For as long as the Conductor Family had been around, they made use of the Gold Dust to travel the world.
When Sir Topham Hatt took an important holiday, Mr. Conductor used his Gold Dust to travel to Sodor to take the former's place. Around that time, however, both Stacy Jones and Mutt seemed to express concern about how he's been having trouble with his "sparkle", as of late.
One night, however, the evil Diesel 10 attacked Tidmouth Sheds for no other reason than to terrorize Mr. Conductor and the engines who were resting there. When Mr. C attempted to use his whistle to escape, he found it only brought about a brief flash, and soon realized that his gold dust amount was spent. Afterwards, he soon realized that he had taken his gold dust for granted. When he went to sleep that night, he had a terrifying nightmare that showed Shining Time having fallen into ruins without him there to keep the magic alive.
The next morning, Mr. C then decided to seek out the clue to find the source of his gold dust at the windmill, which his family told him would remind him if he couldn't remember what the clue was. However, after leaving with Thomas, he got lost in the middle of a forest, where he tries to use his whistle again and finds that his entire supply of gold dust was spent.
After some thinking, Mr. C then calls Junior to bring him his emergency whistle, which he does. Junior, however, ends up using both the emergency whistle and his own, which leaves the both of them without any gold dust left.
Mr. C does eventually reach the windmill after another encounter with Diesel 10 at the Big Dipper viaduct, where he discovers the clue in the form of mysterious writing on the side of the windmill:
"Stoke up the magic in the mountain and the Lady will smile.
Then watch the swirls that spin so well."
Before Mr C can take time to remember it, however, the writing mysteriously vanishes. Over the course of his time on Sodor, however, Mr. C gradually remembers the two parts of the clue, the meaning of which is deduced with some help from Lily Stone, Patch, and Junior. The first part of the clue is revealed to involve stoking up a fire in Lady's firebox using coal, allowing her to run on her Magic Railroad and restoring her to life. The second part, meanwhile, involves the swirl-shaped shavings coming off of Lady when riding on the Magic Railroad and mixing it with water from a well.
With the clue decrypted, Lily tosses the mixture of the magic shavings and water into the air to create a massive cloud of gold dust, which Mr. C and Junior then use to refill their whistles, which they then use to leave the island.
Before they leave, however, Junior gives a small portion of the gold dust to Lily as thanks for her helping him and Mr. C get their gold dust back.
- Gold dust is made by taking shavings from the Magic Railroad, mixing them with water from a well, and throwing the combination up in the air.
- In the 1999 draft of the movie, the clue to make gold dust was a sheet of paper found at the top of a waterfall that Mr. C had to climb. However, before he can take the time to memorize it, he goes over the waterfall and loses the paper. Later, when Mr. C is at the well in the grotto near the entrance to the Magic Railroad, he finds the paper again inside the well, and discovers a third part of the clue: "Then as the water falls, so shall the gold dust be plentiful."