Book 35 - Thomas & The Great Railway Show - 1991
Summaries by D Howells
In this book, Thomas is given the great honour of representing Sodor on a trip to the National Railway Museum in York. One of the golden rules of the Railway Series is broken in this book, as the characters on the Mainland are personified and take on faces like their Sudrian counterparts. Real life engines that appear in the book include Green Arrow, Iron Duke, Mallard, Duches of Hamilton and a faceless Stephenson's Rocket!
Gordon, Henry and James are exceedingly jealous because Thomas is being granted permission to visit the National Railway Museum! However, in spite of their jealousy, Thomas is quite excited about representing Sodor on his journey and counts down the days until he can go.
On the journey to York, Thomas is allowed to operate on his own steam as he heads down there. After spending the night in Carnforth, he heads on toward York again, but on the way, disaster strikes as a crossing gate is hanging across the line! Thomas batters into it and has his front end badly damaged, and cutting his journey short!
Not The Ticket
After a dismal day in the rain, Thomas is told he will be travelling to York by road instead, where his front end will be mended in the National Railway Museum's workshops. Thomas is left dreaming of the taunting Henry, James and Gordon would give him if they found out about the shame of him being taken by a lorry!
However, when the lorry arrives to take him away the following morning, Thomas is indifferent to being taken by a Lorry, and enjoys being taken along with a nice view of the countryside. Soon, they come to a built up area, and the Lorry driver is unsure of the way, so he goes to ask for directions, at which point a Parking Attendant gives the Lorry a ticket!
Trouble On The Line
Thomas is repaired and put on display within the National Museum after meeting Green Arrow in the workshops. He meets many of the muesum's other engines as he explores around the area, including Boxhill (A Terrier engine like Stepney) and Broad Gauge engine - Iron Duke, who Thomas meets at the Demonstration Line where he is meant to be giving rides.
When Thomas sees the crowds that have gathered, he is anxious about what could happen on the line when he's operating on the Demonstration line, in case of children running out in front of him and being hurt.
Unfortunately, the next day as Thomas's confidence is building, a bag is thrown onto the line and Thomas bursts it with a bang as he hits it, and damages his brakes. A child is frightened by the noise and Thomas is reprimanded by an angry mother. But the Driver takes consolation in the fact that the people could have learned a lesson from this, "Engines can't stop at once."
Thomas & The Rail Tour
The impending Railtour sparks argument between the engines as to who will pull it. Mallard suggests himself as the seaside place helped pay for his repairs, but in the end, the job is given to Green Arrow. There is a great demand for the Railtour and talk of extra trains, which wouldn't be possible, and the only feasible option would be to add extra coaches. Thomas asks to help with the extra load and the man in charge agrees.
On the return journey Thomas spies something strange ahead, the track has been damaged by water and is unsafe to cross. Thomas and Green Arrow take an empty train back to York, and Thomas is hailed a hero for his actions by the Fat Controller when he comes to visit him, and the National Railway Museum honour him as an honourary member of the National Collection!