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Henry the Green Engine

Reverend W. Awdry

Illustrated by

C. Reginald Dalby


Edmund Ward
Egmont Publishing


1951 - present

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Troublesome Engines

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Toby the Tram Engine

Henry the Green Engine is the sixth book of the Railway Series.


Dear Friends,
Here is more news from the Region. All the engines now have numbers as well as names; you will see them in the pictures. They are as follows: Thomas 1, Edward 2, Henry 3, Gordon 4, James 5, Percy 6.

I expect you were sorry for Henry, who was often ill and unable to work. He gave Sir Topham Hatt a lot of worry. Now Henry has a new shape and is ready for anything. These stories tell you all about it.
The Author



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.

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 Sir Topham Hatt, furious, seizes his top-hat off Percy's lamp-iron and sends Percy away with a pair of his trousers coiled around his funnel!

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.



  • In early editions of this book, the boys were described as being "as black as ['the N word']" after Henry sneezed at them. This caused a controversy so great that it was reported in the national press. The Reverend W. Awdry apologised for his offensive comments, and the sentence was changed to "as black as soot".
  • This is the first and only Railway Series book to feature five stories.
  • In the fifth illustration of "Coal", advertisements for The Three Railway Engines and James the Red Engine are visible; in the third illustration of "Percy and the Trousers" a blue double-decker bus with a sign advertising the book Troublesome Engines can be seen in the background.
  • This is the first time all of the engines carry numbers. Thomas was the only one to carry a number previously.
  • Despite this book being about Henry, 2 of the stories primarily focus on Gordon and Percy respectively.


  • Throughout the first two stories, Henry is incorrectly illustrated as a 4-6-2 at random.