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For other uses, see Pop Goes the Diesel (disambiguation).

“Trucks are waiting in the Yard; Tackling them with ease'll,
'Show the world what I can do.' Gaily boasts the Diesel.
In and out he creeps about, Like a big black weasel.
When he pulls the wrong trucks out – Pop goes the Diesel!”
―The trucks singing rudely at Diesel

Pop Goes the Diesel is the twelfth episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Duck and the Diesel Engine.


Duck the Great Western engine works very hard on the Island of Sodor and everything goes smoothly when he is around. He can keep the coaches quiet, the trucks behaving, and the passengers happy. He is also very proud of his Great Western heritage and talks endlessly about it, which irritates the larger engines, who quickly grow tired of hearing about "the Great Western way."

One day, a visitor arrives in the shed. The Fat Controller introduces the new engine as Diesel, stating that he has agreed to give him a trial, and charges Duck with showing him around and teaching him what to do. Diesel introduces himself before heaping compliments on Gordon, James, and Henry, who are in awe by his flattery. Duck, however, takes a dislike to Diesel's oily nature and shows him to the yard, where it becomes apparent that Duck's dislike of Diesel is mutual as Duck orders Diesel to refer to the Fat Controller as "Sir Topham Hatt" before Diesel smugly tells Duck that he does not have to be taught what to do. Diesels know everything and come to a yard to improve it, and are revolutionary. Duck is not impressed with Diesel's boasting and orders him to arrange the trucks while he leaves to take Gordon's coaches to the station. Eager for the chance to show off, Diesel quickly gets to work.

When Duck returns, he finds Diesel trying to move some very old, near-derelict trucks with stiff joints and brakes from a siding. Duck decides to let the events play out, and watches with interest. Diesel struggles to move the trucks and gets so forceful with them that some of their brakes snap and the gear jams in the sleepers, causing several of the trucks to derail and overturn in the process. Diesel tries to push the remaining trucks back, but he still cannot move them and is forced to give up.


As Duck finally comes around carrying some other trucks, Diesel asks Duck why he did not tell him about this when he had gone through so much trouble. Duck replies that Diesel never asked him, as he was having fun being "revolutionary." Duck leaves happily, while Diesel fumes angrily.

Diesel is later forced to help the workmen clear the mess, a job that he hates, especially as the trucks have started laughing and singing a degrading song at him. When the clean-up is over, Diesel, now cross with the trucks and with Duck, storms off back to the shed to sulk.




  • The title (as well as the song featured) is a pun on the nursery rhyme, Pop Goes the Weasel.
  • Despite being Diesel's introduction episode, he previously had a cameo in the previous episode.
  • In the restored version, during both close-ups of Diesel, his eyes move differently compared to the original version of the episode.
  • When Diesel was introduced, he complimented all the engines except Percy.
  • This is the first episode for a few things:
  • In the Romansh, Hungarian, Turkish, Korean and Cantonese dubs, the song sung by the Troublesome Trucks is still in English, though the JEI TV versoon Korean dub of the song has subtitles.
  • Ringo Starr did not re-sing Pop Goes the Diesel for his US dub. Instead, the word "trucks" in each stanza were replaced with "cars," while "trucks out" was replaced with a newly recorded "cars out." Coincidentally, some UK dubs do not include him singing with the trucks during their song.
  • When Diesel "gave a great heave" the footage is reversed. The derailed truck behind him can be seen propping itself back up on the rails as Diesel pulls forward.
  • The episode's title was intended to share the same name for the Jack and the Sodor Construction Company series, but the latter was cancelled.
  • This episode was never released on VHS and DVD in South Korea.


  • When Duck is on the turntable, in the beginning, the turntable bounces back and forth a little when it stops. There is also a gap between his face and the smokebox.
  • The front right wheel on the Fat Controller's car is crooked.
  • In the scene where Duck is exactly side-on, a small space between the face and the model is visible.
  • Henry and James's tenders are missing in the first shot featuring them, and Gordon's tender is tilted.
  • When Duck and Diesel leave the sheds and the other engines start talking:
    • Except for Percy, their eyes are wonky, especially Gordon and Henry's.
    • James' leading wheels are derailed.
    • Gordon and Henry's faces are crooked.
    • Gordon's buffers are crooked.
    • A figurine has sticky tac under his feet.
  • When Duck passes James, Gordon, and Henry, there are only two tracks to the right of the water tower, and it is not in line with the Sodor Shipping Company building. When Diesel and Duck arrive, later on, there are three tracks to the right of the water tower, and it is in line with the building.
  • When Diesel is on the turntable, there are moments where camera equipment is reflected in the windows.
  • When Diesel backs into Tidmouth Sheds, Gordon's eyes are wonky.
  • Duck's eyebrows are missing when he and Diesel are frowning at each other; they are also missing when Diesel first backs into the shed.
  • Duck is not in the siding when Diesel tries to pull the trucks.
  • When Diesel loses patience with the trucks and pulls them even harder, the first few trucks are already off the tracks, but when Diesel is still trying to pull them in the next scene, they are not off the tracks.
  • Steam can be seen around Diesel when he is trying to move the trucks.
  • When the narrator says "Diesel lost patience," one of the trucks has a clump of hair inside it.
  • When Diesel tries to push the trucks back, he backs down onto the breakdown train, not the trucks. In the same scene, one of the buffers stops on the left is leaning over.
  • In one scene, there is not a truck in the siding that Duck is in before he goes to collect the other trucks. One appears in the siding during the trucks' song, then after it finishes, there is not.
  • In the scene of Duck seeing Diesel after he collects his trucks, Diesel backs down to the trucks he was struggling with (straight into them), then he comes forward a little so as to be directly in line with Duck. Furthermore, when Duck leaves, he goes backwards suddenly before heading off.
  • When Duck runs around to collect his trucks, his eyes jitter a little before he stops to talk to Diesel.
  • After Duck leaves to get Gordon's coaches, there is still steam venting from the track.
  • When the narrator says "Diesel had to help the workmen clear the mess," the breakdown train is missing one of its buffers. Also, the left buffer is a little chipped.
  • Throughout the Knapford Yards and Brendam Warehouse scene sequence, Diesel is missing his eyebrows.
  • Henry's whistle sound is lower-pitched at one point during the scene at Tidmouth Sheds.
  • When Diesel first tries to move the trucks, the front truck derails.
  • The narrator says that Diesel was delighted to show off, but he is still frowning.
  • In the Romansh dub, there is a large pause after Diesel says "We are revolutionary."
  • While Diesel tries to move the trucks, the truck right behind him is a china clay truck, but when he pulls the truck off the track, it appears to be a coal truck.
  • Before Duck leaves with some trucks, his handrail is a bit crooked.
  • When Duck tries to pronounce "revolutionary" his face is loose, and a tiny piece of sticky tac can be seen above his face.


  • The Fat Controller: Here is Diesel. I have agreed to give him a trial. He needs to learn. Please teach him, Duck.
  • Diesel: Good morning. Pleased to meet you, Duck. Is that James, and Henry, and Gordon too? I am delighted to meet such famous engines.
  • The bigger engines: He has very good manners. We are pleased to have in our yard.


  • Diesel: Your worthy Sir Topham Hatt thinks I need to learn. He is mistaken. We diesels don't need to learn. We know everything. We come to a yard and improve it. We are revolutionary.
  • Duck: Oh! If you're revo-thinga-gummy, perhaps you would collect my trucks while I fetch Gordon's coaches.


  • Diesel: Pull! Push! Backwards! Forwards!
  • Trucks: (groan while Diesel tries to pull them) We can't! We won't!


(after Diesel's snafu with the trucks)

  • Duck: Thank you for arranging these, Diesel. I must go now.
  • Diesel: Don't you want this lot?
  • Duck: No thank you.
  • Diesel: And I've taken all this trouble? Why didn't you tell me?
  • Duck: You never asked me. Besides, you were having such fun being rev-whatever-it-was-you-said. Goodbye.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Mau Comportamento
Chinese Mandarin 狄塞尔的大叫
Croatian Dizel je propao
Czech Nafoukaný Diesel
Danish Øv for Dieseltoget
Dutch De Diesel Ploft
Finnish Dieselveturi Kuumenee
French En Avant Diesel
German Schöner Mist, Herr Diesel
Greek Τα Χάλια της Ντίζη
Hungarian Dízel az Új Mozdony
Italian La Locomotiva Diesel
Japanese ディーゼルがやってきた
Korean 디젤의 헛수고
Latin American Spanish Diesel da la Nota
Norwegian Diesel Knurrer og Knuffer
Polish Samochwała Diesel
Romanian Poc Face Diesel
Romansh Engaschi da Diesel
Russian Дизельный локомотив
Serbian Pode Dizel
Slovenian Nezgoda Dizelske Lokomotive
Swedish Diesel Får en Läxa
Turkish Kabak Diesel'e Patladı
Ukrainian Як Дизель зганьбився
Welsh Y Dîsl Du

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets



  • Better Late Than Never and Other Stories (Ringo Starr's dub)
  • Thomas Comes to Breakfast and Other Thomas Adventures (George Carlin's dub)

DVD Boxsets


  • Percy and Harold and Other Stories
  • The Biggest Ever Christmas Collection
  • The Very Best of Thomas and Friends
  • The Complete Series 2
  • My First Thomas with Diesel

DVD Boxsets














DVD Boxsets




DVD Packs



  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4