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Not So Slow Coaches

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the DVD or the magazine story.
"This is the fastest we've ever been!"
"I don't like it... AT ALL!"
"I've got my eyes closed!"
"Does it help?"
"No, not really!
— Clarabel and Annie

Not So Slow Coaches is the second episode of the eighteenth season.


Annie and Clarabel often complain about Thomas' speed which Thomas uses as an opportunity to be cheeky. When they complain that he is going too fast, Thomas slows right down until they are just crawling along. When they tell him to speed up, he does so and they complain about his speed again.

One day, Thomas is so busy teasing Annie and Clarabel that he is late arriving at Dryaw. His next job is to take some trucks up to the quarry, so he has to leave Annie and Clarabel in the shunting yard and rush off. While he is away, Caitlin arrives at the yard. She leaves her coaches there while she visits the Steamworks to get her bolts tightened.

Soon, Thomas has completed his delivery to the quarry and is hurrying back to the shunting yard. Caitlin arrives back at the yard first and Charlie tells her a funny joke. Charlie is so busy laughing that he shunts Annie and Clarabel with Caitlin's coaches. Caitlin is coupled up to her coaches and is unaware that she also has Annie and Clarabel as she pulls away. Annie and Clarabel had been sleeping, so they do not know it is actually Caitlin who is pulling them along until they see Thomas puff into the yard. Thomas arrives just in time to see Caitlin pull away with his coaches. He tries to stop Caitlin, but she does not hear him.

Annie and Clarabel are not enjoying their journey with Caitlin at all. They are being pulled along faster than they have ever gone before. Eventually, Caitlin pulls into Wellsworth Station where she meets up with Connor. She challenges Connor to a race and, much to Annie and Clarabel's horror, he accepts the challenge. They pull away just as Thomas enters. Once again, Thomas calls out, but the streamlined engine does not hear him.

As Annie and Clarabel are being raced towards Ulfstead Castle, they vow never to complain about Thomas again. Finally, Thomas makes it to the Ulfstead Castle hill, just as Caitlin is coming back down. Thomas calls out, but Caitlin thinks he is just saying hello and speeds on her way.

Thomas knows he needs to stop Caitlin before she gets to the Vicarstown Bridge to go to the Mainland. However, as Thomas arrives at the bridge, Caitlin has already crossed it. He feels very upset that he has made it too late. Just then, Hiro arrives on his way back from the Mainland. He tells Thomas he has managed to stop Caitlin and he has Annie and Clarabel coupled to him. Thomas is delighted to see his two faithful coaches again.

Later on, Thomas apologises for being so cheeky and Annie and Clarabel apologise for their complaining. Annie and Clarabel then cannot resist telling Thomas that he is going too fast again which causes them all to laugh.




  • This episode is similar to the magazine story, First-class Carriage.
  • This is the last episode where Ben Small voices Charlie in the US, Steven Kynman took over the role from the twentieth season onwards.
  • This marks Charlie's last speaking role until the twentieth season.
  • This episode marks the first time that Annie and Clarabel have been the main characters in an episode.
  • The episode's American air date coincides with the 70th Anniversary of The Railway Series.
  • This is the first time Annie and Clarabel are seen traveling at very high speeds. The next would happen in Samson at Your Service, when Gordon is forced to substitute them for his Express coaches.


  • There are two models of Farmer McColl seen at his farm.
  • In the shot after Thomas says "If you want me to go fast...", Thomas is not coupled to Annie.
  • When Thomas says, "Cinders and ashes! I'm supposed to be taking some trucks to the quarry after this!", a man getting off Annie and going into the station seems to overlap the ceiling as his head goes right through it.
  • When Charlie and Caitlin first meet up in the shunting yards, Charlie's eyes are wonky.
  • After Hiro shows Thomas he that has Annie and Clarabel, his eccentric rod isn't rendered properly to attach his fly crank.
  • Throughout the whole episode, parts of Caitlin's side rods do not turn like they are supposed to. The same goes for Connor, when he and Caitlin race.
  • When Connor and Caitlin reach the top of the hill going up to Ulfstead Castle, Connor's coaches float above the tracks at the peak of the hill.
  • In the UK version, when Mavis says "Empty trucks!" the word "trucks" is not animated in for Mavis to say it. Instead, it is edited in with the footage from the US version when Mavis says "Empty cars!"
  • When Charlie and Caitlin first meet at the shunting yards, Charlie stops with his side rods close to his front going down his wheels, but in the next scene his side rods have moved in different places.
  • A white dot is visible on Caitlin's middle driving wheel.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese はやすぎよ おそすぎよ It's Too Fast, It's Too Slow
Polish Niezbyt Szybkie Wagony Not So Fast Wagons
Spanish Vagones No Tan Lentos Not So Slow Coaches
Portuguese Não Tão Rápido, Nem Tão Devagar Not so Fast, Not so Slow
Dutch Snelle Wagons Fast Wagons
Russian Быстрая езда Энни и Кларабель Fast Driving Annie and Clarabel
Ukrainian Не Такі Вже й Повільні Вагони Not Too Slow Cars
Hungarian Gyorsuló kocsik Accelerating Cars
Czech Ne tak pomalu, vozy Not So Slow, Cars
Turkish Yavaş Değil Vagonlar Not Slow Wagons
Romanian Vagoanele Prind Viteză Wagons Pick Up Speed
Italian Vagoni Veloci Fast Wagons
Thai โธมัสจ้าวแห่งความเร็ว Thomas' Masters of Speed
Chinese 頑皮的湯瑪士 Naughty Thomas
Lithuanian Ne tokia ir leti vagoni And Not-so-Slow Wagons
Norwegian Ikke så trege vogner Not So Slow Coaches
Danish Ikke så sløve bumletog Not So Dull Slow Trains

Home Media Releases




  • Trouble on the Tracks





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