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Thomas and the Special Letter

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"Dear Thomas and all the engines, please, can I meet you? My friends say they would like to meet you, too. You can come to my house for tea, but my mummy says there aren't any railway tracks to my house. Can you come to the station instead? Thank you very much!"
— The letter
Thomas and the Special Letter

David Mitton


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton (adapted)


Michael Angelis (UK)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

April 10th, 1995 (UK)
September 25, 1995 (US)

Previous episode

Bulls Eyes

Next episode

Paint Pots and Queens/
Thomas Meets
the Queen

Thomas and the Special Letter is the twenty-second episode of the fourth season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episode One of the Family in 1995 and Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales in 1996.


Thomas is surprised to see some of the engines traveling to Tidmouth Sheds and follows them to get to the bottom of the matter. It turns out the first eight engines have been invited to the big city by a little girl eager to meet the engines, and the others are to do their work. Thomas is paired with Oliver to show him his branch line. Thomas is feeling excited and boasts about his race with Bertie, unluckily crashing through the buffers and into a wall. The workmen race to repair Thomas in time for the trip, and manage to do so just in time. Thomas tells Percy that a single letter can bring happiness.




  • This episode is based on the story The Fat Controller's Engines from The Railway Series book, The Eight Famous Engines.
  • Behind the scenes footage for this episode was filmed for the 1995 documentary The Thomas the Tank Engine Man.
  • This is the 100th episode of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.
  • The first season episode, Thomas and Bertie, is referenced.
  • The picture of Duke from Bulldog can be seen in Sir Topham Hatt's office.
  • The Italian title of this episode is "A Special Letter". The German title is "A Very Special Letter". The Danish title is "Thomas and the Letter". It is called "Thomas and the Important Letter" in Finland.


  • Steam is venting from the line that Mavis and BoCo take through Elsbridge.
  • Douglas is seen when the narrator says Donald spoke.
  • In Toby's third close-up, his face is loose.
  • Annie is facing backwards during the close-up of Thomas' driver.
  • When Thomas and Percy first leave Elsbridge, Toby isn't in his siding, but Henrietta is still there.
  • In Thomas and Bertie, Thomas remembers stopping "an inch from the buffers" after his race with Bertie. Though he may be exaggerating for effect, there are no buffers seen when Thomas stops at Ffarquhar after his race with Bertie.
  • It should have been impossible to repair Thomas' buffers in the space of a day with the damage he took.
  • As Henry leaves Elsbridge, one of his wheels is loose.
  • In the Big City shed, Percy's cab roof is lifted slightly.
  • In the scene of the engines waiting for Thomas, James has a different whistle sound and Gordon has Duck's whistle sound.
  • Donald and Duck have the same whistle sound and Douglas has a different whistle sound.
  • During the panning shot of the engines when Sir Topham Hatt reads the little girl's letter, James and Gordon's eyes are wonky.
  • When Thomas starts talking to Oliver, some of the steam from his funnel disappears, indicating a film cut.
  • In the American narration, the term truck is used.
  • Mavis has a different horn sound.
  • In the close-ups of the Fat Controller giving the announcement, Duck's funnel looks different.
  • When the engines pass through the station toward the beginning, Oliver has Bill or Ben's whistle sound.
  • If Oliver, Donald, Douglas, BoCo, Mavis, Bill and Ben were doing the work for the engines that went to the big city, who was doing their work?



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