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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Unaired Pilot, the Buzz Book, the magazine story, the German DVD or the Philippine DVD.

“Down a mine, is he? Ha, ha, ha! What a joke!”

Down the Mine is the twenty-fifth episode of the first series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Gordon the Big Engine.


One day while Thomas is waiting at Lower Tidmouth, Gordon, who is in disgrace after recently causing trouble by falling into a ditch, pulls in with some trucks. As soon as Gordon stops, Thomas jokes about him smelling of ditch water. Before Gordon can respond, Thomas leaves with his coaches.

Annie and Clarabel are shocked at Thomas' rudeness and scold him for it. Thomas is pleased with his clever joke though and heads off to collect trucks at the lead mines, leaving his coaches still in shock. The mine was made a long time ago by miners who dug tunnels under the ground; the roofs of the tunnels are strong enough to hold up the weight of trucks, but not engines. At the points, there is a "Danger" board warning engines not to enter the area.

Thomas has often tried to pass the board, but has always failed. This time however, he has made a plan. When his fireman leaves the cab to change the points, Thomas bumps the trucks hard and knocks his driver off the footplate allowing him to pass the board. Then he moves over the unsafe rails, which collapse and leave him lodged in a small chasm and feeling very silly.

Then the Fat Controller arrives, having seen everything. After telling Thomas off for his naughtiness, he begins to think about how to get Thomas out. A crane would be too heavy for the ground to support, so he decides to call in Gordon to pull Thomas out. Thomas feels uneasy about this, given how much he laughed at Gordon for his own accident.

Shortly after hearing about Thomas' situation after, Gordon heads to the rescue laughing. Arriving at the scene with a winch attached to his buffer beam, Gordon promises to have Thomas out in no time. A long cable is fastened between them and after a lot of hard work and pulling, Gordon is able to finally free Thomas from the chasm. Thomas apologizes to Gordon for his cheekiness earlier. Gordon accepts Thomas' apology but admits to him that hearing of the accident made him laugh. Now both engines are in disgrace, so they agree to form an alliance and help each other in the future. With that, the two engines are coupled together and head back to the sheds.




  • The events of this episode directly continue into the fourth series episode, Paint Pots and Queens.
  • The events of this episode are also mentioned by Thomas in the second series episode, Percy Takes the Plunge, James in Journey Beyond Sodor, Diesel in Big World! Big Adventures! during the song Where in the World is Thomas? and Thomas again in the twenty-third series episode, Deep Trouble.
  • Furthermore, there is a full-on flashback to this episode in Blue Mountain Mystery. The scene where Thomas falls down the mine was recreated in full CGI. In the flashback, he frantically tries to reverse out of the chasm after falling in, which did not happen in the episode.
  • Stock footage from Thomas and the Guard and Thomas and Bertie is used as well as alternate footage from the latter.
  • When originally broadcast in the United Kingdom in January 1985, it was paired with Off the Rails. Early VHS releases instead pair it with Thomas' Christmas Party, as do Norwegian and Swedish broadcasts.
  • Some of the trucks at the mine have "N.E." written on their sides, which is likely a reference to the livery worn by LNER rolling stock (including locomotives) during World War II.
  • The buffers on the truck Thomas bumps into are lowered specifically so that Thomas can hit them properly.
  • According to Britt Allcroft, this episode and the third series episode, All at Sea are her favourites.
  • In the Welsh version, Thomas is not seen bumping the trucks.
  • The Korean title of this episode shares the same name as Thomas and Gordon.
  • This is one of the few times in the classic series where the Fat Controller is referred to as Sir Topham Hatt in the Latin American Spanish dub.
  • Pictures of this episode were used for the end credits section of Mister Moose's Fun Time and for Storytime with Thomas.
  • This episode marks the first time a danger sign is used. Coincidentally, the one shown in this episode would later appear in the second series episode Percy Takes the Plunge, where Thomas references the events of this episode.
  • Roland Rat introduced this episode alongside Off the Rails when the pairing was first aired in 1985. On its airing in December 1985, the episode was introduced by Rod Hull and Emu on 20th December 1985 individually before the airing of Thomas’ Christmas Party just four days later.


  • At the beginning of the episode, the narrator refers to Lower Tidmouth as "the junction."
  • When Thomas shunts Annie and Clarabel, his eyes are wonky and Annie and Clarabel are missing their names.
  • In the reused footage from the unaired pilot:
    • The lining on Thomas' cab and splashers are missing.
    • Thomas is also missing his lamp irons.
    • Smoke can be seen coming out of Thomas' eyes due to the model's performance.
  • After the fireman goes to turn the points, he disappears in the next shot.
  • In the close-up of the danger sign, it says "Engines must not pass this board," but when Thomas passes the sign, it says "Engines must not pass this point" instead.
  • The Fat Controller is smiling when he scolds Thomas.
  • When the narrator says "But [Thomas] didn't want to meet Gordon just yet," a small piece of hair can be seen on the left side of Thomas' smokebox.
  • Thomas' side rods are in different positions before and after he is pulled out of the mine.
  • When Gordon and Thomas leave the mine, Thomas' wheels drag along the line for a few seconds before he blows his whistle.

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Albanian Poshtë në miniërë
Brazilian Portuguese Rumo à Mina
Chinese Mandarin 去矿山
Croatian Rudnik
Czech V Dole
Danish Ned i Minen
Dutch De Mijn In
Finnish Kaivoksilla
French Dans la Mine
German In der Mine
Hebrew המכרה
Hungarian A Bánya
Italian La Locomotiva Sprofondata
Japanese あなにおちたトーマス
Korean 토마스와 고든
Latin American Spanish En la Mina
Norwegian Nede i Gruva
Polish W Kopalni
Romanian În Mină
Romansh Giu en la mina
Russian Паровоз провалился
Serbian U Rudniku
Slovak Dolú v Bání
Slovenian Padec v Rudnik
Swedish Ner i Gruvan
Ukrainian Глибоко у шахті
Welsh Lawr y Pwll



  • Tales from the Past Engines Pack (discontinued)


Home Media Releases


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  • Coal and other stories
  • The Complete Series 1

DVD Boxsets











DVD Boxsets






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  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4