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“Peter Sam said again and again,
his new funnel will put ours to shame!
Went into the tunnel
(And) Lost his old funnel!
Now his famous new funnel's a drain!”
―Sir Handel's song, teasing Peter Sam

Special Funnel is the eleventh episode of the fourth series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Gallant Old Engine.


It is wintertime on Sodor. Ever since his accident at the slate quarry, Peter Sam has been having trouble with his damaged funnel wobbling in the strong wind. He is also still awaiting his new funnel which he says in the manager's words will be "something special," but the other engines tease his talk about the new funnel.

The weather soon deteriorates, with heavy rain causing streams to rise and threatening to wash away the line. Rusty is kept busy taking workmen along the line, removing any branches and leaves that prevent the water from flowing. One day, Rusty and some workmen are sent to mend the bridge by Rheneas Tunnel which has washed away. The job, however, takes a long time and as days pass, the weather changes and becomes frosty and much colder.

A few days later, the bridge is mended and Peter Sam is chuffing down the line with the morning passenger train. As he puffs through Rheneas Tunnel, his driver spots an object hanging from the roof, but is unable to stop Peter Sam crashing into it. When Peter Sam exits the tunnel, he discovers that the object - revealed by the guard to be a large icicle - has knocked off his funnel, which cannot be found. They continue on, but Peter Sam finds it hard work with smoke billowing in all directions. When his fireman spots an old piece of drainpipe laying by the track, they fasten it to him with wires and have it made a temporary funnel to control the smoke. When the other engines see Peter Sam with the drainpipe, they tease him relentlessly (especially Sir Handel, who sings a song about it).

Peter Sam's new funnel eventually arrives, presented to him by the Fat Controller. The funnel has an unusual design and Peter Sam fears it has been damaged, but the Fat Controller assures him it really is "something special." The new funnel has special pipes that make puffing much easier, giving Peter Sam much more strength when pulling trains. He is much happier with it, claiming he feels stronger then ever before. The other engines (especially Sir Handel) are impressed with how easy he makes work look. Since then, they have never teased Peter Sam about his special funnel; instead, they wish they could have one like it.




  • Stock footage from Granpuff is used.
  • This episode marks the last appearance of Peter Sam's original funnel.
  • This is the first episode that did not feature any standard gauge engines in any way.
  • This is the only winter-themed episode in the fourth series.
  • In the original UK releases of Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories, the music bits at the beginning of this episode and the scene when Peter Sam had to use a pipe are omitted, most of Peter Sam's whistle sound bits are omitted, and Sir Handel's song is heard later.
  • The wind sound effect from The Empire Strikes Back can be heard in this episode.
  • This episode marks the last appearance of Cros-ny-Cuirn, outside of a mention in the eighteenth series episode, Duncan and the Grumpy Passenger.
  • This is the last episode until the sixth series episode, No Sleep for Cranky, where Michael Angelis re-dubs an episode.


  • Peter Sam has Duke's original whistle sound when he arrives at the sheds.
  • Rheneas appears even though he was supposed to be at the works.
  • In the close-up shots of Peter Sam's funnels, his face is a different size. This is because a larger model was used for close-ups.
  • During the top shot of Peter Sam entering the tunnel, the steam goes off too late.
  • When Peter Sam pulls into the sheds, the "wheeshing" sound is heard just before the steam.
  • Peter Sam's funnel is completely knocked off, yet when he receives his new one, the base is still left intact.
  • As Peter Sam passes Skarloey and Rheneas, a camera's shadow is seen.
  • The narrator said that the drain pipe was wired to Peter Sam's boiler, but it was actually attached to his front with ropes.
  • In the close-up of Sir Handel, his eyes are wonky.
  • Rusty's driver was smiling when he brought the bad news about the washout.
  • In the last shot, either Skarloey or Rheneas has Duke's whistle sound.
  • Despite the line "Oh dear, someone squashed it!" being taken from the original book, the new funnel presented in the series does not look flattened or squashed in any way.
  • In a deleted scene, Peter Sam is wearing Sir Handel's sad face.


Peter Sam: My funnel feels wobbly. I wish manager would hurry up with my new one. He says it would be something special.
All Skarloey Railway Engines: [laugh] You and your special funnel!
Narrator: They were fond of Peter Sam, but his special funnel had become quite a joke.

Rusty's Driver: There's been a washout near the tunnel. The track bed had been swept away. We must repair the damage immediately.

Sir Handel: (singing) Peter Sam said again and again
His new funnel will put ours to shame
Went into the tunnel, lost his old funnel
Now his famous new funnel's a drain!

Peter Sam: Oh dear. Someone squashed it.
The Fat Controller: Don't worry, Peter Sam, this funnel is something special indeed. You'll soon see.

Peter Sam: I feel stronger than ever before.
Sir Handel: I can't understand it. Peter Sam just seems to stroll along the line. He makes work look so easy.
Narrator: The engines don't laugh at Peter Sam's funnel now. They wished they had one like it.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese A Chaminé Especial
Chinese Mandarin 特殊的烟囱
Czech Mimořádný Komín
Danish Den Specielle Skorsten
Dutch Speciale Schoorsteen
Finnish Veturin Erikoispiippu
German Der Ersatzschornstein
Greek Το Καινούριο Φουγάρο του Πέτρου
Hungarian A Különleges Kémény
Italian Una Ciminiera Speciale
Japanese とくせいのえんとつ
Korean 피터 샘의 새 굴뚝
Latin American Spanish Una Chimenea Especial
Norwegian En Spesiell Skorstein
Polish Wyjątkowy Komin
Romanian Coşul de Fum Cel Special
Russian Необыкновенная труба
Slovenian Poseben Dimnik
Swedish En Speciell Skorsten
Ukrainian Особливий димар
Welsh Corn Simnai Arbenning

Home Media Releases


DVD Packs


  • Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories (Direct-to-Home-Video)
  • The Complete Series 4

DVD Packs




  • Thomas Meets the Queen and Other Stories
  • Thomas' Christmas Wonderland and Other Thomas Adventures
  • Ultimate Christmas

DVD Packs


  • Rock 'n' Roll and other Stories








DVD Boxsets








  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4