A really useful engine
Tom Bozzo, economist and father of small persons who like blue train engines that talk, applies some real-life economics to the Island of Sodor, Sir Topham Hat's running of his railways, and Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. Sample question and Tom's answer:
4. How is it that the bakeries only keep enough flour on hand to make a day's worth of English Muffins, and that the Mountain Village doesn't stockpile coal to avert tragedy when the narrow-guage engines go joy riding on The Incline?
The Island of Sodor's businesses adopted "just-in-time" logistics techniques long before they became au courant for manufacturing business. These are very efficient when they work, as inventory and storage costs can be substantial, but JIT methods make users highly susceptible to supply chain disruptions.
There's more, on the environmental threats to the Island of Sodor from all those coal-burning engines puffing about, productivity on the Island, and the logistics of track layouts, applicable only to real railroads not the wooden tabletop models, sorry. Of all the things I miss from our guys' little boyhoods, I think I miss Thomas the most. I miss the TV series and the boys watching the videos over and over again, I miss their joy in collecting the ERTL toys, and I miss reading them the original stories.
Duck was my favorite engine.
I've never been able to decide who I liked better as Mr Conductor, George Carlin or Ringo Starr.
Don't even talk to me about Alec Baldwin.