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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 or the book.
"Hello Gordon, is it tomorrow?"
"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

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.


Although James is finally making a good impression on Sir Topham Hatt 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 has never lost his way (conveniently forgetting that it is 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 would 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 Sir Topham Hatt. James then goes back to work shunting freight cars 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 Sir Topham Hatt, who promises to find another train. With Gordon out of steam and no other engines available, Sir Topham Hatt asks James if he wants to take the Express. James is more than happy to, and quickly couples himself up. Sir Topham Hatt 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. Sir Topham Hatt 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 freight cars, 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.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, James the Red Engine.
  • An SiF interview with Christopher Noulton revealed that some of the passengers were made out of plasticine for this episode.
  • Alternative footage from James and the Coaches is used.
  • This is the only first season episode not to have its audio 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.


  • After Gordon leaves Knapford, the truck in front of James changes. Also before Gordon left, there's one workman next to the truck. But after he left, there's two workmen.
  • In the scene after the passengers are rushing to the booking office, a blonde woman in red clothing has blu-tak underneath her shoes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • During the scenes of Gordon at Tidmouth Sheds, his buffers and lamp irons are crooked.
  • In George Carlin's narration, James and Gordon's whistle sound effects are muted when they are at Knapford.
  • After James backs up Gordon's coaches into Knapford. There's a close-up of him and there's blue sky in the background. But when he's uncoupled from the train. He was in Knapford the whole time.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Un Gran día para James / James y el Expreso A Great Day for James / James and the Express
Danish James og eksprestoget James and the Express Train
Norwegian James og ekspresstoget James and the Express Train
Welsh James a'r Trên Chwim James and the Fast Train
Hebrew ג'יימס והרכבת המהירה James and the Fast Train
Japanese ジェームスのうれしいひ The Delightful Day of James
German James und der Schnellzug James and the Express Train
French James et le train express James and the Express Train
Croatian Jurica i ekspresni vlak James and the Express Train
Italian La Rivincita di James The Revenge of James
Slovenian Jakob in Brzovlak James and the Express Train
Finnish Jaska ja Pikajuna James and The Coaches
Dutch James en de sneltrein James and the Express Train
Hungarian James és az Expressz James and the Express
Chinese 詹姆士和特快列车 James and the Express Trains
Korean 고속열차를 끌게된 제임스 James was Brought to the High-Speed Train
Polish Kuba i Ekspres James and the Express
Swedish James och expresståget James and the Express Train
Romanian James şi Rapidul James and the Rapid
Russian Джеймс берет реванш James Takes Revenge
Slovak James a rýchlik James and the Express
Czech James a rychlík James and the Express
Serbian James i brzi voz James and the High-Speed Train
Brazilian Portuguese Um dia de orgulho para James A Proud Day for James
Thai เจมส์สมหวัง James Defeats

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets

  • Classic Collection
  • The Best of Friends
  • 3 DVD Triple Pack (Thomas and Gordon/Thomas and Bertie/The Flying Kipper)
  • The Thomas Collection - 9 DVDs (Thomas and Gordon – Better Late Than Never)
  • The Bumper Collection - 12 DVDs (Thomas and Gordon – Trust Thomas)
  • Head Box Set - 6 DVD Box Set (Thomas and Gordon, Percy Runs Away, Thomas, Percy and the Coal, Woolly Bear, Dirty Work & Trust Thomas)
  • Ultimate Collection - 20 DVD Set (Thomas and Gordon - Henry and the Elephant & Happy Ever After)
  • Muddy Puddles Collection - 4 Pack DVD Set (Thomas and Gordon - The Flying Kipper & Woolly Bear)





DVD Boxsets





  • Thomas the Tank Engine 1


DVD Boxsets









DVD Packs












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