Toby, Trucks and Trouble
Toby, Trucks, and Trouble
Author Christopher Awdry
Illustrator Clive Spong
Publication date 1988-Present
Publication Order
Preceded by
Gordon the High Speed Engine
Followed by
Thomas and the Twins
Toby, Trucks and Trouble is the thrity-second book of the Railway Series.


Dear Friends,

Trucks are silly things. They rattle, bang and chatter to each other so much that they can never hear what their engine says. Even if they did, they probably wouldn't take any notice. They pushed Mavis into a lorry, and that made extra work for Toby and Percy while she was being mended.

But on the other hand, perhaps they're not all bad - after all, they did teach Bulstrode a lesson. See what you think.

The Author


Mavis and the LorryEdit

One day, Mavis was taking stone trucks down the line from Ffarquhar when she sees a lorry at the crossing around the bend. The driver, who was new to the island and doesn't expect to see an engine coming, has his lorry overturned in a ditch when it collided with Mavis. The cause was believed to be on the Troublesome Trucks. Although the driver was unharmed, Mavis' cowcatcher was bent and Sir Topham Hatt sends her to Crovans Gate. Toby has to take over her jobs at Anopha Quarry later that afternoon.

Toby's Seaside HolidayEdit

From a flashback, Toby tells his olden days at Yarmouth Harbour. His crew one day allowed him to go to a local village's seaside festival after getting some new paintwork at the GER works in Stratford. This railway works was where Toby was built in 1914. He sets off for the village festival. After one night on a siding, he was told that the festival didn't have enough room for him, but the real reason was that everyone else would show up since Toby has to pull a train for The Old Engine who had steam leaks. Toby's daydream was interrupted by his crew who offers him to go back to work.


The Fat Controller is called up by the Knapford Harbour manager that there's an emergency with the loading. Sir Topham Hatt tells Percy to move there and the Troublesome Trucks told him to unload their stone by crane into Bulstrode who was ranting all along and the trucks said he's in the wrong place, not themselves. A coupling breaks and some trucks crash into Bulstrode, smashing the buffers protecting him. He nearly drowns and the tide was out, ready for him to survive. He is removed to a beach where children can play in him after the stone is unloaded.

Toby Takes the RoadEdit

One frosty morning, Toby heads for the quarry at Ffarquhar. At the crossing around the bend, Toby is derailed after the earth swelled over the rails and creating two ruts in the road nearby. With some quick thinking from the fireman, Toby gets back onto the rails and his crew spread some ashes to prevent any more accidents involving the track. Sir Topham Hatt who wasn't in this finds out about this and Toby is said to stick with rail, not road. The Fat Controller will set up some roadworks for a few days to fix both the road and rail tracks.



  • It's said that this book is set parallel to Thomas and the Twins, so Thomas doesn't appear in the book.
  • This is the first time that "engine" or "engines" is not used in this book for the title. Christopher Awdry said this was regretful, but had some measure to create a new book title within the old tradition.
  • This is the final book to have a story televised. Both "Toby's Seaside Holiday" and "Bulstrode" were turned into "Special Attraction" for season four of Thomas and Friends


  • The lorry is turned on its side, rather than skidded into a ditch after colliding with Mavis. Awdry could've created that mistake in the text.
  • In the second illustration of "Bulstrode", the Troublesome Trucks are missing their buffers. Clive Spong must've forgotten to tell Awdry to sketch them out before starting to paint them grey.