Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Main Page

This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the trucks or the magazine story.

“I don't want to hear the Flatbeds of Fear, I don't want to hear the Flatbeds of Fear.”

Flatbeds of Fear is the third episode of the eighteenth series.


It is a very misty day on Sodor and Thomas is at the docks to collect a flatbed of pipes. While they are being unloaded, Thomas hears an eerie whistling noise. Salty tells Thomas that the noise is "the Flatbeds of Fear." Salty explains that, long ago, some flatbeds broke away from an engine on a hill and, to this day, they roll the island whistling and wailing, looking for an engine to couple up to.

Soon, Thomas is puffing through the countryside with his flatbed of pipes when he suddenly hears the spooky noise again. Thomas looks around, but he cannot see anything that could have made such a strange whistling sound.

Henry and Emily are at the shunting yard when Thomas arrives with his flatbed. Thomas tells the two engines all about the Flatbeds of Fear and that he has heard them. Emily thinks this is ridiculous and is sure there is a sensible explanation, but Henry is worried.

The next morning, Henry is sent to collect the pipes from the shunting yard and take them to Vicarstown. On his way to the yard, Henry gets a fright when he hears a loud noise. Fortunately, he realises it is just a cow in the field. Then, as Henry passes through Wellsworth, he hears another loud noise. He thinks it is the Flatbeds of Fear, but notices that it is just the stationmaster blowing his whistle.

It is not long before Henry has collected the flatbeds of pipes and is on his way to Vicarstown. During the journey, Henry hears the ghostly whistling. He is terrified and slows right down. Thinking something is wrong, the driver pulls Henry onto a siding. Once on the siding, Henry refuses to budge.

Emily is called to take over Henry's train. She thinks Henry is being very silly, but he insists that he actually heard the Flatbeds of Fear. Emily is still convinced there is a sensible explanation as she is coupled to flatbeds of pipes.

As Emily puffs along, she hears the eerie noise herself. She thinks it is Thomas playing a trick on her at first, but when she realises Thomas is not there, she speeds off as fast as she can. Now thinking the Flatbeds of Fear are real, Emily goes faster and faster to escape them. She goes round a bend much too fast and the pipes topple off the flatbeds. She even lifts partially off the tracks as well. Rocky is called to put the pipes back on the flatbeds.

Meanwhile, Thomas arrives at the docks as Cranky is unloading more pipes for him. As Thomas is waiting for Cranky to load the pipes, he hears the spooky noise again. Thomas thinks it is the Flatbeds of Fear again until Cranky tells him it is just the wind whistling through the pipes he is loading. Thomas is not very happy with Salty, who admits he had just been teasing.

That night, Emily arrives back at the sheds very late. She admits that the Flatbeds of Fear are real. Thomas tells her that she had been right all along, there was a sensible explanation. Emily feels very foolish and abashed when she is told it was just the wind whistling through the pipes. After that, no-one ever mentions the Flatbeds of Fear again - except Salty who tells the story to a very worried looking Bill and Ben. As Emily jokingly tells him to stop telling made-up stories as she enters the docks with Henry and Thomas, the Flatbeds themselves roll away from behind Bill and Ben.





US and CAN


  • An instrumental version of Emily's theme by Robert Hartshorne is heard.
  • The whistling pipes make different sounds in both narrations.
  • Stanley is the old engine pulling the flatbeds of pipes.
  • The events of this episode were mentioned by Thomas in the nineteenth series episode, Salty All at Sea.
  • 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.


  • The narrator says, "But it was just the stationmaster blowing his whistle," but it is the guard who is supposed to blow the whistle.
  • When Emily tries to stop, her leading and trailing wheels spark, but they are not fitted with brakes.
  • Some descriptions claim Salty is the one who was scared by the noises.


Emily: You are being very silly, Henry. There really are no such things as the "flatbeds of fear".

Henry: But there are. I heard them.

Emily: Nonsense. What did you actually hear?

Henry: (whistles) I heard a whistling and a wailing sound, just like Thomas said.

Emily: Oh. Well, I still think there must be a sensible explanation.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Plataformas do Medo
Czech Plošiny strachu
Danish Frygtens ladvogne
Dutch De Duistere Diepladers
French Un Bruit dans le Brouillard
Hungarian A szellemkoscik
Indonesian Gerbong Datar Menakutkan
Italian Pericolo sui Binari
Japanese きょうふのかしゃのおと
Korean 공포의 짐차들
Latin American Spanish Plataformas de Miedo
Lithuanian Baimės platformos
Norwegian Fryktelige flatvogner
Polish Wagony Strachu
Portuguese As horas de medo
Romanian Platformele spaimei
Russian Платформы страха
Spanish Las Plataformas del Pánico
Taiwanese Mandarin 恐怖平板車
Ukrainian Платформи Страху
Vietnamese Toa San Phẳng Đáng Sợ

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs


  • Trouble on the Tracks (Direct-to-Home Video)
  • Season 18


  • Trouble on the Tracks