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"Why, bless me, if we haven't left them behind!"
— Thomas

Thomas' Train, retitled A Big Day for Thomas in American releases, is the fifth episode of the first season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes, "And the Band Played Off" and "Stop the Press!".


Thomas was grumbling to the other engines; he was tired of pulling coaches about and wanted to pull a passenger train himself. The big engines only laughed. They knew that "Thomas was a little engine with a long tounge". But one night, Henry was ill. The workmen worked hard through the night, but the big green engine didn't get better. Henry always pulls the first train, but with him out of commision, Thomas hopes that he will be able to pull it. At the station, everyone is waiting for Henry. At last the Fat Controller agrees that Thomas will have to pull the train. No one knows what happened next, but Thomas is not coupled to the coaches when he puffs off.

As Thomas puffs along, people wave and shout at him. Thomas assumes that it is because they have never seen him pull a passenger train before and he whistles back. Soon, Thomas comes to a signal set at "danger" and has to stop. The signalman walks over to Thomas and asks him what he's doing. Thomas tells the signalman he's pulling a train, but the signalman informs Thomas that he is not pulling anything. Thomas is so sad that he nearly cries. He quickly reverses back to the station to start again. At the station, the angry passengers are complaining, but when they see how sorry Thomas looks they soon forget to be cross. Thomas is now coupled to the train and this time he really does pull it.

But for a long time afterwards, the larger engines teased Thomas for his mistake.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • While Thomas is shunting the coaches, a truck with its initials "NE" on the side can be seen in the siding.
  • There are a few differences between the original and restored versions:
    • Footage when Thomas says "People have never seen me pulling a train before" was different in the original.
    • Close-ups of Thomas' whistle are different shots.
  • This episode is one of writer Davey Moore's favourite Classic Series episodes alongside the fifth season episode, Rusty and the Boulder.
  • Recreated and additional scenes of this episode were produced in 1988 for the Ladybird book, The Sad Story of Henry/Thomas's Train/Thomas and the Guard.
  • This is the first episode to have only one main character.


  • When Henry is being worked on, one of the workmen does not have his overalls completely painted on.
  • When Thomas passes the signal box without his train, his eyes are wonky.
  • The man with the red hat and blue coat and the boy with the blue sweater on the bridge were two of Thomas' passengers.
  • In a close-up of Thomas, his wheels are going at a different pace to the background.
  • At the end of the episode, Henry's train is missing a brake coach.
  • When the others tease Thomas, Gordon is among them, but a few seconds earlier, he was a few metres ahead.
  • In the close-up of Thomas puffing down the line, look at his coupling, you will see a rope pulling him along.
  • In the whole scene of Thomas at Knapford at the beginning, blu-tack is visible underneath his face.
  • When the narrator says, "The porter banged the doors," studio equipment is visible on the coaches.
  • When Thomas first shunts the coaches, the back buffers of the coach are at their normal height. A few scenes later, however, the buffers are lowered to accommodate Thomas' buffers. But, in every scene after that, they are at their normal height again. In the same shot, a small light flickers on Thomas' smokebox.
  • James is seen passing by with a train whilst Thomas is shunting the coaches, yet James was at Tidmouth Sheds when Thomas left.
  • When Thomas runs round to the front of the coaches, a handle appears on the top of his lamp, but in the next shot it disappears.
  • Thomas' eyes are wonky at the end of the episode when the other engines are teasing him.
  • The brake coach of Thomas' train is at the front when it should be at the back. In fact, the whole train is facing the wrong way.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Un gran día para Thomas / Thomas Expreso A Big Day for Thomas / Thomas Express
Hebrew הרכבת של תומס Thomas' Train
Japanese トーマスのしっぱい Thomas' Failure
Norwegian Toget til Thomas Thomas' Train
Brazilian Portuguese Uma Surpresa Para o Thomas / Um Grande Dia Para Thomas A Surprise For Thomas / A Great Day for Thomas
Welsh Trên Tomos Thomas the Train
Slovenian Tomažev Vlak Thomas' Train
French Le Train de Thomas Thomas' Train
Italian Il Trenino di Thomas Thomas' Train
Hungarian Thomas Vonata Thomas' Train
Dutch De Trein van Thomas Thomas' Train
Swedish Thomas tar tåget Thomas Takes the Train
Chinese 托马斯的火车 Thomas' Train
Korean 토마스와 실수 Thomas and Mistakes
Polish Pociąg Tomka Thomas' Train
Finnish Tuomas-Veturin Juna Thomas-the Tank Engine's Train
Romanian Trenul lui Thomas Train of Thomas
Slovak Thomasov vlak Thomas' Train
German Thomas' Zug Thomas' Train
Russian Поезд Томаса Thomas' Train
Czech Tomášův vlak Thomas' Train
Danish Da Thomas trak et tog When Thomas Pulled a Train
Serbian Tomasova voz Thomas' Train
Croatian Tomicina Vlak Thomas' Train
Thai โธมัสดีใจ Thomas is Delighted

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


  • Thomas and Gordon and other stories


VHS/DVD Boxsets


  • The Complete Series 1
  • Thomas and Gordon and other Stories
  • My First Thomas with Thomas

DVD Boxsets

  • Classic Collection
  • Series One and Series Two Double Pack


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