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"Down a mine, is he? Ha, ha, ha! What a joke!"
— Gordon

Down the Mine is the twenty-fifth episode of the first season. In the US, it aired on the Shining Time Station episodes, Too Many Cooks in 1989 and Wrong Track in 1991.


One day while Thomas is waiting at the junction, Gordon, who is in disgrace after causing trouble and falling into a ditch, pulls in with some trucks. As soon as Gordon stops, Thomas cracks a joke about ditch water. Before Gordon can respond, Thomas leaves with his coaches.

Annie and Clarabel are shocked at Thomas' behaviour, and scold him for it. Thomas is pleased with his clever joke though and runs off to go to the lead mine. The mine was used a long time ago by miners digging for lead who made tunnels under the ground. While the roofs of the tunnels are strong enough to hold up trucks, they cannot sustain the weight of engines. At the mine, there is a board displaying a clear warning that engines must not pass that point. Thomas considers the board to be silly and would often try to pass it, however his driver prevented him.

That morning however, Thomas had made a plan to get past the board. When Thomas' fireman leaves the cab to change the points, Thomas bumps the trucks fiercely and knocks his driver off the footplate allowing him to pass the board. As his driver calls after him, Thomas continues on over the unsafe rails which collapse and leave him teetering into a chasm.

Thomas realizes how silly he is by passing the board. Then the Fat Controller arrives, having seen everything. After telling Thomas off for his naughtiness, he begins to think about how to get Thomas out of the mine. As a crane would be too heavy for the ground to support, the Fat Controller decides to call in Gordon to pull Thomas out. Thomas feels uneasy about this, feeling that he would rather not meet Gordon at the moment.

After being fitted with a winch on his front and being told about what happened, Gordon heads to the rescue unable to stop himself from laughing at the situation. Arriving at the mine, Gordon promises to get Thomas out as soon as possible. Strong cables are fastened between the two engines and after a lot of hard work and pulling, Gordon is able to finally get Thomas out of the mine.

Thomas apologises for his earlier cheekiness, but Gordon shrugs it off telling Thomas he actually thought his joke was funny. Now both engines are in disgrace, so Thomas and Gordon agree to form an alliance and help each other in future. With that, the two engines are coupled together and head back to the shed.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Gordon the Big Engine.
  • This story is based on a real event that took place at Lindal-in-Furness in 1892. Though in this particular event, the collapsing mine hole was miles deep and all that was recovered of the engine was its tender.
  • Stock footage from Thomas and the Guard and Thomas and Bertie is used.
  • The buffers of the truck Thomas bumps into are lowered specifically so that Thomas can hit them properly.
  • After the Fat Controller tells Thomas he's a naughty engine, in the UK narration, Thomas says, "Please get me out sir, I won't be naughty again!" In the US narration, he says, "Please get me out, I won't do it again!"
  • Some of the trucks at the mine have "N. E." written on them.
  • According to crewmember Christopher Noulton, the Gordon model used in the pilot was rebuilt by him for the second season for use as a stand-by model. It was later cut up and used as scrap set dressing.


  • When Thomas shunts Annie and Clarabel his eyes look wonky and Annie and Clarabel are missing their names.
  • The sign says: "Danger! Engines must not pass this board!" But when Thomas passes the board it says: "Danger! Engines must not pass this point!"
  • The unsafe rails were broken before Thomas ran over them.
  • When the Fat Controller says "Let me see," the man to the right is losing his cap's brim.
  • In the close-up of Thomas down the mine, after the Fat Controller suggests that Gordon could pull Thomas out, a hair is stuck on Thomas' side.
  • In the first scene of Gordon coming to Thomas' rescue, he is on the branchline.
  • When Gordon goes under the bridge something blue appears above it.
  • When Gordon and Thomas leave the mine, Thomas' wheels drag along the line for a few seconds before he blows his whistle.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish En la mina In the Mine
Norwegian Nede i gruva Down in the Mine
Welsh I Lawr y Pwll Down the Mine
German In der Mine In the Mine
Italian La Locomotiva Sprofondata The Sunken Engine
Japanese もたくさんの料理する Too Many Cooks
Finnish Alas Miina Down the Mine
Croatian Rudnik The Mine
Brazilian Portuguese Rumo à Mina Towards the Mine
French Dans la mine In the Mine
Danish Ned i Minen Down in the Mine
Ukrainian Глибоко у шахті Deep in the Mine
Hungarian A Bánya The Mine
Czech V dole The Mine

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