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“Well Thomas, I must admit that for once my mother was right! White really does reflect the sun and keep things cool.
Just like your smart new safari hat!
It is NOT a safari hat!
So when are you going off to the jungle, Sir?”
―The Fat Controller, Thomas and Toby

Buckled Tracks and Bumpy Trucks, retitled Buckled Tracks and Bumpy Cars in North American releases, is the seventeenth episode of the twentieth series.


It is a very hot summer on Sodor, which is causing many problems for the engines. Belle and Flynn are kept especially busy as many of the bushes are so dry they end up catching fire. As they travel down the line, they notice that the tracks have become slightly warped in the heat. Flynn proposes they cool the rails down with water, but as Flynn has no water left in his tanks and Belle wishes to save hers in case of another fire, they are forced to leave the rails alone.

The Fat Controller has also been feeling the effects of the heat and later that day, Dowager Hatt arrives at Knapford Station aboard Thomas to deliver a present for him, in the form of a white safari-style hat, which will reflect the sun's rays rather than absorb the heat like his black top hat would. The Fat Controller felt embarrassed with the white hat, especially when Thomas and some passengers laugh at him, but reluctantly agrees to wear it.

"Topham, don't even think about leaving without your hat!"

Meanwhile, the heat continues to warp the tracks, making them bumpier. As Whiff crosses over them, a glass bottle is knocked off his truck, which causes the nearby grass to catch fire. The Fat Controller is soon alerted to the state of the tracks and heads off to investigate. He attempts to dispose of his white hat on the way there, to no avail.

At the same time, news of the fire reaches the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre and Flynn and Belle rush off to tackle it. Unfortunately, before they can reach it, Belle derails on the buckled tracks. She urges Flynn to tackle the fire himself before it spreads, which he does so once he switches to his road wheels. Thomas later brings Rocky to lift Belle back onto the rails just as the Fat Controller arrives. When Thomas learns that his white hat has kept him cool, he proposes that, if the rails were painted white too, they would not bend.

The Fat Controller approves of the idea and soon the tracks are repainted in white as the day draws to a close. Despite this, the Fat Controller's white hat is still laughed at, much to his annoyance. He throws his safari hat to a nearby goat, only to find out that the goat did not like it and threw it back at him, giving him more embarrassment as the others start laughing.





US and CAN

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Kerry Shale as Gordon
  • William Hope as Toby, Whiff and Rocky
  • Teresa Gallagher as Belle and Some Passengers
  • Rob Rackstraw as Flynn
  • Maggie Ollerenshaw as Henrietta
  • Keith Wickham as Sir Topham Hatt, Dowager Hatt, the Porter and Some Passengers


  • Going by production order, this is the twenty-fifth episode of the twentieth series.
  • Portraits of Thomas from Creaky Cranky and Victor from Percy's Parcel are seen in the Fat Controller's Office.
  • The branch line which the tracks bend from the heat is the same line which suffered the same problem in Thomas Gets Bumped that the Fat Controller addresses.
  • Tracks being painted white to counter the heat has been done on a real railway after the heat caused issues for said railway.[1]
  • This episode marked the only appearances of four things in the twentieth series:
    • Flynn's only appearance in the twentieth series.
    • Belle and Rocky's only speaking roles in the twentieth series.
    • The first and only time Belle derails and/or gets in an accident.
    • The only episode of the twentieth series to have a different title in both the UK and US.
  • The Fat Controller would later wear the safari hat once more in Big World! Big Adventures!, during his find for Thomas.
  • The goat eating the Fat Controller's safari hat is most likely a reference to the first series episode Edward, Gordon and Henry and the fifth series episode, Baa!


  • Jam Filled is credited for producing this episode despite not producing it.
  • In the UK dub, when Belle and Flynn say "We will," the end of Belle's line is cut off.
  • When Belle derails, her trailing wheels also derail, but are on the rails in the next scene.
  • In the UK credits sequence of the episode, the word "storyboard" is misspelled as soryboard in the Storyboard Artist credits.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Trilhos Tortos e Vagões Instáveis
Czech Zlomené koleje a drncající vozy
Dutch Hete Hobbels en Hippe Hoeden
French Les rails en accordéon
Hebrew יורדים מהפסים
Hungarian Kanyargós pályák és döccenő kocsik
Indonesian Rel Bengkok dan Bergelombang
Italian Cappello da Safari
Japanese やくにたつしろいぼうし
Korean 삐뚤빼뚤 울퉁불퉁 철로
Latin American Spanish Vías Torcidas y Baches
Polish Wygięte Tory i Skaczące Parowozy
Romanian Şine Dilatate şi Vagoane Săltăreţe
Russian Сюрпризы погоды
Serbian Iskrivljene šine
Slovenian Vroče kot v peklu
Turkish Yamuk Yollar ve Sarsıntılı Vagonlar

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