"You can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it."
— Philip to Thomas

The Great Race is the 2016 Thomas & Friends special.


One day, Thomas is pulling the local train along the Main Line. As he puffs along the line, he hears Gordon


behind him. Annie and Clarabel try to tell him not to do anything, but Thomas wants to race Gordon to the next signalbox and picks up speed, flying along the line and making it to the signal first, narrowly winning. When Thomas comes to a stop at Vicarstown, he expresses desire to go along the Vicarstown Bridge and visit the Mainland again, when all of a sudden, he sees an unfamiliar green engine with two tenders backing down on the train beside him. Thomas introduces himself to the new engine and tells him about the time he and the other famous engines of Sodor went back to the Mainland, to which the new engine says that he did not know Sodor had any famous engines; the engine then recognizes Gordon, who begrudgingly introduces Thomas to his brother, the Flying Scotsman. Flying Scotsman tells Gordon that he has been invited to take part in the Great Railway Show on the Mainland and that he will be competing in the race. He explains to a curious Thomas that the Great Railway Show is an event in which engines compete to see who is the fastest, the strongest and whatnot, but he does not know if any Sudrian engines will be going. Thomas wants to go and Flying Scotsman tells him that, with any luck, he might be able to, before departing for the Mainland with his passenger train.

Word of the Great Railway Show soon spreads across the rest of Sodor and all of the engines – large and small - want to go and participate in the events. Thomas especially wants to go, but the bigger engines laugh at him, believing that he is not big enough to compete in the events. The Fat Controller says that he does not know who to take to the show and even when he does choose, most of the engines will still have to do their normal jobs and orders the engines to get back to work. That evening, Thomas grumbles to Percy as he shunts Henry's train, believing that he will be left behind to do shunting while the Great Railway Show is held. Percy tries to compliment Thomas on his knowledge of shunting, but Thomas is still down. Just then, Philip rolls into the yard and tells Thomas that if he wants to go to the show, then he should put his mind to it, just as he had done when he had supposedly beaten Gordon in a race.

The next morning, Thomas is feeling a lot more cheerful and believes that if he is able to go as fast as Flying Scotsman, then he might have a chance of being taken to the show. Just then, Caitlin thunders by, which gives Thomas an idea: if he was streamlined like her, then he could go much faster. Thomas thunders down the line and imagines that he is a streamlined tank engine zooming all over the island, but overshoots the platform at Knapford when he rushes through the station too fast. When Thomas backs into the station, he suggests his streamlining idea to the Fat Controller, who agrees that it is an excellent idea... for Gordon. Thomas is dismayed.

Later that day, Diesel is collecting a large amount of crates from Brendam Docks. When Cranky asks what he plans to do with the crates, Diesel refuses to tell him and leaves. As soon as Diesel leaves, Thomas arrives with a small goods train, disappointed that the Fat Controller did not use his idea for himself, to which Cranky laughs. Just then, a ship docks at the railway dock and from the ship emerge twelve international engines, all of different liveries, designs and nationalities. As they make their way through the docks, the Dock Manager stops them. The international engines are all participating in the Great Railway Show, but the Dock Manager tells them that they are on the wrong island. Realising their mistake, the international engines return to the ferry and Thomas tries to get information out of them until a large North American tender engine named Vinnie bumps him out of the way. As the ship sails away, Thomas begs for the engines to take him with them, when just then, the last international engine bumps into Thomas, causing him to hang dangerously over the dock. The workmen chain the engine to Thomas, then the engine pulls Thomas safely onto the rails again. The dockyard engines are relieved, but Thomas is cross and begin to give the engine a piece of his mind for being reckless, but when he sees how beautiful the engine is, he is left speechless. The engine apologises and says that she did not see Thomas behind her and after Salty introduces Thomas to her, she introduces herself as Ashima. Thomas is still cross with Ashima and swiftly leaves the docks.

Later that afternoon, Thomas vents about Ashima to Percy while he shunts trucks in the yard. Thomas believes that Ashima was jealous of him or is a very pushy engine, but Percy asks why she would bother rescuing him in that case. Philip advises Thomas to stay away from Ashima, believing that she is nothing but trouble. However, as Thomas is taking the local train that day, he meets Ashima when he stops to pick up some passengers. Ashima missed the ferry and does not know how to get to the Mainland by rail. Annie and Clarabel both tell her that Thomas wants to go too and that they should go together. Thomas refuses to aid Ashima and leaves, cross that Annie and Clarabel told her that he wanted to go to the show. Annie and Clarabel both tell him it is true and after Thomas asks how Ashima is so special to begin with, both coaches admit to liking her paintwork. This gives Thomas another idea and he thunders along the line. Meanwhile, Ashima is lost and tries to ask an engine how to get to the Mainland, but nobody stops to see her. When Ashima reaches Maron, she finds Annie and Clarabel sitting on a siding. Both coaches tell Ashima that Thomas cancelled their train and left them on the siding, but neither of them know where he went.

Meanwhile, Thomas races into the Steamworks and requests Victor to repaint him for the Great Railway Show. Knowing that the men are busy working on Gordon's streamlined casing, Victor is hesitant, but when Thomas begs him to do it, he reluctantly gives in. Meanwhile, at the Dieselworks, Diesel announces his plan to Den, Dart and Paxton: if he disguises them underneath large crates, then he can add them to a long line of trucks. He would then demonstrate his strength by pulling the trucks, while in reality, Den, Dart and Paxton would be doing most of the work. Diesel believes that his plan will convince the Fat Controller choose him for the strength competition instead of Henry. Once the diesels and the trucks are arranged, they leave on their own and Diesel chases after them.

Back at the Steamworks, Thomas has been set up to be repainted, when suddenly, he sees the Fat Controller arriving to inspect Gordon. Thomas tries to reverse, but he knocks over the paint buckets and brushes, causing the paint to spill all over him and for the Fat Controller to see him. When the Fat Controller approaches him, Thomas suggests that he repaint one of his engines with a new livery for the Best Decorated Engine Parade. The Fat Controller thinks Thomas' idea is brilliant, but tells him to go back to work on his branch line. When Thomas arrives at Maron, Emily and James show up and both engines tell him that they have been selected to be repainted. When Thomas asks where Annie and Clarabel are, Emily tells him that Ashima took them.

Meanwhile, Ashima is taking Thomas' passenger train along his branch line, when Thomas manages to catch up to her at Maithwaite. Thomas berates Ashima for taking his coaches without his permission, but the two coaches scold Thomas crossly for leaving them at Maron without telling them where he went. As Ashima heads back to Knapford, Thomas follows after her and tells her that he was trying to get himself repainted for the Great Railway Show. As the two travel along the branch line, Ashima tells Thomas that every engine she has known are different from each-other in their own unique ways and tells him that he should just be himself. When the two engines reach Knapford, Ashima asks Thomas if he is good at shunting and suggests that he participate in the shunting challenge, which piques his curiosity.

The next morning, Thomas wakes up before the other engines and heads to Knapford to practice his shunting. However, when he arrives at the station yard, Diesel oils into the yard with his train of trucks and the disguised diesels, blocking the junction and preventing any engines from leaving or entering the yard. As Diesel refused to move the trucks, Thomas decides to push the trucks aside so that he can practice his shunting. However, when Thomas blows his whistle, the diesels mistake the sound of his whistle for Diesel's horn and they begin to push him out of the yard. Thomas tries to stop, but the diesels push him out of the yard, causing him to crash into Norman at the junction.

Later that day, the Great Railway Show is due to begin and the Fat Controller has selected the engines that he wants to take to the events. Henry will be competing in the strength competition, Emily and James have been repainted for the best decorated engine parade and Philip is carrying the Sudrian flag. Victor tries to keep Gordon in the Steamworks to undergo his final safety check, but Gordon refuses to stay any longer and emerges from the Steamworks, sporting a new streamlined casing and a shiny silver emblem, telling the other engines that from now on, he will be known as the “Shooting Star".

At the Dieselworks, Diesel berates his lackeys for mistaking Thomas' whistle for his horn. Dart tries to defend himself by claiming that it was hard to hear properly under the crate, but Diesel is not convinced and biffs him against Happy Hook, claiming that if he was under a crate, he could still tell the difference between the two sounds. Suddenly, Happy Hook drops one of the crates on top of Diesel and the diesels laugh. When the turntable lowers down, Diesel is held up in the air by Happy Hook until he is released, dropping onto the rails. Unable to tell where he is going, Diesel rolls out of the Dieselworks and his friends follow after him.

Meanwhile, Sir Topham Hatt tells Thomas that he saw how eager he was to take part in the Great Railway Show, but he should have known better than to pull so many trucks on his own. He reveals to Thomas that he originally planned to take him to the show to compete in the shunting challenge, but because he is damaged and needs repairs, Percy will have to take part in the event instead. Thomas is disappointed and so is Percy, who wanted nothing to do with the shunting challenge. Just then, Ashima arrives at the Steamworks and also feels sorry for Thomas, saying that the incident at Knapford was not his fault. As the Sudrian engines begin to leave for the Mainland, Ashima decides to tag along with them so that she will not get lost again and says goodbye to Thomas. The Sudrian engines and Ashima pass through Vicarstown and arrive on the Mainland, where they arrive at the railway show venue. Ashima wishes the Sudrian contenders good luck and puffs away. Just then, Gordon notices Flying Scotsman nearby and decides to show off his new streamlined look to him. Flying Scotsman believes Gordon is being ridiculous, but Gordon says that he will think otherwise once when he wins the race.

Back at the Steamworks, Thomas is still feeling depressed. Victor tries to cheer him up and tells him that there are still several engines staying on Sodor, when Kevin rushes over with a small part on a pallet and asks him what it is. Victor identifies the part as Gordon's safety valve, then realises that, much to his horror, Gordon was not fitted with his safety valve during his safety check; if Gordon ran at high speeds without the valve, then his boiler could overheat. As he is the only engine capable of getting it to the Mainland, Thomas is sent to the Great Railway Show to bring Gordon his safety valve, despite not being fully repaired. As he approaches the Vicarstown Bridge, Thomas notices that the drawbridge is being raised up for an oncoming ship and decides to jump the bridge. He lands on the track opposite to the one he was originally on, nearly derailing but quickly regaining his balance. Samson passes with a goods train and notices Thomas. Thomas realises that he is going in the same direction as Samson means that he is on the wrong track. He is switched onto several different lines to avoid colliding with Connor, Hiro and Sidney. As Thomas makes it safely through the crowd of engines, the signalman faints.

Meanwhile, Percy is unsure about how he will perform in the shunting challenge, while Gordon is confident that he will win his event. Just then, Philip shows up and tells Gordon that he has found the track for the race and reverses. As he backs up, Philip nearly runs into Vinnie, who tells him to keep out of his way if he does not want to be “recycled". Shortly after that, Thomas arrives at the railway show venue and is in awe by what he sees. Thomas notices a blue tender engine in the distance and rushes over to see if it is Gordon, but when he pulls up alongside the engine, he is instead faced with a female German engine named Frieda. As the strength competition occurs, Thomas spots Gordon in the distance and calls out to him, but Gordon cannot hear him over the other engines and the best decorated parade blocks his path.

After the strength competition is finished, Philip asks Henry how he did, but Henry reveals that he came in last place. Meanwhile, the participants of the best decorated parade line up as the judges make their final results. James is almost certain he will win, but much to his disappointment, Rajiv is declared the winner. Emily asks Ashima why she was not a part of the best decorated parade, to which Ashima replies that she will be in the shunting challenge.

Thomas eventually meets up with Henry, Percy and Philip and informs them about Gordon's missing safety valve. The three engines lead Thomas to the starting line of the Great Race, where the racers are lined up and ready for the race to begin. Thomas rushes over to Gordon and tells him about his safety valve problem, but Gordon refuses to stick around to have it fitted and as soon as the race starts, he takes off. At first, Gordon seems to be doing well, but as the race continues, his streamlined casing begins breaking apart and he becomes red in the face. Knowing his brother is in danger, Flying Scotsman begs for Gordon to stop, but Gordon refuses and keeps pushing on. Eventually, the heat becomes too much for Gordon and his boiler explodes, forcing him to drop out of the race. Flying Scotsman slows down as he passes his brother, feeling sorry for him, before continuing the race. As the race draws to an end, Spencer and Etienne both fight for first place, but Etienne suddenly overtakes Spencer and shoots through the finish line, winning the new race and setting a new rail speed record.

At the shunting yard, Percy is still feeling doubtful about how he will perform in the shunting challenge; he is afraid that he will lose and wants Thomas to do it instead, since he is already at the show. Philip notices Thomas in the distance and tries to get his attention, but does not pay attention to where he is going and bumps into Vinnie, irritating him. Philip runs away from Vinnie and bumps Carlos away from a coal hopper, causing coal from the chute to pour down and cover Vinnie in coal dust. Infuriated, Vinnie begins to chase Philip around the yard. As this happens, Emily and Percy both tell Thomas about the shunting challenge and Percy explains that he is too scared to compete in the event. Thomas is doubtful that he will do any better, but agrees to do it.

As the shunting challenge begins, Thomas does not do so well, but once when he gets the hang of it, he begins racing against his rivals in record time, shunting several trucks around the yard effortlessly. Just then, Philip races through the yard, still trying to run away from Vinnie. Vinnie derails two of Gina's flatbeds, then bumps Philip and corners him near a turntable well, forcing the shunting challenge to be put on hold. Before Vinnie can push Philip into the turntable well, Thomas and Ashima couple up to him and hold him back, allowing Philip to escape. Once Philip is free, Vinnie's resistance becomes too much for the two tank engines; Thomas' coupling snaps, launching Vinnie into the points, which are set against him. Vinnie comes off the tracks and runs into an electricity pylon, which collapses on top of him.

Once Vinnie is dealt with, the shunting challenge resumes. As the event draws to an end, Thomas and Ashima are both ahead of the other competitors and only need to add their brake vans to their trains. However, just as he is about to win the race, Thomas notices that one of Gina's derailed flatbeds is lying on Ashima's track and orders for the points to be switched, crashing into the flatbed and allowing Ashima to win. Ashima is very surprised Thomas sacrificed his chance of winning and tells him that she would not have cared if he had won instead. Just then, the judges make a special announcement: instead of choosing one winner, they will be choosing two, declaring that both Thomas and Ashima are the winners of the shunting challenge, the former winning due to his excellent sportsmanship. As Thomas is congratulated by the other engines, the Fat Controller walks over; he was not aware Thomas was at the Great Railway Show until the shunting challenge started, but has heard all about what he has done and is very proud of him. When Thomas looks back at Ashima, he is surprised to find her missing. Meanwhile, Flying Scotsman and Gordon return to the railway show venue. Flying Scotsman tries to cheer him up, but Gordon is feeling down and rejects his “Shooting Star” name. Flying Scotsman admits that the race was a disappointment, but also admits that his opinion on Sudrian engines has improved significantly. As the Flying Scotsman leaves, Gordon is irritated when he calls him his “little brother", due to them being the same size.

That evening, the Great Railway Show has ended. All of the contestants had left, the bleachers have been taken away and the diesel shunters are putting the trucks back in their proper sidings. The Sudrian engines tell Thomas that they have tried to look for Ashima, but cannot search for her any longer as they have to go home. Just then, Thomas notices Ashima taking on coal and goes over to see her. Ashima tells Thomas that she has to take the ferry back to India, but Thomas points out that the ship stops at Brendam Docks, so she can return to Sodor with him to take her boat. With that, Thomas, Ashima and the other Sudrian engines leave the Mainland and return to Sodor, where they go through Vicarstown to find everyone celebrating their return.

During the credits, Cranky, Paxton, Den and Dart look around Brendam Docks for Diesel, who is still under the crate and is still missing. In the middle of the credits, they hear him screaming on a ship that is leaving the island, begging them to get him off.


  • Thomas
  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Duck
  • Donald and Douglas
  • Oliver
  • Bill and Ben
  • Flying Scotsman
  • Emily
  • Spencer
  • Stanley
  • Charlie
  • Scruff
  • Belle
  • Stephen
  • Connor
  • Caitlin
  • Porter
  • Timothy
  • Samson
  • Diesel
  • Daisy
  • Salty
  • Den
  • Dart
  • Paxton
  • Norman
  • Sidney
  • Philip
  • Flynn
  • Stafford
  • Marion
  • Skarloey
  • Rheneas
  • Sir Handel
  • Peter Sam
  • Victor
  • Bert
  • Rex
  • Mike
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Cranky
  • Kevin
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • The Great Railway Show Judge
  • The Dock Manager
  • Hiro (speaks only in Latin American, Spanish and German dubs; does not speak in other dubs)
  • The Teacher (not named; does not speak)
  • One of Dowager Hatt's Friends (not named; does not speak)
  • Toby (cameo)
  • Rosie (cameo)
  • Mavis (cameo)
  • 'Arry and Bert (cameo)
  • Winston (cameo)
  • Henrietta (cameo)
  • Toad (cameo)
  • Bertie (cameo)
  • Owen (cameo)
  • Mr. Percival (speaks only in Italian dub; cameos in other dubs)
  • Sir Robert Norramby (cameo)
  • Lady Hatt (cameo)
  • Stephen Hatt (cameo)
  • Bridget Hatt (cameo)
  • The Thin Clergyman (speaks only in Italian dub, cameos in other dubs)
  • The Bird Watcher (cameo)
  • The Blond-haired Boy (cameo)
  • One of Dowager Hatt's Friends (cameo)
  • The Lady with the Big Hat (cameo)
  • The Grumpy Passenger (cameo)
  • The Deputy Minister (cameo)
  • Albert's Wife (cameo)
  • Harvey (fantasy)
  • Alfie (fantasy)
  • Captain (fantasy)
  • Mrs. Kyndley (mentioned)

Characters Introduced

  • Ashima
  • Raul
  • Frieda
  • Axel
  • Gina
  • Ivan
  • Etienne
  • The Great Railway Show Announcer
  • Vinnie (not named)
  • Carlos (not named)
  • Rajiv (speaks only in German dub; does not speak in other dubs)
  • The Great Railway Show Flagman (does not speak)
  • Yong Bao (cameo)
  • Shane (cameo)
  • The Great Railway Show Diesels (cameo)


  • Island of Sodor
  • Brendam Docks
  • Sodor Shipping Company
  • Knapford
  • M.C. BUNN
  • Knapford Yards
  • Knapford Station Yard
  • Maron
  • Vicarstown Dieselworks
  • Sodor Steamworks
  • Sodor Suspension Bridge
  • Blue Mountain Quarry
  • Arlesburgh West
  • Maithwaite
  • Tidmouth Sheds
  • The Watermill
  • The Windmill
  • Henry's Tunnel
  • The Fenland Track
  • Kellsthorpe Road
  • Sodor China Clay Company
  • Vicarstown
  • Vicarstown Bridge
  • The Mainland
  • The Railway Show Yard
  • India (mentioned)
  • Belgium (mentioned)


UK and AUS

  • Mark Moraghan as the Narrator
  • John Hasler as Thomas and Rheneas
  • Keith Wickham as Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Salty, Den, Norman, Stafford, Skarloey, Sir Handel, Bert, Sir Topham Hatt and some Workmen
  • Nigel Pilkington as Percy
  • Teresa Gallagher as Emily, Belle, Frieda, Gina, Daisy, Marion (singing voice), Annie and Clarabel
  • Steven Kynman as Duck, Charlie (singing voice) Porter, Dart, Paxton and Peter Sam
  • Joe Mills as Donald, Douglas and Oliver
  • Matt Wilkinson as Spencer, Stanley, Cranky, Kevin and the Dock Manager
  • Rasmus Hardiker as Philip
  • Kerry Shale as Scruff (singing voice) and Diesel
  • David Bedella as Victor and Carlos
  • Bob Golding as Stephen, Sidney and Ivan
  • Jonathan Broadbent as Bill and Ben (uncredited)
  • Tim Whitnall as Timothy and Mike
  • Tom Stourton as Rex (uncredited)
  • Jonathan Forbes as Connor
  • Rebecca O'Mara as Caitlin
  • Robert Wilfort as Samson and the Great Railway Show Judge
  • Rufus Jones as the Flying Scotsman
  • Rob Rackstraw as Axel, Raul, Etienne, Flynn and the Great Railway Show Announcer
  • Tina Desai as Ashima
  • John Schwab as Vinnie
  • Jules de Jongh as Emily (singing voice; uncredited)
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy (singing voice; uncredited)

US and CAN

  • Mark Moraghan as the Narrator
  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • William Hope as Edward and the Dock Manager
  • Kerry Shale as Henry, Gordon, Scruff, Diesel and Kevin
  • Rob Rackstraw as James, Stanley, Axel, Raul, Etienne, Flynn and the Great Railway Show Announcer
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy
  • Jules de Jongh as Emily
  • Steven Kynman as Duck, Charlie, Dart, Paxton and Peter Sam
  • Joe Mills as Donald, Douglas and Oliver
  • Teresa Gallagher as Belle, Frieda, Gina, Daisy, Marion and Annie and Clarabel
  • Keith Wickham as Salty, Den, Norman, Stafford, Skarloey, Sir Handel, Bert, Sir Topham Hatt and some Workmen
  • Glenn Wrage as Spencer and Cranky
  • Rasmus Hardiker as Philip
  • John Hasler as Rheneas (uncredited)
  • David Menkin as Porter
  • David Bedella as Victor and Carlos
  • Bob Golding as Stephen, Sidney and Ivan
  • Jonathan Broadbent as Bill and Ben (uncredited)
  • Tim Whitnall as Timothy and Mike
  • Tom Stourton as Rex (uncredited)
  • Jonathan Forbes as Connor
  • Rebecca O'Mara as Caitlin
  • Robert Wilfort as Samson and the Great Railway Show Judge
  • Rufus Jones as the Flying Scotsman
  • Tina Desai as Ashima
  • John Schwab as Vinnie


  • Will You Won't You
  • Streamlining
  • I'm Full of Surprises
  • You Can Only Be You
  • The Shooting Star Is Coming Through (reprise of Streamlining)
  • Be Who You Are, and Go Far (partial reprise of You Can Only Be You)
  • He's Full of Surprises (reprise of I'm Full of Surprises)

Bonus Features


  • Music Videos - Will You Won't You, Streamlining, I'm Full of Surprises and You Can Only Be You
  • Guess Who? Puzzles - Ashima, Etienne, Flying Scotsman, Philip, Rajiv, Shane, Vinnie and Yong Bao
  • 20 Meet the Contenders Shorts


  • Music Videos - Will You Won't You, Streamlining, I'm Full of Surprises and You Can Only Be You
  • Guess Who? Puzzles - Etienne, Flying Scotsman, Philip, Rajiv, Shane and Vinnie
  • 20 Meet the Contenders Shorts


  • This special takes place between the twentieth season and Journey Beyond Sodor.
    • Therefore, this is the first special to be directly followed by the next special before the following season.
  • This special was shown in select UK cinemas from 21st May and in Australia and New Zealand from 20th August.
  • This special was shown at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during a private screening held by the Autism Ontario on 9th July 2016.
  • This special was shown in selected Italian cinemas on the 7th, 8th, 15th and 16th of October 2016.
  • This special introduced the most new characters to date, at a total of twelve, only nine of which speak (ten or nine in Germany).
  • This special ties in with both the 2016 Summer Olympics and Flying Scotsman's return to service in real-life.
  • This special was shown in the US at Thomas Land on 3rd September 2016 before being released on DVD.
  • This special was shown in Mexican theatres on 22nd October 2016.
  • This special aired on television in the UK on New Years Day 2017.
  • This special will air on television in Japan in Spring 2017.
  • In all dubs, a tambourine is heard near the end of Will You Won't You. In the international dubs, it is heard when Gordon, James and Diesel sing "Will you won't you take us to the railway show", but in both English dubs, it is only heard when they sing "railway show".
  • The beginning of Thomas' classic theme is heard in the Great Race's main theme.
  • References to the fourth season episode, Thomas and the Special Letter and the nineteenth season episode, The Little Engine Who Raced Ahead are made in this special.
  • The film aired before the Start Your Engines! episodes premiered on television in the US and Australia, meaning that the audience may have not known who Philip was.
  • A reworked version of the original Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends theme tune is played as fanfare while Ashima and the Sodor engines parade through Vicarstown en-route to the Mainland for the Great Railway Show.
  • A reworked version of The Watermill theme from the second season can be heard when Thomas is picking up Annie and Clarabel, after coming back from The Steamworks.
  • Steven Kynman takes over the role of Charlie in the US dub.
  • Rufus Jones and John Schwab join the voice cast and Tina Desai makes a special guest voice role.
  • The station announcement used in Tale of the Brave is heard when Thomas first arrives at Vicarstown.
  • The ways Thomas tries to prove himself is similar to Dream On. First, he tries to be fast, then tries to look his best and then prove his strength, the same order he tries to beat Spencer in said episode. As in the episode, all these attempts backfire.
  • When Thomas asks Victor to repaint him, one of the liveries seen in the fantasy sequence features a red and blue lightning bolt over his right eye, resembling the late singer David Bowie, who sported a similar lightning bolt on his face for the cover of his album Aladdin Sane.
  • From 13th April until 7th September, the official YouTube channel uploaded promotional videos of each of the Great Railway Show's contestants (excluding James and Hiro), each video being uploaded once a week on every Wednesday.
  • This special marks the first of multiple things:
    • The first full appearance of Flying Scotsman in the television series and his first appearance since the third season.
    • The first mention of Mrs. Kyndley since the seventh season.
    • The very first speaking role of the Great Railway Show Judge, who had only cameoed since the sixteenth season.
    • The first appearance of Vicarstown station in the television series.
    • The first special to have several actors:
      • Nigel Pilkington as Percy in the UK.
      • Kerry Shale as Diesel in the US.
      • Steven Kynman as Dart and Charlie.
      • John Hasler as Rheneas in both the UK and the US.
    • The first time a special has more than one language on the Polish DVD, including English, Greek, Castellano, French, Czech, Dutch, and Polish.
    • The first special to feature Tina Desai, Rufus Jones and John Schwab as part of the voice cast. This is also the only production to feature Tina Desai as part of the voice cast as she subsequently leaves the voice cast after the special.
    • The first special to feature a song that does not use the default yellow color lyrics.
    • The first production since the fourteenth season to feature Jules de Jongh in the UK cast.
    • The first time where characters are voiced by both their UK and US voice actors in the same production, albeit only the US voices for singing and only in the UK dub.
    • The first and only appearances of the international engines and the Great Railway Show Diesels to date, with the possible exception of the Flying Scotsman, who may appear in future seasons.
    • The first special to have music composed by Chris Renshaw and Oliver Davis after Robert Hartshorne and Peter Hartshorne's contracts ended after production of Season 19 and Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
    • The first special to be a musical, though not the first to have characters sing in a special.
    • The first special since Calling All Engines! that the narrator does not read the title.
    • The first special to have standard gauge, narrow gauge and minimum gauge engines in the same special.
    • Charlie's first speaking role since the eighteenth season episode, Not So Slow Coaches, as well as his first speaking role in a special.
    • Skarloey's first speaking role since the eighteenth season episode, Samson at Your Service.
  • This special marks the last of a few things:
    • The last special animated by Arc Productions under their original name. They were later rebranded as Jam Filled in Toronto in August 2016 after Arc Productions filed up for bankruptcy.
    • The final time Teresa Gallagher voices Daisy. Tracy-Ann Oberman assumed the role in the twentieth season onwards.
    • The final time Joe Mills voices Donald. Rob Rackstraw later takes over the role in the twentieth season.
    • The final time Javier Olguin voices Thomas and Percy for the Mexican version. Hector Ireta de Alba would take over the roles starting with the twentieth season onwards.
    • The final time Rosie is seen in her original lavender livery as starting from the twenty-first season onwards, she is painted in a new faded cherry red livery.
    • The last production for Tracy Blagdon as production manager. She was promoted to producer in the twentieth season.
  • This special aired on ABC2 on 2nd October 2016 and also on PBS on 17th October 2016 in the US.
  • This special aired in Mexico on Discovery Kids on 10th December 2016 and 2nd January 2017. It also aired on Canal 5 on 5th January 2017.
  • Teresa Gallagher voices Marion instead of Olivia Colman.
  • This special was produced before the twentieth season.


  • Five actors and actresses are not credited for voicing their characters:
    • Tom Stourton is not credited in both dubs despite voicing Rex.
    • Jonathan Broadbent is not credited in both dubs despite voicing Bill and Ben.
    • Jules de Jongh and Christopher Ragland are not credited in the UK dub despite singing for Emily and Percy, respectively.
    • John Hasler is not credited in the US dub despite voicing Rheneas.
  • The digital release is slowed down to 24 FPS, adding an extra two minutes to the special's length. As a result, its audio is slightly distorted.
  • There are eleven animation and voice errors in Will You, Won't You:
    • When Thomas enters Knapford, in the first shot he is already inside the station, but in the next shot he is seen entering the station again.
    • When the song first begins, Thomas' driver's elbow clips through his cab door.
    • Duck is not steaming as he goes through Knapford Station.
    • In the US dub, when Stanley and Norman first speak, their voices are swapped over.
    • As Gordon pulls into Knapford, Emily is leaving the station with a row of coaches. The second coach's body is missing, as only its chassis can be seen.
    • When Gordon sings the audio from the singing and the mouth animation don't sync.
    • Thomas goes over Henry's tunnel, despite the fact that there aren't any rails.
    • Rex's tender merges through his cab and his driver's head sticks through his boiler.
    • In the US dub, when Gordon, James and Diesel sing "Will you, won't you take us to the railway show", Emily's voice can be faintly heard and the same thing happens when Henry, Duck, Donald and Douglas sing "Will you won't you take us to the railway show". At the very end of the song when Thomas arrives at the yard to sing along, Emily can be heard laughing, but she is nowhere to be seen in either scene. Also in the UK dub when Thomas comes in, James is seen laughing but his voice isn't heard. This could be because his voice was drowned out by Gordon and Diesel.
    • Stephen's wheels are moving slower than his side rods are.
    • Towards the end of the song, James' bufferbeam clips through Gordon's running board. In the same shot, they stop moving, but in the next shot, they stop moving again.
  • When the Fat Controller tells the engines to get back to work, Duck's driver's head clips through the top of Duck's roof. Also when the engines back away, Henry has Edward's whistle sound.
  • When Philip backs up to fetch his trucks, the trucks behind him are open wagons. However, when he leaves the yard, the trucks turn into conflats.
  • In the US dub, shortly before "Streamlining" starts, when Thomas says "Sir Topham Hatt will definitely take me to the show.", his lips move to say "The Fat Controller".
  • There are four goofs during Streamlining:
    • When Thomas is being taken apart, his cab windows are shown to be taken off, but in the close-up of him before his wheels get blow-torched, his cab windows are back.
    • In the music video, in the shot of Thomas' parts taken off, the view is pixelated.
    • A Dieselworks workman sprays paint on Thomas rather than a Steamworks workman.
    • Before Thomas passes the windmill, the vanes aren't turning.
  • When the Fat Controller says, "That... is an excellent idea, Thomas!", his lips do not sync with his voice.
  • When Thomas arrives at Brendam Docks, the conflat behind him is floating above the rails.
  • There are eight inconsistencies during the scene of the international engines arriving at Brendam Docks and many of them change places in multiple shots:
    • When the engines leave the ferry and make their way through the docks, Yong Bao is behind Raul. However, as the engines head back to the ship, he appears behind Gina and Raul appears behind him.
    • As the engines pass through the docks, Etienne is between Yong Bao and Frieda. When he is back on the ferry, however, he appears behind Raul and Vinnie.
    • Ivan is between Yong Bao and Rajiv when the engines get off the ferry, but when they get back onto the ferry, he appears between Gina and Yong Bao.
    • Carlos is not shown in any of the scenes showing the engines getting on the ship and back on. Although, it is likely that he was at the back of the ferry when the engines were heading to the docks.
  • Throughout the special, engines and trucks often run over sets of points, only for another engine or truck to run over the same set of points almost immediately after without the points being changed.
  • Throughout the special, the steam engines blew their whistles but no steam emits.
  • When Gina says "Is-a somebody missing?" after realising that Ashima wasn't on the ship, Axel has no wheels and his tender is missing.
  • When Thomas shunts trucks in the yard, a row of narrow gauge trucks can be seen on standard gauge rails.
  • Thomas shunts trucks onto a switch, half of the trucks go one way and the other half goes on the other.
  • When Thomas enters the castle, an Irish flag can be seen, but there are no Irish engines competing in the show. This could probably represent the Indian flag but it doesn't have the navy blue wheel on it.
  • Annie is not coupled up to Ashima when she leaves Maithwaite.
  • During "You Can Only Be You" when Thomas sings "Is this what I'm really meant to be" the second time, Annie and Clarabel disappear from behind Ashima, only to reappear when she sings "There isn't any other place to start".
  • When Diesel shunts the disguised diesels and the trucks into the yard, his coupling chain is sticking outward. He also passes by Thomas twice.
  • While Thomas and Diesel are talking in the yards, a brown truck in the background becomes green and back to brown between shots.
  • As Thomas rolls out of the yard with the runaway trucks, Dart's crate is missing.
  • In some shots, Ashima's wheels aren't moving.
  • There are no ropes attached to the crate that falls on Diesel, but ropes appear on it in the next shot.
  • When the Sudrian engines and Ashima first arrive at the Great Railway Show, Percy has momentarily disappeared and Yong Bao passes by on a junction in front of them, but there is no visible junction for him to have done so.
  • In the close-up of Rajiv when the engines arrive at the Great Railway Show, there is only one track between Rajiv and Gordon. However, in every other shot, there are two tracks between them.
  • Throughout the scene of the Sudrian engines' arrival at the Great Railway Show, Axel's tender is halfway off the rails and merges through his cab.
  • When Flying Scotsman first sees Gordon in his streamlined form, his right (viewer's left) eyebrow phases through his forehead.
  • When Thomas races through Vicarstown to get to the Great Railway Show, Donald can be seen shunting trucks into the station when Thomas sees him, but in the wide shot of Thomas after he changes tracks, he is now pulling trucks.
  • When Thomas is going to the Great Railway Show to deliver Gordon's safety valve, he nearly crashes into Hiro who is heading towards the Island of Sodor, however, when Thomas arrives at the show, Hiro is competing in the Strength competition.
  • As Thomas says "I really must stop doing that.", Samson runs a red signal behind him.
  • At one point where Ashima told James and Emily that she is going to compete in the shunting challenge, her wheels are derailed on her left side.
  • The Race Announcer refers to Etienne as a diesel-electric locomotive, but Etienne is not a diesel engine and does not run on diesel either.
  • When the Great Race starts, right when Gordon says "Oh Thomas, will you stop your whining?", Henry flies off of the line in the background and goes through the bushes. In the same shot, Philip's model appears to be angled incorrectly.
  • During "The Shooting Star is Coming Through", just as Gordon is catching up to Etienne and Spencer, Spencer's wheels aren't moving.
  • As Flying Scotsman passes Gordon after the latter breaks down, his smoke deflectors are retracted.
  • Many of the people in the bleachers appear to be duplicated.
  • The chute on the coal hopper is over Carlos' boiler when he is taking on coal.
  • After Carlos move out of the way for Philip being chased by Vinnie, he switches tracks but there is no visible junction anywhere for him to have done so.
  • When Emily tells Thomas about the shunting challenge in the UK dub, she says the term "boxcars", but this is supposed to be an American term for vans.
  • Throughout the shunting challenge, the Sudrian engines are not on the rails.
  • When the engines are starting for the shunting challenge, Raul was on the middle line between the two tracks beside Thomas and Gina. But in the next shot, he was on the right beside Thomas.
  • In the shot of Ivan during the first half of the shunting challenge, Philip is seen with the Sudrian engines when he shouldn't be; Vinnie is chasing him while this happens.
  • When Thomas buffers up to the box van, the chain on his front coupling is missing.
  • Thomas and Ashima both manage to couple up to Vinnie without the assistance of a shunter.
  • After Vinnie derails and runs into the pylon, Ashima is not on the rails. In addition, the conflats he derailed are gone. But, when Ashima's track is blocked, only one of them reappears.
  • Philip is facing away from the turntable before Vinnie crashes, but after he derails, Philip is turned around.
  • When Thomas begins singing part of "You Can Only Be You" just before he notices Ashima is missing, the Fat Controller appears to be frozen.
  • When Flying Scotsman leaves after calling Gordon "little brother", his tender wheels are not moving and his tender wheels have no axles.
  • There are five goofs during Be Who You Are, and Go Far:
    • At the start of the song in the UK dub, you can faintly hear that James has his US voice, then it changes to his UK one after the engines have left the Great Railway Show.
    • When the Sodor Team leaves the shunting yard, the signals are up.
    • When the engines cross the Vicarstown Bridge, Gordon's light is shining through Ashima's cab. In the same scene, James and Emily's decorations disappear for the rest of the film.
    • When the Sudrian engines and Ashima are heading towards Vicarstown station, Henrietta is right next to Toad, but in the next shot, she has moved more further than Toad.
  • In the mid-credits scene where the diesels and Cranky realise that Diesel is on the ship, Cranky is not in his usual spot. In the same shot, Den, Dart and Paxton are not on the rails.
  • In promotional images, Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Netherlands and Hungary flags are spotted hanging on top of the bleacher's roof, but no engines representing each of their countries compete in the Great Railway Show.
  • In the Italian dub of Will You Won't You, Salty is the only one who sings "Anyone who's any engine's eager to go".
  • In the Russian dub of Will You Won't You, some voice clips are missing (Gordon laughing, Philip yelping).
  • There are several goofs in the German dub:
    • When Victor says "It's a lot of hard work to streamline a steam engine, Gordon.", he calls Gordon a diesel engine. The same mistake happens after Thomas crashes into the flatbed, the announcer calls him a diesel.
    • Before Streamlining starts, Annie starts screaming before Thomas goes faster.
    • After Will You Won't You, Gordon is the only one whose laughing is heard.
    • Andrew Brenner is missing from the intro.
    • Tank engines are called steam engines, as a result, Cranky says "Oh, Thomas. This is really funny, a streamlined steam engine!".
    • When Annie and Clarabel talk to Ashima at Maron, their voices are swapped.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.