Thomas is shocked to learn that there is an engine with a branch line as famous as his and that the engine might visit. The engine, Stepney, has gotten bored with the Bluebell Railway and is delighted to discover he has been invited to visit the North Western Railway. When Thomas hears the news, he is jealous and refuses to meet Stepney, but the others welcome him and he works with Duck happily all day. When it's time for Thomas' last train, he is furious to be shunted to let another train pass, and amazed to find Stepney pulling it. Thomas grumbles next morning, but Stepney explains the situation and flatters Thomas, who proceeds to tell Stepney about his branch line.
This episode and Rusty to the Rescue are the only episodes of Season 4 to not be released on VHS before airing on TV, but the UK Narrations were released before airing on TV.
In the UK and international versions, when the special is ordered, music is heard. This is absent in the US version. Towards the end of the episode, the background shunting noise is cut off and some whistle sounds are also missing in the US version.
On PBS Sprout airings, this episode uses the unrestored opening credits.
The area that Thomas puffs down in the very first seen is the same set Sir Handel and George had their altercation but with standard gauge track added.
While the engines wait for Stepney, a tar wagon, perched on another tar wagon, is visible behind Gordon and Henry.
A single passenger shouldn't need two coaches.
Stepney has Smudger's whistle sound in the US version and Rheneas' in the UK. Rheneas' whistle is used once in the early UK and US versions as well.
Stepney has Duke's whistle sound when he is working with Duck.
In the early UK and US versions, when Percy finishes talking about Stepney, his whistle sound is higher pitched.
In the UK version, Gordon, Douglas, and Duck have the same whistle sound.
George Carlin says "Stop all train!" instead of "Stop all trains!".