The Special Delivery is the fifth episode of the twentieth season.

The Special Delivery
Season 20, Episode 5
Air date 20 February 2015
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
It's Great to Be Down By the Seaside!
Sir Topham Hatt's Birthday Present


The air was filled with excitement on the North Western Railway.

The Fat Controller's birthday was coming up and the engines were busy preparing for the special party at Tidmouth.

"This is going to be one special party," said James.

"Yes it is," replied Lady Hatt.

"So, what are you getting him?" asked Percy. "Perhaps a weight set or a free pass to the gym."

"Very funny, Percy, but no," replied Lady Hatt. "I'm trying to bring him into the more technological world. So, I am getting him an iPad."

"How will that help?" asked James and Percy.

"Well, it will make train scheduling much easier. He'll also get the latest news on all the stations, instant incident reports, delays, etc. It will make his life so much easier."

"Hmm, seems interesting," replied James.

"Yes. The package will arrive at Vicarstown tomorrow."

"Great! Can I collect it?" asked James, excitedly.

"Sorry, James. But I've given that job to Henry. It'll be around the time he comes back with the Flying Kipper."

"Well, seems like an easy job for him. What can go wrong?" replied Percy.

The next morning, Henry steamed into Vicarstown.

Dodger was shunting his van.

"Be careful, the package is very delicate."

"Don't worry. I know how to handle this," replied Henry.

Then, Henry steamed away.

Meanwhile, down the line, workmen were beginning work on one of the bores of Henry's Tunnel.

"We'll have to close the line," said the Foreman. "I'll tell the signalman, but go and put out red flags near the switches," he told a workman.

Henry was puffing cheerfully down the line with his precious load.

The signalman received the call.

"What? OK? In no time."

He prepared to change the points, but Henry beat him to it!

"No! Stop!" yelled the Signalman.

Then, the workman saw Henry!

"Stop! There's construction ahead!"

And he waved the red flag!

"Construction? What construction?"

"This rock is eroding," a workman inspected. "It could collapse at any minute."

Then they saw Henry!

"Stop!" they shouted.

Henry's Driver applied the brakes, but he still skidded into the tunnel!

Then, there was more trouble. Rock crashed down on Henry!

Henry and his crew were buried.

The workmen quickly dug them out.

"I never meant to be stuck in this tunnel this way," sobbed Henry.

"We're going to need Rocky to pull you out," said the Foreman.

Some workmen had checked the van and the package was okay.

"Good thing we're using the proper rolling stock," sighed Henry.

A while later, Donald and Douglas arrived with Rocky to help Henry out.

"Okay, so one of you will take Henry to the Steamworks and one of you take the package," said the Foreman.

"Honours all yours, Douggie," announced Donald.

"Why thank you Donny," replied Douglas and he set off with the precious cargo.

He was going fine until he passed Cronk.

Up ahead, some workmen were repairing the track that had been damaged by the heat of the sun.

"What is this?" cried Douglas.

"Sorry, line is closed."

"Och, I canna go through the middle line, James is due with a goods train any minute," said Douglas.

"But, maybe we can call for him to take the package," suggested his Driver.

So, they contacted James' crew via the radio telephone.

"Bootlace, come in. This is Missing Coach speaking."

"Hullo? What's the matter?"

Douglas' Driver explained the situation.

"OK. We'll stop for it. We'll just alert the Signalman."

Soon, James arrived.

"Well, these trucks are certainly excited to take the Fat Controller's special."

"Och aye, take care."

"Gosh, this package should've been at Tidmouth two hours ago," thought James, as he set off.

"So, Fatty's gettin' a gift for his birthday," whispered one truck.

"Yeah, let's give him a 'smashing' enterance," laughed another.

"We'll do it at the hill," they consulted.

"Now, this package needs to be delivered in perfect condition, so no tricks, please," James told them.

"Of course not," promised the trucks.

James ran smoothly up Gordon's Hill.

"That was easy."

"Yeah, and the descent will be even easier!" laughed the trucks.

"Woo hoo!"

James's Driver applied the brakes, but they were going too fast!

They sped past Wellsworth!

"Its a runaway," said Edward.

"Clear the lines!" called the Stationmaster.

Points were set and signals were changed.

James raced passed Crosby and into the tunnel!

But he was gaining control!

He was still going past when he passed Knapford!

All the lines were clear as James approached Tidmouth.

"OK. He's slowing down, but if doesn't stop, he'll be diverted into the coal bunker siding and that will stop him," explained Gordon.

"Good," sighed Norman.

"I hope he's all right," said Lady Hatt.

"Uh . . . Is now a bad time to mention that the Fat Controller's package is on James' train," asked Percy, meekly.

"What!? Yes! It is a bad time!"

"Look, he's coming!" shouted Norman.

"Must stop," groaned James.

The trucks were tiring and James was able to halt them down on the platform right in front of Lady Hatt.


James's crew opened the van and got out the crate.

Luckily, it was all fine.

"Thank goodness. Well, thank you for delivering this even through all these mishaps," said Lady Hatt.

"You're welcome. It was . . . something. Me and that package could've been goners!" replied James.

"You can go rest now. I have to go get this wrapped and then put it where he won't look."

"Do you really think he'll look?" asked Percy.

"Good point."

Then, the engines went on their way.




  • This episode is based on the book of the same name.
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