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Edward the Very Useful Engine

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book.
"Duck should play with other ducks,
'coz he's no good at pulling trucks! Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack! Hold back! Hold back!
— The Troublesome Trucks
Edward the Very Useful Engine/
Edward the Really Useful Engine

David Mitton


Phil Fehrle


David Mitton


Michael Angelis
Alec Baldwin
Michael Brandon

Air date

October 16th,
2002 (UK)
November 20th,
2002 (AUS)
February 12th,
2003 (US)
September 17th,
2005 (Michael
Brandon US

Previous episode

Thomas the
Jet Engine
Thomas and the
Jet Engine

Next episode

Dunkin Duncan

Edward the Very Useful Engine, retitled Edward the Really Useful Engine in some American releases, is the twenty-third episode of the sixth season.


Gordon thinks that Edward is old and should be retired, and the other big engines agree with him, but Percy is concerned about this. He tells his driver and the Fat Controller about what Gordon said about Edward, who attends to the matter immediately.

The Fat Controller arranges for Edward to teach Stepney to run a new loop line, while Duck does Edward's work, but it makes no difference to Gordon. Edward enjoys working with Stepney, but Duck does not enjoy working with the trucks, especially when they hold him back on Gordon's Hill. Duck is stuck on Gordon's line, and it's too late to switch him to the middle line, so the guard tries to flag him down, but Gordon passes by and tries to push Duck up, but it's no good.

Gordon's crew sends for Edward to help both engines, and as the strange train sets off and pulls into the station, Gordon feels rather embarrassed and is told off by The Fat Controller for saying rude things about Edward, who has proven to be responsible, reliable and very helpful. The next day, Gordon apologizes to Edward and says that he really is a useful engine. Now there is no more talk about Edward retiring.




  • This was the final episode to be written by David Mitton.
  • This is one of the few episodes of the sixth season to be narrated by Michael Brandon in the US.
  • This marks the final appearance of Stepney until the twelfth season, not counting appearances in the seventh season made up of stock footage.
  • Three posters at Knapford read "Alicia Botti in concert tonight at the castle".
  • In the US, this episode was named "Edward the Very Useful Engine" until Michael Brandon narrated it.  It was then renamed "Edward the Really Useful Engine".
  • Going by production order, this is the twenty-sixth and final episode of the sixth season.


  • In the American narration, after Alec Baldwin says, "Sir Topham Hatt spoke severely to Gordon", a voice can be faintly heard saying "Take six".
  • Stepney has Skarloey's whistle sound.
  • When Gordon is seen coming up the hill to push Duck, the guard is seen waving a red flag, but in the very next shot, he is in the brakevan.
  • When Edward buffers up to Gordon a white wire is visible in the windows of the express coach.
  • Duck has Oliver's whistle sound at the beginning.
  • In Michael Angelis' 2005 renarration, the term "freight cars" is used at the beginning.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Norwegian Edward, det nyttige lokomotivet Edward the Useful Engine
Danish Edward Gamle Motor Edward the Old Engine
Japanese やくにたつきかんしゃエドワード Edward the Useful Engine
Welsh Cymorth i Edward Assistance to Edward
Spanish Edward, la locomotora muy útil Edward the Very Useful Engine
Swedish Edward Användbar Lokomotiv Edward the Useful Engine
Slovenian Edvard, Zelo Koristna Lokomotiva Edward the Very Useful Engine
Hebrew אפשר לסמוך על אדוארד Edward Can be Relied On



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