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“Are you okay, James?"
"I think so. How's my paint looking? I'm really in trouble now."
"You can say that again, James.”
―Rosie, James, and Sir Topham Hatt

The Fastest Red Engine on Sodor is the twelfth episode of the twenty-first season.


One day, James rushes in and brakes sharply at Knapford, causing him to be told off by the Fat Controller and Emily. Thomas teases James about how his brakes caught fire once, but James reminds him that good things came out of that accident; he was repainted red and does not have brake problems anymore, claiming to be the “fastest red engine on Sodor.” Thomas tells James that Rosie has been repainted red, much to his shock and dismay.

James is already in a bad mood from having to pull trucks, and seeing Rosie’s new livery on the mainline does not help. James screeches to slow down, making a horrible squeaking noise in the process. To see who is the fastest, James challenges Rosie to a race to Crovan’s Gate. This, however, leads to James almost crashing into Henry, as James’ brake take a while to work. Rosie comments that something is wrong with James’ brakes, so James gives Rosie his trucks and sets off for the Steamworks.

On the way, however, James does not hear any noises from his brakes and concludes that the problem was the trucks pushing him. Little does he know that he is leaking brake fluid. Having not heard the noise since he gave Rosie his trucks, James forgets the Fat Controller’s warnings and races down Gordon’s Hill. At this point, James has run out of brake fluid, and the driver cannot slow James down. James races through Knapford and into the shunting yards, where Rosie tries to catch up and save him.

As the driver and fireman jump clear, James crashes face-first into the back of Tidmouth Sheds. Rosie and the Fat Controller arrive at the scene of the accident; the latter is very mad and tells James off for not listening. Rosie claims that James was having problems with his brakes and he even went to get them checked, though James admits that while he did go, he did not wait at all to have his brakes repaired. The Fat Controller tells James that he should have checked before his small problem turned into an even bigger one. James apologises to the Fat Controller and to Rosie who was right to warn him, but then she says that for a while, James really was the fastest red engine on Sodor, getting a small chuckle out of him as the workmen, construction vehicles, including members of the Pack, and the Search and Rescue Team arrive on the scene.




UK and AUS


  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Kerry Shale as Henry, Gordon and Kevin
  • Rob Rackstraw as James, his driver and the Knapford Workman
  • William Hope as Toby
  • Jules de Jongh as Emily
  • Nicola Stapleton as Rosie
  • David Bedella as Victor
  • Keith Wickham as Sir Topham Hatt
  • Christopher Ragland as the Troublesome Trucks



  • In the first scene of Toby following the butterfly, it disappears for one frame before reappearing again.
  • In the scenes at Knapford Station, the lighting is off, resulting in the engines’ faces lacking shadows from the station canopy.
  • Thomas' whistle does not emit steam when he leaves Knapford station.
  • As James is braking for the signal, Rosie's side rods do not move. Additionally, Rosie passes through the signal.
  • As James and Rosie are arguing over James’ brakes, Henry's train seems to double in size then what it had been in the previous scene.
  • James is shown and said to have leaked brake fluid, but steam engines do not use brake fluid; they are equipped with vacuum or air brakes.
  • During the close up of James braking before and on Gordon's Hill, he suddenly has his external brake shoes from The Adventure Begins but for the rest of the episode, they are absent.
  • When Rosie is trying to rescue James, a white strip appears under her chin.
  • Up until James stops at a signal on his way to the Steamworks, his rear tender axle boxes clip through his rear buffer beam.


In Other Languages

Language Title
Japanese はやいぞ!あかいきかんしゃ
Polish Najszybsza Czerwona Lokomotywa na Sodorze
Romanian Cea Mai Rapidă Locomotivă Roșie din Sodor

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