Following the news that armed teams of British Transport Police will shortly begin patrolling Britain's trains, the railway of Thomas the Tank Engine has announced that the Fat Controller will also be issued with firearms.
A spokesman for the North Western Railway of the Island of Sodor confirmed today that "following a regrettable series of unpleasant incidents, we have decided that Sir Topham Hatt, better known as the 'Fat Controller', will from now on be carrying a standard-issue assault rifle."
Long gone are the days when Sodor was an idyllic tourist destination nestling between England and the Isle of Man, seemingly stuck in a 1950s time warp when people knew their place and before the country went to the dogs.
These days, gangs of delinquent trucks roam the island selling crack coal to old steam engines with no future, and unchecked immigration of nasty diesel engines has brought massive integration problems as the island's limited infrastructure strains at the seams.
"Sir Topham is our principal - in fact, only - customer-facing representative," continued the spokesman, "and we are no longer prepared to stand idly by while troublesome engines spray him with oil, splash him with water or scrawl "Topham is a wanker" in grease on the station buildings."