Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Main Page

“I wonder if my special funnel would win a prize. There's not many quite like it, after all."
"Your funnel is nothing compared to my splendid wheels!”
―Peter Sam and Sir Handel

The Great Little Railway Show is the third episode of the twenty-fourth series.


One morning, the Fat Controller receives a call from the Earl asking if he can spare an engine. He speaks to Percy (who has just arrived after his mail run) and asks him if he can pick up some trucks from Brendam Docks and take them to Ulfstead Castle for a railway show for little engines. Percy then brags to Gordon that he will be going to the show.

While performing his other duties, Percy speaks to Peter Sam and Sir Handel, who are eager to show off their "special funnel" and "steamroller wheels." He next visits the Arlesdale Railway and informs the three miniature engines about the show. He tells them to ask Duck for a ride to Ulfstead, as they are the only engines who cannot fit on the tracks there. News of the show is quickly secretly passed throughout the Island among the other little engines, but they do not account for their other duties, leading to trouble.

At the Blue Mountain Quarry, all of the narrow gauge engines have disappeared, leaving Owen and Merrick without anyone to take their trucks. Meanwhile, at Arlesburgh West, the Small Controller is swarmed by a mob of angry passengers, complaining that there are no engines.

Later at Knapford, Gordon complains that Philip has not collected his coaches. Henry and Bertie then arrive and complain that Rosie and Thomas also never showed up for their jobs, leaving them to do them themselves. Hearing the commotion, the Fat Controller tells the three that he has received calls from the Thin and Small Controllers saying that all of their engines have gone missing. Just then, James arrives, indignant as to why he has not been invited to the railway show. The Fat Controller puts two and two together and goes to telephone the other controllers.

At Ulfstead Castle, all of the small engines have shown up for the railway show and are queued up outside of the castle. Several more engines, including Philip, Skarloey, Rusty, Nia, Bill and Ben have shown up, while Duck, Oliver, and Ryan have brought Rex, Mike, and Bert on flatbeds. Gordon and James then arrive carrying the railway controllers onboard, who ask why all of the engines are here instead of doing their jobs. Percy, confused, states that everyone is there for the little railway show - to which the Thin Clergyman explains that the Fat Controller was referring to model engines, rather than small real working engines. Percy apologises for wasting everyone's time, but Sir Robert Norramby suggests that Percy has actually had a great idea and states that all of the real engines at the castle will make the show much more exciting. The other controllers agree, with the condition that the engines all get their jobs done and go to the show in rotation. The Thin Clergyman sets up his layout of Sodor and runs his model trains, all of which bear striking resemblances to the engines on Sodor. By the end of the show, Percy is pleased to find out that a model of him has won the prize for best in show.





US and CAN

  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Kerry Shale as Henry, Gordon and Mr. Percival
  • Rob Rackstraw as James, Owen, the Thin Clergyman, Fergus Duncan, the Announcer and a Passenger
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy
  • Yvonne Grundy as Nia
  • Rasmus Hardiker as Bill and Philip
  • Matt Wilkinson as Ben, Rusty and Merrick
  • Keith Wickham as Skarloey, Sir Handel, Bert, Bertie and Sir Topham Hatt
  • Steven Kynman as Peter Sam, Willie and the Crowd
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby


  • This episode marks the first of a few things:
  • This episode is the only of a few things:
    • The only appearances of Oliver, Bill, Ben, Paxton, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Rusty, Bert, Mike, Merrick, Owen and Fergus Duncan in the twenty-fourth series.
    • Skarloey and Willie's only speaking roles in the twenty-fourth series.
    • The only episode in the twenty-fourth series to feature Steven Kynman as part of the voice cast.
    • The only episode of the twenty-fourth series to use the twenty-third series title card format on the Netflix release.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things:
    • Oliver, Bill, Ben, Paxton, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Rusty, Bert, Mike, Merrick, Owen, Old Bailey, Sir Topham Hatt's Assistants and Fergus Duncan's last appearances, as well as the last speaking roles of the narrow gauge engines overall.
    • Henry, Philip, Willie, Skarloey, Little Thomas and The Thin Clergyman's last speaking roles.
    • The last episode with Percy as the lead character in the original series.
    • The last episode written by Michael White in the original series.
    • The last episode to have Matt Wilkinson as part of the US voice cast, as well as the last episode to have Steven Kynman and Rasmus Hardiker as part of the voice cast.
    • Ferdinand's last portrait cameo appearance.
  • Every non-defunct railway on the Island of Sodor is featured in this episode in some form except for the Culdee Fell Railway, due to it not being in the television series. This makes this episode the second time standard, narrow and minimum gauge have all appeared in an episode, the first time being the twentieth series episode, Tit for Tat. It marks the only time in this series engines running on all of these gauges speak in the same episode and the only time in this series engines on all three gauges are seen in the same shot.
  • The fantasy sequence is a parody of the Meet the Contenders videos from The Great Race.
  • Rusty's line "Trusty Rusty coming through!" is a reference and a shout-out to the seventh series episode, Trusty Rusty.
  • The audio when Thomas says "This is ridiculous" was reused from the twenty-second series episode, Apology Impossible.
  • According to Michael White, Duncan was originally to appear in the episode, however he was later dropped as this would require Tom Stourton to come in to record only one line of dialogue. Had Duncan been retained, this episode would have also been the only episode of the twenty-fourth series to feature him as well as Tom Stourton in the voice cast, as well as the last. As a result of being dropped, the twenty-third series episode, Diesel Glows Away marked his last appearance.
  • The Thin Clergyman's models are based off of Wilbert Awdry's real models of Thomas, Henry, James, Percy and his Ffarquhar layout. A mirrored image of Michael White's replica model railway of Ffarquhar is used for this episode. Michael stated in an interview that this episode is to pay tribute to part of the making of the Railway Series books.
  • This episode is one of only two regular-length episodes from the twenty-fourth series not to feature a character's name in the title, the other being The Inventor's Spectacular Bridge.
  • This episode was never aired in Germany and South Korea.
  • In the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Baltic Russian dubs, the UK dub can be heard in the background as a dubbing track was not used.


  • James and Percy's models on the Fat Controller's desk in the opening change position between scenes without being moved.
  • When Percy tells Gordon about the railway show, there is a building clipping through platform 3.
  • Peter Sam has Sam's whistle. This may be an oversight as they both have similar names.
  • There are a few errors in the Netflix captioning:
    • Philip is misspelt as "Phillip."
    • Owen saying "Empty wagons coming up!" is incorrectly shown as "50 wagons coming up!"
    • Rusty saying "Trusty Rusty, coming through!" is incorrectly shown as "Dusty Rusty, coming through!"
    • Peter Sam asking "Which way to the funnel competition?" is incorrectly shown as "Which way to the engine competition?"
  • In one scene, the engine behind Ryan turns from Rex to Mike.
  • Henry says that Rosie was not around to shunt his train, but Rosie was not seen at the Castle when they show the scene of all the little engines lining up at the castle.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese O Grande Pequeno Show Ferroviário
Dutch De Grote Kleine-treinenenshow
Estonian Tore Väike Raudtee-etendus
Greek Μια μεγάλη επίδειξη με μικρά τρενάκια
Hebrew תערוכת הרכבות הגדולה של הקטרים הקטנים
Indonesian Pertunjukan Kereta Api Kecil Yang Hebat
Italian La Piccola Esposizione Ferroviaria
Japanese ちいさなレイルウェイ・ショー
Latin American Spanish El Gran Espectáculo de Pequeños Ferrocarriles
Latvian Lielais mazo dzelzceļu šovs
Lithuanian Puikus Mažas šou Geležinkelyje
Polish Wielki Pokaz Małych Lokomotyw
Russian Большое железнодорожное шоу
Turkish Küçük Demiryolu Gösterisi

Home Media Releases


External Links