Matt and Tanya learn to appreciate old people and realize that they have a lot to share.
Matt and Tanya see Schemer wheeling a handcart into the arcade and Matt asks him what he's doing. Schemer says he's getting rid of the old soccer game machine as it's a piece of Junk. Tanya asks Schemer what's wrong with the machine and he says it's old as he believes nobody wants to spend their money on very old machines. Schemer attempts to lift the machine, but strains his left shoulder, so he decides to finish it later and he walks out, still rubbing his shoulder.
At the information booth, Harry is on the telephone, telling the person on the other end that they can stay with him as long as they like. Harry's in a good mood when the call is over and tells the kids that his old friend Nathaniel Kaz, or Nat as everyone calls him is visiting today. Harry then goes to the store to Pick up a Present for Nat.
The kids Go over to Stacy's desk and Tanya asks her if she knows Nat, to which Stacy says she doesn't. Matt wonders if Nat's old like Harry. This surprises Stacy and guess it's a matter of what they think old is. Tanya says she thinks 12 is old. Stacy asks Tanya what does that make her and after guessing 60 and 70, Tanya then asks Stacy how old she is and Stacy tells the kids it's like her old Grannie used to say "You're as old as your tounge and a little older than your teeth." In context Stacy says "you're only as old as you feel." When Matt asks what she means by that phrase Stacy says that you can be old on the outside, but still feel young on the inside. Stacy adds that when people get older, they change on the outside, they get Wrinkles and gray hair, with Tanya adding that some people lose all their hair, which Stacy says that makes them look older on the outside, but what really matters is how they feel on the inside as that's what's really important. The phone on Stacy's desk rings and as She takes the call, she asks the kids to keep an eye out for Harry's friend and they agree as they let Stacy finish the call.
The kids are then in the lost and found, with Tanya putting on an old hat and shawl while Matt picks up a Stereopticon. He looks into it and sees an animated still of a couple of People. Tanya asks Matt what he sees and as he explains it, Mr. Conductor appears and works his magic into the machine and turns the still into a Cartoon puzzling the kids. As soon as it's over the kids are surprised, until Mr. Conductor reappears, to which Matt realizes it was him. Mr. Conductor says he hoped Matt liked the show and asks Tanya what she has on her, referring to the hat and Shawl and Tanya says it's just some old Junk. Mr. Conductor asks "'Junk' as in 'Rubbish'? I think not." and explains how some of those old things are beautiful as they have style, charm, personality and history. She asks if they do and Mr. Conductor says of course they do. He explains about how old things can be useful and tells them the story of Toby the Tram Engine, whose line had been shut down. When the Story's over, Mr. Conductor then goes to find out what was in the letter at the end of it.
After Mr. Conductor leaves, a train pulls in and the kids go to greet Nat, with Matt wearing a top Hat and tailed Tuxedo Jacket he found. They see that no one got off the train, with Tanya still hoping that Nat is still coming to visit. Stacy comes in and tells the kids there's another train coming and maybe Nat will be on that one. Matt asks what'll happen if Nat forgets to get on the train. Stacy says maybe he took a bicycle, which puzzles the kids, especially Tanya. Stacy says just because someone's older it doesn't mean they stop doing things. Being old is just part of a person and asks the kids if they know the phrase "older but wiser." and confirms it's true. Tanya says that's why Harry knows the answers to so many things. Stacy says that's right as older people store up so many experiences of a lifetime explains to the kids that they can learn a lot from older people. She then has the kids look in the picture machine to see what she means and they watch video about what can be learned from older people.
Later, Harry returns with a box that he brings into his workshop. The kids enter and Tanya tells Harry that Nat didn't come yet. Harry says that Nat will be along soon and reveals that he got Nat's present, which is inside the box. Tanya asks Harry what it is and Harry says it's a surprise and guarantees the kids will like it as much as Nat will. Harry then tells the kids about some of the good times they had together and great memories of them, particularly when they both rode their favorite engine, the Rainbow Tiger, which was retired to a railroad Museum and then restored for excursion service. Harry explains that even if something's very old, there can still be plenty of life left in it. He then tells the kids he has work to do now and they leave. The kids walk towards the information both and Tanya wonders what's in the box. Matt hopes it's a Toy. Tanya says old people don't play with Toys. Matt says maybe the do if they feel young.
Mr. Conductor reappears and Tanya explains to him about Harry waiting for Nat and some of their shared memories. Mr. Conductor then sings a few bars of the song "memories". Once he finishes, he explains that memories are wonderful, how it lets people experience a good time over and over again and that everything has some kind of memory attached to it. The kids ask about the old clothes they're wearing and maybe they remember all the places that people wore them to. When Schemer is heard, Mr. Conductor disappears.
Schemer enters the arcade and tells the kids once they finish playing to clean the old clothes or throw them away. He then puts a sign saying "TRASH" on the old soccer game. Matt tells him just because his machine's old it doesn't need to be thrown away. Schemer tells both kids they have to change with the times if they want to get ahead in the world. He then shows them a space scene-poster that says "Hi-Tech Space Video Game", claiming it as the future and what smart business men should invest in, not the past and hangs the poster on the claw machine saying "Out with the old, in with the new." and leaves.
Mr. Conductor reappears and tells the kids he can now share what happened to Toby and his coach Henrietta and tells the story of how they were rescued after Thomas got into trouble with the police.
Once the story is over, Stacy tells the kids that the next train is arriving soon and suggests playing the music on the juke box to help speed the train up. The Jukebox Puppet Band then plays “The Train is a Comin'.”
Once the song is over, the train arrives and Nat makes his Entrance. Harry and Nat greet each other warmly and walk into the workshop, where Harry gives Nat his present. The kids walk in too and Nat removes the box to see to his delight a "magic" block of clay. The kids don't see anything special about it while Nat explains that just about anything can be found in it. He then begins to work they clay into two sculptures for the kids: for Matt, a Pony with Matt still wearing the Hat and Jacket riding on it, for Tanya, her head still wearing the hat as the kids watch in awe and Harry smiles.
Meanwhile, Schemer is back in the Arcade playing with his coin changer, which he then polishes with his tie. A well-dressed man with a cane and English accent enters and upon seeing the "Trash" sign on the soccer machine asks if it's broken. Schemer replies it's not broken, just a piece of junk that outlived its time and that his arcade is entering the space age and points to the poster. The man isn't impressed as he can play the new games anywhere and he comes to the station for the old Machines as he finds them the fun ones. The man then asks Schemer if he was going to throw the machine out, and Schemer awkwardly explains that it was part of the plan. The man is disappointed as he notes the machine's workmanship and how they don't make arcade machines like that anymore. The man decides he'll have to go elsewhere and begins to leave. Schemer stops the man and asks him if he wants to play the machine. The man replies that's why he came to the arcade in the first place. Schemer tells him that he'll put the game back in service for him, and rips up the sign. The kids arrive and join the man in playing the Game. Schemer asks if they need a fourth and they allow him to join.
As the Kids, the man and Schemer have fun, Stacy answers the phone and confirms the caller's question that the train bound for Turley stops at the station three times a day. Stacy then ducks into the workshop with the phone where it's quieter and asks the caller to repeat what they said. As she ducks in she sees Nat giving Harry a sculpture of a man and woman dancing. Stacy returns to the noisy station interior and joyfully acknowledges to the caller that it's indeed very loud, adding that even though Shining Time Station may be old, it has still has plenty of life in it.
Cast and Characters
- Ringo Starr as Mr. Conductor
- Didi Conn as Stacy Jones
- Leonard Jackson as Harry Cupper
- Nicole Leach as Tanya Cupper
- Brian O'Connor as Schemer
- Jason Woliner as Matthew Jones
- Peter Baird as Grace Bass
- Craig Marin as Rex
- Olga Marin as DiDi
- Alan Semok as Grace Bass
- Vaneese Thomas as Grace Bass
- Wayne White as Tex
- Nathaniel Kaz as Himself
While Sir Topham Hatt was on Holiday, he met a nice tram engine named Toby. His grandchildren had a lot of fun riding around in Toby's coach Henrietta. They are Henrietta’s first passengers in a long time because Toby has all but been put out of business by the trucks. Eventually Toby’s railway had to close. Fortunately for Toby, Sir Topham Hatt has plans for him.
Thomas gets in trouble with a new policeman. He is labeled a regular law breaker for running near public roads without side plates and a cow catcher. Thomas is afraid the others will laugh at him. Sir Topham Hatt gets the idea to bring Toby to his Railway. Toby is a tram engine that does have side plates and a cow catcher.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Ffarquhar Policeman
- The First Butler
- Stephen Hatt
- Bridget Hatt
- Freight Cars (do not speak)
- Lady Hatt (not named; does not speak)
- James (cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (cameos)
- Earnest (portrait cameo)
- The Green Bus (indirectly mentioned)
- Toby's Manager (mentioned)
Jukebox Band Song Segment
- Train Is A-Coming
Cartoons and Songs
- Old But Wise
- In the Good Old Summer Time
- Musical Memories (1935)
- Although the Matt and Tanya ask Mr. Conductor about what the stout gentleman's important letter said, it's never revealed.
- The Jukebox Band's rendition of "Train is a Comin'" features excerpts of The Rainbow Sun.
- Harry Cupper once drove the Rainbow Tiger
- In the Good Old Summertime.
- We learn that a train to Turley stops at Shining Time Station three times a day.
- Schemer: Around here if you don't pull your weight, boom! Into the trash you go!
- Tanya: What was in the letter?
- Mr. Conductor: I don't know yet, but for Toby and Henrietta's sake, I hope it's good news. I'm off to find out.
- Matt: I hope it's good news, I like Toby and Henrietta.
- Tanya: Me too.