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“Listen to me. There is nothing wrong with that tunnel. You stuck in it because you tried to do Rock 'n' Roll. Tunnels are not dance floors, and you are not a pop star! If it happens again, I shall find ways to cut you down to size. In other words, your career is, uh.. 'on the line.' Need I say more?”
―The Fat Controller scolding Duncan about the tunnel

Home at Last is the ninth episode of the fourth series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book The Little Old Engine.


Skarloey returns home after being repaired. He is met by Rusty, whom Skarloey has never met before, who has been helping to mend the line and do odd jobs, and is brought back home by him. Skarloey takes a liking to Rusty, believing he is a kindly sort of engine.

Meanwhile, Peter Sam is depressed; he is still getting over his accident with the slate trucks and his damaged funnel, and is eager to start working again. The Fat Controller tells him to take another day's rest and that he has a surprise for him, which turns out to be Skarloey. Peter Sam welcomes his friend back home and tells him of a rude, rough, rocking and rolling engine called Duncan who has arrived on the railway as a spare engine after his accident, who also dispises Rusty. His driver then arrives with news; Duncan has become stuck in Rheneas Tunnel and they must go to help free him.

Skarloey enjoys the journey, especially how nice and smooth the rails are now and praises Rusty for making a difference to the line. He arrives at the tunnel to find Duncan stuck at end of the tunnel and very cross. He complains about the tunnel and the railway to his driver, who scolds him for doing "Rock 'n' Roll" in the tunnel, and claims that the tunnel is quite good enough. After Skarloey leaves some workmen behind to repair the tunnel and clear the debris, he helps Duncan, who is still grumbling, and his train to the last station and then back home.

That evening, the Fat Controller reprimands Duncan in the shed and reaffirms that the tunnel has never had problems and that he only got stuck in it due to doing Rock 'n' Roll. Then, glaring at Duncan's tall funnel, he further adds that should it happen again, he will find ways to "cut him down to size," and that his career will be "on the line." Despite being a joke, the threat is good enough to make Duncan behave better.




  • Going by production order, this is the tenth episode of the fourth series.
  • Pre-filmed footage from Rock 'n' Roll is used.
  • In the original UK releases of Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories, the exchanged lines between Skarloey and Peter Sam, "'Who is Duncan?' 'He came as a spare engine after my accident,' replied Peter Sam, and 'Is he useful?'" are heard early and the music is omitted.
  • This was one of the few episodes in the US dub that refers to a brake van as a caboose, its American term.
  • In a deleted scene, when the Fat Controller scolds Duncan, he wears a different surprised face mask, which was not used on-screen until Series 5.
  • Not counting promotional material, this episode marks the only on-screen appearance of Duncan's panicked face.
  • In the UK and US, this episode was released before Four Little Engines, so the audience would not have known about Skarloey being away to be mended.


  • When Skarloey says "I understand," his face moves.
  • When Skarloey leaves the sheds, he has Duncan's Whistle.
  • When Skarloey puffs out of Crovan's Gate, his wheels are moving faster than he is.
  • When Skarloey starts away with the works train, he is missing his eyebrows.
  • When Skarloey pushes behind Duncan's train, he has Duke's original whistle sound.
  • As Skarloey comes up behind Duncan's train, there is a spot of light above the brake van in the tunnel.
  • In the US dub, when Peter Sam tells Skarloey about Duncan, he mentions "his drivers" instead of "his driver," even though engines only need one driver.
  • Duncan's eyes are wonky when he is stuck in the tunnel.
  • When Duncan and Skarloey cross the bridge, some studio equipment can be seen near the top right corner.
  • On Sprout airings the closed captions incorrectly spell Skarloey as "Scarloee."


The Fat Controller: Another day's rest will do you good. Besides, I got a surprise for you.
Peter Sam: For me sir, how nice sir, what is it sir?
The Fat Controller: Wait and see.
Narrator: The surprise was Skarloey.
Peter Sam: Oh. I'm glad you've come home.
Skarloey: I feel all excited. Just like a young engine. Now tell me all the news.
Peter Sam: I see you've met Rusty.
Skarloey: Yes. I like that Diesel.
Peter Sam: So do I. It's a pity Duncan doesn't.
Skarloey: Who is Duncan?
Peter Sam: He came as a spare engine after my accident.
Skarloey: Is he useful?
[cut to a scene of a yellow Narrow Gauge engine named Duncan]
Peter Sam: He keeps busy and I'm sure he means well. But he's bouncy and rude. He sings and sways and swivels around. His drivers call it "Rock 'n' Roll."
Skarloey: I understand.

Duncan: [stuck at the end of the tunnel, furious] I'm a plain blunt engine! I speak as I find! Tunnels should be tunnels and not rabbit holes! This railway is no good at all!
Driver: Don't be silly! This tunnel is quite big enough for engines who don't Rock 'n' Roll.

The Fat Controller: Listen to me. There is nothing wrong with that tunnel. You stuck in it, because you tried to do Rock 'n' Roll. Tunnels are not dance floors, and you are not a pop star! If it happens again, I shall find ways to cut you down to size. In other words, your career is, uh.. [clears throat] on the line. Need I say more?

In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese Mandarin 终于到家了
Danish Endelig Hjemme
Dutch Eindelijk Thuis
Finnish Oma Koti Kullan Kallis
German Endlich zu Hause
Greek Ο Ματθαίος Επιστρέφει στον Σταθμό
Hungarian Végre Otthon
Italian Finalmente a Casa
Japanese なつかしのわがや
Korean 다시 돌아온 스칼로이
Latin American Spanish Por Fin en Casa
Norwegian Endelig Hjemme
Polish Nareszcie w Domu
Romanian Acasă în Sfârşit
Russian Наконец дома
Slovenian Spet Doma
Swedish Äntligen Hemma
Ukrainian Нарештi вдома
Welsh Gartref a'r Diwedd

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets



DVD Packs


DVD Boxsets


  • Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories




DVD Boxsets











  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4