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This article is about the first season episode. You may be looking for the fourth season episode, the characters, the Story Library book, the Engine Adventures book, the Buzz Book or the song.
"Give up! Give up! You can't pull us! You can't! You can't!"
"I can and I will! I can and I will!"
―The Troublesome Trucks and 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 in 1989 and The Mayor Runs for Re-Election in 1993.


After having damaged a coach and causing a lot of trouble recently, James has been confined to the shed for several days. James starts to cry, thinking that he will have to stay in the shed indefinitely and no one will see him again due to the incident. However, the Fat Controller finally comes back to speak to him and tells him that his recent actions have caused a lot of embarrassment for the railway. James sincerely apologizes and the Fat Controller decides to allow him out to pull some trucks. James could not 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 angrily couples himself to the troublesome trucks, who tease him for his red paint. James just ignores them and sets off; however, the trucks do not want to go and attempt to hold back. James does not allow them to 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 is no use as James is determined to prove himself.

Finally the train gets to Gordon's Hill and James tries his hardest to run it up as fast as he can, which is initially tricky, but with a sudden jerk it gets easier and James makes it up the hill, but his driver stops him and points out that the brake van and the last four trucks became detached and ran down the hill. They stop at the bottom of the hill, and the guard gets out to warn approaching engines.

James reverses down the hill to pick up the uncoupled 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 cross 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 allows him 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 and the siding that James was on had no buffers. Also, in that same scene, the track James is on comes to an end.
  • When Thomas says "Have you got some bootlaces ready?", there is blu-tak under his lantern.
  • When James puffs out of the yard, the truck at the front loses its face and regains it as James pulls the trucks up Gordon's Hill the first time. Also, the train next to James on a siding has a brake van in the middle of it. Also, in the bottom left corner of the screen, a crew members shadow can be seen.
  • 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.
  • James' dome is very scratched up
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 and when they start to move, they're going backwards.
  • When James couples up to his train, he is outside the station, but when he starts moving off, he is inside.
  • Thomas' eyes are wonky in the opening scene.
  • The close-up of James' crew working on the trucks is on the Quarry Tramroad.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Croatian Razigrani teretni vagoni Playful Freight Wagons
French Les Vilains Wagons-Bennes The Villians Freight-Wagons
Dutch Lastige Goederen Wagons Troublesome Wagons
German Die Güterwagen machen Ärger The trucks are making trouble
Italian Un treno merci combinaguai Freight Train Troublemaker
Spanish Los Vagones De Carga Tontos / Vagones Problemáticos The Silly Freight Trucks / Problematic Wagons
Norwegian Vanskelige vogner Difficult 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
Danish Besværlige vogne Cumbersome Cars
Hebrew קרונות המסע המרגיזים The Annoying Freight Cars
Slovenian Poredni tovorni vagoni Naughty Freight Wagons
Chinese 煤矿货车厢 Coal Truck Box
Korean 빨간 멋쟁이 제임스 Red Dandy James
Romanian Vagoane Bucolaşe Countryside Wagons
Finnish Rettelöivät Tavaravaunut Troublesome Trucks
Hungarian Rakoncátlan Teherkoscik Unruly Freight Cars
Slovak Problémové vagóny Problematic Wagons
Polish Kłopotliwe Wagony Troublesome Cars
Swedish Dom Vresliga Vagnarna They Crusty Wagons
Russian Заговор в товарном составе The Plot in the Product Composition
Czech Neposlušné vagóny Disobedient Cars
Serbian Nezgodni vagoni Awkward Wagons
Thai รถพ่วงเจ้าปัญหา Trailer Problems

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


  • Troublesome Trucks and 8 Other Stories




DVD Boxsets












  • Thomas the Tank Engine 1





DVD Packs










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