Thomas Saves the Day

Original UK title card

No. of season: 1
No. of epsiode: 7
No. of series: 7
Director: David Mitton
Producer: David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona
Writer: Reverend W. Awdry (original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton (adapted)
Narrator: George Carlin (US)
Original air date: 30 October 1984 (US)
15 May 1990 (JPN)
27 February 1998 (GER)
4 January 2002 (HUN)
Previous: Trouble for Thomas
Next: James Learns a Lesson

Thomas Saves the Day is the seventh episode of the first season of the series. Thomas helps James after an accident.


Thomas works in the goods yard at the station, pushing and pulling freight cars into place. Every day he sees Sir Topham Hatt, who kindly tells Thomas that, while he may not be as big or as fast as Gordon, he can still be a really useful engine. While shunting, Thomas notices a strange green coach and 2 cranes and his driver explains that this is the breakdown train and it is used to lift engines, coaches, or the freight cars that may come off the line.

One day, Thomas is pushing freight cars when he hears an engine whistling and calling for help. The engine is James, who is the newest engine on Sodor, and he is being pushed by the freight cars causing him to go far faster than normal. To make matters worse, his brake blocks are on fire. As the freight cars laugh, James disappears in the distance. Although he can't do anything, Thomas is eager for the freight cars to be taught a lesson. Soon an alarm rings and the signalman tells Thomas that James has derailed, so the breakdown train is needed. Thomas is coupled to the breakdown train and heads to the scene of the accident as fast as he can.

Further down the line, James has crashed into a field and fallen on his side. His crew checks him for any damage and tells James that the fault lies in his wooden brakes which were unable to stop him. Thomas arrives with the breakdown train and removes the freight cars that are still on the rails from the scene while the breakdown train recovers the freight cars which had overturned. Thomas works harder than ever before, going backwards and forwards with the very sorry (and also damaged) freight cars until they have all been removed.

Soon it is time to lift James back onto the rails. After having the chains attached to him, James is lifted by the cranes and is returned to his proper position. James is unable to move by himself, so Thomas helps him back to the shed as the sun sets. Waiting for them is Sir Topham Hatt, who congratulates Thomas on all his hard work. He tells James that he is going to get a new coat of paint and some proper brakes fitted and then rewards a delighted Thomas with a branch line of his own.

Nowadays, Thomas was happier than ever. Not only does he have a branch line, but he also has two new coaches named Annie and Clarabel. He now gets to pull trains all day and often sees Edward and Henry. Gordon is always in a hurry, but still whistles greetings to Thomas who whistles back.



Fun FactsEdit


  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • There are different between the original:
    • When Thomas says "I'd like to teach those freight cars a lesson," there is a pause before he moves his eyes.
    • An extended shot of the signalman shouting "James is off the line! The breakdown train, quickly!" is shown.
    • Different footage of Annie was used.
  • Stock footage from Henry to the Rescue is used, as is an alternate shot from Trouble for Thomas.
  • A metal rod was placed in front of James' driving wheels to produce the sparking effect.
  • This episode may have been filmed alongside The Tenders and the Turntables, as James can be seen by Thomas' freight cars in the direction of Tidmouth Sheds in a behind the scenes photo.


  • A rare picture shows the breakdown train without any buffers.
  • The works unit coach was not taken with the breakdown train.
  • When Thomas takes on water, his water cap isn't open.
  • Thin wires are used, along with the cranes, to lift James back on the rails.
  • One of the breakdown cranes is shunted into view as James and Thomas leave, but Thomas was the only engine working at the scene of the accident.
  • When Thomas and James return to Tidmouth Sheds, the puffing noise continues after they had stopped.
  • Thomas' eyes are slightly off centre from each other throughout the majority of the episode.
  • The metal rod to make James' wheels spark is clearly visible.
  • During the scene when Thomas pushes the breakdown train under a bridge, the cranes are dirty, but before and after that scene, the cranes are clean.
  • James' goods train load changes throughout the episode from stone, empty freight car, stone, then in the shot of burning brakes 2 empty freight cars then stone, and then passing under the arch bridge to mostly stones and empty stock at the back.
  • In the close up of Gordon, his driving wheels are going backwards.
  • When James gets back on the rails, its daytime, but when Thomas couples him to get him back to the shed, the sky suddenly changes to the sunset.
  • When James cries, "Help, help!" bushes and hills are next to him instead of the yard.
  • In the close-up of James' wheels when he is put back on the rails, the breakdown train beside him is missing.
  • In the original version, during the close-up of Thomas when is puffing along his branch line, Annie and Clarabel aren't behind him.
  • When James is being lifted by the cranes, it is broad daylight, but in the next scene, the sun is beginning to set.
  • Considering the way James approached the bend he should be laying on his left side, but for some reason he's laying on the other side.


In Other LanguagesEdit

Language Name Meaning
Danish Thomas og hjælpetoget Thomas and the Help Train
Croatian Tomica i vagoni dizalice Thomas, Wagons and Cranes
Finnish Tuomas-Veturi ja korjausjuna Thomas The Tank Engine and The Breakdown Train
Hebrew תומס ורכבת החילוץ Thomas and the Rescue Train
German Der Unfallzug The Accident Train
Spanish Thomas, Héroe del Día / Thomas y el tren grúa Thomas, Hero of the Day / Thomas and the Train Crane
Norwegian Thomas og hjelpetoget Thomas and the Help Train
Italian L'incidente The Accident
Brazilian Portuguese Thomas Resolve um Problema / Thomas Salva o Dia Thomas Solves a Problem / Thomas Saves the Day
Japanese ジェームスのだっせん James' Derailment
Welsh Tomos a'r Trén Archub Thomas and Train Rescue
French Thomas et le train en panne Thomas and the Breakdown Train
Dutch Thomas en de Takelwagen Thomas and the Breakdown Truck
Hungarian Thomas és a segélyvonat Thomas and the Relief Train
Slovenian Tomaž in nesreča na progi Thomas and the Accident on the Track
Russian Происшествие Incident
Chinese 托马斯和吊车 Thomas and the Cranes
Korean 토마스와 구조열차 Thomas and the Train Structure
Polish Tomek i Wagon Ratunkowy Thomas and the Rescue Wagons
Romanian Thomas şi Trenul de Intervenţii Thomas and the Train of Intervention
Slovak Thomas a záchranársky vlak Thomas and the Rescue Train
Swedish Thomas och Kranvagnen Thomas and the Crane Trolley
Czech Tomáš a pohotovostní vlak Thomas and the Emergency Train
Serbian Tomas i vagon za pokvarene vozove Thomas and the Wagon for Defective Trains
Thai โธมัสช่วยกู้ภัย Thomas Helped the Rescue

Home Media ReleasesEdit




DVD Boxsets


DVD Boxsets




DVD Boxsets








  • Thomas the Tank Engine 1





DVD Packs










Thomas and the Breakdown Train – British Narration

Thomas and the Breakdown Train – British Narration

UK Narration

v - e - d Thomas and Friends episodes
Series 1 Thomas and Gordon · Edward and Gordon · The Sad Story of Henry · Edward, Gordon and Henry · Thomas' Train · Thomas and the Trucks · Thomas and the Breakdown Train · James and the Coaches · Troublesome Trucks · James and the Express · Thomas and the Guard · Thomas Goes Fishing · Thomas, Terence and the Snow · Thomas and Bertie · Tenders and Turntables · Trouble in the Shed · Percy Runs Away · Coal · The Flying Kipper · Whistles and Sneezes · Toby and the Stout Gentleman · Thomas in Trouble · Dirty Objects · Off the Rails · Down the Mine · Thomas' Christmas Party
Series 2 Thomas, Percy and the Coal · Cows · Bertie's Chase · Saved from Scrap · Old Iron · Thomas and Trevor · Percy and the Signal · Duck Takes Charge · Percy and Harold · The Runaway · Percy Takes the Plunge · Pop Goes the Diesel · Dirty Work · A Close Shave · Better Late Than Never · Break Van · The Deputation · Thomas Comes to Breakfast · Daisy · Percy's Predicament · The Diseasel · Wrong Road · Edward's Exploit · Ghost Train · Woolly Bear · Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Series 3 A Scarf for Percy · Percy's Promise · Time for Trouble · Gordon and the Famous Visitor · Donald's Duck · Thomas Gets Bumped · Thomas, Percy and the Dragon · Diesel Does It Again · Henry's Forest · The Trouble with Mud · No Joke for James · Thomas, Percy and the Post Train · Trust Thomas · Mavis · Toby's Tightrope · Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party · Buzz, Buzz · All at Sea · One Good Turn · Tender Engines · Escape · Oliver Owns Up · Bulgy · Heroes · Percy, James and the Fruitful Day · Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure
Series 4 Granpuff · Sleeping Beauty · Bulldog · You Can't Win · Four Little Engines · A Bad Day for Sir Handel · Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady · Trucks! · Home at Last · Rock 'n' Roll · Special Funnel · Steam Roller · Passengers and Polish · Gallant Old Engine · Rusty to the Rescue · Thomas and Stepney · Train Stops Play · Bowled Out · Henry and the Elephant · Toad Stands By · Bulls Eyes · Thomas and the Special Letter · Paint Pots and Queens · Fish · Special Attraction · Mind That Bike
Series 5 Cranky Bugs · Horrid Lorry · A Better View for Gordon · Lady Hatt's Birthday Party · James and the Trouble with Trees · Gordon and the Gremlin · Bye George! · Baa! · Put Upon Percy · Toby and the Flood · Haunted Henry · Double Teething Troubles · Stepney Gets Lost · Toby's Discovery · Something in the Air · Thomas, Percy and Old Slow Coach · Thomas and the Rumours · Oliver's Find · Happy Ever After · Sir Topham Hatt's Holiday · A Surprise for Percy · Make Someone Happy · Busy Going Backwards · Duncan Gets Spooked · Rusty and the Boulder · Snow
Series 6 Salty's Secret · Harvey to the Rescue · No Sleep for Cranky · A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter · Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry · The Fogman · Jack Jumps In · A Friend in Need · It's Only Snow · Twin Trouble · The World's Strongest Engine · Scaredy Engines · Percy and the Haunted Mine · Middle Engine · James and the Red Balloon · Jack Frost · Gordon Takes a Tumble · Percy's Chocolate Crunch · Buffer Bother · Toby Had a Little Lamb · Thomas, Percy and the Squeak · Thomas the Jet Engine · Edward the Very Useful Engine · Dunkin' Duncan · Rusty Saves the Day · Faulty Whistles
Series 7 Emily's New Coaches · Percy Gets It Right · Bill, Ben and Fergus · The Old Bridge · Edward's Brass Band · What's the Matter with Henry? · James and the Queen of Sodor · The Refreshment Lady's Tea Shop · · The Spotless Record · Toby's Windmill · Bad Day at Castle Loch · Rheneas and the Roller Coaster · Salty's Stormy Tale · Snow Engine · Something Fishy · The Runaway Elephant · Peace and Quiet · Fergus Breaks the Rules · · Bulgy Rides Again · Harold and the Flying Horse · The Grand Opening · Best Dressed Engine · Gordon and Spencer · Not So Hasty Puddings · Trusty Rusty · Three Cheers for Thomas
Series 8 Thomas and the Tuba · Percy's New Whistle · Thomas to the Rescue · Henry and the Wishing Tree · James Gets a New Coat · Thomas Saves the Day · Percy's Big Mistake · Thomas, Emily and the Snowplough · Don't Tell Thomas · Emily's New Route · Thomas and the Firework Display · Gordon Takes Charge · Spic and Span · Edward the Great · Squeak, Rattle and Roll · Thomas and the Circus · Thomas Gets It Right · As Good as Gordon · Fish · Emily's Adventure · Halloween · You Can Do It, Toby! · James Goes Too Far · Chickens to School · Too Hot for Thomas · Percy and the Magic Carpet
Series 9 Percy and the Oil Painting · Thomas and the Rainbow · Molly's Special, Special · Thomas' Milkshake Muddle · Mighty Mac · Thomas and the Toy Shop · Respect for Gordon · Thomas and the Birthday Picnic · Tuneful Toots · Rheneas and the Dinosaur · Thomas and the New Engine · Toby Feels Left Out · Thomas Tries His Best · The Magic Lamp · Thomas and the Statue · Henry and the Flagpole · Emily Knows Best · Thomas' Day Off · Thomas' New Trucks Duncan and the Old Mine · Bold and Brave · Skarloey the Brave · Saving Edward · Thomas and the Golden Eagle · Keeping Up with James · Flour Power