Toby the Tram Engine (Book)

From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere

Toby the Tram Engine is the seventh book in The Railway Series by the Rev. W. Awdry. In this book, we are introduced to Toby.

Toby the Tram Engine

Toby and the Stout Gentleman

Toby is a small tram engine, with a coach called Henrietta, who works on a small line near the Main Line. Toby used to be busy, but the buses have taken most of his work. One day, Toby met a nice Stout Gentleman (the Fat Controller), his wife, and his two grandchildren. They go for a ride on Toby. The Stout Gentleman was very pleased with Toby, and brought his family back every day while on vacation. On thier last day, Toby's driver let them ride in the cab. Then, they had to leave. As time went on, Toby had fewer trucks to pull, and even fewer passengers for Henrietta. One day, Toby's Driver and Fireman told him that the line was closing. He had a wonderful day. As they went down the line, the passengers sang songs, but Toby wished they wouldn't. Everyone was sorry to see Toby leave. And so, Toby went to sleep that night, thinking that nobody wanted him. But next morning, Toby woke up to find that his Driver and Fireman had gotten a letter from the Stout Gentleman...

Thomas in Trouble

There is a police Constable that Thomas is good friends with. Thomas whistles to him every day and says "Good morning". However, the Constable had retired. The new Constable was surprised when Thomas whistled at him. He then wrote a ticket for Thomas, because he had no cowcatchers and side-plates. The Fat Controller heard of this and tried to talk to the Constable, but he wouldn't listen. Thomas is worried that if he is given cowcatchers and side-plates, that people will say he looks like a tram. This reminds the Fat Controller of Toby. He writes to the superintendant of Toby's line and asks if he may buy Toby, as indeed he does. A few days later, Toby arrives with Henrietta. As eh goes down the line, he wheeshes and rings his bell at the Constable, scaring him. Thomas was a little jealous of Toby at first, but now they are good friends.

Dirty Objects

James is very rude about how dirty Toby and Henrietta look. He calls them "dirty objects". To get back at him, Toby teases James about his incident with bootlaces. This makes James very cross. Later, he has to take a slow goods train. He hates slow goods trains. he bumped the trucks alot. At Gordon's Hill, he has to stop to have his brakes pinned down, but he doesn't. He's too busy thinking about what he will do the next time he sees Toby. He's so distracted, that the trucks start pushing him down the hill. Soon, James is running out of control. Eventually, James enters the goods yard and crashes into a line of tar wagons. James wasn't severly hurt, but the tar wagons and some of his trucks were in pieces. Toby and Percy came to help clean up the mess. While doing so, Toby jokes with Percy about "dirty objects". The Fat Controller arrives, and tells James that he must be cleaned at once. He is proud of Toby and will give him and Henrietta a new coat of paint.

Mrs. Kyndley's Christmas

There is an elderly lady who lives in a cottage near Thomas' branch line. Her name is Mrs. Kyndley. Thomas and Toby are good friends with her. Thomas was sorry to hear that she was very sick and had to stay in bed all day. One day, it started raining. It rained for days and days. One day, Thomas' Driver and Fireman saw a red dressing-gown in Mrs. Kyndley's window. They stopped just outside of the cottage. The guard checked to see if there was a doctor on the train. The Fireman and Driver went to see if the line was clear. It wasn't. There had been so much rain that it caused a land-slide. The two men went back and into Mrs. Kyndley's cottage. They thanked her for warning them. On Christmas Day, Toby, Thomas, thier Drivers and Fireen, and the Fat Controller went to see Mrs. Kyndley. They all thanked her and gaver her presents. The Driver gave her a new dressing-gown. The guard brought her some grapes. The Fireman, some slippers. Some coal from Thomas. And the Fat Controller gave her some tickets to go to Bournemouth. Thomas and Toby hope that she is getting better and will come home soon.

New Characters

  • Toby
  • Henrietta
  • Lady Hatt
  • Bridget Hatt
  • Stephen Topham Hatt (Later the Fat Controller III)
  • The New Constable - (First and Only appearance)
  • Mrs. Kyndley


  • When Toby first arrived, he was shabby brown with silver cowcatchers and side-plates. After "Dirty Objects", he got re-painted chocolate brown with blue cowcaters and side-plates.
  • This is book No. 7 in the Railway Series and Toby is given the number 7. Whether it was planned that way, or it was just a coincidence is unknown.

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