|This article is about 'the magazine story'. You may be looking for the episode.|
- “You don't seem very reliable, always stuck on your own hill!”
- ―Edward to Gordon
Edward is busy being really useful when Gordon puffs up alongside and says he is not a very reliable engine. Edward is confused; he has not broken down in ages. Gordon just laughs to himself and puffs away.
Gordon starts to climb up his hill when he spots a red flag and slows to a stop. It is not a red flag at all, it is just a pair of red trousers. A gust of wind lifts the trousers into the air and blows them right into Gordon's face. Gordon blows the trousers away, but then he has a bigger problem; he cannot start again. Gordon is stuck.
Meanwhile, Edward arrives at Wellsworth Station and is stopped by the stationmaster. The stationmaster tells Edward that Gordon is stuck on the hill and asks the old engine to go and give him a push. Edward puffs away to Gordon's rescue.
Back on the hill, Thomas passes Gordon and cannot help teasing the pompous big engine. Gordon explains about the red trousers, but this just makes Thomas laugh even louder. When Edward arrives, Gordon is not grateful at all and calls Edward old and slow.
Later that day, Edward tells Thomas all about Gordon being rude and together they come up with a plan. Thomas is going to race Gordon. When Thomas goes to challenge Gordon to a race, Gordon sniffs and offers Thomas a head start.
The next day, Thomas meets Gordon at Knapford to start their big race. Thomas chugs away first, but Gordon soon catches up and demands that Thomas move off his tracks to let the express pass, but Thomas carries on slowly up the hill with Gordon puffing slowly behind. It is not long before Gordon comes to a complete stop on the hill again; he has been tricked.
Soon, Edward clatters past Gordon and remarks that the big engine is not very reliable, always getting stuck on his own hill. Gordon asks for help, but Edward says he does not need help from such an old and unreliable engine. Gordon realises his mistake and apologises to Edward. Edward is very happy that Gordon has learned his lesson and backs up to give Gordon a pull.