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Book 37 - Henry & The Express - 1993

Summaries by R Healy


In this book, we see Henry the Green Engine returning to focus again, with associated tag - "The Flying Kipper" making an appearance in one of the stories, albiet behind a different engine, who Henry has to briefly share a common colour with in the final story!

Out of Puff

Henry is boasting after he manages well with the Express, and Douglas is quick to put him in his place.  Henry is unperturbed, but Donald supports his twin, and reminds Henry - "A puff goes before a fail."
A bad consignment of coal leaves the engines hot and bothered.  It burns badly, leaving clouds of thick, black smoke and significantly more ash, leaving the engines with awful indigestion.
Despite Henry's Driver and Fireman's best efforts to clean out the ash from his smokebox the night before, he still has trouble carrying out his duties, making it to Edward's Station and no further.  Douglas takes over his train, and the Fireman notices that the smokebox door is bent, so he can't breathe properly through his fire.  The solution the crew come up with is to use papier mache to mend the hole and get them back to the shed safely, but Henry is still the subject of fun from Donald and Douglas who can't help but make breathless puffing noises all night!


The Fat Controller announces to Henry that he is in need of an overhaul at the Works.  In order to get there, Henry is required to double-head the Express along with James, who is quite offended at the prospect of having to double-head the train!
On the way to the Works, there is something wrong with Henry's wheels, and it causes bother as they head through a station when a brick flies past Henry's cab and hits James.  An inspection is carried out by the crew, and all appears to be OK with the exception of a carriage window being broken.  They find that one of the steel rims around Henry's wheel has broken and come off, and that's what caused the damage.  James laughs and comments that instead of an overhaul, Henry needs retiring instead!

Sliding Scales

Whilst Henry is absent, the other engines have to take "The Flying Kipper" in his place for him.  When James's turn rolls around, he's less than pleased about the situation.
Whilst waiting at the platform to be loaded, a forklift loses it's load and spills crates of fish in front of James, covering the rails.  This causes a great deal of trouble for James as he tries to leave.  The slippery ooze from the fish has left the rails in a precarious state and James finds it difficult to start the train with nothing for his wheels to grip.
Eventually, men with hoses wet down the rails and clear away the slippy mess so James can start, albiet a lot later than he expected!

Seeing Red

Whilst at the works, Henry is given an undercoat of red paint before he is due to be repainted into his usual green with red stripes.  But before he can even be restored to his former glory, there is announcement by his Driver that they're needed at the Big Station to deal with an emergency, they're needed to pull the Express in light of a Diesel failing.
Ashamed to be seen in his present form, Henry is apprehensive, but Henry has little choice in the matter.
The journey is beset with problems as Henry has to remove a coach at Edward's Station due to a fault, a job that Donald should have dealt with had he not been away.  And without Donald, there would be a chance Henry could struggle on the hill too, but with a great deal of determination, Henry makes it up the hill on his own with the heavy train.  The Fat Controller congratulated Henry for a job well done and sends him back to the Works for to have his green paint with red stripes.

Henry & The Express

Audiobook - Read By Ted Robbins

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