Tramway Engines is the twenty-sixth book of the Railway Series.
Thomas has been pestering me to write about his Branch Line. "After all", he said, "we are the importantest part of the whole railway."
"What can I write about?" I asked.
"Oh, lots of things - Percy's Woolly Bear, Toby's Tightrope and..."
"...your Ghost," I added.
"Don't put that silly story in," said Thomas crossly.
I will, all the same. Thomas has been much too cocky lately. It will serve him right!
Percy claims his driver saw a "ghost train" the previous night, but Thomas does not believe him and Percy's driver confirms that the engine was on television. On his way home from working at the harbour all day, Percy crashes into a cart of lime that had stuck at Crowe's Farm Crossing. When the signalman remarks Percy looks like a ghost, Percy makes a plan, and convinces Thomas he has crashed and returned as a ghost, scaring Thomas out of the shed.
Thomas is still annoyed at Percy, and when Percy is delayed picking up haybales Thomas claims Percy is a "green caterpillar with red stripes". Percy, furious, resolves to be quick, but is delayed when a crate of treacle falls on him. The worst is wiped off, but as Percy returns home a gale whips up and Percy is covered in hay.
Mavis is a stuck-up Diesel working at Anopha Quarry who loves rearranging the trucks in the sidings. This creates confusion and Toby is cross. When Mavis sees Daisy, she tells her that Diesels are better than steam engines, making Mavis prouder than ever, until the trucks hold Mavis back and Toby has to help.
Mavis is restricted to the quarry after her incident. After a frost comes and goes, work increases and Mavis manages to convince the manager to let her go as far as the crossing. She formulates a plan to go further down the line and asks the trucks to push her at the crossing, but when Toby comes they decide to do it to him and he ends up suspended over a raging torrent on a pair of dangling rails. Mavis rescues him and, even though it was her fault, is forgiven and allowed to go down the line.
- The Fat Controller
- Sam the Farmer
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- The Farmer's Tractors (do not speak)
- This is the final book written by the Reverend W. Awdry, the final book to be illustrated by Gunvor and Peter Edwards and the last time a book is published in The Railway Series until 1983.
- This is the first Railway Series book not to receive a dust jacket cover.
- Percy and Toby spoof The "Three Little Pigs" in the scene when Percy "haunts" the shed.
- The Reverend W. Awdry had previously said Percy looked like "a green caterpillar with red stripes" in the book Percy the Small Engine, which led to C. Reginald Dalby refusing to do any more illustrations for the series.
- Percy's smokebox changes between "Ghost Train" and "Woolly Bear".
- When Percy arrives at Elsbridge, haybales appear in his trucks.
- In the fifth illustration of "Woolly Bear", Thomas' headcode is wrong. Instead of a lamp on the smokebox iron to indicate a stopping passenger train, he has a lamp on the right iron for a goods train.
- In the second illustration of "Mavis", either Annie or Clarabel's face is much lower than it usually is.