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The Christmas Tree Express

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.
"We don't have a Christmas tree."
"You must have a Christmas tree! It wouldn't be the Christmas Holidays without one!
— Rheneas and Toby
The Christmas Tree Express

Greg Tiernan


Nicole Stinn


Sharon Miller


Michael Angelis
Michael Brandon

Air date

November 18th,
2012 (JAP)
December 15th,
2012 (US)
December 25th,
2012 (UK/AUS)
August 18th,
2014 (NOR)

Previous episode

Happy Birthday Sir!

Next episode

Kevin's Cranky

The Christmas Tree Express is the twentieth episode of the sixteenth season.


It is Christmas on the Island of Sodor. Thomas, Toby, and Rheneas are shunting in the Blue Mountain Quarry. Thomas says he is going to pick up a Christmas tree that the Logging Locos have brought from Misty Island. Rheneas says they do not have a tree and Toby comments that it would not be Christmas without one. Rheneas wants to go to Misty Island to find a tree for his friends, but Thomas is too busy and Toby says that Misty Island is strange and scary. Thomas says this is nonsense so Toby agrees to take Rheneas.

When they arrive at the Search and Rescue Centre, Toby and Rheneas meet the Logging Locos, who tell them that there will be plenty of trees on Misty Island. When Toby and Rheneas reach Misty Island, Toby says he wants to chuff slowly and carefully, but Rheneas tells him to go fast. Toby chuffs quickly to the Hollow Tree Tunnel. He does not want to chuff forward, but Rheneas tells him to chuff faster and faster. Toby decides that if he closes his eyes, it would not be as scary. He goes fast and they pass some Christmas trees. Rheneas tells Toby to stop, but Toby does not want to; he is too scared.

Next Toby and Rheneas come up to the Shake Shake Bridge. Toby is scared and does not want to cross, so he closes his eyes and races over the Shake Shake Bridge. They race around Misty Island and pass more Christmas trees. Rheneas tells Toby to stop, but he does not; he is too scared. Then the mist comes down. Toby stops because he is scared. Rheneas tells Toby to go fast, but Toby cannot as he is too frightened. Rheneas is worried that his friends will wake up and still not have a tree. Toby explains that he finds going fast scary and would prefer to go slowly. Rheneas agrees and, with the help of the Logging Locos, the engines go slowly and carefully and find a perfect tree. Toby realises that when he is not going fast, Misty Island is not scary after all and he keeps his eyes open the entire time.

Rheneas and Toby return to the Blue Mountain Quarry. The engines there are all amazed and agree it is a wonderful Christmas surprise.




  • In Australia, this episode was first available to view on the ABC iView online service on December 22nd before its television broadcast.
  • In the UK, the first airing was held back until December 25th, to coincide with Christmas.
  • Most British television listings give this episode the title The Christmas Express.
  • In the UK version, "Christmas Holidays" is used, while in the US version "Winter Holidays" is used. However, after this episode, "Christmas Holidays" is used in both dubs.
  • This was the last episode of several things:
    • The last to be narrated by Michael Angelis, Michael Brandon and Povl Dissing.
    • The last to be animated by Nitrogen Studios.
    • The last episode directed by Greg Tiernan.
    • The last episode produced by Nicole Stinn.
    • The last where Sharon Miller was head writer.
    • The last episode written by Sharon Miller to date.
    • The last appearance of Bash, Dash and Misty Island to date, and Ferdinand's last appearance until the eighteenth season episode, Signals Crossed.
    • The last episode to have two separate narrators for the UK and US.
    • The last episode where Ben Small voices Ferdinand in the UK.
  • Going by production order, this is the eighteenth episode of the sixteenth season.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Brazilian Portuguese O Expresso da Árvore de Natal The Christmas Tree Express
Japanese クリスマスツリーをさがせ Look for the Christmas Tree
Norwegian Juletreekspressen The Christmas Tree Express
German Die Weihnachtsbaum-Suche The Christmas Tree Search
Italian Non è Natale senza l'Albero di Natale It isn't Christmas without the Christmas Tree
Russian Рождественская красавица Christmas Beauty
Hungarian A karácsonyfa Expressz The Christmas Tree Express
Romanian Bradul Express Tree Express
Polish Choinkowy Ekspres Christmas Tree Express
Thai รถด่วนต้นคริสต์มาส Christmas Express

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