|The Big Race|
|Season A, Episode 6|
|Air date|| May 21st, 2016 (Theaters)|
November 9th, 2017 (DVD)
The Return of Sailor John
The Big Race is a Thomas' Sodor Adventures special which was released on May 21st, 2016 in UK theaters and will be released on November 9th, 2017 on DVD, a trailer was released on April 4th, 2016, it replaced Oliver's Escape.
It was another day on the Island of Sodor. Thomas whistled loudly, startling some passengers as he raced into Knapford Station. Annie and Clarabel sighed with relief. "Beat you again, Bertie! I'm starting to think this is too easy!" he chuckled as he came to a halt. Bertie's face turned as red as his paintwork. "That's nonsense, Thomas! I was... caught in some construction on the road..." Thomas smirked. "Whatever you say...!" Just then, Thomas gasped at the sound of Gordon's whistle. An idea flew into his head as Gordon began puffing through the station. "Express coming through!" he shouted proudly as he began to pass by Thomas. Thomas grinned as he began leaving the station himself. "Gordon! Gordon! I bet I'll beat you to the junction!" Gordon rolled his eyes, but said nothing. "I'm going to make it! Look at me!" the tank engine grinned. Thomas whistled cheerily and just made it there before Gordon. "I won! I won! I won! Better luck next time, Gordon!" Gordon looked back at Thomas and groaned. "Is there a bolt loose in that tank engine...?" Annie and Clarabel were horrified. "Thomas! Thomas?! What are you doing?! The signal is red!" Annie shrieked. Thomas looked at the red signal above him and gasped. "Oh no! What am I doing?!" "That's what we're asking!" A rumble on the rails caught Thomas' attention and he glanced ahead. To his horror, Hiro was arriving with a large train from the Mainland. "Hiro!" Thomas cried out. Hiro's eyes widened as he saw the little tank engine in front of him. "Thomas?! What are you doing?! Back up, back up!" "I'm trying!" Thomas wailed as he began racing over the points. The points were switched and Hiro rumbled through the station, muttering to himself. Thomas was as white as a snowflake by the time Hiro had left his sight. Annie and Clarabel weren't looking much better. "Thomas! That was very dangerous!" scolded Annie. "Exactly! What would the Fat Controller say?" added Clarabel. Thomas sighed as he backed into his platform again. "I'm sorry, you two... I guess my competitive drive got the better of me..." "It certainly did," Clarabel shivered, "I hope I never experience that again!" "It's alright, Clarabel," soothed Annie, "It's over." "It'll live on in my mind!" "Dear, you're being dramatic again." Philip rolled alongside him, smirking. "Don't you know I'm the only small engine capable of beating Gordon?" he asked smugly. Thomas rolled his eyes as Bertie giggled. "Thomas!" Thomas gulped; he recognized that voice. "S-s-sir...?" The Fat Controller rubbed his temples and glared at his number one engine. "Thomas, what on earth were you thinking?!" "I... um..." "You should know not to race out into the middle of a busy station! You could've injured your passengers!" Thomas gulped. "This better not happen again. Do you understand?" "Yes, sir..." said Thomas sadly. The Fat Controller nodded. "Right. I was going to tell you that I need you to take a goods train to Vicarstown." Philip and Thomas glanced at each other curiously. "Why, sir?" asked the blue tank engine. "Well, Paxton was originally going to take it, but I didn't realize how busy it was up there at the quarry. Surprisingly, there's no other engine available, so you'll have to do it." Thomas grinned. "Oh, thank you, sir! I don't get to go on the Main Line that often!" "There'a a reason for that," murmured Annie. "Try not to run any red signals this time though..." the Fat Controller muttered. Thomas blushed. "I won't, sir." The Fat Controller headed back to his office and Thomas steamed away to collect the train. Soon, Thomas was on the Main Line. However, he hadn't forgotten his little incident at Knapford. "I didn't really beat Gordon, did I...?" he muttered, "If we were to really race, I would've lost instantly... I wish I could be faster... Then I could show that bossy boiler a thing or two..." The tank engine sighed as he approached the large Vicarstown Station. He soon came to a halt, and looked out through the town to the direction of the Vicarstown Bridge. Gordon noticed him from the farthest platform and scowled. His daydreaming was interrupted by a loud, unfamiliar whistle. Thomas looked up and noticed a very large engine was backing down next to him. Thomas' short-lived despair was overthrown by awe as the big engine let off steam. "Look, it's the Flying Scotsman." he gasped to himself, the Flying Scotsman smiled to himself as the passengers disembarked. He seemed friendly enough, so Thomas decided to speak up. "Hello Flying Scotsman, remember me?" he asked, "Yes I do Thomas and I remember you." said the Flying Scotsman "I remember when I came to visit the island for a bit and I met you Thomas, you were such a good little engine back then. "Yes..." said Thomas "I was."Oh, and also. I was built on the Mainland too, in Brighton!" Thomas interrupted with a burst of excitement. The Flying Scotsman looked confused "Were you?!" he asked confusedly "Yes!" said Thomas "I haven't exactly been there since, but I do recall a long time ago when me and some of my friends went over there." The foreign locomotive raised an eyebrow. "Is that so? Did my brother go?" "Gordon?" asked Thomas curiously "Yes, Gordon?" "Well, yes he went." Thomas and the Flying Scotsma looked over to Gordon rolled his eyes and looked away, "Oh, hello Gordon." said the Flying Scotsman, Gordon scoffed "Hello brother." sighed Gordon "I want to tell you some news," the famous engine continued, "I'm to take part in the Great Railway Show! I shall be racing!" Gordon's jaw dropped. Thomas gasped excitedly. "The Great Railway Show? What's that?" Flying Scotsman gazed at Thomas. "How do you not know what the Great Railway Show is...?" Thomas grinned sheepishly. "I may have heard about it in small talk a few times but I never really thought much of it." "I see... Well, the Great Railway Show's simply a big event where engines from all over the world compete to see who's the strongest, the fastest, what have you. From what I've heard, Sodor hasn't competed in any of the shows yet." "Why not?" asked Thomas curiously. "Not sure, to be honest. I suppose they just didn't bother. Because of that, I don't think any will be going this time either." Flying Scotsman grinned at Gordon, who fought back a forlorn expression. "And just why would I want to, if it's full of engines like you boasting about how interesting it is on the Mainland..." "Someone's bitter." Thomas grinned, "I want to go though! It sounds very exciting!" Flying Scotsman chuckled. "That's what they all say whenever they first hear of it. Maybe with luck, you shall." The big engine whistled and his pistons pumped. "Flying Scotsman coming through!" he shouted as he puffed away. "Hey, you stole that from me!" Gordon fumed. "From what I recall it was the other way around!" his brother laughed as he left. Thomas glanced at Gordon, who clearly looked miserable. He liked the Flying Scotsman "How come you were so irritated?" asked Thomas. Gordon glared at the smaller engine. "None of your business..." Thomas frowned as Gordon slowly chuffed out of the station.
Later, at Knapford Station, the Fat Controller was walking out of his office with a clipboard in his hand. "Sir," said a workman, running up to him with a poster, "The Great Railway Show's coming up. Do you-" "Yes, I've heard all about it," the Fat Controller muttered, "I think I may compete this year." "Really?" said another workman, scratching his head, "But you've never sent anyone before, sir." "I know, for I wanted to focus on the railway rather then competition. However, I think it's high time I do. The world needs to know what Sodor can do." The two workmen looked to each other and shrugged. Just then, Henry arrived, pulling a long and heavy train. He whistled urgently as he stopped.
(Will You Won't You plays)
The other engines looked to each other and burst into laughter. Thomas immediately frowned. "What's so funny?" he asked defensively. The engines tried to control themselves, but Diesel, James, Gordon and Henry couldn't help it. "Thomas, the Great Railway Show's a sophisticated event," Gordon smirked, "Why would a small tank engine like you go?" "Duck's a tank engine!" Thomas grumbled, "Why are you picking on me?" "Yes, but at the very least he's a powerful locomotive. You're just..." "Tiny," snickered Henry. "Against all the internationals, you probably wouldn't stand a chance," grinned James. "And you're a steam engine!" Diesel finished. Everyone gave him a withering look. Diesel chuckled nervously. "I... say... ironically... heh heh..." "Enough!" Everyone gasped in shock as the Fat Controller put his hands on his hips. "I haven't decided who I'm taking yet! I understand you're all excited about going, but please, be more considerate and orderly than this! We have a railway to run, you know!" "...oh, sorry, sir, I thought I was a boat who must sail to Australia," James muttered as quietly as he could. The Fat Controller glared at the red tender engine, who smiled weakly. "Oh, right. Sorry, sir," said Duck anxiously as he reversed. "Of course, sir. I'll deliver this heavy freight in no time!" beamed Henry. "Henry... stop it," said James. "...okay..." Soon, every engine had left, except Thomas. He began to feel rather upset, as he looked at one of the posters on the station wall, which showed too large engines racing each other. "Why can't I go to the railway show..." he said to himself as he began leaving.
Thomas sighed as he shunted in Knapford Yard. At last, he backed up next to Percy, who was filling up on water. "What's wrong, Thomas?" Percy asked, noting his best friend's depressed expression. "The Great Railway Show's coming, and it's... made me think a little. This morning I, uh... tried to race Gordon and uh..." Percy laughed as Thomas blushed. "Oh yes, I heard about that!" Thomas' cheeks turned a light hue of pink. "Right... I realized that I'm not very fast, compared to a big engine like Gordon." "Maybe not, but you are very good at shunting, Thomas," Percy observed, as Thomas finished shunting a long train for Henry. "Alright, here we go..." Henry told himself, and he attempted to heave the train. His face grew red as he slowly began to move. "Need some help, Henry?" Thomas asked, chuckling a little. "No, I'm alright... I'm pulling it..." Finally, Henry gained traction. "Heh heh, watch this, you two! I'm so strong!" Henry laughed happily as he left the yard. Thomas stopped glancing at Henry and looked at Percy. "Maybe I am, but I somewhat wish I was more. The Great Railway Show's a competition between the best of the best, you know." Philip giggled as he rolled alongside Thomas before Percy could reply. "Well, I'm sure you'll go, Thomas! After all, you're my inspiration to keep getting better at shunting!" the little boxcab cried. Thomas smiled weakly. "That's flattering, Philip, but... at the same time, that doesn't help me very much." "If you put your mind to it, you can do anything!" Philip continued, "Just like how I raced Gordon!" "But... you didn't race Gordon," Percy pointed out. "I did," Philip pouted, "Besides, it doesn't matter." "...actually, it does." Philip ignored Percy and continued his encouragement. "You can do anything you want to, Thomas!" "That's wise advice, Philip," murmured Thomas, "Where'd you learn that?" "I heard Edward say it one time, and I decided to keep it in my mind in case I ever needed it. See you two later!" Philip scurried away and banged into some trucks of lumber. "I'm okay!" Thomas thought about what Philip had said as he went back to shunting.
Later that day, Thomas slowly pulled into Dryaw Station. He sighed with contempt for himself as he came to a halt. Bertie was also there, dropping off passengers. "Ah, hello Thomas!" the bus chuckled, "Want another race?" "I'm not up to it today," Thomas mumbled. Bertie raised an eyebrow. "Really? why's that? You hardly ever turn down a race." "I want to go really fast, like the Flying Scotsman," Thomas replied, "I have to get better at something in order to go to the show." "You can't go as fast as someone like the Flying Scotsman... unless you got streamlined!" Bertie laughed. "Streamlined?" Thomas asked. "Oh sure. Some engines have a sleek shell put onto them to make them faster, and some are just built like that, like Connor and Caitlin. You'd be perfect for that...!" Bertie snickered, and expected Thomas to as well, but to his surprise, he was in deep thought. "Uh... Thomas?" Thomas smiled as he began pulling of the station. "I know just what to do! Thanks, Bertie!" "Wait, what?" "Thomas, what on earth are you thinking about...?" Annie said. "About being streamlined, of course. If I was, I'd be really fast, and I'd easily go to the show!" Clarabel giggled. "But who's ever heard of a streamlined- Thomas, stooooop!" Thomas went faster as he began to fantasize.
Thomas blinked and everything was back to normal. He groaned as Gordon raced right by him. "Bother... That'll happen though! That's exactly what'll happen!" James gasped when he noticed Thomas running speedily along towards him. "Thomas, look out! Someone change the points!" A signalman did so, and Thomas got of James' way, just in time. "What was that for, you reckless engine?!" James fumed. "Sorry!" Thomas chuckled sheepishly. "Thomas, you're going to overrun your platform!" Annie cried out. "Stop, Thomas! Now!" Clarabel agreed. Thomas looked up and gulped. "Oh." He quickly came to a halt, and was just about to reverse when the clearing of a throat caught his attention. "Uh oh..." "Thomas, I thought after all the incidents on the Harwick line, you'd have learned to not be so reckless. I'll grant you didn't fall down a cavern or blow up dynamite this time," boomed the Fat Controller as he walked alongside him. "That time I was only trying to save the project, sir." "Yes, I heard the story. Point is, you really need to watch what you're doing. If you don't, you could have actually collided with James back there." "Yes, sir. Sorry, sir." "We'll see how long that lasts," the Fat Controller muttered, "Hopefully a long time." He was about to go back into the station when Thomas quickly reversed. "Oh, sir! Sir!" The controller whirred around, caught off guard. "Yes, Thomas...? What is it?" "If the people at the Steamworks were to streamline an engine... like *ahem* someone right in front of you, well they could win all sorts of races at the Great Railway Show?" Clarabel rolled her eyes, and Annie sighed. The Fat Controller rubbed his chin and smirked. "Yes, that actually is an excellent idea, Thomas." "Really, sir?!" Thomas beamed. "Indeed it is. I'll give some thought to it." He walked away, and Thomas whistled with delight. "I'm going to get streamlined! I'm going to get streamlined!" "Isn't that cheating?" Annie asked, though Thomas didn't bother to answer; he was too excited about what it'd be like to be really fast.
Later, Brendam Docks was as busy as ever. Cranky lowered a crate and looked down at Diesel, who was intently watching him. "How about this one?" he asked, looking at it, "I quite like it myself." "No Cranky," Diesel sighed, "I must have bigger crates." "Fine. If you don't want it, I'll keep it." "What are you going to do with it...?" Diesel asked suspiciously. "Uh... things. What are you going to do with all these big crates? They look big enough to fit an engine inside!" Diesel stopped smirking and gulped. "Um... it's a surprise, Cranky! I'm full of surprises!" "And I'm full of anguish. Now leave, will you? Some engines need actual trains." "Fine," Diesel snarled, pushing the heavy crates away. Cranky rolled his eyes. "The things I put up with..." Thomas' whistle blew from the distance. "Speaking of which..." Cranky looked down to find an ecstatic Thomas pulling in. "Why aren't you on your fancy branch line?" he muttered, unimpressed. "I was told to take a train here, Cranky!" Thomas said, still grinning, "Sidney was going to but, uh..." Sidney rolled up next to Stanley, who was pulling some coaches. "Excuse me," the diesel said, "Do you know where... uh... I can't remember. Can you tell me all the locations on Sodor to trigger my memory?" Stanley sighed. "Lovely..." "Right..." Cranky muttered, "and why are you so happy? It's a little unnerving." "I'm going to get streamlined for the Great Railway Show!" beamed Thomas. Cranky burst into laughter instantly. "Thank you Thomas! I needed that laugh!" he said between chuckles. "It's not funny!" Thomas snapped, "The Fat Controller said he'd think about it!" "Which basically means he'll never mention it to you again," Cranky smirked, "Just face it, Thomas. A streamlined tank engine isn't going to happen." "It could..." "Argh, will ye two stop arguing?" Salty mumbled as he pulled up next to Thomas, "It's making me axles ache! It doesn't even remind me of a story!" "Well it shouldn't..." Suddenly, the drawbridge on one end of the harbour was lowered and a ferry's horn blew. "I wonder what that's all about," Thomas said. "There's a boatload of engines coming," Cranky sighed, squinting his eyes, "I've never seen anything like them before though." Various engines raced out of the ferry, all sorts of sizes, colors, and nationalities. "Hallo! Good day! Bonjour!" cried a large Belgian engine. "This place has changed since the last time I saw it," a green female tank engine said. A large Chinese tender engine looked at Thomas for a moment, then looked ahead again. Porter was shunting some coaches when the internationals started charging through. "What on earth are you doing?!" he shouted as an Indian tank engine raced next to him. The Belgian engine gasped and put on his brakes. "Qui est-ce?" he asked in French, "Je suis Axel, si cela vous aide." Porter gulped. "I, uh... Don't understand what that means." The Dock Manager ran up to see what was going on and groaned. "What are you all doing here?!" Axel raised an eyebrow. "We were supposed to pick up some fuel drums and coal for the Great Railway Show, remember?" Thomas gasped. "The Great Railway Show!" He raced over to talk to some of the other contenders while the Dock Manager sorted out the situation. "Right, and we don't have time to sit around and wait for it either," a large American tender engine fumed. "Calm down, Vinnie," the Chinese engine said, "We'll get it soon." The Dock Manager sighed. "Right, that delivery. You all get back onto the ship, and our shunter Salty will load the goods." "You better," Vinnie snarled, "Or I'll make sure your little puffball over there regrets it." Thomas' face went white. "Me?! What did I do?!" "You're annoying me," Vinnie fumed, "You're also asking the others a bunch of stupid questions." "Ah, let him be, mate." an Australian engine said, "He isn't hurting anyone." "Back up, Shane!" a little Brazilian tank engine ordered, "We must make room for the goods!" "Oh, right," Shane grinned sheepishly, "Sorry, Raul." "Wait, please! Excuse me!" cried a distant Indian voice. "Did you hear something?" Axel asked. Vinnie smirked. "Nope." Thomas puffed in front of Raul. "You're really all going to the Great Railway Show?" Raul rolled his eyes. "Yes, we are... It isn't really a surprise, is it?" "I suppose not, but I really want to go!" "Well, sorry to say this, but you aren't going," Raul muttered. "What? Why not?" "You don't have enough appeal," the Brazilian engine explained. Thomas winced, starting to get upset. "Don't you worry," the Chinsee engine said, "I'm sure you'll get to go." Thomas smiled weakly at him, only for him to be bumped by Vinnie, making him sail through the rest of the points. "Get out of the way, you fool! Watch where you're going!" the American engine fumed. "I'm not the one going backwards..." Thomas huffed defensively. Salty grinned as he shunted some trucks of fuel drums and coal onto the ship. "Argh, there ye go, mateys! Fresh coal and fuel, just for the lot of ye!" "Yeah, yeah, whatever," Vinnie muttered, "Can we head to England now? This place sickens me, and so does that pirate accent." Salty cringed, a little hurt. "Honestly Vinnie," Axel whispered, "Soyez silencieux!" "Whatever..." "There looks like there's room for one more!" Thomas cried as he puffed up to the edge of the dock. The little Italian engine gasped as she looked at the space in front of her. "Is there somebody missing?" she asked in an Italian accent. "Not a chance, Gina. Now shut your mouth." Vinnie smirked, seeing the Indian engine rush up to Thomas. "I-i-if you say so, Vi-vinnie," Gina said, turning a little pale. The engine bumped into Thomas, and his front wheels were now dangling helplessly off the edge of the dock. His eyes widened as he looked down at the ocean water below. "Help me! Please, help me!" he wailed, "I don't want to fall!" Vinnie snickered as the boat started to fade out of sight. "Serves 'I'm right..." "Thomas!" Porter cried. "Attach a chain! Attach a chain!" Salty said quickly. A workman quickly did so, between Thomas and the other tank engine. "Start pulling!" The tank engine grunted as she began to pull Thomas back onto the rails. Slowly but surely, the rescue was put into operation. Thomas was relieved as his wheels touched dry ground again. The workmen, Salty, Porter and Cranky cheered as the tank engine let out a sigh of exhaustion. Thomas, however, was very cross. "What is it with you international engines? That 'Vinnie's a bully, that 'Raul' was snooty, and you seem rather pushy! Do you think you're better than us just because-" Thomas stopped his "speech" and noticed the tank engine for the first time. She was wincing, clearly looking rather guilty. "I'm very sorry. I truly never meant to bump into you; I just didn't realize you were behind me." Thomas rolled his eyes and pouted, still feeling like she did it on purpose. Salty looked at him. "Thomas, you're supposed to thank her, not sit there awkwardly," he whispered. "Thank her? For what? Nearly bumping me into the sea?" Thomas fumed, "Not a chance, Salty..." "Fine, if you don't want to, I will." "Wait, what-" "Argh, hello!" Salty said to the foreign engine, trying to mimic Thomas, "Thank you very much for rescuing me! My name is Thomas! What's yours?" "Salty, what are you doing...?" Salty chortled as the engine looked on in confusion. "Her name can't be Salty, Thomas! That's my name!" "Salty, just stop what you're doing..." Porter muttered. The Indian engine giggled. "My name is Ashima," she said finally, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Thomas." Thomas wasn't sure what to say; he still didn't trust her, but he felt rather awkward saying nothing. "Well, I have my own branch line," he said firmly, "I should go back and run it." "Oh, that sounds-" Before Ashima could finish, Thomas attempted to leave. "Wait, where are you going?" Ashima asked. Thomas bumped into Porter in a weak attempt to leave. "Thomas!" the dockside tank engine cried. Ashima giggled again, enjoying the comical scene. Thomas blushed, thinking she was laughing at him. "I don't have time to stand around being made fun of," he said quickly, "I have trains to pull." Ashima gasped as Thomas raced away. "Wait, Thomas! I didn't mean it like that! Ohhh..." Salty and Porter cast a sympathetic look to the newcomer.
Soon, after Thomas had a run with his coaches, he was to shunt a few trains in the yard. He banged some trucks, seething angrily. "I don't understand," Percy said from a siding, "Why would she try to push you off the dock? She doesn't even know you." "I'm not sure," Thomas replied, gritting his teeth, "but considering there are at least two other internationals who seemed rather mean-spirited, I wouldn't be surprised if she was one of them." "If she was as mean as this 'Vinnie', why would she rescue you and not just let you fall?" Thomas stopped shunting and paused to consider this. "...I suppose you have a point, Percy, but perhaps she only did it because she was told to. I can tell because then she laughed at me! Huh!" "Why...?" "Salty tried to talk for me as I didn't want to myself..." Thomas muttered, embarrassed, "and then I bumped into Porter... It was... embarrassing, to say the least..." Percy chuckled, while Philip scurried alongside Thomas. "How about you take more advice from your best friend Philip?" he asked. "Do I have a choice...?" "Not really. Today's advice is: Keep away from her. Engines like that are nothing but trouble. I should know. I'm a very wise engine." Percy smirked, though Thomas admittedly agreed with Philip. "Right, stay away from her..." he said to himself.
Meanwhile, Gordon rumbled into Vicarstown with the Express. He sighed as he let off steam. "Lovely... My brother's competing in the Great Race and I'm not. Oh, he'll never let me hear the end of this..." "Oh, hello cousin! Nice to see you here!" Gordon looked up and gasped when he noticed Spencer smirking at him. "What are you doing here?" he snapped, "Shouldn't you be off taking the Duke and Duchess somewhere?" "On the contrary, Gordon," Spencer smirked, "The Duke and Duchess are letting me compete in the Great Railway Show as a racer." Gordon's jaw dropped again. "What?! You too?!" "Indeed. I have a bunch of fans now, after I broke Mallard's record a while back, so they thought it would be good publicity for them." Gordon's face flushed. "Well... that's... impressive..." "It is, isn't it? I must say, my record is quite the number," Spencer said smugly. He then thought of something. "Say, are you going to the show?" "I... don't know yet. The Fat Controller hasn't said anything." Spencer chuckled. "Maybe it's because he thinks you aren't the fastest engine on his railway, and doesn't want to risk losing..." "That's rubbish, and you know it!" Gordon fumed, even if a small part of him told him it wasn't. "Let's face it, you really aren't. I am the record holder for the fastest steam engine in the world. You may be a bit fast yourself, but whenever we race, I have to slow down so you have a chance of winning." Gordon was furious. "I'm very fast too, you know! In fact, my brother's a very famous engine!" "Ah, but that's your brother, not you. What you have as an individual done?" Silence came from the Pacific A0. Spencer laughed as he started leaving the station. "That's what I thought! Cheerio!" Gordon looked down at his buffers and heaved a long sigh. "He's right, isn't he..." That night, Gordon was the last one to back into Tidmouth Sheds. He heaved a depressing sigh as he backed into the final berth. The other engines looked to each other, slightly confused; Gordon hardly ever acted this sad. Edward raised an eyebrow. "What's wrong, Gordon? I thought you'd be more excited, with the Great Railway Show coming up and all." "That's precisely the problem, Edward..." Edward frowned. "Really? Why?" "Indeed. With an ego like yours, you'd think you'd be more than willing to show how fast you are," James chuckled. Gordon sighed as Edward glared at James. "You don't understand, you two... Both the Flying Scotsman and Spencer are competing in the Great Race, and I'm starting to think I can't match them." The other engines gasped; Gordon hardly ever admitted to feeling nervous. "Both are much more famous and much faster than I am," he continued, "I think it's getting to me; I'm nervous I'll just look like a fool when I get there. What if I come in last?! I'll be a laughing stock for years! I'll be known as the 'slow engine', and Spencer will never let me hear the end of it!" He paused, looking from engine to engine, skipping over Thomas. Thomas rolled his eyes as he did so. "I know I always say I'm the 'fastest and best', but I know how that's not true, and it's concerning me..." Silence fell over the sheds. "Oh dear... I'm sorry, Gordon," said Percy quietly. "We all are," said Henry. Gordon smiled weakly "That does help a little..." Before Edward could attempt to comfort him further, a certain blue car drove up. "Ah, I'm glad to see you're all here," the Fat Controller said as he walked up to the shed, "I have decided on the first couple of engines to take to the show." Thomas grinned excitedly, thinking he was going to get chosen. "Oh, this'll be the best time of my life! I'll be as fast as Gordon!" "The engine who could get streamlined is... Gordon!" "What?!" Thomas shouted. The engines gasped again, each having a look of shock. The Fat Controller looked up at his express engine, and cleared his throat. "Gordon, I have something to ask of you." He paused impressively. "Would you like to get streamlined for The Great Railway Show? It would enhance your speed quite a bit." Gordon considered for a moment as Spencer and Flying Scotsman's words flew around him. It's because he thinks you're not the fastest engine, and he doesn't want to risk losing! I don't think any will be competing this year either... A look of determination crossed Gordon's face. "Sir... if getting streamlined means I can prove myself once for and all... Well then, I'll do it!" A chorus of whistles blew in appreciation for Gordon. Edward smiled at his old friend, who grinned back. "Well done, Gordon." The Fat Controller smiled too, while Thomas scowled with envy. "Excellent. I also have a contender for who will be in the strength competition." The engines stopped making noise and listened tensely. "The contender is... Henry!" Henry gasped in amazement as another eruption of whistles sounded. "Me, sir? Are you sure? I've been a failed engine in the past..." "Of course I am. Despite your shortcomings, you are a very strong engine, and I think you could do very well." Henry and Gordon beamed at each other, while Edward, James, Percy, and Emily whistled proudly for their friends. However, two engines weren't cheering. Obviously, Thomas wasn't; he felt happy for his friends of course, but also was rather disappointed he wasn't chosen. "Am I really that bad...?" he thought to himself. The other engine was Diesel, who scuttled alongside the sheds. He scowled angrily at Henry, gritting his teeth. "So, Henry of all engines is chosen to be in the show, eh...? Doesn't seem very fair..." He grinned deviously to himself as he slowly rolled back into the shadows. The next morning, Ashima had woken up after sleeping in a siding. She had been searching for some way to get to the Mainland all early morning, but so far, she hadn't found anything. The brightly-painted engine yawned as she gazed at her surroundings for a moment. "Where on earth am I...?" she wondered, looking around. The Indian engine noticed the big station that was Knapford, though she didn't know this. She puffed forward, noticing how many platforms the station had. "Goodness me, this place is enormous! Not to mention these junctions..." As she exited, she was about to leave when she swear she saw something peculiar. Ashima reversed and noticed a line that branched off from the main one. "Maybe that leads somewhere useful. Can't hurt to try," she decided. Slowly, she puffed onto the line. For a while, nothing particular happened. Nobody was there to answer her pleas for directions, making her feel a little lonely. All that was audible was a few birds chirping, some distant cars, and the sound of her own steam. At last, she noticed a quaint white station up ahead. "I better stop... I don't think I'm heading in the right direction." She was about to go back the way she came when a familiar whistle blew, causing her to smile. "Oh! That's Thomas! Maybe he can help! Hello? Thomas? Where are you?" Thomas was puffing along his branch line with Annie and Clarabel. "Bother... My idea didn't work, you two... Instead of me, they chose Gordon!" "We knew the whole time it wouldn't," murmured Clarabel. "Quite right, Clarabel. You weren't build for speed, Thomas." "That isn't helping..." "Thomas!" a distant voice called. "Huh?" Thomas gasped when he noticed Ashima on his line, heading towards him. "Ashima, what are you doing?!" "What? I was only trying to get your attention!" "But you're on my line!" "What-" Thomas slammed his eyes shut as the two collided. Luckily, neither engine suffered damage, as both were going rather slowly. Thomas opened an eye to notice a sheepish Ashima smiling at him. He gritted his teeth in an attempt to conceal his anger. "What are you doing on my branch line?" he said, trying to remain calm. Ashima felt rather guilty again, realizing she consistently got in Thomas' way. "I'm so sorry, Thomas. Was this the branch line you were talking about? It's very nice." "Yes, it is, but you aren't supposed to be on it. You're supposed to be going to the Great Railway Show, since you apparently have something useful to do..." Ashima raised an eyebrow, noting Thomas' obvious sarcasm. "I... well, I was, Thomas, but I missed the ferry, and I have no idea how to get there by rail." Thomas didn't reply; he just glared at her, which made her a little uncomfortable. "So... are you going to get out of the way? I have passengers to deliver." "Oh dear, yes, I'm sorry," she replied sheepishly as she backed onto some points and onto the other line. "But can you please show me which way to go? I'm terribly lost," she pleaded as Thomas began leaving. "You'll have to find someone else to go with. I have work to do," Thomas replied as he left her sight. Ashima sighed. "Sorry I bothered you then..." As Thomas puffed towards Knapford, Annie and Clarabel were quite cross. "Why were you so snappy with Ashima? She's a nice engine," Annie said. "Indeed! She's a lost foreigner, and you simply brushed her off!" agreed Clarabel. Thomas looked at his buffers. "I... I..." He shook off a brief feeling of guilt and frowned again, deciding to change the subject slightly. "I don't trust her. Besides, there's no reason why she gets to go and I don't. She's not fast or strong, and neither am I. What is she doing that I'm not?" "Well, she is beautifully painted," Clarabel commented, "All those bright colors make her stand out." "I agree," added Annie, "She could easily win a competition about being the best decorated." "Any engine can get themselves painted," Thomas muttered, though he suddenly got an idea. "Hmm..." Annie and Clarabel looked to each other worriedly.
Hours past, but Ashima still had no idea where to go, or who to ask. She noticed a Stirling Single engine puffing past with some full coaches. "Excuse me? Hello?" "Hello there!" Emily called back, but she couldn't stop, since she had a train. Ashima sighed, until she noticed some BR Class 08s on her left. "Oh! Hello? Do you know how to get to England from here?" 'Arry sniffed as he eyed Ashima. "And just why would we tell you, girly?" "I have to go to the Great Railway Show," Ashima explained quickly, "I just need a few directions!" Bert scoffed. "We don't have time to listen to you. Come on, 'Arry." "Right behind you, Bert." The two diesels laughed as they outran the Indian tank engine. Ashima felt a little upset; it seemed as though nobody would pay proper attention. "How am I supposed to get to the show now? Oh dear, oh dear..." The only whistle she knew on Sodor blew once more. She grinned, noticing Thomas coming towards her. "Maybe he'll stop and help this time... Thomas! Thomas, please! I need help!" Thomas glanced at her and slowed down a little. He tried sounding less bitter this time as he talked. "Look, I'm busy. I don't have any more trains to pull, but I have to go the Steamworks for something important. Sorry I can't stop." "What? But-" Thomas was already gone before Ashima could ask. She sighed as she continued on her own. "I only wanted to ask a question..." She looked ahead and continued on her way.
At the Steamworks, Kevin nervously lowered some metal for Gordon's streamlining. "Oh dear... This is very delicate work, b-boss. I've never done something like this before. What if I mess up the whole project?" Victor smiled reassuringly. "I'm sure that won't happen, Kevin. I've taught you some things, so I don't think you'll ruin anything." Kevin grinned. "Thanks, boss." "I'm sorry to interrupt your 'moment' you two, but could you please hurry up? I must get to the Great Railway Show and win!" "Streamlining a steam engine takes a lot of work, Gordon," Victor said, "You must be patient if the job will be completed." Gordon sighed. "...I'll try... It's just-" Thomas puffed in, cutting Gordon off. "Victor, Victor! Can I talk to you?" Gordon was furious but decided to keep quiet. "Well... I suppose, though we're a little bit busy at the moment," Victor replied, indicating towards Gordon. "I know, but I need to be repainted for the Great Railway Show. I'm not fast or strong, but I can at least look better than this silly blue paint." Gordon lowered his brow, unamused. Thomas realized he was rather offended, as he had the same coat of blue that he himself did. "Uh... heh heh... It looks good on you, Gordon... Heh..." Victor raised an eyebrow. "Did the Fat Controller approve of this? I can't just repaint you on your say-so." Thomas bit his lip, debating with himself whether to lie. I can't lie to Victor! But if I don't, I won't go to the Great Railway Show... What if the Fat Controller finds out? Maybe he'll be so impressed with my paint he won't care. I'll have to hope for the best... "Um... of course he did! He told me to tell you!" The narrow gauge engine relented. "...alright, Thomas... if the Fat Controller said so..." "What about me?" Gordon said crossly, "I still have to be streamlined you know." "Repainting Thomas won't take very long, Gordon," Victor replied, "I hope so anyway..." Gordon glared at a sheepish Thomas.
Diesel cleared his throat impressively. "Now, Den, Dart, and Paxton. I have gathered you three here today for important business." "Oh! What's the business, Diesel?" Paxton asked excitedly, "Is it a party? Are we going to share stories? I have a few I could tell-" "No, Paxton... I have a plan..." Paxton frowned. "Oh... That doesn't sound nearly as exciting..." "Shut up. Now, Henry has been chosen to be in the strength competition instead of me," Diesel said enviously. "Good for him," Den said slowly, "He can pull quite a lot." "Indeed," agreed Dart, "Probably more than you, Diesel." Diesel growled. "Stop interrupting me! I must go to the show somehow to prove that we diesels are more modern, and the strength competition is my only hope!" "But... you're not strong, Diesel," said Paxton. "Thank you Paxton, that is very helpful..." "Oh, really? I have more advice I've been meaning to say, like 'Can we have a part'-" "I was being sarcastic! I know I'm not as strong as Henry, so... we shall make it seem like I'm stronger..." Diesel snickered, pleased with himself with coming up with such a plan. "So how are you going to do that?" Dart wondered. "It's quite simple, really. I got some large crates from Cranky at Brendam Docks earlier... Quite surprised he didn't question it..."
(flashback: Cranky, can I have some very large crates?" Diesel asked as innocently as he could. Cranky lowered his eyelids. "...whatever. I don't care anymore...") "...anyway, Happy Hook will lower the crates onto you three, so you'll look like heavy trucks. Then, I'll show off in front of the Fat Controller and he'll think I'm stronger than that silly Henry!" Paxton winced. "Uh... do I have to take part in this? This doesn't seem right..." "You're my only hope, Paxton. You're smart enough to comprehend what I'm saying but naive enough to not bother telling anyone about it." "Can't Sidney do it?" "No, Sidney doesn't know what my name is, so that's not going to work." "What about Mavis?" "She doesn't like me after that time I sort of kept her away from the quarry on purpose..." "'Arry and Bert?" "They said they didn't want to." Den and Dart yawned. "...Norman?" "He'd break down and I'd have to pull him, which goes against my plan entirely." "...oh... alright..." "When you hear my horn, you push me down the line until I brake. Then you must stop." "I think I understand," said Dart. "I do too," said Den. "Good. I'm full of surprises!" Diesel cackled, while Den, Dart and Paxton gave each other weird looks. "...that was random," said Den. "...it's a work in progress." Quickly, crates were lowered onto the three diesels.
(I'm Full of Surprises plays)
"Wait, what the... Stop! Den! Dart! Paxton! Come back here! Wait for meeeee!"
At the Steamworks, the workmen had set up the paint so Thomas could be repainted. "Are these good colors?" one asked, holding up some cans of paint. Thomas grinned as he observed each one. "That's perfect!" The workman nodded and prepared to start his work. "I'm going to look so colorful! I can't wait to go to the show, and prove once for and all that-" "Ah, hello, Victor! How's Gordon's streamlining getting on?" Thomas froze in place; through a crack, he could see the Fat Controller walking up to Victor and Kevin. "Hello, sir," the Cuban engine said, "It's been very successful thus far. Gordon has toned down his impatience and Kevin hasn't broken anything." Kevin grinned. The Fat Controller nodded, impressed. "I see. Keep up the good work, and make sure he's ready by the railway show." "Right, sir!" said Victor. "Don't you won't to see how Thomas is getting on?" Kevin asked. The Fat Controller whirred around in surprise. "Thomas...? What's he doing here? Did he get into an accident?" "Why, no. He said he was going to get repainted," Kevin said. Victor looked at where Thomas was getting redecorated. "Hold on..." he said to himself, "Thomas?!" said the Fat Controller who knew about this, but it seems he doesn't... That makes no sense, unless..." Thomas gulped, panicking. "What do I do? What do I do?!" He was so scared he didn't realize he was backing up, and he biffed the back wall. Paint flew everywhere; some fell on Thomas, and some fell on the ground. The walls collapsed, revealing an embarrassed and messy Thomas. "Thomas...?" asked the Fat Controller in surprise. "Surprise... heh, heh... I was going to tell you after my work here was done, sir, that I had another idea for the Railway Show!" "Is that so...?" "Yes, sir. Perhaps you could send an engine with an exciting design!" The Fat Controller picked up a paintbrush and nodded. "Admittedly, that's not a bad idea, Thomas." Thomas grinned. "Thank you, sir!" "Now, I'll see you at the sheds tonight. I have more announcements to arrange." The Fat Controller walked away. Once he was out of earshot, Victor shot a glare at Thomas. "Thomas, I think you realize what you've done." Thomas winced, realizing his mistake. "I..." "Look, I'm not cross... well, a little, but I'm mostly just disappointed. I thought you'd be honest with me, but apparently not..." Pangs of guilt flashed through Thomas' boiler, but there was nothing he could do about it. Victor sighed. "Now Thomas, let me make an offer. Either you stay in that sloppy paint job as a lesson until you are to be repainted again, which won't be for a while, or I tell the Fat Controller that you lied to me about being repainted. I know for a fact he wouldn't like that, so choose wisely." Thomas gulped; neither option seemed rather appealing, but he didn't want to get into trouble with the Fat Controller. He had already had enough trouble with him over the past few months, and didn't want to spoil their current relationship. "...I'll stay in this paint..." Thomas said sadly. "You chose wisely, admittedly," said Victor with satisfaction, "I don't want this to happen from you again, or I won't make a choice for you. Understood?" "Y-y-yes, Victor," stuttered Thomas and he raced away. Victor sighed as Thomas ran out of sight. At Tidmouth Sheds, Thomas backed into a berth, blushing red as James snickered at him. "What happened to you?" the red engine asked, looking at the messy paint on Thomas' side. "It was an accident," Thomas mumbled, "I was hoping to get repainted." James laughed. "In the colors white, yellow and green splattered all over you?" The sound of the Fat Controller shutting his car door interrupted the conversation. "Ah, good evening engines." "Good evening, sir," chorused the engines in return, though Thomas sounded the least enthusiastic. "Now, I have more news surrounding who I'll be taking to the show." Thomas' face lit up a little, slightly hoping his name would be said. "James and Emily will go to the show, in the Best Decorated Engine Parade!" Emily gasped. "Wow! I'm going to the parade?! I never knew I looked so nice!" James grinned. "Thank you, thank you! Finally, my red paint will be seen by the world!" "Well done you two," said Henry, "You've earned it!" Quickly, the chorus died down as Emily spoke up. "Wait... Why are both of us going?" she asked, "Isn't that a little unfair?" The Fat Controller shook his head. "Apparently there weren't many engines signed up to be in the parade, so I was able to send both of you." Emily and James grinned at each other, both equally excited. "That's all there is for tonight, engines. See you tomorrow!" As the Fat Controller drove away, James chuckled dryly. Thomas winced, rather hurt. An imaginary form of Gordon, slightly blurry, smirked at him and grew ten times his size. Thomas gasped in horror as the form laughed. "Well, that was another failed attempt, wasn't it?" The E2 sighed. "It was, wasn't it..." "Glad to see you are finally waking up, little Thomas, because you aren't good enough for the show like the rest of us. You're just Thomas." Thomas slammed his eyes shut. "No! Stop it!" The imaginary Gordon laughed. "You're just a tank engine. You're small, and can't do anything but shunt." A large form of James rolled up alongside Gordon. "If you can't go to the show, then you simply aren't a well-built engine, are you?" Thomas couldn't respond. "It's a wonder you got a branch line at all," the imaginary James continued, "All you do is get in the way." "No, stop! Please!" "Silly little tank engine! Dumb little tank engine! Useless little tank engine!" "No!" Thomas raced out of the sheds as fast as his wheels could whirl, snapping out of his imagination. The engines' jaws dropped. "Was it something I said?" James asked. Thomas steamed along the line, finally alone. "Am I a badly designed engine...?" he said aloud, sniffing a little. As he scurried along, he noticed another engine that was alone on the line. Squinting through the night, he could make out a variety of colors. "Ashima...?" Thomas sped up, eventually rushing up alongside her. "What are you doing out here?" Ashima looked at him, sighing. "I'm still trying to find the exit to the Mainland... Let me guess, you're going to leave to do something else... Am I that annoying, Thomas?" Thomas thought about what Ashima had said. Every time he had seen her, he had tried to avoid her, which clearly put a dent in her confidence. "No... You're not, Ashima. If anything, it's me that's being annoying. I'm sorry... It's just... I've been trying to get into the Great Railway Show, and... it's made me anxious." Ashima stopped looking down at her buffers in shame and glanced up. "Oh?" "Yes, and it's made me realise... I'm not fast like the Flying Scotsman, I'm not big like Gordon, I'm not strong like Henry, and I'm not even painted like you. I'm just..." He began to tear up. "...me..." "What's wrong with being you?" Ashima asked, wincing a little. "I... I'm just a little tank engine... I can't do much besides shunt or pull small trains..." "I never realized you had so much going on... I feel a little bad now..." Ashima sighed. "Don't be. It's my problem anyhow. Even my shape's substandard. I have six small wheels that barely do anything, frumpy paintwork, and this frail dome." Tears began to streak down the tank engine's face. "Recently I've really started to hate how I look and how I was built... I'm practically useless..." Ashima wasn't sure how to handle the situation. She bit her lip as she attempted a response. "I'm sure that's not true." "It is..."
(You Can Only Be You plays)
Ashima and Thomas pulled into Knapford station when the sky became dark "I suppose... and I do have my own coaches too... But I'm still only a small tank engine." Ashima grinned. "I'm a tank engine too, you know." "But you have a specific trait," argued Thomas, "You're going to be in the parade because of your paint." Ashima giggled. "Not exactly. I'm not going to be in the parade." "What...? Then what competition are you going to be in?" "I'm going to be in the shunting competition!" Thomas gasped. "There's a shunting competition...?" "Of course there is. You didn't know?" "No. I haven't heard of the show in a long time, so I don't know all of the challenges." "I see. Are you any good at shunting?" "Well... it is one of my main purposes, so I suppose so," Thomas said sheepishly. "Then you can go to that competition! We can compete together!" For the first time all night, Thomas smiled. "That would be amazing... and I can prove I'm good at something." He looked closely at Ashima. "I think I owe you an apology." Ashima raised an eyebrow. "Why?" "I haven't been very nice to you since you arrived here... and you seem to be a very kind engine..." Ashima's face turned a light tint of pink, slightly embarrassed. "Heh, I try...!" "My apology while I was having my little breakdown wasn't really good enough so... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel bad and in the way." Ashima smiled. "It's fine, Thomas. I can understand being suspicious. I mean, I did sort of unintentionally push you off the dock, and got in your way on the branch line. Shall we be friends from now on?" "Friends," Thomas grinned and the two laughed into the night.
The next morning, Thomas raced into Knapford Station with a smile on his face. "I'm going to work on my shunting! That way, I'll be even better by the time the show comes around! I'll show everyone what I can do!" He was about to puff into the yard when a large train blocked him off. "What the...?" Diesel snickered as he pulled up next to Thomas. "Oh, sorry about that! I didn't mean to surprise you Thomas, but I can't help it! I'm full of them!" He blew his horn, causing Thomas to jump. "Heh heh, like that!" Thomas rolled his eyes. "What's the idea, Diesel...?" "I'm going to pull all of these trucks by myself! Not until the Fat Controller arrives though. I don't want to do it too early." "Nobody can get in or out of the yard, Diesel! I have shunting to do!" Diesel rolled his eyes and smirked. "Well then, that isn't my fault is it?" He snickered and slowly rolled away to hide. "Having Thomas blocked off will keep him from snooping around... Heh heh heh... Knock two steam engines with one trick... I think that's how it goes..." Thomas sighed. "Bother... I don't have time for this!" The day of the Great Railway Show was approaching quickly, and the Fat Controller was choosing was the last of his engines. He looked at a clipboard, just as Percy arrived with the last of his mail. "Ah, Percy. Just the engine I'm looking for. Do you know where Thomas is?" Percy gulped at the mention of his name; after his incident last night, Percy wasn't sure what to think. "I... I think he's out in the yard, sir, to practice shunting." The Fat Controller smiled. "Excellent. I'll go and see him then." He began walking to the yard with a biscuit in hand. Percy, relieved, quickly puffed away. Thomas backed down onto Diesel's train, sighing. "If Diesel can't move this blasted train, I'll do it myself..." Ashima puffed behind the train, whistling cheerily. "Hello Thomas!" Thomas looked back and grinned. "Hello, Ashima. I'm going to practice my shunting. First, I have to get this train out of the way..." Ashima noticed one of the large crates moving around slightly. She squinted with suspicion. "That's odd... These trucks are moving by themselves..." "Stop moving around back there, Paxton!" Dart hoarsely whispered under his crate, "They'll discover us!" "I'm sorry! Doing something Diesel says gets me nervous," Paxton gulped. Thomas chuckled, not hearing Ashima properly. "Of course I'm going to move them by myself! Why wouldn't I?" Just then, Norman's horn blew from the distance. Paxton gasped. "Den, Dart! It's Diesel's signal!" "What? That doesn't sound like Diesel..." Den muttered. "It's hard to tell under here," Dart huffed, "Just to be safe, let's go anyway. It's a horn nonetheless." "But... uh..." "Den, we don't have time for you to take fifteen minutes to say something intelligent. We must act now." Den sighed softly. "Alright..." "Start pushing!" cried Paxton. The three diesels' engines roared to life and they began pushing the train. Thomas felt a bump behind him and he looked back, surprised. "Cinders and ashes! What's that?!" Ashima gasped as she noticed that her deduction was correct. "Thomas! I was right! These trucks are moving by themselves!" Thomas gasped in horror. "Stop pushing!" wailed the tank engine, "Please!" "That doesn't sound like Diesel..." Den said. "Maybe someone's running away somewhere else. Just keep pushing," Dart said. The Fat Controller smiled proudly as he saw Thomas racing down the line. "Goodness me! Look at Thomas go! Heh heh, he's certainly come a long way, hasn't he..." he said, reminiscing a little. Norman rushed by the Fat Controller, in a cheery mood. "Nothing can spoil this day... I just felt like saying that." Diesel noticed Thomas from his hiding spot, which was behind some oil tankers. He gasped, realizing his plan may be foiled. He raced from behind the trucks and honked his horn desperately. "Thomas, what are you doing?! You're going to spoil my trick!" "Trick?!" "...oh... shouldn't have said that, should I..." Den gulped as he heard Diesel's voice from farther away. "Dart, you can't make any excuses now. This isn't Diesel. We've got the wrong engine..." "...oh. Well, this is bad." Norman noticed Thomas heading towards his junction and he honked his horn loudly. "Thomas, stop! Your signal is red!" Thomas gasped as he noticed Norman coming ever closer, and attempted to brake. However, nothing happened; the train still surged forward! "I can't! Diesel did something to these trucks!" "Thomas!" yelled Ashima. Both engines shut their eyes as they smashed into each other. Thomas and Norman were knocked onto opposite sides of the line, with the trucks remaining intact. The two had considerable damage. "Ow... I prefer my engine overheating..." Norman grumbled. "Bust my buffers... What happened?" Thomas asked woozily. The Fat Controller gasped and ran over to the scene of the accident. "What on earth happened here?!" "Thomas banged into me, sir," mumbled Norman, "His signal was red." The Fat Controller glared at Thomas. "Thomas! What did I tell you about-" "So, uh, what do we do now?" called a loud, albeit muffled voice. The Fat Controller turned around and noticed diesel exhaust coming from under one of the crates. "...wait a minute..." The Fat Controller knocked on Paxton's crate. "Who's in there?" Paxton's eyebrows shot up. "Sir! Um... I'm not Paxton. I'm a crate, but I sound like Paxton because... um... I am Paxton." "...well, we're doomed..." muttered Dart. The Fat Controller groaned. "Paxton, what on Sodor are you doing under a crate?!" "Uh... I didn't really want to do it sir, but Diesel made me do it." "Us too," added Den. "Den!" "Sorry Dart, no going back now." The Fat Controller's eyes turned to slits. "Diesel did...? Why...?" "He wanted us to look like trucks." The Fat Controller looked at the shunter, who had a look of fear. "Uh oh... They'll have to take one for the team." He was about to leave when Ashima rushed behind him. "Where do you think you're going?" she snapped. The BR Class 08 gulped. "No!Please! Let me through! I don't even know who you are!" But Ashima wouldn't budge. The Fat Controller stormed up to Diesel angrily. "Diesel, what is the meaning of this? Were you trying to make Thomas crash?" he scolded. "Um... no... I didn't expect this to happen..." The Fat Controller sighed. "What was your motive then?" "...I... uh..." "He wanted to look like he was stronger than Henry to get to the Railway Show," said Paxton. The Fat Controller glared at Diesel once more. "Diesel, thanks to you, Thomas and Norman are out of commission, Paxton, Den and Dart haven't done any work, and you have attempted to cheat to get to the show. That is unacceptable." "...yes, sir," Diesel grunted. Thomas was rather worried; now that he was damaged, he wasn't sure if he would be able to go to the Mainland. "So... that means I can't go to the show, sir...?" Thomas asked sadly. The Fat Controller walked over to Thomas and took off his hat to show respect. "I'm sorry Thomas, but it's unlikely you'll be repaired by the time it comes around. We have a few weeks, but I wouldn't get my hopes up." Thomas sighed; his dream of proving himself was taken away in an instant. Ashima felt sorry for him, though she knew she couldn't make any of it better. She slowly puffed away, out of sight. Soon, Edward and Rocky were called to clear up the mess. The old engine looked at Thomas sadly as he was put onto Rocky's flatbed. "I'm sorry, Thomas..." "So am I," Thomas mumbled as Edward puffed away. From behind some coal trucks, Ashima sighed sadly. The Fat Controller looked at his clipboard and muttered to himself. "I need a replacement for Thomas, and quickly. Maybe I'll go to the yard and see if anyone's shunting. Then I can observe their skills to see if they can go." So, he hurried to the yard, and quickly heard some puffing noises. He glanced to his left and noticed Percy shunting some wellwagons in front of some trucks filled with bricks. "Hmm... Percy, wait there for a moment!" Percy stopped what he was doing and raised an eyebrow as the Fat Controller stumbled over a rock. "Yes, sir?" His owner straightened his tie and looked Percy in the eye. "Would you like to participate in the shunting challenge, Percy? I'm sure you've heard about Thomas' accident, so I'm afraid I'll need someone else to go. You're a good shunter too, after all." Percy gulped, becoming rather anxious instantaneously. "I... I don't know, sir. There'd be a lot of pressure on me, and if I lose, then I... I don't know what I'd do. I'm not that great of a shunter." "Didn't Gator teach you to be brave?" the Fat Controller asked. Percy winced. "I know he did, sir, and I don't want to disappoint anyone but... Let me put it this way... if you don't mind, sir. Saving James from that landslide was something I felt I had to do. This doesn't mean I can't be brave... I think... However, if given a choice, I'd rather avoid the stress of it all." The Fat Controller patted Percy's buffer sympathetically. "I understand. You don't have to compete if you don't want to." Percy smiled lightly. "Thank you, sir." "Er, beg pardon sir, but I could partake in the shunting challenge." The head of the railway turned around to see a grinning Duck filling up on coal at a coal bunker. "I'm a very powerful tank engine, sir. I have both strength and agility, so I have a good chance of winning." The Fat Controller and Percy glanced at each other as Duck smiled hopefully. "Well... I suppose we don't have many options left, so I'll let you come, Duck." Duck blew his whistle with delight. "Oh, thank you, sir! You won't regret this, sir! I'll go practice right now!" The Fat Controller chuckled. "Alright, that's done..." He got out a biscuit from his pocket and snacked on it on the way back to his office.
Weeks went by, and soon, the day of the Great Railway Show had finally arrived. Duck slowly puffed up to the transfer table at the Steamworks, next to Henry. "Do you know why we're here, Henry?" the Pannier tank asked the big engine. "Search me," replied Henry, "He said he wanted to gather his engines before heading to the show." "Oh, I see. I haven't been so excited since I got my branch line! Me! Going to the Great Railway Show! It's an honor for the Great Western Railway!" Henry rolled his eyes. "Here we go..." A short "Peep, peep!" of a whistle interrupted Duck before he could gush about his original home. "Oh thank goodness... Saved by the whistle..." said Henry, relieved. Duck scoffed as Emily puffed proudly out of the Steamworks. Her emerald green paintwork had been decorated with gold and green. Duck and Henry's jaws dropped. Emily smiled shyly. James puffed up next to her, with his own new design. "Ta da!" he said, grinning, "My paintwork looks even better than before! I didn't think that was possible!" "How do I look?" Emily asked. "You both look amazing!" said Henry with awe, "You deserve to win!" Emily blushed modestly, while James chuckled "Of course one of us'll have to win. We look too splendid not to!" Stephen puffed up beside the Steamworks, his face a little red from going such a long distance. "Stephen? What are you doing here?" James asked in surprise. Stephen smiled. "I'm going to the show too, to lead the parade with a brass band!" "Sounds important," Emily commented. "And I'm coming too!" Philip screeched to a halt next to Stephen. "I'm the flag carrier and mascot!" he said proudly, "I didn't think I'd have such a position after only being here for a little while, but here I am!" "This experience has just gone down on my level of excitement," James muttered. "Only one engine left," said Henry, "Gordon..." Duck rolled his eyes. "Lovely..." Voices could be heard from inside the Steamworks. "Gordon, stay put! The men still have to complete their final safety check!" came Victor's voice. "Well, you're taking too long! If they don't care enough to complete it, then it mustn't be that important. Everyone else is ready, but I'm not!" James rolled his eyes. Emily frowned. "Gordon, wait!" "No, I won't! I have a race to win!" Out of the shadows puffed a newly streamlined Gordon. All the engines gasped... except one. James burst into laughter. "You look so stupid!" Gordon grunted. "I won't look stupid when I cross the finish line first, little James. What do the rest of you, who actually respect these things, think?" "Impressive, even if it looks... foreign to me," said Stephen. "Wow..." was all Emily said. "I'm sure you'll be very fast in the race, Gordon!" said Philip, "But what's that on your side?" Gordon smirked as he looked at what Philip was referring to. "That, Philip, is my new emblem. I will not be called 'Gordon' anymore. From now on, I'm The Shooting Star!" Philip gasped. "Wow! The Shooting Star..." "Aren't shooting stars just burned up meteorites?" asked Stephen. "Shush. Now I have a fancy name just like my brother! I can't wait to see his reaction!" "The Shooting Star" grinned. Spencer was passing by the Steamworks when he noticed Gordon's new look. He braked instantly and gawked at the design. "G-Gordon?!" Gordon snickered. "I'm 'The Shooting Star', Spencer. Let's see who's the faster engine now, hmm?" Spencer's face flushed. "I'll still beat you!" "We'll see about that..." The private engine sniffed and puffed away. James sighed.
Diesel bashed some trucks into Platform 5 of Vicarstown, muttering to himself. "My plan didn't work... Grr! I need another one, and quickly! Today's the day of the show!" "Who are you talking to?" Diesel looked up and noticed a BR Class 08, just like him. However, he wasn't black like Diesel; he was in a yellow and red livery instead. "I... uh... no-one..." Diesel muttered, embarrassed, "Who are you supposed to be?" The shunter chuckled. "I'm from the Other Railway, obviously. I just came here to drop off some goods." "Do you have a name...?" "Of course I do... It's... uh... Gronk." Diesel squinted. "Hmm..."
Diesel raced into the Dieselworks, immediately spotting Paxton in one of the sheds. "Paxton, I need you, and quickly! The engines are going to the show soon, and-" "But Diesel, the Fat Controller said-" "I don't care!" Diesel's voice boomed throughout the Dieselworks, causing all of the diesels there to wince. After he had calmed down a little, Paxton tried again. "Don't you remember your last idea, Diesel?" he asked nervously, "We were discovered!" "Well, it wasn't my fault that you couldn't distinguish my horn from Norman's..." "It's hard to hear under a crate!" "Nonsense, you're just mindless. Besides, my new plan is foolproof!" "Is it?" Norman muttered dully from above. Diesel scowled. "Of course it is, Norman! I saw a shunter from the Mainland at Vicarstown earlier, and I want you and I to be repainted in that red and yellow color scheme!" "But what are we going to do at the show?" Paxton asked. "It's too late now to compete, so we'll just watch I suppose..." "Doesn't sound very interesting." Diesel smirked. "Didn't you say you always wanted to go to the Great Railway Show, dear Paxton...?" "I know, but... uh..." Paxton thought for a while and eventually sighed. "...alright, I'll do it." "...come on, Paxton, don't do this..." Norman sighed to himself. "But won't engines recognize us because of our voices?" "We'll disguise them if we have to. Den! Dart!" yelled Diesel. "Er, yes Diesel?" Den asked, as he and Dart rushed up to him. "Get out some paintbrushes... We're going to do a little redecorating..." Diesel grinned. Den, Dart and Paxton looked worriedly to each other. Norman rolled his eyes. "This is going to crash and burn..."
Thomas sighed as he was lifted into the air on the hoist. "I can't believe this..." "Neither can I." Thomas looked down and noticed Ashima puffing up to him. Immediately he felt a little better. "Oh... hi Ashima." Ashima gave a small smile, but then frowned again. "This is all so terribly unfair. Your dream crushed by a silly incident! That accident wasn't your fault Thomas; it was those diesels masquerading as trucks..." "They're alright, besides Diesel," Thomas replied, "They're just... easily convinced of things." Ashima chuckled. "Perhaps." "If everybody's ready, let's head to the show!" the Fat Controller boomed from outside the Steamworks. Ashima looked back as the Sudrian competitors expressed their excitement. She glanced back up at Thomas, who had a despondent expression. "I better follow them... I don't want to get lost again. This'll probably be the last time we see each other, so before I go, just know this: You're a Really Useful Engine, Thomas, and don't let anyone tell you different." Thomas smiled sadly. "Thanks, Ashima. Good luck!" Ashima whistled and slowly backed away. Thomas sighed, now all alone.
Philip honked his horn proudly as the cavalcade started to pass Vicarstown. People were lined up and down the platforms to cheer on the engines. Donald, Douglas, Edward, Toby, Oliver, Geoffrey, Murdoch and Percy were lined up to wish their friends good luck. "S-O-D-O-R! What does that spell, Donald?" Philip asked loudly. "Er... it spells-" "That's right! Sodor!" Donald grunted. "What a muckle nuisance!" huffed Douglas. "Good luck, Duck!" called Oliver, "Make us proud!" "Do it the Great Western Way, Mr. Duck!" said Toad. Duck grinned. "Remember what I told you, everyone!" called Edward, "Keep calm and have fun!" "My excitement level went down again..." James said under his breath. "Make Sodor a household name!" said Murdoch. "Have a great time." said Geoffrey. The eight engines blew their whistles proudly, as did the competitors. Ashima quickly followed behind, attempting to be as inconspicuous as possible. However, she couldn't help but make out a rumbling noise from behind her. She looked back curiously, and noticed two red-and-yellow BR Class 08s following her. "...who are they?" she thought to herself, "I haven't seen them before..." Paxton gulped and looked at the newly painted Diesel. "I think she knows something's strange about this," he whispered. "Shut up, Paxton, or they'll hear you," Diesel scowled, "Just act lost. That'll convince her." "Alright..." Ashima sped up until she was alongside Emily. "Um, excuse me? Emily, is it?" Emily looked over and gasped. "Oh, you're Ashima! I've always wanted to talk to you, but never had the time to. I love your paint!" Ashima smiled modestly. "Thanks! I like yours too." She then frowned. "Emily, look behind you. There are some strange-looking diesels following us." Emily did so and saw the diesels. Paxton and Diesel put on their most innocent expressions. "Who are you two?" she asked kindly. Diesel coughed and tried to make his voice sound much deeper. "We're shunters." "Yeah," said Paxton, trying to make his voice squeakier, "We're shunters." Diesel's eye twitched when Emily wasn't looking. Emily chuckled as she looked back at her new friend. "You're worrying too much, Ashima. I'm sure they got lost here and are just following us to get back to the Mainland." Ashima looked back at the two diesels. "If you say so, Emily..."
Soon, the engines arrived at the yard where the show was to take place. Everyone gasped at all the engines that were there. "Welcome one and all to this year's Great Railway Show!" said an announcer, "I'll be your host: Nigel. If you're just arriving, take your time to get to know the engines." Ashima puffed up next to the Sudrian engines. "Well, we're here, so good luck everybody! May the best engines win!" "Thanks, Ashima," grinned Emily, "Good luck to you too!" Ashima whistled and chuffed to the shunting yard. "I suppose I'll see you lot later," said Stephen, "I better get ready." He whistled too and slowly made his way. The other engines began going their separate ways to their competitions. Emily gasped when she noticed a large Chinese tender engine puffing past. "James! Look!" "What could be so important that-" James' jaw dropped before he finished. "Who's that?!" The engine stopped and looked closely at the two awestruck engines. "Nǐ hǎo, you two. My name is Yong Bao. Are you going to be in the parade?" "Well-" "Of course we are!" said James proudly, "It seems we may have some competition after all, eh Emily?" Emily chuckled nervously. Yong Bao smiled kindly. "Ah, but Rajiv is your true competition." James stopped grinning and raised an eyebrow. "Who's Rajiv?" "Rajiv is an Indian engine who has seemingly won a ton of the parades," Yong Bao explained. "Well, I'll ruin his streak then!" James decided. Yong Bao chuckled. "Wǒmen shìmùyǐdài..." The big engine puffed away. "What'd he say?" James asked Emily. "I'm guessing 'We'll see', but I don't speak Chinese so I'm not sure." "...oh... That's morbid..."
Duck followed Ashima to the shunting yard. "So, err... How exactly does this challenge work? I want to be prepared." Ashima smiled. "It's easy to explain. You-" "Ashima!" The Indian tank engine stopped and gasped, seeing a familiar Italian FNM 200 tank engine. "Gina!" Gina grinned as she puffed up to her. "I thought you wouldn't make it!" the little tank engine exclaimed, "I didn't see you on the ship after our stop at Sodor!" "It's a long story," Ashima replied, "I can tell you another time." "Interested to hear it." Duck came to a halt beside her, and cleared his throat to gain their attention. "I assume you two are good friends?" "Of course we are," Ashima replied, "We met at our first shunting competition together, and we've kept in touch ever since." "Ah, I see," said Duck, "Best of luck to the both of you!" "Anche a lei!" said Gina in Italian as the Pannier tank puffed away. Henry gulped as he looked at all the large tender engines. "Oh dear... I'm strong but these engines must be at least five times stronger!" His eyes bulged when he noticed how large Vinnie was. "I'll lose for sure to that big engine!" he gasped, a little too loudly. Vinnie heard this and smirked as he noticed the concerned expression on Henry's face. "What's the matter, shortie? Are you scared you might lose to an engine such as myself?" "N-no!" Henry stuttered, "You're just a bunch of hot air! I can beat you any day!" Vinnie grinned. "When I win and you come in last, then we'll talk," he said as he puffed away. Henry sighed. "Ah, don't listen to him, mate." Henry looked up and noticed a large, Australian SAR 520 Class tender engine reversing next to him. "Who are you?" he gasped in wonder. The engine smiled. "The name's Shane, mate. What's yours?" "Henry." Shane chuckled. "Don't listen to what rooted engines like Vinnie say, Henry. I can tell you're a strong engine. Who knows? You might be stronger than you think, and that's deadset." "Maybe... maybe. Thanks, Shane." "Anytime, mate." Shane whistled and began to leave, just as Hiro puffed next to Henry on the other side. "Hello there, Henry. Surprised to see me?" the Japanese engine asked. Henry was surprised at this revelation. "Hiro? You're here too?" "Of course I am!" "But... you work on our railway a lot, Hiro. Why aren't you representing Sodor? You might've been a better candidate than me," Henry replied. Hiro grinned. "I'm representing my home country, Japan, Henry." "I see. Best of luck to you then, Hiro!" "Same to you, Henry." The two engines laughed, though Henry's laugh was more nervous than Hiro's. At last, Gordon was the only engine left. "Where am I supposed to go?" he snapped to Philip. Philip winced. "I don't know, Gordon. Maybe you can find another racer and follow him!" "...not a bad idea, I suppose," Gordon admitted. The big engine whistled and left Philip by himself. "Ha! I should give more advice. First Thomas, now Gordon!" said the boxcab, quite pleased with himself. Gordon smirked as he noticed the Flying Scotsman puffing to his event. "Hello!" Flying Scotsman jumped and noticed a large, streamlined engine that vaguely resembled his former self. "Gordon...? Is that you...? I barely recognize you!" "I can understand," Gordon said smugly, "I've been streamlined for the show." "Are you allowed to do that?" "Well, nobody's stopping me." "...point taken." "Besides, my name isn't 'Gordon' anymore!" Flying Scotsman chuckled. "Oh Gordon, of course it is, and always will be." Gordon scowled. "No it isn't! It's now an elaborate and long name like yours, brother. You have 'The Flying Scotsman'. Well, mine's much better! Mine is 'The Shooting Star'!" "Somewhat impressive." "I know!" Flying Scotsman smirked. "But titles and looks don't guarantee you to win in a race... 'Gordon'." "That's not my- Ow!" Gordon's front banged into some buffers. Flying Scotsman looked back and laughed. Gordon just grunted. "So uh... where do we go?" Paxton asked as they entered the yard. "Uh... let's look like we're casual. It's our only option." Paxton sighed. "Diesel, can we just go back home? I don't feel comfortable disguising myself as someone I'm not. Again." "No! We came to fulfill a mission, Paxton!" Paxton raised an eyebrow. "And that mission is...?" "To laugh at everyone while they lose! It's brilliant!" Diesel cackled as he raced away. "That sounds mean... Wait Diesel, don't leave me behind!" Paxton cried as he scurried after his companion.
Thomas sighed, feeling rather sorry for himself. Victor looked at him, clearly seeing how upset he was. "Thomas, you know you aren't the engine still on Sodor. There's still many running the railway." "Uh, boss-" "I know, Victor, but... if only I hadn't gotten into that accident. I could've just waited until Diesel moved the trucks..." "I do acknowledge you made your mistake earlier, but this wasn't your-" "Excuse me, boss-" "Kevin, what is it that you have to keep interrupting?" Victor asked wearily. "Uh, boss...? I found this. I'm pretty sure I know what it is, but just to make sure," said Kevin nervously. Victor studied the part closely. "Oh, that? That's just Gordon's safety valve mechanism." "I knew it! Wait, why do you sound so nonchal-" "Gordon's safety valve mechanism?!" Victor gasped in horror. "...I should've seen that coming." "What's the problem?" asked Thomas worriedly. "Thomas, Gordon's safety valve wasn't assembled properly! Blast! I knew he should've stayed for that final safety check... If he doesn't get it soon, he could overheat, especially at high speeds!" "Well... that's bad," said Kevin. "It's not just bad, Kevin. Gordon's boiler could explode!" Everyone gasped. "Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no-" "Kevin, calm down! We'll get the part to Gordon somehow." "How? Kevin's not that fast and you're a narrow gauge engine!" Thomas asked. Victor looked up at Thomas. "Thomas... I think it has to be you." Thomas was about to blurt out in confusion but then thought for a moment. "It does have to be me, doesn't it... Gordon can get boastful, and a bit mean at times... He does berate me for my size too, but in the end... He's still my friend, and I'm going to save him!" he said triumphantly. "Good job, Thomas!" cried Kevin, "Very noble indeed!" Thomas was about to reply when Edward bustled up. "Hello Victor! I-" He noticed Thomas being lowered onto the track and frowned. "Victor, what's Thomas doing? He doesn't appear to be fully repaired and he seems to be going back to work..." "Thomas is taking Gordon's safety valve to him," Victor explained. He then looked back at the tank engine. "Time is of the essence, Thomas. You must move as quickly as you can!" "Right, Victor! I will!" Victor grinned. "Thomas... you've redeemed yourself from earlier." Thomas beamed. "Thanks, Victor." He was about to leave when Edward whistled urgently. "Thomas, wait!" Thomas braked and his brows drew together. "What is it, Edward?" Edward smiled. "Make me proud." Thomas teared up a little as he began puffing away. "I will, Edward." Edward chuckled as Thomas left his sight. Thomas panted as he raced into Vicarstown Station. Donald and Douglas were delivering some goods from Knapford to there. Douglas raised an eyebrow as he noticed the weary tank engine. "How come urr ye in such a hurry, Thomas?" the Scottish Twin asked. "I have to deliver this important part for Gordon at the Railway Show," Thomas explained as rolled alongside the trucks, "He could be in danger!" "Ye'll ne'er mak' it!" Donald cried, "Th' bridge is aboot tae gang up!" "I have to get across!" Thomas burst out as he raced past Donald. "Or ye cuid hauld yer horses fur th' bridge tae gang back doon..." muttered Douglas. "Let him be dramatic," smirked Donald as the train came to a stop. Thomas raced out of the station and back into the countryside. He could soon see the Vicarstown Bridge in the distance. Thomas gasped as the drawbridge began to go up. "No! Gordon's in trouble, and I must help him!" The man that controlled the bridge was shocked as Thomas didn't slow down, and waved his arms in terror. "Stop, Thomas! Stop!" Thomas slammed his eyes shut as the gates were smashed to pieces. The man in charge of the bridge's operation buried his head in his hands. "What am I going to tell the Fat Controller when he gets back..." Thomas' wheels rolled onto the bridge just as it began lifting up. "I can't stop noooooowww!" Thomas jumped off the bridge in an instant. His eyes bulged as he could see the Walney Channel below him. "Cinders and ashes!" he exclaimed, and he shut his eyes again as he slammed back into the ground. Thomas wasn't too badly damaged, though certain parts did fall off. Luckily, his wheels aligned with the track, so he didn't have to be re-railed. Thomas opened an eye and started to laugh. "I did it! I did it! I actually did it!" "What... did you...just do?" Samson asked as he puffed next to Thomas. "That, my friend, was skill," said Thomas proudly. Samson snickered. "Yep. Nothing says skill like being on the wrong track." "Indeed. Wait, what?" Connor was taking some passengers to Ulfstead Castle when he observed Thomas coming towards him. He blasted his whistle to alarm the tank engine. "Thomas, get off my line! I have to get through!" Thomas gulped. "I am on the wrong line!" He looked at a nearby signalbox. "Points, points!" A quick-thinking signalman pulled a lever, switching the points in time. Thomas swerved out of Connor's way. The streamlined engine scoffed. "I thought Thomas was better than that..." Thomas thought his troubles were over, but Samson puffed next to him again and gasped in alarm. "Thomas, Sidney's coming too!" "Sidney?! What's he doing on the Mainland?!" Sidney attempted to hum a song to remember where his destination was. "Hmm... This isn't working, is it... Where was I supposed to be going?" The blue diesel looked around curiously. "What is this place...?" He suddenly got a bit of his memory back. "Oh yeah, I was supposed to go Brendam- ahhhh!" The signalman changed the points again, just avoiding a collision. "Phew, that was close!" Sidney panted. He blinked. "Who was that again?" "I... need a raise if this is what I have to deal with on a regular basis," the signalman gasped as he fainted. Thomas' face was pale as Samson pulled up behind him. "So what brings you to the Mainland, Thomas?" the cabless tank engine asked curiously. "Can't talk now, Samson!" Thomas replied, gaining some color back, "I must get to the Railway Show, quickly!" Samson sighed as Thomas sped up. "How come nobody ever explains their business to me..."
Philip beamed as he noticed Gordon and Duck coming towards him. "Excusez-moi?" Philip looked over and noticed Axel puffing up next to him. "Yes, stranger?" "Why are you here, little one?" Axel asked, "Are you for the shunting competition?" "Nonsense! I'm pulling the flag for Sodor!" Philip said proudly. "Hmm... impair," Axel muttered, "No other country brought a flag carrier." "Oh... How come nobody else brought one?" "Rather unnecessary," the Belgian engine replied, "I guess your controller likes you." Philip grinned. "The Fat Controller likes me?! Wow!" "'The Fat Controller'? Sounds disrespectful..." Axel muttered. Philip noticed Gordon again and honked his horn. "Oh hey, Shooting Star!" Axel chuckled and puffed away. "Yes, Philip?" asked Gordon as the boxcab scurried up to him. "I know the way to the Great Race! Just follow me!" Gordon smiled. "I'll be happy to." Philip grinned, and was backing over a criss-cross track when a loud, American whistle caught him off guard. "Huh? Who's there?" "Look up, shrimp..." Philip did so and noticed Vinnie looking down at him. He smiled nervously as Vinnie's face contorted into a furious scowl. "Sorry, didn't see you there, heh heh heh..." "Yeah? Well, you better where you're going, shortie, or you may end up being recycled!" "Well that's not very nice, is it?" Philip asked. Vinnie gritted his teeth and slowly puffed closer to him, to the point where he was nearly touching him. Philip gulped in terror. "P-p-please don't h-hurt me..." Vinnie smirked with satisfaction. "That's what I thought..." "Oh, leave him alone," Gordon said angrily, "He did nothing to you to begin with." "What business is this of yours?" Vinnie snapped. "It's our business," Duck replied, "He's a Sudrian, just like us, and we don't leave anyone behind." "Well, that explains why you all are so pathetic..." Vinnie snickered. Gordon blew his whistle loudly. "We'll find a source of authority if you don't leave, and you may end up being disqualified." Vinnie showed worry for half a second; he wanted to win the strength competition, and decided it wasn't worth it. Philip backed up, and Vinnie rolled his eyes. He glared at the boxcab. "You're lucky, shrimp, to have others bail you out... Next time I won't be so easy on you..." Vinnie cackled as he slowly chuffed away. A short silence fell upon the Sudrians, until Philip finally broke it. "I wanted to stand up for myself..." he pouted. "Philip, you're small, and he's gigantic," Duck replied, "He could ram into you quite easily." "Quite right, Duck," agreed Gordon, "I'm proud you showed such bravery, but in future, make sure to handle it better." Philip sighed. "Alright... I will..." From a nearby siding, Diesel snickered. "Heh heh heh, look Paxton. Philip just got bullied. It's so funny!" "Diesel!" "What?"
Thomas gasped as he entered the main yard. "Goodness me! So many engines! This place is even bigger than I thought it would be! How am I going to find Gordon here?" Raul glared at Thomas as he puffed alongside him. "Are you registered to be here?" he snapped. Thomas lowered his brow. "Well, no, I'm not, but I-" Raul groaned. "Oh, of course. You were desperate to come so you decided to sneak in to take part! Huh! What a disgrace..." "What? No! That's not why I'm here at all!" "Don't lie to me," the Brazilian tank engine replied, "I had my suspicions the second I laid my eyes on you, and it seems they were justified." Thomas scoffed as Raul steamed crossly away. "Silly little engine... Doesn't know what he's talking about... Now, where could Gordon be?" He noticed a blue, streamlined engine up ahead. Thomas squinted. "Doesn't look much like Gordon, but I don't want to take any risks. Might as well be sure." He whistled urgently as he came closer. "Gordon! I have your-" But when Thomas puffed alongside the German DB Class 10 engine, he realized it was a female. "Oh... you're not Gordon." The German engine scowled. "Do I look like a Gordon to you? My name is Frieda!" Thomas cringed, realizing Frieda clearly had a bad temper. "I'm sorry, it's just-" "All you males are the same! You can't tell the difference between anyone! We females are superior in every way!" "What-" "There you go again! Interrupting my very important speech that will change the world!" Frieda cried, "The revolution will come, I tell you!" Thomas was about to retort when Gina chuffed on the other side of him. "Oh cara, mi dispiace," she panted as she came to a halt, "She can get worked up sometimes. Move along, Frieda!" Frieda scoffed and puffed away. "Fine. I have to get to my event anyway." Thomas looked at Gina. "Thanks. She got annoying really quickly. Does she really think like that?" Gina chuckled wryly. "Oh, that's just the way she's wired. Now tell me. What are you doing here? I vaguely recognize you." Thomas suddenly gasped. "Gordon!" The tank engine raced away. Gina scoffed. "Rude..." Henry gulped as the announcer began introducing the event. "I'm now not sure I can do this..." he said to himself. He looked over at Vinnie, who looked especially confident. "I wish I could be like him... At least he's sure of himself." A whistle blew and the engines began pulling. Vinnie snickered as he looked at the already struggling Henry. "See you at the finish line, shrimp!" he chortled. "His insults are so repetitive..." muttered Henry. "Go Henry!" cried Philip, "Win for Sodor! Pull harder, Henry! Do it for Sodor!" Henry's cheeks went red as the coupling strained. "This is starting to hurt..." he groaned. He noticed Frieda overtaking him and he gasped. "No! I can't be last! I can't be!" Henry wasn't the only one worried about their position. Frieda gasped as she noticed Shane and Vinnie ahead of her. "Males! Ugh, they can't beat me! That's despicable!" "But they can!" chuckled Hiro as he passed her. Frieda seethed angrily. "The revolution will still come! It will! Heed my warnings, you... males!" "H-E-N-R-Y! Goooo Henry!" Philip cheered from the sideline. "Shut your mouth!" Vinnie scowled, which quieted Philip immediately. Henry panted heavier and heavier as his wheels attempted to grip the track. The crowd suddenly went wild. Henry raised an eyebrow. "What just happened?" Frieda glared at Henry. "Oh, look! A male doesn't know what's going on! Typisch!" "Will you stop being so rude?" Henry snapped, "It's getting irritating. I just asked a simple question." Frieda gasped. "Did you just order me about? You have no power over me, male! I am a strong, independent female engine!" Hiro laughed. "Don't worry about her, Henry. Vinnie's about to win the competition." Henry's face fell. "Oh... That doesn't lift my mood very much." Vinnie smirked smugly as he passed over the line. "And Vinnie's the winner! He may not be the kindest engine, but he's certainly one of the strongest!" the announcer exclaimed. "I did it, obviously... I knew I would." he said smugly as Shane puffed next to him. "Good race, mate," he said, "You did well." "Of course I did," Vinnie replied, "You're not too bad yourself." Shane was rather surprised at the "compliment". "T-thanks!" "Yeah, whatever. I still won, and that's all that matters. Now buzz off!" Shane sighed. "Of course..." Hiro arrived next, then Frieda, and finally... "Ohhh..." groaned the big green engine as he puffed next to Vinnie, "I really am weak!" Vinnie burst into laughter. "See? I told you I would win, and you would lose, and you foolishly tried to prove me wrong! How hilarious is that? Very, in fact!" Henry sighed as Vinnie chortled away. "I failed Sodor..." Hiro and Shane looked to each other with concern. "Oh, don't feel too bad," Shane said, "I didn't win either, you know." "I know, but you're clearly much stronger than I am," Henry sighed, "I mean, you came in second place." "Henry, just because you lost doesn't mean you are weak," Hiro encouraged, "You can appreciate your strengths, and accept your weaknesses. Just remember to keep on puffing." Henry grinned at Hiro and Shane. "Thanks, you two. I feel better now. Maybe this wasn't too bad after all." "That's what friends are for, mate." replied Shane. Henry chortled. "Indeed." Behind Philip, Diesel simply scoffed. "See, Paxton? The Fat Controller clearly made a wrong decision choosing Henry." "Choosing you would've been even worse, Diesel," Paxton smirked, "Then you'd still be at the starting line." "I'm really starting to regret taking you here."
Thomas noticed Philip leading Gordon to his event. He gasped and blew his whistle in an attempt to get their attention. "Gordon! Gordon!" Gordon looked up. "Did you hear something, Philip?" "All I hear is the wonderful scent of winning," Philip said. "Philip, winning doesn't have a scent..." "Wait! Come back-" Thomas was cut off by Stephen puffing in with the parade. "Thomas? You weren't with us on the way here," he observed as he slowly went by, "What are you doing here?" "I have to save-" He was interrupted again by Rajiv, who rolled his eyes as he slowly chuffed by. "You're not decorated," he said dully. "Neither is that engine," Thomas replied crossly, indicating towards a Mexican engine named Carlos. Carlos heaved a depressed sigh. "Oh, decoraciones... I was signed up at the last second, so I couldn't get decorations in time." "I see..." "Thomas?!" gasped Emily in surprise when she saw him. "I thought you didn't go to the show!" James said. "I didn't. I have to give Gordon his safety valve, and then you kind of got in my way." Emily smiled sheepishly. "Sorry." "How urgent is it?" asked James. "Pretty urgent," replied the tank engine, "His boiler could blow up!" Emily and James gasped. "Then go!" Thomas looked over and noticed Yong Bao trailing the others, being the last of the parade. "I... I'm not sure if I can make it in-" "You have to be sure! You can be a hero, as I once was. In China, I saved hundreds of lives by avoiding an accident. Now, you can do the same for your friend." Yong Bao winked as he began leaving. A new flash of determination raced through Thomas as he began puffing away. "What a wise engine..." he said to himself. Up by the table with a trophy on it, the Fat Controller eyed it with intrigue. "Oh, how I'd love to have this..."
"How'd you get in the strength competition, Henry?" Philip asked excitedly, spotting Henry by himself. Henry sighed. "I came in fifth." "Wow, that's great!" "There were only five engines, Philip..." "...oh..." All the engines from the Best Decorated Competition were lined up for judging. James smirked to Rajiv. "Prepare to lose." The Indian engine rolled his eyes, not paying much attention. "And the winner is... Rajiv from India!" an announcer said. "What?!" James burst out. "Rajiv once again takes the trophy! I think there's no engine as splendid as that, folks!" James' jaw dropped, completely speechless. "I told you he was going to win," chuckled Yong Bao, "Good job, Rajiv!" "Thank you, Yong Bao!" Carlos sighed. "More decorations... Next time... Actual decorations..." Rajiv grinned at the cheering audience. "Oh, thank you! Thank you all! You're too kind! I'm a very lucky engine!" He smiled at James. "Better luck next time, James. You do look splendid though!" James' speechless nature was immediately replaced with a complacent smirk. "See? Even the winner said I'm splendid and you're not, Emily," James said smugly. "He never said that!"Ashima puffed up, giggling at the banter. Emily detected Ashima and raised an eyebrow. "Why weren't you in the parade, Ashima?" asked the Stirling Single, "You could've won!" "I'm competing in the shunting challenge, Emily. Just because we're well-painted doesn't mean we can't do anything else." Diesel seethed angrily as he shunted an oil tanker. "Look over there, Paxton. James and Emily lost the Best Decorated Engine parade! Ha! I should've been in it instead." Paxton snickered. "What? I would've looked fabulous." At this, Paxton's snickered exploded into laughter. "I'm sorry, Diesel... Actually no I'm not, but you saying 'fabulous' is so funny!" Diesel's face flushed. "Shut up..." Thomas continued on his search for Gordon. He noticed Duck, Philip, and Henry rolling along the line. The tank engine whistled direly as he puffed up to them. Duck raised an eyebrow. "Thomas?" "Hello, Thomas!" bubbled Philip, "Have you come to watch?" "No! I'm trying to save Gordon! He didn't have his safety valve attached!" "You better hurry then," said the boxcab, "His race is about to begin you know." Thomas cried out in alarm. "But he can't race! His boiler could explode!" Henry, Philip, and Duck gasped. "Explode?!" shrieked Philip, "Don't worry, Thomas! Follow me!" The engines raced away at once.
At the starting line, the announcer began introducing the candidates. "These are some of the fastest locomotives on modern railways! On Track 1, we have the French diesel electric, Etienne!" The announcer kept talking as Etienne looked smugly at the others. "You know, copains, my top speed is 206 miles per hour." Spencer scowled angrily. "That's a load of rubbish!" the silver engine fumed, "I can go up to 203 miles per hour! I might be able to go even faster!" "Next to him we have Spencer, and just listen to that crowd roar folks!" the announcer said. Spencer smirked. "Well Etienne, I evidently have more of a following than you do. Thank you, thank you! You're all too kind!" "And I can go quite fast too," added Axel crossly. Etienne yawned mockingly. "To keep things interesting, I'm afraid I'll have to sacrifice some of my speed just so you lot can keep up..." Spencer and Axel were furious. "That is too far, vous fiend!" Axel fumed. "Oh, I say! You're such a smug engine!" Spencer scowled. Gordon rolled his eyes. "Well, doesn't this sound familiar..." he muttered bitterly. Spencer said nothing, though he did make a connection in his mind. Etienne just smirked. "We'll see how fast you engines can go..." Flying Scotsman looked over at Gordon, who was next to him, and simpered. "Good luck, little brother." His smoke deflectors extended, causing Gordon to flinch a little. "I don't think I'm the one who needs luck..." "Gordon! Gordon!" Thomas raced up next to the racing tracks, panting heavily. "Oh, hello Thomas!" called the Flying Scotsman, "Have you come to the Great Railway Show after all?" "I suppose," Thomas replied sheepishly. He then glared at Gordon seriously. "Gordon-" "My name is the Shooting Star!" Gordon replied stoutly. Flying Scotsman chuckled to himself. "Sorry, Falling Star, but you have to listen to me! Victor said your safety valve wasn't reassembled properly!" "That sounds worrying," said the Flying Scotsman. "Well, it isn't! I'll beat you and then we'll see who's the faster, overshadowed brother now!" Flying Scotsman winced. "Gordon...?" "Gordon, please! I came all this way to help you!" The green flag waved as Gordon blew his whistle. "Shooting Star coming through!" he grinned. Thomas gasped. "No, Gordon! Stop! Please! Your boiler could blow up!" Gordon rolled his eyes.
(The Shooting Star is Coming Through plays)
Gordon groaned as Axel overtook him. Flying Scotsman winced as he began slowing down. "Are you alright, Gordon?" he asked, as his speed decreased quickly. "Does it look like I am?! My boiler just gave out!" "Did it explode?" "All I know is that it hurts. A lot," Gordon muttered, gritting his teeth. He noticed the first three racers were leaving the two of them behind. "Brother...? Why aren't you racing...?" Gordon asked in shock as the two came to a halt. Flying Scotsman smiled. "I decided my brother's more important than any race." Gordon gave a small smile. "...thanks, brother." "Why did Flying Scotsman abandonner?" Axel asked. "Probably to look after his brother," Spencer called back. "Ah. What a noble engine." "Yes... noble..." Spencer faltered. He then grinned as the finish line drew nearer and nearer. "Ha, I'll win after all, Etienne! What do you say to that?!" Etienne smirked. "I say... Au Revoir!" "What?!" The French diesel sped up and began to outrun Spencer. Spencer's jaw dropped. "No! It can't be! You said you wouldn't!" "Oh, it can, mon amie!" Etienne smirked. "And he overtakes Spencer as he crosses the finish line! The winner is Etienne, the French diesel electric, setting a new rail speed record here today!" the announcer cried and he fainted. Etienne beamed. "Ha ha, j'ai gagné! Je savais que je le ferais." Spencer scowled. "Show-off..." "Oh? And you're not?" chuckled Axel, "Sounds a bit hypocritical to me." The Belgian engine whistled as he began leaving Spencer frowned.
Paxton gulped, his eyes darting around the yard nervously. "Oh, why did I have to separate from Diesel... Now, I have no clue where I am! I hope I don't get lost here... Wouldn't that be terrible!" "Um, excuse me?" Paxton glanced and noticed Gronk looking at him. "Oh, hello there! Who are you?" "Gronk's a nickname I came up with for myself. Now, would you mind explaining why you aren't you preparing for the shunting challenge like the rest of us?" Paxton looked on with curiosity. "The shunting challenge...?" Gronk rolled his eyes. "Of course, you dimwit. We're all supposed to the arrange the trucks for the shunters. It'll start soon, so you better get a move-on." "Oh. Thanks for telling me! I'll get right on that, Gronk!" "Make sure that you do. Otherwise you'll be known as the lazy one." Gronk honked his horn and he rolled away to fetch a tanker. Paxton looked around quickly to spot Diesel. He eventually heard his distinctive laugh. "Diesel...?" The green diesel rolled forward until he was alongside his companion. "Diesel, what's so funny?" he asked. Diesel snickered. "About time you came back. I just heard the announcer say that Gordon's boiler has blown up during The Great Race!" Paxton gasped. "No!" "Oh, but it has. I just couldn't contain my amusement!" "That's not funny, Diesel! It's worrying! Oh, I do hope Gordon's alright!" "You're just a softie, Paxton. Now, is there any reason why you're still here annoying me?" Paxton suddenly remembered what Gronk had told him. "Oh, right! I almost forgot! Diesel, one of those real shunters said we must prepare for the shunting challenge!" Diesel gasped. "There's a shunting competition...?" "I know, I was surprised too! It was really... uh... Diesel?" Diesel was in deep thought. "Why did I bother going after the strength competition this whole time, when the shunting challenge is practically made for me?" "I think it's too late to compete now, isn't it?" Paxton asked with a raised eyebrow. Diesel smirked. "I think I can take care of that..."
Philip and Emily rolled on each side of Duck as they traveled towards the shunting yard. "Duck, you have to win the last event! if you don't, everyone else in the world will think we're not good enough!" Emily cried, "The Fat Controller sent five of us here, but none of us have won anything yet!" "I know, Emily, I know..." Emily frowned, noticing Duck appeared to be on edge. "What's the matter, Duck?" Duck sighed. "To be honest, Emily. I'm a little nervous. It all comes down to me, you know. If it were you, you'd feel the same way." "I probably would," Emily admitted, "But you're a strong engine, Duck! You can win!" Duck chuckled. "Perhaps." "I'll give you my gift of advice too, Duck!" said Philip, "Just remain calm, stay focused, and don't crash!" "Shouldn't the last one be obvious?" Emily spoke up. "Do not doubt my talent." Duck grinned at the boxcab. "Maybe I am just worrying over nothing. Thanks, you two. Let's win this contest!" "That's the spirit, Duck!" Emily said. "You go!" Philip cried. Diesel scowled, overhearing the entire conversation. "Diesel? Are you alright?" asked Paxton. "That's just the salt in the wound! First I'm not even chosen for the shunting challenge, but then my old enemy, Duck, gets the nomination?! What's so special about him anyway?" "Uh..." "Exactly! If I'm going to compete, we'll have to get him out of the picture..." He raised an eyebrow as he noticed something interesting. Philip saw Vinnie in the distance, and gulped with fear. He then saw that Duck was slowly heading towards a set of points. Diesel grinned. "Diesel, I don't like this plan." Diesel glared at Paxton. "You don't even have to do anything, so stop worrying." "No! I don't want any part in this. I'm going to prepare the shunting challenge with the others!" "You do know you're not an actual shunter, right...?" But Paxton had already left. Diesel rolled his eyes. "He'll be fine..." He cleared his throat and attempted to make his voice sound high-pitched, like Philip's. "Hey, you! Big engine!" Diesel mimicked. Vinnie heard this and looked back at Philip angrily. Philip froze in place, immediately terrified. "Catch me if you can!" Vinnie smirked. "Oh yeah, shortie? I won the strength competition, so I'm sure I will! Come here!" Philip jumped. "W-what?! I didn't say anything!" "Don't give me that, you did too! You're only making me angrier the more you talk." Philip's face went white. Emily gasped as Vinnie began backing up toward the points in front of Duck. "Duck, look out! Vinnie's in your way!" Duck realized this and attempted to brake, but he couldn't stop! "Helllp!" Vinnie looked back in confusion, just as Duck smashed into him. "Hey! What's the big idea?" he exclaimed. Duck groaned. "Ow..." "Duck!" Emily cried. "All you Sudrian engines are the same! Constantly getting in the way and annoying me!" the American engine fumed, taking a meaningful look at Philip, who backed away slowly. "No, you're getting off that easily again!" Vinnie snarled and he switched over to Philip's line. Philip screamed as he began going faster. "Philip!" Emily burst out, but she couldn't stop him. Now that Vinnie had left to chase after Philip, the damage to Duck was clear. Emily gasped as she puffed forward. "Duck! Your front!" Duck groaned as looked down at his mangled front. "Bother... I suppose I can't compete now, can I?" "Not with that damage, you're not," said Emily firmly, "You can't couple up to trucks now." Diesel smirked from his hiding place and began to reveal himself. "Why don't I compete?" he asked proudly. Emily raised an eyebrow. "Uh... You're not from Sodor." "What?! Of course I am! I'm just repainted to disguise myself!" Duck squinted and gasped. "...Diesel?!" Diesel grinned. "Finally, someone has the brainpower to figure that out!" "You can't compete, Diesel!" said Emily crossly. "Why not? Duck's clearly out of commission, so why don't I compete instead? I mean, I am from Sodor." Suddenly, Diesel felt a coupling attach to him from behind. Diesel looked back in surprise. "What the?" "Come along, you," came Paxton's voice, "We've been shirking off our shunting work long enough! It's time to prepare for the shunting challenge!" "What?! Paxton, let go of me! I have to compete!" "Paxton? Did Diesel drag you into this?" Emily asked. Paxton winked at her and continued to pull him away. "Nonsense! You're a Great Railway Show shunter! You can't compete in events!" "Paxton we're not really Other Railway shunters! Snap out of it already!" "Oh dear. Looks like someone'll have to work overtime!" "No! Stop it! I need to compete!" Diesel continue begging to Paxton as the two disappeared from sight. Emily sighed to Duck. Philip raced backwards as fast as his little wheels could whirl. Carlos was filling up on coal at a hopper when Philip came racing towards him. The Mexican engine gasped. "Fizzling fuegos!" he cried as he reversed out of the way. Coal just began pouring down as Philip raced under it. The coal dust hid Vinnie from view. Carlos frowned. "Why on earth are you doing?" "I'm avoiding a big bully," Philip replied worriedly, "I-is he gone?" Carlos squinted. "It appears not." "What?!" The dust cleared and Vinnie snarled at the boxcab. Philip couldn't help but giggle at the tender engine's smudged face. However, this only enraged him even more. "That really does it..." he scowled. Philip gulped and wailed as he reversed again. Vinnie smirked as he began after him. Carlos sighed. "Dios mío! All i wanted was some coal..." Ashima was practicing her shunting one last time before her event when she saw Philip reversing. "Philip? What are you running away from?" "Him!" Ashima gasped as she saw Vinnie puffing closer to him. "Leave him alone!" she ordered. Vinnie braked and glared at the Indian tank engine. "You stay out of this!" "I won't if another engine is being threatened!" "Oh, what a shocker! Ashima wants to be perfect! Well, sorry to say this... wait no I'm not... You're not!" Vinnie cackled as he chased Philip down again. Ashima looked down at her buffers. Henry's eyes bulged as he puffed alongside Duck. "Oh my goodness! Duck! What happened to you?" "A rundown with that blasted Vinnie," Duck replied crossly, "Now my front's mangled!" Henry groaned. "That means Sodor lost every event, doesn't it...?" Duck sighed. "I suppose so, Henry." "Wait, there's still hope!" Emily cried. Duck raised an eyebrow. "How do you figure that, Emily?" "Thomas is here! I saw him trying to give his safety valve to Gordon!" She gasped when she noticed Thomas filling up on water. "Thomas! Thomas!" Thomas looked over and began puffing over to the trio. "What is it, Emily?" "Duck's had a little accident, so he can't compete. Could you instead?" Thomas gulped. "M-me?" "Of course!" said Henry, "Why wouldn't you? You're our only hope!" "But... look at me! I'm a bit damaged myself after that accident with Norman! Besides, now that Gordon's event has passed, I'm really only here to watch." "You can at least couple up to trucks," Emily replied, "Please Thomas. You have to! Someone has to!" Thomas bit his lip as Ashima's words flew around his funnel. Just be who you are, and you'll go far. Thomas sighed, relenting to the engines' demands. "Alright... I'll do it. Keep in mind I might lose though." Henry and Duck whistled as Thomas puffed away to the shunting yard. "Good show, Thomas! You can do it!" cried Duck. Emily frowned. "You won't lose... will you, Thomas?"
And alas, we finally have the shunting challenge, folks! Trucks, tankers, flatbeds..." As the announcer explained the event, Ashima sighed to herself as she looked at the empty track. Gina raised an eyebrow as she looked at her friend. "What's wrong, amico?" she asked. A Russian diesel on the other side of her smirked. "Yeah, your blue's showing more than your red! Heh heh heh... I'm funny." Ashima rolled her eyes. "It isn't blue, Ivan, it's a dark blue, and it isn't red either. It's a hot pink." "Tough crowd," Ivan muttered. "It's just... I met a good friend on the Isle of Sodor called 'Thomas'. He's a sweet little engine, even if he can be rather cheeky, impatient, anxious, and-" Thomas' whistle interrupted Ashima's description as he puffed alongside Raul. "Is that the one?" Gina smirked. Ashima's jaw dropped as Thomas smiled sheepishly. "Thomas! You're here! But... what happened to that green Pannier tank engine?" "Oh, you mean Duck? Apparently Vinnie crashed into him, so his front's all twisted." "I'm sorry to hear that. Vinnie's a very rude engine," said Ashima, "but at least you can fulfill your dream now, right?" Thomas smiled. "I suppose I can." Raul scowled with suspicion. "Oh, really? When did you register? I thought you'd at least have the dignity to at least watch us instead of trying to force yourself into the event. Shameful..." Gina glared at the Brazilian tank engine. "Oh, leave him alone, Raul. He said he's replacing an injured friend. It's all legal." Raul still looked at Thomas closely as the green flag wove. Ashima whistled. "Come on Thomas!" Thomas jumped in surprise. "Oh, we're starting?" Ashima giggled. "Of course we are, silly." The other shunters quickly shunted their first trucks. Thomas quickly became disoriented. "What do I do?! What do I do?!" "The flatbeds! Get the flatbeds!" cried Emily from the sideline. Raul smirked as Thomas began to rush towards the flatbeds in front of him. "Points!" One of the signalmen in the large signalbox switched a lever. The yellow tank engine swerved in front of Thomas and banged into the flatbeds. "Hey! I was going for those!" "If you don't understand the competition, don't bother playing!" Raul taunted. Thomas lowered his brow. "No, no, no! What is he doing?!" James cried. "I tried to tell him the rules..." Emily muttered. Ashima laughed. "It's called a challenge for a reason, Thomas. It's a race!" "Oh! That makes sense." "Points!" cried Ashima. "Points, with a side of ballast!" snickered Ivan. "Points!" grinned Gina. All three engines shunted a truck. Thomas looked up at the signalbox and gathered all his courage. "Points!" Another signalman nodded. Thomas swerved and banged into a tanker, and shunted it into position. "Now he's doing something!" said Henry, "Go Thomas!" "We know you can do it," said Duck. "Keep trying!" called Emily. "Points!" Thomas called again as he began shunting his train. "And it's that blue tank engine... Who is that? Can someone tell me? Thomas? What a cute name." Thomas scoffed. "Oh. right, the competition. It's Thomas! Thomas again! Thomas once more! And more Thomas! Thomas is everywhere! Literally! Well, my friends, it appears Thomas is back in the race!" Nigel called into his megaphone. The Sudrian engines cheered. "That's my boy!" yelled Henry. Emily and James gave him weird looks. "What?" Raul giggled as he puffed in front of Ivan, who simply scoffed. "Not funny in the least." Thomas looked at Raul, who was now going for another tanker. He smirked and whistled. "Points!" Raul gasped as Thomas raced in front of him. "Better luck next time, Raul," Thomas chortled. Raul scowled. "Yes, Thomas! Avenge me!" said Ivan. Thomas chuckled. "Ahhhhh!" Thomas braked and gasped as he noticed Philip racing through the competition. "Philip?! What are you doing?!" "I'm trying to get away!" the boxcab wailed, "Points, points!" Thomas' jaw dropped as Vinnie crashed through Gina's flatbeds. Gina grimaced. "Bene! That's just rude!" Vinnie glowered at Gina, then back at his quarry. He guffawed as he banged into the helpless boxcab. Ashima gasped. "Philip!" "Philip, look out!" cried Thomas as the engine in question rolled closer and closer to a turntable. Philip looked down in terror to find the deep turntable well was nearly beneath the back of his cab. He started to run towards the points but a sly chuckle stopped him. "You aren't going anywhere..." Philip gulped. "Uh... May I, uh, suggest more advice?" Vinnie's smirk turned into a scowl, but he didn't reply. "M-maybe you could... uh... stop being such a bully and uh... then you'd have more friends!" Vinnie snarled and bashed into Philip again, edging him closer to the turntable. "Ahhh! Okay, okay, uh..." Philip raced forward, banging into Vinnie's side. "I will not lose to you, big bully!" "How original," muttered Vinnie sarcastically, "Now get in the well!" "Ohh, where's Gordon?" cried Philip, looking around frantically, "Can't someone turn the turntable?" "No-one's around to do so," snickered Vinnie. Suddenly he felt a coupling couple up to his own. He glared when he noticed Thomas attempting to pull. "Oh look, it's that little puffball who nearly crashed into me on your silly island. I'll get you another day." "No you won't!" Thomas burst out and he attempted again, though Vinnie barely moved. Vinnie laughed, much to Philip's horror. "So, you want to play tug of war, do you? Alright then, let's do that!" Vinnie whistled and tugged Thomas forward. "Woah! Help!" "Thomas!" shouted Ashima, and she quickly buffered up to him. The American engine smirked. "Oh, look! It's the Indian one who thinks she's perfect!" Ashima attempted to ignore this. "Pull, Thomas!" "I'm trying! He's not moving!" "See? Even with your little 'Thomas' with you, you're still weak and pathetic! I know your imperfections, Ashima..." He laughed again as tears came to Ashima's eyes. "Ashima...?" Thomas asked worriedly. Ashima blinked them away and glanced to the other shunting competitors. "Come on, everyone! Join in!" Gina whistled. "Right behind you! This'll be fun!" Ivan honked his horn. "Right, let's do it! Vinnie deserves it!" Gina and Ivan were coupled up behind Thomas and Ashima. Vinnie smirked. "Fine, I'll test your strength. I'll keep my brakes off. Let's see how far you go!" "Deal!" Thomas burst out and the four engines began to pull. "Pull harder, Thomas!" cried Ashima. Thomas couldn't reply; he was focusing all his efforts on trying to pull Vinnie. "Oh, just give up now!" Vinnie chortled and he edged closer to Philip. "I will not let you hurt another engine!" Ashima cried as she pulled with all her power. "Another engine...?" Thomas wondered, though he kept it to himself. Vinnie's wheels began to move. He gasped in surprise. "What the?" Gina glanced at Raul, who was still idling about. "Ugh, dai Raul! We need your help!" Raul glared at the tired Thomas. "Why should I?" he replied hotly, "That tank engine won't do anything useful at all! He'll just hold us back!" Thomas glared back, but Gina cleared her throat. "We don't have for this, Raul!" Ivan cried, "Vinnie's going to smash the little one to bits if we don't pull him back from the points!" Raul glanced at Thomas, who appeared to be pulling harder than he was before. "Thomas, you're overloading yourself! You're not fully repaired, you know!" Ashima said tensely. Once again Thomas didn't reply, though he was growing more and more tired. Raul sighed and slowly puffed behind Ivan. "Raul!" the Russian diesel exclaimed happily, "You came through after all!" Raul chuckled. "Someone had to give a helping hand around here." Soon, Raul began to heave. Vinnie looked back and his jaw dropped; now five shunters were pulling him back from the points. "I was trying to test those fools, not you lot!" he cried. Gina smirked. "Not anymore! You miss with one of us, you miss with all of us!" "Right!" agreed Ivan. Thomas panted and used his remaining strength to give a long and loud whistle. A signalman in the signalbox peered out of his window and saw the commotion. "Points!" Thomas cried weakly. The signalman nodded and Vinnie gasped in horror as the points were switched. Philip's eyes darted anxiously from the points to Vinnie's snarling face. "Go, Philip!" Thomas cried, noticing his hesitation, "The points are set for you!" "A-a-are you sure, Thomas?" the boxcab squeaked. "I'm sure! Just go!" Philip nervously ran across the points. Vinnie scowled. "Get back here!" Philip didn't look back as he sailed away. "Grrr, that engine was mine! Mine! But you just had to ruin it, didn't you?" Vinnie fumed at Thomas. Thomas looked down at his coupling, and smirked. "Have a nice trip!" "What? Now you're not making any-" Before Vinnie could finish, the coupling snapped and the American engine surged forward. His wheels scraped against the points and he puffed off the tracks. Thomas and the others looked on as Vinnie smashed into a pylon. The metal bent as it collided with the heavy locomotive. He looked around frantically as the pylon began to fall on him. "Get it off me! Please! Help me!" Ashima snickered. "That's what happens when your victory gets the better of you..." "Grrr, shut up!" Vinnie replied. Thomas laughed, though he suddenly felt a jerk on his rear coupling. "What?" "Thomas, look out!" cried Ashima. Thomas looked up and his jaw dropped as the pylon fell next to him. Electricity buzzed as a workman ran for help. Thomas looked back at Ashima with gratitude. "Thanks, Ashima," he said sincerely. Ashima simpered. "Oh, no need to thank me, Thomas. After all, I'm still going to beat you in the shunting challenge." She nudged him forward playfully. "You will not!" "Yes I am!" "This just lost most of its 'epic' factor," muttered Ivan. "Are you going to get me out of here or what?" Vinnie asked angrily. "What, do you expect us to do it? No, no, no... I'm out," Ivan chuckled as he and Raul headed back to the challenge. "What?! No, you can't leave me here! I'll rust!" "Oh, someone'll get you out," Gina chuckled, "Just not us." Vinnie snarled as he glanced at Philip, who was now sheltered by the other engines. He glared with hate. "Soon... you'll pay..." Nobody paid any attention to him though. Thomas backed up to Raul. "Hello," the Brazilian engine offered, "I... I'm sorry about what I said. You helping that little fellow was a very brave thing to do, and... I suppose I was wrong about what I had said." Thomas chuckled. "It's alright, Raul; I made an assumption based on my first impression too." He glanced at Ashima, who was conversing with Gina, and smiled.
The competition quickly resumed, with everyone shouting... "POINTS!" Thomas "Points!" "Points!" "Points!" "Points!" "Points!" "And with that, the shunting competition is back in action!" Nigel said, "Don't ask me what happened back there folks, but you can ask me who I want to win! Anybody?" "Go, Thomas!" cheered Emily, "You're almost there!" "Win something! Win something! Win something!" James said. Ashima and Thomas biffed their trucks into their train. The Indian engine smirked at Thomas as she was uncoupled. "All I need is my brakevan." "That's all I need too!" "Bet I'll beat you!" Thomas grinned childishly. "No you won't!" "Points!" they called in unison. Thoughts raced Thomas' mind as the two began to close in on each other.. Thomas slowed down a tad, though it was still noticeable. "Thomas, what are you doing?!" said James, "Win! Win! Win! Win!" "I don't think he's going to win, James," said Henry. "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" Henry sighed. "Thomas!" cried Emily. From his seat, The Fat Controller looked up at the mention of Thomas' name. "Thomas...?" He gasped when he saw Thomas in the race. "Thomas?!" Ashima's brakevan bumped into her train seconds before Thomas', and the crowd went wild. "What a tremendous finish, folks! The engine I wanted to win actually won! That never happens!" Nigel exclaimed, "Does anybody have more questions for me...? Nobody...?" "Oh look, your own Indian friend betrayed you!" yelled Vinnie from the pylon, "Looks like she thinks you're useless after all!" "Don't put words in my mouth," Ashima argued, "I never said, or even thought, such a thing!" She glanced at Thomas who surprisingly didn't have a look of defeat. "Thomas, I... I don't understand," she said quietly, "Why... why'd you let me win? Your whole purpose here was to prove yourself!" Thomas smiled as he looked at his new friend. "I know, but... I realized that winning doesn't matter. It's who you are that does, and you taught me to do just that. You deserve to win, Ashima." From the other end of the yard, Yong Bao winked at Thomas. Raul smiled. "He's not a bad engine after all, is he...?" he thought. "And the winner is Ashima from India! Everyone give a round of applause!" Nigel called. The crowd did so, and the Indian engine blushed from the attention. However, she was still confused. "But... I don't think I do." Thomas raised an eyebrow. "Why ever not?" "Well... Vinnie's right, about me not being perfect." "Of course; nobody is, obviously." "You don't understand, Thomas. It's-" "Thomas the Tank Engine!" Thomas gulped as the Fat Controller walked alongside him. "H-h-hello, sir," he stuttered. "I didn't realize you were even here after the Shunting Challenge started!" He raised an eyebrow as he looked up at Thomas. "Care to explain?" Thomas sighed. "I'm sorry, sir. I only came at first to bring Gordon his safety valve, but I was too late and his boiler burst..." "I saw," the Fat Controller grimaced. "And then Duck's front got mangled, so I was the one who competed instead. I do hope you don't mind, sir." The Fat Controller grinned. "Indeed I don't, Thomas. Even if you didn't win." "Really, sir?" Thomas beamed. "Of course. I feel a bit foolish now for wanting that trophy so badly. Sodor has already proven itself throughout various exploits. One win in a Great Railway Show won't change that." Thomas chuckled. "I couldn't have put it better myself, sir. Right, Ashima?" Thomas looked over, expecting to see a proud Ashima, only to find... nothing. She was gone.
Flying Scotsman grinned as he came to a halt in the yard. "I do hope you didn't mind me pushing you here, Shooting Star." Gordon chuckled wryly. "Just call me 'Gordon', Scotsman." Flying Scotsman raised an eyebrow, a bit surprised. "Oh? What brought about this change?" "I let my competitive drive get the better of me to the point where I overlooked my own health. I deeply respect you for dropping out of the race just to help your foolish brother." Flying Scotsman smirked. "Indeed, it was quite heroic, wasn't it?" He then frowned. "I'm quite sorry about you losing though. In all honesty, you would've shown Etienne a thing or two if you had won." "Perhaps, but I suppose it simply wasn't meant to be..." Gordon sighed. "Brother, can I tell you something?" "Of course, Gordon." "For most of my life, I felt I couldn't live up to you. You were such a famous engine, and I wanted to be like you. I tried my hardest, but if anything, I only damaged myself. Then, years later, I heard about Spencer, and then our rivalry only pushed me further up to this point. Remember that speed record you broke?" "Yes, indeed." "Well, I wanted to break that for years, and felt I was a failure for not living up to my own standards. It's the reason I hold the Express so dearly to me. It's all I have essentially. In a way, my worst fear before I got streamlined came true..." "I'm sorry, Gordon," Flying Scotsman said quietly, "But you know you don't have to be like me, don't you? We're all individuals, and we all choose who we want to be." "I know that now, after embarrassing myself in front of hundreds." The big engine paused. "It's intriguing how our worst blunders can lead to a new perspective on ourselves." "Yes, it's rather poetic in that sense," Scotsman replied. A familiar whistle interrupted the conversation. Spencer steamed alongside the streamlined Gordon, who didn't look too thrilled to see him. "What are you doing here, Spencer? One would think you'd have gone home by now." "I didn't want to leave before acknowledging my mistake," Spencer replied ruefully, "I was silly, and I'm sorry for acting so smug before. Etienne winning gave me a taste of my own medicine, sort of speak, so now I know how you felt." Gordon gave a small smile to his cousin. "It's alright, Spencer. Live and learn, after all." Spencer smiled back. "Thank you." He then decided to change the subject. "Say, did you hear what Thomas did?" "No... I haven't bothered to update myself on what that tank engine is doing," Gordon replied, somewhat bitterly. "He let his friend Ashima win the Shunting Challenge!" "What? Why?" Gordon asked, "He could've won and given Sodor a decent reputation!" "I'm not entirely sure myself. It was certainly an odd decision from an outsider's perspective." "Wasn't Thomas also the engine who ran from wherever your works is located to the race, to give you your safety valve?" Flying Scotsman asked. "I... yes... Indeed he was," replied Gordon. "Well, he's very brave then, if that's the case. Such an attempt to look out for you must flatter you." Gordon frowned. "I suppose so..." His voice grew much quieter as he repeated his words, as if he was talking to himself. "I suppose so..."
The engines looked everywhere for Ashima. "Ashima?" Emily whistled as she peered behind a building. "Ashima...?" Philip shouted loudly and he honked his horn to make himself noticed. "Oh, shut up!" Vinnie grumbled as Shane pulled him free of the pylon. "Reckless, simply reckless..." the Australian engine muttered under his breath, "Vinnie, I can't believe it... Well I can, but it's still reckless for you to do such a thing." Vinnie just rolled his eyes. "What's all this?" Stephen asked as he slowly puffed alongside James. "We're trying to find Thomas' friend, Ashima," the red engine replied. Stephen looked around curiously. "Well, I can't see anyone around here." "Stephen's right," said Duck with defeat as he came to a halt on the other side of James, "Ashima isn't around, Thomas. I'm sorry." Thomas sighed from the water tower. "You're right, Duck... It's hopeless." The others looked to each other sadly, all feeling sorry for the blue engine. "Ah, glad to see you're all in the same place." The engines looked over to see The Fat Controller smiling in Henry's cab. "Fill up on fuel, everyone. It's time we head back to Sodor. After all, we-" "-still have a railway to run," interjected James, "Just to make sure we knew we're locomotives..." "Err... Thank you James... kind of..." "Right, sir. We'll be on that, sir," said Duck obediently as he began puffing away. "Emily, would you mind pushing me back to Sodor?" Stephen asked, "I can't move very fast, you know." Emily smiled as she began to reverse so she could get into position. "Of course!" Flying Scotsman whistled loudly as he pushed his brother alongside the others. "You wouldn't mind another engine to come with, would you?" he asked. "Oh, of course not!" exclaimed Henry, "We'd all be honored to have such a celebrity with us." Flying Scotsman and Gordon grinned at each other. Thomas, however, sighed gloomily, thinking he would never see his friend again. Suddenly, he felt a bump behind him, and he sailed from the water tower to Duck at the coal hopper. Duck jumped in fright as a few pieces of coal fell to the ground. "Thomas? What was that about?" he asked, thinking Thomas was only trying to nettle him. Thomas smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, Duck. That wasn't on purpose. Someone bumped me from behind. I can't imagine who though." "Me, silly!" Thomas and Duck looked back in astonishment to see a grinning Ashima at the water tower. "Ashima!? You're still here! I thought you'd gone!" the E2 gasped. "Of course I am! You didn't think I would leave without saying goodbye, did you?" Ashima replied, smirking. "I suppose not. What were you doing all that time?" "I was hiding, obviously. I'm surprised none of your friends found me." "So am I," Thomas chuckled, "But why didn't you appear before?" "Oh, I just wanted to surprise you. A little fun now and again never hurts." Ashima exhaled as a thought struck her. "But... I still have to catch my ship and go home." "Oh..." Suddenly, an idea flew into Thomas' mind and he grinned, much to Ashima's surprise. "You don't have to yet! I'm sure we can arrange for your ship to arrive at Brendam Docks. It's more convenient anyway." "Maybe, but that would mean I'd have to stay on Sodor until then. "Who ever said that was a bad thing?" Thomas chuckled. A realization dawned upon Ashima. "Oh, now I get it. You are clever... sometimes," she smirked. She winked when Thomas wasn't looking.
(Be Who You Are, and Go Far plays)
Soon, all of the Sudrian engines were heading back to their home, with Flying Scotsman and Ashima tagging along. "I still don't understand why you let Ashima win, Thomas," James grumbled, "If I couldn't have won, someone should've!" "Winning isn't everything, James," said Emily, who was puffing alongside him. "I know, but we went to an event, and came back with nothing!" "Oh, we got something, though it isn't physical," Thomas replied. "...you sap..." James muttered, though he couldn't help but smile. Thomas looked over at Ashima, who was leading the charge alongside him. "Ashima...?" The Indian engine raised an eyebrow. "Yes, Thomas? What is it?" "I've been meaning to ask you this, but I haven't really had the time. What did you mean by 'another engine' when we were rescuing Philip?" Ashima grew solemn and she heaved a sigh. "It's... a bit of a story. That engine I was referring to was... myself." Thomas gasped, horrified. "Vinnie bullied you too?!" "When I arrived at my first Railway Show, I was incredibly nervous about it. Vinnie didn't help matters. He bullied me, said to the others I said I was better than them. Some even believed him, until I set them straight. It was rather stressful... and..." A tear went down Ashima's cheek. "...I began to resent myself as a result of his harassment. I didn't think I was good enough for the show. I eventually learned to be proud of who I was, and that's how I learned that lesson in the first place. It was lucky I met Gina there; we became friends quickly, you see, and she helped me through everything. Vinnie taunts me to this day, thinking that I believe I am perfect, which I know I'm not. I couldn't stand him picking on poor Philip when I saw it unfold. Philip was even more vulnerable than I was, and it's just not right." Thomas said nothing for a while as Ashima finished her explanation. "Wow... That explains a bit." "I suppose it does," Ashima replied softly, "Having you as a friend to talk to helped too, admittedly." The two's conversation died down as their lights beamed in the dark suburbs. Flying Scotsman cleared his throat, and all the engines quickly paid attention to him. "Sudrians, I have something to say. I used to think you didn't have what it took to go to the Great Railway Show, since you haven't gone for many years, but now I see that you all have sterner stuff than I thought!" "Thank you, Flying Scotsman," said Stephen, "From one well-known engine another, it's an honor to hear that." "Wow, the Flying Scotsman himself complimented us!" Philip squeaked. Thomas and Ashima grinned at each other as they approached the Vicarstown Bridge.
At Vicarstown Station, Edward, Percy, Toby, Donald, Douglas, Oliver, Geoffrey and Stanley were all lined up, waiting for their friends. Donald squinted into the night, straining his eyes to see some hint that the engines were coming home. "I dinna see them," he said impatiently, "When will they be here?" "Any second now, Donal' Calm down," replied Douglas cheekily. Percy gasped when he noticed a few beaming lights coming towards them. "It's them! It's them! Look everybody!" The engines all whistled and cheered as the cavalcade raced into the station. "Hello, Thomas!" beamed Percy. He peered into Thomas' cab and frowned. "Where's the trophy?" Thomas looked down at his buffers and sighed. "We... didn't get one." Everyone's grin turned into a frown, and a long silence ensued. "What? Ye must be jokin'!" cried Douglas finally, "Surely one of ye must've won something!" "Aye! We sent five engines!" said Donald. "Not one..." Thomas repeated, feeling a bit of guilt. "R-really?" Percy asked nervously, "I thought one of you must've won something." "That's what I said!" burst out James. The Fat Controller stepped down from Henry's cab. "I'm afraid Thomas is right, Percy." "Oh... But... does that mean... Sodor lost its very first railway show..." Thomas looked back at the others, who now had a look of concern. "I... suppose it does..." said Henry sadly, "I'm sorry everyone. I should've won that strength competition." "Nonsense, Henry," replied Emily, "You did very well!" "I should've just waited for my blasted safety check," murmured Gordon, "Then at least I would've won the Great Race..." Oliver gasped when he saw Duck's front. "What happened to you?" he asked worriedly. Duck smiled meekly. "A little - er - accident occurred. That's why Thomas took my place to begin with." "For a first impression on the rest of the world, this may not be the best one," admitted Stanley. "But, that doesn't matter," Edward spoke up, surprising everyone. "W-what?" Percy asked, who was the only one who audibly responded, "What do you mean, Edward?" Edward chuckled. "I mean, Percy, that just because you lost all the events, doesn't mean you didn't win something else." "Edward's right." said Geoffrey "It's not winning that matters, it's being who you are that matters." said Geoffrey. Thomas raised an eyebrow. "And that's what...?" Edward winked at his old friend. "Oh, I shouldn't have to spell it out for you. You all did your very best, and I'm proud of you all. Granted, some of your carelessness might have been preventable...!" Gordon's face flushed. "Nonetheless," Edward continued, "The Great Railway Show isn't the only way Sodor can prove itself. We already have, as far as I'm concerned." The Fat Controller patted his left buffer and smiled. "Just as I would've said, Edward." He turned back to the others. "While this Great Railway Show might not have been the best for us as far as winning goes, there is something else we gained in its place. Determination, ethical choices, and our best selves have been presented by each of us, and no medal can replicate that." He glanced at Henry, Emily and James. "Like you three, for instance. You may not have been the strongest or best decorated, but you did try, and that's all that matters." He then turned to Gordon. "Gordon, while you didn't make the best decisions, I can't deny your effort." Finally, he turned to Thomas. "Thomas, even though you weren't meant to go, you still did a stellar job. You showed how determined you were to save a friend when you jumped that Vicarstown Bridge, according to Donald and Douglas. Not the safest choice but I can look past that since you weren't hurt too badly...!" Thomas chuckled nervously. The controller then turned to the entire crowd of engines. "Sodor is still a place for steam engines to continue their existence, and that alone is a win in my book. All the things you all have done have proven that we are all winners in some capacity!" An eruption of whistles interrupted the Fat Controller's speech, and Gordon glanced at Thomas. "Err... Thomas?" Thomas glanced back and raised an eyebrow. "Yes, Gordon?" "Together we stand, together we fall," Gordon recited, recalling saying those exact words many years ago. Thomas grinned, knowing what Gordon meant. It was an apology of sorts, and while he hadn't been the most blatant about it, Thomas could accept it for what it was. "Oh, and Thomas?" Thomas glanced at Ashima. "I can't say what your controller hasn't already said, but... thank you." Thomas beamed. The two engines joined in the chorus of whistles as the first stars of the night began to twinkle in the sky.
Diesel gulped as he shunted some tankers. "Paxton, please. Can we go home now? I'm so tired..." Paxton squinted and surveyed his work. "I think we can. The yard does look quite nice now." Diesel rolled his eyes. "Yes, Paxton... Whoopee... I don't understand why you thought you were a show shunter. You put a big dent in my plan!" Paxton smirked. "I can be smarter than you think, Diesel!" "So... you mean you planned all this?" Diesel gasped. "You can say that. Let's head home though; it is getting rather dark." "Finally..." Diesel muttered. As Diesel was uncoupled, he glared at a battered Vinnie. "Of course that fool was no help to my plan either. Ugh, why did it all have to be so horrible? First, my crate idea failed, and now this!" "Don't feel too bad, Diesel," Paxton smiled, "You would've lost anyway!" "That's... not helping, Paxton." Paxton frowned. "Oh." Diesel glared at Vinnie, who looked miserable. "It's all that idiot's fault," he fumed loudly, "If he had done his part right, I might've been chosen to compete instead of that silly Thomas!" "Don't get too worked up over it, Diesel," Paxton replied, "Vinnie didn't even know it was you anyway, so you can't really blame him." Diesel scoffed. "Huh! Maybe..." Paxton and Diesel slowly rolled up to the Vicarstown Bridge. Diesel scowled as he came to a halt. "Bother! The bridge is up!" "That's not good, is it?" Paxton asked nervously, "What will the Fat Controller think if he finds out about this?" "I'll just blame it on you," Diesel replied. "What?!" A loud, American whistle halted the conversation. Diesel's face turned pale, recognizing it. "Paxton... I don't want to look... You do it..." Paxton did so and gulped. "D-D-Diesel... It's Vinnie!" Vinnie scowled. "I overheard what both of you fools said in the yard, you know. I'm not deaf, and I'm not an idiot!" he roared. Diesel chuckled nervously. "Of course you're not, Vinnie, of course you're not..." Vinnie squinted. "How do I know you're not lying?" "What are you still doing here?" inquired Paxton. Vinnie rolled his eyes. "I missed the stupid ship, because it took so long to get me out of that pylon. Now I have both of you to deal with instead..." Paxton reversed as quickly as he could, leaving Diesel with Vinnie. "Wait! Paxton! Come back! Please!" Diesel cried, but Paxton didn't. Diesel looked back, saw a smirk on Vinnie's face, and gulped.
(He's Full of Surprises plays)
- Donald and Douglas
- Bill and Ben
- Flying Scotsman
- Yong Bao
- 'Arry and Bert
- One of the Great Railway Show Diesels
- Sir Handel
- Peter Sam
- Annie and Clarabel
- The Fat Controller
- The Dock Manager
- A Workman
- Toby (does not speak)
- Caitlin (does not speak)
- Mavis (does not speak)
- Rocky (does not speak)
- The Great Railway Show Flagman (does not speak)
- Rosie (cameo)
- Dennis (cameo)
- The Other Great Railway Show Diesels (cameo)
- Winston (cameo)
- Henrietta (cameo)
- Owen (cameo)
- Mr. Percival (cameo)
- The Thin Clergyman (cameo)
- The Bird Watcher (cameo)
- The Teacher (cameo)
- The Blond-haired Boy (cameo)
- Dowager Hatt's Friends (cameo)
- The Lady with the Big Hat (cameo)
- The Grumpy Passenger (cameo)
- The Great Railway Show Judge (cameo)
- Harvey (fantasy)
- Alfie (fantasy)
- Captain (fantasy)
- Gator (mentioned)
- Island of Sodor
- Kellsthorpe Road
- Vicarstown Station
- Vicarstown Bridge
- M.C. BUNN
- Knapford Station Yard
- Henry's Tunnel
- Sodor China Clay Company
- Blue Mountain Quarry
- Brendam Docks
- Sodor Shipping Company
- Arlesburgh Junction
- Knapford Yards
- Sodor Suspension Bridge
- Sodor Steamworks
- The Windmill
- Sodor Shipping Company
- Knapford Iron Bridge
- The Watermill
- The Fenland Track
- Vicarstown Dieselworks
- The Mainland
- The Railway Show Yard
- Harwick Branch Line (mentioned)
- Will You Won't You
- I'm Full of Surprises
- You Can Only Be You
- The Shooting Star Is Coming Through
- Be Who You Are, and Go Far
- He's Full of Surprises
- This special is a rewrite of the real Thomas & Friends special The Great Race.
- This special takes place between the eighth and ninth seasons.
- This special aired in cinemas on May 21st, 2016.
- Several references are made in the special, these being:
- A reference to the fourth season episode Thomas and the Special Letter are made.
- References to the nineteenth season episode The Little Engine Who Raced Ahead are made.
- A reference to the story Flying Scotsman Departs are made.
- A reference to the special Gordon and Spencer: An LNER Rivalry are made.
- References to the special Tale of the Brave are made.
- A reference to the special Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure is made.
- This special marks the first of several things:
- Norman's first speaking role in a special.
- Flying Scotsman, Belle, Flynn, Caitlin, 'Arry and Bert's first appearances in a special.
- The first and only appearances of the international engines and the Great Railway Show Diesels in the main series. However, ten of the international engines appear in the special's spin-off The Great Race (promotional videos).
- The first special in which Duncan does not appear.