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Up, Up and Away!

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the DVD or the magazine story.
"All the Hatts were hatless!"
— The narrator
Up, Up and Away!

Greg Tiernan


Nicole Stinn


Sharon Miller


Michael Angelis
Michael Brandon

Air date

March 10th,
2011 (UK)
May 21st,
2011 (US)
June 2nd,
2012 (NOR)
November 28th,
2011 (AUS)

Previous episode

Happy Hiro

Next episode

Henry's Happy Coal

Up, Up and Away! is the eighth episode of the fifteenth season.


Thomas and Percy are charged with the task of transporting Mr. Bubbles' giant balloon to the show-ground. Thomas decides that they should puff along the woodland track, but Percy thinks the balloon might rub up against a branch and pop. So he suggests that they take their special along the coastal line. Thomas worries that the balloon might blow away along the windy coast, but does not want to upset his best friend. Along the coast track, Thomas' worries become true and the balloon is blown high into the sky. Thomas thinks they should race after it, but Percy suggests that they wait for the balloon to return to them. Thomas does not want to upset his friend, so he agrees. Then Gordon arrives on his way to pick up Sir Topham, Lady, and Dowager Hatt. Gordon tells the two engines that the balloon will not return to them, the wind will blow it away for good - and that is exactly what happens.

The two friends puff back to the docks to collect another big balloon from Mr. Bubbles. Soon they were clattering along the line when they arrive at a tunnel. Thomas can see that the tunnel is too small for the giant balloon, but Percy is sure that they can pull the balloon through it. Although Thomas disagrees, he does not want to upset Percy and they try to force the balloon through. Unfortunately, it gets wedged in the tunnel and Gordon arrives with the Hatt family aboard; the balloon had blocked his tracks. Percy is upset, so Thomas decides to leave the balloon and the pair go back to the docks to fetch another one from Mr. Bubbles.

By now, the two engines are running very late. They race as fast as they can when, suddenly, they spot Gordon racing towards them. The pair stop urgently and the balloon is freed. It travels high into the sky before slowly deflating - knocking off Sir Topham, Lady, and Dowager Hatt's hats off. The Fat Controller demands an explanation. Thomas explains that he did not use his common sense and did what Percy wanted so that he would not be upset, but now he is anyway. Percy tells Thomas that he cannot be upset by his best friend and then suggests that they puff back to the docks and pick up yet another balloon. Thomas disagrees and tells Percy that first they should ask the drivers to pick up the Hatt's hats. Next Thomas decides that they must clear the tunnel by bursting the jammed balloon before finally returning to the docks to pick up another balloon from an exhausted Mr. Bubbles.

This time, they take the woodland track to the show. Percy admits that Thomas was right, it is the best track to take. During Mr. Bubbles' performance at the Balloon Show, one of the balloons Thomas and Percy lost earlier floats down to everyone's amazement.




  • In Germany this episode is called "On and Away".


  • Why did Mr. Bubbles not leave the docks with Thomas and Percy?
  • The steam and smoke from the engines would have popped the balloons due to the heat.
  • Mr. Bubbles would not have been able to blow up such big balloons himself.
  • It would have made more sense for the balloon to be blown up at the grounds of the balloon show.
  • Why do Thomas and Percy stop so urgently when Gordon is not even on their line?
  • How does Percy get out of the tunnel if the balloon is still stuck there?
  • The balloon would have popped immediately when Thomas and Percy were going inside the tunnel.
  • Gordon should not have been allowed on to the tunnel line if Thomas and Percy were still on that section of track.
  • A balloon cannot float unless it is filled with a gas that is lighter than air.
  • Why would two engines need to take so light a load?
  • Gordon should not have stopped while pulling the express.
  • Delivering a balloon is unrealistic for a locomotive to do.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese おおきなふうせん The Big Balloon



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