This article is about the eleventh season episode. You may be looking for the second season episode, the Thai DVD or the magazine story.
"You're not cross with me sir, even though my flags are drooped and I'm covered in coal dust, quarry dust, and fish?!"
— James

Dirty Work is the fourth (twenty-second in Australia) episode of the eleventh season.


James has barely returned from the repair yard when news comes of a special; an engine is needed to take the Mayor of Sodor to the Festival of Light at the Scottish Castle. James volunteers and Thomas, Percy, and Emily get to do goods work. They ask James for help, but James said it's more important to look his best than to help his friends and James leaves for the washdown.

While James was being washed, Percy who still has lots of work to do stops by on his way to the quarry. He asks James for some help, but James said no. Later while James is getting polish, Thomas arrived with some Troublesome Trucks which biffed him. He asks James for some help, but again James said no. While James was getting his funnel, he started to smell something bad which turned out to be Emily pulling heavy trucks of fish. Emily asks James for some help, but once again, James still doesn't want to help. James is cleaned and decorated with flags and arrives at the castle, but is shocked to discover the others have not finished their work. James felt terrible for bailing out on his friends and goes out to help them.

James found Thomas who was still having trouble with his trucks and helped, but was soon covered in coal dust. Next, he found Percy struggling to pull his trucks of stone out of the quarry. James helped him by pushing him and got covered in quarry dust. Lastly, he found Emily who couldn't go any further with her heavy load. James pushed her and her load and knew he would be covered in fish.

Thomas, Percy and Emily made it to the festival. James arrived with the Mayor, but was worried about what Sir Topham Hatt might say after getting all dirty. But to his surprise, Sir Topham Hatt is proud of James for helping his friends and bringing the Mayor to the castle safely. The engine believe that even though James is dirty, he's still the star of the show.




  • Going by production order, this is the twenty-second episode of the eleventh season.
  • A few differences were made in the DVDs compared to the PBS and Nick Jr. TV airing, Hopes and Dreams:
    • The beginning of the episode was filmed at a different set.
    • The scene of James was filmed at a different set.
    • The scene of James passing Henry was filmed at a different set.
    • An alternate angle of the engines at the Tidmouth Sheds was used and Emily has a different happy face.
    • An alternate angle of James leaving Tidmouth Sheds is used and Emily has a different mad face.
    • An alternate angle of Emily arriving at the yards is used, a workmen is moved and the last coal truck is uncoupled.
    • An alternate angle of James wondering where, Thomas, Percy and Emily are is used and the clouds are in a different position.
    • An alternate angle of James leaving the Scottish Castle, James leaves the castle later in the TV version and leaves earlier in the DVD version.
    • An alternate angle of James buffering up to Emily is used and his face is clearer in the TV version.
  • This episode marks Lord Callan's last appearance until the nineteenth season episode, Two Wheels Good.


  • When James buffers up to Percy's trucks at the quarry, you can see James' steam platform. When he buffers up behind Emily's trucks, you can see a pipe in the rails used for James' steam.
  • In the first scene of Emily with the fish, she has a brake van. But when James helps her, it is uncoupled and parked on a different track.
  • In the DVD when James arrives at the sheds, his eyes are wonky.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Trabajo Sucio Dirty Work
German Der Star des Abends The Star of the Evening
Norwegian En skitten jobb A Dirty Job
Japanese たいせつなこと Important Thing
Finnish Likaista työtä Dirty Work
Danish Beskidt arbejde Dirty Work
Portuguese Trabalho Sujo Dirty Work
Hungarian Piszkos munka Dirty Job
Romanian Treburi Murdare Dirty
Polish Brudna Robota Dirty Job
Czech Špinavá práce Dirty Work
Slovak Špinavá práca Dirty Work
Swedish Smutsjobb Dirty Job
Chinese 艰苦的工作 Hard Work
Thai งานหนักของเหล่าหัวรถจักร The Hard Work of These Engines

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