Coal, retitled Henry's Special Coal in American releases, is the eighteenth episode of the first season.
One morning, Henry wakes up feeling very ill. He complains about it to James, who simply shrugs it off as Henry being lazy. The Fat Controller is also unhappy about this, given this is the latest in a long line of problems with Henry and not even new parts or paint seem to help. He warns the green engine that if he does not get better soon he will have to be replaced.
Later, as Henry prepares to take his first train, the Fat Controller, determined to get to the bottom of Henry's problems, decides to ride along in the cab while taking off his top hat and coat. Henry manages to start, but the fireman is not pleased and notes that Henry's fire does not give enough heat. As a result, Henry quickly loses steam, and has to rest when he reaches Edward's station, leaving Edward to take care of the train. Henry's crew and the Fat Controller continue to discuss what the problem is. They then discover the root of the problem; the coal provided is unsuitable for him. While the other engines have nice big fireboxes, Henry's is too small. But if Henry had Welsh coal, he would easily improve. So although it will be expensive, the Fat Controller decides to send James for some Welsh coal.
When the coal arrives, the fireman carefully stokes up Henry's fire to give the best possible results. Henry initially has his doubts, but his mood changes as he comes into the platform with more than enough steam. The Fat Controller is happy to see that Henry is feeling well, and warns the driver not to push him. The driver assures him not to worry: in fact, he will have to hold him back.
For the first time, Henry makes it to the junction before Thomas. When Thomas arrives, Henry calls him "lazybones" before quickly running off, paying Thomas back for insulting him before. Thomas, too surprised to be cross, reacts with disbelief and Annie and Clarabel concur to him.
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Henry the Green Engine.
- Stock footage from Edward, Gordon and Henry and Troublesome Trucks is used, as is pre-filmed footage from The Flying Kipper.
- A reference to Thomas and the Guard is made.
- A rare picture implies that James may have been intended to play a larger role in this episode.
- The track bumps as Henry passes the Wellsworth signalbox.
- As Edward backs onto the train, his eyes repeatedly bounce up and down.
- In the close-up of Henry's driver holding a piece of coal a big piece of blu-tak is visible sticking the coal and his hand together.
- When Henry's fireman says "We'll have a roaring fire", blu-tak is visible below his left arm. In that same scene, a part of Henry's paintwork is blue.
- In one scene, Henry is in his new shape.
- As Henry leaves Knapford, the truck at the top of the platform changes to a van. To add to that, his brake coach is at the front of his train until he passes the goods train. Also, when Henry leaves the station, steam rises in between his coaches.
- When the narrator says "he wanted to go fast" the bush beside the track shakes.
- Henry's brake coach constantly changes position throughout his journey.
- In the restored version, when Henry backs into the siding, his tender hits the station building, a few chuffs are heard even after he stopped, and Henry backs into the siding, only to leave it again.
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