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Dirty Work

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This article is about the second season episode. You may be looking for the eleventh season episode or the DVD.
"Duck called me a galloping sausage!"
"Rusty red scrap iron!"
"I'm old square wheels!"
"Well Duck?"
"I only wish Sir, that I'd thought of those names myself. If the dome fits...
— Gordon, James, Henry, The Fat Controller, and Duck
Dirty Work
Diesel's Devious Deed

David Mitton


David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft and
David Mitton


Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

November 5th,
1986 (UK)
May 4th,
1988 (AUS)
May 14th,
1989 (US)
July 2nd,
1991 (JAP)
November 19th,
1991 (George
Carlin US

Previous episode

Pop Goes the Diesel

Next episode

A Close Shave/
A Close Shave
for Duck

Dirty Work, retitled Diesel's Devious Deed or Diesel's Devilish Deed in American releases, is the thirteenth episode of the second season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes, Word's Out and Oh, What a Tangled Web.


Diesel, the newest engine on the Island of Sodor, is having a hard time having been made to look silly in front of the trucks, who delight in teasing him. Duck decides that Diesel has gone through enough and stops the trucks from their joking. Diesel is still furious and accuses Duck of making the trucks laugh at him. Gordon, James, and Henry are nearby and tell Diesel that Duck would never do that. While engines may have falling outs, they would never tell the trucks about them.

By now Diesel's dislike of Duck has grown to such a point that he wants him to be sent away and, inspired by the engine's words about trucks, makes a plan. Going into the yard one day, Diesel tells the trucks some jokes about the bigger engines and claims that he heard them from Duck before leaving. The trucks find these jokes hilarious and quickly repeat them to the bigger engines, as well as telling them that they came from Duck in order to get revenge on him for forcing them to behave.

Gordon, James, and Henry hold a meeting and agree that Duck needs to be paid back for teasing them. Later Duck returns to the shed after an extremely hard day's work. However, when he tries to get back inside for a rest, the bigger engines instead blow steam at him. They tell him that, after telling tales about them to the trucks, they no longer trust him and want Diesel to replace him. Duck denies this and an argument begins.

The Fat Controller arrives to see what the commotion is and is told of the bigger engines accusation against Duck. The Fat Controller gives Duck a chance to explain himself and Duck tells the Fat Controller that his only wish at this point is that he had thought of those names himself. Diesel comes forward and when the Fat Controller asks him what he knows, Diesel feigns shock at Duck's actions, but claims ignorance otherwise.

The Fat Controller sends Duck to work with Edward at Wellsworth while he tries to get to the bottom of the incident. Thinking the Fat Controller has turned against him too, Duck obeys his orders. Diesel smirks, happy with his victory.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Duck and the Diesel Engine.
  • "Galloping sausage" was a nickname for the experimental W1 No. 10000 streamlined engine built for the LNER by Sir Nigel Gresley. This engine was also known as the "Hush Hush".
  • In the Welsh version, at the shed scene, Ringo's Starr's narration can be faintly heard, if you listen carefully.


  • The truck Duck bumps appears to be pulled by fishing wire.
  • The camera wobbles when James says "Disgusting!"
  • The lines at the large yard with the trucks all lead to the brick wall in the background, so this means that the trucks are trapped there.
  • When Diesel speaks to the trucks none have faces; but when Diesel sniggers away they do.
  • When Diesel rolls up to the trucks, two trains on either side of him have brakevans in the middle.
  • The lighting subtly changes between Gordon and Henry passing the trucks.
  • When Duck turns on the turntable, the top of his face is falling off.
  • When Gordon accuses Duck of calling him a "galloping sausage", he has marks on his right cheek and left side of his chin.
  • In the close-ups of Gordon, James, and Henry at Tidmouth Sheds, all three are missing their tenders.
  • When Gordon, Henry, and James pass by the trucks, Henry has a different whistle sound.
  • When the engines bar Duck from entering the shed, Gordon, Henry, and James' eyes are wonky.
  • When the narrator says "Duck was horrified", Gordon can be seen to Duck's left. However, in the following shot, Duck is steaming towards where Gordon, James, and Henry are.
  • In Ringo's US Narration, during the shed scenes, an odd hissing and squeaking sound can be heard. This is absent on the Better Late Than Never and Other Stories VHS however.
  • When Henry says, "Nonsense! Duck would never do that!", part of his left (viewer's right) eyelid is chipped off.
  • When the narrator says "Diesel squirmed, and hoped he didn't", Diesel's face is crooked.
  • When Gordon, Henry, and James pass the trucks, Gordon's tender and Henry's tender fade away.
  • In the scene after Gordon, Henry, and James pass the trucks, the truck next to the two laughing trucks is gone.
  • When James says "Keep Out", his face is off centre from his smokebox.
  • Henry's eyes are wonky when he's on the turntable.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
German Schmutzarbeit Dirty Work
Norwegian Bakvaskelser Aspersions
Dutch Een vuil zaakje A Dirty Business
Italian Soprannomi Nicknames
Japanese ディーゼルのわるだくみ Diesel's Evil Design
Welsh Bai ar Gam Blame on Harm
Finnish Kaksoispuheen Double Talk
Spanish El Complot de Diesel Diesel's Plot
Brazilian Portuguese A Intriga de Diesel The Intrigue of Diesel
Croatian Prljavi posao Dirty Work
Danish Diesel Laver Balladen Diesel Makes Shenanigans



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