- “Get out of my way, you great, clumsy road hog!"
"Huh! I don't move for imitation steamrollers.”
- ―Sir Handel and George
Steam Roller is the twelfth episode of the fourth series.
Sir Handel has recently had some new broad wheels fitted. He is very proud of them, but the other engines tease him due to their unusual shape, calling them "steamroller wheels" to his annoyance. Peter Sam, who is sympathetic, refers to the time when he got a new funnel and was teased about it, until the other engines learned how useful it is. Sir Handel, who believes the other engines are simply jealous, announces that his wheels are just as special as Peter Sam's funnel and claims that he can go faster than the others. Skarloey, attempting to bring Sir Handel down to size, tells him that he would be the perfect engine to deal with George, a grumpy anti-railway steamroller who is working nearby. Sir Handel proudly proclaims that he will send George packing.
Later that day, Sir Handel meets George at the level crossing. The two immediately develop a mutual animosity towards each other, with George accusing Sir Handel of pretending to be as good as him. Sir Handel simply replies that he is better and cheerfully puffs away, leaving George fuming.
Sir Handel is later bringing a special train home when he meets George on the road alongside the railway. George is travelling extremely close to the line, making it very difficult for Sir Handel to pass. Sir Handel whistles to get George's attention, but he ignores the little engine and the two soon start trading insults. As Sir Handel finally passes George, the steamroller deliberately rams into his trucks, derailing them and bringing the train to a stop. Both vehicles and their crews get into a long argument over whose fault it was until a policeman arrives to sort out the situation. Everyone soon gets to work clearing up the mess.
The next day, the workmen put up a fence between the road and the railway. They then leave, taking George with them. Sir Handel claims credit and becomes even more conceited, much to the despair of the other engines. Later, however, some boys arrive and immediately start teasing Sir Handel about his race with George. Sir Handel has never spoken about steamrollers since.
- Sir Handel
- Peter Sam
- The Little Boys
- The Crovan's Gate Policeman
- Thomas (cameo)
- James (cameo)
- Percy (cameo)
- Rheneas (cameo)
- Duncan (cameo)
- Duke (cameo)
- Bertie (cameo)
- Stephen Hatt (cameo)
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Gallant Old Engine.
- This episode marks Sir Handel's last speaking role until the tenth series episode, A Smooth Ride.
- This episode's title in the Spanish dub is "La Gran Carrera", the same title as that of the special The Great Race in said language.
- This was one of few Thomas episodes to get featured on the Captain Kangaroo spinoff series Mister Moose's Fun Time on Fox Family Channel.
- Thomas has James' whistle sound at the beginning.
- Skarloey's white stripe on his boiler is crooked.
- Throughout the episode, red wires are visible on George.
- In the first shot of George, his face is crooked.
- George's face is out of place in the first two scenes of him looking happy at the level crossing.
- When Sir Handel goes over the crossing, the sign post moves slightly. This also happens when George goes over the crossing.
- When Sir Handel goes over the bridge you can see the wires from the servos coming out from under the van into his cab.
- On his way back to the sheds, Sir Handel passes a red signal.
- When the workmen are arguing you can see black tack holding them upright on the set.
- When George crashes into the trucks, a workman figure on the left of the screen has fallen onto the stone wall.
- The two times Sir Handel is at the railway sheds he is covered in soot, but the two times he is at the level crossing he is spotless.
- When George is backing up before making rude remarks about the engines, there is a pile of asphalt in front of him. However, in the next shot, it is a pile of gravel.
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