|This article is about the 1988 magazine story. You may be looking for the episode, the 1998 magazine story or the Buzz Book.|
Toby and the Stout Gentleman is a magazine story.
Toby takes trucks from farms and villages to the main line. He has a coach called Henrietta who used to be full and have nine trucks behind her. Now she is empty and goods from the factories are sent by road. Road vehicles often have accidents, but Toby has not had an accident for years.
One day, a stout gentleman and a lady with a little girl and boy are on the station platform. The stout gentleman is the Fat Controller, but Toby does not know this yet. Bridget, one of the stout gentleman's grandchildren, offends Toby by calling him electric. The Fat Controller explains to his grandchildren that Toby is a steam tram before shouting "stop" to the guard. The Fat Controller and his family quickly scramble into Henrietta who is thrilled to have some passengers. Toby on the other hand is still feeling very hurt after being called electric. Later, the Fat Controller asks for Toby's name and thanks him for a very nice ride.
The children come everyday for a fortnight. Sometimes they ride with the guard or in empty trucks. On the last day, the driver invites them into his cab. All are sorry when the Fat Controller and his family have to go away. Toby tells them all to come back soon and the children say that they will.
The months pass and Toby has fewer trucks and even fewer passengers. One morning, the driver tells Toby that it is their last day as the manager says that they must close tomorrow. That day, everyone wants the chance of a last ride. Henrietta has so many passengers. They all joke and sing songs as they travel along.
Toby falls unhappily asleep that night, thinking that nobody wants him. Next morning he awakes with a start to see his driver who tells Toby that they have received a letter from the stout gentleman.
- At the beginning, it is said that Henrietta used to have nine coaches behind her, but goods are carried in trucks, not coaches.
- Parts of Toby and Henrietta, such as their roofs and Toby's cowcatcher, are not coloured in some illustrations.
- In the third illustration, Lady Hatt is smaller than the children and Toby's bell is coloured the same colour as his roof.
- In the final illustration, Arlesdale End's station house has turned purple and gains a porch, there is another line next to Toby's, and there is a man that very closely resembles the Fat Controller standing on the platform.