"My coaches have become a runaway!"
— Thomas

Slow Coaches
Season 2, Episode 1
Air date March 10th, 2014
Written by DonaldDouglasandOliver11
Directed by DonaldDouglasandOliver11
Episode guide
Thomas' Three Cheers
Frozen Owen

Slow Coaches is the first episode of the second season.


It was a sunny afternoon on the Island of Sodor. Thomas was puffing along cheerily, hoping to be at Dryaw station on time. He was nearing the station when he noticed a level crossing up ahead. "Bother!" huffed Thomas "Now I'm gonna be late." and he applied his brakes. Just then, he heard a loud whistle. Thomas knew who it was. It was George the steamroller. George looked rudely at the tank engine "What are you looking at puffball." said George "Nothing." said Thomas "Why are these gates closed? Railway engines have the right of way!" he said "Well, you'll have to wait. Won't you!" said George. Thomas was growing impatient as he waited for George to cross the level crossing "Hurry up slow coach." he said. This made George very cross "You dare call me a slowcoach!" he snapped "Your rails are warn out and one day they'll all be replaced by roads." But Thomas didn't say anything after that. Finally, George had crossed the crossing. And Thomas set on his way "George is a nuisance!" he said to himself "Always being grumpy, he thinks railways are no good at all." "Just ignore him Thomas." said Annie "That's just George." said Clarabel. "I know that." said Thomas "But he can do my buffers in sometimes." said the blue tank engine "Anyways, we need to get to Dryaw, we're running late thanks to that slow steamroller!" he said.

Finally, Thomas arrived at Dryaw. He puffed in still complaining. Daisy was there. She was cross "Thomas, what have you been doing? I've been waiting here half an hour." she complained "Well, it's not my fault." huffed Thomas "It's that darn George. He's just a nuisance!" "I know all about that steamroller." said Daisy "He once threatened me by saying that he'll flatten my rails." she said. "*sigh* Anyways, where are my passengers?!" she snapped "Here." said Thomas. "Good, now I have to get to Crovan's Gate so Caitlin can take your passengers to the Mainland." she said "OK" said Thomas and Daisy chugged away. "Thomas. We need to get to Toryreck and fast." said Annie "Or else we'll be late again." said Clarabel. "Ok you two. I'm going." said Thomas and he puffed away.

Between Dryaw and Toryreck. There was a steep hill. Thomas charged this hill with a burst of speed. "Mustn't (pant) give up! Mustn't (pant) give up!" he huffed as he strained up the hill "Slow down!" said Annie "We don't like going fast." said Clarabel "I know." said Thomas "But we must get to Toryreck or else we'll be late." chuffed Thomas. Suddenly, Annie heard a rattling noise, it sounded like it was coming from the coupling "Uh, Thomas! Thomas!" cried Annie. But Thomas was too busy trying to get up the hill to hear. They reached the top of the hill. "Yes (pant) I've done it... (pant) At last!", but then there was trouble. The coupling snapped and Annie and Clarabel started rolling down the hill. "We're nearly there now Annie and Clarabel. Annie? Clarabel? Can you hear me?". Then Thomas saw they weren't behind him. "(gasps) Cinders and Ashes!" cried Thomas "Annie! Clarabel! Where are you?" "Down here!" shouted Annie as they rolled down the hill "Oh no!" said Thomas "There a runaway. I must help them!" and he raced backwards to catch his coaches. The passengers were surprised, but didn't dare move. "Help!" cried Annie "We're going as fast as we did that time when Caitlin pulled us!" she said.

At Knapford, Emily was passing through with a goods train and Gordon was on the platform. When Suddenly "HELP!" screamed a loud voice coming from the distance "Are they Thomas' coaches?" asked Emily "Yes! It's us!" wailed the coaches as they shot by "Steaming pistons." said Gordon "It looks like they've broke away from Little Thomas." the big engine said. Then the coaches disappeared out of sight. Then they saw Thomas. "Thomas! What's happening?" asked Emily "My (pant) coaches have (pant) become a (pant) runaway!" cried Thomas "They broke away on a hill!" "Thomas, you need a drink." said his driver "You're out of breath." "Little Thomas. You need a drink." said Gordon. At last, Thomas was filled up with water and raced away. Gordon just rolled his eyes and snorted away.

Annie and Clarabel gasped in horror as they soon reached a junction. The signalman quickly switched the points so Annie and Clarabel wouldn't crash. Paxton gasped and braked, his stone trucks bashed into the back on him. "What on Earth?" Spencer was taking the Duke and Duchess to the station, but when he saw Annie and Clarabel, he braked as well, nearly knocking the Duke and Duchess off their seats. "You Sudrian coaches!" he snarled. Thomas groaned as he started through the junction, surprising Paxton and Spencer. "Thomas?" Paxton asked. "Silly little tank engine," Spencer huffed. Thomas ignored them, though a suddenly deep-toned whistle made his boiler run cold. "That's Caitlin!" Thomas shouted in horror. Caitlin, who was taking Thomas' passengers to the Mainland, saw Thomas' bunker and blew her whistle again. "Thomas?! Clear the track! I have to get through!" Luckily, the signalman had seen Thomas' predicament as well and switched the points so Thomas would not collide with Caitlin, and then immediately switched them again so Caitlin could get past. "Wooaaah!" cried Thomas as Caitlin raced by him. "Thomas isn't usually that reckless!" Caitlin spluttered, "I mean, I'm a high-speed engine! I could've crushed him!" Thomas had just recovered from his mishap, but realised he was now on the wrong line. "Oh no!"

Soon, Annie and Clarabel were out in the countryside again, much to their relief. They scurried right past Henry, who was taking a slow goods to Knapford. The two coaches weren't as fast now, but they still surprised the green engine as the coaches scurried by, the passengers stuck in their seats. "Bubbling boilers!" cried Henry, "What was that?!" Thomas raced by bunker first. "What's going on, Thomas?" asked Henry worriedly. "Annie and Clarabel are a runaway, Henry! I've got to stop them!" said Thomas as he disappeared out of sight. "Good luck with that." muttered Henry. Thomas panted backwards down the tracks. He could see the coaches slowing down, but they were still going at the same speed as he was. Alongside the section of track was a road. Butch was there on the road, filling up on petrol at the petrol station, when... "Runaway coaches?" Butch stuttered. Annie and Clarabel raced by. "Do something!" cried out Clarabel. "I can't!" wailed Annie. "What was that?" cried Butch, just as Thomas raced past. "Got to keep moving, Butch!" Butch just stared in Thomas' direction as Thomas puffed out of sight. "What is it with runaways on this island?" he muttered. The guard realized that it wasn't helping. "Uh oh..." and the guard jumped clear. He tumbled onto the sleepers. "Oh, my darn knee..." grumbled the guard, but luckily he had a red flag and his trusty whistle. He stood up and ignored his minor injuries for now. The guard saw an approaching engine. He blew his whistle long and loud. Thomas heard the whistle, but didn't stop. "Thomas? Is that you?" asked the guard as he noticed the familiar engine puff, backwards, toward him. "Can't stop, guard. You can hop in my cab though!" Thomas insisted. The guard jumped into the cab while the driver looked out the back window. The passengers were all worried of when their ride was going to end. A particular boy was enjoying it. "Woohoo, this is amazing! It's like those roller coasters, except better!" "I don't feel well..." groaned Annie and neither did Clarabel; they didn't like traveling by themselves, and their speed wasn't helping matters.

The coaches reach a level crossing where Bertie was about to cross. Bertie was just edging onto the level crossing, when he heard some shouting. Puzzled, Bertie's driver looked out the window and gasped. "Back, Bertie, back!" Bertie was puzzled as his driver backed him up to safety. "What's going on, driver?" the little bus inquired. Clarabel crashed through the crossing gates, with pieces flying past Bertie. "Does that answer your question?" asked the driver flatly. "...yes!" cried Bertie in alarm. "Ouch! That hurt!" wailed Clarabel. "Are you alright back there?" asked Annie worriedly. "Well, I've had better!" replied her companion. The force didn't stop the coaches, but it did slow them down further. Bertie saw Thomas racing by and connected the dots. "Goodness... me!" Thomas rushed through the countryside. "How are we going to get onto Annie and Clarabel's line?" he asked. "I'm not sure, but we'll think of something," said the guard. "We better think of it quickly," warned the driver.

Meanwhile, at the washdown. James was being cleaned when Oliver passed by. "Look at me Oliver." boasted James "I'm the shiniest engine on Sodor." Oliver just rolled his eyes "You always say that." he puffed. Then suddenly "STOP US!" wailed Thomas' coaches when they raced past James "Bust my buffers!" cried James "What was that?". Then Annie and Clarabel raced past Oliver "Were those Thomas' coaches?" he thought. "YES! WE ARE!" cried the coaches. Then they heard Thomas' whistle "My coaches broke away on a hill and now they've become a runaway. I must stop them!" he said as he puffed by "Thomas!" snorted James "Just what is getting into that tank engine now a days? Always having accidents." "His coaches have become a runaway. That's all." said Oliver.

At Crosby Yards, Harvey was shunting some trucks into a siding when a workman ran up to him. "The stationmaster just got a call; there's a runaway coming! We'll have to stop them!" "Right, but... how?" asked Harvey. "I was sort of hoping you'd know." said the workmen. Harvey thought for a moment. "Hmm... I think I've got an idea." "Then go for it!" said the workmen. Harvey blew and started towards the station. Once he reached it, he squinted and noticed an orange coach rushing towards his position. "Goodness gracious me! There could be passengers in there!" "What's your plan?" asked the driver. "I'll have to stop them. It's the only way." Harvey replied grimly. Harvey's driver was worried, but nodded. Clarabel noticed Harvey coming towards them, and paled. "Harvey?! What are you doing?!" she cried. "It's not worth it!" added Annie. "It is worth it in my book!" replied the crane engine. "Wait, what book-" Clarabel banged into Harvey, causing Harvey to jerk backward. "Ouch again! This trip will scratch my paintwork!" groaned Clarabel. Harvey grunted as his driver applied the brakes. Sparks flew and wheels squealed against the rails. Finally, Annie and Clarabel gradually came to a final halt. The coaches let out a sigh of relief as they gained their breath back. "Thank you, Harvey." panted Annie. "Yes, Harvey. Thank you." added Clarabel. Harvey grinned. "I couldn't just leave your passengers like that." The passengers were shaken, but were also very relieved, possibly more so than the coaches. Annie was suddenly banged into Clarabel, who banged into Harvey. "Ouch! What's going on this time?" Clarabel groaned. Annie smirked. "Oh, hello Thomas! Nice to see you!" Thomas was so exhausted he could barely talk, but saw that Annie and Clarabel had been stopped. He let out a tried sigh as he was coupled up to Annie using his own back coupling. "Phew, thanks Harvey! I thought I was going to have to chase them all the way to Crovan's Gate!" panted Thomas gratefully. "It's no problem, Thomas! I just happened to be at the right place at the right time!" The guard quickly ambled down from Thomas' cab and climbed into Clarabel. "Um... excuse me, sir?" asked a woman. "Yes?" "Are you sure this train is safe? He is the one who let us become a runaway." The guard sighed. "Don't worry, this won't happen again. This is a very safe railway. Thomas will make sure of it." he said. He leaned out the window. "Right Thomas...?" he yelled. Thomas sighed, feeling guilty. "Of course sir." Clarabel and Annie giggled. "Good. Now let's move along." said Annie. "Right... We don't want any more incidents." Thomas agreed. The guard blew his whistle and puffed away to Toryeck as originally scheduled. Then, the guard ordered a new coupling on his phone for Annie while the ride continued. Thomas panted along the line, hoping the Fat Controller wouldn't be too cross. This time, when he went over the hill, he made sure to go slower so Annie and Clarabel wouldn't break away again.

It was dusk by the time Thomas had finally reached Toryreck. Thomas groaned "It's very late now." he said to himself "Very late indeed." said a familiar voice. Thomas looked over to find that it was the Fat Controller. "Thomas, you are 2 hours late." he scolded "Sorry sir..." said Thomas "My coaches became a runaway when I was going up a hill." "Well, then." said the Fat Controller "Tomorrow Toby will have to do Percy's work and Percy will work on your branch line, while you Thomas can shunt trucks at the quarry. "Yes sir!" said Thomas sadly. Thomas was relieved that his coaches were safe.

That night, Thomas was the last one to puff into Ffarquhar Sheds. Percy smirked to Toby, who grinned broadly. "Well, well, well," chuckled Toby, "I wonder what's happened this time." "I heard from Gordon that your coaches ran away on that hill!" smirked Percy. Thomas blushed, embarrassed. "Maybe..." "Such silliness!" said Percy. Percy and Toby laughed as Thomas scowled. "Hmph!" Well into the night did the engines tease Thomas about the day's events. Thomas thought they were quite silly, but he figured he sort of deserved it.



  • Dryaw
  • Knapford
  • The Washdown
  • Shunting Yards
  • Crosby
  • Toryreck
  • Ffarquhar Sheds
  • Crovan's Gate (mentioned)
  • Anopha Quarry (mentioned)

Home Media Releases


  • The hill between Dryaw and Toryreck is a redressed version of the hill leading up to Ulfstead Castle. As the wall of the castle can be seen when Annie and Clarabel brake away from Thomas. However, the mountain, as well as Ulfstead Castle have been replaced with a hill full of trees.
  • References to the story Thomas Comes Home and the eighteenth season episode Not So Slow Coaches are made.
  • This is the first episode of the second season.
  • This episode marks Caitlin and Caroline's first appearances.
  • This episode marks George and Butch's first speaking roles, this is also George's only appearance in the second season.

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