Sources on the Island of Sodor have confirmed that filming for the new series of Thomas The Tank Engine has been CANCELLED due to strike action by ‘a majority’ of the engines who take part in the series, as well as the helicopter and the bus.

Speaking EXCLUSIVELY to Southend News Network, he confirmed that the strike action had been called over a number of ‘unsafe changes to working practices’ that are due to be forced upon the main characters in 2017.

He said: ‘The main dispute for the engines is that they have been told that they will have to travel without a driver or fireman from the beginning of 2017. According to The Fat Controller, engines who are able to talk and think for themselves are more than capable of driving themselves as well.’

‘The last time that Gordon was left in charge of himself on a turntable, he lurched forward and ended up in a ditch. The whole set of proposals will have fatal consequences.’

‘When the changes were announced by that scouse guy in the background, a number of the engines could be seen spinning their eyes furiously – Henry just stood still for a few minutes before going to hide behind a brick wall.’

RMT Sodor Shop Steward Nick Gash said: ‘Who on Earth is going to put the coal into the firebox – they may have a face but they don’t have bloody arms you know.’

‘My members also object to plans to convert the entire show to computer animation in 2017. We feel that it made Fireman Sam look like complete and utter shit, while Postman Pat still looks epic in plasticine. So what if you can churn out 1000 episodes per week – it will turn children into soulless imbeciles who are totally void of any sort of imagination.’

‘They can keep the name ‘Thomas and Friends’ though. We all know that ‘Thomas The Tank’ became an unfortunate euphemism for a crafty five-knuckle shuffle.’

‘Mind you – what the hell is up with the new theme tune? ‘They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight?’ It’s a kids’ TV show not a sodding maths lesson.’