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“You lucky old engine! You've been saved by the Bluebell Railway!”
―Stepney's driver

Rusty to the Rescue is the fifteenth episode of the fourth season.


Rusty enjoys visiting the Bluebell Railway in the springtime, but driver is concerned that the line needs an engine, so Rusty consults with Douglas about finding one on the Other Railway, which is where he found Oliver. Douglas mentions that only diesels travel there nowadays. That suits Rusty, and the driver comes with news that the manager will make a home for a bluebell engine if they find one. The next day, they travel to the Other Railway, and Rusty slips past the diesels by fibbing about being an inspection diesel. They find a tank engine named Stepney alone in a siding, and Rusty asks him if he likes bluebells. Stepney replies puzzledly that he believes bluebells are beautiful, and Rusty promises to help him run away. Rusty's driver agrees to be Stepney's fireman, and the two of them escape to Sodor. Thanks to Rusty, Stepney now happily runs on the Bluebell Railway.




  • This is the only fourth season episode not based on a story from The Railway Series. However this episode forms the first part of a four episode story based on the book, Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine, replacing the story, "Bluebells of England." Douglas and Percy mingling at the water tower is a remnant from the aforementioned story.
  • In real life, the Bluebell Railway is a heritage line in England.
  • This episode and Thomas and Stepney are the only episodes of Season 4 to not be released on VHS before airing on TV, but the UK Narrations were released before airing on TV.
  • The set of the Other Railway is the same as Skarloey Railway Engine Sheds set where Rusty met Percy and Douglas, only heavily modified.
  • In the US version, music is heard when Stepney says, "and my friend, Rusty. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Rusty!" but is absent in the UK and international versions.
  • Henry and Gordon whistle to Rusty in the UK and international versions, but the whistle sound effects are omitted in the US version.
  • The US version has a stock crowd sound effect that plays at the end of it.
  • Scrap models of Thomas, Gordon, and Donald/Douglas can be seen on the Other Railway.
  • The engines of the Other Railway are represented by Diesel, BoCo, Daisy, Mavis, and The Diesel, all facing opposite to the camera.
  • This episode marks Diesel's only appearance in the fourth season.


  • In the UK and international versions, Thomas has Edward's whistle sound as he passes through Bluebell Valley Station. In the same scene, Clarabel is also facing the wrong way.
  • In the UK and international versions, when Rusty and Stepney return, Thomas, Gordon, and James' whistle sounds are heard, yet they are nowhere to be seen. This is because stock audio of the engines whistling is reused from the first season episode, Thomas' Christmas Party.
  • Rusty's truck and brake van disappear in the close-up shot of the driver in the cab.
  • Dried-up glue is visible around Rusty's face during the line, "Right, we'll find one tomorrow".
  • When Rusty first arrives on the Other Railway, some chains are hanging beside the signal box, but when Rusty says "Oh, what's that?" the chains disappear.
  • When Stepney's fire is lit, one of the people inside him is wearing a driver's uniform for the North Western Railway rather than the usual Skarloey Railway one Stepney and Rusty's drivers wear.
  • When the narrator says, "Rusty's engineer agreed to be Stepney's fireman", there is visibly a chip in Rusty's paintwork.
  • Despite the aforementioned line, Rusty's cab visibly contains the driver when they leave the scrapyards, cross the bridge, and arrive at Bluebell Valley Station.
  • The tar wagon seen between BoCo and Daisy disappears in the last shot of the Other Railway.
  • On the Other Railway, the diesels constantly change places:
    • When the voice calls out, "Who are you?" Mavis has somehow moved from Rusty's right to behind Diesel.
    • In the shot after Rusty says, "Then I'll just go and inspect," Mavis is back to her original position, Diesel has somehow moved in front of her, and the Diesel appears in front of BoCo.
    • In the point-of-view shot of Rusty escaping, Mavis is on Daisy's track.
    • In the following shot, Daisy is on the far right track, and the Diesel has somehow moved to the smaller shed. Additionally, Mavis and Diesel have moved to the narrow gauge track.
    • In the final shot of the Other Railway, Daisy and the Diesel are back in their original positions.
  • In shot after Rusty escapes past BoCo, Rusty and Stepney pass a shed they already should have passed.
  • When Rusty and Stepney leave the scrapyard, Diesel and Mavis can be seen placed on narrow gauge rails.
  • When Stepney and Rusty are on the Standard and Narrow Gauge Viaduct, the house and shed next to the track have moved compared to when Rusty went over the viaduct the first time.
  • Stepney's eyes are wonky in the final shot.


  • Rusty: Can you help me find another engine?
  • Douglas: Where?
  • Rusty: Where you found Oliver.
  • Douglas: You mean on The Other Railway?
  • Rusty: Yes. I'm looking for a bluebell engine.
  • Douglas: I'd like to help. But these days, it's only diesels that go there.
  • Rusty: So that's where I'll go! [leaves]
  • Douglas: Take care.


  • Diesels: Who are you?!
  • Rusty: I'm a shed and sidings inspection diesel. Have you any engines in the shed?
  • Diesels: No. None!
  • Rusty: Then what about the sidings?
  • Diesels: One. We have one.
  • Rusty: Then I'll just go and inspect.

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets


DVD Packs


  • Thomas and Stepney and other Stories


  • Thomas and Stepney (Norwegian VHS)





DVD Boxsets





DVD Boxsets