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There Once Was an Engine Who Ran Away is a song from the seventh series dedicated to Fergus. It is based on his theme.


There once was an engine who ran away,
Just up and went,
And ran away, ran away.
Stacked up his tender, and headed down the line,
Toot toot, farewell, goodbye!
He overheard the wicked old Diesel say,
He was heading for the scrapyard any day.
He didn't wanna wait for the fateful day.
So the little old engine ran away.
He huffed and he puffed, his wheels started turning,
He chuffed and he chuffed, his little firebox burning,
He slipped his brake, let his whistle fly,
Toot toot, farewell, goodbye!
And the little old engine ran away,
Just up and went,
And ran away, ran away.
Didn't feel part of the railway,
So the little old engine ran away.


And when the other engines heard he'd gone,
They felt so sad, 'cos they knew he had got it wrong.
No matter what Diesel had to say,
Sir Topham Hatt has the final say.
So he thought and he thought,
Where could he be, could he go?
Some searched high, the others searched low.
Where did he run, where did he go?
We gotta bring the little engine home.
So they all went out to look around,
Far and wide, and up and down
No matter where they searched, no one seemed to know
Oh where did the little old engine go?
Thomas finally tracked him down,
He was cold and blue, and all alone.
He told him he was needed back urgently.
"Who me, really?"
"Yes you, you silly engine!"
'Cause he's the pride of the railway!
So he huffed and he puffed,
His wheels started turning,
He chuffed and he chuffed his little firebox burning,
He slipped his brake and he was on his way,
Toot toot, hip hip, hooray!
Now the little old engine's heading home,
To toots and cheers, hear the whistles blow.
'Cause now he's the pride of the railway...
"Look everybody! Here comes Fergus!"
...yes, the little old engine's coming home!



Footage Used

Classic footage:

Modern footage:

Deleted and Extended Scenes

  • The Trouble with Mud - A deleted scene of Sir Topham Hatt thinking.
  • Rusty to the Rescue - An extended beginning of Rusty and Stepney going over the bridge after escaping the scrapyard.
  • Fish - An edited deleted scene of Henry going the other way passing the beach with The Flying Kipper.
  • Harvey to the Rescue:
    • An extended shot of Harvey talking to the engines at Tidmouth Sheds.
    • A deleted scene of Thomas and Harvey sad at Tidmouth Sheds.
    • A close-up of Henry at Tidmouth Sheds.
  • Fergus Breaks the Rules:
    • A coloured shot of Fergus and the workmen at the Cement Works.
    • Close-ups of Fergus' flywheel and firebox.
    • Fergus' driver pulling the lever.
    • An alternate wide-shot of Fergus leaving the Smelters.
    • A deleted scene of Fergus going under a pipe.
    • A deleted scene of Fergus puffing along Toby's line at night.
    • A deleted scene of Thomas puffing past the castle.
    • An alternate scene of Thomas finding Fergus and chuffing towards him.
    • A deleted scene of Thomas and Fergus going under a pipe.
    • A deleted scene of Fergus at the Smelters while passing 'Arry and Bert.
    • An alternate shot of Thomas and Fergus puffing past the sheep field


  • This song currently has not been released on VHS/DVD in the UK, although the song was featured on the US VHS/DVD Percy Saves the Day and Other Adventures, Roundhouse Rhythms (the unreleased promotional US VHS), as a part of Sing-a-Long the Malaysian/Chinese/Singaporean DVD/VCD, and in Japan. On 12 February 2014, the song was released on the Official UK Thomas and Friends YouTube channel.
  • The song lyrics reference the storyline of Fergus Breaks the Rules.
  • Stock footage from "Boo! Boo! Choo-Choo" is used during the instrumental break.
  • According to Junior Campbell, the melody was influenced by the works of the late Scott Bradley (1891-1977) and Carl Stalling (1891-1972), both of whom have composed music for the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies and Tom and Jerry cartoons.
  • Part of Fergus' large scale model was built for the close-up scenes.
  • This is the only song sung by the songwriter Mike O'Donnell.
  • In the Japanese dub, the voice whistling at the beginning is omitted.


  • The lyrics say that:
    • Fergus "stacked up his tender and headed down the line," but Fergus is a tank engine.
    • Fergus overheard Diesel say he was to be scrapped, but in the episode, Diesel directly told Fergus that he has to go work at the smelters.
    • Everyone searched for Fergus, but in the episode, Sir Topham Hatt only sent Thomas to find him.
  • In the deleted scene of Thomas pulling Fergus under the pipe, Fergus' front wheels are slightly lifted off of the track.

In Other Languages

Language Title
Japanese にげたきかんしゃのうた

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