Book 32 - Toby, Trucks & Trouble - 1988

Summaries by D Howells

For the first time in the history of the Railway Series, Christopher Awdry broke from tradition by not including the word ‘engine’ (or ‘engines’) in the title. In the book, Mavis has an accident with a lorry, and Toby was called to help out at the quarry. This meant more work for Percy, but he didn’t mind; he even proves himself useful, by accident.


Mavis & The Lorry

Percy talks to Toby about Knapford Harbour. This makes Toby reminiscent of the days when he worked at a harbour. It also makes him remember a time when he got to go to the seaside.

One morning, his driver and fireman had come to work excitedly, telling Toby that he was to be an extra attraction at a festival at a nearby seaside village. Toby was repainted and given a new bell, and his brass work was polished so much he was unrecognizable. Toby’s journey to the village was quite enjoyable, and he even helped a dirty, weak engine pull a train to the village. But the next morning, as Toby was enjoying the sights of the seaside, bad news came; Toby had to go home. Although the organizers said there was nowhere for Toby to stand, the truth was that Toby was too smart for the branch line.


Toby's Seaside Trip

Percy talks to Toby about Knapford Harbour. This makes Toby reminiscent of the days when he worked at a harbour. It also makes him remember a time when he got to go to the seaside.

One morning, his driver and fireman had come to work excitedly, telling Toby that he was to be an extra attraction at a festival at a nearby seaside village. Toby was repainted and given a new bell, and his brass work was polished so much he was unrecognizable. Toby’s journey to the village was quite enjoyable, and he even helped a dirty, weak engine pull a train to the village. But the next morning, as Toby was enjoying the sights of the seaside, bad news came; Toby had to go home. Although the organizers said there was nowhere for Toby to stand, the truth was that Toby was too smart for the branch line.


Bulstrode
One day, Percy is called away from shunting in the Yard to deal with an emergency at the Harbour. Bulstrode, a stone barge, is grumbling that the trucks aren’t in the right place, although really, he’s the one in the wrong place, and isn’t due to leave until the next day. The trucks are glad when Percy arrive, and ask him to move them into the proper siding. Percy pulls he trucks up the sloping harbour until they are clear of the points, but as he stops, one of the trucks brakes comes on, and when Percy pushes, a coupling breaks, and four trucks, loaded with stone, rattle down the slope. Within a moment, Bulstrode has four loaded stone trucks buried in his hull. Fortunately, the tide is out, so he doesn’t sink, but the trucks are pleased that he had gotten his load faster than he expected this time. Bulstrodes remains are taken to a beach for children to play on, where they still reside today.
 
Toby Takes The Road

Terence did shunting in the Yard during Percy’s short absence. He claims he is adaptable – can go anywhere and do anything. He tells Percy and Toby to scrap their rails and run on roads, like steam engines used to.

Mavis is still being repaired, and Toby is still taking her place at the quarry. The Quarry Manager arranges for Toby to take loaded trucks from the quarry to Ffarquhar at lunchtime rather than later in the day, because of his smaller water tank. One cold morning he sets ‘light engine’ out to the quarry. But the ground had swelled during the night, and at the level crossing, the frost had swollen earth in the ruts beside the rails. Toby wheels are lifted straight off the track, and due to the curving line to the quarry, he goes straight on along the road. He isn’t going fast, so his driver manages to brake carefully. Toby hasn’t gone too far, but all of his wheels are on the road. Toby feels miserable, but with careful reversing along the ruts his wheels had made, Toby is soon back on the rails. A few days later, the Fat Controller tells Toby that although steam engines once ran on roads, he is much better suited to the rails.

Toby, Trucks & Trouble

Audiobook - Read By Ted Robbins

Favourite Railway Series Books Blogs

RSBookReviews_Book32_Vicar.jpg