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The Runaway Elephant

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"Hooray for Duncan's mistake!"
The narrow gauge engines

The Runaway Elephant is the sixteenth episode of the seventh season.


A new park is being opened and Duncan is bossing the other engines about and telling them to do their work quicker. When Duncan finishes his jobs, he is asked to take an elephant statue down to the park, but carelessly leaves without a brake van. Duncan also ignores the warnings to slow down and thus runs out of control, finally derailing at the park and sending the elephant flying into the pond. Duncan is repaired in time for the opening, but is surprised to find the elephant still in the pond due to general favour of the elephant's position, and embarrassed to be lauded by the others for his fortunate mistake.




  • Going by production order, this is the twenty-third episode of the seventh season.
  • A deleted scene from The Old Bridge is used.
  • This is the fourth episode to date to use a rendition of Gioachino Rossini's "William Tell Overture" and the second time it's used in the seventh season. The first being Busy Going Backwards, the second being Thomas the Jet Engine, and the third being Rheneas and the Roller Coaster. However, like the aforementioned episode, this was only in the UK and international versions, and unlike the previous episodes, the music was only played briefly.
  • The events of this episode were mentioned by Duncan in the eighteenth season episode, Emily Saves the World.


  • When Duncan sees Skarloey, Skarloey is preparing to pull some trucks, but in the next scene, Skarloey is pushing trucks.
  • When Duncan arrives at the sidings to collect the statue, the trucks that were previously there when he was at the station have disappeared. Also, Duncan arrived from a dead end.
  • In one scene, Duncan's driver changes appearance.
  • The scenes of Duncan running down the hills are clearly tilted, because Duncan's steam simply shoots out in diagonal jets from his funnel.
  • When Duncan rushes past Rusty, the narrator says: '"Slow down!" whistled Rusty,' but Rusty is a diesel engine and diesels have horns. Also, the line behind Rusty leads to bushes.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Danish Den flyvende elefant The Flying Elephant
Japanese にげたぞう The Runaway Elephant
Hungarian Az elefánt The Elephant
Italian Duncan e l'elefante Duncan and the Elephant
Romanian Elefantul Fugar Elephant Fugitive
Welsh Llyn Eliffant Lake Elephant
Slovak Utečený slon Escaped Elephant
Chinese 逃走的大象 Elephant Escape
Korean 코끼리 둥상 Elephant Escape
Russian Слон-беглец Elephant-Runaway
Polish Słoń Uciekinier Runaway Elephant
Swedish Elefant på irrvägar Runaway Elephant
Thai ดันแคนทำพลาด Duncan is Missed

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets


  • The Complete Seventh Series

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