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“Well, Gordon, you wanted to show Salty a thing or two and you've certainly done that. You've shown him how silly it is to ignore 'go slow' signs!”
―Sir Topham Hatt scolding Gordon

Gordon Takes a Tumble is the seventeenth episode of the sixth season.


None of the engines feel more important than Gordon. Salty rolls up teasing Gordon that pulling trucks is a silly job for an express engine. Gordon brags that it would not be dignified for an express engine to pull trucks. Gordon explained what it means to Percy, but Salty interrupted, saying that it means someone is too big for his buffers and Gordon puffs furiously away.

Later that night, the Docks is packed with trucks due to the fog covering the Island of Sodor causing confusion and delay. The Fat Controller comes to the sheds and orders Henry, Thomas and Percy to go to the Docks and Gordon to take the trucks somewhere where they will not be in the way, much to Gordon's shock. Gordon is waiting impatiently for his trucks, to show Salty how an express engine pulls them. Salty teases him again, but this time Gordon ignores him.

The next day, as Gordon is puffing along the main line, a signalman forgets to switch a set of points from an old, rickety branch line. The signalman sees Gordon going to the branch line, knowing that the express engines cannot go there, but it is too late. The branch line is weak and rusty and even has a "Go Slow" sign to warn all trains to do so, but Gordon ignores the sign and goes even faster. The old rails start to buckle as they cannot hold Gordon's weight, so he tumbles off the tracks and ends up in a field. He ploughs through a dirt mound, a pile of tyres and barrels (losing his tender and leaving it behind in the process) and a barn and finally halts in front of a scarecrow. Gordon feels very undignified and wonderes what the Fat Controller would say. The Fat Controller arrives and scolds Gordon, saying that he has only succeeded in showing Salty how silly it is to ignore "go slow" signs.

Gordon is repaired and returns back to work, but is still sad with himself. Thomas cheers him up by saying that everyone makes mistakes. James tells Gordon that Salty has apologised for all of his teasing and Gordon apologises for being "too big for his buffers". All three engines give a jolly toot, even Gordon.




  • Stock footage The Fogman is used.
  • The model of the scarecrow is on display at Drayton Manor at the Thomas and Friends Exhibition.
  • This is one of the six episodes of the sixth season re-narrated by Michael Brandon in the US and Michael Angelis in the UK with music composed by Robert Hartshorne and Ed Welch.
  • The episode was released on The Fogman and Other Stories VHS/DVD a day before airing on television. This is also the only sixth season episode released directly to home video.
  • The barn Gordon crashes into is the same one Thomas crashed into in the fifth season episode, Bye George!


  • In the first scene, Clarabel is facing the wrong way.
  • After Gordon ignores Salty, he has a lamp, but in the next scene it is gone.
  • In the shot of Gordon on the old branch line, a cable is attached to his coupling.
  • When Gordon derails, his trailing wheels are slightly coming off.
  • When Gordon's trucks come off the rails, they come off differently in certain shots.
  • As the trucks derail and tumble down the slope, the ground bounces up and down.
  • A wire is visible pulling Gordon at one point when he derailed.
  • In the first two shots, people are standing to the right of Thomas and Gordon respectively, but in the third shot, they have been replaced by cars.
  • In the UK re-narration of this episode, the American term "freight cars" is used where the waiting trucks at the docks are shown.


  • Salty: Pulling trucks/freight cars is a silly job.
  • Thomas: Why the rush, Gordon?
  • Gordon: If I must pull trucks/freight cars, then I'll show Salty how an express engine pulls trucks/freight cars.
  • Salty: Careful, Captain. You don't wanna get too big for your buffers.


  • Gordon: (rattles through the junction) That's strange, I'm on the branch line.
  • Signalman: Oh no! Express trains aren't supposed to go that way!


  • Gordon: (looks at the "go slow" sign) I'm am an express engine, I don't go slow!
  • (He picks up his speed, causing the rails on the branch line to buckle, Gordon and his train derails)
  • Gordon: OHHH, HELP!!! (tumbles off the tracks and into a field, crashing through buildings and debris)


  • The Fat Controller: Well, Gordon, you wanted to show Salty a thing or two and you've certainly done that. You've shown him how silly it is to ignore "go slow" signs.
  • Gordon: Sorry, Sir.


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