This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Scandinavian VHS/DVD or the Croatian DVD.
"Rubbish! You're too fat! (You're too slow!, - US Narration), you need exercise!"
— Thomas to Henry

Thomas and the Guard, retitled Thomas and the Conductor for American releases, is the eleventh episode of the first season. It aired in the Shining Time Station episodes Faith, Hope and Anxiety in 1989 and Fortune Teller Schemer in 1993.


Thomas the Tank Engine is enjoying his new life running the branch line, of which he is very proud and considers the most important part of the railway. Thomas' new coaches, Annie and Clarabel, agree with him and Thomas loves them both very much despite them both being old and needing new paint. When taking trains, Annie can only take passengers: however Clarabel takes passengers, luggage and the guard. Thomas and his coaches often sing to each other while taking trains and journeys often proceed smoothly. Annie and Clarabel know how important pleasing the Fat Controller is to Thomas and whenever he is angry, he is not angry at them.

One day, Thomas impatiently waits at the station for Henry who is running late so he can pick up passengers. Eventually Henry feebly arrives, complaining that his system is not working properly. As far as Thomas is concerned, Henry's only problem is his own laziness. Thomas, keen to be on time, leaves as soon as his guard blows the whistle but goes so fast he does not give the guard time to get aboard, leaving him behind. The guard waves his red flag, but it is no use and the tank engine is well on his way and out of the station.

Thomas sings to his coaches as usual, but Clarabel does not sing as she is very upset that her guard has been left behind. Annie tries to tell Thomas that they haven't got a guard aboard, but Thomas is in a hurry and does not listen. The two coaches try to brake, but cannot without a guard. Eventually Thomas stops when he reaches a red signal. He and his crew wait to find out what is the matter from the guard, but he does not come and Annie and Clarabel finally cry that he has been left behind.

Soon the passengers notice a figure running up behind them; it is the guard, who has been trying to catch up to Thomas. He is very hot following the chase and has a drink to cool down and tells everyone what happened. Thomas apologises for the earlier incident, but the guard assures Thomas it was not his fault. The signal drops and Thomas and his crew decide to make up for lost time.

With the guard back aboard, both Thomas and his coaches feel reinvigorated and manage to reach the end of the line in record time.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Tank Engine Thomas Again.
  • Pre-filmed footage from Thomas and Bertie and Thomas Goes Fishing, stock footage from Thomas and the Breakdown Train, and mirrored stock footage from Thomas' Train is used. Footage from the former was not cut properly, as Bertie can be seen for a split second on the top-left corner after Thomas, Annie and Clarabel enter the tunnel.
  • The shots of Thomas passing under the bridge before entering the tunnel and arriving at Ffarquhar station were used for the Classic Series' opening credits.
  • This is the first episode where the outro music is not used during the ending.
  • George Carlin's narration of this episode has been broadcasted on television, but has never been released on VHS or DVD. For a limited time in 2009, however, it was released on iTunes and it is currently available for digital download from Amazon in Thomas & Friends Classic Volume 1.
  • Henry being feeble is a foreshadowing of the episode, Coal.
  • Likely due to broadcasting concerns and because "fat" is a much more pejorative term in the US than in the UK, Thomas' line "You're too fat!" is changed to "You're too slow!" in the US versions.
  • This episode was Emu's first experience watching Thomas, as shown when he and his puppeteer Rod Hull were presenting Children's ITV in December 1985.


  • In the opening shot of the restored version, studio equipment is visible in the top-left corner.
  • In many scenes, Annie and Clarabel are facing the wrong way.
  • When Henry puffs into the junction, his brake coach is facing backwards.
  • When Thomas says "You're too fat! You need exercise!", he lets off steam. The scene then cuts to Henry briefly, but in the next scene, the steam has gone and Thomas lets off more.
  • In the close-up of Thomas leaving the junction, Annie and Clarabel are not coupled behind him.
  • In a close-up of Thomas' driver, his cap's brim is broken.
  • The guard only has his red flag when he is said to have had two flags.
  • The guard is alternatively bearded and clean-shaven between scenes.
  • Annie still appears sad when Thomas begins moving again after the signal changes.
  • At the end of the episode, in a close-up shot of Thomas, a camera connector is on his front.
  • When Thomas says "Bother that signal! What's the matter?", the background is different, showing buffers in the left corner.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Thomas y el Conductor/Thomas y el Guarda Thomas and the Conductor/Thomas and the Guard
Norwegian Thomas og konduktøren Thomas and the Guard
Welsh Tomos a'r Giard Thomas and the Guard
Hebrew תומס והשומר Thomas and the Guard
German Thomas und der Schaffner Thomas and the Conductor
Croatian Tomica i kočničar Thomas and the Brakesman
Japanese とりのこされたしゃしょう The Conductor that was Left Behind
French Thomas et le chef de train Thomas and the Conductor
Brazilian Portuguese Thomas e seu Condutor Thomas and his Conductor
Slovenian Tomaž in Sprevodnik Thomas and the Conductor
Dutch Thomas en de conducteur Thomas and the Conductor
Czech Tomáš a průvodčí Thomas and the Conductor
Italian Thomas e il Capotreno Thomas and the Guard
Swedish Thomas och Konduktören Thomas and the Conductor
Danish Thomas og Vagten Thomas and the Guard
Polish Tomek i Konduktor Thomas and the Conductor
Hungarian Thomas és a kísérő Thomas and the Accompanying
Chinese 托马斯和车长 Thomas and the Conductor
Korean 토마스와 차장 아저씨 Thomas and the Deputy Uncle
Finnish Tuomas-Veturi ja Junailija Thomas the Tank Engine and the Guard
Romanian Thomas şi Conductorul Thomas and the Conductor
Slovak Thomas a sprievodca Thomas and the Guide
Russian Томас и проводник Thomas and the Conductor
Serbian Tomas i redar Thomas and the Conductor
Thai โธมัสหงุดหงิด Thomas is Moody

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DVD Boxsets








  • Thomas the Tank Engine 1 (Scandinavian VHS/DVD)






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