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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story or the Chinese DVD.
“The visitors will wait a long time for their afternoon tea if Stephen is given the job!"
"I'll have you know they used to call me the Rocket, because I was so speedy!"
"Ha! Compared to a horse and cart, maybe!”
―Spencer and Stephen

The Afternoon Tea Express is the twenty-third episode of the seventeenth series.


Stephen becomes very excited when the Earl gives him the special job of collecting the ingredients for the afternoon teas at the Castle. But Spencer teases him about being too old and slow. Stephen is cross, but is soon steaming around Sodor picking up all the ingredients. But soon, Gordon puffs up behind him, and tells him to hurry up. He then pushes Stephen quickly along the rails up to the junction to Ulfstead Castle. Spencer is surprised to see Stephen back so soon.

Stephen pretends to have been really fast. Over the next few days, Stephen is pushed by, Thomas, James and Emily, making him super fast. But when he is collecting jam for the Earl, Lady Hatt and the Fat Controller, none of the engines are there to help push him. However, he finds Spencer, who pushes him the fastest up to the castle. But he goes so fast, he can't stop and biffs into the buffers at Ulfstead Castle, making the four barrels of jam fly all over the Earl, Lady Hatt and the Fat Controller.

After he apologises, he takes the visitors to the castle on a tour of Sodor whilst getting more jam, and realises that going slow is not that bad after all.






  • Kerry Shale as Gordon and Sir Topham Hatt
  • Glenn Wrage as Spencer
  • Bob Golding as Stephen
  • Teresa Gallagher as Lady Hatt
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby


  • Going by production order, this is the fourteenth episode of the seventeenth series.
  • This episode marks Spencer's only appearance in the seventeenth series.
  • This episode marks the last of two things:
  • This is the first episode to feature Teresa Gallagher as Lady Hatt in the US.


  • Stephen has his old, black funnel. Although, a rare picture shows him with his correct white funnel.
  • The open-topped carriage constantly changes height throughout the episode.
  • Stephen's trucks swap places during his journey.
  • When Stephen and Gordon go over the camera, Gordon seems to be pulling less than six carriages when in the next few shots he has six carriages.
  • When the narrator is talking about Stephen getting pushed by other engines, he says "The next day" even though Stephen's runs are weekly.
  • When the barrels of jam fly onto the platform at Ulfstead Castle, the narrator says that the barrels "smashed to the ground." However, the barrels never broke, they remained completely intact.
  • There is a scene where Lady Hatt is not covered in jam.


In Other Languages

Language Title
Chinese 下午茶特快车
Czech Expres odpoledního čaje
Dutch Thee met een Sneltreinvaart
French L'Express Du Goûter des Elfes
German Die Kaffeefahrt
Greek Το απογευματινό εξπρές του τσαγιού
Hebrew רכבת של שעת התה
Hungarian A délutáni tea expressz
Italian L'Espresso del Tè delle Cinque
Japanese アフタヌーンティーきゅうこう
Korean 티타임 특급열차
Latvian Pēcpusdienā tēja express
Norwegian Ettermiddagsteekspressen
Polish Herbatkowy ekspres
Portuguese O Expresso do Chá da tarde
Romanian Ceaiul de După-Amiază
Russian Послеобеденное чаепитие
Spanish El Expreso del Té de la Tarde
Thai รถด่วนน้ำชายามบ่าย
Ukrainian Експрес-Підвечірок

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