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- “You said that the countryside runs got you all fired up, James, but I didn't think you meant it in this way!"
"Pah! It was the stupid trucks'/cars' fault, not mine!”
- ―Percy teasing James over his accident.
Thomas, James and Percy look up at the early morning sky. Thomas says that all the villagers of Sodor are happier when springtime comes, but James complains about the hard work he has been given especially the coastal runs he has been running on lately. Percy however tells him that the Fat Controller wants everything to be ready for the holidays and the salty air makes him feel good. James scoffs and prefers being in the countryside instead, before leaving the shed to collect his goods train from the docks.
Thomas and Percy then leave the sheds to take some empty trucks to the scrapyard. When they finish their job, they discover an old coach in the scrap yard. She looks very dirty and sad and says that she is not useful any more despite being in good condition. The yard manager arrives and is asked by Percy's driver about the coach, whose name is Old Slow Coach and is due to be broken up soon. Thomas and Percy are very upset. Thomas promises to help, though he is unsure how yet.
Meanwhile, James is enjoying his journey when there is trouble; one of the fuel tankers in his train is leaking fuel, causing all the tankers to ignite from the sparks billowing from James' funnel. His driver immediately pulls the train into a siding and notifies the fire department. Thomas and Percy then arrive at the junction and the guard reveals what happened. Although it is quite a mess, the fire is soon extinguished. Percy teases him about being fired up in the countryside, rather than being in the literal way, but James states that it was the trucks' fault that caused the fire. Thomas and Percy are now given the all-clear signal by a firefighter to proceed with their journey at a reduced speed, while they feel sorry for James.
Later that day, Thomas and Percy take on water when they find out that there is another fire at the workmen's hut near them, so they decide to go see how they can help. The fire engines arrive, but there is a bigger problem; they are completely out of water from the previous fire and cannot use water from the sea since it clogs their pumping apparatus, so the firefighters are forced to let the hut burn. Thomas suggests that they use the water from his and Percy's tanks. The plan works well and the fire is soon put out, but the workmen's hut is completely destroyed. A foreman arrives and worries about housing for the men and says that they cannot sleep on the beach. Percy then comes up with the idea of using Old Slow Coach as the workmen's new temporary hut. Percy's crew then phones the Fat Controller, who agrees to the idea.
Old Slow Coach is cleaned up, repainted and restored and feels splendid. Thomas and Percy collect her and she sets off happily enjoying her new life with the workmen. They all agree there is nothing old or slow about her and she will always be Really Useful.
- Old Slow Coach (debut)
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Fire Brigade (debut)
- Jem Cole (cameo)
- Big Mickey (faceless; cameo)
- Gordon (scrap model cameo)
- Donald/Douglas (scrap model cameo)
- City of Truro (scrap model cameo)
- Toad (scrap model cameo)
- Märklin Engine (scrap model cameo)
- Tidmouth Hault
- The Scrapyards
- The Flour Mill
- Tidmouth Beach
- Sir Topham Hatt's Office
- Brendam Docks (mentioned)
- The working title of this episode appears to have been called "Fire Engines." This may have been dropped because of its similarity to the story "Fire-Engine" in the RWS book James and the Diesel Engines.
- In the Spanish, Czech, Polish, and German dubs, Old Slow Coach is male.
- Edited pre-filmed footage from Thomas and the Rumours is used.
- Elements of the magazine story Fire are used.
- Scrap models of Thomas, Gordon, Donald/Douglas, City of Truro and his tender, Toad, the Märklin Engine and the old tenders can be seen in the background in shots of the scrapyard; along with Gordon's pilot model seen in the first shot.
- In the first shot of Thomas and Percy at the scrapyard, a scrapped OBB boxcar from TUGS can be spotted.
- In the Latin American, Polish and Czech dub, Old Slow Coach is referred to as a male.
- When Thomas and Percy puff to see what they can do about the fire at the workmen's hut, behind them in the background at Tidmouth Hault is the stationmaster's house from the second series episode, Thomas Comes to Breakfast.
- This episode marks a guard's last speaking role until the eighteenth series episode, Thomas and the Emergency Cable.
- This episode aired on the same day that Spooks and Surprises was released on VHS.
- The Workmen's Hut is the model of Dryaw Goods Station being reused.
- This is the first appearance of Thomas' unused panicked face from Series 3.
- This is the last episode where Thomas' shocked face gains a bucktooth.
- In one scene, Thomas' frantic face mask is missing the eyebrows.
- In one shot of Old Slow Coach at the scrapyard, Percy and his trucks are missing.
- When Thomas and Percy shunt their trucks in the sidings, Percy's eyes are misaligned.
- When the guard says: "It's quite a mess," Thomas lurches forward a bit.
- When Percy says: "You said the countryside runs got you all fired up James," his lamp is misaligned.
- In one shot in the scrapyard, part of the rails are oily, but in the previous scene there was nothing on the rails.
- When Thomas and Percy take Old Slow Coach away, something is hanging on top of the screen.
- In a close-up of James, the tracks next to him lead to bushes.
- Thomas: Everyone's so much happier when spring time comes.
- James: Everyone except the Fat Controller. He seems to be working us harder than ever. I'm tired of these coastal runs.
- Percy: He just wants everything to be ready for the holidays. Anyway, salty air makes me all cheerful in my smokebox.
- James: Pah! It's the countryside that really gets me fired up. It's the only place to be.
- Percy: You said the countryside got you all fired up, James. But I didn't think you meant it in this way.
- James: PAH! It was this stupid truck's fault! Not mine.
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