Thomas and the Guard, retitled Thomas and the Conductor in American releases, is the eleventh episode of the first series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Tank Engine Thomas Again.
Thomas the Tank Engine is enjoying his new life running the branch line, of which he is very proud and considers the most important part of the railway. His two coaches, Annie and Clarabel, agree with him. Thomas loves them both very much, although they are both old and need new paint. When taking trains, Annie can only take passengers, but Clarabel takes passengers, luggage and the guard. Thomas and his coaches often sing to each other while taking trains and journeys often proceed smoothly. Annie and Clarabel know how important pleasing the Fat Controller is to Thomas and whenever he is angry, he is not angry at them.
One day, Thomas waits at the station for Henry so he can pick up passengers. It is late. Thomas is getting angrier and angrier. Eventually Henry feebly arrives, complaining that his system is out of order. As far as Thomas is concerned, Henry's only problem is his own laziness. Thomas, desperate to leave, dashes out of the station as soon as the guard blows the whistle. But Thomas goes so fast he does not give the guard time to get aboard, leaving him behind. The guard waves his red flag, but it is no use and Thomas is well on his way and out of the station.
Thomas sings to his coaches as usual, but Clarabel does not sing as she is upset that her guard has been left behind. Annie is upset as well and tries to tell Thomas that they have not got a guard aboard, but Thomas is in too big of a hurry and does not listen. The two coaches try to apply their brakes, but they cannot without the guard. Eventually Thomas stops when he reaches a red signal and it makes Thomas more angry. He and his crew wait for the guard to find out what is the matter, but of course he has been left behind and only Annie and Clarabel know that. They are still upset that he has been left behind.
Soon the passengers notice the guard running down the tracks, trying to catch up to Thomas. He is very hot, so he has a drink to cool down and tells everyone what happened. Thomas apologizes for the incident, but the guard assures Thomas it was not his fault. The signal drops and Thomas and his crew proceed the trip.
With the guard back aboard, both Thomas and his coaches feel much better and manage to reach the end of the line in record time.
- Annie and Clarabel