Wilbert the Forest Engine
Wilbert the Forest Engine
Author Christopher Awdry
Illustrator Clive Spong
Publication date 1994-Present
Publication Order
Preceded by
Henry and the Express
Followed by
Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines
Wilbert the Forest Engine is the thirty-eighth book in the Railway Series.


Dear Friends,

Wilbert works in Gloucestershire, on the Dean Forest Railway. He kept asking if he could meet Thomas, and at last the Fat Controller managed to arrange it. The visit was not without its mishaps, but I know that Wilbert enjoyed himself. We hope that you will enjoy the stories of his adventures on the Island of Sodor as much as he and the other engines did.


Percy's PorridgeEdit

Donald and Douglas were overworked and exhausted, but the Fat Controller arranges to borrow an engine named Wilbert from the Dean Forest Railway to help out. Percy is dissapointed to hear that Wilbert may not come to Thomas' Branch Line, but forgets it when the weather becomes rainy. At Elsbridge, the stationmaster and a porter were stacking poorly-sealed sacks of oatmeal on top of each other. Oatmeal was scattered everywhere when the sacks fell onto the tracks and with no time to stop, Percy paddled into it and was covered in the resulting glop. Wilbert is quickly diverted to Thomas' Branch Line. 

Cab Over WheelsEdit

The lead mines is the location for Wilbert's first job. Thomas tells him to follow the rules as a warning, but Wilbert knows about this because he used to work in a colliery. He tells the story of Sixteen who is like him working at a steelworks and was very rude. One day, he was carrying trucks of slag to a location known as the "tip". He passed a warning sign much to the attention of his crew. Sixteen fell on his side after his fireman jumped clear and the unsafe rails tilted. He was in disgrace for the accident, but he was brought and worked up high in the Midlands.

Foaming at the FunnelEdit

At Toryreck is a dairy. Wilbert is sent to collect milk tankers each morning to Knapford. One day, he spends too much time talking to James that Wilbert needs to have fresh water at the dairy to take on. He stops at the wrong hosepipe and milk flows in, instead of water. Thomas takes Wilbert back to Ffarquhar and Wilbert's tank is emptied out with a quote from Thomas that Wilbert had the milk and Percy had some porridge at Elsbridge.


Percy returns and how Toby and Thomas missed him, Wilbert is sent to the Little Western. One day, he takes some ballast trucks to Tidmouth which were hard to pull when a coupling gear from a truck falls off. Thinking quickly and some advice from Bert, Wilbert has tied a loop around the broken coupling gear and then, takes the train to the station. Wilbert goes home after this and when it's time for Wilbert to return to his railway, the Fat Controller has no doubts about this.



  • "Percy's Porridge" was written as an exercise for creative writing by a class at Abdingon School, and therefore this book is dedicated to them.


  • Percy wouldn't need to go to Crovans Gate after getting covered in porridge where there's no mention of damage on him.
  • Wilbert would leave the trucks in a siding at the dairy on the previous page, but he has empty trucks in front of him and tankers behind him on the next page.
  • Oliver appears with his frames obscured. The illustrator, Clive Spong had him to be a 0-6-0 and not a 0-4-2 which will later be depicted on the Skarloey Railway.
  • The dairy is at Toryreck, but it's at Elsbridge.