- “I can do it! I can do it! To the top! To the top!”
- ―Sir Handel
A Smooth Ride is the second episode of the tenth season.
Sir Handel arrives at the Transfer Yards after working all summer at the stone quarry. Mr. Percival is happy to see him back and tells him to take apples from the orchard to the middle station and give a smooth ride. Sir Handel collects the trucks and starts his journey for the middle station. He runs the train around the lake, across the stone bridge, and starts to puff up a hill. Sir Handel realises that he is rattling and rocking, so he stops. Peter Sam arrives behind Sir Handel and is concerned as to why Sir Handel stopped. Sir Handel tells him about his problem, and Peter Sam feels sorry for his friend. Sir Handel asks if he can be pushed up the hill, and Peter Sam agrees and helps Sir Handel up to the summit. At the middle station, Sir Handel is praised by Mr. Percival, so he does not tell him about his problem. Then Mr. Percival tells him to take sheep from the farm to their new field.
Sir Handel starts to worry; these require a smooth ride too. When Sir Handel gets to the farm, the farmer warns him about being smooth. Once again, Sir Handel rattles and rocks at the approach of a hill and stops. Duncan arrives behind Sir Handel. Sir Handel tells Duncan about his problem. Duncan understands and helps Sir Handel in getting the sheep to their field.
Sir Handel returns to the Transfer Yards where Mr. and Mrs. Percival are waiting. Mr. Percival is very pleased with Sir Handel's work thus far, and he has a surprise job for him. Today is Mrs. Percival's birthday and Mr. Percival wants Sir Handel to take them to the summit of Culdee Fell for a picnic. This makes Sir Handel very worried as he knows how steep the gradient to Culdee Fell is. When Sir Handel is climbing up Culdee Fell, he is determined to do it. But Sir Handel rattles and rocks again. The picnic inside the carriage opens and food spills out. Mr. Percival and Mrs. Percival are being bumped around in the carriage as well. Sir Handel finally stops. Mr. Percival is concerned about Sir Handel and suggests that he should send him back to the stone quarry where only bumpy engines work. Sir Handel owns up to his problem, but Mr. Percival makes a phone call.
Mighty Mac helps Sir Handel back to the Transfer Yards and Sir Handel is now sure that he is going back to the stone quarry. However, when they arrive, he sees Thomas with Mr. Percival. Mr. Percival is not sending Sir Handel back to the stone quarry; he has asked a fitter to fix him. Sir Handel smiles from buffer to buffer. After his repairs, Sir Handel is able to climb up the summit of Culdee Fell smoothly. The children in his carriages cheer for him, and Sir Handel gives them the smoothest ride of all.
- Sir Handel
- Peter Sam
- Mr. Percival
- Duncan (does not speak)
- Mighty Mac (do not speak)
- Mrs. Percival (does not speak)
- Bridget Hatt (cameo)
- Culdee (mentioned)
- Transfer Yards
- Culdee Fell Hill
- Rheneas Viaduct
- Hill Farm
- The Sheep Farm
- Tea Room Station
- The Orchard
- Inside the coach, two London Midland and Scottish Railway posters are seen.
- This episode marks Sir Handel's first speaking role since the fourth season episode, Steam Roller.
- When the narrator reads the episode title, Sir Handel takes the same route and trucks as he does when he delivers the apples.
- Mighty Mac mysteriously turns around while taking Sir Handel to the Transfer Yards.
- When Sir Handel's wheels spin, one derails.
- The narrator said that the children in his carriages cheered, but Sir Handel had only one coach.
- The narrator says "shutter" instead of "shudder."
- In the US narration, the trucks of apples are referred to as such at one point.
- When Sir Handel breaks down, he makes diesel noises.
- Michael Angelis pauses between saying the lines '"There's not one bruise on those apples"' and 'Said the Thin Controller.'
- Take Along - Sir Handel and apple car (discontinued)