Sir Topham Hatt's Birthday Present is the sixth episode of the twentieth season.

Sir Topham Hatt's Birthday Present
Season 20, Episode 6
Air date 27 February 2015
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
The Special Delivery
Home Coming


The day of the Fat Controller's birthday soon arrived.

They had a celebration at Tidmouth.

Finally, Lady Hatt was to give her gift to her husband.

"I know train scheduling can be difficult, so this will help you make train scheduling much easier," she explained.

The Fat Controller opened it.

"An iPad. Pretty impressive. Thanks a lot, dear. This will make things much easier."

"The schedule is sent to all Stationmasters, drivers and firemans who have e-mail. Also, it warns you when's there's been an accident or delay."


Then, they enjoyed the rest of the party.

Later day that day when the party was over, the Fat Controller was looking at his new iPad at his house.

"You can drag the engines' name onto the selected train," Lady Hatt was telling him.

"Wow! I could do a week's worth of scheduling in like an hour. But first, I want to find some games."

The Fat Controller got pretty attached to the games.

It was late at night when he stopped playing.

The next morning, the Tidmouth Stationmaster called to the house.

"Sir, I am sorry to inform you that I have not received the schedule for this morning's train."

"Oh, sorry. I'll send it to you right away."

"What was that about?" asked Lady Hatt.

"I forgot to set the schedule."

"Well, hurry then."

The Fat Controller was in quite a hurry.

"Aha! A 'shuffle' button. That should do it."

The Tidmouth Stationmaster soon received the schedule.

"So, the eight o clock train goes to . . . wait, what the - Toby? That's odd? Oh, well. Orders are orders."

He soon called up Ffarquhar for Toby.

"Wait, why am I taking this train?" asked Toby.

"I don't know. Its what the Fat Controller said," replied the Stationmaster.

"Well, I'll do my best."

Then, the Stationmaster checked the rest of the schedule.

"Norman, today you're working on Edward's Branch Line."

"What, why?"

"That's what the schedule says."

"And who will look after my work here?"

"Uh, Gordon will."

"That's odd."

"It is, but we have to do it by orders."

At Vicarstown, Dodger was working in the Coal Mines when the Manager walked up to him.

"Dodger, leave those trucks. James will do your work and you will pull the Express."

"What!? Are you crazy? I can't do that. And James absolutely hates my work."

"Well, that's his problem."

"The schedule is obviously wrong. Something weird is going on."

Dodger puffed on to Vicarstown.

There, he saw David, James and Percy.

"Hey. Why have we all been given different jobs?" asked Dodger.

"I don't know, but according to the schedule, David and I have to work at the Smelters," said Percy. "I'm terrified!"

"And Gordon has to be station pilot at Tidmouth," added David.

"And I have to do your filthy, disgusting, disgraceful, dirty work at the Coal Mines. Ugh!" sputtered James.

"I think the Fat Controller messed up the schedule with his new iPad," enquired David.

"That could be," said Percy.

"We better go talk to him and fix it before I have to work at the Coal Mines forever," said James.

"I'll see if I can find him on my way to Tidmouth," said Dodger and he set off.

A lot of the Stationmasters and Signalman had realised the strange choice of engines for the schedule and had decided to halt all trains until the situation was cleared.

The Fat Controller's odd schedule was causing accidents all over.

Gordon had been shunting some trucks in the Yard, but the bends were too tight and he had derailed.

Paxton had been sent to collect ballast from Arlesburgh, but did not understand ballast procedures and as a result got covered in ballast.

Meanwhile, Dodger had reached Crovan's Gate where he saw several engines outside the Steamworks.

"Let's see what all that is about," said Dodger's Driver.

"What's going on here?" Dodger asked Edward.

"They're discussing what's been going on," replied Edward.

"So, we have come to a conclusion. The Fat Controller messed up his schedule. It's obvious. Now, we're going to call him to see if he can fix it," said the Steamworks Manager.

They called the Fat Controller.


"Yes, Sir. There's a major problem with the schedule."

"What would that be?"

"You gave all the jobs out wrong and totally messed it up."

"What!? Let me see. I have a copy on my phone. Gordon as station pilot, yep, definitely wrong. Don't worry, I'll fix it. Good bye."

"All right, so he's going to fix it, so we'll wait for the new one."

"Thank goodness. I thought I was going to have to take the Express," sighed Dodger.

Lady Hatt soon helped the Fat Controller fix the schedule.

All accidents were cleared and the railway was up and running again.

That evening, he gathered all of his engines to explain the mishaps.

"You see, I was busy last night playing games on the iPad and I forgot to set the schedule. In the morning, I pressed 'shuffle' and it didn't really do a good job on selecting the engine for the job. So, I apologise and luckily my wife and children have agreed to help me to assure this never happens again."

"I'm glad its fixed, because station pilot, seriously," moaned Gordon.

Then, the engines went off to rest talking about their abnormal jobs until the stars twinkled above the sky.



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