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“If only we had a lighthouse like the one at Arlesburgh. Harold could follow the light and find his way back."
"But the castle doesn't have a lighthouse."
"No but it does have a big wheel that's as tall as a lighthouse and a whole lot of Christmas lights!”
―Nia and Percy

Nia's Bright Idea is the eleventh episode of the twenty-fourth series.


The day before the Earl's Christmas party, Sir Topham Hatt travels to the Mainland onboard Thomas to deliver the North Western Railway's end-of-year report. He intends to travel back the next day on Spencer to deliver a surprise for the Christmas party.

The next morning, the engines wake up to find that it has snowed and that Mr. Percival has arrived to direct them on how to clear the tracks while doing their work. He sends Nia to Arlesburgh to collect a shipment of lights for the Earl. Once there, Nia asks Skiff if he will be coming to the party, but Skiff explains that he is needed to help Joe with the lighthouse should the weather get worse.

As all the engines help prepare for the party, Mr. Percival informs Thomas that snow has blocked Spencer from crossing the Vicarstown Bridge, so Sir Topham Hatt and the Duke and Duchess will return onboard Harold. The Earl also tells Nia that she needs to pick up a surprise delivery from the animal park.

On her way back from the animal park, Nia can see Harold struggling in a storm. It is dark by the time Nia returns to the castle, and Harold still hasn't arrived. Remembering what she learned about lighthouses, Nia suggests covering the big wheel in Christmas lights, which successfully helps Harold see where the castle is.

Sir Topham Hatt steps out of Harold dressed as Father Christmas and carrying a bag of gifts. The Earl reveals that the surprise from the animal park was a group of reindeer. Harold calls whoever came up with the idea of lighting up the wheel a hero, and Nia is glad to have been useful.





US and CAN


  • Going by production order, this is the eighteenth episode of the twenty-fourth series. It and Cleo's First Snow were aired out of order in the UK to coincide with the holiday season.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things:
    • Stephen, Glynn, Millie, Mr. Percival, Lady Hatt and The Duke and Duchess of Boxford's last appearances as well as the last time Spencer is acknowledged in any way.
    • The last episode where Sir Topham Hatt dresses up as Father Christmas.
    • The last episode to have Nia as the lead and title character.
  • The tune to the Christmas carol, Joy to the World can be heard when Harold spots the lights on the ferris wheel.
  • This marks Skiff’s first non-cameo role since the twenty-first series episode, A Most Singular Engine.
  • This the first time since the seventh series episode, The Spotless Record in which an engine says “Peep! Peep!" as they are whistling and this marks the last time they do so.
  • Throughout much of the episode, there are references to Thomas' distaste for his snowplough, established in the first series episode, Thomas, Terence and the Snow.


  • When Nia leaves Tidmouth Sheds, her front coupling rod is not rendered properly to connect her front driving wheel.


In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese A Ideia Brilhante da Nia
Dutch Nia's Slimme Idee
Estonian Nia Hea Mõte
Greek Η πανέξυπνη ιδέα της Νία
Hebrew הרעיון הגאוני של ניה
Italian L'idea Brillante di Nia
Latin American Spanish La Brillante Idea de Nia
Latvian Nias Lieliskā Ideja
Lithuanian Nuostabi Nijos Idėja
Polish Nia i Dobry Pomysł
Russian Путь домой

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