Trouble for Thomas, is the sixth episode of the first series.


Thomas is fed up with his job of shunting coaches and complains endlessly to the other engines about it night after night and wishes that he could see the world for a change. The engines get incredibly annoyed, for they have to listen to Thomas' grievances all night long. One night, Edward comes to the shed and feels sorry for Thomas. He offers to let Thomas take his goods train, while Edward shunts coaches for him. Thomas happily agrees.

The next morning, their drivers agree and Thomas sets off happily for the yard. Troublesome Trucks are very silly and noisy, talk a lot and often do not attend to what they are doing. They often play tricks on engines who are not used to them. Edward has warned Thomas to be careful before his journey, but in his excitement, Thomas does not listen. Thomas gets his train read starts to pull, but the trucks are not ready. Despite their cries to stop and wait, Thomas just ignores them as he puffs out of the station rather stubbornly.

Thomas goes faster and faster along the journey, but the increased speed makes the trucks get very angry and decide to play a trick on him. Thomas eventually slows down at Gordon's Hill, but as he applies his brakes at the top, the trucks begin to push Thomas down the hill. Thomas loses control of the trucks as they rush into Maron. He swerves into a siding at the goods yard and barely stops in front of the buffers, narrowly preventing an accident.

The Fat Controller, having seen Thomas arrive, questions him why he came in so fast. When Thomas explains what had happened, the Fat Controller tells Thomas that he has a great deal to learn about trucks. After pushing them in the yard for a few weeks he will know almost as much about them as Edward, only then will he be a Really Useful Engine.



  • Tidmouth Sheds
  • Knapford
  • Henry's Tunnel
  • The Goat Field
  • Elsbridge
  • Gordon's Hill
  • Maron
  • Maron Bridge
  • Maron Signals Runby
  • The Viaduct (deleted scene)
  • Hackenbeck Tunnel (deleted scene)


  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • The events of this episode were retold in The Adventure Begins.
  • At the beginning of the A Big Day for Thomas release of this episode, Mr. Conductor's whistle from Shining Time Station can be heard.
  • In PBS Kids Sprout airings of the episode and on Thomas and Friends Classic Volume 1, the music at the end is played twice.
  • Stock footage from Thomas' Train and a deleted scene of Edward and Gordon are used.
  • In a deleted scene, Thomas' train has a tanker, one van, three open trucks and a brake van.


  • In some American releases on PBS Kids SproutBest of Thomas and Thomas and Friends Classic Volume 1, the episode's audio is out of sync.
  • At the beginning, because of an alternate shot, Gordon is in the middle of the shed with Thomas and Henry to the left and James and Edward to the right, but in the close-ups, Thomas is in the middle, Gordon and James are on one side and Edward and Henry are on the other. This appears to be unused footage shots for the episode Edward and Gordon, as the engines are all in the same positions. Because of this alternate shot, Edward is smiling while the others are frowning. In fact, Edward is clearly shown frowning along with others just before the narrator says: "The other engines didn't take much notice," even though he is said to feel sorry for Thomas.
  • The narrator says that the guard blew his whistle and a whistle sound is heard, but the guard is only holding a green flag.
  • In the close-ups of Thomas pulling a truck, the rest of the train is missing.
  • When Thomas hits the buffers in the siding, there is a second track because the same truck close-up is used.
  • On early American home video releases, when Thomas puffs up Gordon's Hill, a technician's voice is heard saying "Look out for the train!" and the music and sound effects are briefly muted as it is said.
  • Throughout the episode, when Thomas is pulling the trucks, they change their position rapidly. The number of trucks also change, such as when Thomas leaves Knapford, he has three vans. However, when he goes through Henry's Tunnel, he has two vans for the rest of the episode. Also as Thomas comes out of Henry's Tunnel, the tracks bounces and the front GWR van also changes into a utility van.
  • In the restored version, the scene of the trucks bumping Thomas is not cut properly, so the buffering sound effects are out of sync.
  • When Thomas hits the buffers on the siding, the close-up shows him with black buffer housings and a different-looking brake pipe.
  • In the close-up of Thomas hitting the buffers, his buffer beam is black as opposed to red.
  • The narrator refers to the siding as the goods yard when Thomas bumped into the buffers.
  • When the narrator says, "When he opened his eyes..." Thomas' eyes are wonky.
  • In a rare picture, the edge of the set can be seen behind Thomas and the trucks.
  • In a deleted scene, a truck overlaps a small portion of James' face.
  • For a brief second, when Thomas flies through Elsbridge, he goes faster than normal, a crew member's hand can be seen in the top right corner of the screen, grabbing the footbridge to prevent the camera from hitting it and the left pair of tracks come to an end.
  • In a deleted scene, Thomas does not have a lamp on his running board.
  • In the second close-up of the troublesome truck, Knapford cannot be seen behind it. The same thing happens in the close-up of Thomas' whistle.


[Hide] View content


Name Published Publisher Highlights Photo
Thomas and the Trucks Dean and Son ?
  • Board book
Thomas and the Trucks 1990 Buzz Books
  • Buzz book
Troublesome Trucks 2010 Egmont
  • My Thomas Story Library book
  • Also known as Thomas meets the Troublesome Trucks
Troublesome Trucks 2017 Egmont
  • Engine Adventures book
  • Re-release of the My Thomas Story Librarybook

Magazine stories

  • 1987 - Thomas and the Trucks
  • 1998 - Thomas and the Trucks!

Home Media Releases


VHS/DVD Boxsets

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.