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Trouble in the Shed

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.
"That's the one. If I choose you, will you work hard?"
"Oh, sir! Yes, sir!"
"That's a good engine. I'll call you Percy."
"Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!
— Sir Topham Hatt and Percy

Trouble in the Shed is the sixteenth episode of the first season. In the US, this episode first aired on the Shining Time Station episodes: Whistle While You Work in 1989 and Schemer's Robot in 1993.


At Knapford, there is no sign of the morning train, causing the passengers to become angry. Sir Topham Hatt is told by the stationmaster that Henry is refusing to leave his shed, so he goes to find out what is going on. Gordon tells him that he, Henry and James will no longer fetch their own coaches or shunt in sidings, declaring that tender engines do not shunt. Sir Topham Hatt is very angry that the bigger engines are trying to tell him what they are willing to do and leaves for Wellsworth to enlist Edward as a station pilot to ensure that the day's trains run as normal, noting to himself that life at the yard has not been the same since Thomas left to run his branch line. Edward is happy to shunt the coaches and the rest of the day's trains run as usual.

Next day, Sir Topham Hatt visits the yard to see how Edward is getting along. To his dismay, he sees Gordon puff by and wheeshes loudly at Edward. Edward tells the Fat Controller that the big engines have been insulting and wheeshing steam at him, thinking he is a traitor since he is a tender engine as well. Sir Topham Hatt assures Edward that tender engines do shunt, but decides that he must bring a new tank engine to the yard to permanently fix the problem.

Visiting the engine workshop, Sir Topham Hatt is shown all kinds of engines. Soon he sees a smart green saddletank and knows this is the one he wants. The Fat Controller asks the engine if he is willing to work hard. The engine eagerly responds that he is. With that, the matter is settled. Sir Topham Hatt names him Percy and takes him back to the yard.

Sir Topham Hatt asks Edward to get Percy acquainted with the yard and the pair set off for work. Edward is very impressed by his hard work and loud wheeshing - something he learned in the workshop so as to be heard, which frightens Henry when he attempts to insult Edward again. Sir Topham Hatt then decides to send Thomas and calls all three engines to the yard for an announcement. He tells them that he has shut up the big engines in the shed as punishment for their little mutiny until they learn to behave and that, in Gordon, Henry, and James' absence, the two tank engines and Edward will run the railway.

Edward and Thomas are put in charge of the main line, while Percy takes care of the branch line as well as looking after Annie and Clarabel. While there are fewer trains, the passengers understand that the three engines are doing their best to keep the railway running and that the big engines were in the middle of learning a lesson.

In the sheds, Gordon, James, and Henry are left cold, lonely, and miserable. The three finally start to realise just how silly they have been.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Troublesome Engines.
  • Despite not having a speaking role in most versions of this episode, Henry actually has a speaking role in the Japanese version.
  • The engines under the tarps in the workshops are predecessors (from left to right) Gordon, the Märklin Engine, James, Henry and Edward, the latter three without their tenders.
  • Stock footage from Thomas' Train is used.
  • This is the first episode where its title is said in the episode.
  • The scene of Sir Topham Hatt putting his hat on is cut in the restored version.
  • The closeup of Sir Topham Hatt confronting the engines at Tidmouth Sheds was used for the "Next Story Coming Up Soon!" card in between double bills and early American videos. This was also used in "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" when discussing about endorsements.
  • In the UK version of this episode, the big engines tell Edward that he has "black wheels" last night. This insult is a play on the word "blackleg" which means someone who works during a strike. However, in both US versions, the insult was changed to "grey" wheels. The change was likely made because many viewers would not understand the play-on-words, making the insult seem as if it had possible racial implications.


  • Just before Gordon hisses he is passing Edward; but when he stops hissing, he is passing Edward again.
  • In the close-up of Gordon his buffers are crooked.
  • In the close-up of Sir Topham Hatt talking to Edward at Tidmouth Sheds, the viewer can see he has some small holes in his chin.
  • In the shot of Edward being "wheeshed" by Gordon, the Fat Controller is not seen on the platform.
  • When Gordon passes Edward, he "wheeshes" at him, but in the next scene, Gordon is too far way to be able to "wheesh" at Edward.
  • Sir Topham Hatt smacks his lips just before he says "We'll see about that!" in the George Carlin narration. This also occurs with Ringo Starr in Edward and Gordon.
  • When Edward and Percy shunt, Edward's trucks push the buffers out of place.
  • When Henry comes out of and reverses into the shed, he is in his new shape.
  • Because stock footage is used, the background behind Sir Topham Hatt is Knapford.
  • In the close-up of Edward, Henry, and Percy at the sheds when Percy wheeshes at Henry, they are off the rails. Also a few things happen with Edward and Henry:
    • In the close-up of Edward:
      • His tender is missing.
      • He has Thomas' whistle sound and no steam emits.
      • James', Gordon's, and Henry's berths in Tidmouth Sheds are closed.
    • In the close-up of Henry:
      • The track next to Henry comes to an end.
  • In one scene, Annie and Clarabel are facing the wrong way.
  • Henry, Gordon and James keep changing positions in the shed throughout the episode.
  • When Thomas and Edward pass each other, Thomas' brake coach is backwards.
  • Some of the people shouting at Knapford have blu-tak on their shoes.
  • In the close up of Henry looking angry and the close up of him looking surprised, one of his wheel arches is missing.
  • When Edward meets Percy, his tender is tilted.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Problemas en el cobertizo / Un Problema para Sir Topham Hatt Problems in the Shed / A Problem for Sir Topham Hatt
Norwegian Trøbbel i lokomotivstallen Trouble in the Engine Shed
Welsh Streic yn y Sied Strike in the Shed
Dutch Rumoer in de Remise Uproar in the Depot
Hebrew צרות בסככה Trouble in the Shed
Italian Guai al deposito Trouble in Store
Croatian Nevolje u Spremištu Trouble in Store
Japanese きかんこのもめごと Trouble in the Shed
Finnish Ongelmia Vaunuvajassa Problems in the Shed
Brazilian Portuguese A Greve The Strike
French Des problèmes dans le dépôt Of problems in the depot
German Ärger im depot Trouble in the Depot
Chinese 车棚里的麻烦 Shed Trouble
Korean 고든, 헨리, 제임스의 후희 After Gordon, Henry, James
Slovenian Zapleti na postaji Complications at the Station
Russian Неприятности на путях Trouble on the Tracks
Ukrainian Неприємності у депо Trouble in Depot
Swedish Trubbel i lokstallet Trouble Engine Shed
Romanian Necazuri în Hangar Trouble in the Shed
Hungarian A Szállítomozdonyok Lázadása The Supplier of Locomotives Revolt
Slovak Problémy v depe Problem at the Depot
Czech Potíže v depu Difficulties in the Depot
Serbian Problem u garaži The Problem in the Garage
Polish Kłopoty w Hangarze Trouble at the Shed
Danish Ballade i remissen Trouble in the Depot
Greek Πρόβλημα στο υπόστεγο Problem in the Shed
Thai หัวรถจักรประท้วง Protest Engine

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