- “It's a snowball!"
"It's a snow house!"
"It's an engine!”
- ―Workmen speculating over Skarloey's "igloo"
One winter day on the Island of Sodor, a thick layer of snow has fallen and all engines have gone to work except Percy, who is stuck in a snowdrift. Thomas finds Percy and tells him that there is no time for resting, but is told that Percy's crew have just left to seek help. Thomas scoffs at this but continues his journey to clear the rest of the snowed in railway lines. Later, he has to clear snow from a tunnel but the snow is deep enough for him to get stuck, much to Thomas' annoyance. Rusty is working close by. So to pass the time, he tells Thomas a story.
One snowy day, Skarloey was travelling up to the slate mine when he passed through a ravine. Whenever snow came, work became difficult in the slate mines and snow was used as a "double buffer zone" to stop trucks from falling into the ravine below. One day, Skarloey was travelling to the mines with empty trucks, while at the mine, the winch that hauls the trucks up and down the incline was not working properly. When Skarloey reached the ravine, his driver was concerned that any noise could cause an avalanche, so he set an emergency cap. When Skarloey ran over it, the bang echoed around the gorge but nothing happened, so his crew decided to make a cup of cocoa and be on their way. However, up in the slate mines a long line of full trucks were to be winched down the slope, but the winch became jammed when some empty trucks derailed. A coupling on the full trucks snapped and they ran down the slope. A workman thought the snowbank and buffers would stop the runaway, but he was wrong. The trucks instead broke through the buffers and plunged into the ravine, and all the noise from the trucks caused an avalanche which buried Skarloey deep inside. When Rusty came to the rescue, they discovered that Skarloey's heat had created an igloo, and inside they found Skarloey's crew nonchalantly sipping cocoa.
Thomas uses this as an example about how trucks can be so troublesome while Rusty states the same for snow. The workmen finally clear the snow from behind Thomas, but Gordon then arrives with his snow machine to clear away drifts. Gordon loudly blows steam and causes an avalanche, burying him in snow. Gordon cries for help, and Thomas jokes that if Skarloey could emerge from an avalanche laughing, Gordon could do the same. In reply, Gordon just scoffs and falls silent as the snow.
- Tower Windmill
- Standard and Narrow Gauge Tunnel Runby
- Echo Pass Ravine
- Skarloey Slate Quarry
- The Windmill (stock footage)
- Kirk Ronan Junction (stock footage)
- Going by production order, this is the twenty-fifth episode of the fifth series.
- Stock footage from the third series episode, Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure is used.
- During most of the flashback, Skarloey's large scale model was used; but during the scene where the narrator says "When the snow came..." his small scale model is used. The same goes for Rusty: When interacting with Thomas, Rusty's small scale model is used; but when he appears during the flashback, his large scale model was used.
- When the trucks plunge into the ravine, music is heard in the US and international versions but not the UK version.
- This episode was also aired with the first series episode, Thomas' Christmas Party in the final airing of Storytime with Thomas.
- This is the only fifth series episode where the snow appears.
- This episode marks the last of many things:
- Britt Allcroft's last episode as producer and writer before becoming an executive producer in the sixth series.
- David Mitton's last episode as producer.
- Angus Wright's final episode as executive producer.
- David Maidment's last episode as railway consultant.
- The last episode to credit Gullane Entertainment by its original name, The Britt Allcroft Company before it was changed to its official name.
- The last episode in the UK to use the original opening credits until the seventh series episode, Emily's New Coaches.
- The last time Thomas' whistle supports are gold.
- The last episode to air in the 20th century due to Thomas and the Magic Railroad being released in 2000, which would be the final Thomas production made in the 20th century.
- The last episode narrated by Manfred Steffen in Germany, Gro Solemdal in Norway, Gérard Boucaron in France, Angelo Maggi in Italy and Grzegorz Fedorowski in Poland, and the last episode narrated by Tatá Guarnieri in Brazil until Hero of the Rails.
- The last episode in the 1990s.
- When the trucks charge towards the buffers, both of the Skarloey Engine Sheds from the fourth series can be seen, albeit repainted grey.
- This episode is titled Skarloey Snowed Under on The Roku Channel.
- This is one of the two fifth series episodes to feature Thomas' unused excited face from the third series, the other being Something in the Air.
- In the scene of Thomas talking to Percy, a deleted scene showed Percy looking happy instead of his sad face with Thomas looking concerned instead of one of his cross faces, thinking he may have come to rescue him.
- In various scenes, part of Skarloey's cab roof is snapped.
- When the trucks race down the incline, the middle truck derails.
- When the trucks crash through the snow bank and buffers, they are coupled, but they fall off separately, one by one. Additionally, a truck is missing when they fall into the ravine.
- When the trucks are on the incline, the front truck has a narrow-gauge truck face, but when it races down the incline, it has a standard-gauge truck face. Both are due to the fact that different scale models were used.
- When Thomas talks to Percy, his eyes are wonky.
- Rusty's face changes size during the scene of Skarloey being rescued due to his large scale model being used.
- A wire can be seen between Rusty and his coach after the workmen have removed the ice from Skarloey.
- In the first shot of Skarloey going through the ravine, he jerks a little.
- In the scene where the empty trucks derail, string can be seen pulling those trucks.
- Thomas: Come on, Percy, this is no time to have a rest.
- Percy: I'm stuck, and my funnel's freezing up. Driver's gone for help.
- Thomas: [scoffs] Ha!
- Thomas: Snow is nothing but trouble.
- Rusty: Driver says this winter is as bad as the worse winter of all.
- Thomas: How worse?
- Rusty: I'll tell you.
- Narrator: And the little engine did.
- [he recalls of a flashback of Skarloey working in the mountains]
- Story: Skarloey was working the line to the slate mine in the mountains. When the snow came, it was difficult to work. They used the snow as a double buffer zone to help stop cars skidding through the ravine. One day, Skarloey set off to the mine with some empty cars. Meanwhile, there was trouble at the mine. The winch that hauls the cars up and down wasn't working properly. Skarloey had reached the ravine. High above him were the mine yards.
- Skarloey's driver: [about the ravine] That snow looks dangerous. The sound of your engine and the trucks/freight cars could cause an avalanche. I'll set off an emergency cap and see what happens. [Skarloey watches his crew prepare the cap; they then run over it, causing the bang to echo throughout the gorge, but nothing happens] Good. All's well. We'll have a cup of cocoa and then make our way.
- Trucks: Break It! Snap It! (a coupling snaps) On! On! On! Faster! Faster!
- Workman: The snowbank and buffers will stop them.
- Narrator: But he was wrong.
- [the trucks plunge into the ravine]
- Skarloey and his crew: AVALANCHE!!!
- Rusty: And then came the funny part.
- Thomas: What's the funny part about an avalanche?
- Rusty: Well... [cut back to the ravine] No one knew that the heat from Skarloey's engine had helped to make an igloo.
- Workmen: It's a snowball. It's a snow house. It's an engine!
- Rusty: They cleared away the ice, only to find Skarloey's driver and fireman drinking cocoa, as if nothing had happened!
- Thomas: Lucky for him. But it just goes to show you can't trust trucks/freight cars...
- Rusty: ...or snow.
- Gordon: (puffs by with his snow machine) Hey, look out! There's snow about! (nears the tunnel and loudly wheeshes steam) Oh no! (a big pile of snow buries him completely)
- Gordon: [covered in snow] Help!
- Thomas: If Skarloey survived a snowfall, surely, a big, proud engine like you could do the same.
- Gordon: [furiously] Pah!
In Other Languages