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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.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Stephen Hatt (not named)
- Duck (does not speak)
- Stepney (does not speak)
- James (cameo)
- Farmer Trotter (cameo)
- Oliver (deleted scene)
- The Scottish Castle
- The Windmill
- The Viaduct
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Gordon's Hill
- Shunting Yards
- The Lighthouse
- 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.
- 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".
- In Norway, this episode is named "Edward the Useful Engine". In Denmark it is called "Edward the Old Engine". In Japan this episode is called "Edward's Useful". The Welsh title is "Assistance to Edward". In Sweden this episode is called "Edward, the Useful Engine".
- Going by production order, this is the twenty-sixth and final episode of the sixth season.
- Gordon was only a few minutes behind Duck. So even if Duck had not stopped, Gordon would have either crashed into Duck or would have to slow down to follow him.
- 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.
- Once Gordon stops behind Duck, he could have backed down the hill and then be switched onto the middle line.
- 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.
- In the US version, the term "guard" is accidentally used at one point.
- 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.
- How do Duck, Gordon, and Edward end up at Knapford after descending Gordon's Hill?
- Percy states that Edward does not have tyres, which is quite wrong because, as stated in Henry and the Express and Steam Roller, railway engines and rolling stock have a steel rim called a tyre to prevent the metal wheels from wearing out and keeping the engine on the rails.
- In Michael Angelis' 2005 renarration, the term "freight cars" is used at the beginning.
- Why would James agree with Gordon when the start of the episode clearly shows he is being helped by Edward? Also Henry has been a big friend of Edward since Edward, Gordon and Henry, so he would not wish for his retirement either.