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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story and UK VHS.
“¡That sounds like a steam engine!”

Escape is the twenty-first episode of the third season. In the US, it aired on the Shining Time Station episode, Mr. Conductor's Fourth of July in 1993.


One day, Edward is talking to Trevor, when Douglas steams past and scolds Edward for talking instead of working. Later, Edward meets Douglas again and reminds him that Douglas and Trevor have a lot in common, such as nearly being scrapped. The mere mention of the word makes Douglas shudder. Edward continues, explaining how Trevor is now really useful, but thinks that the railway could use another steam engine. Douglas agrees.

Later that night, Douglas has taken a goods train to the mainland. He is shunting for his return journey when he hears a hiss of steam. He pauses, and hears the hiss again. A voice comes from nearby, asking if he belongs to the Fat Controller. The engine reveals himself as Oliver, who has ran away from being scrapped with his brake van Toad, but he ran out of coal. Douglas is still nervous at hearing the word "scrap," but then remembers Edward's story about Trevor. Douglas' crew work hard to make Oliver look as if Douglas is taking Oliver and Toad away. But just before they clear the station, a foreman stops them. Douglas' driver explains that Oliver and Toad belong to them, and although wary at first, the foreman lets them continue.

It is daylight when they finally arrive. Douglas' driver finds a place at the works for Oliver, who thanks them all.

The next day, Douglas tells the engines all about Oliver, who think Douglas should tell the Fat Controller at once, just as he arrives. He explains that unless a steam engine is saved from scrap, there is little hope to find one. But luckily, he already knows about Oliver, and decides that he will work on Duck's branch line.

Now Oliver and Toad are mended, and painted in Great Western colours. The other engines laughed and called the branch line "The Little Western" at first, but it delights Duck and Oliver.




  • This episode is based on the stories Escape and Little Western from The Railway Series book, Enterprising Engines.
  • This is the first episode where Douglas appears without Donald.
  • In some of the early versions, the title has an added exclamation mark.
  • In the restored version, the scene of Duck passing Oliver and Toad is extended and a few seconds of the beginning of the last scene is cut off.
  • This is the last episode where a Driver's face without eyebrows is seen until A Better View for Gordon.
  • The works set is the Ffarquhar Sheds set redressed.
  • The station on the Other Railway is Tidmouth station with the roof removed.
  • A reference to the second season episode, Saved from Scrap is made.
  • This episode and the next episode feature musical variations on the theme from the 1963 film The Great Escape.


  • At the beginning of the episode, Edward's whistle is severely crooked.
  • When Edward confronts Douglas, a small hair can be seen above Edward's left eye (viewer perspective).
  • In the US version, the term guard is accidentally used when the foreman dismisses Douglas, after believing that they are taking Oliver away.
  • Throughout the episode, Douglas has Donald's whistle sound and Thomas and Edward have the same one.
  • When Douglas reverses into the sheds at the end, Henry's eyes are wonky.
  • When Douglas arrives on the Other Railway, Mavis is derailed.
  • On the Other Railway, the diesels keep changing place.
  • When Sir Topham Hatt arrives, two thin wires can be seen behind the sheds.
  • In the shot of Toad near the end, he appears to have a slight bump at the back of his roof. This, however, does not appear in the restored version.
  • When Oliver introduces himself, the word "SCRAP" is already painted on the side of his water tanks, even before Douglas tells the drivers and firemen to do so.
  • When Douglas' point-of-view is shown of him backing away from his trucks before he finds Oliver, the track in front of him is crooked.
  • For most of the episode, Douglas' nameplates are loose.
  • In the Latin American version, when the line "I'm Oliver and I'm with my brake van Toad, we've run out of coal and have no more steam!" is spoken, it was mistakenly said in plural when in fact Toad cannot run out of coal, nor is he able to produce steam.
  • George Carlin gives Douglas' driver a Scottish accent when he speaks to the foreman, but when they all arrive at the Works, he loses his accent.
  • Duck's face is crooked when he puffs by Oliver with the express coaches.


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  • Edward, Trevor and the Useful Party