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This article is about 'the episode'. You may be looking for 'the magazine story, the My First Thomas book, the Slovenian DVD or the US VHS/DVD release'.
"Hello Thomas. What are you doing here?"
"I'm pulling a train! Can't you see?"
"Where are your coaches then?"
"Why, bless me, if we haven't left them behind!
— The signalman and Thomas

Thomas' Train, retitled A Big Day for Thomas in American releases, is the fifth episode of the first season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes, And the Band Played Off in 1989 and Stop the Press in 1991.


Thomas the Tank Engine's main job as station pilot is to collect the coaches that the engines need to pull their trains. Recently, Thomas has been grumbling about only getting to collect the coaches, wanting to pull passenger trains instead. The other engines laugh at Thomas, telling him he is so impatient he would be bound to leave something behind. Thomas is determined to get a chance to prove them wrong.

That night, Thomas and Henry are alone in the shed as Henry has fallen ill. The workmen try their hardest to make him better, but it is no use. Thomas feels sorry for Henry, who feels just as bad the next morning when he is due to take the early train. It is time for Thomas to get the coaches ready and he starts to hope he will be allowed to pull the train if Henry is not able to. He excitedly leaves to fetch the coaches.

Thomas quickly gets the coaches to the platform and is eager to run round in front. His driver does not let him, telling him he needs to be less impatient. Soon, all the passengers are aboard and the coaches are ready to leave and there is still no sign of Henry, much to Thomas' excitement. The Fat Controller arrives to see what is going on, and is told about Henry. He tells the stationmaster to find another engine and, as Thomas is the only one available, he allows the tank engine to take the train.

Thomas, full of joy, quickly moves to the front of the coaches despite his driver again warning Thomas not to be impatient but wait until everything is ready. No one knows what happened next... maybe Thomas was too impatient to wait, maybe the driver pulled the lever by mistake, or maybe the crew forgot to couple Thomas to the coaches. Regardless, Thomas leaves the station without the coaches and the passengers are very surprised and angry. The men in the signal box outside the station try to stop Thomas by shouting and waving, but Thomas thinks they are cheering.

Thomas sails along the line, thinking pulling coaches is easier than he was told. He keeps seeing people waving at him and assumes it is because he has never pulled a train before. Eventually Thomas is stopped at a signal set to danger. Thomas is angry at being stopped when he was sailing through nicely and blows his whistle, alerting the signalman who asks what Thomas is doing on this part of the line. Thomas explains he is carrying a train, but the signalman asks him where the coaches are. Thomas is horrified when he realises he has left his train behind. The signalman tells Thomas he better go back and get them and Thomas is very upset at his mistake and is ready to cry. The driver tells Thomas not to be upset and Thomas sheepishly heads back to the station.

At the station, all the passengers are complaining to the Fat Controller about what happened, but when Thomas arrives and they see how upset and sorry he is, they forget to be cross and allow him to try again. This time, Thomas is properly coupled to the coaches and he gets the chance to really pull the train. However for a long time afterwards, the other engines laugh at Thomas for his mistake.





  • When Henry is being worked on, one of the workmen does not have his overalls completely painted on.
  • When Thomas passes the signal box without his train, his eyes are wonky.
  • The man with the blue hat and coat and the boy with the blue sweater on the bridge were two of Thomas' passengers.
  • In a close-up of Thomas, his wheels are going at a different pace to the background.
  • At the end of the episode, Henry's train is missing a brake coach.
  • When the others tease Thomas, Gordon is amongst them, but a few seconds earlier he was a few metres ahead.
  • In the close-up of Thomas puffing down the line, look at his coupling and you will see a rope pulling him along.
  • When the narrator says, "The Porter banged the doors", studio equipment is visible on the coaches.
  • When Thomas first shunts the coaches, the back buffers of the coach are at their normal height. A few scenes later however, the buffers were lowered to accommodate Thomas' buffers. But, in every scene after that, they are at their normal height again.
  • In the same shot, a small light flickers on Thomas' smokebox.
  • James is seen passing by with a train whilst Thomas is shunting the coaches, yet James was at Tidmouth Sheds when Thomas left from them in the previous shot.
  • James appears briefly, but he is not introduced until Thomas and the Breakdown Train.
  • Thomas' eyes are wonky at the end of the episode when the other engines are teasing him.
  • The brake coach of Thomas' train is at the front when it should be at the back. In fact the whole train is facing the wrong way.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Un gran día para Thomas / Thomas Expreso A Big Day for Thomas / Thomas Express
Hebrew הרכבת של תומס Thomas' Train
Japanese トーマスのしっぱい Thomas' Failure
Norwegian Toget til Thomas Thomas' Train
Brazilian Portuguese Uma Surpresa Para o Thomas / Um Grande Dia Para Thomas A Surprise For Thomas / A Great Day for Thomas
Welsh Trên Tomos Thomas the Train
Slovenian Tomažev Vlak Thomas' Train
French Le Train de Thomas Thomas' Train
Italian Il Trenino di Thomas Thomas' Train
Hungarian Thomas Vonata Thomas' Train
Dutch De Trein van Thomas Thomas' Train
Swedish Thomas tar tåget Thomas Takes the Train
Chinese 托马斯的火车 Thomas' Train
Korean 토마스와 실수 Thomas and Mistakes
Polish Pociąg Tomka Thomas' Train
Finnish Tuomas-Veturin Juna Thomas-the Tank Engine's Train
Romanian Trenul lui Thomas Train of Thomas
Slovak Thomasov vlak Thomas' Train
German Thomas' Zug Thomas' Train
Russian Поезд Томаса Thomas' Train
Czech Tomášův vlak Thomas' Train
Danish Da Thomas trak et tog When Thomas Pulled a Train
Serbian Tomasova voz Thomas' Train
Croatian Tomicina Vlak Thomas' Train
Thai โธมัสดีใจ Thomas is Delighted

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