Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

James and the Express

6,612pages on
this wiki
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/
A Proud Day for James

David Mitton


David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


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

Air date

November 6th,
1984 (UK)
April 17th,
1987 (AUS)
February 26th,
1989 (US)
June 5th,
1990 (JAP)
March 4th,
1998 (GER)
January 5th,
2008 (HUN)

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.


Although James, after proving himself useful, 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 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 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.




  • 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.
  • References to Edward and Gordon, The Sad Story of Henry, James and the Coaches, and Troublesome Trucks are made in this episode.
  • An SiF interview with Christopher Fulton revealed that some of the passengers were made out of plasticize for this episode.
  • 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.
  • 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 James backed into Knapford with the coaches, a stagehand barely appears, then moves 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.
  • 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 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 Express Train
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 Expressul James and the Express
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





DVD Boxsets





  • Thomas the Tank Engine 1










DVD Packs










Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki