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James and the Express

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.
"Did you lose your way, Gordon?"
"No; it was lost for me. I was switched off the main line onto the loop; I had to go all round and back again."
"Perhaps it was instinct!
"
— James teasing Gordon
JamesandtheExpress24
James and the Express/
A Proud Day for James
Director(s)

David Mitton

Producer(s)

David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona

Writer(s)

Reverend W. Awdry
(original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton
(adapted)

Narrator

Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

November 6th,
1984 (UK)
April 17th,
1987 (AUS)
February 26th,
1989 (US)

Previous episode

Troublesome Trucks/
Foolish Freight Cars

Next episode

Thomas and
the Guard
/
Thomas and
the Conductor

James and the Express, retitled A Proud Day for James in American releases, is the tenth episode of the first season. It aired on the Shining Time Station episode, Show and Yell in 1989.

Plot

Although James is finally making a good impression on the Fat Controller after his success with some troublesome trucks, he still finds himself subject to teasing by Gordon and Henry when they are alone in the shed. They constantly remind him of how a bootlace was needed to help him finish a journey with coaches, and while James reminds them of Gordon getting stuck on a hill and Henry refusing to leave a tunnel, neither of them let up. Gordon boasts that he is the only engine capable of pulling the express alone, claiming that he's never lost his way (conveniently forgetting that its the signalman who ensures engines don't get lost).

The next morning, James and Gordon prepare for work. Gordon once again harps on about how he gets to pull the express while James is left with 'odd jobs' before sending the red engine to fetch his coaches. James, now knowing to be extra careful especially with the elegant express coaches, takes them nicely into Knapford Station. James tells the coaches that he'd love to be able to take the express, before leaving them for Gordon who couples himself to the train as nosily and importantly as possible. Gordon then leaves with a train full of passengers, one of which is none other than the Fat Controller. James then goes back to work shunting trucks and fetching coaches.

Later James is in the station when Gordon quietly slides into the station, trying not to be noticed. James asks if Gordon 'lost his way', and Gordon admits he was mistakenly switched off the main line and forced onto a long loop back to the station. James finds this funny, however the passengers are furious and demand refunds from the Fat Controller, who promises to find another train. With Gordon out of steam and no other engines available, the Fat Controller asks James if he wants to take the express. James is more than happy to, and quickly couples himself up. The Fat Controller wishes James luck, and he pulls out of the station. The journey goes without incident, and upon reaching their destination the passengers thank James for a nice journey. The Fat Controller is very impressed with James, and asks if he would like to pull the express sometimes. James is very happy and says yes at once.

The next day when James sees Gordon pushing trucks, the larger engine is enjoying the simpler work and getting to teach the trucks some manners. Gordon then congratulates James on his success with the express.

Gordon and James soon become good friends. James takes the express for Gordon sometimes to allow him to rest. Bootlaces are never mentioned, and the two very much agree when it comes to their opinion of trucks.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, James the Red Engine.
  • Stock footage from James and the Coaches is used.
  • An SiF interview with Christopher Noulton revealed that some of the passengers were made out of plasticine for this episode.
  • This is the only first season episode that's audio was not remastered from mono to stereo in the UK.
  • George Carlin's narration of this episode was never featured on an episode of Shining Time Station. It first appeared on Best of James
  • In Italy, the episode is titled "The Revenge of James". In Japan, this episode is called "The Joy for James". The French and Croatian title is "James and the Express Train".

Goofs

  • After Gordon leaves Knapford, the truck in front of James changes.
  • In the scene after the passengers rushing to the booking office, a blonde woman in red has blu-tak underneath her shoes.
  • When James backed into Knapford with the coaches, a stagehand barely appears, then went off screen.
  • When the Fat Controller asks James if he would like to pull the express some time, the tree on the left behind him wobbles.
  • A wire is visible near Gordon's trailing wheel when he asks James to get his coaches.
  • Why does the express stop at Maron? The express is only meant to stop at Knapford, Crovan's Gate, and Vicarstown.
  • Because stock footage is used, James brings the other coaches to platform 5. But when Gordon arrives back at Knapford, James is at platform 3. Also, the brake coach is in the middle of the train.
  • In the close-up of James teasing Gordon, James' dome is chipped.
  • Gordon claims to have been switched off the main line onto the loop, but according to the railway map of Sodor, there is no line looping back to Knapford connected to the main line.
  • James places the coaches into Knapford at a point where the first coach was at the front of the platform, however when Gordon buffers up to them, they have moved back without Gordon pushing them, and he is then at the front of the platform.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Un Gran día para James A Great Day for James
Norwegian James og ekspresstoget James and the Express Train
Welsh James a'r Trèn Chwim James and the Fast Train
Japanese ジェームスのうれしいひ The Delightful Day of James

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