Henry and the Express is the tenth and final episode of the sixteenth season.

Henry and the Express
Season 16, Episode 10
Air date 31 March 2014
Written by Christopher Awdry (original)

MainLineEngines (adapted)

Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Bert's Troublesome Day
Sir Topham Hatt's New Car


Out of Puff

The Express is a long, heavy train. Gordon usually pulls it but Henry, James, and Bear take in turns to pull it when Gordon is busy elsewhere. The Express starts at the Big Station, stops at the Works Station, then terminates at Barrow. It must run whatever happens.

Today, Henry was feeling very proud of himself. He had pulled the Express to time and the Fat Controller had congratulated him.

"I don't know what the Fat Controller would do without me," he boasted in the Shed that night.

"Hae a care," warned Douglas. "Too much puff aboot yersel' and mebbe ye'll mebbe run oot of puff one day."

"Pooh!" scoffed Henry. "I once pulled two trains and a failed diesel once and the Fat Controller said I was an Enterprising Engine."

"Aye, I mind it well," agreed Donald. "I took the guids train on ye recall. But Douggie is right - puff goes before a fail."

The Scottish Twins were wasting their own puff of course, because Henry took no notice whatsoever.

The Coal Mines were going under maintenance, which meant the North Western Railway had to borrow coal from the Other Railway. The coal was dusty, and burned with clouds of thick black smoke. The Fat Controller was cross and the engines didn't like it either.

"Filthy rubbish," they grumbled.

The new coal made more ash too. Before long, all the engines began to have pains in their smoke-boxes. Hot ash collected there, and gave them the most awful indigestion.

One evening, Henry felt dreadful when he got back to the shed. His Fireman had to clean and enormous pile of ash before he felt better. But the next day, Henry couldn't make steam properly.

He struggled to Edward's station, but could go no further. Douglas was there.

"I can't breathe," Henry wheezed.

"Oot o' puff, are ye? Dinna say we didna warn ye," teased Douglas.

Douglas then took Henry's train and his crew sorted out the problem.

After clearing an enormous pile of ash, his Fireman realised his smoke box door did not make the airtight fit that should have done.

"All those ashes have bent your smoke box door. Air is coming so that you can't breathe properly, but I know how we could cure that," his Fireman explained.

He filled a bucket with water. Then he fetched all the old newspapers he could find from the station bookstall. The Driver helped him tear them into strips, which they soaked in the water.

"What are you doing?" asked Henry.

"Making something called papier mâché," explained the Driver. "When this paper is soggy enough, we shall paste it in your air-leak, so you can breathe better. It won't last forever, but it will get us home."

"Oh," sighed Henry, unhappily.

When the job was done, Henry felt much better. His Driver and Fireman were impressed by how well he steamed.

"We should ask the Fat Controller to make it permanent," they joked.

When, he got to the Sheds, he saw his story was already there.

Donald and Douglas didn't say anything, but every now and then made breathless breathing noises. Henry thought they must have a very odd sense of humour.


The coal from the Other Railway had clogged Henry's firebox and even after the Mines opened back again, he still felt "stuffed up" and "out of puff."

"Ugh, my boiler's grumbling," complained Henry one night.

"Maybe its grumbling at you!" teased Gordon.

"That's not funny! You just don't care!"

The next day, Henry puffed to the Junction.

"Huh! Where's Thomas?"

Thomas chuffed in with Annie and Clarabel two minutes later.

"Where have you been lazybones?" asked Henry.

"Is your boiler still grumbling?" asked Thomas, cheekily.

"Shut up, its not funny. I can't get steam up properly."

Henry's Guard blew his whistle and waved his green flag and Henry steamed away.

"What's that?" asked Annie.


"That trail of water."

"It must be Henry's," said Clarabel.

"Hmm, we should tell the Fat Controller," said Thomas.

Just then, the Fat Controller arrived on Winston.

"Stop! Winston!" cried the Fat Controller as he screeched to a stop.

"I'm all right!" chuckled Winston.

"Hullo Thomas. Splendid day, isn't it."

"Uh, yes, but I wanted to speak to you about something."

"Go on."

Thomas told the Fat Controller about Henry.

"Hmm, I think it is time for an overhaul. I'll make the arrangements straight away."

The next day, the Fat Controller came to see Henry.

"What you need, is an overhaul," the Fat Controller told Henry.

"Does that mean I have to go to Crewe again?" Henry asked.

The Fat Controller laughed. "Not this time," he said. "You won't believe this, but nowadays the people at Crewe couldn't do the work you need."

Henry stared, and the Fat Controller laughed at his surprise expression.

"Don't worry," he said. "We can do everything at my Works. All I have to do is get you there. If James takes the Express tomorrow, we can couple you in front. Do what you can to help and you can reach the Works in style."

Henry told James that night.

"Help me?" James snorted "I don't need help! I can pull the Express by myself, thank you. Over-haul indeed. Two engines on one train is an over-haul if you ask me."

But the Fat Controller had already made the arrangements, so there was nothing James could do about it.

Next morning, James backed onto the coaches in the Big Station. Henry followed and was coupled in front.

James was not in the best of tempers, but when the Fat Controller came to see them off, he tried not to show how cross he was.

"Good luck, Henry," said the Fat Controller. "The people at the Works know what to do, so you won't be there too long. James and Bear will take turns with the Express when Gordon is busy."

"Yes, Sir."

"All right," sighed James.

The Express only stops once before it reaches the Other Railway and that is at the Works station. Because of his leaky smoke-box, Henry could not help much, but he saved his hardest effort for Gordon's Hill. The two engines raced up it faster than they have ever done. When they reached the top, James felt better.

"That was fun," said James. "We might even be early at the Works station - we shall need extra time to uncouple you anyway."

James spoke too soon. They had just crossed the Viaduct when Henry felt something wrong with one of his wheels.

"Something's wobbling," he told his Driver. Just then, they both heard a cracking noise.

"Ouch!" exclaimed Henry. "Whatever it is, I think it's broken!"

They were passing Killdane. Something hit the platform, and a brick flew past Henry's cab. It bounced off James's boiler and disappeared.

"Ow!" exclaimed James. "Henry might need mending! But he needn't throw his broken bits at me!"

Just then, James and his Driver heard Henry whistling that he wanted to stop. More bits and pieces flashed by, some hitting the carriages.

Using the brakes skillfully, the Drivers stopped the train. Then, while the Guard made sure the train was protected behind, James's Driver went to see if any passengers had been hurt by the flying debris. No one had, but one of the carriage windows was broken.

Henry's crew inspected his wheel. The trouble was not hard to find.

"Your wheel has a steel rim called a tyre," Henry's Fireman Fireman told him. "It has broken and come off - it's a miracle it didn't do more damage."

James pushed Henry into a siding, then went back to the train.

"An overhaul, is it?" grinned James as he passed. It sounds as if you need retiring, you poor old thing."

He guffawed loudly at his own wit and puffed away.

Henry smiled. "I don't know about retiring," he chuckled, "I certainly do feel tired."

Sliding Scales

The other engines had to do Henry's work whilst he was at the Works.

This meant taking the "Flying Kipper" too.

"My Driver loves the smell of fish," added Percy.

"So does mine," agreed Duck. "It's a shame we tank engines can't make runs like that."

"I don't like the smell of fish," said James.

"Too bad its your turn today," laughed Duck.

"What?! Percy!"

"I've nothing to do with that. That's all on the Fat Controller," Percy replied.

"I'm very fond of a good 'Kipper'," laughed his Driver.

"You're welcome to it," retorted James.

"A right old misery today, aren't you," said his Fireman. "You got out of the shed by the wrong door this morning, and no mistake. Now get a move on, or the Fat Controller will give you something to moan about."

Groaning horribly on the curves, James went slowly down to the Harbour. The vans for the train were already in the shed, while men in aprons, worked busily, loading them with boxes of fish.

"I hope I don't smell awful. I must be careful," he thought. "Pooh!" said James, and wrinkled his nose.

James was coupled to the vans. He had not been waiting long when a forklift truck, laden with fishboxes rounded the corner, and came towards him. Another, hurrying away for a new load, came too fast in the opposite direction.

The loaded one swerved to avoid the other one and its heavy load shifted. Six full boxes of fish slipped from the top of the pile and burst onto the rails in front of him.

Broken boxes and fish lay everywhere. For once, James was right - the smell was not nice.

Luckily, there was plenty of time to clear up the mess before James had to leave.

At last, all was ready and the Guard showed his green lamp.

"Thank goodness," said James to himself.

There was a speed limit at the harbour, so James could not start quickly. The train seemed heavier than usual tonight too, so when James reached the spot where the fish boxes had burst, he was moving at no more than walking pace.

The rails seemed clean, but oil and scales from spilt fish were still there, coating them with a slippery film. As soon as James reached the place, his driving wheels, with nothing to grip, began to spin helplessly.

James did his best, but his heavy vans dragged him to a standstill. He found he could move his neither forward nor back.

"Fish!" exclaimed James in disgust.

Men brought hoses and washed the rails: James grew very wet and uncomfortable. Then they put sand in front of each driving wheel, and James was at last, able to move his train.

He was very late, but at least he was off the fish quay. To say he was glad would be putting it mildly.

The next morning when James returned to the Sheds, everyone woke up to an awful smell.

"What's that smell?" asked Percy.

"It's the fish," replied Thomas.

Gordon laughed. "Ha ha! Looks like you brought a present for the Fat Controller."

All the engines laughed for on the front of James' smoke box was still one last fish.

"Oh! Eww! Get it off me!"

The engines laughed again.

James blushed and admitted. "I, uh, had a little accident with the 'Flying Kipper' last night."

"But your red paint looks splendid now," said Thomas cheekily.

"Must be all that fish oil," laughed Percy.

Presently, the Fat Controller arrived.

"Well done James! I was pleased to hear that the 'Kipper' was delivered on time in spite of your little accident."

(approaches James)

"Oh! What a smell! James, you must go to the wash down straight away."

"Yes Sir. I'd be happy to do that Sir."

James went to the wash down hoping he'd never have to see the "Flying Kipper" in a very long time.

Henry Sees Red

Henry was getting bored at the Works.

He was entertained by Kevin's mishaps, but he longed to be back on his line.

He also met Bert, the miniature gauge engine.

"How much longer, Victor?"

"Don't worry, Henry. The workmen are finishing up the final details," replied Victor.

"Yeah, don't worry, it'll be all right," Kevin added.

"I hope so," sighed Henry.

"All right, my amigo. The workmen are going to begin repainting you. Adios!"

The workmen scratched off his old green paint, and the next day painted him in an orange-red undercoat.

"At least its better than the pink we had to use a couple of decades ago. Poor James once went out in pink," Henry thought.

They finished that evening, and set to repaint Henry the next day.

In the morning however, Henry was woken up to his tender being coupled up.

"What's going on?" he asked his Driver.

"Shush! You'll wake them up!" his Driver shushed.

(shows Kevin and Victor snoring and sleeping)

"Sorry," Henry whispered back.

"There's an emergency on at the Big Station and the Fat Controller wants us to pull the Express," his Driver explained.

"But I can't go like this!"

"No choice. It's either us or a long walk for the passengers."

Henry agreed, but couldn't take off the image of the other engines laughing at him.

When he arrived, he found the coaches ready and waiting.

"I feel so silly looking like this," complained Henry.

"You do look unusual, Henry," agreed the Fat Controller, "but you have helped me out of a very awkward situation, so don't worry about it."

But Henry did worry. Soon - too soon for Henry - it was time to start.

The Express was heavy and Henry quickly felt the drag of the coaches.

"We'll need help on Gordon's Hill today," remarked his Driver.

But they were in trouble earlier than that!

As they approached Edward's station, the brakes went wrong on the last coach, and they had to stop and uncouple it. To make matters worse, Donald who should have been there to help, had been called away. Henry had to push the coach into a siding himself. And, without Donald, there was no one to help him on the Hill.

"Never mind," comforted the Driver. "You can do it - you're an Enterprising Engine, remember."

Henry snorted. He didn't feel very enterprising just then.

The men at the Works had mended Henry well. His Driver gave him as good as a start as he could: it was hard going, but now Henry felt fired with determination.

"Let them laugh at my red paint," he snorted. "I'll show them!"

Slowly, he struggled upwards.

"I can do it. I can do it," he panted as he went. "Oh dear, will the top never come?"

Then, there it was!

"I've done it!" he cheered.

After that, it was much easier and they reached the Other Railway quickly. The Fat Controller, who had been on the train, came to congratulate Henry.

"Well done Henry," he said. "I'm very proud of you - perhaps all my engines should be painted red. But you have certainly earned your proper green with red stripes."

Henry went back to the Works, where he soon had his proper colour again.

"This is better," he sighed.

When he returned, everyone was glad to see him.

"Welcome home, Henry."

"Thanks, everyone," replied Henry.

"Well, they did a good job on you, I see," said James.

"Yes, they repaired my tubes and my smoke-box, but they didn't even look at my brakes, my gauges, my squeaky wheels..."

"All in good time, Henry," laughed the engines.

Then, there was a rousing welcome for Henry the Green Engine.



  • Tidmouth
  • Tidmouth Sheds
  • Wellsworth
  • Killdane
  • Sodor Steamworks
  • Barrow-in-Furness


  • This episode is based off the four stories of the same name and the book of the same name by Christopher Awdry.
  • This is the first time in the series, a character speaks another language. In this case, it was Victor speaking Spanish.
  • Henry makes a reference the thirteenth season episode, Tickled Pink. The episode also contains elements from the seventh season episode, What's the Matter with Henry? and the seventeenth episode, The Smelly Kipper.
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