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"My hat! You've sucked it through your air intake!"
"Bother your hat!
— The Inspector and Sir Topham Hatt

Bowled Out is the eighteenth episode of the fourth season. In the US, it first aired in the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode, For the Birds in 1996.


During the last few days of Stepney's visit to the North Western Railway, an engine shortage has occurred and the only engine available is a diesel. When the Diesel arrives he insults the engines almost immediately, claiming them to be out of date.

The engines are furious, but cannot think of a plan for revenge. There is no need though, as the Diesel sucks an inspector's bowler hat through his air-intake vent and breaks down just as he is about to take an express. Duck and Stepney who has longed for a long run, then volunteer in taking the train. Leaving the failed Diesel in the shed, the two engines set off down the Main Line and in record time reach Crovan's Gate where Gordon waits to take over.

Stepney leaves the next day and while the engines bid him farewell, the Diesel creeps sulkily away leaving only two things to remember him by: a bad smell... and a battered bowler hat.




  • Going by production order, this is the seventeenth episode of the fourth season.
  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book, Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine.
  • This episode marks the final appearance of Sir Handel. It also marks the last appearance of Crovan's Gate (excluding stock footage appearances in the seventh season).
  • In a rare picture on the back cover of the 1995 Thomas and the Special Letter US VHS, Gordon is in Henry's place when the Fat Controller makes the announcement.
  • According to some VHS descriptions, the Diesel was brought to Sodor to take over Daisy's work while she was ill.
  • This episode marks the Diesel's only speaking role and also his last appearance to date.
  • Despite his appearance in the episode, Percy does not appear in the nameboard sequence at the end of the episode in the Japanese dub.


  • A few things for James in this episode:
    • The goods train next to James is being pushed by a crew member, as a shadow is easily seen.
    • James has Smudger's whistle sound when he leaves Crovan's Gate.
    • James should have had his fourth season whistle sound instead of having his original in the episode, since this is based on the fourth season.
  • A few things for Gordon in this episode:
    • His buffers are slightly crooked at different points in this episode.
    • He is missing his brake pipe.
    • In a rare still image, he has a crooked buffer.
  • The track that Percy is on is only there for one scene.
  • A pipe can be seen on the Diesel's air-intake in the close-up of the inspector's hat.
  • Stepney is missing his crew in the first shot.
  • In the shots of Gordon's Hill:
    • A red and blue wire can be seen in the middle coach and in the same shot, the track in front of Stepney and Duck appears to sink just before they roll over it.
    • Duck gains a lamp.
  • In the close-ups of Duck and Stepney during the scene where the Diesel breaks down, the scenery changes.
  • Bertie has Bulgy's horn sound when he crosses the bridge.
  • In the shots of the Diesel:
    • After he grinds to a halt and the camera switches to Duck and Stepney and then back to him, he is slightly further away from the coaches.
    • When he arrives at Tidmouth Sheds, the braking sound is heard long before he actually stops.
    • When he arrives, the close-up of Donald and Douglas is taken from later in the episode, as James' position is inconsistent with the rest of the scene but consistent with the later scene.
    • When he breaks down, he has his air-intake covered, but when the inspector notices his hat, his air intake cover is off.
  • When the engines are whistling at Tidmouth Sheds, Percy's whistle sound is heard, but he is nowhere to be seen in this scene. The reason is because stock audio from Thomas' Christmas Party is used.
  • In the second shot, the camera lens can be seen at the top left hand corner.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
German Ausgeschlagen Knocked Out
Norwegian Bowlerhatten The Bowler Hat
Spanish Diesel Tendrá que Aprender Diesel Will Have to Learn
Finnish Voitto Win 
Hungarian Kalap Kalamajka Hats Muddled
Japanese ディーゼルとぼうし Diesel and Hat
Russian Вышел из строя Out of Order
Ukrainian Вивидений з ладу Derived Down
Danish Bowlerhatten Bowler Hat
Italian L'automotrice diesel The Diesel Engine
Welsh Helynt Yr Het The Hat Trouble
Slovenian Kje je klobuk? Where is the Hat?
Czech Osud klobouku The Fate of the Hat
Romanian Bowled Bowled
Slovak Nadhod Jerk
Swedish Bowlerhatten Bowler Hat
Polish Zepsuta Lokomotywa Broken Locomotive
Chinese 强迫退场 Forced Exit
Greek ριφθεί έξω Bowled Out
Thai ดีเซลจอมโว Diesel Save from South

Home Media Releases


  • Thomas' Train and 17 other stories (Direct-to-Home Video)
  • The Complete Fourth Series

DVD Boxsets

  • Classic Collection


  • Thomas the Tank Engine: Bumper Special 2