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This article is about the fourth series episode. You may be looking for the sixth series episode, the US DVD or the Philippine DVD.

“Excuse me, do you like bluebells?"
"Yes. Bluebells are beautiful."
"Then you're soon going to see lots of them, because I'm getting you out of here.”
―Rusty and Stepney

Rusty to the Rescue is the fifteenth episode of the fourth series.


Every spring, Rusty enjoys visiting far away places, especially the Bluebell Railway where he thinks there is no better place to visit. One morning, while Rusty is being refueled, Thomas passes by, remarking that his driver looks worried. Rusty is initially unsure but asks what the problem is, which turns out to be that the Bluebell Railway needs another engine to keep the railway running. Rusty is intrigued by the idea of finding a "Bluebell Engine."

Later, Rusty consults with Douglas (who is with Percy) about finding another engine on the Other Railway, which is where he found Oliver. Douglas says that he would like to help, but notes that only diesels travel there now. Rusty readily accepts the idea and decides to go there. That evening, his driver comes with news that the manager will make a home for a bluebell engine if they find one. Rusty knows that they can do so the following day.

The next day, their journey takes them an entire day to travel and when they make it to the Other Railway, it is nighttime with a cold wind blowing. Creaks of lonely scrap are heard and Rusty pulls up beside the diesels lined up on guard. He escapes the diesels' suspicion by bluffing about being an "inspection diesel" and asks if any engines are in the shed. The other diesels note there are none in the shed. Refusing to give up, Rusty asks about the sidings and the diesels state they do have one engine. Rusty plucks up bravery and decides to go check to see the situation.

A yellow tank engine with a tall funnel is feeling sad and lonely in a shadowy siding. His driver is in the cab trying to console him. Rusty comes up beside him and asks him if he likes bluebells. Although startled, the engine replies that he believes bluebells are beautiful and Rusty promises to save him from scrap, so the workmen work fast to revive him. It is initially difficult to light the fire, but it soon burns nicely with plenty of steam. Rusty's engineer volunteers to act as the engine's fireman, and together, the two engines leave past the line of diesels and head off for the Bluebell Railway. The other diesels ask where the engine is going and Rusty replies that he is just going "down the line." Rusty is very proud that both engines are back on the border and on the railway as they have finally accomplished their mission.

The next morning, Rusty and the new engine arrive at the valley station where a big welcome awaits. The manager has the new engine restored and given a new coat of paint, much to the delight of his driver as the engine has been saved by the Bluebell Railway and thanks Rusty for everything. The engine is as happy as he can be helping passengers when they visit the Bluebell Railway. The engine is named Stepney, but he is colloquially nicknamed the "Bluebell Engine."




  • This is the only fourth series episode not based on a story from The Railway Series. However, this episode forms the first part of a four episode story based on the book, Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine, replacing the story Bluebells of England, which was instead loosely adapted into the beginning of Thomas and Stepney. Douglas and Percy mingling at the water tower and later being present for Stepney's arrival is a remnant from the aforementioned story.
  • In real life, the Bluebell Railway is a heritage line in England, United Kingdom.
  • The set of the Other Railway is the same as the Skarloey Engine Sheds set where Rusty met Percy and Douglas, only heavily modified.
  • In the US; this episode aired before Trucks meaning the American audience may not have known who Rusty was.
  • In the US version, a music piece is heard when Stepney says, "And my friend, Rusty. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Rusty!" but this never happens in the UK and international versions.
  • This was the first fourth series episode to be featured on Shining Time Station.
  • This episode marks Diesel's only appearance in the fourth series, not counting an indirectly mentioned appearance in Rock 'n' Roll and his last appearance until the sixth series episode, The World's Strongest Engine.
  • This episode marks the only appearance of Stepney's controller, excluding a mentioned appearance in the next episode.
  • Rusty toots his horn as he crosses Rheneas Viaduct in the US version, but his horn sound effect is omitted in the UK and international versions.
  • Henry and Gordon whistle to Rusty in the UK and international versions, but the whistle sound effects are omitted in the US version.
  • The US version has an additional stock crowd sound effect that plays at the end of it, but in the UK version and other international versions, it never plays.
  • This episode has similar plot elements to the second series episode, Saved from Scrap; and the third series episode, Escape, where an engine promises to save another from scrap before being scheduled to being broken up, and when Rusty asks where Douglas found Oliver.
  • Scrap models of Thomas, Gordon, Donald/Douglas, Toad and the goods engine from TUGS can be seen on the Other Railway.
  • The engines of the Other Railway are represented by Diesel, BoCo, Daisy, Mavis and Class 40, all facing opposite to the camera.
  • This episode marks Diesel's only appearance in the fourth series, as well as his last appearance until the sixth series episode, The World's Strongest Engine. He appears lined up with the other engines representing the Other Railway facing opposite to the camera on Rusty's left (viewers' right) after the latter approached the scrap yard and then again on his right (viewers' left) as him and Stepney leave the scrap yard.
  • This is the only episode in which Daisy and BoCo appear together. A non-motorized dummy chassis was constructed for Daisy in this instance, as she and BoCo shared a chassis. [1] This is also Daisy's first appearance since the second series episode, Percy's Predicament.
  • As to the narrator, it may appear that Rusty had brought two crew with him, the first being his driver, the other his engineer, who agreed the offer of being Stepney's fireman.
  • This is the second episode that Douglas has a speaking role, but without Donald. Although the latter appears as a scrapped model.
  • Starting from this episode onwards (excluding the rest of the fourth, fifth, the rest of the sixth and seventh series), Bertie has a horn sound that will be reused for Caroline in Train Stops Play. After this episode, he will be given a different horn sound in Bowled Out up until the seventh series, excluding Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  • According to the beginning line of the episode, the Bluebell Branch Line is located on an entirely different place far away from the main Skarloey Railway, contrary to the 2014 map that says it is located next to the Skarloey Railway.
  • This is the first episode to feature both standard-gauge and narrow-gauge diesels together.


  • Some VHS descriptions say that Rusty got advice from Oliver, when it was actually from Douglas.
  • In the UK and international versions, Thomas has Edward's whistle sound as he passes through Bluebell Valley Station. This is fixed in the US dub. In the same scene, Clarabel is also facing the wrong way.
  • In the UK and international dubs, when Rusty and Stepney return, Thomas, Gordon and James' whistle sounds are heard, yet they are nowhere to be seen. This is because stock audio of the engines whistling is reused from the first series episode, Thomas' Christmas Party.
  • Rusty's truck and brake van disappear in the close-up shot of the driver in the cab.
  • Dried-up glue is visible around Rusty's face during the line, "Right, we'll find [a 'Bluebell Engine'] tomorrow."
  • When Rusty first arrives on the Other Railway, some chains are hanging beside the signal box, but when Rusty asks "Oh, what's that?" the chains disappear.
  • When Stepney's fire is lit, one of the people inside him is wearing a driver's uniform for the North Western Railway rather than the usual Skarloey Railway one Stepney and Rusty's drivers wear.
  • There is visibly a chip in Rusty's paintwork when his engineer agreed to be Stepney's fireman.
  • The tar wagon seen between BoCo and Daisy disappears in the last shot of the Other Railway.
  • On the Other Railway, the diesels constantly change places:
    • When the voice calls out, "Who are you?" Mavis has somehow moved from Rusty's right to behind Diesel.
    • In the shot after Rusty says, "Then I'll just go and inspect," Mavis is back to her original position, Diesel has somehow moved in front of her and Class 40 appears in front of BoCo.
    • In the point-of-view shot of Rusty escaping, Mavis is on Daisy's track.
    • In the following shot, Daisy is on the far right track and Class 40 has somehow moved to the smaller shed. Additionally, Mavis and Diesel have moved to the narrow gauge track.
    • In the final shot of the Other Railway, Daisy and Class 40 are back in their original positions.
  • In the shot after Rusty escapes past BoCo, Rusty and Stepney pass a shed they already should have passed.
  • When Stepney and Rusty are on the Standard and Narrow Gauge Viaduct, the house and shed next to the track have moved compared to when Rusty went over the viaduct the first time.
  • Stepney's eyes are misaligned in the final shot.
  • In the Danish narration, when Rusty is taking fuel, the narrator incorrectly says that Rusty is drinking water, despite him being a diesel.


  • Rusty: Can you help me find another engine?
  • Douglas: Where?
  • Rusty: Where you found Oliver.
  • Douglas: You mean on The Other Railway?
  • Rusty: Yes. I'm looking for a bluebell engine.
  • Douglas: I'd like to help. But these days, it's only diesels that go there.
  • Rusty: So that's where I'll go! [leaves]
  • Douglas: Take care.


  • Diesels: Who are you?!
  • Rusty: I'm a shed and sidings inspection diesel. Have you any engines in the shed?
  • Diesels: No. None!
  • Rusty: Then what about the sidings?
  • Diesels: One. We have one.
  • Rusty: Then I'll just go and inspect.


  • Diesels: Where is he going?!
  • Rusty: Just down the line.


  • Stepney: And my friend Rusty. I wouldn't be here if it weren’t for Rusty.
  • Narrator: Now the Little Engine is as happy as can be and helps all the passengers who visit at Bluebell Time. His name is Stepney, but everyone calls him the "Bluebell Engine".

In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Linha dos Bravos
Chinese Mandarin 罗斯提来救援
Czech Rusty záchraně
Danish Rusty kommer til undsætning
Dutch Rusty de redder
Finnish Risto Pelastaa
German Rusty hilft
Greek Ο Ράστι Ψάχνει για Βοήθεια
Hungarian Rusty, a Megmentő
Italian La Locomotiva delle Campanelle
Japanese ブルーベルれっしゃ
Korean 블루벨 기관차
Latin American Spanish Rusty al Rescate
Norwegian Rusty til redning
Polish Misja Rusty'ego (Original)
Rudik Ratownik (Alternate)
Romanian Rusty Salvatorul
Russian Расти спешит на помощь
Slovenian Zlatko Prihiti na Pomoč
Swedish Rostiga till Undsättning
Ukrainian Iржавець iде на порятунок
Welsh Achub Injan

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets


DVD Packs


  • Thomas and Stepney and other Stories


  • Thomas and Stepney (Norwegian VHS)





DVD Boxsets





DVD Boxsets




  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4