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"Duck should play with other ducks,
'coz he's no good at pulling trucks! Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack! Hold back! Hold back!
— The Troublesome Trucks

Edward the Very Useful Engine, retitled Edward the Really Useful Engine in some American and British releases, is the twenty-third episode of the sixth season.


Gordon thinks that Edward is old and should be retired, and the other big engines agree with him, but Percy is concerned about this. He tells his driver and the Fat Controller about what Gordon said about Edward, who attends to the matter immediately.

The Fat Controller arranges for Edward to teach Stepney to run a new loop line, while Duck does Edward's work, but it makes no difference to Gordon. Edward enjoys working with Stepney, but Duck does not enjoy working with the trucks, especially when they hold him back on Gordon's Hill. Duck is stuck on Gordon's line, and it is too late to switch him to the middle line, so the guard tries to flag him down, but Gordon passes by and tries to push Duck up, but it is no good.

Gordon's crew sends for Edward to help both engines, and as the strange train sets off and pulls into the station, Gordon feels rather embarrassed and is told off by The Fat Controller for saying rude things about Edward, who has proven to be responsible, reliable and very helpful. The next day, Gordon apologises to Edward and says that he really is a useful engine. Now there is no more talk about Edward retiring.




  • This was the final episode to be written by David Mitton.
  • This is one of the few episodes of the sixth season to be later re-narrated by Michael Brandon in the US and Michael Angelis in the UK with music composed by Robert Hartshorne and Ed Welch.
  • In Michael Angelis' 2005 re-narration, the term "freight cars" is used at the beginning.
  • Three posters at Knapford read "Alicia Botti in concert tonight at the castle".
  • During the production of the episode, fellow wikia user and Thomas fan Elliot K. Ward visited Shepperton Studios on Friday May 15th, 2002, with Phil Fehrle as his tour guide.
  • Not counting on stock footage during Season 7, this would be Stepney's last actual appearance in the Classic Series, and his last appearance untill the Season 12 episode Rosie's Funfair Special.
  • This is a last episode, Percy sounds like James in sixth season.


  • In the American narration, after Alec Baldwin says, "Sir Topham Hatt spoke severely to Gordon", a voice can be faintly heard saying "Take six".
  • Stepney has Skarloey's whistle sound.
  • When Gordon is seen coming up the hill to push Duck, the guard is seen waving a red flag, but in the very next shot, he is in the brakevan.
  • When Edward buffers up to Gordon a white wire is visible in the windows of the express coach.
  • Duck has Oliver's whistle sound at the beginning.
  • Some of the trucks that Duck is pulling have their face on the back end.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Norwegian Edward, det nyttige lokomotivet Edward the Useful Engine
Danish Edward det gamle lokomotiv Edward the Old Engine
Japanese やくにたつきかんしゃエドワード Edward the Useful Engine
Welsh Cymorth i Edward Assistance to Edward
Spanish Edward, la locomotora muy útil Edward the Very Useful Engine
Swedish Edward, det nyttiga loket Edward the Useful Engine
Slovenian Edvard, Zelo Koristna Lokomotiva Edward the Very Useful Engine
Italian La Locomotiva di Spinta The Back Engine
Romanian Edward Locomotiva Foarte Utilă Edward the Very Helpful Locomotive
Slovak Eduard je veľmi užitočná lokomotíva Edward is a Very Useful Locomotive
Hungarian Edward Nagyon Hasznos Mozdony Edward's Locomotive Very Useful
Polish Bardzo Użyteczny Edek Very Useful Edward
Chinese 爱德华非常有用的小火车 Edward the Useful Train
Korean 꼭 필요한 기관차 Necassary Engines
Thai เอ็ดเวิร์ดแรงไม่ตก Edward Did Not Fall Hard

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