Terence the Tractor, is the thirteenth episode of the first series.


Autumn arrives on the Island of Sodor, turning the fields and trees from green to brown. One day, Thomas is running along his branch line when he spots a tractor ploughing the fields. Later, Thomas gets a chance to talk to the tractor who is friendly and introduces himself as Terence. Thomas cheekily tells Terence he has ugly wheels, but Terence explains they are caterpillars and allow him to go anywhere as he does not need rails to run. Thomas is indignant, telling Terence he likes his rails as he leaves.

Winter comes with dark clouds full of snow. Thomas' driver is worried that a heavy fall is coming, but Thomas is not scared of something like snow. He successfully finishes a journey at the last station only to find his snowplough waiting for him, much to his anger. Thomas' driver explains that he will need to wear it for the next journey, but Thomas is certain snow will not stop him. Thomas finds his snowplough to be heavy and uncomfortable, making him angry, causing him to shake and bang it throughout his journey. By the end of the day, the plough is so damaged that his driver has to remove it. He scolds Thomas that he is a very naughty engine as he shuts him up in the shed for the night.

The next morning, Thomas' driver and fireman arrive early to attempt to repair the snowplough but cannot make it fit. Thomas is very pleased that he does not have to wear it and boasts to Annie and Clarabel who are worried about the snow, as is Thomas' driver knowing the snow will be deep in the valley. Thomas is not concerned at all and rushes into a tunnel thinking of how clever he is, only to find a massive snow drift at the end of the tunnel which he runs straight into.

Thomas is stuck and tries to reverse out, but his wheels cannot get any traction on the frozen rails, thus immobilizing him. The guardgoes for help as the driver, fireman and Thomas' passengers try to dig him out, however more snow falls until Thomas is nearly buried. Thomas begins to cry, believing he will stay here until he's frozen and wishing he had been wearing his snowplough.

A bus arrives to pick up the passengers and none other than Terence (who does not mind snow) arrives to rescue Thomas. After taking the now-empty Annie and Clarabel away, Terence returns for Thomas, who has had most of the snow dug off him but still cannot budge. A chain is attached to the two and Terence is finally able to pull Thomas free after a lot of effort.

Thomas is now able to move on his own again and picks up Annie and Clarabel while thanking Terence for the rescue and praising his caterpillars. Thomas' driver hopes that Thomas has learned his lesson and will act more sensible in the future. Thomas promises to try, as he humbly heads back to the sheds.



  • Terence's Field
  • Tidmouth Sheds
  • Knapford
  • Ffarquhar
  • Hackenbeck Tunnel
  • The Works


  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Tank Engine Thomas Again.
  • When the series launched on CiTV, a small clip of this episode was used in the interviews of the Reverend W. Awdry and Ringo Starr.
  • This is the first episode of a few things:
    • The first episode to show an on-screen crash.
    • The first episode to feature talking non-rail vehicles.
    • The first time Thomas' catchphrase "Cinders and ashes!" is said.
    • This episode's US title is the first episode to be named after a single character. The second series episode, Daisy, is the first in the UK.
  • Stock footage from Thomas and the Guard is used.
  • George Carlin's narration of this episode was never featured on an episode of Shining Time Station. It first appeared on the VHS, Thomas and Bertie's Great Race and Other Adventures.
  • In a rare picture of Thomas, Annie and Clarabel at Tidmouth Sheds, a truck next to Thomas has "N.E." written on it.
  • Numerous deleted and extended shots are used in the music video, Don't Judge a Book By its Cover.
  • The events of this episode were mentioned and recreated in the twenty-first series episode, Terence Breaks the Ice.
  • Part of the close-up of Terence pulling Thomas out of the snowdrift is cut in the restored version.


  • In some close-ups of Thomas, he is not pulling Annie and Clarabel.
  • When Thomas collects Annie and Clarabel, a truck is next to him. When he puffs off, a brake van has mysteriously appeared in front of it.
  • When Thomas is coming towards Ffarquhar, studio equipment can be seen on the top right.
  • Thomas, Annie and Clarabel are not at the station in the close-up of Thomas' snowplough.
  • When Thomas leaves Knapford, Annie and Clarabel's nameplates are missing.
  • In the shot after Thomas pulling out of Knapford Station, the end of the set is visible.
  • When Thomas says "Cinders and ashes!" it looks as if Clarabel is derailed.
  • After Thomas ploughs through the snow drift, Clarabel is smiling when she is supposed to be upset.
  • When Thomas reverses towards Annie and Clarabel, the coupling sound is heard before Thomas couples up to Annie.
  • When Terence is turning around to pull the coaches away, Annie suddenly becomes the rear coach.
  • When Thomas says "Oh my wheels and coupling rods, I shall have to stop here until I'm frozen," his eyes are misaligned.
  • When Thomas' driver says "A heavy fall is coming, I hope it doesn't stop us," the edge of the set can be seen in front of them. Also, a hand shadow is briefly seen before the shot changes.
  • When the narrator says "He shook it and he banged it," for a split second it can be seen that Thomas' wheels are moving slower than the background.
  • When Thomas is at Ffarquhar, Clarabel is the leading carriage.
  • In the close-up of Thomas' driver, the hill next to Thomas is gone.
  • When Thomas is pulled clear of the snow drift, Annie can still be seen in the tunnel. After Thomas backs up, she is on the other side of the tunnel.
  • At the end of the episode, steam is venting all over the tracks and air when Thomas backs away from Terence with Annie and Clarabel.


  • Buzz Books - Thomas and Terence (discontinued)
  • Magazine Stories - Thomas, Terence and the Snow
  • Ladybird Books - Thomas and Terence and James and the Tar Wagons
  • My Thomas Story Library Books - Terence (discontinued)

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