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"You lucky old engine! You've been saved by the Bluebell Railway!"
— Stepney's driver

Rusty to the Rescue is the fifteenth episode of the fourth season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station special Once Upon a Time in 1995.


Rusty enjoys visiting the Bluebell Railway, but his driver is concerned that the line needs an engine, so Rusty consults with Douglas about finding one on the Other Railway. Douglas mentions that only diesels travel there nowadays, which is where he found Oliver. That suits Rusty and the next day he travels to the Other Railway, slipping past the diesels by fibbing that he is an inspection diesel. He finds a tank engine named Stepney alone in a siding, and he asks him if he likes bluebells. Stepney replies puzzledly that he believes bluebells are beautiful, and Rusty promises to help him run away. Their drivers agree and Rusty helps him to escape to Sodor. Thanks to Rusty, Stepney now happily runs on the Bluebell Railway.




  • This is the only fourth season episode not based on a story from the Railway Series. However this episode forms the first four part story based on the book Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine replacing the story "Bluebells of England."
  • The Reverend Awdry disapproved of this episode for its portrayal of Rusty rescuing Stepney from scrap whereas in reality, it was the representatives of the Bluebell Railway who saved him.
  • In real life, the Bluebell Railway is a heritage line in England.
  • The set of the Other Railway is the same as Crovan's Gate set where Rusty met Percy and Douglas, only heavily modified.
  • In the US version, music is heard when Stepney says: "and my friend, Rusty. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Rusty," but is absent in the UK and international versions.
  • In the UK and international versions, Henry and Gordon whistle to Rusty when he is heading to the Other Railway; the whistle sound effects are omitted in the US version.
  • Scrap Thomas, Gordon, and Donald/Douglas models can be seen on the Other Railway.
  • The engines of the Other Railway are represented by Diesel, BoCo, Daisy, Mavis, and The Diesel, all facing opposite to the camera.
  • In the US, this episode aired before Rusty Helps Peter Sam, so early American viewers would not know who Rusty is.


  • Thomas has Edward's whistle sound as he passes through Bluebell Valley Station. Clarabel is also facing the wrong way.
  • Gordon has Duck's whistle sound.
  • When Rusty and Stepney return, Thomas, Gordon, and James' whistle sounds are heard, yet they are nowhere to be seen. This is because stock audio from Thomas' Christmas Party is used.
  • Rusty's truck and brake van disappear in the close-up shot of his driver in his cab.
  • When Rusty says "Right, we'll find one tomorrow," he has dried-up glue around his face.
  • When Rusty first arrives on the Other Railway, some chains are hanging beside the signal box, but when Rusty says "Oh, what's that?" the chains disappear.
  • The tar wagon seen between BoCo and Daisy disappears in the last shot of the Other Railway.
  • On the Other Railway, the diesels constantly change places.
    • When Rusty first arrives, Mavis is to his right.
    • When the voice calls out, "Who are you?" Mavis has somehow moved behind Diesel.
    • In the shot after Rusty says, "Then I'll just go and inspect," Mavis is back to her original position, Diesel has somehow moved in front of her, and the Diesel appears in front of BoCo.
    • In the shot of Rusty escaping from his point of view, Mavis is on Daisy's track.
    • In the following shot, Daisy is on the far right track, and the Diesel has somehow moved to the smaller shed. Additionally, Mavis and Diesel have moved to the narrow gauge track.
    • In the final shot of the Other Railway, Daisy and the Diesel are back in their original positions.
  • When Rusty escapes, he passes BoCo. In the next shot, he passes a shed he already should have passed.
  • When Rusty and Stepney escape, Rusty's cab roof appears to be snapped.
  • When Rusty and Stepney leave the scrapyard, Diesel and Mavis can be seen placed on narrow gauge rails.
  • When Stepney and Rusty are on the Standard and Narrow Gauge Viaduct, the house and shed next to the track have moved compared to when Rusty went over the viaduct the first time.
  • Stepney has Rheneas' whistle sound.
  • Stepney's eyes are wonky in the final shot.

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Rusty al Rescate Rusty to the Rescue
German Rusty hilft Rusty Helps
Norwegian Rusty til redning Rusty to the Rescue
Japanese ブルーベルれっしゃ Bluebell Train
Dutch Rusty de redder Rusty the Saviour
Danish Rusty kommer til undsætning Rusty Comes to the Rescue
Finnish Risto Pelastaa Rusty Save
Italian La Locomotiva delle Campanelle The Bluebell Engine
Welsh Achub Injan Rescue Engine
Polish Rudik Ratownik Rusty the Rescuer
Chinese 罗斯提来救援 Rusty to the Rescue
Russian Расти спешит на помощь Rusty to the Rescue
Ukrainian Iржавець iде на порятунок Rusty Comes to the Rescue
Slovenian Zlatko Prihiti na Pomoč Rusty Rushes to the Aid
Romanian Rusty Salvatorul Rusty the Saviour
Slovak Rusty Zachraňuje Rusty Saves
Hungarian Rusty, a Megmentő Rusty, the Savers
Swedish Rostiga till Undsättning Rusty to the Rescue
Czech Rusty záchraně Rusty Rescues
Greek Σκουριασμένο για τη διάσωση Rusty Rescues
Thai รัซตีมาช่วยสเตปนี Rusty Hit and Helped Stepney
Brazilian Portuguese Linha dos Bravos Brave the Line

Home Media Releases




DVD Boxsets


DVD Packs


  • Thomas and Stepney and other Stories





  • Thomas and Stepney (Norwegian VHS)


DVD Boxsets





DVD Boxsets