Sir Toppham Hatt, a rail magnate popularly known as ‘The Fat Controller’, took ownership of troubled railway company ONE Great Eastern, promising to replicate his successful operations on the island of Sodor. ‘I’ve looked at the business model for ONE,’ he commented, ‘and what’s jumped out at me is that their engines have a lack of personality. At the minute they haven’t even got names, never mind reassuringly smiley faces’.
However concerns were raised over the safety record on Sodor’s steam-based network. ‘Every time there’s a potentially fatal accident he won’t even consider driver-error, it’s always because Thomas was being cheeky, or James too proud. And he insists they’ve learnt their lesson, but the accident report book suggests this sort of thing happens every week,’ said a Transport Workers Union representative, ‘and passengers on the 8.15 to Liverpool Street won’t like being late just because Percy’s been sent back to the yard for being naughty.’