|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the engine or the Buzz Book.|
It is a cold wintery night on the Island of Sodor and the howling wind keeps the engines in the shed awake. Toby decides that what the engines need is to listen to a story. Duck chimes in that the story must have a happy ending. Thomas tells the others a story his driver had told him recently about Duke:
Once upon a time, there were three engines who lived on their own railway. Their names were Duke, Stuart, and Falcon. Duke was the oldest of the three and had been named after the Duke of Sodor. Duke felt very proud of this and decided it was his responsibility to keep the younger engines in line. While other engines came and went, Duke outlasted all of them. Stuart and Falcon gave Duke the nickname "Granpuff" and were very fond of him, but did sometimes tire of his bossiness and would occasionally tease him.
Duke warns Stuart and Falcon that if they do not behave they could end up like Smudger. Stuart and Falcon are curious about Smudger, so Duke tells them about him. Smudger was a show-off, who ran roughly and often derailed, spilling his loads. Duke tried to warn Smudger, but Smudger simply did not care and laughed at Duke. But he quickly stopped laughing when the manager told Smudger he was going to be useful one way or another. Smudger didn't laugh at that and from then on, the only running Smudger did was running as a generator behind the shed. He never went on the rails again.
Stuart and Falcon began behaving better and all three remained friends for years. However, this all ended when hard times came. The mines that the engines depended on for work closed and the railway soon followed. As a result, the engines were all put up for sale. Stuart and Falcon were bought together, but no one wanted to buy an old engine like Duke. Stuart and Falcon promise Granpuff they will find another railway for him to run on.
Duke's crew oiled and greased him one last time, then put him to sleep snugly in his shed and bid him a final goodbye as they had to leave to find new jobs. Duke then went to sleep, waiting for the day he would be able to run again. Years went by and torrents of rain washed soil down from the mountains and countryside grew over the shed. No one would know from looking that a small shed was there, let alone an engine asleep inside.
Percy is upset and tells Thomas that is not a happy ending. Thomas tells Percy that there is, but the ending will have to wait for another night.
- Henry (cameo)
- Gordon (cameo)
- Skarloey (cameo)
- Rheneas (cameo)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Sodor Gold Company
- King Orry's Bridge
- Skarloey Railway Slate Quarry
- The Skarloey Railway Viaduct
- The Chinese version of this episode credits George Carlin as the narrator and the Hindi narration credits Michael Angelis.
- This is the first episode to be narrated by Tommy Kenter in Denmark.
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Duke the Lost Engine.
- In the Netherlands, this episode is named "Prince Puff". The Italian title is "Old Puff". In Japan, this episode is called "Granpuff Goes On Forever".
- This episode marks the first and only appearance of Smudger.
- When Stuart and Falcon pass Duke with their trucks the lighting changes, indicating that the film was cut.
- When Duke talks to Smudger, a chainsaw can be heard.
- As the narrator says "Other engines came and went...", Stuart is wearing his Peter Sam nameplate.
- In the British version, Skarloey and Sir Handel have Rheneas' whistle sound in some scenes, Rheneas has Skarloey's whistle sound, and Duke has Sir Handel's whistle sound in some scenes.
- Skarloey and Rheneas are seen working on the Mid Sodor Railway at one point, but they should be working on the Skarloey Railway.
- Brakevans should have been added to Falcon and Stuart's trains.
- In a rare picture, Duke is wearing Sir Handel's cross face mask.
- Skarloey and Rheneas are seen, even though they were not introduced until Four Little Engines.
- When Duck says that the story must have a happy ending, a crack in his face mask next to his eye can be seen.
- Duck's handrail is out of place throughout the episode.