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Toby the Tram Engine is the first episode of the eleventh season.

Toby the Tram Engine
Season 11, Episode 1
Air date January 4th, 2012
Written by Rev. W. Awdry

Combination by MainLineEngines

Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
New Year Resolutions
Dirty Objects


The following story is based on the Railway Series' No. 7, 'Toby the Tram Engine's 'Thomas in Trouble' with elements from 'Toby and the Stout Gentleman' by the Rev. W. Awdry.

The Fat Controller was on his way home from his holiday at East Anglia.

During his holiday, he had met a nice little tram engine named Toby. He was part of the LNER J70 Tram engine class. He was short and sturdy, and had cowcatchers and side-plates and did not look like a steam engine at all. He took trucks from farms and factories on a tramway to the Main Line, then bigger engines took them to London and elsewhere. His work was being overrided by lorries, but unlike lorries he seemed like he hadn't had an accident ever. He pulled a coach named Henrietta, who was very happy when he and his family had boarded her. But now his tramway was closing and he had been very upset to see that and wondered where on Sodor could Toby be useful?

The months passed and Toby's line soon had a closing date.

There is a quarry at the end of Thomas' Branch; it goes for some distance along the road. Thomas was very careful here in case anybody was coming. 

Early one morning, there was no one on the road, but a large policeman was sitting on the grass close to the line, shaking a stone from his boot.

Thomas liked policeman. He had been a great friend of the Constable who used to live in the village; but he had just retired.

He expected the new Constable would be friendly too.

"Peep, peep," he whistled, "good morning."

The policeman jumped and dropped his boot. He scrambled up, and hopped on one round on one leg till he was facing Thomas.

Thomas was sorry to see that he didn't look friendly at all. He was red in the face and very cross.

The policeman wobbled about, trying to keep his balance.

"Disgraceful!" he spluttered. "I didn't sleep a wink last night, it was so quiet, and now engines come whistling suddenly behind me! My first day in the country too!"

He picked up his boot and hopped over to Thomas. 

"I'm sorry, Sir," said Thomas, "I only said 'good morning'."

The policeman grunted, and, leaning against Thomas' buffer, he put his boot on.

He drew himself up and pointed to Thomas.

"Where's your cow-catcher?" he asked acusingly.

"But I don't catch cows, Sir!"

"Don't be funny!" snapped the policeman. He looked at Thomas' wheels. "No side plates either," and he wrote in his notebook. 

"Engines going on Public Roads must have their wheels covered, and a cow-catcher in front. You haven't, so you are Dangerous to the Public."

"Rubbish!" said his Driver, "we've been along here hundreds of times and never had an accident."

"That makes it worse," the policeman answered. He wrote 'regular lawbreaker' in his book.

Thomas puffed sadly away.

The Fat Controller was having breakfast. He was eating toast and marmalade. He had the newspaper open in front of him, and his wife had just given him some more coffee.

The butler knocked and came in.

"Excuse me, Sir, you are wanted on the telephone."

"Bother that telephone!" said the Fat Controller.

"I'm sorry, my dear," he said a few minutes later, "Thomas is in trouble with the police, and I must go at once."

He gulped down his coffee and hurried from the room.

At the junction, Thomas' Driver told the Fat Controller what had happened.

"Dangerous to the Public indeed; we'll see about that!" and he climbed grimly into Annie the coach.

The policeman was on the platform at the other end. The Fat Controller spoke to him at once, and a crowd collected to listen.

Other policeman came to see what was happening and the Fat Controller argued with them too; but it was no good.

"The Law is the Law," they said, "and we can't change it."

The Fat Controller felt exhuasted.

He mopped his face.

"I'm sorry, Driver," he said, "it's no use arguing with policeman. We'll have to make those cow-catcher things for Thomas, I suppose."

"Everyone will laugh, Sir," said Thomas sadly, "they'll say I look like a tram."

The Fat Controller stared, then he laughed.

"Well done, Thomas! Why didn't I think of it before? We need a tram engine! When I was on my holiday, I met a nice little engine called Toby. He hasn't enough work to do, and needs a change. I'll write to his Controller at once."

Meanwhile, Toby hauled the last train, before being put into a shed.

"Nobody wants me," he thought sadly.

Next morning the shed was flung open, and he woke to see his Fireman dancing a jig outside. His Driver excited, waved a piece of paper.

"Wake up, Toby," they shouted, "and listen to this; it's from the stout gentleman."

Toby listened, and when his Driver finished, he was excited.

A few days later, Toby arrived.

"That's a good engine," said the Fat Controller, "I see you've brought Henrietta."

"You don't mind, do you, Sir?" asked Toby anxiously.

"The stationmaster wanted to use her as a hen house, and that would never do."

"No indeed," said the Fat Controller gravely, "we couldn't allow that."

Toby made the trucks behave even better than Thomas did.

At first Thomas was jealous, but he was so pleased when Toby rang his bell and made the policeman jump that they have been firm friends ever since.

And as time passed, another berth, and carriage shed was built at Ffarquhar for Toby, and of course he became the number '7' of the North Western Railway.


  • Thomas
  • Toby
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Annie (non-speaking role)
  • Henrietta (non-speaking role)
  • James (cameo)
  • Clarabel (cameo)


  • This episode is based off the stories 'Toby the Tram Engine' incorperating some elements of 'Thomas in Trouble' from the RWS No. 7 'Toby the Tram Engine' by the Rev. W. Awdry.