One day, Thomas wakes up feeling ill; workmen are unable to make him feel better, so the Fat Controller has Edward bring Thomas to the works for a while. He then asks Duck to take over Thomas' duties on the branch line. Duck is delighted to be given such a responsibility.
Duck is already friends with Percy, and quickly befriends Toby, Bertie and Terence, the latter of whom tells Duck to take extra special care with Annie and Clarabel. Duck is very gentle with them, and both coaches are left very impressed with the Great Western engine and remark on what a pleasure it is to go out with him. When Thomas returns from the works, the two coaches tell him how well Duck had managed on the line. Thomas does not feel jealous, as he is just happy to be back home.
TheRunaway8 Take care of Thomas' coaches. He's sure to miss them while he's away. Although he does feel better, Thomas is not in complete working order. His handbrake has been left very stiff, meaning it can feel like his brakes are hard-on when they are not. Because of this, Thomas begins to overrun the station platform, which embarrasses him. Eventually, Thomas' crew learn to compensate for the handbrake, and they stop in just the right place.
Thomas' fireman falls ill one day, and a relief man takes his place. Thomas arrives at the junction, and the new fireman couples him to Annie and Clarabel, then joins the driver and stationmaster on the platform while they wait for Henry to deliver his passengers. However, the relief fireman has forgotten about the stiff handbrake. Soon, Henry starts to approach with the passengers but as Thomas' brakes are not completely on, his wheels start to move, and Thomas cannot stop or whistle a warning without his crew. Before anyone realises what has happened, Thomas has left everyone stranded on the platform and runs off without anyone in his cab.
Annie and Clarabel scream for Thomas to stop, but he has plenty of steam and keeps going. Soon, an alarm goes out about the runaway train. An engine inspector makes a plan, boards Harold the helicopter, and flies to a station where Thomas is due to pass by.
When Thomas reaches the station, he is very tired and is moving far slower than normal. The inspector then makes it to the platform and when Thomas passes, the inspector scrambles aboard the cab and puts Thomas' brakes on, finally bringing the tank engine to a stop. Both Thomas and the inspector are very relieved and thank Harold, who tells them that it was no problem.
The inspector tells Thomas that they must make sure this never happens again; Thomas exhausted, cannot agree more.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Annie and Clarabel
- Edward (do not speak)
- Henry (do not speak)
- Percy (do not speak)
- Toby (do not speak)
- Duck (do not speak)