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This article is about the second series episode. You may be looking for the thirteenth series episode, the VHS, the DVD, the Buzz Book, the annual story, the 1988 magazine story, the 1996 magazine story or the 2012 magazine story.
“Oh, I don't know. I like my brown paint."
"I've always been green. I wouldn't want to be any other colour either."
"Well.. well anyway... blue is the only colour for a Really Useful Engine. Everyone knows that.”
―Toby, Percy and Thomas talking about their colours

Thomas, Percy and the Coal, retitled Double Trouble in American releases, is the first episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, More About Thomas the Tank Engine.


One beautiful morning on Sodor, Thomas puffs happily along his branchline with Annie and Clarabel, feeling very pleased with himself and his paintwork. He arrives at Elsbridge station and brags to Percy and Toby about having the best paintwork on Sodor. When they tell him they like their paint, Thomas disagrees and says that blue is the only colour for a Really Useful Engine before he puffs away.

Later that day, Thomas is resting by the coal hopper when Percy arrives to fill up some trucks. Thomas decides to be cheeky, warning Percy of the trucks' antics and some unsafe buffers on the siding behind him. The trucks then push Percy into the siding and the last truck passes the coal chute causing a large pile of coal to bury Thomas and cover his paintwork in coal dust from smokebox to bunker. He cries for help and calls to Percy to get him out. Percy is worried but he cannot help laughing as Thomas' blue paint is ruined. It takes so long to clean Thomas that he is not ready in time for his next train, so Toby has to take Annie and Clarabel instead.

That night at the sheds, Thomas is cross at Percy. Toby thinks it made a great joke, but Percy becomes cross at Thomas for thinking he ruined his paintwork on purpose and they continue arguing for the rest of the night.


"Now Percy has learned his lesson too!"

The next day, Thomas is feeling more cheerful as Percy brings in some trucks from the junction. Percy is thirsty, so he goes into the siding where the water tower is, but the siding there is the one with the faulty buffers. As Percy heads to the siding, he finds himself unable to stop and crashes through the buffers and lands in a pile of coal. Thomas has seen everything and laughs as he leaves when his signal turns green.

That night, after Percy is cleaned, he and Thomas apologise to each other for what happened and promise to be more careful with coal next time.




  • This episode marks the first for a few things:
    • The first episode adapted from a story written by Christopher Awdry.
    • The first appearance of a truck with a resin face.
    • The first episode filmed at Shepperton Studios.
    • The first episode to feature both the red Express Coaches and an SR 25 Ton Brake Van.
    • The first appearance of Tidmouth Station, Tidmouth Yard, Ffarquhar Sheds, The Ffarquhar Stationmaster's House, The Branch Line Bridge and The Branch Line Cutting in the television series.
    • The first episode where Thomas' front and rear brake pipes become smaller and where the colour of the supports under his whistle change from blue to gold.
    • The first episode where Toby's Bell has a new ring sound and pitch to it, which would carry on for the rest of the season and in the third series.
  • In the UK narration, when the coal pours down on Thomas, he shouts "Help, I'm choking!" But in the US narration, he instead shouts "Help!" twice. It was changed due to the "choking" concept being too much for young viewers. Despite this, all narrations have the line "'I'm not disgraceful!' choked Thomas," kept in the episode.
  • When the narrator says, "It took so long to clean Thomas, that he wasn't in time for his next train," a first series-style truck is seen.
  • In later versions of this episode, Christopher Awdry is not listed in the credits.
  • The start of the Latin Spanish version features a brief clip of Thomas passing the Watermill from the third series episode, Percy's Promise.
  • In the Nick Jr. version of the Shining Time Station episode Win, Lose or Draw, the scene of Thomas being cleaned and Toby taking Annie and Clarabel was cut out.
  • This episode was filmed after Thomas Comes to Breakfast, as a hole can be seen in the Stationmaster's house in the shot of Percy laughing at Thomas getting buried in coal.


  • On George Carlin's narration, the engine's whistles are absent.
  • Underneath the bridge Thomas crosses at the beginning, there is some black plastic.
  • In the scene where Thomas meets Percy and Toby at Elsbridge, his dome appears to be severely bent.
  • When the narrator says that Thomas is resting in a siding, Thomas' eyes are wonky.
  • In Ringo's US version on the Thomas Breaks the Rules VHS, the A Cow on the Line audio tape and also in the Japanese version, the coal chute sound effects are absent.
  • Just before Thomas gets covered in coal, Percy is smiling when he is pushed through the buffers by the trucks and the noise of Percy hitting the buffers does not play at the exact time Percy hits the buffers.
  • In the panning shot of Thomas being cleaned, a shadow can be seen moving at the back of the shed behind Thomas, possibly that of a crew member. Thomas' eyes are also looking in different directions and his face is tilted.
  • When Thomas is being cleaned, his eyes are wonky.
  • When Toby backs up to Annie and Clarabel, his face is slightly loose and blu-tak is sticking out from the side of his face. In addition to that, Clarabel is facing the opposite direction when Toby pulls them away.
  • In the restored version, studio equipment is visible in the top corner when Toby pulls Annie and Clarabel.
  • In a deleted scene, a black plastic bag, which is used to simulate water, can be seen at the bottom while Thomas, Annie and Clarabel pass the watermill.
  • Percy's eyes are wonky when he says that he has always been green.
  • When Toby takes Annie and Clarabel away, Clarabel's roof is not attached properly.
  • When Thomas and Percy are resting in the shed at the end, their eyes are wonky and Percy's eyebrow is peeling away.
  • When Thomas is being covered in coal, the side shots show him clean but the close-ups on his face show him very dirty.
  • When Percy arrives with his trucks at Tidmouth, a red express coach is amongst the trucks to the left of the screen, but after that there are only trucks in that siding.
  • In a close-up of Thomas covered in coal at the coal hopper, the hopper shakes.
  • In the restored version, studio equipment is visible at the top of the screen during a close-up of the buffers and the water tower.
  • You can see bluetack holding up the buffers before Percy crashes into it.


  • Percy: Hello, Thomas. You look splendid.
  • Thomas: Yes, indeed. Blue is the only proper colour for an engine.
  • Toby: Oh, I don't know. I like my brown paint.
  • Percy: I've always been green. I wouldn't wanna be any other colour, either.
  • Thomas: Well, well, anyway, blue is the only colour for a.. for a really useful engine. Everyone knows that.
  • [he huffs away]
  • Narrator: Percy said no more. He just grinned at Toby.


  • Thomas: [watches the hopper load coal into Percy's trucks] Careful. Watch out with those silly trucks/freight cars.
  • Trucks: Go on! Go on! Go on!
  • Thomas: And by the way, those buffers don't look very safe to me.
  • [Percy accidentally hits said buffers; the last load of coal pours down on Thomas]
  • Thomas: UK: Help, I'm choking! Get me out! / US: HELP! HELP!! Get me out!
  • Narrator: Percy was worried, but he couldn't help laughing! Thomas' smart blue paint was covered in coal dust, from smoke-box to bunker!
  • Percy: Ha-ha! You don't look really useful now, Thomas. You look really disgraceful.
  • Thomas: I'm NOT disgraceful. You did that on purpose! Get me out!


  • Annie: (to Clarabel) Poor Thomas!


  • Percy: (arguing with Thomas) Fancy a really useful blue engine like Thomas, becoming a disgrace to the Fat Controller's/Sir Topham Hatt's railway


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Confusão em Dose Dupla
Chinese 托马斯培西和煤
Croatian Tomica, Pero i Ugljen
Czech Tomáš, Percy a Uhlí
Danish Thomas, Percy og Kullene
Dutch Thomas, Percy en de Kolen
Finnish Tuomas-Veturi, Pekka ja Hiilet
French Thomas, Pierre et le Charbon
German Chaos in Kohlenstaub
Hungarian Thomas, Percy és a Szén
Italian Nera Come il Carbone
Japanese トーマスとパーシーとせきたん
Korean 석탄 속에 빠진 토마스와 퍼시
Norwegian Thomas, Percy og Kullet
Polish Tomek, Piotrek i Węgiel
Romanian Thomas, Percy și Cărbunele
Russian Черный, как вороново крыло
Serbian Tomas, Persi i Ugalj
Slovak Thomas, Percy a Uhlie
Slovenian Tomaž, Poldi in Premog
Spanish Doble Problema
Swedish Thomas, Percy och Kollen
Thai โธมัสก็มอมแมม
Ukrainian Томас, Персі та вугілля
Welsh Tomos, Pyrsi a'r Glo

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets




  • Thomas, Percy and the Coal and Other Stories
  • Truck Loads of Fun
  • The Complete Series 2

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