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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Railway Series book, the My First Thomas book, the Buzz Book, the Malaysian DVD, or the Philippine DVD.

“I'll do it! I'll do it! I've done it!”
―Skarloey successfully reaches Crovan's Gate

Four Little Engines is the fifth episode of the fourth series. It is based on the stories Skarloey Remembers and Old Faithful from The Railway Series book of the same name.


Edward is on his way to the Works to be mended when he meets a narrow gauge engine called Skarloey who is pleased to meet the blue engine and resting in a shed but is also lonely as his friend Rheneas is being mended and wishes he also could be mended and pull coaches. The two talk for a while until some workmen come to take Edward, who says goodbye and compliments Skarloey's railway before leaving.

Meanwhile, Sir Handel is having issues with some coaches. His punishment has ended and he is trying to be kind to some coaches he is pulling but they refuse to trust him and become awkward and rude. When he has to stop due to a flock of careless sheep straying on the tracks, the coaches angrily think that he deliberately bumped them, so they lurch into Sir Handel and bump him off the rails. Disaster does not strike and no one is hurt, but Sir Handel sadly limps home. With no engine to take the passengers home, Skarloey volunteers and goes to fetch the coaches.

When Skarloey arrives at Crovan's Gate, he scolds the coaches for their behaviour and how they could have hurt their passengers. The coaches apologise and as soon as the guard blows his whistle, Skarloey's journey begins. Skarloey stops at every station making good time until they get to a hill. His driver encourages him to take his time, while Skarloey thinks it will be easy when they go down, but it is not; his springs become weak from age and the rail joints jolt his wheels. But as soon as they come down the hill one of his springs become completely broken, tilting him on one side. His driver says they need a bus to take the passengers, but Skarloey refuses the idea as he is determined to get them back to the last station.

Later, James waits impatiently at Crovan's Gate but Skarloey makes it on time. The former collects the passengers and takes them home. Everyone is pleased, but Skarloey worriedly reflects afterwards that he is in no state to pull trains, but is delighted when his driver tells him he will be mended and that he deserves it.




  • Despite being the fifth episode of the fourth series, this episode actually takes place after the events of A Bad Day for Sir Handel and Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady.
  • This episode marks the last time that Sir Handel and Peter Sam's original names, Falcon and Stuart are mentioned.
  • This is the only episode of a few things:
    • The only episode in the entire series named after a Railway Series book, as opposed to one of its individual stories. It is also one of a handful of episodes adapted from two Railway Series stories.
    • The only episode from the first four series not released on home video in the UK during Wilbert Awdry's lifetime.
    • The only classic episode to surface on DVD in the UK as an unremastered variation. The Cartoon Network version of this episode was included on Truck Loads of Fun in 2001.
  • James has a higher-pitched version of Duck's whistle sound for the rest of the series, excluding Bowled Out where he regains his original whistle sound and some parts of the next.
  • This is the first episode in which:
  • This episode was not released on DVD in the US.


  • When Edward passes Skarloey, some of his wheels are not moving.
  • Sir Handel has Rheneas' whistle sound.
  • When Thomas passes by during Skarloey and Edward's conversation, Thomas' whistle is cut when he blows it.
  • In the Crovan's Gate scene, Thomas has James' whistle sound and Annie is facing the wrong way.
  • After Skarloey leaves Crovan's Gate, the coaches lose their faces.
  • When Skarloey says, "It'll be better downhill," the stripe on his tank is crooked.
  • Skarloey becomes crooked before the spring breaks.
  • In a rare still, there are four coaches behind Sir Handel instead of three when he is bumped off the rails.
  • In a rare still, red and black wires are seen underneath Sir Handel's cab.
  • The front coach on Skarloey's train is swapped with another, as the bufferbeam is lower when being coupled.
  • When the narrator says "The coaches stood at the platform," Duck and his train are not in the background.


Edward: It's Skarloey. What's he doing here?
Skarloey: I've been sent here for a rest. I was put in this shed so that I could see everything and not be lonely, but I do miss Rheneas. He's going to be mended. I wish I could be mended too, and pull coaches again.
Workmen: We're going to take you to the works now, Edward. Come along.
Edward: Goodbye, Skarloey! Your railway is a lovely line!
Skarloey: Oh, it is! It is! You've cheered me up, Edward! Goodbye!

[after Sir Handel stops due to sheep on the tracks]

Coaches: US: He's bumped us! Let's get back at him! / UK: He's bumped us! Let's pay him out!
[they lurch into Sir Handel and push him off the rails, but nothing else happens; cut to the sheds later, Sir Handel sadly limps back to the sheds for a rest]
Sir Handel's Driver: No more work for you, today. How are we going to pull the visitors' train without an engine?
Skarloey: What about me, sir?
Sir Handel's Driver: Skarloey, can you do it?
Skarloey: I'll try.

Skarloey: I'm ashamed of you. You might have hurt your passengers.
Coaches: We're sorry, Skarloey.

[Skarloey and his train approach a hill, but the journey gets tricky]
Skarloey's Driver: Take your time.
Skarloey: It'll be better down hill.
[a spring breaks and gives way, tilting him crooked on one side]
Skarloey: I feel all crooked!
Skarloey's Driver: [sighs] We'll need a bus now for our passengers.
Skarloey: [determined] No! I'll get them to the station or burst!

Skarloey: [after reaching the station] Old engines can't pull trains like the young ones can.
Driver: They can if they're mended, old faithful, and that's what's going to happen to you. You deserve it!


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese 四小火车
Czech Čtyři Malé Mašinky
Danish Fire Små Lokomotiver
Dutch Vier Kleine Locomotiefjes
Finnish Neljä Pientä Veturia
German Vier kleine Lokomotiven
Greek Τέσσερα μικρά ατμομηχανές
Hungarian Négy Kicsi Mozdony
Italian Quattro Piccole Locomotive
Japanese がんばりやのスカーロイ
Norwegian Fire Små Lokomotiv
Polish Cztery Małe Lokomotywy
Romanian Patru Locomtive Micuţe
Russian Четыре маленьких паровозика
Slovak Štyri Malé Lokomotívy
Slovenian Štirje Lokomotivčki
Spanish Cuatro Locomotoras
Swedish Fyra Små Lokomotiv
Thai สกาโลอี้หัวรถจักรผู้มุ่งมั่น
Ukrainian Чотири Паровозики
Welsh Pedair Injan Fechan

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