  • When the passengers say, "We are sorry your line is closing down", Toby's cowcatcher 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 close-ups.
  • A small piece of blu tak can be seen on The Fat Controller's shoes when Toby first meets him at Lower Arlesburgh.
  • In the Welsh translated version, a few bits of footage were removed such as Toby leaving the station on his last day and when Toby goes to his shed.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
German Toby und der elegante Herr Toby and the Elegant Man
Spanish Toby el Tranvía Toby the Tram
Dutch Tobe en de Dikke Controleur Toby and the Fat Controller
Norwegian Toby og den fyldige herren Toby and the Stout Gentleman
Welsh Tobi a'r Dyn Tew Toby and the Fat Man
Croatian Božo i krupni gospodin Toby and the Portly Gentleman
Japanese トビーとハットきょう Toby and Sir Topham Hatt
French Toby et le gros monsieur Toby and the Stout Gentleman
Danish Toby og den fine herre Toby and the Fine Gentleman
Finnish Topi ja Tanakka Herrasmies Toby and the Stout Gentleman
Ukrainian Тобі і огрядний джентльмен Toby and the Burly Gentleman



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