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The Christmas Emergency
Season The Many Adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine and His Friends Series 1, Episode 20
Air date 24th December 2020
Written by Whywontitletmehavegeneralbacon
Episode guide
Sir Handel Goes Ice Skating

The Christmas Emergency is the 20th and final of episode of Series 1.


It was Christmas eve on the Island of Sodor and everyone was working extremely hard to make sure everything was ready, despite the heavy snow. The Fat Controller gathered some of engines at the start of the day.

"Percy and Oliver, I want you to be collected mail from you branch lines." He ordered.

"Yes, sir." They replied.

"Thomas, Edward, Duck and Gordon," he continued, "I want you to be collecting passengers from your branch lines."

"Of course, sir!" The engines replied.

"Henry, I want you to be collecting mail from the main line."

"Yes, sir." Replied Henry cheerfully.

"Because of the high amount of passengers I am expecting this year, I have arranged for an engine from the mainland to take passengers from there to here, you may remember him from when they first visited here."

But the rest of his sentence was cut off.

"Oh sir, you've brought back Flying Scotsman!" Cried Gordon with glee."

"No, Gordon, I haven't."

"You've brought back City of Truro!" Yelled Duck, who was also ecstatic."

"No, Duck, I haven't done that either, the engine I have arranged to take passengers from the mainland is Tornado."

"Oh" said the engines, they were most disappointed.

"I assure that he has changed his ways quite a bit since his first visit. And by the way, I want you all to wear your snow ploughs, even you Thomas, so don't get any other ideas."

"I don't know what you're talking about." Laughed Thomas.

"A heavy fall of snow is due, and I have given all you crews wireless radios so that they communicate if there is an emergency, should the telephone lines be down, and only if there is emergency, not if you see Father Christmas or something. Once you finish your jobs return to the yard here at Knapford"

All the engines set to work, all except Henry.

"Where are my trucks?"

"There they are." said Alex

"But there's no brake van."

"Samson just left Bradford in the yard, you could use him."

"No thanks, I do want to be on time you know."

Just then Oliver arrived, he had already finished his jobs and was returning to the yard.

"Err, Oliver," said Henry.

"Why, yes, Henry." Replied Oliver.

"Could I borrow Toad, please?"

"I'll just check with him. Toad, would you like to work with Henry?"

"Yes, Mr. Oliver." Replied Toad.

"Right then." Said Henry and Toad was coupled up to the back of his train.

At Vicarstown, Henry waited for the parcels and cards to be loaded into his trucks. He had to wait for only one more train but it was taking it's time. Just then, Tornado arrived with his last train.

"You'll have to wear you're snow plough." Said a workman.

"No, no," said Tornado, "we are already late because of err incident,"

The incident Tornado was referring to was that when he was leaving one of the stations on the mainland, he wheels only slipped on icy rails and another engine had to push him for him to even start moving, but Tornado was too embarrassed to admit it.

"And I didn't need that stupid old thing on the mainland and I shan't here."

And before the workman could argue with him, the guard's whistle blew and Tornado thought he better leave.

"No more stops," he thought, "I can hurry now."

But as he entered a cutting near Wellsworth he saw a terrible sight. There, right in front of him, the land next to the cutting gave way, and worse still, there was a telephone poll on the land and that slipped down too, in a mix of a landslide and a snow slide. Tornado quickly and skilfully stopped, just in time.

The guard came to see what the matter was, and the driver explained.

Just then they heard a whistle it was Edward, he saw the snow and charged forward.

"Snow is no match for me and my snowplough," he said, "bad luck Tornado, you'll have go back and get one fitted."

"No, Edward," cried Tornado, "there's a telephone poll under the snow, you'll have to stop too."

Edward applied his brakes but by then it was too late. He hit the pole with a loud bang. No one had been hurt, but Edwards plough was badly buckled and bent out of shape.

"I'm not going to be moving any more snow with that." Said Edward remorsefully. Just then, Tornado got an idea. He backed down onto Edward's line, behind Edward, uncoupled his coaches, went back onto his line and set off backwards to Wellsworth to get a snowplough fitted. Meanwhile, Edward backed down onto Tornado's coaches and coupled them to his own, while some workmen set off clearing the line, and by the time Tornado came back the line was clear. Then, Tornado backed in front of Edward and, coupled together, the engines set off again on their long journey.

Meanwhile, at Knapford, the engines who had finished their jobs waited anxiously for Tornado and Edward to arrive.

"I haven't seen them." Said Toby.

"Seen who?" Asked Thomas, who was arriving with his last train.

"Tornado and Edward," said Percy glumly, "they were supposed to arrive forty five minutes ago."

At that moment they heard the low whistle of Tornado, followed by the high whistle of Edward, as they pulled into the station. Their train was so long that it barely fit on the platform. Everyone ran off the coaches to see their families and Alex soon shunted them out the way and Edward and Tornado joined the others where they could get a good view of the decorations.

Meanwhile, Henry was still waiting for the post train to arrive, by this time the snow had gotten a lot worse. Finally, the engine fussed into the station.

"Sorry I'm late," she said, "There was a hold up and the snow made it worse. You're lucky, you have a snowplough, so you can push snow aside, I don't so it's more difficult. But oh well, you not what they say, better late than never."

"Better on time than late." Muttered Henry under his breath. Just then, the twins, Donald and Douglas arrived, they had been clearing the mainline.

"Err, Donald," asked Henry, "Could you go ahead of me and clear the line, so I don't have to stop as often?"

"I dinna see why not." Replied Donald and they set off, Donald in front.

Henry followed as soon as the guard's whistle blew. They hurried as fast as they could but, as they reached the cutting where Tornado and Edward had been held up earlier, they saw a huge snowdrift where snow had piled up from the sides of the line and they had to stop.

"Stop, Douggie!" Cried Donald, applying his brakes.

"Huh, stop?" Said Douglas, also applying his brakes just in case but they could not stop in time and Donald went face first into the snow drift.

"Get me oot! Get me oot!" He shouted, his voice muffled by the snow. Douglas laughed and quickly pulled him clear, then told Henry to stop. Luckily, no one had been hurt.

"Och aye, speak ferr yerrself, Mr. Narrater, yerr not the one covered from funnel to firrebox in snow!"

"Och, it can hardly be wurse than the time you left me stranded in the snow, with non of me coal o waterr."

"Stop arguing you two." Laughed their drivers.

"It'll be muckle use phonin' ferr help." Said Donald, "The telephone lines are down."

That reminded Henry of something.

"The wireless radios the fat controller gave us, we could use them to send a message for help."

So they did and within 15 minutes they heard an unfamiliar horn, and, too their surprise, there was Jack, Alfie, Oliver, Max, Monty, Byron, Brenda and Terence. They quickly set to work clearing the snow, Jack, Alfie and Oliver picked up snow with their buckets and dumped it into Max and Monty, who took it to the town square where children made snowmen out of it, Byron, Brenda and Terence pushed the snow aside with their ploughs and the engines' drivers spread hot cinders from the engines' fires on the snow to melt it. And, within three quarters of an hour, the line was clear again, and the three engines set off again, as fast as they could.

Back at Knapford, all the engines were waiting for them.

"My first Christmas on Sodor," said Tornado sadly, "and it's ruined."

"Trust Henry to be late." Said Gordon

"Don't say that!" Scolded Emily, "Something might have happened."

Just then, they heard the whistle of an engine.

"It's them!" Cried James.

The three engines puffed proudly into the stations and everyone hurried to get everything ready, the engines assumed their places and, suddenly, like magic, all the lights turned on. Harold hovered overhead and all the engines wore lovely Santa hats, which Mrs Kyndley had made especially.

"We wish you a merry Christmas,"

"We wish you a merry Christmas,"

"We wish you a merry Christmas,"

"And a happy new year!" Sang the engines, they all agreed that it was the best Christmas they'd ever had.



  • Because this episode takes place after The Great Western Railcar and the Brake Van, Lily appears, but audiences may not know who she is.
  • Although she is not named in the episode, the mainland post train is called Charlotte.
  • Going canonically by the TV Series, this would be the first time all engines numbered 1-12 spoke in an episode, and the first time they had done so since the special, Big World! Big Adventures!, however most engines here only have one or two lines.
  • This marks the last of a few things in The Many Adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine and His Friends:
    • The last episode of the first series, both in production and official order.
    • Tornado's last appearance and speaking role to date, as well as Lily's last appearance to date.