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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 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.

There 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. Diesel, eager for the chance to show off, quickly gets to work.

When Duck returns, he finds Diesel trying to move some trucks from a siding; some very old ones with stiff joints and brakes. 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 still cannot move the remaining trucks 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 "revolutionising" the yard. 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 humiliating song at him as he does. When the clean-up is over, Diesel, now unhappy 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 Percy Takes the Plunge.
  • In the restored version, during both close-ups of Diesel, his eyes move differently compared to the original version of the episode.
  • This is the first episode of a few things for the trucks:
  • This is only the first time Diesel tried to pull a line of trucks with the brakes on. He would eventually do it again in the sixth series episode, The World's Strongest Engine.
  • In the Polish version, Diesel does not growl while Duck is leaving. Similarly, it sounds like Diesel laughs while Duck is leaving in the Japanese version.
  • In the Korean and Hungarian versions, the song sung by the Troublesome Trucks is still in English, though the Korean version of the song has subtitles.
  • In Ringo Starr's US narration, he did not re-sing Pop Goes the Diesel. Instead, the word "trucks" in each stanza were replaced with "cars." Coincidentally, some UK versions include the narrator not 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.


  • When Duck is on the turntable, in the beginning, the turntable bounces back and forth a little when it stops. And there is 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's tender is missing in the first shot featuring him.
  • When Duck and Diesel leave and the other engines start talking James' leading wheels are derailed.
  • 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.
  • Gordon and Henry's faces are crooked when Duck and Diesel leave.
  • When Duck and Diesel frown at each other Duck is missing his eyebrows. Duck is also missing eyebrows 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. Last of all, 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.
  • Throughout the Knapford Yards and Brendam Warehouse scene sequence, Diesel is missing his eyebrows.
  • In a rare picture, Diesel's siderods are crooked.
  • Henry's whistle sound is lower-pitched at one point during the scene at Tidmouth Sheds.
  • When Diesel first tries to move the trucks, a china clay truck derails.
  • The narrator says that Diesel was delighted to show off, but he is still frowning.
  • 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.


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


  • 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. Please 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're pleased to have in our yard.


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


  • (after Diesel's snafu with the trucks/freight cars)
  • 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 revo-whatever-it-was-you-said. Goodbye.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Mau Comportamento
Chinese 狄塞尔的大叫
Croatian Dizel Nije Ispjelo
Czech Nafoukaný Diesel
Danish Øv for Dieseltoget
Dutch De Diesel Ploft
Finnish Dieselveturi Kuumenee
German Schöner Mist, Hr. Diesel!
Hungarian Dízel az Új Mozdony
Italian La Locomotiva Diesel
Japanese ディーゼルがやってきた
Korean 디젤의 헛수고
Norwegian Diesel Knurrer og Knuffer
Polish Samochwała Diesel
Romanian Poc Face Diesel
Russian Дизельный локомотив
Serbian Pode Dizel
Slovak Namyslený Diesel
Slovenian Nezgoda Dizelske Lokomotive
Spanish Diesel da la Nota
Swedish Diesel Får en Läxa
Thai ดีเซล หัวรถจักรมาใหม่
Ukrainian Як Дизель зганьбився

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


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

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Latin America

DVD Boxsets




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