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Dirty Objects is the second episode of the eleventh season.

Dirty Objects
Season 11, Episode 2
Air date January 8th, 2013
Written by Rev. W. Awdry
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Toby the Tram Engine
Old Iron


Toby and Henrietta take the workmen to the Quarry every morning. At the junction they often meet James.

Toby and Henrietta were shabby when they first came, and needed new paint. James was very rude whenever he saw them. "Ugh! What dirty objects!" he would say.

At last Toby lost patience.

"James," he asked, "why are you red?"

"I am a splendid engine," answered James loftily, "ready for anything. You never see my paint dirty."

"Oh!" said Toby innocently, "that's why you once needed bootlaces; to be ready, I suppose."

James went redder than ever, and snorted off.

At the end of the line James left his coaches and got ready for his next train. It was a 'slow goods', stopping at every station to pick up and set down trucks. James hated slow goods trains.

"Dirty trucks from dirty sidings! Ugh!" he grumbled.

Starting with only a few, he picked up more and more trucks at each station, till he had a long train. At first the trucks behaved well, but James bumped them so crossly that they were determined to pay him out.

Presently, rumbling over the viaduct, they approached the top of Gordon's Hill. Heavy goods trains halt here to 'pin down' their brakes. James had had an accident with trucks before, and should have remembered this.

"Wait, James, wait," said his Driver, but James wouldn't wait. He was too busy thinking what he would say to Toby when they next met.

Too late he saw where he was, and tried to stop.

"Hurrah! Hurrah!" laughed the trucks, and banging their buffers they pushed him down the hill.

The Guard tightened his brakes until they screamed.

"On! On! On!" yelled the trucks.

"I've got to stop, I've got to stop," groaned James, and setting his brakes he managed to check the trucks' mad rush, but they were still going much too fast to stop in time.

Through the station they thundered; disaster lay ahead.

James shut his eyes------------

There was a bursting crash, and something sticky splashed all over him. He had run into two tar wagons, and was black from smokebox to cab.

James was more dirty than hurt, but the tar wagons and some trucks were all to pieces. The breakdown train was in the Yard, and they soon tidied up the mess.

Toby and Percy were sent to help, and came as quickly as they could.

"Look here, Percy!" exclaimed Toby, "whatever is that dirty object?"

"That's James; didn't you know?"

"It's James' shape," said Toby thoughtfully, "but James is a splendid red engine, and you never see his paint dirty."

James shut his eyes, and pretended he hadn't heard.

They cleared away the unhurt trucks, and helped James home.

The Fat Controller met them.

"Well done, Percy and Toby," he said.

He turned to James. "Fancy letting your trucks run away. I am surprised. You're not fit to be seen; you must be cleaned at once."

"Toby shall have a new coat of paint --- chocolate and blue I think."

"Please, Sir, can Henrietta have one too?"

"Certainly Toby," he smiled, "she shall have brown like Annie and Clarabel."

"Oh thank you, Sir! She will be pleased."

Toby ran home happily to tell her the news.


  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Henrietta (non-speaking role)
  • Annie and Clarabel (mentioned)


  • This episode is based of the story of the same name from Toby the Tram Engine by the Rev. W. Awdry.