Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines
Thomas And The Fat Controller's Engines
Author Christopher Awdry
Illustrator Clive Spong
Publication date 1995-Present
Publication Order
Preceded by
Wilbert the Forest Engine
Followed by
New Little Engine
Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines is the thirty-ninth book of the Railway Series.


Dear Friends,

I went to see the Fat Controller the other day. I told him that in 1995 it would be fifty years since the first stories about his Railway were published.

"Good gracious me!" he said. "We must do something to celebrate that".

And he set to work. Not everything went quite right. For instance, Thomas...but I won't spoil the stories - happy reading.

The Author



In Tidmouth Sheds, the engines were wondering what a jubilee is. Henry says it's an engine called Bahamas which he met him at Crewe. Gordon says Flying Scotsman told him about The Silver Jubilee that every twenty-five years, a monarch celebrates and it was named from an A4 Pacific in 1935 but Percy mistakes jamboree as a party. The Fat Controller arrives in the shed and says that both the Awdrys and British Prime Minister John Major wanted him to celebrate the 50th anniversary this year. Gordon was wondering about the special train, but Pip and Emma as Sir Topham Hatt said will take the train instead. Gordon wasted no time being upset and takes his express train from the main station.

Near Henry's Tunnel, some crows flew too close to the line and when Gordon startles them with his whistle, the birds got in front of him and his brakes came on hard. The crew find that one of the crows broke Gordon's seal off the front brakepipe and the train starts off again. The engines meanwhile tease Gordon about it which no one forgets about the entire incident from the LNER A3 Pacific himself.

Edward and the CabbagesEdit

James is very late one day and Edward decides to kill the time by hurrying up at speed. Edward notes to his crew that one of his front wheels is wobbling but his crew were worried and said to go slower than expected. When they pass a cabbage patch, one of his bogie wheels snapped off causing his crew to see it and disappear into the field. Nothing is said of the accident, but later a farmer finds Edward's bogie wheel in his cabbage patch. He said that he will return it to Edward while he is being mended at the workshop in Crovans Gate.


Rabbits keep burrowing under the stretch before Dryaw and Sir Topham Hatt tries to put up a ten metre per hour limit to slow trains down due to these. A day before the plan was made, Thomas crosses the stretch when a rail tilts and he comes off. Percy takes Annie and Clarabel home and later Thomas after he is back on the rails by some workmen using jacks to put the old rails underneath him. The new rails were made and the two engines head to Knapford for the Golden Jubilee.

Golden JubileeEdit

Henry is worried and cheered up by some of the engines such as Daisy that the Golden Jubilee will not be celebrated at all. Both the stretch at Dryaw and Edward's front bogie wheel is fixed in no time. When the great day came, Edward cleared the line in front for Pip and Emma to travel on. Unluckily, Edward and the train were about to leave Knapford when a spider's cobweb short-circuits the signal box. The signalman reacted with a "NOW WHAT?!" and he says that the Royal Train is due in five minutes. They were flagged through, The Fat Controller apologises to the visitor for the delay and the visit was a great success.



  • The Royal Personage is not named, but it is likely to be Prince Charles.
  • Christopher Awdry's original title was to be "The Fat Controller's Engines", but the publishers said they wanted a Thomas link to the title.
  • This book was to be a marketing tool; yet ironically as Christopher Awdry's books are out of print, this was the hardest book to obtain.
  • Two real life engines are mentioned in this book from the first story: both Bahamas and The Silver Jubilee.


  • In "Golden Jubilee", the final two illustrations don't match the text. Henry, Gordon and James apparently got in first, but Thomas and Mavis manage to get in front of them. What's more, Edward should be there but he doesn't appear at all.

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