Previous Episode: Episode 80

Next Episode: Episode 82

Episode 81: Thomas, Edwin and the Boulder

A machine called Thumper is stuck-up and demanding to the engines. Thomas and Edwin the V3 note that one day, Thumper will get his comeuppance. Does it?


  • Thomas
  • James
  • Percy
  • Eagle
  • Edwin
  • Sir Handel
  • Rusty
  • Thumper
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Edward (cameo)
  • Henry (cameo)
  • Gordon (cameo)
  • Emily (cameo)
  • Molly (cameo)
  • Victor (cameo)
  • Skarloey (cameo)
  • Rheneas (cameo)
  • Peter Sam (cameo)
  • Duncan (cameo)
  • Kevin (cameo)
  • Bertie (mentioned)


Narrator: Edwin the V3 was enjoying his stay on Sodor. Working with Thomas and Stanley was fun. He had a shiny coat of black paint, and a big number 19 painted on his bunker. Recently, the North Western Railway was undergoing big changes. An extension to the railway was being built into the mountains beyond the quarry. It was a massive project, so all of the engines were involved. While Bertie and the other buses looked after the passengers, the engines bustled back and forth from the junction at Crovan's Gate to the construction site, their trucks loaded with goods from the Skarloey Railway, where the little engines live. All of the engines were excited about the new extension. Well, not James. He found the job awkward.

James: {to Edwin} I don't understand it. Why on Earth would passengers want to come up here? It's like giving them a trip to a quarry with all these rocks and rubbish!

Edwin: It's primarily for tourist purposes. I hear that the view from further up the line is breath-taking, but the rails aren't laid there yet, so I can't say so myself.

James: Humph! If they want a breath-taking view they can ride on Gordon's trains; he'll stop on the viaduct for them, after all!

Narrator: Edwin just rolled his eyes and headed to the junction to collect a load of ballast. At the junction, Edwin met with Sir Handel and Rusty, who had brought the ballast down from the slate quarries. As the loads were dumped into Edwin's trucks, Sir Handel and Rusty told him the news.

Sir Handel: Eagle's bringing down a special later this week.

Rusty: We don't know what it is, but apparently it's supposed to be able to cut into cliff faces to make way for more rails and construction work. That's all Eagle's said, at least.

Edwin: Well, I'm sure it'll be an asset to the operation. The surveyors have said that there are some tight spots up in the valleys and it'd be easier to carry on if there was more room. I look forward to this special indeed!

Narrator: For the next few days, work went smoothly. The little engines would bring in trains loaded with stone, steel and ballast and the little engines would carry the special loads up to the building sites. Despite grumbling from James and the occasional slip-up from Emily, nothing seemed to go wrong. In time, however, the rails finally reached a tight, narrow valley that would prove troublesome. It was hard for the men to work there, so the construction was held up a day. One afternoon, Thomas and Edwin were waiting outside the sheds when they heard a familiar whistle.

Thomas: {gasp} Is it-?

Edwin: Yes it is!

Narrator: Eagle steamed into view, the special in tow. It was a large, orange vehicle with two large arms poking out in front.

Edwin: What is this contraption?

Eagle: It's called Thumper-

'Thumper: {snorting pompously} He's called Thumper, thank you very much!

Eagle: Erm, yes. Anyway, he's the machine that's going to be cutting into the rockfaces that are blocking your path on the extension. He's bound to be a big help to you-

Thumper: And don't you forget it! I do not want to be treated as an "it" while I'm here!

Narrator: Eagle just sighed. Thomas and Edwin exchanged nervous looks. It was several seconds before anyone spoke again.

Thumper: {groans} Well?? Am I going to sit here all day or what? &nbsp Narrator: Thumper was loaded onto a large lorry and hauled off to the extension. Eagle was glad to be rid of him indeed! Thumper's abilities were quite useful, but he was exceptionally stuck-up and demanding. None of the engines found him pleasant at all. He also tended to go overboard; he'd often drill farther into something than necessary and hold up work. Thomas and Edwin were beginning to grow worried of what would happen if Thumper went too far, especially after they noticed a massive, odd-shaped boulder atop the cliffs in the valley where Thumper was helping. The two tank engines confronted him about it. Thomas: Thumper, could we have a word? Thumper: {growling crossly} Ugh, what is it? Edwin: Do you see that boulder up there? Thumper: Yeah, I do. Is that all you wanted to bother me about? Edwin: No, you see, We're just a bit worried that if you aren't careful you may shake it lose. If it falls... {can't finish his sentence} Thumper: {guffaws} Ha! Me? Cause an accident? That'll be the day! Narrator: Thumper trundled back to work. Thomas and Edwin looked at the boulder again and shivered uncomfortably. Things went as usual. Thomas and the other engines brought up workmen and materials as Thumper made his way along the valley, expanding it so the rails could be laid. They soon reached the end of the valley where the old boulder stood. Edwin peered up at it, observing it's position. He noticed that it had a sturdy, proud look to it. But it was roughly-shaped and it looked as if it were to topple over. Edwin: {whispering} Look at that boulder up there. Percy: {whispering} Yes, I see it. But why are we whispering? It's not like our voices are shaking it loose. Edwin: I'm taking any risks. That old thing scares me to death. Narrator: A few hours later, Thumper went back to work. He placed his great, mighty arms against the cliff face under the boulder's shadow. He drilled and pounded the rock in front of him, grinding it to fine stone for the workmen to haul away. Thumper: {jeering happily} Now this is the life! Narrator: But, little did he know that he'd already shifted the boulder. The noise and movement from Thumper's arms had shaken it off it's initial standing point. Just then, Thomas and Edwin arrived with some empty trucks. They looked first at the boulder, and to this day they're thankful that they did! Thomas: {yelling} IT'S TIPPING OVER!!! Narrator: Every workman in the area gazed up at the mighty rock, and within seconds they had all cleared the site in their lorries and cars. Even Thumper's driver had disappeared by the time the boulder fell from it's post. Thomas and Edwin made their way to the other end of the valley just in time. The boulder landed on Thumper himself with a thundering crash. {huge crash} that echoed nearly all the way back to Crovan's Gate! A cloud of dust that seemed more like a thick fog than anything hung over the site. When everything had settled, Thomas, James, Percy and Edwin made their way up to the site of the disaster with workmen and truckloads of supplies. The boulder had shattered on impact, and Thumper was nowhere to be seen. Foreman: The thumper has been buried by the boulder and what appears to be a landslide triggered by the noise. We must attempt to save it! Narrator: Thomas chuckled to himself and thought of what Thumper would've said about being called "it". The workmen instantly set to work clearing the rubble until a battered and broken Thumper was visible. Thumper: {griping} It's about time! I could barely breathe in there! Percy: {whispering} Hasn't changed a bit, has he? Thomas: {chuckling} No, not at all. Edwin: Shh! Look who's here! Narrator: It was Sir Topham Hatt. He looked rather thoughtful about something. Sir Topham Hatt: {sighs} Well... {pauses to think of what he could say} This extension project clearly hasn't worked as well as we thought it would. It was a disaster waiting to happen and a waste of time. We shouldn't have bothered to build rails over this land. Ah, well then, we will have to haul these rails up and use them as spares if we can. Edwin: Sir, what'll become of Thumper? Sir Topham Hatt: You mean the thumper? It'll be repaired if it hasn't suffered too much damage. Narrator: Thomas could see Thumper gnash his teeth in rage behind Sir Topham Hatt's back! Things have now gone back to normal on the North Western Railway. The extension's rails and station were demolished, and the usual routine has resumed. Thomas and Edwin are glad about that, because, after all, there aren't any boulders around to disturb them! Now, I suppose you're wondering about what happened to Thumper. The engineers at the Sodor Steamworks managed to save him with spare machine parts, but they gave him a less powerful engine just to ensure that he doesn't cause any more accidents. He now resides at the top of the incline at the slate quarries, working with the miners on the Skarloey Railway. He is still haughty and hard to please, but the engines don't care as long as he's up there and they're at the bottom of the incline! THE END

Fun Facts

Only appearance of Thumper and the North Western Railway extension.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.