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Troublesome Trucks (episode)

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This article is about the first season episode. You may be looking for the fourth season episode, the characters, or the song.
"We want a proper engine - not a red monster!"
— The trucks to James
Troublesome Trucks/
Foolish Freight Cars

David Mitton


David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

November 6th,
1984 (UK)
April 16th,
1987 (AUS)
February 26th,
1989 (US)
May 29th,
1990 (JAP)
June 9th,
1993 (George
Carlin US

Previous episode

James and
the Coaches
James Learns
a Lesson

Next episode

James and
the Express
A Proud Day
for James

Troublesome Trucks, retitled Foolish Freight Cars in American releases, is the ninth episode of the first season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes, Show and Yell and The Mayor Runs for Re-Election.


Having damaged a coach and caused a lot of trouble recently, James has been confined to the shed for several days. James starts to cry thinking that no one will ever see his red coat again. The Fat Controller finally comes to speak to him and tells him that his recent actions have caused a lot of embarrassment for the railway. James sincerely apologises and the Fat Controller decides to allow him out to pull some trucks. James couldn't be happier to be let out and eagerly goes to work.

At the station, Thomas brings James his trucks and, after teasing him about bootlaces, runs off. James couples himself to the trucks, who tease him for his red paint. James just ignores them and sets off, however, the trucks don't want to go and attempt to hold back. James doesn't allow them too and drags them out of the station. As the journey continues, the trucks try everything they can to get James to give up, but it's no use as James is determined to prove himself.

Finally the train gets to Gordon's Hill and James tries his hardest to run up it as fast as he can. Although it is initially hard, with a sudden jerk it gets easier and James makes it up the hill. However, James' driver stops him and points out that the end of the train became detached and ran down the hill. The trucks stop at the bottom of the hill, where the guard gets out to warn approaching engines.

James backs down the hill to pick up the trucks, where Edward has stopped due to the blockage. Edward offers help, but James is determined to do it himself and politely declines. Pulling with every ounce of his strength, James finally makes it to the top of the hill and easily continues on to the station where Edward later arrives with the Fat Controller.

James is very worried, knowing the Fat Controller may be angry again. This time however the Fat Controller is happy with James, having been aboard Edward's train and seeing everything. Since James made the most troublesome trucks on the line behave, the Fat Controller says that he deserves to keep his red coat.





  • When the Fat Controller first speaks to James, his head is turned away from him.
  • James' tender is derailed while Thomas arranges his train.
  • When Thomas says "Have you got some bootlaces ready?" there's blu-tak under his lantern and Knapford disappears.
  • When James puffs out of the yard the truck at the front loses its face.
  • When Thomas puffs away laughing, all the trucks are coupled to each other. But when James backs onto the trucks, one at the front is uncoupled.
  • When the trucks get to the bottom of Gordon's Hill, a truck disappears. It however reappears in the last shot of James pulling the trucks (it is noticeable).
  • When James goes up Gordon's Hill the second time, a wire pulls him up.
  • James' puffing noise is not in sync with his speed.
  • When the narrator says the line, "Sometimes their axles would run hot", a crew member's shadow is seen at the end of the set.
  • A brakevan should have been added to Thomas' train.
  • When Edward is first shown at the bottom of Gordon's Hill, he has no train. When James backs down and couples the lost trucks, look carefully and you can see Edward has at least one truck behind him.
  • In the close-up of James at Maron, the water tower next to him disappears.
  • In the last close-up of James going up Gordon's Hill, his driving wheels are not moving.
  • When James couples up to his train, he is outside the station but when he starts moving off, he is inside.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Croatian Razigrani teretni vagoni Playful Freight Wagons
French Les camions coquins The Naughty Trucks
Dutch Lastig Wagon Tricky Boxcar
German Die Güterwagen-Ärger The Freight Car Trouble
Italian Un treno merci combinaguai Freight Train Troublemaker
Spanish Los Vagones de carga tontos The Silly Wagon Load
Norwegian Vanskelige vogner Troublesome Trucks
Welsh Tryciau Trafferthus Troublesome Trucks
Brazilian Portuguese Vagões de Carga Freight Cars
Japanese やっかいなかしゃたち Troublesome Trucks



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