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“Go on, Douglas. You take the front of the train. Please?
"Alright. But only because you asked nicely, Emily."
"I said 'please'!"
"You didnae!"
"Well, I was thinkin' it!”
―Emily, Douglas and Donald

Emily in the Middle is the fifteenth episode of the twenty-first series.


Donald and Douglas are called to Brendam Docks to deliver a very long load of steel pipes to Vicarstown but begin arguing about pulling the long load, with Donald saying that they can pull it easily, whilst Douglas doubts that they could. As Thomas is leaving, he meets Emily, who is on her way to help the twins with the load. Thomas warns Emily about the twins' notorious behaviour of arguing with each other, to which she replies that she will be fine with. When Emily arrives and says that she will push the load from behind, Donald is more than happy to join her, whilst Douglas, not wanting to be left behind, agrees to come along and also to push from behind. Douglas bumps into Emily from behind before hooking up and together, the long train begins to leave the docks.

As they are puffing along, Douglas thanks Emily for helping them out and Emily mistakenly calls Douglas Donald, in which he corrects her, followed by what he can describe his twin. This makes Emily laugh, but as she laughs, her laughter echoes through the steel pipes, to Donald, who begins to overhear the conversation. As Douglas explains to Emily about Donald's accidents and with Emily laughing so hard about it, it makes Donald so cross that he stops the train. He tries to shout back that he is not going any further, but Douglas and Emily are so far behind that they cannot hear him, so Donald uncouples, puffs back along the train and tells Douglas about the conversation and laughter between him and Emily. He also says that it was so lonely at the front, that he now wants to swap places with Douglas. Emily happily agrees, so Douglas uncouples, but as the twins are backing up, Toby with some trucks comes from behind and seeing the two engines in his way, he diverts into a siding and crashes into the snow, causing him to have a snowy white beard. Donald and Douglas apologise to Toby, whilst Toby's driver helps to dig him out of the snow. When Douglas is going round to the front, a grumpy Gordon with his express has to stop, as the front of the steel pipe train is in the way of the express line at Suddery Junction.

As the long train comes to Gordon's Hill, Donald asks Emily of what Douglas has been telling her and she answers that it is more to do with the twins. Donald then tells her about Douglas' most recent accident, which makes Emily laugh so hard, that her laughter went through the pipes, to Douglas, who overhearing stops the train halfway up the hill, uncouples and goes back to tell Donald that they are swapping back. Emily thinks this is getting silly, as an argument then begins to mount. Donald is uncoupled, goes onto the other line and is chased up the hill by Douglas. But whilst the twins argue, Emily is left to hold the very long and heavy train, which was starting to push her back down the hill, despite her best efforts to stop it. As the twins begin bumping into each other, a lump of coal falls from Donald's tender and rolls down the hill, turning into a huge snowball. It is then that the twins realise about the runaway train with Emily at the end and see the snowball, that they stop arguing and begin to chase after them, but they're too late. Emily, trapped between holding back the heavy flatbeds and seeing the giant snowball heading on a collision course for her, can do little but brace herself for the impact, close her eyes, and cry out in fear. The giant snowball knocks Emily off the rails, however, she and her crew are unharmed, and when the twins arrive, they begin to argue over whose fault it is until Emily whistles loudly to stop the arguing. She tells them saying that she was trying to help them and if they can stop arguing for one minute, then they will know that she now really needs their help to get back on the rails.

Harvey then comes with some workmen to help Emily back on the tracks, just as the still snow bearded Toby, James and Gordon come by. Gordon sniffs and says that it was the twins' fault for the accident. The twins are about to blame each other when they finally come to even ground to blame themselves for what happened. At Vicarstown, as Thomas is leaving the station with some trucks, he sees Emily now in front, her sides covered in snow, pulling the long steel pipe train. Thomas asks Emily how she handled things with the twins. She answers that it is fine now and that she has learned in the future to never be in the middle of the twins whenever they start an argument. Far at the back, Donald and Douglas happily explained that they should have let Emily be in front and them be at the back in the first place, then they start to argue about their agreements.







  • The stories Donald and Douglas tell Emily are references to the second series episode, Break Van, the sixth series episode, Twin Trouble and the twentieth series episode, Love Me Tender.
  • This episode marks the third time in which an engine is hit by a snowball, the first being the eighth series episode, Percy's New Whistle and the second being the thirteenth series episode, Snow Tracks.
  • This episode marks Vicarstown Station's first appearance in an episode.
  • This episode marks Donald and Douglas' only speaking roles in the twenty-first series.
  • This episode features the largest amount of wagons in a single train, totalling twenty-five altogether.
  • At Brendam Docks, Carly is absent from her gantry rails and Big Mickey lacks his face, meaning that this episode likely takes place prior to Cranky at the End of the Line.
  • The title is read very late into the episode, with it being read twelve seconds in.
  • A shortened version of the episode, narrated by Joseph May as Thomas, can be found on the official YouTube channel and the Nick Jr website.


  • William Hope is credited in the UK end credits despite none of his characters speaking in that dub.
  • At Brendam Docks, there are a few goofs/animation errors with these being:
    • Cranky is missing from his usual spot until the last scene of Brendam Docks.
    • Big Mickey is missing his face, possibly due to the usage of his snow covered CG model.
    • The ships at Brendam Docks are floating above the waterline.
    • Just before leaving with the train, Donald's whistle emits steam but Emily's whistle sound is heard.
  • Douglas has Donald's whistle sound when he stops on the hill.
  • At multiple points during the episode, Donald and Douglas are not coupled to Emily.
  • After Emily derails, Donald and Douglas switch voices but switch back to their original ones afterwards.
  • At the docks and on Gordon's Hill, Donald and Douglas somehow turn around to face each other without a turntable.
  • When Donald stops the train, Douglas rolls back to ask what is wrong, but later, he appears to be uncoupled.
  • At the end of the episode when the twins start arguing again at Vicarstown, Caitlin is not emitting steam despite moving.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Emily no Meio
Japanese あいだにはいったエミリー
Polish Emilka Pośrodku
Romanian Emily la Mijloc
Spanish Emily Queda en Medio

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