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Henry the Green Engine is the sixth book of the Railway Series.
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.
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 cannot 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.
Fishing boats often dock at Tidmouth and send their fish to be sold on a train dubbed "The Flying Kipper". It is 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 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 does not forget the incident and teases Gordon.
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!
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 Fat Controller
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- The Fire Brigade (do not speak)
- The Stone-dropping Boys (do not speak)
- The Red Engine
- "Percy and the Trousers":
- Was adapted from a story in The Trains We Loved by C. Hamilton Ellis.
- Has the least illustrations of any Railway Series story, with four.
- Was inspired by an event which took place at a railway station in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, UK.
- In early editions of this book, the boys were described as being "as black as niggers" after Henry sneezed at them. This caused a controversy so great that it was reported in the national press in 1972. The Reverend W. Awdry apologised for his offensive comment and changed the sentence to "as black as soot" for later releases.
- This is the 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.
- This is the first instance of Sir Topham Hatt being referred to as such, as opposed to his Fat Controller nickname.
- An illustration from "Coal" was also painted by Clive Spong for the 1983 Island of Sodor map.
- Despite this book being about Henry, two of the stories primarily focus on Gordon and Percy respectively.
- Loraine Marshall recreated some of the illustrations of "The Flying Kipper" and "A Scarf for Percy" for the Mr. Perkins segments of both the Santa's Little Engine and The Christmas Engines DVDs.
- The crash in "The Flying Kipper" is most likely based on a real event that occurred in 1876 at Abbot's Ripton in Huntingdonshire (now in Cambridgeshire), England, UK.
- Throughout the first two stories, Henry's trailing wheels disappear and reappear in illustrations.
- In the fifth illustration of "Henry's Sneeze", the front of Henry's buffer beam is grey.
- On the 70th anniversary box set, the cover features an illustration from The Three Railway Engines instead.