"Oh, I don't know, I like my brown paint.

I've always been green. I wouldn't want to be any other colour either. Well.. anyway... blue is the only colour for a really useful engine! Everyone knows that. "

— Thomas, Toby and Percy

More About Thomas the Tank Engine is the thirtieth book of the Railway Series.

More About Thomas the Tank Engine


Christopher Awdry

Illustrated by:

Clive Spong


1986 - present

Previous book:

Great Little Engines

Next book:

Gordon the High-Speed Engine


Dear Friends, Sometimes Thomas and Percy both think they are the most important engines on the branch line. We know better, of course, and so does the Fat Controller, which is why he did not intervene when Thomas and Percy had a quarrel. Like most quarrels, it wasn't serious to start with. It began when Percy... But why not turn the page and read about it for yourself?

The Author


Thomas, Percy and the Coal

Thomas brags that blue paint is the only proper colour for a Really Useful Engine. Next day, Percy is shunting when the door on a coal truck opens and coal dust covers Thomas. Thomas and Percy are furious at one another, and the argument gets worse and worse. Several days later Percy goes to get a drink but collides with a coalbunker, much to Thomas' delight.

The Runaway

When Thomas returns from the Works after an illness, his brakes are left stiff. One day, a "relief" fireman forgets to put Thomas' brakes on and Thomas starts off. Although an inspector tries to stop Thomas at Dryaw, Thomas is going too fast and Harold takes the inspector to Toryreck. Annie and Clarabel hold back so the inspector can leap aboard and stop Thomas.

Better Late Than Never

The arches on the Viaduct need strengthening and the big engines are late at Knapford. One day, Bertie teases Thomas that he could beat him in a race - something Thomas vehemently denies. James later holds Thomas up, but just outside the tunnel Thomas sees Bertie broken down. Thomas offers to help Bertie's passengers home, and the next day Bertie comes to Ffarquhar to thank Thomas.

Drip Tank

Percy wants to make things up with Thomas, but when he gets scratched by a branch Thomas is rude and Percy decides against it. Later, Percy asks Toby what a drip is, having heard a boy call his friend one at the platform, but Thomas interrupts and tells Percy he's a drip. Thomas soon gets his comeuppance when his side rod snaps and punctures his watertank on his way home. When Percy goes to help him, Thomas feels ashamed and apologises to Percy.

Characters Present


  • Christopher Awdry has stated he regretted including the offensive term "drip" in the book, it having largely fallen out of use. He has also said he did not like the book title, saying it was unimaginative.
  • This book is unique in the fact that it was written specifically for television, due to a part of a deal signed between Britt Allcroft and the Awdrys saying that all stories that were televised had to be in print form first.


  • When the cleaners clean Thomas, they look too large.