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"Ho ho ho ho! That's another win for the red team!"
"No, it's not!"
"Reds are the best!"
"No, blues are the best!"
"Well, let's go and see WHO'S the best then. (whistles)"
"Red engine! Red engine! Red engine! Red engine! (whistles)
— James and Thomas

Reds vs. Blues is the seventeenth episode of the nineteenth season.


One day, the Sodor United Football Team are having a football match against Barrow, with the Fat Controller being the referee. He summons Thomas and James to give them a job of transporting a lot of passengers to and from to the football field at Dryaw, adding that they must work together. Thomas and James' work goes on well at first, when they collect their first passengers, who cheer for them because of their paint matching the football teams' colours. The fans of the Sodor United team cheer for Thomas, while the fans of the Barrow team cheer for James. During their first journey to Dryaw, Thomas and James decide to have a competition to see which team is the best, despite Annie and Clarabel trying to remind them what the Fat Controller said about working together.

After dropping their first loads of passengers, Thomas and James continue collecting more loads of passengers throughout the day. James collects more Barrow fans from Brendam Docks, while Thomas collects more Sodor United fans from Kellsthorpe, and on each journey back to Dryaw, they both try to arrive first. Not long before the start of the football match, Thomas and James have to collect one last load of passengers each. James becomes impatient when his passengers are moving slowly, and decides to leave right away so to try and get to Dryaw before Thomas, unaware that his passengers are actually the Barrow football players. The guard tries to stop James, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Thomas decides not to stop at Kellsthorpe, unaware that the Fat Controller is waiting at the station while eating ice cream. The Fat Controller yells out to Thomas, but Thomas is too far away to hear him.

Thomas and James soon catch up with each other, and race back to Dryaw to try and win the competition. They both arrive at the same time, but they keep arguing on who got there first, before deciding to see which team is the best. However, they only find the Sodor United players, who are complaining about having no opponent team or referee. This makes Thomas and James immediately realise their mistakes, just as Percy arrives, with the Barrow players unhappily heading to the field, while the Fat Controller gives Thomas and James a yellow card for their rivalry. He also threatens to give them a red card if they make another mistake, telling them that a red card means a football player is out of the game for causing bad behaviour. With Thomas admitting that he and James do not want to be sent to their sheds, the Fat Controller reminds them to work together to take everyone back home, no matter which team they support.

As the match starts, Thomas and James apologise to each other, admitting that it is better for them to work together. Just then, the ball is shot up into the air and lands, getting stuck, on Thomas' funnel. One of the players asks to have it back, so Thomas blows steam out of his funnel to shoot the ball back onto the field and into one of the goals.


Several workmen, football supporters and football players speak and some of them are voiced by Keith Wickham and Rob Rackstraw in both dubs.




  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Rob Rackstraw as James and the Grumpy Passenger
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy
  • Teresa Gallagher as Annie, Clarabel and the Barrow Football Fan
  • Keith Wickham as Sir Topham Hatt and the Grumpy Passenger
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby



  • This is the first time Barrow has been mentioned in the television series.
  • In real life, Barrow's team colour is actually blue.
  • When Thomas does not stop at the station, Sir Topham Hatt's recording, "Ah! Thomas! Thomas! Stop!" from The Adventure Begins is re-used.
  • Percy breaks the fourth wall, as he states the infamous "And then there was trouble!" as he pulls into the station. This is also the very first instance where an engine says a line that the narrator would normally say.
  • At the end of the episode, the football landing on Thomas' funnel then blew back to the goal, is similar to a magazine story, Henry Scores a Goal.
  • An arrangement of James' theme from Season 8-12 plays throughout the episode.
  • This episode is similar to the tenth season episode, Thomas and the Colours.
  • This episode marks the second time, Thomas and James have a race, with the first being in The Great Discovery.


  • Some of the members of both the Sodor and Barrow football teams are duplicated.
  • In one shot of Thomas and James racing, James' leading bogie wheels stops moving.


  • James: "Come on, you reds!"
  • Percy: "And then there was trouble!" (Breaks fourth wall)


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese あかとあおのたいけつ Confrontation of Red and Blue
Spanish Rojo Contra Azul / Rojos Contra Azules Red Against Blue / Reds vs. Blues
Polish Czerwoni i Niebiescy Reds and Blues
Russian Красные против Синих Red vs. Blue
Dutch De Rode Tegen de Blauwe Red Against Blue
Hungarian Pirosak a kékek ellen Reds Against Blues
Serbian Crveni protiv Plavih Red Against Blue
Czech Červená versus modrá Red vs. Blue
German Rot gegen Blau Red vs. Blue
Romanian Roșii vs. albaștrii Reds vs. Blues
Portuguese Vermelhos versus azuis Reds vs. Blues
Norwegian Røde mot blå Reds Against Blues
French Les Rouges Contre les Bleus The Reds Against the Blues
Slovenian Rdeči proti modrim Red Against Blue
Italian Rossi Contro Blu Red Against Blue
Korean 빨강 대 파랑 Red vs. Blue

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