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Recap / The Railway Series B 6 Henry The Green Engine
aka: Henry The Green Engine

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Henry the Green Engine is the sixth book of The Railway Series that was published in 1951. This is the only book to feature five stories as opposed to the usual four.

  • Coal: Henry is feeling ill and the Fat Controller fears that he will have to be replaced if they cannot find a cure. Henry's fireman tells the Fat Controller that Henry's firebox is too small and can't make enough steam. The Fat Controller arranges for some Welsh coal to be brought for Henry, and, as soon as he begins using it, Henry feels better.
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  • The Flying Kipper: Fishing boats often dock at Tidmouth and send their fish to be sold on a train dubbed "The Flying Kipper". It's Henry's turn to take it. Henry makes good time, but an incorrect signal sets him on collision course with a goods train. After the accident, Henry is sent to the works at Crewe and comes back better than ever before and no longer needing Welsh coal.
  • Gordon's Whistle: Gordon is jealous that Henry got rebuilt and complains that Henry whistles too much. The next day, Gordon jams his whistle and keeps emitting a loud whine. Gordon leaves his train and two fitters knock his whistle valve into place, but Henry doesn't forget the incident and teases Gordon.
  • Percy and the Trousers: One cold morning, Percy complains that he wants a scarf. When he goes to shunt some coaches, he approaches the platform so quietly that he runs over a trolley, scattering luggage everywhere. The Fat Controller, furious, seizes his top-hat off Percy's lamp-iron and sends Percy away with a pair of his trousers coiled around his funnel!
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  • Henry's Sneeze: Henry is enjoying himself in the countryside when some silly boys drop stones on him from a bridge. His crew concoct a plan to get revenge, and on the return run they block his smokebox so that Henry sprays smoke and ashes at the boys. Although Henry has never sneezed again, there have been no more boys with stones.

The book contains examples of:

  • Downer Ending: In "Percy and the Trousers", Percy gets in an accident with the baggage trolley, and a furious Fat Controller sends him away with his trousers on his funnel.
  • Emergency Transformation: Henry.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: In the final illustration of "Percy and the Trousers", some of the passengers seem to be waving amused at Percy, who has been sent off in disgrace with a pair of trousers stuck on his funnel.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Gordon towards Henry.
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  • Ill Guy: Henry until he gets Welsh Coal.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Henry refers Thomas as "lazybones" just as Thomas called him that in "Thomas and the Guard".
    • Then Henry says to Gordon the same thing he says about whistles: "It isn't wrong, but we just don't do it."
  • Kids Are Cruel: The boys who throw stones at Henry's coaches.
  • No Sympathy: Henry laments his illness until James tells him that he doesn't work hard enough.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Percy and the Trousers; while many stories in the series were based on real-life events, this was the only story to come with a bibliographical reference, having come from another book by British railway history author C Hamilton Ellis.
  • Skewed Priorities: The fireman yells at Henry for ruining his cocoa, unconcerned about his well-being during the accident.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Henry gives this to the boys in retribution for throwing stones at his coaches' windows.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: In "Coal", when the fresher-feeling Henry makes it to the station before Thomas, one of the engines most unsympathetic about his illness, he is sure to heckle him with the same words as he had before leaving him in the dust in a very jolly mood. Thomas is left speechless.

Alternative Title(s): Henry The Green Engine


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