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“Oh no!”
―Arthur's horror at upsetting the fish

Thomas and the Runaway Car is the seventeenth episode of the eleventh season.


Thomas has been given the important job of taking the Fat Controller's new car to the Sodor Show. Gordon has been given the job of taking the bandstand to the show and challenges Thomas to a race. Gordon manages to get a head start and Thomas impatiently tells Rocky to hurry up with loading the car onto the flatbed, but Rocky tells Thomas to wait because he needs to be careful. The car is finally placed on the flatbed, but Thomas starts so quickly he does not wait for the Dock manager to couple him up to the flatbed. Rocky and the workmen try to tell Thomas, but he was already gone, determined to beat Gordon.

When Thomas puffed to the top of Gordon's Hill, the flatbed rolled away from him and he chased after it. While Percy was waiting at a red signal, Arthur was pulling into a siding with heavy trucks of fish. Percy saw the runaway car coming and warned Arthur. Arthur, backing up much too fast, biffed the buffers with fish flying in the air and splattering all over him. Up ahead mud was all over the track and Rosie had just left the washdown. The runaway car ran past her, causing mud to splatter all over her. She did not look too pleased at her predicament.

The flatbed then raced passed Gordon and went into a siding crashing into some buffers with the car then flying off and running into a haystack. When Thomas caught up, he saw what happened and Gordon, feeling triumphant, chuffed to the show. Thomas realises that he lost the race and the Fat Controller's car would never get to the show on time. He set off to the Docks to get Rocky, but he stopped knowing that he was not strong enough to pull Rocky on his own. When Gordon came back after delivering the bandstand and winning the race, Thomas begged Gordon to fetch Rocky. Gordon, taking pity on Thomas, was more than happy to help his old ally as well as show off his strength. He went to the Docks, fetched Rocky and brought him over to the hay field. After getting the car back on the flatbed, Thomas thanked Gordon by giving him the car to deliver and they arrive at the show together.




  • The "new" car model is actually the same old one.
  • The crowd scene from the eleventh season episode, Toby's Triumph is reused only with the people changed around slightly.
  • This was the only episode where Arthur has been seen with his shut eye face.
  • This marks the only time Rosie has been seen with faces with shut eyes and an angry expression.
  • This episode was shown in select USA cinemas as part of Thomas and Friends on the Big Screen.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things:
  • In the Japanese version, Arthur gains extra lines.


  • Gordon's buffer is crooked at the docks.
  • At the top of Gordon's Hill, the couplings clang and drop before the flatbed moves away; but it was said that the flatbed was not coupled up.
  • When the flatbed speeds past Arthur, he speeds up after his trucks to clear the points.
  • When the fish fly out of the trucks on to Arthur, he appears to have two fish stuck on his smokebox before the fish hit him.
  • When the flatbed passes Rosie it splashes mud all over her, but when Thomas runs by he does not.

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