Rusty Helps Peter Sam, is the eighth episode of the fourth series. It is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, The Little Old Engine.


While returning from a daily inspection, Harold the helicopter spots a little diesel coming round the mountain. The diesel is Rusty, who has come to help on the Skarloey Railway. Despite Harold's friendliness, Rusty has little time to chat and regards Harold as being cheeky after he says "Well done, cheers, and keep up the good work!" Peter Sam and Sir Handel are glad to see Rusty, but Sir Handel remains his usual grumpy self. The trucks dislike Sir Handel, and repeatedly play tricks on him, making him dislike working with them. One day, Gordon advises Sir Handel, that if he was ill, he could not shunt trucks.

Sir Handel, tired of dealing with trucks, takes the hint from Gordon of lying about being ill, and he readily does so the next day. With no time for examination on Sir Handel, Peter Sam and Rusty are allocated to his trucks. However, Peter Sam does not mind the extra work. They take the trucks to the slate quarry and the incline, a contraption that winches loaded trucks down a steep hill, the leverage pulling empty ones up, ready to be loaded with slate tiles. Peter Sam waits for his full ones at the bottom of the hill. But the loaded trucks mistake him for Sir Handel (despite the empty trucks' warning) and break their coupling, zooming down the slope and crashing head-on into Peter Sam. Rusty helps Peter Sam out of his mess, but the damage Peter Sam sustained has cracked his funnel and dented his boiler.

After Sir Handel apologizes for the accident, the Fat Controller sternly talks to him for lying about being sick and for not warning Peter Sam to stand well back since trucks do not like him. Sir Handel is punished by doing both his and Peter Sam's work at the same time. Instead of taking responsibility, Sir Handel decides to get revenge on Gordon.

After the wreckage has been cleared away, Rusty heads back home, spotting Harold again. This time, Rusty mimics Harold from their previous meeting by using his phrase once more, "Well done, cheers, and keep up the good work!"



  • Skarloey Slate Quarry
  • Skarloey Engine Sheds
  • Crovan's Gate Yards
  • Rheneas Viaduct
  • Skarloey
  • The Mountain Line


  • This episode marks Harold's only appearance in the fourth series.
  • On the Thomas' Trackside Tunes and Other Thomas Adventures VHS/DVD, PBS Kids Sprout airings and the digital download version of the fourth series, this episode is called the UK title, "Trucks" instead of the American title, "Rusty Helps Peter Sam", which is only found on Rusty to the Rescue and Other Thomas Stories.
  • In the early UK release, some lines are indicated that they were later redubbed or moved in later:
    • Rusty saying "Bust my Buffers!" is heard earlier.
    • Rusty saying "Never mind Peter Sam, we'll get you out" is heard earlier.
    • The lines in the last scene of Harold and Rusty meeting each other again were redubbed.
  • The crawler tractor from TUGS can be seen at the quarry.
  • The Old Tenders can be seen when Gordon speaks to Sir Handel.


  • When Harold speaks to Rusty, his battery latch is visible underneath him.
  • When Sir Handel shunts trucks, the audio is noticeably out of sync.
  • As Peter Sam puffs away with the trucks and coaches, he has Skarloey's whistle sound.
  • When the rope is connected to the empty trucks, it becomes taut like it is being pulled, but in the next scene, the trucks at the top of the slope are stationary.
  • The trucks' faces are missing when they crash into Peter Sam.
  • During the crash, the truck that breaks the water canal can be seen fading out of the shot.
  • When Sir Handel says, "I didn't think," his left eye sticks and drops back into his head.
  • Before Peter Sam leaves the yard with his coaches and trucks, a small piece of hair can be seen by his wheels.
  • Before Peter Sam is pulled out of the wreckage (which is not shown), his funnel is not cracked like it is later.
  • When the narrator says, "Not long now had encouraged the driver," the top of Rusty's engine is off-screen when it should be in-front of the cylinder above Rusty's number, and thus should have been onscreen.
  • When the narrator says, "He did so next morning," Percy quickly passes the little engines. In the next shot however, he is passing them again.
  • In a few rare pictures, Harold's spinning rotors are a transparent disk, unlike in the actual episode.
  • In the UK and international versions, Rheneas has Duke's whistle sound.
  • When Peter Sam backs his coaches onto Sir Handel's trucks, his front coach has a face, but when he leaves his coaches at the station, its face disappears.


  • Harold: (finishing his inspection) All present and correct! Time to return to base.
  • Harold: I'm Harold. Who are you?
  • Rusty: I'm Rusty.
  • Harold: Don't recall seeing you before. What brings you this way?
  • Rusty: The Fat Controller sent me to help the other engines. (US: Sir Topham Hatt sent me to help the other engines).
  • Harold: Well done, cheers, and keep up the good work!
  • Rusty: Cheeky Chopper!
  • Driver: Not long now, we'll soon be at the top station.
  • Gordon: No one understands our feelings, and if you were ill, you couldn't shunt trucks/cars, could you?
  • Sir Handel: Good idea! I'll try it!
  • Sir Handel: I don't feel well at all! (US: "I don't feel well!")

(the empty trucks on the incline believe Peter Sam is actually Sir Handel)

  • Full trucks: Faster! Faster!
  • Empty trucks: No! No! It's Peter Sam!
  • (a coupling snaps)
  • Full trucks: Hurrah! Hurrah!
  • (Peter Sam shuts his eyes, and the full trucks crash into him, a channel of water also breaks)
  • Peter Sam: Peep! Peep!
  • Rusty: (arrives at the scene of the accident) Bust my buffers! Never mind, Peter Sam. We'll get you out.
  • (cut to a scene with a very battered Peter Sam. His funnel is cracked and his boiler is dented)
  • Peter Sam (heads home) Thank you, Rusty.
  • Sir Handel: I'm sorry about your accident. I always stand well back. Trucks don't like me. (US: Cars don't like me).
  • Peter Sam: Why didn't you warn me?!
  • Sir Handel: I didn't think.
  • 'The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt: You never do. You can start thinking now while you're doing Peter Sam's work as well as your own. That'll teach you to pretend you are ill.
  • Narrator: Sir Handel did start thinking, about Gordon.
  • Harold: Splendid to you see you again. I'm completing my evening's lookabout.
  • Rusty: Well done! Keep up the good work! (US: "Well done! Cheers, and keep up the good work!")
  • (Rusty heads home)

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets

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