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The Drought is the eighth episode of the seventeenth season.

The Drought
Season 17, Episode 8
Air date 18 July 2014
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Best Dressed Engine


It was especially hot on the Island of Sodor this year.

Temperatures reached forty, sometimes fity degrees celsius! And the engines were more tired and hotter than ever!

"I heard it's cause of something called "Global Warming", Mr. Oliver," said Toad one day.

"You're right, it might be because of that. I hear the water supply is drying up fast," Oliver agreed.

"If we don't get some rain, we'll all be dried up!" said James, who had happened to overhear their conversation.

"Mr. James is right. I like the rain. I'd love to go coasting down the line with the rain blowing besides me. It'd be an adventure to remember," said Toad.

"Toad, I think you've already had enough adventures for a good fifty year span," said Oliver.

"Which do you refer to, Mr. Oliver," Toad asked.

"Well, our escape from the Scrap Yard, the time you broke away from me and last but not least, the time you went out with James out on the Main Line."

"All right, then. I don't."

Meanwhile, Toby the Tram Engine was working hard at Anopha Quarry with Mavis.

"Sorry," Mavis began. "Bill and Ben came to help yesterday, but . . ."

"I know. They aren't the best help in this type of situation are they," Toby replied.


"Never mind. Let's get this mess cleared up."

Toby and Mavis worked hard all day.

At about noon, they stopped for a break.

Toby's Driver and Fireman and Mavis' Driver were listening to the radio.

"You know, quarrymen are so lame. They listen to the radio, when there's more modern technology these days," Mavis complained to Toby.

"I'm worried more about the weather. I hear there's a drought going on," Toby replied.

"What's a drought?" asked Mavis.

"A drought is when there is a shortage on the water supply," Toby explained.

"I see," replied Mavis, "but you must know Toby. I don't need water to be Really Useful."

"Ssh," hushed Toby. "I actually want to get a good insight on the weather."

"So, we're live on Jeff's Radio Show," the reporter began. "We're 45 degrees and sunny, and . . ."

"We know!" shouted Toby's Fireman. "Now just tell us the weather."

"So, anyways, we've lots of sun today, and yes, its confirmed, we are in a drought, so stay hydrated! Even you steam puffballs, you know. And also, be careful with your water supply, try to save water! So, yeah, that's pretty much it. Have a good day."

"Phew!" sighed Toby's Driver.

Toby got back to work, trying to save most of his water for the journey home.

Finally, it was evening, and dark clouds loomed the sky.

Toby's crew had wanted to get more water to make it to Knapford Harbour where the trucks were needed, but they found that the water column was nearly empty.

"Blasted! I'm not getting home, tonight," thought Toby.

"Come on, boy. I'm sure we can make it to Ffarquhar, with the water we have," encouraged his Driver.

"Oh, really?" asked Toby doubtfully. "I think its better if we stay here."

"I'm pretty sure we can make it to Ffarquhar," agreed his Fireman.

And so, Toby carefully set off into the dark evening sky with his train.

"I can do it!" thought Toby.

But he felt dryer at every puff.

He was now reaching the level crossing.

"That's good. Not long after this," he thought.

But then, there was trouble.

Toby suddenly stopped right in the middle of the crossing! Blocking any cars from getting pass.

"Blasted!" he thought. "I'm stuck!"

And he was.

Cars honked impatiently.

"Your train is blocking the way!" someone yelled.

"Yeah!" others agreed.

"If we can find a water source, I can guarantee you we can at least move out of the way," the Driver called.

Then, a man from a house nearby came and said, "I have a hose that I can connect to the water tap in my bathroom. I'm sure it'll be enough to get home," he suggested.

Toby's crew, the man and his wife connected the hose to Toby's water tank, and Toby started feeling better.

"That's better," he sighed, just as a policeman came up.

"All right, all right, all right, all right. I'll sort this out. A train using water supply. You can't do that! It uses too much water! And we must save it too!" the policeman barked.

"This is an emergency," said the man.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Bottom line is, no water until there's rain."

Just as he said it, rain and thunder sounded through the clouds.

"Well, bless my bell," said Toby.

Drops of water began to fall down. Not just over that area, but all over Sodor; the engines relaxed as the sky cooled, and the rain poured down.

"Well," said the policeman speechless.

"Done," said the man's wife.

"Ah, what the heck, I'll let you go this time," the policeman said and rode away.

Toby sighed as his fire was built up again, and then he made his way to Ffarquhar.

When he arrived, it was very late indeed.

"Don't worry," said the Stationmaster. "I took the responsibility of notifying the Fat Controller about you might not being able to make it to Knapford. Thank goodness for the rain, though."

"Thanks," Toby and his crew replied.

"Just leave your trucks on the siding. Thomas can take them on his morning train."

Toby left them in a siding, and then backed into the sheds.

Thomas, Percy, and Daisy were already asleep.

He wanted to tell him about what had happened, but fell asleep as the rain fell down on Sodor.

(footage of rain falling down on Sodor)

The End.




  • Quite coincidentally, this episode was released during the writer's own version of this!