Percy the Small Engine
Author Wilbert Awdry
Illustrator C. Reginald Dalby
Publication date January 1, 1956-Present
Published by Egmont Publishing
Edmund Ward
Publication Order
Preceded by
Four Little Engines
Followed by
Eight Famous Engines
Percy the Small Engine is the eleventh book of the Railway Series.


Dear Christopher, and Giles, and Peter, and Clive,

Thank you for writing to ask for a book about Percy. He is still cheeky, and we were afraid (Sir Topham Hatt and I) that if he had a book to himself, it might make him cheekier than ever, and that will never do!

But Percy has been such a Really Useful Engine that we both think he deserves a book. Here it is.

The Author


Percy and the SignalEdit

Gordon and James were taunted by Percy that both the express and Sir Topham Hatt were already here. This became a silly joke for Percy and was to stay away from them for a while after Sir Topham Hatt found out about this. The small engine gets careless and goes over to tell them while he has a goods train to prepare. The two engines wanted him to be warned about "backing signals" which he meant outside Knapford "down means go" and "up is to stop". Percy is fooled by this and Gordon sees the whole episode unfolding from Knapford station.

Duck Takes ChargeEdit

The Fat Controller, says that a bigger engine will help and Percy says that the work is getting harder. James and Gordon said this was both rubbish and silly to hear. The small engine works all day at the yard and when Sir Topham Hatt grants Percy that he will be in charge of Knapford Harbour's construction, he was delighted. Duck, rather than being named Montague for his "waddle" arrives at the harbour. The two engines worked together all day, until the big engines including Henry make quack noises at Duck and start to order them about.

The two tank engines in retaliation block the enterance to the sheds causing a standoff between them and the big engines. The Fat Controller tells them off by explaining about this and when Gordon and Henry start wheeshing steam (on TV is James and Gordon whistling in anger), Sir Topham Hatt shouts "SILENCE!". Duck is managed alone to do his work after the standoff has ended in victory for Sir Topham Hatt.

Percy and HaroldEdit

Harold the Helicopter one day says that railways are slower and out-of-date. Percy disapproves the thought of this and starts to race Harold in the air. When the train was at speed, the guard spills his flask onto himself while making one for a drink. Percy thinks he had lost, but Harold couldn't find a place to land. Percy's crew and some workmen began singing a song about the race.

Percy's PromiseEdit

Percy is asked by Thomas that he's busy and Percy is to take the Vicar's Sunday School home from their picnic. The weather grew hot at teatime, but rain spilt down when dark clouds went through the sky. The train had stopped near a flooded paddock where the bridge is cut off. Harold sends hot drinks for Percy's crew after the train was stuck in the water. Percy struggles on with the floorboards from the guard's van making his fire hot. The train makes it through the water and Sir Topham Hatt congratulates both Harold and Percy who made it clever during the situation.



  • Reverend Awdry said Percy looked a bit like "a green caterpillar with red stripes" in the illustrations, which made C. Reginald Dalby to do no more illustrations for the Railway Series. This is later referenced in Tramway Engines.


  • The electric pole by the single track shed in "Percy and the Signal" disappears.
  • The workmen in the first illustration of "Percy and the Signal" are dramatically out of perspective.
  • In the sixth illustration of "Duck Takes Charge", Duck appears to be taller than Henry.
  • The final illustration of "Percy and Harold" has Percy's fireman dramatically out of perspective.
  • Duck is drawn with 8750-Class windows instead of 5700-Class windows.
  • Thomas and Percy's headcodes were incorrect in all illustrations of "Percy's Promise", except for the second one.