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Wrong Road

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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.
"What's that?"
"Shh! It's Gordon!"
"It looks like Gordon, but it can't be. Gordon never comes on the branch line, he thinks them vulgar!"
"If it isn't Gordon, it's just a pile of old iron."
"Which we better take to the scrapyard!"
"No Bill, this lot's useless for scrap! We'll take it to the harbour and dump it in the sea!"
"I am Gordon! Stop, stop!
— Bill and Ben teasing Gordon
Wrong Road

David Mitton


David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton


Ringo Starr (UK)
George Carlin (US)

Air date

December 3rd,
1986 (UK)
May 17th,
1988 (AUS)
September 3rd,
1991 (JAP)
May 31st,
1993 (US)

Previous episode

The Diseasel

Next episode

Edward's Exploit

Wrong Road is the twenty-second episode of the second season. It first aired on Shining Time Station in the episode, The Joke's on Schemer in 1993.


Thomas and Edward's branch lines are very important to the railway. But their tracks and bridges are not as strong as those on the main line, so the Fat Controller does not allow the larger engines to run on them. Although this is purely for safety, Gordon believes the rule is for another reason entirely.

One day, he complains to Edward about BoCo being allowed to take main line trains when he is only supposed to work on the branch line. Edward jokingly suggests that Gordon ask if he can take BoCo's trucks in return, but Gordon refuses to consider the idea. Edward notes that it might be a nice change of pace, but Gordon claims the Fat Controller would never agree and states that branch lines are vulgar before snorting off, followed by an amused Edward.

Every evening, both Gordon and Edward take late-night trains. Gordon takes the express along the main line, while Edward leaves a few minutes later with a branch line train. Normally everything runs fine, but that evening there is trouble when a lady with a large green floppy hat says goodbye to a friend on the platform. When it is nearly time for Gordon to start, his fireman looks back and, seeing something large and green waving, assumes the guard is waving the flag. As a result, Gordon leaves with the majority of the passengers, the luggage, and the guard stranded on the platform. Everyone is surprised and get very angry.

Eventually Gordon, who is feeling embarrassed, is stopped and brought back. But by now Edward is late, so he sets off first instead. This causes more trouble, as the signalman at the junction is not told about the change and sends Edward down the main line. When Gordon follows, he is sent down the branch and ends the evening by being forced to sleep in a siding near the harbour.

The next morning, Bill and Ben arrive to pick up trucks from BoCo. While neither BoCo nor the trucks are there, they do not mind as they much prefer the idea of teasing Gordon. After joking that the large blue engine near them cannot be Gordon, as Gordon would never go on branch lines as he thinks them vulgar, they pretend to consider throwing the pile of old iron into the sea. Gordon, not knowing it is a joke, starts to panic.

BoCo then arrives and Gordon begs the diesel to save him. BoCo soon realises what is happening and threatens to take the trucks away. Bill and Ben quickly run off, as a relieved Gordon thanks BoCo for saving his life.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Main Line Engines.
  • Christmas lights are used for Gordon and Edward's lamps.
  • In the Japanese version when Edward and Gordon are at Knapford Station Ringo's narration can faintly be heard in the background.


  • When Gordon and Edward talk about branch lines, before Gordon leaves, steam is rising in front of him. When he leaves, it continues rising.
  • Edward is missing his eyebrows in the scene at Knapford.
  • When Gordon is brought back blu-tak is visible on the Fat Controller's shoes.
  • The back end of the coach's roof at the end of Edward's train seems to be snapped.
  • When the narrator says "Gordon started" and when Gordon comes back to the station, wires are visible on Gordon's and Edward's bufferbeams.
  • Lightbulbs are visibly sticking out from Edward's and Gordon's lamps.
  • When Edward crosses the viaduct, his last coach does not have any lighting.
  • Gordon pushes the buffers out of place when he comes into the siding.
  • When Gordon shouts "Stop, stop!" one of his eyes is not looking at Bill and Ben.
  • Gordon's front bogie wheels are derailed near the end. His left eye (viewers right) is also scratched.
  • During the outro theme, static is audible.
  • When the scene cuts away from the guard and into the passengers you can see the woman's old friend amongst the passengers.
  • The narrator says that Gordon's fireman looked towards the guard's van at the end of the train, but the guard is in the brake coach.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
German Auf falschem Weg On the wrong track
Japanese しせんをはしったゴードン Gordon Ran Into the Branch Line
Polish Nie Tędy Droga This way, not road
Spanish El Camino Equivocado The Wrong Way
Norwegian På ville veier On Wrong Roads
Croatian Krivi put Wrong Way
Danish Gordon på sidesporet Gordon On the Siding
Slovenian Na Napačni Poti On the Wrong Track
Hungarian A rossz út The Wrong Way



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