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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story and UK VHS.
“Trevor and I are old friends, and you and he have a lot in common, too."
"We do, and what would that be?"
”Don’t mention that word! It makes my wheels wobble!”
―Edward and Douglas

Escape is the twenty-first episode of the third series. It is based on the stories Escape and Little Western from The Railway Series book, Enterprising Engines.


One day, Edward is talking to Trevor, when Douglas steams past and scolds Edward for talking instead of working. Later, Edward meets Douglas again and reminds him that both he and Trevor have a lot in common, such as nearly being scrapped. The mere mention of the word "scrap" makes Douglas shudder. Edward continues, explaining how Trevor is now really useful, but thinks that the railway could use another steam engine, to which Douglas agrees.

Later that night, Douglas has taken a goods train to a faraway part of the Island where only the diesels work. He is shunting for his return journey when he hears a hiss of steam. He pauses, and hears the hiss again. A voice comes from nearby, asking if he belongs to the Fat Controller. The engine reveals himself as Oliver, who has run away from being scrapped with his brake van Toad, but has run out of coal. Douglas is still nervous at hearing the word "scrap," but then remembers Edward's story about Trevor. Douglas' crew work hard to rescue Oliver and Toad. Douglas begins the journey by running tender-first of bringing the two to the Fat Controller's railway. Just before they clear the station, a foreman and his watchdog stops them. Douglas' driver explains that Oliver and Toad belong to them, and although wary at first, the foreman lets them continue. It is daylight when they finally arrive. Douglas' driver finds a place at the works for Oliver, who thanks them all.

The next day, Douglas tells the engines all about Oliver, who think Douglas should tell the Fat Controller at once, just as he arrives. He explains that unless a steam engine is saved from scrap, there is little hope to find one. Luckily, the Fat Controller already knows about Oliver and decides that he will work on Duck's branch line.

Oliver and Toad are restored, and painted in Great Western colours. The other engines laugh and call the branch line "The Little Western" at first, but it delights Duck and Oliver.




  • This is the first episode where Douglas appears without Donald.
  • In some of the early versions, the title has an added exclamation mark.
  • In the restored version, the scene of Duck passing Oliver and Toad is extended making a few seconds of the beginning of the last scene cut off.
  • This is the last episode where a driver's face without eyebrows is seen until A Better View for Gordon.
  • The works set is the Ffarquhar Sheds set redressed.
  • The Other Railway is Tidmouth station redressed.
  • A reference to the second series episode, Saved from Scrap is made.
  • This episode and the next episode feature musical variations on the theme from the 1963 film The Great Escape.
  • This episode was reran back to back with Diesel Does it Again on Storytime with Thomas.
  • A three berth garage, a large brown building, and the steel company from TUGS appear in the episode.
  • This is the first and only episode where Edward's angry face gains some teeth.


  • At the beginning of the episode, Edward's whistle is severely crooked.
  • When Edward goes to confront Douglas, Edward and Percy's brakevans are missing.
  • When Edward confronts Douglas, a small hair can be seen above Edward's left eye (viewer perspective).
  • Throughout the episode, Douglas has Donald's whistle sound and Thomas and Edward have the same one.
  • When Douglas reverses into the sheds, Henry's eyes are wonky.
  • When Douglas arrives on the Other Railway, Mavis is derailed.
  • In the unrestored version, in the shot of Toad near the end, he appears to have a slight bump at the back of his roof.
  • When Oliver introduces himself, the word "SCRAP" is already painted on the side of his water tanks, even before Douglas tells the drivers and firemen to do so.
  • When Douglas' point-of-view is shown of him backing away from his trucks before he finds Oliver, the track in front of him is crooked.
  • In every scene in the scrapyard, the diesels keep changing places.
  • In the scene that the foreman looks all over Oliver, there are patches of green on the spokes of Oliver's wheels.
  • For most of the episode, Douglas' nameplates are loose.
  • In the Latin American version, when the line "I'm Oliver, and I'm with my brake van Toad. We've run out of coal and have no more steam!" is spoken, it was mistakenly said in plural when in fact Toad cannot run out of coal, nor is he able to produce steam since he is a brake van and not an engine.
  • George Carlin gives Douglas' driver a Scottish accent when he speaks to the foreman, but when they all arrive at the Works, he loses his accent.
  • When the narrator says that all the engines whistled and cheered after they heard the good news, Thomas is not whistling.
  • Duck's face is crooked when he puffs by Oliver with the express coaches.


Douglas: Come on, Edward. Stop gossiping in the sun when there's work to be done.
Edward: Trevor and I are old friends, and you and he have a lot in common too.
Douglas: Aye, and what would that be?
Edward: Scrap.
Douglas: Don't mention that word! It makes my wheels wobble!
Edward: It does the same to Trevor. He was being sent to the scrap yard, but the vicar and I saved him, and now, he's really useful again. Even so, the Fat Controller certainly does need another steam engine here.
Douglas: Aye, he does. And quickly!
Douglas: That sounds like a steam engine. [hearing the hiss carefully] Who's there? [hears a whisper]
Voice: Are you a Fat Controller's engine?
Douglas: Aye, and proud of it.
Voice: I'm Oliver and I'm with my break van, Toad, we've run out of coal and have no more steam.
Douglas: But what are you doing?
Oliver: Escaping?
Douglas: From what?
Oliver: Scrap.
Douglas: [shivers before remembering Edward's story about saving Trevor] I'll be glad to help you. It'll have to look those as you're ready for scrap and I'm taking you away.
[the drivers and firemen work fast]
Douglas: No time to turn round. I'll run tender first. Come on!
[a foreman catches Douglas escaping with Oliver and Toad]
Foreman: Aha! A Great Western engine, and a brake van, too. You can't take these!
Douglas: Aye! But they're all for us. See for yourself.
[the foreman looks all over Oliver]
Foreman: Seems in order. Right, away, guard!
Douglas: That was a near thing.
Oliver: We've had worse.
Douglas: We're home!
Driver: Shh! There are the works. We'll find a place for Oliver.
James: The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt would have to know.
Gordon: Douglas should tell him at once.
The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt: Well, here he is. Now what's this all about?
Duck: Beg pardon, sir, but we do need another engine.
Gordon: Yes sir. A steam engine, sir.
The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt: Well, unless one saved from scrap, there's little hope.
Douglas: But sir, one has!
The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt: Yes indeed. And thanks to you, Douglas, he is now at our works. Oliver is just what we need for Duck's branch line.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese 逃跑
Czech Utek
Danish Den store flugt
Dutch Ontsnapt
Finnish Pako
German Die Flucht
Greek Η απόδραση
Hungarian A Szöktetés
Italian Oliver
Japanese オリバーのだっしゅつ
Korean 그레이트 웨스턴 기관차
Norwegian Den store flukten
Polish Ucieczka
Romanian Evadarea
Russian Бегство
Serbian Beg
Slovak Útek
Slovenian Sreča v nesreči
Spanish El Escape
Swedish Den Stora Flykten
Thai หัวรถจักรเก่าเกือบถูกแยกชิ้นส่วน
Ukrainian Втеча

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DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets


DVD Boxsets

  • Complete Series 1-10
  • Classic Collection
  • Series Three and Series Four Double Pack







  • Edward, Trevor and the Useful Party











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