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- “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
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 it. 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 five 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, even though it was the lady with her green hat moving. As a result, Gordon leaves with the majority of the passengers, the luggage, and the guard stranded on the platform. Everyone is surprised, but the surprise quickly gives way to anger.
Eventually Gordon is stopped and brought back, much to his embarrassment. 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 he’s a pile of old iron. Ben jokingly considered taking the old iron to the scrapyard while Bill pretended to suggest throwing it 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 sends Bill and Ben off by threatening to take the trucks he brought for them away. Bill and Ben quickly run off, as a relieved Gordon thanks BoCo. To this day Gordon, not knowing the twins were only teasing, still believes that BoCo saved his life.
- Bill and Ben
- Thomas (does not speak)
- Sir Topham Hatt (does not speak)
- The Lady with the Floppy Green Hat (does not speak)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Jem Cole (cameo)
- Jeremiah Jobling (cameo)
- Mrs. Kyndley (cameo)
- The Vicar of Wellsworth (cameo)
- The Ffarquhar Stationmaster's Wife (cameo)
- The Policeman (cameo)
- C&B Barber
- The Viaduct
- The Watermill
- The Branch Line Bridge
- Knapford Yards
- Sodor Shipping Company
- Knapford Harbour
- The Scrapyard (mentioned)
- 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 UK and Japanese versions, music for the "Busy Engines Theme" is used.
- When Gordon and Edward talk about branch lines, before Gordon leaves, steam is rising in front of him. When he leaves, it continues rising. Also, in the restored version, the top of the set can be seen.
- In the restored version at the beginning, studio equipment can be seen on the top of the set.
- Edward is missing his eyebrows in the scene at Knapford.
- When Gordon is brought back blu-tack is visible on Sir Topham Hatt's shoes and his eyebrows are much bigger.
- The back end of the coach's roof at the end of Edward's train seems to have snapped.
- In one shot, BoCo is missing his eyebrows.
- When the narrator says "Gordon started" and when Gordon comes back to the station, wires are visible on Gordon's and Edward's buffer beams.
- Light bulbs 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, the woman's old friend can be seen among them.
- 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 the Japanese version, when Edward and Gordon are at Knapford Station, Ringo Starr's narration can faintly be heard in the background.
- Edward does not cross the viaduct slowly despite it being under repairs.
- In a close-up of Ben, his nameplate is falling off on his right (viewer's perspective left) side.
- When BoCo threatens to take away the trucks for Bill and Ben, the twins are smiling.
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