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“You must slow down and take care!"
"I am taking care! Taking care to finish first, I'm going to pull the presents' train!”
―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. James passes Henry who tells him to slow down, but James is not listening as he is still thinking about pulling the present train and is soon going high speeds on the icy rails sliding all the way to Maithwaite.

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 shock. He tries to warn James to take care on the icy rails while they are filling up with coal, but to no avail. While James initially enjoys himself, he ends up losing control and derails into a snowdrift.

Later, the Fat Controller arrives onboard Salty, 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 will not be doing that, the Fat Controller gives the job to Edward, as he has been more careful. He warns Edward that the present train is very heavy, so James offers to be Edward's back engine, and the Fat Controller agrees, as long as James puffs slow and carefully. Once Edward helps James back onto the tracks, they 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 really useful engine he is.




  • Going by production order, this is the twenty-third episode of the ninth series.
  • A deleted scene shows Thomas and Percy 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 was because the term "Christmas" was omitted in favour of "winter holidays."
  • This episode marks:
    • The first time Edward's tired face is shown since the second series episode, Edward's Exploit.
    • The last appearance of James' new smug face which was modified and re-casted from his unused sleepy face from the first series.


  • 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.
  • When James' wheels starts slipping and sliding for the third time, a small red wire can be seen in front of his middle wheel.
  • When James realises he is going too fast, he applies his brakes, but his wheels are visibly still moving in the very next shot.
  • Before James crashes into the snow, the track can be seen sloping towards the spot where he crashes.
  • In the first scene of James and Edward clearing snow, James' leading wheels are derailed.
  • As the scene fades to James and Edward going up Gordon's Hill with the empty trucks, James stops.
  • When James and Edward leave the coaling plant, the chuffing sound is heard before they start moving.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Arabic المتابعة مع جيمس
Brazilian Portuguese Alcançando James
Chinese Mandarin 跟上詹姆士
Croatian U korak s Juricom
Czech Jak dohonit Jakuba
Danish James og Julegavetoget
Dutch Op Glad ijs
Finnish Jaskan kanssa reissussa
French James est Trop Pressé!
German James hat es zu eilig
Hungarian James sietni akar
Indonesian Menyamai Cepatnya James
Italian Tenere il Passo di James
Japanese ジェームスについていく
Korean 제임스와 선물 짐차
Latin American Spanish Alcanzando a James
Norwegian Holde følge med James
Polish Trzymając się z Kubą
Romanian Ținând Pasul cu James
Russian Поспевая за Джеймсом
Scottish Gaelic Suemas Cabhagach
Spanish James Quiere ser el Primero
Swedish Bråttom, bråttom!
Turkish James'e Ayak Uydurmak

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


  • Little Engines Big Days Out
  • The Complete Series 9

DVD Boxsets



  • Tales from the Tracks

DVD Boxsets







  • Holiday Express




DVD Boxsets