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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Buzz Book or the magazine story.

“I won't stay here, I'll run away!”
―Percy after being frightened by Gordon

Percy Runs Away is the seventeenth episode of the first series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Troublesome Engines.


After several days of being shut up in the shed for going on strike, the Fat Controller visits Gordon, James, and Henry. He tells the three that he hopes they are sorry and have learned they are not as important as they thought. He informs them that there is a new tank engine named Percy and that Edward and Thomas have been running the main line well by themselves. However, he is willing to let them out and return to work on the condition that they be good and do not complain about shunting anymore. All three agree and they quickly resume their duties.

The Fat Controller then speaks to Thomas, Edward, and Percy and as a reward for their hard work, allows them to play on the branch line for a few days. Thomas happily collects Annie and Clarabel while Edward and Percy go and play with trucks in the yard. Edward and Thomas leave and Percy is left alone where he enjoys watching the larger engines go by. He also enjoys being cheeky to them, which makes them very cross.

Later, after doing some more shunting, Percy heads back to the yard, but the points are against him. Percy is so eager to work, he carelessly forgets that Edward had told him to whistle when he got to the signal box so that the signalman would know he was there. Suddenly he sees something that does make him whistle, in panic; Gordon, on the same line, heading towards him full speed with the express. Percy is horrified, but cannot do anything and closes his eyes as Gordon gets closer. Luckily, Gordon applies his brakes and stops just in time, furious that Percy got in his way. However, by now a frightened Percy has begun to move and intending to run away, begins running backwards.

Percy runs straight through Edward's station and is so frightened he runs straight up Gordon's Hill without stopping. After he descends the hill, Percy quickly becomes tired but is unable to stop because his crew had jumped out when they saw Gordon. Luckily, a signalman sees that Percy is in trouble and sets the points into a siding, where Percy finally stops in a big bank of soil. By now, Percy is so tired he does not care where he stops. He realizes he has stopped and is thankful that it is over. He is dug out of the soil by some workmen, who offer him some coal and a drink of water to make him feel better.

Gordon arrives with his cable wire and congratulates Percy on starting quickly and stopping a potential accident. Percy apologizes for his previous cheekiness and Gordon pulls Percy out from the bank.

Now friends with Gordon, Percy quickly settles into his new role as station pilot. Although he never loses his penchant for cheekiness, he now knows to always be careful when he goes on the main line.




  • Stock footage from the previous episode is used.
  • In the restored version, when Gordon is approaching Percy, Percy's eye movement is different compared to the original version.
  • Percy's mishap is based on four real events; the first one occurred in Thirsk in 1892, the second one occurred on Christmas Eve 1910 at Hawes Junction, the third occurred in Quintinshill on 22 May 1915 and the fourth one occurred at Newton Abbot on August 1939 shortly before the beginning of WWII.
  • This and Coal were the last episodes introduced by Bonnie Langford on her last day of Children's ITV before Matthew Kelly took over the following week.
  • A workman digging the soil behind Percy resembles Ringo Starr.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Percy's shocked, tired and original wincing faces.
  • This episode and Coal were the third in four pairings to air on 14th August 1990.


  • When Percy leaves the turntable the turntable sags.
  • When Thomas leaves Knapford:
    • Annie and Clarabel's name plates are missing.
    • Thomas' face is loose, judging by the gap between his face and eyes.
  • When Percy shunts the trucks into a siding and leaves, no smoke is venting from his funnel.
  • In a close-up of Percy, greenery appears behind him instead of Wellsworth.
  • The narrator says that Edward took some empty trucks to the quarry, but the last three are full.
  • In one close-up of Percy at the points, the camera jumps a bit.
  • In the shot of Percy's wheels spinning as he reverses, there are red specs on his wheels.
  • In the back shots of Percy as he runs up Gordon's hill and when he reaches the top, his crew is in his cab.
  • Percy goes further back from the signal box without moving.
  • When Gordon is rescuing Percy, one of the workmen has blu-tak around his neck.
  • In the last shot, a track in front of the camera has a dead end.
  • When Percy crashes into the bank of soil, his rear stripe sticker is partially unattached from his boiler.
  • In George Carlin's dub and some foreign dubs, Gordon told Percy he was clever to stop so quickly at Wellsworth, when it was Gordon who stopped just before Percy started reversing.
  • In the close-up of Percy when he is beginning to reverse, a piece of track is visible next to him. However there is no track next to him by the signal box. This also applies to the close-up where he is about to back into the bank of earth.
  • Percy passes through Wellsworth long before the narrator says he does. This is because, in the original book, the near-collision happened at Knapford rather than Wellsworth.
  • Edward's eyes jolt a little at the beginning when the Fat Controller talks to him.
  • The inside of Thomas' funnel is white instead of black.
  • In the close-up shot of Percy in the dirt pile, some blu-tack can be seen around the top of his face.
  • In one close up shot of Percy as he is running away, the side of his smoke box is scratched.
  • Henry's passenger train has no brake coach.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Percy Foge
Chinese Mandarin 培西失控了
Croatian Pero Bježi
Czech Percyho Útěk
Danish Percy Løber Væk
Dutch Percy Loopt Weg
Finnish Pekan Pakomatka
French Pierre S'Enfuit
German Percy läuft weg
Greek Ο Απρόσεκτος Τζέρι
Hebrew פרסי בורח
Hungarian Percy Csintalankodik
Icelandic Pési stríkur
Italian Percy Fugge Via
Japanese パーシーにげだす
Korean 장난꾸러기, 퍼시
Latin American Spanish La Huida de Percy
Norwegian Percy Rømmer
Polish Piotruś Ucieka
Romanian Percy O Ia la Goană
Romansh Parcival curra davent
Russian Побег Перси
Serbian Persijevom Bežonja
Slovak Percy Beží Pryč
Slovenian Poldi Pobegne
Swedish Percy på Rymmen
Welsh Pyrsi'n Rhedeg i Ffwrdd

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


  • Troublesome Trucks and 8 Other Stories


DVD Boxsets


DVD Boxsets









  • Thomas the Tank Engine 2







DVD Packs





  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4