|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.|
- "If you can't behave, I will take away your red coat and have you painted blue!"
- ―Sir Topham Hatt
James and the Coaches, retitled James Learns a Lesson in American releases, is the eighth episode of the first season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes, Pitching in and Helping Out in 1989 and The Mayor runs for Re-Election in 1993.
James is settling into his new life nicely. Sir Topham Hatt tells James that he is a mixed-traffic engine, so he can take coaches or trucks easily but must learn from his mistakes. James, who had a nasty accident with trucks on his first day, knows exactly what he means by that.
James' first job of the day is to double-head a train of coaches with Edward, who warns him that the coaches do not like being bumped. People have arrived on the platform to admire James, who quickly gets full of himself and lets off steam without warning causing a shower of water to fall on Sir Topham Hatt's brand new top hat! It is time for the train to leave and James tries to get out as fast as he can which angers Edward and the coaches. This causes trouble at the first station when James causes two of the coaches to run beyond the platform forcing the train to reverse to let the passengers out. However, it seems that no one knows what happened with Sir Topham Hatt, much to James' relief.
Next James and Edward stop at the station on Thomas' new branch line, where the tank engine greets James before leaving. The train then passes the field where James had crashed. Finally, the journey ends and after unloading the passengers James and Edward head for home, with James still wondering what Sir Topham Hatt will have to say about his top hat.
The next morning, the Fat Controller visits James in the shed and severely warns him that if anything else goes wrong, then James will be punished by being painted blue. James hates the idea of losing his red coat, however rather than calming down James gets very angry and takes it out on the coaches while bringing them to the station. He grumbles about having to fetch them on his own, unlike Gordon. To make matters worse, none of the passengers dare go near James, which makes him even crosser.
James pulls the coaches very roughly and runs too fast for comfort. Eventually, the coaches force James to stop. His driver explains that James' rough treatment has caused a leak in a coach's brake pipe. The crew inspects the damage and the guard's one and only recommendation is to plug the leak with newspaper and a leather bootlace. However, none of the crew have a leather boot lace on them. The guard asks the passengers and the soon finds a man with a leather bootlace, who initially refuses to give it up. The guard explains that without the boot lace, the train cannot continue. The other passengers get very angry, both at the railway and at the man. Under pressure, the man finally hands over the boot lace and the damage is temporarily repaired allowing James to finish the journey.
James carefully proceeds on his way, knowing that he is going to be in a lot of trouble with the Fat Controller, and takes care to never bump coaches again.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Jeremiah Jobling (not named)
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Gordon (mentioned)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- The Bus Yard
- The Cow Field
- Gordon's Hill
- Henry's Tunnel
- This episode is based on the stories James and the Top-Hat and James and the Bootlace from The Railway Series book, James the Red Engine.
- A flashback of Thomas and the Breakdown Train is used.
- A train passing Edward and James, when they are in front of the Fat Controller, has a truck with "NE" painted on the side.
- The two coaches at the end of James' train are Annie and Clarabel (in that order).
- George Carlin's US narration was not released on home video until 2002 when it was included on Best of James.
- After the narrator says "James was still wondering what The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt would have to say about his top hat," James' whistle sound is actually the same audio of James whistling in Thomas and the Trucks, when Sir Topham Hatt asks Thomas what he is doing at Maron Station. Here, the first note of James' whistle is cut off slightly.
- This episode marks the last appearance of Henry's Tunnel until the fourth season, though it was mentioned in the second season episode, Percy Takes the Plunge.
- Clarabel is facing the wrong way when Thomas leaves the junction.
- When James is getting his branch line coaches ready, the brake coach is in the middle of the train.
- A member of James' crew is blond at the beginning, but when his crew wonder how to fix the leak, all three have dark hair.
- When the train passes James and Edward, a brake van is in the middle.
- When James and Edward overrun the platform, they are at Dryaw, which is on Thomas' Branch Line.
- In the restored version, when James bumps the coaches at Knapford on the second day, the bumping sounds are out of sync.
- In the first close-up of The Fat Controller, ink is visible on his right (viewer's perspective left) hand.
- Magazine Stories - James and the Coaches
- My Thomas Story Library - James (discontinued)
- Engine Adventures - James
In Other Languages
|German||James und die Personenwagen||James and the Cars|
|Croatian||Jurica i putnik Kola||James and the Passenger Wagons|
|Finnish||Jaska ja Matkustajavaunut||James and the Passenger Coaches|
|Danish||James og passagervogne||James and the Passenger Coaches|
|Dutch||James en de personenwagons||James and the Passenger Coaches|
|Italian||Sbagliando s'impara||You Will Learn From Mistakes|
|Spanish||James Aprende Una Lección / James y los vagones||James Learns a Lesson / James and the Wagons|
|Norwegian||James og passasjervognene||James and the Passenger Coaches|
|Brazilian Portuguese||O Conserto||The Fix|
|French||James et les wagons||James and the Wagons|
|Hebrew||ג'יימס והקרונות||James and the Wagons|
|Welsh||James a'r Cerbydau||James and the Vehicles|
|Slovenian||Jakob in potniški vagoni||James and the Coaches|
|Polish||Kuba i Wagony||James and the Wagons|
|Chinese||詹姆士和车厢||James and the Cars|
|Korean||제임스의 실수||James' Mistake|
|Hungarian||James és a Vagonok||James and the Wagons|
|Swedish||James och Personvagnarna||James and the Passenger Carriages|
|Romanian||James şi Vagoanele||James and the Wagons|
|Slovak||James a vagóny||James and the Wagons|
|Russian||На ошибках учатся||Learn from the Mistakes|
|Czech||James a vagóny||James and the Wagons|
|Serbian||James i vagoni||James and the Wagons|
Home Media Releases
|Season 1||Season 2 >>|
|#01||Thomas and Gordon||#10||James and the Express||#19||The Flying Kipper|
|#02||Edward and Gordon||#11||Thomas and the Guard||#20||Whistles and Sneezes|
|#03||The Sad Story of Henry||#12||Thomas Goes Fishing||#21||Toby and the Stout Gentleman|
|#04||Edward, Gordon and Henry||#13||Thomas, Terence and the Snow||#22||Thomas in Trouble|
|#05||Thomas' Train||#14||Thomas and Bertie||#23||Dirty Objects|
|#06||Thomas and the Trucks||#15||Tenders and Turntables||#24||Off the Rails|
|#07||Thomas and the Breakdown Train||#16||Trouble in the Shed||#25||Down the Mine|
|#08||James and the Coaches||#17||Percy Runs Away||#26||Thomas' Christmas Party|