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The Grand Opening

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.
"Topham, you cannot be serious. Me ride in this?!"
— Lady Hatt
The Grand Opening

David Mitton


Phil Fehrle


James Mason


Michael Angelis
Michael Brandon

Air date

November 3rd,
2003 (UK)
March 8th,
2004 (US)
November 9th,
2004 (AUS)

Previous episode

Harold and the
Flying Horse

Next episode

Best Dressed Engine

The Grand Opening is the twenty-first episode of the seventh season.


Skarloey is often late doing maintenance work and the Fat Controller is cross and worried that he may be late for the grand opening of Rumblin Bridge station. On the day of the grand opening, Lady Hatt and the Fat Controller charter the hot air balloon to take them to Rumblin Bridge, but the balloon's burner runs out of fuel and the balloon falls into a tree. Luckily, Skarloey, who is as late as ever, is nearby and the Hatts hitch a ride with him to the station.





  • When Skarloey puffs into the station at the beginning, the puffing sound does not match the speed at which he is travelling.
  • When the Fat Controller says "The wind direction is perfect", his arm slowly slides downward.
  • When Skarloey approaches a level crossing, a man can be seen on the far left as a blue tractor passes over the crossing.
  • Skarloey's brakevan is referred to as a box car.
  • The Skarloey Railway is incorrectly referred to as the Mountain Railway.
  • A steam platform is visible when Skarloey arrives at Rumblin Bridge.
  • In a close-up shot of Skarloey's driver, Skarloey has a gold ring around his front window. In non close-up shots, the frame is not there and the window also appears to be much smaller.


  • Lady Hatt (as balloon starts to fall): I want to get off!
  • The Fat Controller: Not now, dear.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ききゅうとかいつうしき The Balloon and the Opening Ceremony
Danish Åbningsceremonien The Opening Ceremony
Swedish Den stora invigningen The Grand Opening
Italian La Grande Inaugurazione The Grand Opening
Hungarian Az ünnepélyes megnyitó The Opening Ceremony

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