Thomas Gets Tricked
Thomas is a passenger train who works on the Northeast Corridor Line, shuttling commuters between New York City and Trenton. One day, in the Trenton station, Thomas sees two passengers quarreling. It appears to be a Trenton man and a woman from the city. The man wants her purse bad. He runs away with it, and Thomas speeds up to catch him. After a long chase, the man runs to Centre Street, commonly referred to by the police as “Cocaine Avenue.” The Fat Controller tells Thomas to stop immediately and turn around. It isn’t worth going into that area for one purse. Thomas goes back to the city, his head hung low. “Guess it should be, ‘The World Makes, Trenton Takes,’” thinks Thomas.
The Sad Story of Henry
Henry, the green engine, is afraid of going into Newark. “The Brick City is not for me,” Henry exclaims. “I would never want someone to freebase inside one of my cars.” Henry stops in the PATH tunnel and refuses to move. The Fat Controller, the passengers, and Thomas do everything they can to get Henry into Newark. Penny, the light rail, even shows him the new Performing Arts Center. Henry just says that the “Renaissance” has been unevenly felt across the city and that many areas continue to have high rates of crime and poverty.
Eventually, everyone gives up on Henry. Vandals come and spray-paint “fag” all over him. “Why would they want to call me a cigarette? I’m a train,” Henry muses. A sad and sorry Henry now wishes he hadn’t been so afraid of Newark.
Thomas and the River
Thomas loves working on the Northeast Corridor Line. He really loves it when he travels over a bridge and sees streams glistening with all the colors of the rainbow. Usually, Thomas likes to stay and watch a river flow, even when there are no fish in it. The other engines say he shouldn’t get so close to rivers, especially not Oyster Creek, which runs by the oldest nuclear power plant still in service. The next day, Thomas is thirsty, but the water tower is empty, so Thomas’s crew decides to get water from Oyster Creek. He laps it up, but soon he gets a throbbing in his boiler. He huffs and puffs into a repair station, feeling like his boiler is about to explode. The Fat Controller and an engine inspector come by and surround Thomas with yellow signs. Finally, the Fat Controller finds the problem. Thomas picked up some garbage and oil in the water and now they’re inside Thomas! The rail workers find syringes in Thomas’s boiler and take them home.
Thomas decides he isn’t so keen on rivers anymore. Especially not Oyster Creek.
Ernie Makes a Big Mistake
One day, Thomas sees Ernie the Escalade driving the mayor down the turnpike. “Let’s race, Ernie. Bet I can beat you,” screams Thomas. “Not now, I must take the mayor to an important meeting,” Ernie replies. But Thomas wants to play anyway. He starts going faster and faster. Ernie, never one to back down from a challenge, speeds to try and catch up. Ernie crashes and the mayor is rushed to the hospital, where everyone says he is lucky to be alive. Ernie is sold for scraps.
Henry and Thomas
Henry likes to pick on Thomas. “I bet Garden State is your favorite movie,” chides Henry. Thomas insists that he finds its dialogue to be forced and its father/son dynamic underdeveloped. However, Thomas admits, some of the shots are visually arresting and he plays the soundtrack occasionally. “See?” Henry says. “You like it, don’t you, Thomas?” After that, Thomas decides to play a cruel trick on Henry. He loosens a bolt in one of Henry’s wheels. After Thomas leaves to go back to work, Henry derails. A year later, Thomas returns to find Henry. He looks exactly like the broken train the characters in the movie stand and scream on top of. Thomas says to Henry, “Now who likes Garden State?”