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"No passengers means no polish!"
"No polish means no passengers. (And no polish means no passengers. - George Carlin's US Narration)
— Sir Topham Hatt and Duncan

Passengers and Polish is the thirteenth episode of the fourth season. It aired in the US on the Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales episode, Splish Splash Splosh in 1996.


Nancy, the guard's daughter, has just finished polishing Skarloey while reminding him that Rheneas is coming home. Skarloey asks Nancy to polish him again. Duncan wants a polish too, but Nancy does not have time because she has to help The Refreshment Lady with the passengers. Duncan is very cross and complains about Peter Sam getting a special funnel, Sir Handel getting special wheels, and passengers getting refreshments while he doesn't even get polished.

His driver then tells him that one of Skarloey's coaches has come off the rails and they're to help clear the mess, and Duncan sulks about all the extra work. Duncan brings workmen to get the coach back on the rails, and he has to take the passengers home. Duncan makes the journey back very difficult, so his driver decides to stop to build up steam, but Duncan doesn't try, accusing his driver that he doesn't care enough about him. Finally, they start off again, but Duncan loses his patience and rudely stalls on the viaduct. He refuses to go on and stays put. Skarloey pulls him home, with the passengers cross and telling everyone what a bad railway it is.

The Fat Controller scolds Duncan and he retorts under his breath: "No polish means no passengers." Duncan still has a lot to learn.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Gallant Old Engine.
  • Nancy's rag is a piece of blu-tak.
  • Stock footage from A Bad Day for Sir Handel is used.
  • This episode marks Nancy's only speaking role to date, and the only time in the series that she is referred to by name.
  • References to Special Funnel and Steam Roller are made.
  • When the passengers are complaining, one of them can be heard saying "We're losing money!"


  • Rheneas appeared near the end of the episode, but he is supposed to be at the Works.
  • In the close-up of Duncan complaining about not being polished at the beginning, his face moves. In the same shot, a hair or piece of wire can be seen behind Skarloey.
  • In Skarloey's flashback, Skarloey has Duncan's whistle sound and Rheneas has Sir Handel's whistle sound.
  • In the picture from the former, Duncan was wearing his normal face, while his reflection shows him wearing his angry face.
  • After Duncan takes away Skarloey's train, the brakevan moves from the front of the train to the back.
  • When Duncan passes through Crovan's Gate, he has a different whistle sound.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Pasajeros y Lustres Passengers and Polishes
German Auf Hochglanz für die Passagiere To a Shine for the Passengers
Norwegian Pomp og prakt Glory and Gaudiness
Japanese ボディーをみがいて Polish a Body
Dutch Passagiers en Poetsen Passengers and Polish
Czech Cestující a leštidla Passengers and Polish
Finnish Matkustajat ja kiillotukset Passengers and Polish
Polish Pasażerowie i Polerowanie Passengers and Polishing
Italian Niente Lucidatura per Duncan No Polish for Duncan
Welsh Dim Teithiwr, Dim Polish No Passengers, No Polish
Hungarian Duncan duzzog Duncan Sulks
Slovenian Potniki in loščilo Passengers and Polish
Chinese 乘客和擦光油 Passengers and Rub Varnished
Romanian Pasageri și Lustruiri Passengers and Polishing
Slovak Cestujúci a Policajt Passengers and Policemen
Danish Passagerer og Polering Passengers and Polishing
Russian Пассажиры и полировка Passengers and Polishing
Ukrainian Пасажири i начищання Passengers and Grinding
Swedish Passagerare och Polering Passengers and Polishing
Greek Οι επιβάτες και στίλβωσης Passengers and Polishing
Thai ดันแคนเกเรหนัก Duncan Unruly Heavy
Brazilian Portuguese O Invejoso The Envious
Korean 심통대장, 덩컨 In General, Duncan

Home Media Releases


UK DVD Packs


  • Classic Collection
  • Series Three and Series Four Double Pack


  • Thomas and Stepney and other Stories


  • Thomas and Stepney (Norwegian VHS)