Follow TV Tropes


Fridge / The Railway Series

Go To

Fridge Brilliance

  • In The Diseasel, Bill and Ben are tipped off about the diesel by two patches of oil left behind. Most diesels don't leak oil like that, however BoCo's class were known to have frequent engine problems. As such, he's one of the few classes of diesel who would give away his presence like that.
  • Diesel was boastful in the story Pop Goes The Diesel, but until Duck snapped, the 08 was trying to be polite to the other engines. You could say Duck was judging too quickly, but consider this. The 5700s, (Duck and his brothers and sisters), were being replaced by the 08s on the mainland by the time of 1957, when Diesel comes to visit Sodor; i.e., being withdrawn and subject to the scrapper's torch. Of course Duck would jump the gun on that note!
  • Advertisement:
  • In Thomas and the Great Railway Show, Thomas meets up with an old friend and running mate by the name of Boxhill, a member of the same class of locomotive as Stepney, though Stepney and Thomas didn't recognize each other in Stepney the Bluebell Engine. Even though If all three locomotives operated on the same railway at roughly the same time, the LBSCR was large enough that any two engines could have spent their entire careers on that railway without meeting each other.
  • It makes sense that Duck and Oliver would be most proud of their originating railway line's heritage compared to the others - the Great Western was the only pre-1923 Grouping railway to preserve its identity after the "Big Four" were created; the rest of the engines either had their railways of origin merged out of existence (Furness, LBSCR, Caledonian), or were built by railways that were only about twenty years old at the Series' start (LNER, LMS). In existence since 1835, the Great Western would have developed a largely uniform corporate culture compared to the other Big Four, which would have been plagued with inter-railway rivalries carried over from their predecessors.
    • Oliver and Duck's attitude is also pretty true to the people who worked for the GWR in real life. It had a reputation for being so beloved by its staff it was called "God's Wonderful Railway".
  • The Fat Controller's attitude towards Donald and Douglas in The Twin Engines makes sense if you consider that two years prior, Diesel caused disarray in the yard. What do these characters have in common with each other? Deception. While the twins had much more noble motives for “playing truant”, they still caused disruption.
    • "The Missing Coach" is the best example of this. Douglas forgetting to shunt Thomas's special coach wasn’t a heinous crime. What made the Fat Controller's reaction so angry was that, instead of coming clean, the twins proceeded to lie about what happened. If a new employee's dishonesty is revealed on the first day, their career will be short-lived.

Fridge Horror

  • Donald tracking down the brakevan and shutting him up may seem heroic... until you realise that if he succeeds in saving Douglas, he would have sacrificed himself. Thank goodness Sir Topham took longer in deciding and that Percy stepped in when he did...
    • In the same story, there was this bit.
    Sir Topham Hatt: I've decided to send Douglas back and keep you, Donald.
    • Had Donald not crashed at all, Douglas would have been doomed! Let that sink in.
  • More of a Fridge Tearjerker than anything else, but, take a look at the relationship between Falcon/Sir Handel and Stuart/Peter Sam during their time on the MSR, and compare it to their one on the SKR currently. While under the names of Falcon and Stuart, they were like twins: in sync with the other, goofing around, almost never fighting with each other. But... possibly somewhere in the Aluminium works project, they grew apart.
  • The early stories concerning Henry's failing performance are somewhat painful knowing that Awdry was originally setting up Henry to be quietly Killed Off for Real. Especially unsettling in his appearances in Thomas The Tank Engine where he looks perpetually sickly and is just giving a miserable empty gaze in every illustration. He's dying.
    • Adding onto this, the supplementary book The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways implies that the rebuilt Henry after the Flying Kipper accident was in fact a completely separate engine. While Henry's memories and role in the novels themselves somewhat contradict this, if we are to believe the theory, then Henry did get killed off after all and replaced with a duplicate. And what's more in a cruel twist of fate just after supposedly curing his steaming issues, and the Fat Controller assuring him he'll be fixed up nicely ("You'll feel a different engine.").
      • That being said, Sodor: Reading Between The Lines (written by Christopher, who didn't have his father's negative views on Henry) would contradict this theory, explaining that no, Henry is still the same locomotive. He just isn't precisely a pure Black Five due to his origins, with differences that set him apart from one leftover from his first build. Doesn't change the fact that yes, Henry was pretty much on life support until the Welsh coal came, but at least we can take solace that he legitimately got better.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: