This article is about the magazine story. You may be looking for the Step into Reading book.
"Ashes and cinders!"
— Percy

Trouble in the Tunnel is a magazine story.


Percy was pulling trucks from the quarry to the harbour when he got to his favourite part of the journey - the tunnel! Percy loves chuffing through dark, cool tunnels. However, this time was different. As he clattered through, bits of brick fell from the tunnel's roof. The road vehicles travelling over the tunnel had weakened the supports. Unusually, Percy was very relieved to exit the tunnel and, at the next station, his driver telephoned the Fat Controller. The tunnel and the road above were immediately closed and workmen went to investigate the damage. Percy was redirected onto a line that runs close to the tunnel.

One day, Percy was surprised to see two schoolboys entering the closed tunnel. Percy was worried they might get hurt. Suddenly, the worst scenario became a reality; the tunnel collapsed and the boys were nowhere to be seen! Percy rushed to the nearest signalbox where the emergency services were contacted. As the ambulance and fire services arrive, it becomes apparent that the tunnel has collapsed at both ends. It's not long before Terence is summoned and he easily pushes the rubble out of the way. Luckily, the children were brought out, unhurt, by the ambulance men. They had took shelter in the middle of the tunnel which was still intact.

Percy and Terence are praised for their quick actions and when the tunnel was finally reopened, Percy had the honour of being the first engine through.



  • In the sixth illustration, the middle of Percy's six is coloured yellow, his whistle is missing, and the "danger" sign is written in black instead of red.


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