Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

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)
May 1st,
1990 (JPN)
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 the Tank Engine's main job as station pilot is to collect the coaches that the engines need to pull their trains. Recently Thomas has been grumbling about only getting to collect the coaches, wanting to pull passenger trains instead. The other engines laugh at Thomas, telling him he's so impatient he'd be bound to leave something behind. Thomas is determined to get a chance to prove them wrong.

That night Thomas and Henry are alone in the shed as Henry has fallen ill. The workmen try their hardest to make him better, but its no use. Thomas feels sorry for Henry, who feels just as bad the next morning when he is due to take the early train. It's time for Thomas to get the coaches ready, and Thomas starts to hope he'll be allowed to pull the train if Henry can't. He excitedly leaves to fetch the coaches.

Thomas quickly gets the coaches to the platform, and is eager to run round in front. His driver doesn't let him, telling Thomas he needs to be less impatient. Soon all the passengers are aboard and the coaches are ready to leave and there's still no sign of Henry, much to Thomas's excitement. The Fat Controller arrives to see what is going on, and is told about Henry. He tells the stationmaster to find another engine, and as Thomas is the only one available he allows the tank engine to take the train. 

Thomas, full of joy, quickly moves to the front of the coaches despite his driver again warning Thomas not to be impatient but wait until everything is ready. No-one knows what happened next... maybe Thomas was too impatient to wait, maybe the driver pulled the lever by mistake or maybe the crew forgot to couple Thomas to the coaches. Regardless, Thomas leaves the station without the coaches and the passengers are very surprised and angry. The man in the signalbox tries to stop Thomas by shouting and waving, but Thomas thinks he is cheering.

Thomas sails along the line, thinking pulling coaches is easier than he was told. He keeps seeing people waving at him and assumes it's because he's never pulled a train before. Eventually Thomas is stopped at a signal set to danger. Thomas is angry at being stopped when he was sailing through nicely and blows his whistle, alerting the signalman who asks what Thomas is doing on this part of the line. Thomas explains he is carrying a train, causing the signalman to ask him where the coaches are. Thomas is horrified when he realises he's left his train behind. The signalman tells Thomas he better go back and get them, and Thomas is very upset at his mistake and is ready to cry. The driver tells Thomas not to be upset, and Thomas sheepishly heads back to the station.

At the station, all the passengers are complaining to the Fat Controller about what happened but when Thomas arrives and they see how upset and sorry he is they forget to be cross and allow him to try again. This time, Thomas is properly coupled to the coaches and he gets the chance to really pull the train. However for a long time afterwards, the other engines laugh at Thomas for his mistake.





  • 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.
  • 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 is also seen passing by with a train whilst Thomas is shunting the coaches, yet James was at Tidmouth Sheds when Thomas left from them in the previous shot.
  • 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
Welsh Trên Tomos Thomas the Train
Slovenian Tomažev Vlak Thomas' Train
French Le train de Thomas Thomas the Train



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