Thomas and the Great Railway Show
Thomas & the Great Railway Show
Author Christopher Awdry
Illustrator Clive Spong
Publication date 1991-Present
Publication Order
Preceded by
Jock the New Engine
Followed by
Thomas Comes Home
Thomas and the Great Railway Show is the thrity-fifth book of the Railway Series.


Dear Friends,

Henry, Gordon and James have been grumpy lately. They were jealous because Thomas had been asked to visit the National Railway Museum in York. The Fat Controller was afraid that they would go on strike, but they didn't.

"If Thomas wants to be a museum-piece," they said to each other, "what's that to do with us?".

Meanwhile Thomas was enjoying himself. I hope you will enjoy reading about how he did so.

The Author


Museum PieceEdit

The big engines at Tidmouth Sheds were furious to hear Thomas will represent both the Island of Sodor and the North Western Railway at a railway show in York, but Thomas was delighted. He left Sodor and travelled onto the mainland, but is unable to stop in time when a lock on the crossing gate breaks and the wind blows it across the track, causing Thomas to crush his front end. Thomas decided to go on by rail after his level crossing accident.

Not the TicketEdit

Thomas is taken by lorry to York and he's mortified he can't complain when travelling through the countryside from a different point of view. However, the lorry driver doesn't know the way to the NRM and illegally parks in the wrong spot before heading off to find a telephone. A traffic warden finds out about this and gives the disgruntled lorry driver a parking ticket for being parked in the wrong spot.

Trouble on the LineEdit

At the museum's workshop, Thomas' bufferbeam on the front that was smashed by the level crossing gate was fixed, but Thomas meets Green Arrow who befriends him despite having repairs. The first day at the show goes without a problem until nearly closing time the next day, a bag was carelessly thrown onto the line and Thomas tries to avoid hitting it, but too late. The child is frightened by Thomas' steam wanting to go home and his furious mother wants to find the manager and complain to him.

Thomas was more upset from the brakes that collided with the object, but his crew were happy that the crowds had learnt a lesson - engines can't stop at once since the incident.

Thomas and the RailtourEdit

A special railtour has been set up, and Thomas is delighted Green Arrow is chosen to pull the passenger trains which he said his brothers did this during the Second World War in Europe. The passengers were too crowded, extra trains put on and extra coaches added, but Thomas has been chosen to double-head with Green Arrow. On a return run from the seaside, Thomas notices the ground is eroding to a nearby river and tells Green Arrow to stop immediately.

Buses took the passengers home, both Thomas and Green Arrow hauled the train to safety and made it across. A few days later, Sir Topham Hatt came to York as Thomas believed he came to get the blue tank engine home since frightening the child. The Fat Controller and the manager of the NRM present Thomas with a special plaque and make him an honourary member of the NRM. Somehow, Thomas is not wearing the plaque at the end of this episode as the final story of the book.



  • Christopher Awdry mentioned in Sodor: Reading Between the Lines that "Trouble on the Line" was based around railway safety, but to his dismay was watered down by the publishers. It is not known how the original would go, but he noted it reflects on crowd control at the National Railway Museum.
  • Clive Spong broke a major rule in this book: the National Railway Museum's engines were wearing faces. Wilbert Awdry intended not to have faces on the mainland, unless on Sodor.


  • The text of "Museum Piece" mentions it is raining, but no rain is seen in the picture. Clive Spong must've accidentally didn't put the rain and dark clouds into the picture.