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"They have their uses. They can save the wear on a poor cars wheels!"
— Caroline changing her opinion on trains

Train Stops Play is the seventeenth episode of the fourth season. It aired in the US on Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales in 1996.


Stepney is enjoying his visit to the North Western Railway and offers to help Percy with his goods trains. After delivering loaded trucks to the harbour, Stepney goes past a cricket field with some "empties" when a batter hits a "six" and their only ball lands in a truck. Stepney does not realise this and when his driver sees Caroline chasing after them with the desperate cricketers inside, he mistakes them for joyriders and speeds up, much to Caroline's annoyance as she easily overheats when travelling at high speed. At last after being forced over a hill, Caroline arrives at the station and the men get their ball back, but Stepney's driver notes Caroline looks exhausted and suggests that she be rolled onto a flatbed so she can rest during the return journey. The cricketers ride back in a brake van and Stepney, his crew and Caroline watch the end of the game.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine.
  • Going by production order, this is the eighteenth episode of the fourth season.
  • Edited scenes are used in The Red Balloon song. One shot superimposes the red balloon above the cricket field and another shows the cricketers smiling.
  • In the UK narration, Caroline says "HURRAH!" but in the US version she says "YAHOO!"
  • This marks Caroline's only speaking role in the fourth season as well as Bulgy's only appearance in the fourth season and the Elsbridge Cricket Club member's only speaking roles to date.
  • This is that last appearance of Hackenbeck Tunnel.


  • After Percy arrives with his trucks, his roof is lifted.
  • As Stepney arrives at Knapford Harbour, Thomas is seen leaving with some trucks, but he was still at Tidmouth Sheds when Stepney left. Also, his first truck derails before it goes off screen.
  • Studio equipment is visible in the shots of the cricket field.
  • Stepney has Rheneas' whistle sound.
  • At Knapford Harbour, Henry and James' eyes are wonky.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish No Detengan el Juego Don't Stop the Game
Danish Toget standser spillet Train Stops the Game
Finnish Pallo Pelistä Pois Ball Game Off
Welsh Dim Pêl - Dim Gêm No Ball - No Game
German Ohne Ball kein Spiel No Play Without Balls
Norwegian Tog stanser spillet Train Stops Play
Swedish Stepney stoppar spelet Stepney Stops The Game
Dutch Trein Vangsten Bal Train Catches Ball
Italian Partita interrotta Interrupted Game
Japanese しあいちゅうだん Game Suspended
Czech Vlak, který zastavil zápas Train which stopped Match
Russian Поезда перестают играть Train Stops Playing
Ukrainian Потяг припиняє гру The Train Stops in December
Hungarian A félbeszakadt krikettjáték The Interrupted Cricket Game
Slovenian Vlak prekine tekmo Train Interrupted Match
Romanian Trenul Opreşte Jocul Train Stops Play
Slovak Vlak sa prestane hrať The Train will Stop the Play
Polish Koniec Zabawy End of Fun
Chinese 列车不动了 The Train Did Not Move
Brazilian Portuguese Trem para o Jogo Train to the Game
Greek Το τρένο σταματά το παιχνίδι The Train Stops Play
Thai หัวรถจักรเขาแข่งคริกเก็ต Engine and his Race Cricket

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