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The second season of the television series aired in 1986. Ringo Starr narrated all twenty-six episodes in the UK as well as seventeen of them in the US, with George Carlin later re-narrating all of the episodes for the US on Shining Time Station.


Many of the stories were originally written by the Rev. W. Awdry. However, Christopher Awdry was commissioned to write a new Railway Series book as source material for the second series. Three stories [originally only two] from More About Thomas the Tank Engine provided additional roles for Bertie the Bus, Terence the Tractor, and Harold the Helicopter. The episodes Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree and Thomas and Trevor were both one-off stories written by Christopher Awdry.

Early in production, a third episode based on The Twin Engines was due to be filmed, based largely on the story The Missing Coach. The model crew had gone as far as filming scenes on the Tidmouth Station set with Thomas arriving at the station, before Britt Allcroft decided the episode had too little action and its storyline would be too difficult to understand by younger viewers. Therefore one of the episodes based on More About Thomas the Tank Engine based on the story Thomas, Percy and The Coal was filmed to replace it.


Screenshot UK title (top)
US title (bottom)
Original UK release date Season episode number #
Thomas,PercyandtheCoal13 Thomas, Percy and the Coal
Double Trouble
24th September 1986 #01
Thomas brags to Percy and Toby about "how blue is the only proper colour for a really useful engine". He ends up getting trapped in a shower of coal under a coal hopper, and promptly blames an amused Percy. The two engines have a quarrel.
Cows28 Cows
A Cow on the Line
24th September 1986 #02
Gordon and Henry tease Edward after some cows break part of his train away. Several days later, the big engines end up with a cow blocking their lines and they become nervous around such a delicate animal. Edward soon has the last laugh.
Bertie'sChase7 Bertie's Chase 1st October 1986 #03
Thomas' fireman isn't able to come in to work and Bertie agrees to take his passengers. Edward is unaware of the change of plan, and leaves before Bertie arrives. Bertie is determined to help the passengers catch their train, but each time Bertie stops, he misses Edward who's already moved on.
SavedfromScrap2 Saved from Scrap 1st October 1986 #04
At the scrapyard, Edward meets a traction engine called Trevor, who is due to be broken up, despite being in good condition. Edward is determined to save him from scrap. He persuades the Vicar to purchase Trevor, and he goes to live in the Vicarage Orchard.
OldIron52 Old Iron 8th October 1986 #05
After one delay too many, James complains about Edward being too old and slow. The next day, two boys wander into James' cab and fiddle with his controls. James ends up running away down the line without a driver or fireman, and Edward is sent to chase after him with some help from an inspector.
ThomasAndTrevor36 Thomas and Trevor
A New Friend for Thomas
8th October 1986 #06
Trevor the traction engine doesn't have much work at the vicarage orchard, so Edward takes him to help Thomas at the harbour. Slowly but surely, a skeptical Thomas gains a respect for the unusual-looking newcomer.
PercyandtheSignal36 Percy and the Signal 15th October 1986 #07
One day, Percy annoys Gordon and then tricks James into staying in the shed all day. When he gets into trouble with the Fat Controller, Percy decides to stay out of their way for awhile. But when he is asked to take a train to Knapford he gets careless and for revenge, James and Gordon trick Percy into misreading a signal.
DuckTakesCharge51 Duck Takes Charge 15th October 1986 #08
Percy is the laughing stock of the yard following his signal mishap. The Fat Controller buys a new engine named Montague, nicknamed Duck, to help out an overworked Percy. Gordon, James and Henry start ordering him about. Duck and Percy decide to take matters into their own "hands".
PercyandHarold Percy and Harold
Percy Proves a Point
22nd October 1986 #09
Percy is transferred to the harbour on Thomas' branchline. One day, Percy meets Harold the Helicopter, who says railways are slow and out-of-date. Percy is furious, and when he sees Harold again, he challenges him to a race.
TheRunaway11 The Runaway 22nd October 1986 #10
Thomas isn't feeling well and is sent to the Works to be mended. Duck takes over Thomas' duties. Soon, Thomas returns from the Works with stiff handbrakes. This proves disastrous when a temporary fireman forgets to tighten them properly, sending Thomas, Annie and Clarabel on a runaway.
PercyTakesthePlunge44 Percy Takes the Plunge
Percy Takes a Plunge
29th October 1986 #11
At the harbour, Percy is telling Bill and Ben about the time he braved bad weather, using the phrase "Water's nothing to an engine with determination". Henry calls Percy silly, to which he teases him about him staying in the tunnel. Later, Percy wants to see why he is forbidden to pass the danger board on the quay, but soon wishes he hadn't.
PopGoestheDiesel28 Pop Goes the Diesel 29th October 1986 #12
A diesel engine arrives on the island, and Duck is given the task of showing him around. Diesel boasts that his kind know everything, so Duck leaves him to shunt some trucks alone, with disastrous results. He makes a fool of himself and the trucks laugh rudely at him.
DirtyWork6 Dirty Work
Diesel's Devious Deed
5th November 1986 #13
Diesel blames Duck for the aftermath of the other day. As revenge, Diesel tells lies to the trucks about the big engines, claiming that Duck told them. The big engines agree that Duck needs to be paid back for teasing them.
ACloseShave63 A Close Shave
A Close Shave for Duck
5th November 1986 #14
After being framed by Diesel, Duck is sent to Wellsworth. During his stay with Edward, Duck finds himself being chased by runaway trucks. He manages to control them, despite crashing into a barber's shop.
BetterLateThanNever14 Better Late Than Never 12th November 1986 #15
The arches on the Viaduct need strengthening, and the delay makes the big engines late to the junction. This makes Thomas very cross as he has to wait for the big engines, making him late with his own connection with Bertie the bus. Bertie gives Thomas a hard time, until he breaks down.
BreakVan40 Break Van
Donald and Douglas
12th November 1986 #16
Donald and Douglas are twins whom the Fat Controller had bought from Scotland to help out, although only one engine had been expected. He intends to send one of them back, and a spiteful brake van doesn't help the twins at all.
TheDeputation10 The Deputation 19th November 1986 #17
When an early snowstorm blankets the island, Donald and Douglas work together to clear away heavy drifts of snow. After they help Henry from a snowdrift, the other engines are determined to help them out. Percy is chosen to ask the Fat Controller not to send the twins away because of their danger of being scrapped.
ThomasComestoBreakfast30 Thomas Comes to Breakfast 19th November 1986 #18
When Thomas' driver jokes that Thomas doesn't need him any more, Thomas misunderstands him and boasts to Percy and Toby that he doesn't need a driver. Thomas doesn't realise that his driver is only joking, and pays the price dearly after trying to move by himself and crashing straight into the stationmaster's house.
Daisy(episode)21 Daisy 26th November 1986 #19
Daisy is bought to help Percy and Toby while Thomas is indisposed. The two engines show her around, but Daisy becomes a nuisance and they find her very difficult to please. Daisy proves to be very lazy and stubborn. She even insults the coaches, and refuses to take trucks. So she starts making excuses to avoid work.
Percy'sPredicament30 Percy's Predicament 26th November 1986 #20
Daisy continues to be lazy and stubborn, leaving Percy to do her jobs as well as his own. Toby offers to swap jobs with Percy so he can have a rest. Unfortunately, Percy has never worked at the quarry before, and the trucks are quick to take advantage of this. The trucks pay Percy out by making him crash into a brake van.
TheDiseasel46 The Diseasel 3rd December 1986 #21
Bill and Ben are tank engine twins who work at the China Clay Works. One day, they are surprised when they discover that their trucks have gone missing. They mistakenly believe that their trucks were "magicked away" by a "diseasel." Their crews formulate a plan and make the twins look identical to trick BoCo.
WrongRoad21 Wrong Road 3rd December 1986 #22
The Fat Controller doesn't allow the heavier main engines to run on branch lines due to their weight, and Gordon believes the reason is because branch lines are vulgar. However, due to a green floppy hat, Edward is switched onto the main line and Gordon is mistakenly sent onto the branch line, where Bill and Ben are waiting.
Edward'sExploit26 Edward's Exploit 10th December 1986 #23
Enthusiasts are visiting Sodor, and Edward is due to take them to meet Bill and Ben. On the journey back, the weather changes badly, and one of his crank pins breaks off. His crew are forced to remove his siderods and make adjustments to his coaches. Despite this, Edward battles on to bring his passengers safely home.
GhostTrain32 Ghost Train
Percy's Ghostly Trick
10th December 1986 #24
Percy tells Thomas and Toby about a ghost train his driver saw. Thomas doesn't believe him and calls him silly. Later, Percy ends up crashing into a cart and gets covered in lime. Percy and Toby decide to play a trick on Thomas.
WoollyBear32 Woolly Bear 17th December 1986 #25
Percy and Toby collect hay on the branch line, but this makes Thomas' passengers late. Percy is still teasing Thomas about the ghost incident and Thomas retorts back by calling him a "green caterpillar with red stripes." Things go wrong for Percy, he gets hit by a crate of treacle, then getting stuck on a hill and windswept with hay.
Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree 17th December 1986 #26
It's Christmas and all the engines are at work getting ready for the Christmas Party. Thomas is sent to collect the Christmas tree, but gets buried in a huge snowdrift on the way back. The Fat Controller tells the engines that Thomas must be found, so he sends Donald and Douglas to find him, with snowploughs on their fronts.

Cancelled episodes

Screenshot Title Original UK release date Episode number #
TheMissingCoach "The Missing Coach" n/a n/a
The Fat Controller orders an engine from Scotland to help out with goods work, but is surprised when two engines arrive instead of one. Douglas accidentally shunts a special coach into the carriage siding. To evade the angry complaints of the passengers, Donald and Douglas decide to swap tenders so as to fool the Fat Controller.


Characters introduced


  • This was the first of a few things:
  • This was the final season of several things:
  • The Missing Coach was originally going to be an episode in this season, but it was cancelled and replaced by Thomas, Percy and the Coal/Double Trouble.
  • This is the only season where a character says "Shut Up!" This is likely due to broadcasting concerns after this season.
  • Starting from the episode, Pop Goes the Diesel, the laughing sound effect from the trucks was heard. That sound effect was later reused in the following seasons.
  • Henry regains his wheel arches, which were removed when he received his new shape after his accident with The Flying Kipper.
  • The biggest space of time between two seasons airing is between this season, which aired in 1986, and Season 3, which did not air until 1992.
  • When first broadcast on ITV, two episodes were compiled into one ten minute block with the nameboard sequence featured in between. For subsequent broadcasts, the stories were shown individually.
  • In the Ukrainian narration, Ringo Starr's voice can still be heard in the background.
  • The Norwegian/Finnish versions credit Ringo Starr as the narrator, even though they were re-dubbed in Norwegian and Finnish respectively.



Behind the Scenes

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