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"Look! It's Duncan the musical engine!"
— Rusty

Faulty Whistles is the twenty-sixth episode of the sixth season.


Duncan waits a junction one morning for Peter Sam to deliver his goods to take to Strawberry Grove. Duncan is also given the job to take the headmaster and the new organ.

Peter Sam has steamed overnight all the way to the morning to deliver Duncan his goods, but as he approaches the junction his whistle is knocked off by a branch. As a result, Peter Sam cannot run anywhere without a whistle as it would be unsafe. Duncan brags that an engine is not one without a whistle and lets off a big blast with his whistle, but the other engines ignore him. Duncan becomes cross while he sets off with his goods because he thinks the other engines are jealous with his whistle. On the way, he whistles at some sheep, but they are busy eating to grab any attention. Duncan becomes frustrated and thinks he needs to whistle louder and longer. He approaches a crossing where Elizabeth is carrying the Farmer's Prize Bull. As Duncan approaches the crossing, he whistles loud and long, startling the bull. Elizabeth scolds Duncan but he takes no notice and finds it fun, not knowing that his whistle had become loose. When he sees Terence ploughing a field, he prepares to give him the same surprise, but he blows his whistle so hard, it simply flies off and lands out of sight.

Because his whistle is nowhere to be found, Duncan's driver tells him they are stuck and cannot run anywhere. Luckily, one of Duncan's trucks is carrying an organ destined for Strawberry Grove School, and Headmaster Hastings plays the organ in lieu of Duncan's whistle, which alerts every person at stops during the delivery, but Duncan does not think so. When Duncan reaches home, he is teased by Rusty as being a "musical engine" while Rheneas and Skarloey whistle along. Peter Sam, having been in the works for a new whistle, tells Duncan that he was brave to go on and make his deliveries without a whistle, which cheers Duncan up. The headmaster makes one last "toot" on the organ and the all the other engines whistle back in reply, except Duncan who just remains happy for himself.




  • This story appears to be a loose adaptation of the Railway Series story, Mike's Whistle.
  • The organ plays the song "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" while Duncan puffs on the cliffside.
  • When Duncan delivered his trucks, music is played in the UK version but not in the US version.
  • Headmaster Hastings is named after the episode's writer, Ross Hastings.
  • This was the last episode of a few things:
  • A deleted scene shows where Duncan's whistle landed.


  • When Elizabeth is carrying the bull her eyes look wonky.
  • For the first shot of the camera "pulling" Duncan, at the bottom of the screen a wire is bouncing up and down.
  • It was very dangerous for Headmaster Hastings and the boy to travel on the flatbed.
  • Rheneas has Peter Sam's whistle sound.
  • The organ should have been properly secured to ensure it wouldn't fall off at a bend.
  • Duncan never takes the organ to Strawberry Grove during his deliveries. The organ winds back up at the Yards with him. However, he would not have anything to use as a whistle if he did so.
  • When making his deliveries, Duncan leaves the trucks and vans right on the main line. They should have been put in sidings so as not to hold up other trains.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Norwegian Duncans nye fløyte Duncan's New Whistle
Danish Fløjteforviklinger Whistle Complications
Japanese かわったきてき A Strange Whistle
Welsh Golli Chwiban Lose Whistle
Dutch Fluitconcerten Whistle Concerts
Swedish De trasiga vissloma The Broken Whistle
Slovenian Brez Piščalke ne Gre It is Not Without Whistles
Polish Zepsute Gwizdki Broken Whistles
Italian Fischi Fasulli Fake Whistles
Chinese 坏掉的汽笛 Broken Whistle
Korean 특별한 기적 소리 Special Whistle
Romanian Fluiere Defecte Whislte Defects
Slovak Chybné píšťaly Wrong Whistles
Hungarian Síppal és Orgonával Pipe and Organ
Czech Porouchané píšťaly Broken Whistles
Thai ดันแคนทำวูดหาย Duncan is Lost to Collingwood

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs



DVD Boxsets


  • Rusty Saves the Day
  • The Complete Series 6

DVD Packs