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"Peter Sam's said again and again,
his new funnel will put ours to shame.
He went into the tunnel:
lost his old funnel.
Now his famous new funnel's a drain!
— Sir Handel

Special Funnel is the eleventh episode of the fourth season. It first aired on Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales in 1996 in the US.


It is wintertime on Sodor. Ever since his accident at the slate quarry, Peter Sam has been having trouble with his damaged funnel wobbling in the strong wind. He is also still awaiting his new funnel, which, in the manager's words, will be "something special." The other engines make fun of his talk about the new funnel.

The weather soon becomes bad, with heavy rain causing streams to rise and threatening to wash away the line. Rusty is kept busy taking workmen along the line, removing any branches and leaves that prevent the water from flowing. One day, the bridge by Rheneas Tunnel is washed away. Rusty and the workmen set to work mending the bridge, but it takes a long time. As days go by, the weather changes, becoming frosty and much colder.

A few days later, the bridge is mended and Peter Sam is chuffing down the line with the morning passenger train. As he puffs through Rheneas Tunnel, his driver spots an object hanging from the roof, but is unable to stop Peter Sam crashing into it. When Peter Sam exits the tunnel, he discovers that the object, revealed by the guard to be a large icicle, has knocked his funnel off. He continues on his way, but without his funnel, it is very difficult to control the smoke. His fireman eventually discovers a drainpipe laying by the track and they attach it to him as a temporary funnel. When the other engines see Peter Sam with the drainpipe, they tease him relentlessly.

Peter Sam's new funnel eventually arrives, presented to him by the Fat Controller. The funnel has an unusual design and Peter Sam fears it has been damaged, but the Fat Controller assures him it really is "something special." The new funnel has special pipes that makes puffing much easier, giving Peter Sam much more strength when pulling trains. The other engines are impressed with how easy he makes work look and since then, they have never teased Peter Sam about his special funnel; instead, they wish they could have one like it.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Gallant Old Engine.
  • In a rare still, Peter Sam still has his funnel on after leaving the tunnel. In the same picture, there is not any snow and he is pulling three coaches instead of two.
  • In the US, this episode aired before Rusty Helps Peter Sam, so American viewers would not know who Rusty was or how Peter Sam's funnel got damaged.
  • In the original version made in 1994, the music at the start is missing.
  • Stock footage from Granpuff is used.
  • This was the first episode that did not feature any standard gauge engines in any way.
  • In a deleted scene, Peter Sam is wearing one of Sir Handel's face masks.
  • On early UK releases of Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories, the music at the beginning and the music when Peter Sam had to use a pipe is omitted, most of Peter Sam's whistle sound is omitted and Sir Handel's song is heard later.


  • In a close-up of Peter Sam, his face is a different size. This is because larger models are used.
  • Peter Sam says, "I wish Manager would hurry up with my new funnel", but in the TV series, the Skarloey Railway has no manager, being under the control of the Fat Controller.
  • During the top shot of Peter Sam entering the tunnel, you can see steam going off too late.
  • When Peter Sam pulls into the sheds, the "wheeshing" sound is heard just before the steam.
  • Peter Sam's funnel is completely knocked off, yet when he receives his new one, the base is still remaining.
  • Rheneas appears, but he's supposed to be at the Works.
  • As Peter Sam passes Skarloey and Rheneas, a camera shadow is seen.
  • The narrator said that the drain pipe was wired to Peter Sam's boiler, but it was actually attached to his smokebox by rope.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
German Der Ersatzschornstein The Replacement Funnel
Norwegian En spesiell skorstein A Special Funnel
Brazilian Portuguese A Chaminé Especial Special Funnel
Spanish Una Chimenea Especial A Special Funnel
Japanese とくせいのえんとつ Special Funnel
Finnish Veturin Erikoispiippu Special Funnel
Slovenian Poseben Dimnik Special Funnel
Polish Wyjątkowy Komin Special Funnel
Dutch Speciale Schoorsteen Special Funnel
Hungarian A különleges kémény The Special Funnel
Russian Необыкновенная труба Special Funnel
Ukrainian Особливий димар Special Funnel
Italian Una Ciminiera Speciale Special Funnel
Welsh Corn Simnai Arbenning Special Funnel
Chinese 特殊的烟囱 Special Funnel
Czech Mimořádný Komín Special Funnel
Romanian Coşul de Fum Cel Special Special Funnel
Slovak Špeciálny Komín Special Funnel
Swedish En Speciell Skorsten Special Funnel
Danish Den Specielle Skorsten Special Funnel
Greek Ειδική Χωνί Special Funnel
Thai ปีเตอร์แซมได้ท่อไอน้ำอันใหม่ Peter Sam Has New Steam Pipes
Korean 피터 샘의 새 굴뚝 Peter Sam's New Chimney

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