Thumper and the Avalanche
Season 5, Episode 8
Air date December 30th, 2015
Written by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Directed by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Episode guide
Percy and the Problem with James
Bumble Bucket


Paxton arrived at Brendam Docks with his usual train of stone, feeling pleased with himself. “Cranky, I’m five minutes early! Isn’t that exciting?” the energetic Diesel asked. Cranky snorted. “Maybe...for you.” “Great!” Paxton grinned. He looked over to what Cranky was starting to lift. “What are you doing, Cranky?” the Diesel asked. "Lifting something as usual..." "But what's on your hook?" Paxton asked. Cranky didn’t say anything; he was quite surprised himself. Porter puffed up, and looked to the odd-looking machine. “ that?” he asked. Salty laughed. “Argh mateys, I think that be a quarry machine!” “Oh. I knew that…” said Porter embarrassingly. Paxton and Salty chuckled. “But what’s a quarry machine doing here? This is a harbour!” asked Paxton. Cranky snickered as he lifted the machine up into the air. “Take a look for yourself. Porter, we need a flatbed for this thing.” Porter whistled and set off to find one. “What do you mean?” asked Paxton worriedly. "Well, I’m Thumper.” the machine said, “I collect rocks at quarries. I may look odd but I do the job well if I do say so myself. I worked on the Mainland for a while.” Everyone at the Docks gasped. “Well, it’s interesting to have ye here, Thumper. Where are ya off to?” Salty asked. Thumper grinned. “I’m to go someplace called the Blue Mountain Quarry. Do any of you know what that is?” “Oh, I do!” Paxton piped up, “It’s where my friends and I work! Trust me, you’ll love it!” "Lookin' forward to it," replied Thumper. So Porter shunted the flatbed behind Paxton and looked for a brakevan while Paxton, Salty, and Thumper continued to chat. “There’s one!” cried Porter, “I wonder what it was doing way over there…” Porter rushed over to the trio and the brakevan was coupled up. Paxton honked his horn happily as he rushed away with the empty stone trucks and Thumper. “Take care, Thumper!” said Salty. "Good luck!" cried Porter. "I don't care!" shouted Cranky. The two shunters looked at him. "Hey, I'm an honest crane."

Soon, Paxton the Diesel scurried into the Blue Mountain Quarry, with his usual empty trucks. “Hello Paxton!” chuffed Luke. "Hey Luke!" But then the little engine noticed something peculiar. “Paxton, what's that thing on your flatbed?” Luke asked.  “Huh? Oh, this! It's called Thumper-” Thumper was offended. “Excuse me, but I have a gender you know…” the machine said. Paxton chuckled nervously. “Oh... Uh... Sorry... He’s called Thumper. Apparently he collects rock faster.” "Wait, do we even have genders?" asked Merrick. “Well, it’s nice to meet you Thumper. Welcome to the Blue Mountain Quarry!” Luke said. Thumper smiled. “It’s my pleasure. I like rocks.” "How interesting," said Merrick with disinterest. "Is your commentary really necessary?" asked Owen. "Yes. It's better than not sleeping." Just then, Rusty scurried up with a couple trucks. “Who collects rocks faster-” The narrow gauge Diesel suddenly stopped talking when his eyes gazed upon the orange machine. He quickly became horrified. “What's HE doing here?” “What'd I do?” Thumper cried out in defense. “Send a crazy boulder around the Skarloey Railway, that's what! It almost hit me, Skarloey and Rheneas you fool! And you didn't even say anything about it!” Thumper chuckled nervously. “Uh, well, I can't talk much when I'm very busy.. Heh…” “Yeah, nice excuse…” scowled Rusty. “Rusty, be nice to him. I’m sure he’s had experience since then,” whispered Luke. “What experience? He’s been sent away for causing that mishap, and has only recently come back because of the growing businesses here…” Rusty said darkly. Paxton and Luke looked at each other with worry; it was clear that Rusty didn’t like Thumper. "Well, I guess I can-" "I don't want to talk to you," Rusty huffed as he reversed to a tunnel. Thumper looked a bit hurt. "Just ignore him," said Paxton cheerfully, "I'm sure he'll get over it." "Indeed," agreed Luke, "He's really a friendly Diesel." "I guess but I can't help but feel guilty. I mean, I did cause Boulder Quarry to close down..." "Who names a quarry after a boulder?" asked Luke. "I have no idea."

Soon, Thumper was at work. The engines watched as his arms broke apart the rock. "Yeah, rocks! My style, indeed! Look, there's a big one!" "I don't like him already," snapped Sir Handel. "Why?" asked Ivo Hugh, "He's nice." "He talks of nothing but rocks," muttered Sir Handel, "Look at him over there with Rheneas." Rheneas came to a stop beside Thumper. "Oh, Rheneas! Just the engine I'm looking for!" "I barely know you," said Rheneas. "I know but look at how hard I'm working!" "Yes... I can see that." "But look, I'm not knocking down a boulder this time!" Rheneas sighed. "Thumper, I don't see why you would need something to prove. You've barely been on this island." "I know but..." "I have to go to Owen. Just be careful..." And Rheneas puffed away. "See? He's a clutz! I can tell!" Sir Handel huffed. "Because you're so balanced yourself, Sir Handel," needled Skarloey as he puffed next to the duo, "I think Thumper just needs some time to adjust. Now come on; we have more stone to deliver." "Yes Skarloey," said Ivo Hugh quickly as he raced away. But Sir Handel had his suspicions. And so did Rusty. As he pushed some trucks onto Owen for him to lower down to the quarry floor, he eyed Thumper like a hawk. Owen was confused as he looked down at the little diesel. "Do you mind telling me while you're so suspicious of Thumper? He's just doing his job." "You don't understand what he did all those years ago," retorted Rusty, "He sent a boulder across the railway!" "Oh. I see. That... does sound bad but... I don't see him doing anything bad right now, so he must be doing something right." "Pfft... He's more accident-prone than Paul," Rusty snorted. Down below, Paul nearly crashed into Luke. "Watch where you're going!" Luke cried. "I'm watching, and I'm not liking what I'm seeing," Paul scoffed as he rolled away. Luke blinked. "What's that supposed to mean?" "And just like Paul, I keep having to watch over that machine in case he does something, and I'll have to fix everything!" "I think you're being too hard on him," Owen replied, "He just needs time." Rusty scoffed as Owen lowered the trucks down to the quarry floor. "I'll believe it when I see it..." Owen frowned. "Oh my..."

Down on the quarry floor, Thumper was trying to cut through some rock when the foreman walked up to him. "Time to a break, Thumper." "What? Why?!" "You've been working yourself like this for the past couple of hours. I think you're pushing yourself a bit... too hard." Thumper was indignant. "What rubbish!" Skarloey puffed up to Thumper, frowning. "I think the foreman's right, Thumper. Just take a small break, at least. Even I don't work that hard." "And he works hard," chuckled Sir Handel. "Get back to work, Sir Handel!" Skarloey huffed. Sir Handel smirked as he set off down the line. Thumper sighed as the foreman walked off, knowing Skarloey could handle Thumper. "It's just that I want to prove myself. I've been nothing but trouble." "How? From what I can tell, you're actually reliable," Skarloey replied. "But Rusty said I'm nothing but accident-prone... like this engine named 'Paul'..." Skarloey sighed. "I'll have a talk with him..." Thumper looked up, confused. "There's no need, Skarloey-" "Yes there is," retorted Skarloey, "I'm off to find him. Enjoy that break." And Skarloey puffed away. From a nearby siding, Luke winced. "Oh no..."

On Blondin Bridge, Merrick was snoring as usual. Rusty honked his horn, trying to wake him up. "Merrick, please! You have to load this stone!" Merrick just snored. "This is ridiculous... Why is everything going wrong today?" "Rusty, calm down," said his driver, "You have too much exhaust in your engine or something." Rusty scoffed. "But I've been sitting here for at least ten minutes... Ugh, that's it." He honked his horn as loudly as he could Merrick jolted and opened his eyes. "What? What happened?" He looked down and made a wry face. "Oh. What is it this time?" "Stone... like it always is...?" Rusty said with impatience. "Oh yeah... Just let me wake up," Merrick yawned. Rusty sighed as Skarloey puffed behind him. "Rusty, I think you need to apologize to Thumper." Rusty was surprised. "What? Why?! Do you have any idea what he did? You should know; you crashed into a water tower!" "Yes, but that's no excuse to treat him poorly, just because he made a mistake. We all make mistakes." "Mistake? He did nothing! He just stared at the rock for four minutes before sending down that perfectly round boulder!" spluttered Rusty. "Is it strange that was in my dream just now?" Merrick asked. Ignoring the crane, Rusty continued to rant. "And then we all had to clean up after him, and the Thin Controller had to pay all kinds of money, and-" "Okay, yes, Thumper... did bite off more than he could chew, but lots of engines have done that too." said Skarloey. At last, Rusty lost patience. "I don't have time for this. I have a schedule to take these trucks to The Wharf, and neither you or Merrick are helping." "What did I do?" Merrick cried. "You slept..." "Oh. Is that that bad?" Rusty didn't answer as he scurried away. "I've never seen Rusty like that..." commented Merrick. "Neither have I..." murmured Skarloey.

That evening, as Skarloey was telling Luke where to put the last load before Paxton came back, Thumper was filling up on fuel. Rusty rolled up alongside the machine, eyeing him suspiciously. Thumper thought it could be a chance to apologize. "Hello Rusty-" "Hmph." Rusty huffed as he scurried away to the sheds. Thumper was upset. Watching close by was Luke, who felt bad for him. He wanted to find a way to help, but wasn't sure how. That night, Thumper couldn't sleep; he wanted to prove to Rusty that he could be reliable. "Maybe I just need to try harder..." he thought as he tried to close his eyes, "Then I'll get his approval."

The next morning, Thumper worked harder than ever before, and like before, worried the other engines. "I don't understand why he's doing this," Paxton said as Skarloey puffed beside him, "He just got here after all. Didn't he?" The old engine sighed, not sure how to explain. "Well... He wants to prove himself, I suppose." "I think he's pushing himself too much, if you ask me," said Rheneas firmly, "I'm all for improving but there's a limit somewhere." "He has a habit of being out of control," agreed Skarloey, "But I don't think that justifies Rusty's behavior towards him." "He's not still shoving him away, is he?" Paxton asked worriedly. "I'm afraid to say that he is. I just want to help but he wouldn't listen to me!" "I think the only way to talk to Rusty about this is if Thumper did something that changed his mind," suggested Rheneas. "But what?" asked Paxton. As the trio were discussing Thumper and Rusty's problem, Thumper's arms dug into the rock as quickly as he could. He felt tired and desperately wanted to take a break, but he didn't want to disappoint anyone and struggled on. "Come on, come on," he panted as his arms loosened the rock, "Just a few more minutes..." Rusty was scurrying along the line, humming to himself. Thumper looked up as he heard a small rumbling sound. "Uh oh... That doesn't sound good." Suddenly a small rock hit him on the cab. "Ouch!" he cried out as he quickly reversed away from the quarry wall. "What's going on?" asked Ivo Hugh as he puffed up to the quarry machine. "I think there's a rockslide, though not many rocks have come down yet. But be careful, just in case." "Wait, but isn't Rusty coming down the line with some empties?" Ivo Hugh said hastily.

Just as he said this, Rusty's horn blasted, signaling that he was nearby. Thumper gasped. "Oh no!" A few more small rocks fell to the ground, and some dust coated the rails. "H-how do we stop him?!" Ivo Hugh whispered. "H-how do we stop him?!" Ivo Hugh whispered. "Don't worry, I have this." Thumper replied as he trundled back to the rails. Ivo Hugh stared with shock as the orange machine's treads landed on the rails. He glanced back, noticing a little orange Diesel head towards him. Rheneas was horrified as he noticed Thumper on the rails. "What on Earth is Thumper doing?!" he exclaimed, cutting off Paxton. "What?" "There! Rusty's coming through and he's just sitting there!" "Get out of there, Thumper!" ordered Skarloey, "You'll get crushed!" Thumper didn't listen as he trundled forward. Rusty gasped when he noticed the looming shape in the distance. "Thumper!? Move out of the way! Stop getting in the way of the work here!" But Thumper was firm in his decision. "You'll have to brake!" Thumper replied. Rusty scowled as his driver applied the brakes. Sparks flew as Rusty desperately came to a halt, just in time. "What's the meaning of this? You can't just-" Suddenly a stone bounced off of Rusty. "What the-" "Get out of here! Now!" Thumper cried as he raced backwards and biffed Rusty so he was out of the way of the rockslide. "Rockslide, Thumper, rockslide!" shouted Luke as he ground to a halt, "You have to get out of there too!" But there wasn't any time as a large rock smashed into Thumper's arms. Then another fell onto onto his cab. "Oh no..." whispered Rusty to himself as rocks tumbled down onto Thumper. The other engines watched, helpless, as dust covered the area.

At last, after what seemed like hours, the rocks stopped falling. Owen and Merrick coughed as the dust started to clear. "What was all that about?" asked Owen, coughing slightly. Nobody said a word. "Um... So nobody's going to answer my question?" "Don't bother," replied Merrick. When the dust cleared entirely, everyone gasped to find Thumper was nowhere to be seen; he had been buried under the rocks completely. At last Skarloey broke the silence. "Rusty, get the Breakdown Train and supplies! Now!" he ordered sternly. Rusty gulped. "Y-yes, S-skarloey." he stuttered and he quickly reversed out of the quarry. "Paxton, go find a shovel to clear the rocks," Skarloey cried. "Yes Skarloey! Right away, Skarloey!" spluttered Paxton as he scurried away. Marion the Steam Shovel was surveying a large rock beside the line. "Wow, this rock looks amazing! All those swirls, the random black dots... Oh, this would be brilliant for my rock collection!" "Who are you talking to?" asked Paxton as he rolled up. "Oh, uh... Nobody?" Paxton blinked.

By the time Rusty had come back, workmen were desperately tossing aside rocks to get Thumper out of the rockslide. "Come on gang, we can do- Oh, thank goodness you're back Rusty. We need your help." said the foreman. "Right away sir," cried Rusty. Just then, a loud whistle blew. "Who's that?" asked Ivo Hugh in surprise as Paxton scurried in. "Everyone, meet Marion! The steam shovel!" smiled the friendly diesel. Marion gasped. "Oh goodness gracious me! Little engines! Well, you're not that little, but wow! What do you need me to dig? I love digging! We-" "I hope you don't mind me interrupting, Marion, but we're in the middle of an emergency..." Rheneas said with urgency. "Oh, sorry, dear... engine. I get excited about random things. It's my 'quirk'. What's the emergency?" "That rockslide over there is containing one of our friends. We'd appreciate if you helped us clear it up," said Skarloey. "Of course! Hello little friend who is stuck in some rocks! I will help you!" Marion cried with glee. Skarloey and Rheneas sighed. Soon the engines were working together to clear up the mess. Stone was shoveled by Marion into trucks and the others took the rubble away. Thumper coughed as Marion shoveled some rocks off of him. "Oooh... Everything hurts..." "Hello friend!" smiled Marion, "I'm Marion, your rescuer!" Thumper coughed again before replying. "Thank you Marion..." "Don't just thank Marion," said Luke, "Rusty helped too. He got the Breakdown Train and the supplies so workmen could help get you out." Thumper was shocked. "He did that...?" "Yes, indeed. I think he's beginning to understand you don't mean any harm," Luke responded. Thumper smiled.

At last, the messed was cleared up. Since Paxton still had to go Brendam Docks with some stone, Molly backed onto the flatbed containing Thumper, so he could be fixed. "You poor, poor thing," Molly said sympathetically, "I can't imagine what it must be like to be pummeled with rocks like that!" Paxton gulped as he rushed away. "Oh, it wasn't that bad... Actually it was... Everything still hurts..." groaned Thumper. Molly winced. "Oh my... Well, let's get you fixed-" "Wait!" "Huh?" Rusty rolled up beside Thumper. The quarry machine noticed that Rusty looked fairly guilty. "Thumper, before you leave to get fixed... I'm sorry. What you did back there was amazing! You saved me after me being so rude to you! Why?" "Well, I couldn't let you be in this position," said Thumper. Rusty smiled. "You may have caused a boulder to rush around the railway, but that was an accident. Besides, this incident might've been avoided if I was nicer to you... Can we... start over?" the little Diesel asked. Thumper grinned. "Of course, Rusty! From now on, let's put the past behind us and look towards the future." "Right!" Molly smiled as she started to puff away. "Brings a tear to my eye every time," sniffed Marion. Owen and Merrick winked at each other. Skarloey and Luke puffed up to Rusty, one on each side. "It's good to see you and Thumper on good terms," Luke said happily. Rusty chuckled "I suppose so." "You did the right thing, Rusty," smiled Skarloey, "Now come on, we've got more stone to collect." Rusty beamed as he looked at his old friend. "Right, Skarloey." The engines blew their whistles and horns as they returned to work. From that day onward, Thumper and Rusty were the best of friends, and know when to let go of mistakes.


  • Molly
  • Porter
  • Marion
  • Salty
  • Paxton
  • Skarloey
  • Rheneas
  • Sir Handel
  • Rusty
  • Ivo Hugh
  • Luke
  • Paul
  • Cranky
  • Thumper
  • Owen
  • Merrick


  • Brendam Docks
  • Blue Mountain Quarry
  • Boulder Quarry (mentioned)
  • The Wharf (mentioned)


  • References to the fifth season episode Rusty and the Boulder are made.
  • In the original script, Duncan was originally going to take Paul's role, and Ivo Hugh's role was originally planned for Peter Sam.
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