This article is about the special. You may be looking for the book.
“Think positively, Lexi! Ask yourself what can you do!"
"You mean, anything?"
"Uh, no, we can't do anything".
"But we can try!”
―Thomas, Lexi, Theo and Merlin

Journey Beyond Sodor is the 2017 Thomas & Friends film.

Plot Summary

Determined to prove his importance on Sodor, Thomas takes James' trucks and sets off on a big adventure to the Mainland. On the way he makes friends with the cheerful and helpful "Experimental Engines", but, after a wrong turn, finds himself lost in the steelworks. There, Thomas encounters two mysterious engines who instantly make him feel welcome, but who are not what they first seem...

After Thomas fails to return, James sets off to the Mainland, but runs into trouble himself and so it is up to Thomas and the Experimental Engines to save the day.


Characters Introduced


Voice Cast

UK, AUS and NZ

US and CAN


Bonus Features


  • Music Videos: Who's Thomas?, The Hottest Place in Town, We Can't Do Anything and The Most Important Thing is Being Friends
  • Landmarks of Sodor: Travelling to the Mainland
  • Top 5 Funniest Moments


  • This special takes place between The Great Race and the twenty-first season; therefore, it is the first special to be followed in chronological order by the previous special.
  • This is the second musical special, with the first being The Great Race.
  • The Australian iTunes release has severely distorted audio on some iOS devices.
  • Hugh Bonneville, Colin McFarlane, Darren Boyd, Jim Howick, Sophie Colquhoun, Lucy Montgomery and Nicola Stapleton join the voice cast.
  • The special was shown in select cinemas:
    • In the US at Edaville Railroad on 19th August 2017.
    • In Australia, Hoyts and Event Cinemas previewed the special 1-3 times everyday between 31st August - 6th September 2017 and on 9th, 10th and 12th September 2017.
    • It also aired on PBS Kids on 17th November 2017 in the US. After the film ended on television, the song Race with YouLearn with Thomas segment, Not Showing Off, Engine Roll Call song and the twentieth season episode, Mucking About were included at the end to fill the timeslot.
    • It aired on Milkshake! in the UK on New Years Day, 2018 and aired on ABC2 in the Australia on New Year's Eve, 2017. It was later also repeated on Milkshake! on Easter Sunday, 1st April 2018.
    • It aired on Cartoonito UK on Saturday 8th September 2018, while being the only special animated by Jam Filled Toronto to air on that channel.
  • The special aired on Nickelodeon split into three half hour blocks on 2nd July - 4th July 2018. Since the special was an hour and twelve minutes, some scenes and the Engine Roll Call had to be removed to fit the time slot. The same thing will happen when the special airs on Treehouse on 14th November - 16th November 2018.
  • References to the first season episode, Down the Mine, the second season episode, Thomas Comes to Breakfast and The Adventure Begins are made.
  • There are a few references to the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz.
  • This is one of the only four Thomas & Friends films left on iTunes and Google Play in the US.
  • This special marks the first of a few things:
    • The first special animated by Jam Filled Toronto.
    • The first special produced by Mattel Creations.
    • The first special where James is voiced by Rob Rackstraw in the UK.
    • The first appearance of the salt vans in full CGI and their first appearance since the twelfth season episode, Best Friends.
    • The first time that tankers have had faces since the fourth season episode, Toad Stands By.
    • The first time the Mainland diesels have spoken, as two of them speak in this special.
    • The first time the Troublesome Trucks all have their own unique voices, as opposed to all being voiced by one person.
    • The first appearance of Vicarstown Goods Yard since the first season episode, Tenders and Turntables, which was also its debut appearance.
    • Jem Cole's first speaking role since the fifth season episode, Lady Hatt's Birthday Party.
    • The first special since Calling All Engines! not to include the French narration on the US DVD.
  • This special also marks a few first things for Rosie:
    • The first time she is voiced by Nicola Stapleton in the UK and US, taking over from Teresa Gallagher and Jules de Jongh, respectively.
    • Her first appearance in her red livery.
    • Her first speaking role since the sixteenth season episode, Sodor Surprise Day.
  • This special also marks the last of a few things:
    • Mark Moraghan's last special as narrator.
    • The last special to air on PBS Kids in the US.
    • The last special to date produced and released before the season it takes place after.
  • From this special onwards, the engines, trucks and other vehicles perform non-static body movements when they speak or look in different directions.
  • The events of this special are mentioned by James in Big World! Big Adventures! during the song, Where in the World is Thomas?.
  • The part of Somebody Has to be the Favourite are later sang but Bertie in Big World! Big Adventures!
  • When Thomas says "Help, Help!" the audio is reused from Blue Mountain Mystery, THerefore using recordings of Martin Sherman and Ben Small.


  • Gavin Ebedes is uncredited for being supervising editor on DVD and theatrical end credits. However he is credited on the PBS Kids end credits.
  • The footage and audio during the eight minute preview is slowed down slightly. Because of this, the audio is distorted in some scenes.
  • The visuals and audio of the UK/Australian release are out of sync.
  • When Henry passes Connor in the beginning, their location changes.
  • Connor has Caitlin's whistle sound.
  • The trucks that Hiro is pulling at the beginning change between the crash scene and the recovery scene.
  • At Knapford, steam is shown coming out of James' whistle even though Thomas is the one whistling.
  • When James sings "Somebody Has to be the Favourite" for the final time, Judy and Jerome are seen in their Knapford siding, but they had just before been helping Henry at Vicarstown.
  • In the opening shot of Emily pulling a goods train, her tender chassis and body do not line up.
  • When Frankie laughs and says "Well isn't he a clever little tank engine", her wheels are clipping through the rails.
  • At Bridlington Goods Yard, when the troublesome trucks are being pushed, their buffers do not touch each other.
  • The points, such as the ones inside the steelworks, do not have rails.
  • In the scenes of Tidmouth Sheds, the bushes behind the sheds are clipping through the brick wall.
  • Throughout most of the special, with the exception of a few scenes, James' tender chassis is positioned further back than usual, making it clip through his tender bufferbeam.
  • When Merlin says "I can do something!" the audio is out of sync.
  • In the close-up of Lexi when she explains how they are fully stocked in coal and water, Thomas is not present.
  • During "We Can't Do Anything", Thomas' driver's hand clips through his cab door.
  • When Theo runs into the pole and it falls over, it is made of wood, but when it hits the barrels, it is made of metal.
  • When Thomas travels along the canal, he passes the area where Beresford usually is, but Beresford is absent. In the next scene, Thomas has been moved back, as Beresford is back in his original position, with Thomas passing the same building twice.
  • Thomas' eyes shift positions in between the shots when Beresford and Merlin ask, "Who's James?" and when Thomas says, "Merlin! What are you doing here?"
  • Some of the trucks swap voices throughout the special.
  • A few times in the US dub, a character says cars but their mouths move to sync trucks.
  • After Theo offers for Thomas to stay with them, Thomas is on the same track as Theo, but when Thomas says he will find his way home, he has changed track.
  • When Merlin says "Hello again!" he appears beside Thomas, but there were no tracks beside Thomas before.
  • During "The Most Important Thing is Being Friends", Beresford can be heard singing before we see him do so.
  • When all the engines appear in Thomas' fantasy, Rusty appears in front of Porter despite the fact that he is a narrow gauge diesel.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Viagem ao Desconhecido
Chinese 湯馬仕大電影之衝出索多島
Czech Cesta z ostrova Sodor
Dutch Een Avontuur Buiten Sodor
French Aventure Sur le Continent
German Auf großer Reise
Greek Πέρα από τα Σύνορα του Σόντορ
Hungarian Túl Sodoron
Italian Viaggio Oltre i Confini Di Sodor
Japanese とびだせ! 友情の大冒険
Polish Podróż poza Wyspę Sodor
Romanian Călătorie Dincolo de Sodor
Russian Покидая Содор
Serbian Putovanje van Sodora
Spanish El Viaje Más Allá de Sodor
Turkish Sodor’un Ötesine Yolculuk




  • Ringing Thomas in Tekoro (Limited Edition)
  • Ringing Theo in Tekoro
  • Ringing Lexi in Tekoro
  • Hurricane and Frankie
  • Thomas and Merlin Set


  • Lexi The Experimental Engine
  • Merlin the Invisible
  • Steelworks Thomas
  • Steelworks Hurricane
  • Scrapyard Escape Set


  • Merlin the Invisible
  • Steelworks Frankie


  • Steelworks Hurricane
  • Steelworks Frankie
  • Merlin the Invisible
  • Theo the Experimental Engine
  • Lexi The Experimental Engine


  • Steelworks Stunt Set

Motorized Railway

  • Merlin the Invisible
  • Steelworks Escape Set

Capsule Plarail

  • Lexi
  • Theo
  • Merlin
  • Hurricane
  • Frankie
  • Ladle Truck
  • Beresford
  • Steelworks Shed