From: Board of Directors, Sodor Railroad Ltd.
To: Sir Topham Hatt, Esq., managing director
Re: On the advisability of the use of sentient trains
The board of directors would first like to commend you on the overall excellence of the Sodor Railroad's operations. Under your leadership, new branch lines have been opened, unsafe lines repaired, and freight shipments have increased 20 percent year over year for the past five years. Bravo, Sir.
It is unfortunate, therefore, that we must once again question your decision to employ sentient railway engines and cars in lieu of the more typical non-sentient trains found on most railroads. These self-aware trains, especially the engines, have produced continued disruptions only outweighed by your hands-on management style, and forceful manner in dealing with them.
Reports and accompanying videos cross the boardroom nearly every work day, from 8 am to 8.30 am, in which these sentient engines refuse to perform certain work, are incapable of cajoling their carriages, or destroy expensive railways and customer equipment.
In one recent five-day period, two Scottish engines destroyed the narrow-gauge winch, one green engine demolished most of our island's chocolate factory, another pushed recalcitrant--or as you term them, "troublesome"--trucks into a duck pond, an express engine smashed through the wall of a new station, and a small blue engine wound up with fish in its boiler.
Sir Hatt, this behavior cannot be tolerated. The board has voted on a resolution that either requires you to take a firmer hand in dealing with sentient train behavior, in which confusion and delay are generally abolished, or you will be cashiered. Sir Hatt, would you truly like yourself, Lady Hatt, and your apparently several eternally small children to lose your home, fish dinners, and breakfasts with marmalade? Would you like to find yourself working in a diner converted from old train cars, in which those ancient cars are your only friendly companions?
We think not, and we hope it does not reach this point. Tell the trains, especially Thomas, to do the things they're told to do.
The Board of Directors