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“Oh, Thomas! Why would the Fat Controller want to take a little tank engine like you to the Great Railway Show?”

The Great Race is the 2016 Thomas & Friends movie.


When the best engines from around the world gather to compete in the Great Railway Show, Thomas is determined to find a way to represent Sodor. But he is left disappointed as Gordon is chosen to be the new "Shooting Star" for The Great Race. With Gordon and the other engines making the journey to compete, something suddenly goes terribly wrong, and Gordon is in danger. Will Thomas get to the mainland in time to help him and save the day?


Characters Introduced



UK, AUS and NZ

US and CAN


Bonus Features



  • Music Videos - Will You Won't You, Streamlining, I'm Full of Surprises and You Can Only Be You
  • Guess Who? Puzzles - Etienne, Flying Scotsman, Philip, Rajiv, Shane and Vinnie
  • 20 Meet the Contenders Shorts


  • This special takes place between the twentieth season and Journey Beyond Sodor. However, there are some hints with production crew, voice actors and changes that this was produced before Season 20 in 2015, these being:
    • Tracy Blagdon being a production manager. She became a producer in March 2016.
    • Keith Wickham voicing James in the UK dub.
    • Arlesburgh Junction lacking the station and footbridge seen on the junction in the twentieth season and the sheds still appearing as a one-berth shed.
  • This special was shown in select UK cinemas from 21st May,[1] and in Australia and New Zealand from 20th August.
  • This special was shown at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during a private screening held by the Autism Ontario on 9th July 2016.[2]
  • This special was shown in selected Italian cinemas on the 7th, 8th, 15th and 16th of October 2016.
  • This special introduced the most new characters to date, at a total of twelve, only nine of which speak.
  • This special ties in with both the 2016 Summer Olympics and Flying Scotsman's return to service in real-life.
  • This special was shown in the US at Thomas Land on September 3rd, 2016 before being released on DVD.
  • References to the fourth season episode, Thomas and the Special Letter and the nineteenth season episode, The Little Engine Who Raced Ahead are made in this special.
  • A reworked arrangement of the original Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends theme tune is played as fanfare while Ashima and the Sodor engines parade through Vicarstown en-route to the Mainland for the Great Railway Show.
  • A reworked arrangement of The Watermill theme from the second season can be heard when Thomas goes back to pick up Annie and Clarabel, after coming back from The Steamworks from his "repaint."
  • Steven Kynman takes over the role of Charlie in the US dub.
  • Rufus Jones, Tina Desai and John Schwab join the voice cast.
  • The station announcement used in Tale of the Brave is heard when Thomas first arrives at Vicarstown.
  • When Thomas asks Victor to repaint him, one of the liveries seen in the fantasy sequence features a red and blue lightning bolt over his right eye, resembling the late singer David Bowie, who sported a similar lightning bolt on his face for the cover of his album Aladdin Sane.
  • From 13th April until 7th September, the official YouTube channel uploaded promotional videos of each of the Great Railway Show's contestants (excluding James and Hiro), each video being uploaded once a week on every Wednesday.
  • This special marks the first of multiple things:
    • The first full appearance of Flying Scotsman in the television series and his first appearance since the third season.
    • The first time that Mrs. Kyndley has been referred to by name since the fifth season.
    • The very first speaking role of the Great Railway Show Judge, who had only cameoed since the sixteenth season.
    • The first appearance of the red express coaches in full CGI, and their first appearance since the twelfth season.
    • The first appearance of Vicarstown station in the television series.
    • The first special to have music composed by Chris Renshaw and Oliver Davis after Robert Hartshorne and Peter Hartshorne's contracts ended after production of Season 19 and Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
    • The first special to be a musical, though not the first to have characters sing in a special.
    • The first special since Calling All Engines! that the narrator does not read the title.
    • Norman's first speaking role since the seventeenth season episode, The Frozen Turntable.
    • The first time "Locomotive" has been said in the series.
    • Charlie's first speaking role since the eighteenth season episode, Not So Slow Coaches, as well as his first speaking role in a special.
  • This special also marks the first and only time of a couple of things:
  • This special marks the last of a few things:
    • The last special animated by Arc Productions under their original name. They were later rebranded as Jam Filled in Toronto in August 2016 after Arc Productions filed up for bankruptcy.
    • The final time Teresa Gallagher voices Daisy. Tracy-Ann Oberman and assumed the role from the twentieth season onwards.
    • With All in Vain being the last episode, this is the last special in which Keith Wickham voices James in the UK dub. Rob Rackstraw later takes over the role in Journey Beyond Sodor.
    • The final special in which the non-human characters' bodies are static, as starting from Journey Beyond Sodor, they start moving their bodies in restricted human like ways.
    • The final time to date at the length of one hour special.
    • The final time Javier Olguín voices Thomas and Percy for the Latin American version. Héctor Ireta de Alba would take over the roles starting with the twentieth season onwards.
    • The final time Rosie is seen in her original lavender livery as starting from Journey Beyond Sodor onwards, she is painted in a new cherry red livery.
    • The last production to have Tracy Blagdon as production manager. She was promoted to producer in the twentieth season.
    • Kallan Kagan's last special as executive producer.
    • Robert Anderson's last special as producer.
    • Marianne Culbert's last production as executive producer.
    • Stephanie Gauthier Watson's last special as assistant production manager.
    • The last special released on Blu-ray in the US.
  • This special aired in Mexico on Discovery Kids on 10th December 2016 and 2nd January 2017. It also aired on Canal 5 on 5th January 2017.
  • The special aired on Nick Jr. in the US split into three half hour blocks on 13th August - 15th August 2018.
  • In the Spanish of Latin America dub, this special is called "La Gran Carrera," which is the same title as the fourth season episode, Steam Roller in the same dub.
  • On 15 June 2018, the songs from the special were released on digital music services.


  • Five actors and actresses are not credited for voicing their characters:
    • Tom Stourton in both dubs for voicing Rex.
    • Jonathan Broadbent in both dubs for voicing Bill and Ben.
    • Jules de Jongh and Christopher Ragland in the UK dub for singing Emily and Percy, respectively.
    • John Hasler in the US dub for voicing Rheneas.
  • The digital release is slowed down to 24 FPS, adding an extra two minutes to the special's length. As a result, its audio is slightly distorted.
  • When Thomas enters Vicarstown Station with the local, there is no smoke coming from Douglas' funnel.
  • There are many animation and voice errors in Will You, Won't You:
    • When Thomas enters Knapford, in the first shot he is already inside the station, but in the next shot he is seen entering the station again.
    • When the song first begins, Thomas' driver's elbow clips through his cab door.
    • Duck is not steaming as he goes through Knapford Station.
    • In the US dub, when Stanley and Norman first speak, their voices are swapped over.
    • As Gordon pulls into Knapford, Emily is leaving the station with a row of coaches. The second coach's body is missing, as only its chassis can be seen.
    • When Gordon sings, the audio from the singing and the mouth animation do not sync.
    • Thomas goes over Henry's tunnel, despite the fact that there are not any rails.
    • Rex's tender merges through his cab, and his driver's head sticks through his boiler.
    • In the US dub, when Gordon, James and Diesel sing "Will you, won't you take us to the railway show," Emily's voice can be faintly heard, her voice can be heard again when Henry, Duck, Donald and Douglas sing "Will you won't you take us to the railway show," she can even be heard laughing when Thomas arrives at the yard to sing along.
    • In both dubs, Percy's UK voice can be heard when Henry, Duck, Donald and Douglas sing "Will you won't you take us to the railway show," but he is nowhere to be seen in either scene.
    • In the UK dub, when Thomas comes in, James is seen laughing but his voice is not heard. This could be because his voice was drowned out by Gordon and Diesel.
    • Stephen's wheels are moving slower than his side rods are.
    • As Donald buffers up to Winston, his mouth was not moving when he sings "Leavin' behind all our coaches and freight" before his mouth moves to sing "Please Sir, we're beggin' you".
    • Towards the end of the song, James' bufferbeam clips through Gordon's running board. In the same shot, they stop moving, but in the next shot, they stop moving again.
  • When the Fat Controller tells the engines to get back to work, Duck's driver's head clips through the top of Duck's roof. Also when the engines back away, Henry has Edward’s whistle sound but there's no steam emits. A few seconds later Henry's whistle sound can be heard.
  • When Philip backs up to fetch his trucks, the trucks behind him are open wagons. However, when he leaves the yard, the trucks turn into conflates.
  • In the US dub, shortly before "Streamlining" starts, when Thomas says "Sir Topham Hatt will definitely take me to the show", his lips move to say, "The Fat Controller."
  • There are four goofs during Streamlining:
    • When Thomas is being taken apart, his cab windows are shown to be taken off, but in the close-up of him before his wheels get blow-torched, his cab windows are back.
    • In the music video, in the shot of Thomas' parts taken off, the view is pixelated.
    • A Dieselworks workman sprays paint on Thomas rather than a Steamworks workman.
  • When the Fat Controller says, "That... is an excellent idea Thomas," his lips do not sync with his voice.
  • When Duck departs Brendam Docks, his whistle sound is not heard, but steam can be seen emitting from it however.
  • When Thomas arrives at Brendam Docks, the conflate behind him is floating above the rails.
  • There are eight inconsistencies during the scene of the international engines arriving at Brendam Docks and many of them change places in multiple shots:
    • When the engines leave the ferry and make their way through the docks, Yong Bao is behind Raul. However, as the engines head back to the ship, he appears behind Gina and Raul appears behind him.
    • As the engines pass through the docks, Etienne is between Yong Bao and Frieda. When he is back on the ferry however, he appears behind Raul and Vinnie.
    • Ivan is between Yong Bao and Rajiv when the engines get off the ferry, but when they get back onto the ferry, he appears between Gina and Yong Bao.
    • Carlos is not shown in any of the scenes showing the engines getting on the ship and back on. Although, it is likely that he was at the back of the ferry when the engines were heading to the docks.
  • Throughout the special, engines and trucks often run over sets of points, only for another engine or truck to run over the same set of points almost immediately after without the points being changed.
  • When Gina says "Is-a somebody missing?" after realising that Ashima was not on the ship, Axel has no wheels and his tender is missing.
  • When Thomas shunts trucks in the yard, a row of narrow gauge trucks can be seen on standard gauge rails.
  • Thomas shunts trucks onto a switch, half of the trucks go one way and the other half goes on the other.
  • Annie is not coupled up to Ashima when she leaves Maithwaite.
  • During "You Can Only Be You" when Thomas sings "Is this what I'm really meant to be" the second time, Annie and Clarabel disappear from behind Ashima, only to reappear when she sings "There isn't any other place to start."
  • When Diesel shunts the disguised diesels and the trucks into the yard, his coupling chain is sticking outward. He also passes by Thomas twice.
  • While Thomas and Diesel are talking in the yards, a brown truck in the background becomes green and back to brown between shots.
  • As Thomas rolls out of the yard with the runaway trucks, Dart's crate is missing.
  • In some shots, Ashima's wheels are not moving.
  • There are no ropes attached to the crate that falls on Diesel, but ropes appear on it in the next shot.
  • When the Sudrian engines and Ashima first arrive at the Great Railway Show, Percy has momentarily disappeared and Yong Bao passes by on a junction in front of them, but there is no visible junction for him to have done so.
  • In the close-up of Rajiv when the engines arrive at the Great Railway Show, there is only one track between Rajiv and Gordon. However, in every other shot, there are two tracks between them.
  • Throughout the scene of the Sudrian engines' arrival at the Great Railway Show, Axel's tender is halfway off the rails and merges through his cab.
  • When Flying Scotsman first sees Gordon in his streamlined form, his right (viewer's left) eyebrow phases through his forehead.
  • When Thomas is going to the Great Railway Show to deliver Gordon's safety valve, he nearly crashes into Hiro who is heading towards the Island of Sodor. However, when Thomas arrives at the show, Hiro is competing in the Strength competition.
  • As Thomas says "I really must stop doing that," Samson runs a red signal behind him.
  • When Thomas enters the Great Railway Show, an Irish flag can be seen, but there are no Irish engines competing in the show. This could probably represent the Indian flag but lacking the navy blue wheel on it.
  • When Frieda puffs away, after protesting to Thomas that she does not look like Gordon. She blows her whistle, but no steam emits.
  • At one point when Ashima tells James and Emily that she is going to compete in the shunting challenge, her wheels aren’t on the tracks.
  • The Race Announcer refers to Etienne as a diesel-electric locomotive, but Etienne is not a diesel engine and does not run on diesel either.
  • When the Great Race starts, right when Gordon says "Oh Thomas, will you stop your whining?" Henry flies off of the line in the background and goes through the bushes. In the same shot, Philip's model appears to be angled incorrectly.
  • During "The Shooting Star is Coming Through," just as Gordon is catching up to Etienne and Spencer, Spencer's wheels are not moving.
  • As Flying Scotsman passes Gordon after the latter breaks down, his smoke deflectors are retracted.
  • Many of the people at the Great Railway Show appear to be duplicated.
  • The chute on the coal hopper is over Carlos' boiler when he is taking on coal.
  • After Carlos moved out of the way for Philip being chased by Vinnie, he switches tracks but there is no visible junction anywhere for him to have done so.
  • When Emily tells Thomas about the shunting challenge in the UK dub, she says the term "boxcars," but this is supposed to be an American term for vans.
  • Throughout the shunting challenge, the Sudrian engines are not on the tracks.
  • When the engines are starting for the shunting challenge, Raul is on the middle line between the two tracks beside Thomas and Gina. But in the next shot, he is on the right beside Thomas.
  • When Raul shouts, "Points" to the signalman to switch the points for him. The points are switched from the curve to the straight line instead of straight to the curve line.
  • In the shot of Ivan during the first half of the shunting challenge, Philip is seen with the Sudrian engines when he should not be, as he’s being chased by Vinnie while this happens.
  • When Thomas buffers up to the box van, the chain on his front coupling is missing.
  • Thomas and Ashima both manage to couple up to Vinnie without the assistance of a shunter.
  • After Vinnie derails and runs into the pylon, Ashima is not on the tracks. In addition, the conflates he derailed are gone. But, when Ashima's track is blocked, only one of them reappears.
  • Philip is facing away from the turntable before Vinnie crashes, but after he derails, Philip is turned around.
  • When Thomas begins singing part of "You Can Only Be You" just before he notices Ashima is missing, the Fat Controller appears to be frozen, though he does blink, but becomes frozen again.
  • When Flying Scotsman leaves after calling Gordon "little brother," his tender wheels are not moving and his tender wheels have no axles.
  • There are five goofs during Be Who You Are, and Go Far:
    • At the start of the song in the UK dub, James has his US voice which can be heard faintly, then it changes to his UK one once the engines have left the Great Railway Show.
    • When the Sodor Team and Ashima leaves the shunting yard, the signals are up.
    • When the engines cross the Vicarstown Bridge, Gordon's light is shining through Ashima's cab. In the same scene, James and Emily's decorations disappear for the rest of the movie.
    • When the Sudrian engines and Ashima are heading towards Vicarstown station, Henrietta is right next to Toad, but in the next shot, she has moved more further forward than Toad.
  • In the mid-credits scene where the diesels and Cranky realise that Diesel is on the ship, Cranky is not in his usual spot. In the same shot, Den, Dart and Paxton are not on the rails.
  • In promotional images, Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Netherlands and Hungary flags are spotted hanging on top of the bleacher's roof, but no engines representing each of their countries compete in the Great Railway Show.
  • In a promotional image, Vinnie is said to represent Canada.
  • In the Italian dub of "Will You Won't You," Salty is the only one who sings "Anyone who's any engine's eager to go."
  • In the Russian dub of "Will You Won't You," some voice clips are missing (Gordon laughing, Philip yelping).
  • There are several goofs in the German dub:
    • When Victor says "It's a lot of hard work to streamline a steam engine, Gordon," he calls Gordon a diesel engine. The same mistake happens after Thomas crashes into the flatbed, the announcer calls him a diesel.
    • Before "Streamlining" starts, Annie starts screaming before Thomas goes faster.
    • After "Will You Won't You," Gordon is the only one whose laughing is heard.
    • Andrew Brenner's name is missing from the intro.
    • Tank engines are called steam engines, as a result, Cranky says "Oh, Thomas. This is really funny, a streamlined steam engine!"
    • When Annie and Clarabel talk to Ashima at Maron, their voices are swapped.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese A Grande Corrida
Czech Velký závod
Dutch De grote wedstrijd
French La Grande Course
German Das große Rennen
Greek Ο Μεγάλος Αγώνας
Hungarian A nagy verseny
Japanese 走れ!世界のなかまたち
Korean 위대한 레이스
Polish Wielki Wyścig
Romanian Cursa cea Mare
Russian Большая гонка
Serbian Velika trka
Slovenian Velika dirka
Spanish La Gran Carrera



Wooden Railway

  • Ashima
  • Racing Vinnie
  • Frieda
  • Diesels in Disguise Pack
  • Vicarstown Station
  • Race Day Relay set with Gina

Motor Road and Rail

  • Streamlined Thomas
  • Ringing Streamlined Thomas in Tekoro
  • Shooting Star Gordon
  • Ashima
  • Ringing Ashima in Tekoro


  • Streamlined Thomas
  • Shooting Star Gordon
  • Ashima
  • Racing Vinnie
  • Raul
  • Axel
  • Ivan


  • Trophy Thomas
  • Shooting Star Gordon
  • Flying Scotsman
  • Thomas and Percy's Railway Race set
  • Thomas' Sky High Bridge Jump Playset
  • Etienne
  • Streamlined Thomas


  • Movie Version Thomas
  • Streamlined Thomas

Collectible Railway

  • Streamlined Thomas
  • Shooting Star Gordon
  • Ashima
  • Yong Bao
  • Axel

Motorized Railway

  • Yong Bao
  • Racing Thomas
  • Thomas' Racing Bridge Jump

Mega Bloks

  • Railway Race Day Set


  • Ashima
  • Raul
  • Gina
  • Ivan
  • Shane

Capsule Plarail

  • The Great Race Thomas
  • Streamlined Thomas
  • Thomas as Harvey Fantasy
  • Thomas as Stephen Fantasy
  • Thomas as Bertie Fantasy
  • Thomas as Alfie Fantasy
  • Thomas as Captain Fantasy
  • Shooting Star Gordon (normal and angry)
  • Decorated James
  • Decorated Emily
  • Ashima
  • Vinnie
  • Flying Scotsman (two versions)
  • Streamlined Annie
  • Streamlined Clarabel
  • Trophy Truck



External Links