Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

The second series of Thomas & Friends premiered on 24 September 1986 in the UK. Ringo Starr narrated all twenty-six episodes in the UK as well as seventeen of them on Shining Time Station, with George Carlin re-narrating all of the episodes for the US, with most of them being aired between 1991 and 1998.


The majority of the episodes were based on stories written by the Reverend W. Awdry. Christopher Awdry was commissioned to write a new Railway Series book as source material for the second series. Two stories from More About Thomas the Tank Engine provided additional roles for Bertie the bus and Harold the helicopter. The episode Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree was a one-off story written by Christopher Awdry. According to the original end credits for Thomas and Trevor, the episode is "based on the story by Christopher Awdry from original material by Britt Allcroft and David Mitton." All of Christopher Awdry's new stories were added later in production.[1]

Percy's Promise, Gordon Goes Foreign and Double Header were originally considered but were dropped and replaced by Christopher Awdry's new stories. According to Robert Gauld-Galliers, "Gordon Goes Foreign" in particular was not filmed because its production costs' budget was too high. Additionally, The Missing Coach, based on a story from The Twin Engines, was due to be filmed. The episode was halfway through production before Britt Allcroft decided to cut the episode, citing a lack of action and a storyline which was too convoluted for young viewers to follow. Percy's Promise and Double Header, which would be changed to Time for Trouble, would be seen in Series 3.


(Note: * means that an episode was not narrated by Ringo Starr in the US and was only narrated by George Carlin in the US).

(Note: ** means that an episode was narrated by George Carlin in the US but was never re-aired on Shining Time Station and was only released on VHS or DVD.)

(Note: *** means both reasons).

(Note: **** means that an episode was reused for Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales).

(Note: ***** means that an episode was seen on Mister Moose's Fun Time in 1998-2000.)

Screenshot UK title (top)
US title (bottom)
Original UK release date Episode number #
Thomas,PercyandtheCoal26.png Thomas, Percy and the Coal
Double Trouble
24th September 1986 #01
Thomas and Percy quarrel about proper colours for an engine, but both engines end up getting in trouble with coal.
Cows30.png Cows
A Cow on the Line
24th September 1986 #02
Gordon and Henry tease Edward after some cows break part of his train away, but in the end, Edward has the last laugh.
Bertie'sChase46.png Bertie's Chase (* / ****) 1st October 1986 #03
Edward is impatient when Thomas' does not show up with his train, unaware that Bertie is taking his passengers.
SavedfromScrap12.png Saved from Scrap (** / *****) 1st October 1986 #04
Edward meets Trevor the Traction Engine at the scrapyard and tries to help make him become useful again.
OldIron54.png Old Iron **** 8th October 1986 #05
James is fed up with Edward for being so slow, but when two boys fiddle with James' controls, Edward comes to his rescue.
ThomasAndTrevor38.png Thomas and Trevor
A New Friend for Thomas
8th October 1986 #06
Trevor does not have much work to do and proves to Thomas how useful he can be when he is sent to help at the harbour.
PercyandtheSignal36.png Percy and the Signal * 15th October 1986 #07
Percy enjoys playing tricks on the big engines, but Gordon and James make a plan to pay him back.
DuckTakesCharge62.png Duck Takes Charge 15th October 1986 #08
Duck the Great Western Engine arrives on the island to help Percy and stop the big engines from pushing smaller engines around.
PercyandHarold8.png Percy and Harold
Percy Proves a Point
22nd October 1986 #09
Harold the Helicopter thinks that railways are slow and out of date, but Percy proves him wrong after by winning a race.
TheRunaway42.png The Runaway (** / *****) 22nd October 1986 #10
After a visit to the works, Thomas' handbrake is very stiff and he soon becomes a runaway on his branch line.
PercyTakesthePlunge39.png Percy Takes the Plunge 29th October 1986 #11
Percy thinks that water is nothing to an engine with determination, but his mood soon changes when he passes a danger sign at the harbour.
PopGoestheDiesel28.png Pop Goes the Diesel 29th October 1986 #12
A new engine named Diesel arrives on trial and thinks that diesel engines know everything and do not need to learn, until he tries to take some old trucks from a siding.
DirtyWork6.png Dirty Work
Diesel's Devious Deed
5th November 1986 #13
Diesel gets revenge on Duck by telling lies about the big engines to the trucks, causing the Fat Controller to send Duck away.
ACloseShave63.png A Close Shave
A Close Shave for Duck
5th November 1986 #14
Duck helps Edward with some trucks on Gordon's Hill, but the train breaks away and the trucks chase Duck down the main line, until he ends up in a barber shop at Crosby.
BetterLateThanNever14.png Better Late Than Never 12th November 1986 #15
Repairs on The main line's viaduct are causing delays on the railway making Thomas very cross, but he learns that there are times when being late is not such a bad thing after all.
BreakVan41(OriginalShot).png Break Van
Donald and Douglas
12th November 1986 #16
Donald and Douglas are twins whom the Fat Controller had bought from Scotland to help out. Things do not go well for both twins due to a Spiteful Brake Van.
TheDeputation43.png The Deputation * 19th November 1986 #17
Donald and Douglas are worried that they will be sent away and scrapped, but after rescuing Henry from being snowed under, Percy and the other engines try to help the twins out with a Deputation.
ThomasComestoBreakfast33.png Thomas Comes to Breakfast 19th November 1986 #18
Thomas thinks that he can manage without his driver until he makes an unexpected visit to the stationmaster's house one morning.
Daisy(episode)22.png Daisy (*** / *****) 26th November 1986 #19
Daisy the diesel railcar comes to help on Thomas' branch line after Thomas' indisposal and causes trouble with rude remarks toward the coaches and refusing to pull a milk tanker.
Percy'sPredicament32.png Percy's Predicament (*** / *****) 26th November 1986 #20
Percy and Toby agree to switch jobs after Daisy refuses to take the milk again, which ends up putting the engines in an awkward predicament.
TheDiseasel46.png The Diseasel * 3rd December 1986 #21
Bill and Ben think that a Diseasel stole their trucks of china clay and they set off to find him and get their trucks back.
WrongRoad25.png Wrong Road * 3rd December 1986 #22
A mix-up with Gordon and Edward ends up sending both engines on the wrong lines with their evening trains, with Gordon ending up being teased by Bill and Ben.
Edward'sExploit29.png Edward's Exploit * 10th December 1986 #23
Gordon, Henry and James think that Edward should give up and be preserved, but Edward proves just how Really Useful he is when he takes visitors home during a storm.
GhostTrain37.png Ghost Train
Percy's Ghostly Trick
10th December 1986 #24
Percy pretends to be a ghost and scare Thomas to teach him a lesson after calling him a silly little engine for his ghost story.
WoollyBear32.png Woolly Bear ***** 17th December 1986 #25
Thomas thinks Percy crawls like a caterpillar due to him being late with collecting hay along the line and when Percy ends up covered in treacle and hay, Thomas and Toby end up making jokes about him.
ThomasandtheMissingChristmasTree57.png Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree ** 17th December 1986 #26
Thomas is sent to collect a Christmas tree, but when he ends up getting lost along the way home, Donald and Douglas set off to rescue him in time for the Christmas celebrations.

Cancelled episodes

Screenshot Title Original UK release date Episode number #
GordonGoesForeign1.png Gordon Goes Foreign N/A N/A
Based on the story of the same name from "The Eight Famous Engines".

After an argument with a big city engine over what the name of a station on the Other Railway is, Gordon is determined to find out.

TheMissingCoach17.jpg The Missing Coach N/A N/A
When worrying about being returned to the Other Railway, Douglas accidentally shunts a special coach into the carriage siding. To evade the angry complaints of the passengers, Donald and Douglas decide to swap tenders so as to fool the Fat Controller.


Characters Introduced


  • This was the first series of a few things:
    • The first series filmed at Shepperton Studios.
    • The first series where trucks have resin faces.
    • The first series to use stories by Christopher Awdry.
    • The first series to have diesel locomotives.
    • The first series to have a female engine (Daisy).
    • The first series in which the phrase, "Bust my buffers!" is said.
    • The first series to have Edward's new happy faces.
    • The first series to add Sequential Circuits Prophet 2000 to compose the music. This was the timpani sample for Harold, Donald and Douglas' Theme.
    • The first series to have a character that travels by air (Harold).
    • The first series video edited by Kang Hyun-gi for JEI TV in South Korea.
  • This was the final series of several things:
    • Ringo Starr's last series as narrator, although he would return to voice Thomas in the The Official BBC Children in Need Medley, 23 years later on.
    • Robert D. Cardona's last series as the producer.
    • Britt Allcroft's last series as executive producer until the sixth series.
    • The last series made by Clearwater Features.
    • The last series where the end credits would roll over the final shot of an episode (not counting US VHS releases).
    • The last series not to have any Music Videos.
    • The last series commissioned by Central Independent Television.
    • The last appearance of Thomas' original first series "O" face, excluding flashback from the first series episode, Down the Mine which was used in the fourth series episode, Paint Pots and Queens.
    • The last series until the seventeenth series to feature the same narrator for both the UK and US for the majority of the series, excluding episodes selected for New Friends for Thomas and Other Adventures which were narrated by Michael Angelis and the original recordings for the twelfth series which were narrated by Pierce Brosnan.
    • The last series in which Bertie has no eyebrows.
    • The last series released in the 1980s.
    • The last series to use yellow transitions. However, they're still used for the restored versions of Japanese releases for the rest of the Classic Series.
    • The last series to feature Thomas' frightened face until the seventh series, and the last production overall until Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
    • The last production to feature Thomas' shocked face without a bucktooth until Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
    • The last series to create the score with the Roland Jupiter 6 synthesizer from original material.
    • The last series dubbed in Romansh.
  • Percy's Promise and Time for Trouble were originally going to be part of this series, but were pushed back to third series to make way for the adaptations of More About Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • Series 2 began production in September 1985 and completed filming in June 1986
  • This is the only production where a character angrily says "Shut up!" until Thomas and the Magic Railroad. This is likely due to broadcasting concerns after this series.
  • Starting from the episode, Pop Goes the Diesel, the laughing sound effect from the trucks was heard. That sound effect was later reused in the following series.
  • Henry regains his wheel arches, which were removed when he received his new shape after his accident with The Flying Kipper.
  • The biggest space of time between two series airing is between this series, which aired in 1986 and the third series, which did not air until 1992, six years later.
  • When first broadcast on ITV, two episodes were compiled into one ten minute block with the nameboard sequence featured in between. For broadcasts in 1991, the stories were shown individually.
  • In the Ukrainian dub, Ringo Starr's voice can still be heard in the background.
  • The Norwegian, Finnish and Korean (DVD only) versions credit Ringo Starr as the narrator, even though they were re-dubbed in Norwegian, Finnish and Korean respectively.
  • Doubles of the second series later aired in re-runs on Children's ITV from 6th April-13th July 1988 as a complete series, then re-aired with twenty episodes on Mondays in 1989, beginning with Bertie's Chase and Saved from Scrap on 6th March before ending with The Diseasel and Wrong Road on 22nd May, at the same time TUGS aired on Tuesdays.
  • The series were narrated by Bojan Žirović in Serbian dub, and was premiered on many TVs in Serbia in the mid-2000s.
  • When ITV dropped the first series, fifteen episodes from the second series were broadcast every Tuesday from 21st May-27th August 1991 as separate episodes after Clearwater Features had shut down their production arm. Series 2 never returned to CITV after 1991.
  • The first three VHS releases from Series 2, released on 23rd March 1987 under Screen Legends and repeated under Pickwick Video in 1989 alongside The Very Best of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends on 6th May 1991. The Video Collection released Series 2 on VHS first on 25th May 1992 and later repeated on 22nd November 1993 to tie in with other VHS tapes from the previous season and the next series.
  • Some episodes had been trimmed down for both the 1989 and 1991 airings. Better Late Than Never was the last episode aired in 1991, whilst Wrong Road was the last episode aired in 1989. Additionally, The Runaway did not air in 1991.
  • Matthew Kelly was the presenter responsible for the first debut on 24th September 1986. Further repeats of ten minute blocks were introduced by Gary Terzza, Debbie Shore, Mark Granger, Jerry Foulkes and Scally the Dog. The individual episodes in 1991 were introduced by Tommy Boyd and Glenn Kinsey.