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“Get out of my way you great clumsy road hog!"
"Huh! I don't move for imitation steam rollers!”
―Sir Handel and George

Steam Roller is the twelfth episode of the fourth series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Gallant Old Engine.


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 again on the road alongside the railway heading home. George is traveling 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 Sir Handel since there's hardly any room to pass and both start trading insults. Sir Handel attempts to pass George quickly, but the situation escalates into the steam roller deliberately ramming into the trucks, causing them to derail. Sir Handel, George and their crews then get into an argument over whose fault it was until a policeman arrives to find out what is going on. Everyone stops arguing and soon gets to work clearing up the mess.

The next day, the workmen put up a fence between the road and the railway, to prevent further accidents from occurring. They then leave on board Bertie, taking George with them. Sir Handel, thinking he sent George away, 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 confrontational race with George. Sir Handel has never spoken about steamrollers since.




  • This episode marks last with a few things:
    • Sir Handel's last speaking role, let alone starring role, until the tenth series episode, A Smooth Ride.
    • Duke's last speaking role, albeit grouped with other engines.
  • 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.
  • While Sir Handel and George argue, the bus stop sign from Thomas and Bertie can be seen, along with a scrap tractor model from TUGS.
  • This was one of few Thomas episodes to get featured on the Captain Kangaroo spin-off series Mister Moose's Fun Time on Fox Family Channel.
  • This episode also aired alongside Woolly Bear on Storytime with Thomas.
  • This episode marks the first time Sir Handel's trailing wheels are referred to as "Steamroller Wheels." This is also the only time they are referred to as such in the model series. They would later gain the nickname "Steamroller Wheels" again in the twenty-fourth series episode, The Great Little Railway Show.
  • In the US and Canada, this episode was released on VHS before Special Funnel even aired on television. This means that the American and Canadian audience would not have known about Peter Sam's new funnel.
  • The line "Then there was trouble" was later reused for the US dub of Henry and the Elephant, and the UK dub of Fish.
  • The JEI TV version of the Korean dub added subtitles to inform viewers what a steam roller is.
  • This episode marks the only appearance of Rusty's chuckling face and Rheneas' cross face. Also the last episode of Sir Handel's confused face and the rest of fourth series faces.


  • 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.
  • Rheneas appears even though he was supposed to be at the works.
  • 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, the wires from the servos can be seen 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, a black tack can be seen 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. Also, in the same scene, George's face is crooked.
  • George is smiling when Sir Handel says, "That was your fault!" and George replies, "No, it wasn't, it was yours."
  • 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.


All Skarloey Railway Engines: Look at his steamroller wheels.
Sir Handel: Be quiet. You're jealous.
Peter Sam: Don't worry. The engines all teased me about my special funnel until they learned how useful it is.
Sir Handel: Did you hear that? My wheels are special like Peter Sam's funnel. I could go faster than any of you.
Narrator: Skarloey had a plan to make Sir Handel see sense.
Skarloey: With your grand wheels, Sir Handel. You're just the engine to tackle George.
Sir Handel: Who's George?
Skarloey: That steamroller over there. Listen.

George: Railways are no good! Turn them into roads! Pull 'em up! Turn them into roads! Railways are no good! Turn them into roads! Pull 'em up! Turn them into roads!

[Sir Handel meets George at a level crossing]
George: Hmph! You're Sir Handel, I suppose.
Sir Handel: And you, I suppose, are George. Yes, I've heard of you.
George: And I've heard of you. You swank around with your steamroller wheels, pretending you're as good as me!
Sir Handel: Actually, I'm better. Goodbye!

(after George rams into Sir Handel's trucks, via an escalated shouting match)
Sir Handel: Ah! That was your fault.
George: No it wasn't, it was yours.

Skarloey: Oh, dear. He's worse than ever. I'm sorry my plan was no good.
Rusty: Never mind. We'll think of something else.

Boy: Look! Here's Sir Handel. He tried to race a steamroller, but the steam roller nearly beat him.
Narrator: Sir Handel never mentions steamrollers now.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese O rolo compressor
Chinese Mandarin 压路机
Czech Parní Válec
Danish Damptromlen
Dutch Stoomwals
Finnish Höyryjyrä
German Die Dampfwalze
Greek Ο Τζόρτζ, ο Ατμοκίνητος Οδοστρωτήρας
Hungarian Az Úthenger
Italian Rullo compressore
Japanese スチームローラー
Korean 헨델 경의 바퀴 자랑
Latin American Spanish La Gran Carrera
Norwegian Dampveivalsen
Polish Walec Parowy (Original)
Walec (Alternate)
Romanian Utilajul de Netezit
Russian Паровой каток
Slovenian Parni valjar
Swedish Ångvält
Ukrainian Паровий Каток
Welsh Olwynion mawr

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets




  • Thomas and the Special Letter and Other Stories

DVD Packs


  • Thomas and Stepney and other Stories (Direct-to-Home Video)
  • The Complete Series 4

DVD Boxsets


  • Thomas and Stepney and other Stories







DVD Boxsets







  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4