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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story or the television series bridge.

“Thank you. You were very brave to help me.”

The Old Bridge, lengthen to The Old Iron Bridge in some releases, is the fourth episode of the seventh series.


Skarloey and Rheneas love to puff along the narrow gauge railway. But an old wooden bridge has been damaged by a storm. One day, Skarloey is enjoying his journey when he is puffing across the bridge. Unfortunately, he ends up on the broken beam, which he does not see until the last second. This leads to him dangling precariously above the river, frightened, but Rheneas pulls him to safety.

A few days later, the Fat Controller tells the engines that the bridge has been mended. He also tells Skarloey to collect the worker's trucks that have been left there. He agrees, but he is afraid to go on the bridge again. Skarloey arrives and sees the trucks on the other side of the bridge. He puffs forward towards them, but becomes afraid and remembers what happened before and stops halfway across. His driver tries to tell him that the bridge is safe, but Skarloey is doubtful since he is too scared, so they leave without the trucks and arrive back at the sheds. Rheneas' driver decides that he will pick up the trucks instead. Rheneas warns Skarloey that the Fat Controller will be cross if he does not cross the bridge soon.

Now Rheneas has to take Skarloey's trucks as well as his own. He puffs across the bridge with his heavy train. Meanwhile, the Fat Controller punishes Skarloey for disobeying him by making him shunt trucks until he will do as told.

The next morning, Rheneas takes his long train as usual and puffs through the countryside towards the old bridge. But while halfway across the bridge, he soon runs out of water. The yard manager tells Skarloey, who sets off to help him immediately. Skarloey arrives and sees Rheneas stranded. He is very scared, but he is determined and bravely chuffs onto the bridge. It creaks and groans underneath him, but he finally reaches Rheneas and gets coupled up to him and pulls Rheneas to safety.

Rheneas takes on water and tells Skarloey that he was very brave to help him. Now, Skarloey is no longer afraid of crossing the bridge and he loves his journeys more than ever.




  • Going by production order, this is the eleventh episode of the seventh series.
  • Stock footage and a deleted scene from Dunkin Duncan is used.
  • The first appearance of Skarloey's horrified face since the fifth series.
  • The plot is somewhat similar to the 1993 magazine story The Viaduct!
  • Small scale narrow-gauge trucks from the fourth and fifth series are seen in shots below the bridge to create perspective.
  • The water tower from It's Only Snow appears at the depot.


  • On Nick Jr. airings in the UK and PBS Kids airings in the US, "Difficulties" this episode is called The Old Iron Bridge, but the bridge is wooden, not iron.
  • Skarloey's eyes are misaligned in the third shot.
  • Skarloey falls down the broken rail on the bridge and hits the broken bridge rail on the other end smokebox first, but in the following scene, Skarloey is a short distance away in between his smokebox and rail before Rheneas helped him out.
  • Skarloey is wobbling when Rheneas pulls him away from the bridge.
  • When Skarloey leaves for the Old Bridge, Rheneas' eyes are misaligned.
  • When Rheneas approaches the bridge for the last time, he is pulling a train that he was seen pulling in the beginning of the episode rather than the train he was previously seen pulling. This is because the shot was likely intended to lead into the first shot of Rheneas crossing the bridge.
  • When Skarloey shunts coaches at the yard, his eyes are wonky.
  • Rheneas is wearing Skarloey's impressed face when he was rescued.


  • Skarloey(dangles dangerously above the water while on the Old Bridge) HELP!


  • Skarloey's Driver: Come on, Skarloey! The bridge is safe now!


  • (Skarloey refuses to cross the bridge)
  • Rheneas's Driver: We'll pick up the trucks.
  • Rheneas: But if you don't cross the bridge soon, The Fat Controller will be cross.


  • Rheneas: (runs out of water on The Old Bridge) Bother! 


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Chinese Mandarin 老桥
Danish Den Gamle Bro
Hungarian A Régi Híd
Italian Il Vecchio Ponte
Japanese スカーロイとふるいはし
Korean 낡은 나무다리
Polish Stary Most
Romanian Podul cel Vechi
Russian Старый мост
Serbian Stari Voz
Swedish Den Gamla Bron
Turkish Eski Köprü
Welsh Yr Hen Bont

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets


  • The Complete Series 7

DVD Packs

  • Complete Series 1-10
  • Series Seven and Series Eight Double Pack


DVD Boxsets


DVD Boxsets