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Thomas' Train

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story or the US VHS/DVD release.
"Hello, Thomas. What are you doing here?"
"I'm pulling a train! Can't you see?"
"Where are your coaches, then?"
"Why, bless me, if we haven't left them behind!
— The signalman and Thomas
Thomas' Train/
A Big Day for Thomas

David Mitton


David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

October 23rd,
1984 (UK)
April 10th,
1987 (AUS)
February 12th,
1989 (US)
December 19th,
1991 (George
Carlin US

Previous episode

Edward, Gordon
and Henry
Henry to
the Rescue

Next episode

Thomas and
the Trucks
Trouble for Thomas

Thomas' Train, retitled A Big Day for Thomas in American releases, is the fifth episode of the first season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes, And the Band Played Off and Stop the Press.


Thomas was grumbling to the other engines; he was tired of pulling coaches about and wanted to pull a passenger train himself. The big engines only laughed. They knew that "Thomas was a little engine with a long tongue". But one night, Henry was ill. The workmen worked hard through the night, but the big green engine didn't get better. Henry always pulls the first train, but with him out of commission, Thomas hopes that he will be able to pull it. At the station, everyone is waiting for Henry. At last the Fat Controller agrees that Thomas will have to pull the train. No one knows what happened next, but Thomas is not coupled to the coaches when he puffs off.

As Thomas puffs along, people wave and shout at him. Thomas assumes that it is because they have never seen him pull a passenger train before and he whistles back. Soon, Thomas comes to a signal set at "danger" and has to stop. The signalman walks over to Thomas and asks him what he's doing. Thomas tells the signalman he's pulling a train, but the signalman informs Thomas that he is not pulling anything. Thomas is so sad that he nearly cries. He quickly reverses back to the station to start again. At the station, the angry passengers are complaining, but when they see how sorry Thomas looks they soon forget to be cross. Thomas is now coupled to the train and this time he really does pull it.

But for a long time afterwards, the larger engines teased Thomas for his mistake.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • While Thomas is shunting the coaches, a truck with "NE" on the side can be seen in the siding.


  • When the others tease Thomas, Edward appears to be amongst them. Isn't he supposed to be kind?
  • When Henry is being worked on, one of the workmen does not have his overalls completely painted on.
  • Two clocks can be seen at Platform 1. The green clock reads 7:00; the red clock 12:00.
  • As Thomas is shunting the coaches for Henry's train, James puffs past with a passenger/goods train. Isn't Henry's train supposed to be the first train of the day?
  • When Thomas passes the signal box without his train, his eyes are wonky.
  • The man with the blue hat and coat and the boy with the blue sweater on the bridge were two of Thomas' passengers.
  • In a close-up of Thomas, his wheels are going at a different pace to the background.
  • At the end of the episode, Henry's train is missing a brake coach.
  • When the narrator says, "Thomas was so sad he nearly cried", Thomas still looks surprised.
  • When the others tease Thomas, Gordon is amongst them, but a few seconds earlier he was several hundred metres ahead.
  • In the close-up of Thomas puffing down the line, look at his coupling and you'll see a rope pulling him along.
  • When Thomas first shunts the coaches, the back buffers of the coach are at their normal height. A few scenes later however, the buffers were lowered to accommodate Thomas' buffers. But, in every scene after that, they're at their normal height again.
  • James appears briefly, but he is not introduced until Thomas and the Breakdown Train.
  • Thomas' eyes are wonky at the end of the episode when the other engines are teasing him.
  • The brake coach of Thomas' train is at the front when it should be at the back.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Un gran día para Thomas A Big Day for Thomas
Japanese トーマスのしっぱい Thomas' Failure
Norwegian Toget til Thomas Thomas' Train
Brazilian Portuguese Uma Surpresa Para o Thomas A Surprise For Thomas



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