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“Merry Christmas, Diesel!"
Merry Christmas, Thomas! Merry Christmas, everyone!”
―Thomas and Diesel

Diesel's Ghostly Christmas is a two-part episode making up the nineteenth and twentieth episodes of the nineteenth series. The individual episodes are titled Diesel's Ghostly Christmas Part 1 and Diesel's Ghostly Christmas Part 2 respectively.


Part 1

One day at Knapford Station, Thomas is preparing to take a group of singers to their rehearsal as well as take a goods train up to Ulfstead Castle for the Earl's Christmas lunch when the Fat Controller approaches him; he has got to be at Brendam Docks, but has twisted his ankle and cannot drive. Already busy with his current jobs, Thomas decides to ask one of his friends if they could take the Fat Controller to the Docks instead. He finds Diesel in the yard and asks him if he could do it, but Diesel says that he is busy and oils away. When Emily arrives, Thomas asks her instead, and she is more than happy to oblige.

At Brendam Docks, Cranky is swinging a large Christmas tree about and orders Salty to help, but as his fuel line is frozen, Salty cannot help. When Diesel arrives at the Docks, Cranky orders him to push the flatbed under him, but Diesel says that he is too busy. Salty's engine roars to life and he rushes over to Cranky, but the tree lands on top of him. Cranky scolds Diesel for not helping out, but Diesel simply dismisses it. Though Salty tries to tell Diesel that Christmas is a time for good will, Diesel scoffs at it. As Diesel leaves, Thomas also arrives at the Docks and glares at him.

When the tree is finally lifted onto a flatbed, Paxton arrives to take it to Ulfstead Castle, but has trouble trying to pull it. Thomas suggests that Diesel can help, but Diesel refuses to do so. When Paxton does set off at last, the chains holding the tree down weaken and snap, and the weight of the tree tipping over makes Paxton derail at a bend. Hours later, Diesel passes by, but refuses to help Paxton. Shortly after that, Thomas arrives, noticing that the tracks became damaged in the accident. He asks Paxton if that was Diesel who just passed by, which Paxton confirms. Thomas thinks of a plan to teach Diesel a lesson.

That night at the Dieselworks, the mist comes down. Diesel anxiously enters the workshop, when all of a sudden, lights come on, and Emily, hanging from chains and pretending to be 'E-Marley's Ghost,' appears, telling Diesel to stop being an unhelpful engine. She tells him that he will be visited by three more ghosts, and that he must go to the Docks, otherwise he will end up in "big trouble!" Diesel leaves the Dieselworks in fear, and Emily and Thomas laugh at the success of his plan.

When Diesel arrives at the Docks, he does not find the Fat Controller, but does hear a ghostly voice. He tries to get away, but is stopped by Salty, who is covered in a fishing net and surrounded by lights. Salty, pretending to be the 'Ghost of Christmas Past,' tells Diesel about many of his past mistakes, such as the time he pushed trucks of china clay into the sea, since he spilled milk all over the Fat Controller, and when he refused to help with the tree. Diesel - too scared to hear anymore - runs away, and Cranky and Salty laugh.

Part 2

Diesel soon stops close by to a bridge and reassures himself that he must have been hearing things, but becomes frightened when bright lights emerge from the bridge, followed by a ghostly voice. Paxton, covered in lanterns and speaking through pipes on a flatbed, introduces himself as the 'Ghost of Christmas Present,' but Diesel fearfully says that ghosts are not real, to which Paxton mutters [to the audience] that he must be good at pretending. He tells Diesel that he should be out enjoying the extra jobs at Christmas, but Diesel scoffs at this and asks why he should enjoy extra work. Paxton tells him to think of the happiness of others, but as he goes on about this, Diesel runs away. Diesel is so frightened that he does not notice the damaged bit of track, running over it and derailing. When Thomas passes by, Diesel begs him to help, but Thomas says that he is far too busy and he has more jobs to do.

The next morning at the waste dump, Thomas orders Whiff to have a pile of rubbish dumped on him. When the rubbish is poured over him, he returns to the scene of Diesel's accident and pretends to be the 'Ghost of Christmas Future,' telling him that if he does not help others, then they will stop helping him, and he will be left alone at the scene of his accident for the rest of his life. Thomas then leaves, leaving Diesel to feel very afraid.

At Ulfstead Castle, the Earl is preparing for the Christmas luncheon, watching as Percy, Emily and Paxton arrive with the presents, the choir and the food. However, the guests have still yet to arrive.

Meanwhile, Thomas returns to Diesel with Rocky to have him rerailed. When Diesel is lifted up into the air, he joyfully thanks Thomas and acts unusually charismatic and excited, promising to do whatever jobs need to be done. He offers to take Rocky back to the Search and Rescue Centre, which Thomas gladly lets him do as he is already late bringing the guests to the Castle.

At Knapford, Thomas arrives and takes the guests to Ulfstead Castle, but he forgets all about the Fat Controller. When he steps out of his office, the Fat Controller calls out to Thomas, but Thomas is too far away to hear him. Later on, Diesel arrives at Knapford, when he hears the Fat Controller moaning in pain, initially believing it to be another ghost. He spots the Fat Controller and asks him if he should have been at Ulfstead Castle, which the Fat Controller confirms, but he has no way of getting there. Diesel offers to take him to the Castle.

At Ulfstead Castle, Thomas arrives with the guests, but notices that the Fat Controller is not there. Diesel soon arrives with the Fat Controller, and the party begins. That night, Diesel, covered in Christmas lights, is overjoyed to see everybody so happy. Paxton quietly tells Thomas that his plan was a success; Diesel is now a very helpful engine. Diesel wishes everybody a Merry Christmas.


US Only

Part 1

Part 2


US Only

Part 1

Part 2



US and CAN

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • William Hope as Edward and Whiff
  • Jules de Jongh as Emily
  • Kerry Shale as Scruff and Diesel
  • Keith Wickham as Salty and Sir Topham Hatt
  • Steven Kynman as Paxton
  • Glenn Wrage as Cranky
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby
  • Teresa Gallagher as the Children
  • Maple House Players as the Choir


  • Going by production order, this episode makes up the eleventh and twelfth episodes of the nineteenth series.
  • The engines spooking Diesel is similar to how Percy spooked Thomas in the second series episode, Ghost Train. And how James spooked Stephen and Percy in the seventeenth series episode, The Phantom Express.
  • This is the second time Thomas scares Diesel. The first being the ninth series episode, Flour Power.
  • This episode is loosely based on Charles Dickens' novel, "A Christmas Carol" where Diesel is Ebenezer Scrooge. The others have altered roles in the story as well, with some of Dickens' parts written out:
    • Emily's role, "E-Marley," is a play on her name and the main character's late business partner, Jacob Marley, though unlike Emily, Marley was male.
    • Salty's role as the ghost of Christmas past was also altered, as - like Emily's role - the original character was the opposite gender.
    • Paxton, unlike the real ghost of Christmas present, stayed hidden, while the real one showed his face.
    • Thomas' disguise resembles a hood, and his role as the ghost of Christmas future is based on the very few interpretations that speak.
  • This is the first double-length episode of the television series, and the only double-length episode until the twenty-third series episode, Steam Team to the Rescue, though in that case in a slightly different format and separate from the regular-length episodes.
  • This is also the first episode where a story arc spans over more than one episode since the fifteenth series episodes, Gordon and Ferdinand, Toby and Bash and Emily and Dash.
  • This episode marks Scruff's final speaking role in an episode, with The Great Race being his final speaking role overall.
  • A recreated CGI flashback of the third series episode, Diesel Does it Again is used along with a flashback, or edited footage of the seventeenth series episode, No More Mr. Nice Engine, and references to both of them are made.
  • Paxton and Rocky both break the fourth wall.
  • When released on the US version Thomas' Christmas Carol DVD, "Diesel's Ghostly Christmas Part 1" and "Diesel's Ghostly Christmas Part 2" are both combined into one long episode, and retitled "Diesel's Ghostly Christmas". This combination is exclusive to the DVD and the US PBS broadcast. On the UK DVD, they are listed as a single episode but are still split in two. Both parts were also combined for the UK television broadcast on Milkshake with There's Snow Place Like Home being played before the main feature.
  • Paxton's "ow" after his crash is re-used from Blue Mountain Mystery.
  • In the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Baltic Russian and Vietnamese dubs, UK dub can be heard in the background as a dubbing track was not used.


  • Teresa Gallagher is not credited in the UK "Part 2" credits for voicing Emily.
  • In one shot, Thomas is pulling up to Salty, but in the next shot, he has already passed him.
  • Cranky says the chains are coming loose, but they are actually ropes.
  • Diesel's eyebrows are miscolored grey at the end of the fantasy sequence of what his future Christmases will be like, though this might be an intentional attempt to show ageing.
  • When Thomas backs away from Diesel, he moves slowly, but by the next two shots, has vanished fast.


  • Emily: I'm E-Marley's Ghost, and I am here to warn you to stop being such an unhelpful engine.
  • Emily: You shall be visited by three more ghosts before Christmas. Whoo...
  • Emily: The Fat Controller said he needs you to go to the docks tonight.
  • Emily: Or you'll be in big trouble!
  • Salty: Oh... I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.
  • Salty: You? Help Thomas? When was the last time you helped someone, Diesel? (Laughing) Let's go back and see, shall we? Woo... (Laughing)
  • Salty: You weren't helpful that time you pushed those trucks into the sea. And you weren't helpful when you spilt milk on the Fat Controller, either. And you definitely were not helpful when you refused to move the flatbed yesterday!
  • Salty: Poor ol' Salty.
  • Salty: Poor ol' Salty!
  • Paxton: I am the Ghost of Christmas Present.
  • Paxton: You shouldn't be hiding, Diesel. You should be out there enjoying all the extra jobs that Christmas brings.
  • Paxton: Because that's the way to make others happy of course! Close your eyes, Diesel and think...
  • Paxton: Think of the smiles on people's faces when they see the twinkling lights and sing Christmassy songs! And think of the laughter and fun as they open their presents! Whoa... And think of the shiny face of the Fat Controller as he eats Christmas pud... Diesel?
  • Thomas: Ooh... I am the Ghost of Christmas Future!
  • Thomas: If you think this is the worst Christmas, let me tell you what your future Christmases will be like if you don't start helping others.
  • Thomas: Others will stop helping you, and you'll be left alone...
  • Thomas: Alone forever!
  • Thomas: Forever!

Thomas, Emily, Salty and Paxton frighten Diesel by four more Ghosts before Christmas.

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Espiritos Natalinos à Diesel
Czech Dieselovy Duchařské Vánoce
Dutch Diesels Spookachtige Kerst
French Les Fantômes de Noël
Hungarian Diesel Szellemes Karácsonya
Italian Un Natale Fantasmagorico
Japanese ディーゼルのクリスマスキャロル
Korean 디젤과 크리스마스의 유령
Latin American Spanish La Navidad Fantasmal de Diesel
Norwegian Diesel sin Spøkelsesaktige Jul
Polish Świąteczne Duchy Diesela
Portuguese O Natal Fantasmagórico Do Diesel
Romanian Crăciunul cu fantome al lui Diesel
Russian Рождество с привидениям
Serbian Dizelov Božić sa Duhovima
Slovenian Dizlov Božič z Duhovi
Spanish Navidades Fantasmagóricas de Diesel
Ukrainian Химерне Різдво Дизеля

Home Media Releases



  • Thomas' Christmas Carol (Direct-to-Home Video; US)
  • Season 19


  • Thomas' Christmas Carol


  • Series 19 (digital download)