Duck and the Diesel Engine

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Duck and the Diesel Engine

Duck and the Diesel Engine is the thirteen book in the children's book series The Railway Series by the Rev. W. Awdry. It focuses mainly on Duck and introduces us to Diesel.

Domeless Engines

The famous Great Western engine City of Truro comes to visit Sodor. After hearing that he (City of Truro) has travelled at over 100 miles an hour, Gordon becomes jealous. He tries to say that City of Truro isn't respectable, as he has no dome. Gordon then boasts that going 100 miles an hour would be easy for him. He tries to prove it, too! But he soon gets his comuppence when going across a viaduct. There is a teasing wind on the viaduct that blows in strong puffs. It curled around Gordon's boiler, and kncoked the top of his dome off and into a river below. Gordon asks his driver and fireman to go back and look for it, but they don't have the time. That night, when Gordon returns to the sheds, he hears a voice say "Never trust domeless engines. They're not respectable".

Pop Goes the Diesel

City of Truro's visit made Duck very proud of being a Great Western engine. he would talk endlesly about it, and made the other engines very tired of hearing about it. However, thier attitude changes one day when a visitor in the form of a diesel shunter arrives. The Fat Controller introduces him as Diesel. He assigns Duck the task of showing Diesel around. Though Diesel is a kind, smooth-talking engine when the others are around, Duck soon finds him to be very different when it's just the two of them. Diesel boasts about how revolutionary diesels are. Not wanting to hear any of it, Duck tells Diesel to fetch him his trucks while he (Duck) gets Gordon's coaches. When Duck returns to the yard, he finds Diesel trying to pull some very old empty trucks out of a siding. He's having a great amount of difficulty with it, too. The trucks won't be moved. At last, after breaking some of the trucks, Diesel gives up. Duck thanks him for arranging the trucks and leaves without taking any of the ones Diesel was trying to move. The trucks then proceed to sing songs rudely at him. This makes Diesel cross...

Dirty Work

Diesel is still furious with Duck, and the trucks are still signing rude songs to Diesel. At last, Diesel can stand no more, and comes up with a plan on how to pay Duck out. The next day, Diesel went to all of the sidings in the goods yard and whispered stories about the other engines, saying he had been told those stories by Duck. This was untrue, but the trucks didn't know or care. They laughed rudely at the engines as they passed by. When Gordon, Henry, and James figure out the cause of this, or so they think, they are furious. That night, they bar Duck's way from getting into the sheds. When the Fat Controller comes to see what the problem is, Gordon says that Duck called him a Gallopping Sausage, James' nickname was Rusty Red Scrap Iron, and Henry's was Old Square Wheels. When Diesel claims to know nothing about this, the Fat Controller sends Duck away to work with Edward for a while...

A Close Shave

Duck is unhappy and tells Edward about the lies Diesel has been spreading about him. Edward knows they are untrue and has Duck help him with some trucks. Duck begins to feel happier, and soon goess trundeling along the line humming a little tune to himself. Then, he hears a guard's warning whistle. Some of the trucks he was helping Edward with earlier have broken away and are now chasing Duck down the line. Duck tries to run from them, and nearly crahses into the end of James' train. At the last second, he's saved by a pair of switches, but not for long. He tries to stop on the siding, but ends up crashing into a barber shop at the end of the tracks. The barber is cross with Duck and puts shaving cream all of his face. The Fat Controller comes to sort out the mess and informs the barber that Duck has actually prevented a more serious accident. He (the barber) and many others were saved from a very close "shave". The barber apologizes to Duck and washes his face off. Duck is taken out of the barber shop wall and told by the Fat Controller that, after he is mended, he may come home. The Fat Controller had never believed Diesel and has sent him packing, and the engines are all sorry and want him back. And, a few days later, Duck returns to a chours of cheers and whistles.


  • This is the first and only appearance of City of Truro (however, City of Truro is mentioned later in Thomas and the Great Railway Show)
  • This is the first and only appearance of Diesel.
  • The song the trucks sing about Diesel is a parody of "Pop Goes the Weasel"

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Movie and spin-off releases: Thomas and the Magic RailroadCalling All EnginesOn Site with ThomasThe Great DiscoveryHero of the RailsMisty Island RescueDay of the DieselsBlue Mountain MysteryKing of the Railway

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