Gordon the Big Engine (Book)

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Gordon the Big Engine is the eighth book in The Railway Series, written by Rev. W. Awdry.

Gordon the Big Engine

Off the Rails

Henry is to pull the express. Gordon teases him about staying on the rails. Later, Gordon is sleeping on a siding, when his driver and fireman tell him that he must pull a train of trucks. Gordon was cross and didn't want to pull trucks. The Fireman tried to light the fire, but it wouldn't burn properly. They had to wait for Edward to help. Edward pushed Gordon onto the turntable. While he is being spun around, Gordon thinks of how he can make it so he doesn't have to pull trucks. While the turntable is still moving, Gordon lurches forward and jams the table. To make things worse, Gordon can't stop and he falls into a ditch! The Fat Controller hears about what happened and says that Gordon must stay there until they have time for him. Gordon stays in the ditch all day. At one point, he gets teased about it by some little boys. That night, James and Henry help Gordon out of the ditch, and Gordon, a sadder and wiser engine, crawled home.


Gordon is having a bath one day. Right after that, the Fat Controller tells Gordon that he must shunt trucks in the yard, and is not allowed to pull coaches anymore. Gordon is cross, and very rough with the trucks. James teases him about shunting trucks. Gordon warns James to be careful on the hill. James says that he doesn't need help. But as James goes up Gordon's Hill, he realizes that Gordon was right. It was very slippery, and there were leaves all over the tracks. He starts slipping down the hill. Gordon is at the bottom, waiting for him. James apologizes for being so stubborn. Together, James and Gordon are able to get the train over the hill. Then, Gordon must go back to shunting.

Down the Mine

Thomas is being very cheeky to Gordon. He claims that Gordon still stinks of ditch water. Gordon takes no notice. Annie and Clarabel are shocked at hwo rude Thomas was to Gordon. Thomas continues along the line without a care. There is a mine near Thomas' branch line. There is a board nearby that tells engines not to pass. Thomas takes no notice. He bumps his Driver and Fireman off the footplate and runs past the board. Thomas only went a few inches before falling down the mine with a crash! The Fat Controller saw what happened, and told Thomas that he is a very naughty and silly engine. Thomas wants to get out of the mine, but the Fat Controller says that the ground isn't firm enough for a crane. Gordon soon arives with a cable and helps Thomas out of the mine. On their way home, Thomas apologizes to Gordon for being rude. Gordon and Thomas decide that if they ever get into trouble, they won't tease each other, but help each other. They form an alliance. "And buffer to buffer, the Allies puffed home".

Paint Pots and Queens

A lot painters have started working on the stations. They told the engines that the Queen is coming. All of the engines start to debate who will take the Queen. Henry is chosen. But a few days later, he is waiting in the station and blows smoke right where a painter is painting. The painter falls and paint spills all over Henry. He can't pull the train now. The Fat Controller speaks to Thomas and Gordon. They apologize for their misbehavior, and ask if they can go back to work. The Fat Controller knows that they are both sorry, and tells them that Thomas will shunt coaches for the Royal Train, Edward will go in front of the train, and Gordon will pull the Royal Train! Thomas and Gordon are very proud. The day soon comes. Edward is given two English flags on his lamp irons. Then, Gordon enters with the Royal Train. He is wearing not only the English flags, but the Royal Coat of Arms. The Queen thanks the Fat Controller for a splendid run, and thanks the engines as well. When it is time for her to leave, the Queen speaks specially to Thomas, Edward, and Gordon. All of the Fat Controller's engines are very proud!

Special Guest

The Queen - (She was only seen in one shot, and that was only her hand. First and last appearance)


  • This marks the final appearance of the original Fat Controller, Sir Topham Hatt. His son, Charles, takes over staring in the next book, Edward the Blue Engine

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