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Toby and the Lorries is the eleventh story of volume three.

Toby and the Lorries
Season X, Episode 61
Air date 23 May 2021
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Thomas in Charge
The Milk and the Post


Toby was resting at Ffarquhar sheds when Mavis trundled in.

"You will not believe what just happened," she fumed.

"What happened?" asked Toby.

"I nearly got into an accident because of yet another lorry," she explained. "Sure the railway has several accidents but road vehicles have just as many."

"To be fair, some engines take care more than others," said Toby.

"You're the most careful of all," said Mavis.

"And I have taught you well it seems," chuckled Toby.

"You do have a lot of experience that goes back to your time on your old tramway."

"Indeed. In fact, I still remember when lorries first started appearing back in East Anglia."

"Well go ahead. I always love a good story."

"All right. Here it goes."

So Toby began.

"So many years ago, I was working in East Anglia. My job consisted of taking trucks from farms and factories to the Main Line. Other engines then took the trucks to other places. I remember carrying up to nine trucks behind Henrietta. We had plenty of passengers and everything seemed to be going well."

"I still miss those days," sighed Henrietta from the carriage shed.

"However, as time went on, we began to notice that we had fewer trucks," continued Toby.

"Most of the trucks are empty!" cried Henrietta. "And where all the passengers?"

Toby didn't know but he knew he had to carry on.

Then one day, he was puffing along the line and saw various lorries on the road. He saw one of them stop at one of the farms where he used to stop. Both Toby and Henrietta thought that was very odd.

"We used to stop at that farm all the time," said Henrietta.

"I know but know it seems that now they use that lorry."

Toby stopped at another farm where the farmer was very glad to see him.

"Good morning Toby!" he said cheerfully.

"Hullo farmer. You have a lot of fresh fruit there."

"Indeed I do and I know you will get it to market safely."

"I will!"

Toby puffed away, feeling a lot happier.

"This farmer is very friendly," he said to Henrietta.

"We have helped him for many years now," said Henrietta.

Later, the Driver talked to Toby.

"Many farm and factories are sending their goods by lorry now," he explained.

"I wonder why."

"Just due to preference I guess," sighed the Driver. "The lorries are new and modern. Compared to you, they seem more effecient."

"Humphf!" hooshed Toby. "I am still very useful over any lorry any day."

Toby was furious at the thought of lorries being better than him.

"I always keep to time," he grumbled.

"You are slower though," put in Henrietta.

"I will admit that's true but at least, I get everywhere safely."

The following day, he told the farmer about the lorries.

"Honestly, I was considering getting a lorry but I have heard that they are accident prone. However, you haven't had an accident in years and for me, that is very important," explained the farmer.

Toby felt a lot better after that.

"It seems like I do have an advantage over the lorries. I may not be as fast or strong but I am reliable and I am going to keep it that way."

That was the way Toby kept it!

For the next few months, more and more lorries kept appearing. Toby began to have less goods but he didn't care. He was determined to prove that he was still more reliable than any lorry.

One day, he was puffing along the tramway. He only had five trucks behind Henrietta today but he making good time when suddenly he saw a man waving a red flag.

"What's the matter?" asked Toby.

"There's been a big accident up ahead!" cried the man. "Lots of cars and lorries are stuck in traffic."

Toby advanced slowly and soon saw what had happened. Three lorries had crashed into each other and were blocking the road.

Many people were cross.

"Not again!"

"This always happens!"

"You should be more careful!"

The complains were endless.

"Huh, I guess this proves that around here, I am the most careful," grinned Toby.

Some of the lorries that were stranded had goods that needed to get other places and the drivers realised that Toby had some empty trucks.

They quickly loaded their goods into Toby's trucks.

"Don't worry, Toby will get it there safely," said Toby's Driver.

"I guarantee it," puffed Toby.

"I second that," put in Henrietta.

Then they puffed away.

"I must get everything delivered safely," he said to Henrietta.

"I agree," she replied. "Don't worry, we'll get there."

In the end, Toby made his deliveries safely. He felt very proud.

"You certainly showed everyone just how useful you are," said the Driver.

"I know that," grinned Toby.

"Of course, lorries continued to dominate the workload and as you know, my old tramway eventually closed down," finished Toby.

"At least you're here now and helping us here," said Mavis.

"Indeed," smiled Toby. "I've done a great job teaching you, haven't I?"

"You have taught me a lot!"

"I figured."

"Anyways, I have to get back to the Quarry. See you Toby!"

"See you Mavis!"

Then Mavis trundled away.

Toby rested for a while till his Driver and Fireman returned.

"We have a train to take now," called Henrietta.

"Let's go then," said Toby.

Then he puffed away.




  • The Writer originally considered a re-write of Horrid Lorry in place of this story.