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Saving Time

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"Samson here, Sir, at your service! Brought more stone from the quarry, Sir, as requested."
— Samson

Saving Time is the sixth episode of the twentieth season.


Samson arrives at the shunting yards and tells Thomas, Stanley and Diesel that he has been given an important job by the Fat Controller. He is to collect stone from the Blue Mountain Quarry and deliver it to Brendam Docks quickly and efficiently. But Thomas tells him that he has been given the same job, leaving Samson cross.

Samson arrives at the quarry, where Thomas is already collecting his trucks. He loads his own trucks with stone, and then decides to take even more claiming it will save time. Sir Handel and Peter Sam are skeptical about this, but Samson doesn't listen and slowly hauls his long heavy train out of the quarry.

But Samson's troubles begin when he reaches Gordon's Hill. He builds up speed, but cannot make it more than halfway up before his heavy train pulls him back down. He tries again, this time backing up to get a good run up, but fails again. Thomas arrives having already finished his first delivery, and Samson asks him to be his back engine and give him a push. So Thomas switches track and couples up to Samson's brake van. But as they are backing up, Paxton approaches Thomas and is forced to stop. Luckily, Paxton helps push Thomas and Samson up and over the hill. But once on the other side, Samson refuses to stop and let Thomas be uncoupled, since they are already late.

Sir Topham Hatt is cross when Samson and Thomas arrive at the docks. Not only is Samson pulling far too many trucks, but he is keeping Thomas from doing his job. Samson apologises on Thomas' behalf and says that he was trying to save time, but Sir Topham Hatt tells Samson that he isn't saving time at all--only causing confusion and delay.

Later at the Blue Mountain Quarry, Samson apologises to Thomas and decides to pull a shorter train this time. But Thomas is surprised to see Samson pulling only one truck, which he claims will save time in the long run.




  • This episode marks Sir Handel's first speaking role since the seventeenth season episode Luke's New Friend.
  • Samson's line "They don't call me Samson for nothing" may be a reference to the biblical figure Samson, who was known for being strong.


  • In the first two shots of the Blue Mountain Quarry, Sir Handel changes position.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese じかんをせつやくしよう Trying to Save Time
Spanish Ahorrando Tiempo Saving Time
Portuguese Economizando tempo Saving Time
Polish Oszczędność Czasu Saving Time
Romanian Câştigând Timp Wininng Time

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