It is a special day on Sodor, a railway inspector is coming. The Fat Controller tells Thomas to shunt coal trucks because the inspector will want to see busy engines. Thomas decides to find more engines to help him shunt trucks. At Maron, he persuades Percy to leave his mail train and go to the docks to shunt trucks. When the inspector arrives at Maron, he was not very pleased to see that Percy was not there.
Thomas huffed to the quarry, where he finds Mavis shunting slate trucks. Thomas asks her to go to the docks to help shunt the coal trucks. Although Mavis has a lot to do, she agrees. When the inspector arrives at the quarry, Mavis was not there. He was not very pleased.
Thomas hurried cheerfully back to the docks, where Mavis and Percy had already shunted a long line of coal trucks. Then Thomas heard Gordon's whistle as he steamed into the docks with the inspector. The engines wanted to look busy so Percy shoved and Mavis shunted and the coal trucks bashed together, sending coal dust everywhere. The Fat Controller was very cross and Thomas felt terrible.
Thomas had to put everything right. He shunted Gordon, who had got coal dust down his funnel, to the Steamworks for repairs. Afterwards, the pair race back to the Docks where Thomas was finally ready to be a busy engine. He shunted until all the trucks were in their correct places. The inspector was very pleased and so was Thomas.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Railway Inspector
- Gordon (does not speak)
- Percy (does not speak)
- Mavis (does not speak)
- Cranky (cameo)
- This book is based on the fourteenth season episode, Thomas in Charge.
- In Japan this book is called "Thomas and the Hard-working Engines".
- In the final illustration, Thomas is in the Steamworks when he should be at the docks.