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This article is about 'the second season episode'. You may be looking for 'the eleventh season episode or the DVD'.
"Duck called me a galloping sausage!"
"Rusty red scrap iron!"
"I'm old square wheels!"
"Well Duck?"
"I only wish Sir, that I'd thought of those names myself. If the dome fits...
— Gordon, James, Henry, The Fat Controller, and Duck

Dirty Work, retitled Diesel's Devious Deed in American releases, is the thirteenth episode of the second season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes, Word's Out in 1989 and Oh, What a Tangled Web in 1991.


Diesel, the newest engine on the Island of Sodor, is having a hard time having been made to look silly in front of the trucks, who delight in teasing him. Duck decides that Diesel has gone through enough and stops the trucks from their joking. Diesel is still furious and accuses Duck of making the trucks laugh at him. Gordon, James, and Henry are nearby and tell Diesel that Duck would never do that. While engines may have falling outs, they would never tell the trucks about them.

By now, Diesel's dislike of Duck has grown to such a point that he wants him to be sent away and, inspired by the engine's words about trucks, makes a plan. Going into the yard the next day, Diesel tells the trucks some jokes about the bigger engines and claims that he heard them from Duck before leaving. The trucks find these jokes hilarious and quickly repeat them to the bigger engines, as well as telling them that they came from Duck in order to get revenge on him for forcing them to behave.

Gordon, James, and Henry, believing that Duck was the one who told the silly stories about them, hold a meeting and agree that Duck needs to be paid back for teasing them. Later Duck returns to the shed after an extremely hard day's work. However, when he tries to get back inside for a rest, the bigger engines instead blow steam at him. They tell him that, after telling tales about them to the trucks, they no longer trust him and want Diesel to replace him. Duck denies this and an argument begins.

The Fat Controller arrives to see what the commotion is and is told of the bigger engines accusation against Duck. The Fat Controller gives Duck a chance to explain himself and Duck tells the Fat Controller that his only wish at this point is that he had thought of those names himself. Diesel comes forward and when the Fat Controller asks him what he knows, Diesel feigns shock at Duck's actions, but claims ignorance otherwise.

The Fat Controller sends Duck to work with Edward at Wellsworth while he tries to get to the bottom of the incident. Thinking the Fat Controller has turned against him too, Duck obeys his orders. Diesel smirks, happy with his victory.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Duck and the Diesel Engine.
  • In the Welsh narration, the trucks singing "Pop Goes the Diesel" at the beginning of the episode is omitted from the narration.
  • References to Duck Takes Charge and Pop Goes the Diesel are made in this episode.
  • In the episode, Diesel is seen squirming while he is eavesdropping on the argument at the shed, but in a few photos from this episode, he is smirking instead.
  • This marks the last time an engine cries until Day of the Diesels.
  • In the Welsh version, when Duck apologises to Diesel about the trucks being rude to him, the music cue used when the narrator says, "Diesel lurked up" is used.


  • The truck Duck bumps appears to be pulled by fishing wire.
  • A pole is lying across the rails in front of Duck and Diesel in a shot.
  • The camera wobbles when James says "Disgusting!"
  • The lines at the large yard with the trucks all lead to the brick wall in the background, so this means that the trucks are trapped there.
  • When Diesel speaks to the trucks none have faces; but when Diesel sniggers away they do.
  • The lighting subtly changes between Gordon and Henry passing the trucks.
  • When Duck turns on the turntable, the top of his face is falling off.
  • When Gordon accuses Duck of calling him a "galloping sausage", he has marks on his right cheek and left side of his chin.
  • In the close-ups of Gordon, James, and Henry at Tidmouth Sheds, all three are missing their tenders.
  • When Gordon, Henry, and James pass by the trucks, Henry has a different whistle sound.
  • When the engines bar Duck from entering the shed, Gordon, Henry, and James' eyes are wonky.
  • When the narrator says "Duck was horrified", Gordon can be seen to Duck's left. However, in the following shot, Duck is steaming towards where Gordon, James, and Henry are.
  • In Ringo's US Narration, during the shed scenes, an odd hissing and squeaking sound can be heard. This is absent on the Better Late Than Never and Other Stories VHS however.
  • When Henry says, "Nonsense! Duck would never do that!", part of his left (viewer's right) eyelid is chipped off.
  • When the narrator says "Diesel squirmed, and hoped he didn't", Diesel's face is crooked.
  • When Gordon, Henry, and James pass the trucks, Gordon's tender and Henry's tender fade away.
  • In the scene after Gordon, Henry, and James pass the trucks, the truck next to the two laughing trucks is gone.
  • When James says "Keep Out", his face is off centre from his smokebox.
  • Henry's eyes are wonky when he's on the turntable.
  • When the trucks laugh and the narrator says "Guffawed the trucks", the van furthest to the right of the screen has a crooked face.
  • In the Welsh version, at the shed scene, Ringo's Starr's narration can be faintly heard, if you listen carefully.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
German Schmutzarbeit Dirty Work
Norwegian Bakvaskelser Aspersions
Dutch Een Vuil Zaakje A Dirty Business
Italian Soprannomi Nicknames
Japanese ディーゼルのわるだくみ Diesel's Evil Design
Welsh Bai ar Gam Blame on Harm
Finnish Kieroilua Double Talk
Spanish El Complot de Diesel Diesel's Plot
Brazilian Portuguese A Intriga de Diesel The Intrigue of Diesel
Croatian Prljavi Posao Dirty Work
Danish Diesel Laver Balladen Diesel Makes Shenanigans
Hungarian Hazugság Lie
Slovenian Umazano Delo The Dirty Work
Russian Прозвища Nicknames
Chinese 肮脏的工作 Dirty Work
Korean 능청스런 디젤 Capable of Application by Diesel
French Acte Sournois de Diesel Sneaky Act Diesel
Romanian O Treaba Murdară A Dirty Deed
Slovak Špinavá práca Dirty Job
Czech Špinavá price Dirty Job
Swedish Bakverk Pastry
Polish Brudna Robota Dirty Job
Serbian Prljave posao Dirty Job
Thai ดั๊กถูกใส่ร้าย Duck is Slander

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