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“Express coming through!"
"But, that's my line!”
―Henry and Gordon

Henry Gets the Express is the third episode of the twentieth series.


One morning, Gordon is not ready to leave the sheds, as his firebox had not been cleaned out the previous night. Thomas tells Gordon not to be surprised if another engine replaces him for the express and suggests that Henry could do it based on his own experience. However, Gordon doubts that Henry would be capable of doing it, claiming that things have changed since the last time he pulled the express. When Henry becomes nervous, Thomas cheers him up, and the two engines leave the sheds.

Thomas brings the coaches to Knapford, where the Fat Controller is waiting for Gordon. Thomas tells him that Gordon is not ready yet and suggests that Henry fill in for him, to which the Fat Controller agrees, believing it will teach Gordon a lesson.

Later, Henry sets off with the express. At first, he is a little nervous but soon starts to enjoy himself. Meanwhile, Gordon finally has had his firebox cleaned out and arrives at the station to fetch his train, but finds the Fat Controller there instead. He explains that Henry had to take it and Gordon now has to pull Henry's goods for the rest of the day, to Gordon's disappointment.

Meanwhile, Henry is making good time with the express. His passengers and the railway staff are impressed by his affability. Gordon, on the other hand, is not enjoying his work, and grumpily arrives at Brendam Docks with his goods train, only to be given a train of coal as soon as he arrives. As Gordon is taking the coal train, he stops at a junction where Henry passes by with the express and becomes annoyed when Henry mimics him.

When Gordon returns to Knapford, he asks the Fat Controller if he can go back in pulling the express, but the Fat Controller says that he has to go to the Blue Mountain Quarry. Rheneas greets Gordon when he arrives at the quarry, but Gordon is still in a bad mood. As Gordon begins to leave, the trucks put on their brakes, and then release them, causing Gordon to jump the points and hit a buffer stop. Gordon is finally fed up with his work, and orders to be uncoupled at once so he can get back to his shed.

That night, Henry returns to the sheds and tells Gordon that he will be more than happy to let him pull the express again. Gordon begins to grumble about the work he had to do. The Fat Controller arrives at the sheds and scolds Gordon for not doing all of his jobs earlier that day. He then orders Gordon to pull the Flying Kipper as punishment and threatens to make Henry the permanent express engine if he refuses to do it. Henry and Thomas outsmart Gordon by claiming that the Flying Kipper is not an easy job, referencing the time when James had an accident with the flying kipper twice, but Gordon is determined to prove them wrong and leaves the sheds.

When Gordon returns to the sheds the next morning, the Fat Controller praises him for successfully delivering the Kipper on time and tells him that he can now go back to being the express engine again. Gordon is delighted, but when the other engines notice how smelly he is, he quickly leaves to go for a wash-down. Henry jokes that Gordon is the stinky express, and all the other engines laugh.





US and CAN

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Kerry Shale as Henry and Gordon
  • Rob Rackstraw as James and a Passenger
  • David Menkin as Porter
  • Keith Wickham as Salty, Sir Topham Hatt and the Kellsthorpe Road Stationmaster
  • John Hasler as Rheneas
  • Glenn Wrage as Cranky
  • Christopher Ragland as the Troublesome Trucks


  • Going by production order, this is the fourth episode of the twentieth series.
  • This episode is one of seven in the twentieth series produced by Robert Anderson, the rest being produced by Tracy Blagdon, along with Sidney Sings, Letters to Santa, Toby's New Friend, Henry in the Dark, Three Steam Engines Gruff and The Christmas Coffeepot. This episode is among the former four that have a copyright date of 2015, while the latter three are dated 2016 like all the other episodes in this series.
  • John Hasler joins the US voice cast as he takes over the role of Rheneas in the US dub starting with this episode. This is the only episode to feature him in the US cast.
  • This episode marks Rheneas' only speaking role in the twentieth series, as well as his last speaking role in an episode.
  • When Gordon moans about having to take Henry's trucks, his line, "A goods train, a goods train. The shame!" mirrors his line said in the first series episode, Edward and Gordon, as well in the beginning of the special, The Adventure Begins.
  • When Henry passes Gordon with the express, his line, "Hi, Gordon. Bye, Gordon," mirrors the line Thomas speaks in the sixth series episode, Thomas the Jet Engine when he passes Gordon at high speed.
  • When Gordon attempts to stop the trucks from misbehaving, he tells them he will have none of their nonsense and the trucks reply with "We'll give him nonsense," a reference to the second series episode, Percy's Predicament.
  • Throughout the entire episode, a reworked arrangement of Gordon's grumpy theme from the third series can be heard.
  • The episode's title is almost and quite similar to the The Railway Series book, Henry and the Express, which was written by Christopher Awdry.


  • The narrator reads the episode's title before it appears onscreen.
  • The Dutch dub incorrectly credits Andrew Brenner as the episode's writer.
  • The Spanish title card is miswrites the word "Tira" ("Pulls") as "Pira."
  • When Gordon backs up to his coal trucks at the docks, steam emits from Gordon's whistle, but no whistle sound is heard.
  • When the stationmaster said he wished Henry could pull the express forever, the express coaches have vanished.
  • When Gordon pulls up next to Cranky, his brake van changes from a grey one to a brown one. Also when Gordon couples up to the coal trucks, his previous train on the other track disappears.
  • Paxton can be seen on the upper terraces of the Blue Mountain Quarry, but there are no standard gauge rails up there. As the trucks say "Not so useful," Paxton disappears, then reappears in the following shot.
  • When Gordon is asked to pull "the Flying Kipper" and he reverses back into the shed to sulk, he goes back way too far, indicating he passed the buffers at the back of the shed.
  • When The Fat Controller says "I think you'll find it's my decision which jobs you do, Gordon!", James is out of scale.

In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Henry Pega o Expresso
Czech Henry poveze expres
Dutch Henry Krijgt de Sneltrein
French Henry Récupère l'express
Hebrew הנרי והרכבת המהירה
Hungarian Henry és az expressz
Indonesian Henry Mendapatkan Gerbong Ekspress
Italian Henry porta l'espresso
Japanese ヘンリーか?ゴードンか?
Korean 헨리, 고속 열차를 끌다
Latin American Spanish Henry Tira del Expreso
Polish Henio Prowadzi Ekspres
Romanian Henry trage Expressul
Russian Экспресс Генри
Serbian Henri vuče ekspresni voz
Slovenian Henrik vozi ekspresne vagone
Turkish Ekspres Treni Henry'ye Kaldı

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