"You know just where to stop, Thomas. You could almost manage it without me!"
-Thomas's Driver, Thomas Comes to Breakfast
The second season of the television series aired in 1986. Ringo Starr narrated all twenty-six episodes in the UK as well as seventeen of them in the US, with George Carlin later re-narrating all of the episodes for the US on Shining Time Station.
Many of the stories were originally written by the Rev. W. Awdry. However, Christopher Awdry was commissioned to write a new Railway Series book as source material for the second series. Three stories from More About Thomas the Tank Engine provided additional roles for Bertie the Bus, Terence the Tractor, and Harold the Helicopter. The episodes "Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree" and "Thomas and Trevor" were both one-off stories written by Christopher Awdry.
Early in production, a third episode based on The Twin Engines was due to be filmed, based largely on the story The Missing Coach. The model crew had gone as far as filming scenes on the Tidmouth Station set with Thomas arriving at the station, before Britt Allcroft decided the episode had too little action and its storyline would be too difficult to understand by younger viewers.
|Screenshot|| UK title (top)|
US title (bottom)
|Original air date||Total Episode #|
| "Thomas, Percy and the Coal"|
|September 2nd, 1986||#01|
|Thomas brags to Percy and Toby about "how blue is the only proper colour for a really useful engine". He ends up getting trapped in a shower of coal under a coal hopper, and promptly blames an amused Percy. The two engines have a quarrel.|
"A Cow on the Line"
|September 5th, 1986||#02|
|Gordon and Henry tease Edward after some cows break part of his train away. Several days later, the big engines end up with a cow blocking their lines and they become nervous around such a delicate animal. Edward soon has the last laugh.|
|"Bertie's Chase"||September 7th, 1986||#03|
|Thomas' fireman isn't able to come in to work and Bertie agrees to take his passengers. Edward is unaware of the change of plan, and leaves before Bertie arrives. Bertie is determined to help the passengers catch their train, but each time Bertie stops, he misses Edward who's already moved on.|
|"Saved from Scrap"||September 9th, 1986||#04|
|At the scrapyard, Edward meets a traction engine called Trevor, who is due to be broken up, despite being in good condition. Edward is determined to save from scrap. He persuades the Vicar to purchase Trevor and, after seeing Trevor prove his worthfulness, buys him, and Trevor goes to live in the Vicarage Orchard.|
|"Old Iron"||September 11th, 1986||#05|
|After one delay too many, James complains about Edward being too old and slow. The next day, two boys wander into James' cab and fiddle with his controls. James ends up running away down the line without a driver or fireman, and Edward is sent to chase after him with some help from an inspector.|
| "Thomas and Trevor"|
"A New Friend for Thomas"
|September 14th, 1986||#06|
|Trevor the traction engine is bored of working in the vicarage orchard, so Edward takes him to help Thomas at the harbour. Slowly but surely, a skeptical Thomas gains a respect for the unusual-looking newcomer.|
|"Percy and the Signal"||September 17th, 1986||#07|
|One day, Percy annoys Gordon and then tricks James into stay in the shed all day. When he gets into trouble with the Fat Controller, Percy decides to stay out of their way for awhile. But when he is asked to take a train to Knapford he gets careless and for revenge, James and Gordon trick Percy into misreading a signal.|
|"Duck Takes Charge"||September 18th, 1986||#08|
|Percy is the laughing stock of the yard following his signal mishap. So the Fat Controller buys a new engine named Montague, nicknamed Duck, to help out an overworked Percy. Gordon, James and Henry start ordering him about. Duck and Percy decide to take matters into their own "hands".|
| "Percy and Harold"|
"Percy Proves a Point"
|September 20th, 1986||#09|
|Percy is transferred to the harbour on Thomas' branchline. One day, Percy meets Harold the Helicopter, who says railways are slow and out-of-date. Percy is furious, and when he sees Harold again, he challenges him to a race.|
|"The Runaway"||September 22nd, 1986||#10|
|Thomas isn't feeling well and is sent to the Works to be mended. Duck takes over Thomas' duties. Soon, Thomas returns from the Works with a stiff handbrakes. This proves disastrous when a temporary fireman forgets to tighten them properly, sending Thomas, Annie and Clarabel on a runaway.|
|"Percy Takes the Plunge"||September 24nd, 1986||#11|
|At the harbour, Percy is telling some tank engines about the time he braved bad weather to help Thomas, using the phrase "Water's nothing to an engine with determination". Henry overhears this and scoffs indignantly. Later, Percy wants to see why he is forbidden to pass the danger board on the quay, but soon wishes he hadn't.|
|"Pop Goes the Diesel"||September 26th, 1986||#12|
|A diesel engine arrives on the island, and Duck is given the task of showing him around. Diesel boasts that his kind know everything, so Duck leaves him to shunt some trucks alone, with disastrous results. He makes a fool of himself and the trucks laugh rudely at him.|
| "Dirty Work"|
"Diesel's Devious Deed"
|September 26th, 1986||#13|
|Diesel blames Duck for the aftermath of the other day. As revenge, Diesel tells lies to the trucks about the big engines, claiming that Duck told them. The big engines agree that Duck needs to be paid back for teasing them.|
| "A Close Shave"|
"A Close Shave for Duck"
|October 1st, 1986||#14|
|After being framed by Diesel, Duck is sent to Wellsworth. During his stay with Edward, Duck finds himself being chased by runaway trucks. He manages to control them, despite crashing into a barber's shop.|
|"Better Late Than Never"||October 4st, 1986||#15|
|The arches on the Viaduct need strengthening, and the delay makes the big engines at late to the junction. This makes Thomas very cross as he has to wait for the big engines, making him late with his own connection with Bertie the bus. Bertie gives Thomas a hard time, until he breaks down.|
| "Break Van"|
"Donald and Douglas"
|October 7th, 1986||#16|
|Donald and Douglas are twins whom the Fat Controller had bought from Scotland to help out, although only one engine had been expected. He intends to send one of them back, but a spiteful brake van doesn't help the twins at all.|
|"The Deputation"||October 9th, 1986||#17|
|When an early snowstorm blankets the island, Donald and Douglas work together to clear away heavy drifts of snow. After they help Henry from a snowdrift, the other engines are determined to help them out instead. So Percy is chosen to ask the Fat Controller not to send the twins away because their endanger of scrap.|
|"Thomas Comes to Breakfast"||October 11th, 1986||#18|
|When Thomas' driver jokes that Thomas doesn't need him any more, Thomas misunderstands him and boasts to Percy and Toby that he doesn't need a driver. Thomas doesn't realize that his driver is only joking, and pays the price dearly after trying to move by himself and crashing straight into the stationmaster's house.|
|"Daisy"||October 14th, 1986||#19|
|Daisy is bought to help Percy and Toby while Thomas is indisposed. The two engines show her around, but Daisy becomes a nuisance and they find her very difficult to please. Daisy proves to be very lazy and stubborn. She even insults the coaches, and refuses to take trucks. So she starts making excuses to avoid work.|
|"Percy's Predicament"||October 19th, 1986||#20|
|Daisy continues to be lazy and stubborn, leaving Percy to do her jobs as well as his own. Toby offers to swap jobs with Percy so he can have a rest. Unfortunately, Percy has never worked at the quarry before, and the trucks are quick to take advantage of this. The trucks pay Percy out by making him crash into a brakevan.|
|"The Diseasel"||October 24th, 1986||#21|
|Bill & Ben are tank engine twins who work at the China Clay Works on Edward's Branch Line. One day, they are surprised when they discover that their trucks have gone missing. They mistakenly believe that their trucks were "magiced away" by a "diseasel". Their crews formulate a plan and make the twins look identical.|
|"Wrong Road"||November 1st, 1986||#22|
|The Fat Controller doesn't allow the heavier main engines to run branch lines due to their weight, and Gordon remarks that branch lines are vulgar because of this. However, due to a green floppy hat, Edward is switch onto the main line and Gordon is mistakenly sent onto Edward's Branch Line, where Bill and Ben are waiting.|
|"Edward's Exploit"||November 8th, 1986||#23|
|Some enthusiasts are visiting Sodor, and Edward is due to take them to meet Bill and Ben. On the journey back, the weather changes badly, and one of his crank pins breaks off. His crew are forced to remove his siderods and make adjustments to his coaches. Despite this, Edward battles on to bring his passengers safely home.|
| "Ghost Train"|
"Percy's Ghostly Trick"
|November 10th, 1986||#24|
|Percy tells him Thomas and Toby about a ghost train his driver saw. Thomas doesn't believe him and the ghost turns out to be pretend. Later, Percy ends up crashing into a cart and gets covered in lime. Percy and Toby decides to trick Thomas.|
|"Woolly Bear"||November 16th, 1986||#25|
|Percy and Toby collect hay on the branch line, but this makes Thomas' passenger late. Percy is still teasing Thomas about the ghost incident and Thomas retorts back by calling him a "green caterpillar with red stripes". Things go wrong for Percy, he gets hit by a crate of treacle, then getting stuck on a hill and windswept with hay.|
|"Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree"||December 23rd, 1986||#26|
|It's Christmas and all the engines are at work getting ready for the Christmas Party. Thomas is sent to collect the Christmas tree, but gets buried in a huge snowdrift on the way back. The Fat Controller tells the engines that Thomas must be found, so he sends Donald and Douglas, with snowplough on their fronts, to find him.|
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Jeremiah Jobling (not named; named in Japanese dub)
- Mrs. Kyndley (not named)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Bridget Hatt (cameo)
- Farmer Finney (cameo)
- The Policeman (cameo)
- The Storyteller (cameo)
- Earnest (portrait cameo)
- Donald and Douglas
- Bill and Ben
- The Spiteful Brake Van
- Jem Cole
- The Vicar of Wellsworth
- The Barber
- Daisy's Filter
- Three Engine Inspectors (one; does not speak)
- Father Christmas (does not speak)
- Percy's Ghost Engine (does not speak)
- The Naughty Boys (do not speak)
- The Careless Cleaner (does not speak)
- The Lady with the Floppy Green Hat (does not speak)
- The Enthusiasts (do not speak)
- The Ffarquhar Stationmaster and his family (The Ffarquhar Stationmaster's children; cameo)
- The Firelighter (mentioned)
- Sam the Farmer (deleted scene; mentioned)
- This was the first of a few things:
- This was the final season of several things:
- Ringo Starr's last season as narrator.
- Robert D. Cardona's last season as producer.
- Britt Allcroft's last season as executive producer until the sixth season.
- The last season made by Clearwater Features.
- The last season in which music was composed using the Roland Jupiter 6 synthesiser.
- The last to use the nameboards in the UK. However, the nameboards would last up to Season 4 for the US and Japan.
- The last season where the end credits would roll over the final shot of an episode.
- The last season to feature the same narrator for both the UK and US for the majority of the season, excluding episodes selected for New Friends for Thomas and Other Adventures which were narrated by Michael Angelis.
- The Missing Coach was originally going to be an episode in this season, but it was cancelled and replaced by Thomas, Percy and the Coal/Double Trouble. The Missing Coach was only halfway through production when the whole thing was cancelled. An interview in 2008 stated that David Mitton had the footage from The Missing Coach. The whereabouts of this footage is still unknown.
- This is the only season where a character says "Shut Up!" This is likely due to broadcasting concerns after this season.
- Starting from the episode, Pop Goes the Diesel, the laughing sound effect from the trucks was heard. That sound effect was later reused in the following seasons.
- Henry regains his wheel arches, which were removed when he received his new shape after his accident with The Flying Kipper.
- The biggest space of time between two seasons airing is between this season, which aired in 1986, and Season 3, which did not air until 1992.
- When first broadcast on ITV, two episodes were compiled into one ten minute block with the nameboard sequence featured in between. For subsequent broadcasts, the stories were shown individually.
- In the Ukrainian narration, Ringo Starr's voice can still be heard in the background.
- The Norwegian/Finnish versions credit Ringo Starr as the narrator, even though they were re-dubbed in Norwegian and Finnish respectively.