|This article is about the first season episode. You may be looking for the eighth season episode, the DVD, the Buzz Book, or the magazine story.|
| Thomas and the Breakdown Train/|
Thomas Saves the Day
Thomas and the Breakdown Train, retitled Thomas Saves the Day in American releases, is the seventh episode of the first season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes, Pitching in and Helping Out and Wrong Track.
Thomas now works in the goods yard at the station, pushing and pulling trucks into place. Everyday he sees the Fat Controller, who kindly tells Thomas that, while he may not be as big or as fast as Gordon, he can still be a really useful engine. While shunting, Thomas notices a strange green coach and two cranes and his driver explains that this is the breakdown train and it is used to lift engines, coaches, or trucks that may come off the line.
One day, Thomas is pushing trucks when he hears an engine whistling and calling for help. The engine is James, who is the newest engine on Sodor, and he is being pushed by trucks causing him to go far faster than normal. To make matters worse, his brake blocks are on fire. As the trucks laugh, James disappears in the distance. Although he cannot do anything, Thomas is eager for the trucks to be taught a lesson.
Soon an alarm rings and the signalman tells Thomas that James has come off the line, so the breakdown train is needed. Thomas is coupled to the breakdown train and heads to the scene of the accident as fast as he can.
Further down the line, James has crashed into a field and fallen on his side. His crew checks him for any damage and tells James that the fault lies in his wooden brakes which were unable to stop him. Thomas arrives with the breakdown train and removes the trucks that were still on the rails from the scene while the breakdown train recovers the trucks which had overturned. Thomas works harder than ever before, going backwards and forwards with the very sorry trucks until they have all been removed.
Soon it is time to lift James back onto the rails. After having the chains attached to him, James is lifted by the cranes and is returned to his proper position. James is unable to move by himself, so Thomas helps him back to the shed as the sun sets. Waiting for them is the Fat Controller, who congratulates Thomas on all his hard work. He tells James that he is going to get a new coat of paint and some proper brakes fitted, then rewards a delighted Thomas with a branch line of his own.
Nowadays, Thomas could not be happier. Not only does he have a branch line, but he also has two new coaches named Annie and Clarabel. He now gets to pull trains all day and often sees Edward and Henry. Gordon is always in a hurry, but still whistles greetings to Thomas who whistles back.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Edward (does not speak)
- Henry (does not speak)
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Thomas the Tank Engine.
- In the restored version, an extended shot of the signalman shouting "James is off the line! The breakdown train, quickly!" is shown.
- Stock footage from Edward, Gordon and Henry and Thomas and the Trucks is used.
- A rare picture shows the breakdown train without buffers.
- A metal rod was placed in front of James' driving wheels to produce the sparking effect.
- In the UK narration, Sir Topham Hatt says: "Remember, don't be impatient, Thomas! You can never be as strong and fast as Gordon, but you can be a really useful engine! Don't let the silly trucks tease you!" In the US narration, he tells Thomas: "Don't let the silly freight cars tease you! Remember, you have an important job as a special helper in the train yard."
- In the UK narration, James' driver tells James that the accident was not his fault, it was the wooden brakes they gave James, which the driver and fireman always said were no good. In the US narration, he says, "It was those silly freight cars and your old wooden brakes that caused the accident!"
- In Germany, this episode is called "The Accident". The Japanese title is "James' Derailment".
- The works unit coach was not coupled to the breakdown train.
- When Thomas takes on water, his water cap isn't open.
- In the close-up of James' wheels on fire, the small metal rod that used to create the sparks is visible.
- Thin wires are used, along with the cranes, to lift James back on the rails.
- A truck is shunted into view as James and Thomas leave, but Thomas was the only engine working at the scene of the accident.
- When Thomas and James return to Tidmouth Sheds, the puffing noise continues after they stop.
- Hornby - Thomas and the Breakdown Train set