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- “You must slow down and take care!"
"I am taking care! Taking care to finish first!”
- ―Edward and James
Keeping Up with James is the twenty-fifth episode of the ninth series.
James is teamed with Edward to clear a path through the snow to Knapford. This ends up annoying James, who wants to get all of his jobs done quickly so that he can pull the present train and does not like how slow Edward always is. He soon cheers up when he finds he can slide at high speeds on the icy rails and is able to complete his job quickly, sliding all the way to Maithwate.
James and Edward later go to collect coal from the coaling plant. During the journey, James slides excitedly down Gordon's Hill to Edward's horror. He tries to warn James to take care on the icy rails while they are filling up with coal, but to no avail. While initially enjoying himself, he ends up losing control and derails into a snowdrift.
Sir Topham Hatt is cross that the two engines were not taking care. James owns up that he was hurrying despite Edward wanting to go slow in an attempt to finish first to collect the presents train. After telling James that he won't be doing that, Sir Topham Hatt gives the job to Edward who is more careful. He warns Edward that the present train is very heavy, so James offers to be Edward's back engine, and Sir Topham Hatt agrees, as long as James is careful. Once Edward helps James back onto the tracks, the two pick up the presents train and James is quick to listen to Edward when taking care. Once they deliver the presents, James thanks Edward and says how much of a useful engine he is.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The School Choir (vocalizes)
- Gordon (does not speak)
- Salty (does not speak)
- Thomas (cameo)
- Percy (cameo)
- Toby (cameo)
- Emily (cameo)
- Cranky (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- Going by production order, this is the twenty-third episode of the ninth series.
- A deleted scene shows Thomas passing James and Edward. An alternate angle of the same scene is edited for a promotional image to show Thomas wearing a Day Out with Thomas face.
- Percy's snowplough is Duck's from the sixth series episode, Toby Had a Little Lamb.
- In 2011, Hilary Fortnam expressed her dislike of this episode, saying that her father would be distressed if he saw it. The reason is because the term "Christmas" was omitted in favour of "winter holidays".
- When Edward and James pull the presents train down Gordon's Hill, the narrator says that James applied his brakes, but his wheels still continue moving.
- In the first scene of James and Edward clearing snow, James' front bogie is derailed.
- As the scene fades to James and Edward going up Gordon's Hill with the empty trucks, James stops.
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