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“You wouldn't have a problem if you were an express engine. You'd go really fast and get the job done in double-quick time like me! I'll be in time to see the fair!”

Thomas Tries His Best is the thirteenth episode of the ninth series.


The engines are very busy delivering items to help set up the fair and all are looking forward to it, especially Thomas. However, he is told by the Fat Controller to take some of Farmer McColl's chickens from Dryaw to Brendam. When Thomas arrives at Dryaw, Farmer McColl is not there; his lorry has a flat tyre, so Thomas must wait. Then, James arrives and tells Thomas that he could go over to the fair and be back before Farmer McColl turns up. Thomas agrees with James and leaves Dryaw to see the children at the fair.

However, Thomas begins to worry that Farmer McColl might come whilst he is gone or Thomas will be held up by a red signal on the way back, which would make the Fat Controller cross if he is late with the chickens. Thomas puts his job first and reverses back to Dryaw. By the time Farmer McColl arrives at Dryaw with the chickens, it is already evening. Once the chickens are loaded up in his vans, Thomas leaves for Brendam.

At Abbey, Thomas meets Gordon, who tells Thomas that if he goes fast he will be on time to see the fair. So when their signals turn green, Gordon departs with the express, closely followed by Thomas who speeds away. However, Gordon's next signal is green whilst Thomas' is red. Thomas brakes hard and the chickens get very cross. As soon as he stops, Thomas remembers that he was told to go slowly with the chickens, which he does for the rest of the journey. By the time he gets to Brendam, it is already night and Thomas knows he will not be able to go to the fair.

However, Thomas is asked to get a new generator for the fair. Once there, the generator is unloaded and put to work, bringing the fair back to life. Thomas is very happy that, against all the uncertainties, he is at the fair.




  • Going by production order, this is the twentieth episode of ninth series.
  • A deleted scene is shown in a tenth series interactive segment, Farmer McColl's Farm, in the airing Friendship. In the deleted scene, at night, Emily, having been to the fair and wanting to help, meets Thomas, who still really wants to go to the fair, at a signal and tells him she would take his train so he can go. Unaware that the vans are loaded with chickens, Emily speeds away, much to the discomfort of the chickens. Thomas catches up with her, informs her that the vans contain chickens and tells her that they must go slowly, and thus Emily learns it is better to be slow.
  • During the scene where Thomas reconsiders his actions, the UK version's narrator speaks in the third person as himself, but in the US version, the narrator speaks in the first person as Thomas. Thomas also does the line in the Japanese version.
  • Each member of the Steam Team have a specific job for the fair:
    • Thomas - Pulling the fairground games and bunting.
    • Edward and Henry - Pulling the ferris wheel.
    • Gordon - Pulling the bandstand, helter skelter and fairground tents.
    • James - Pulling the merry-go-round.
    • Percy - Pulling the bumper cars.
    • Toby - Taking the brass band to the fair.
    • Emily - Pulling the rollercoaster.


  • At the beginning, Thomas has Percy's whistle sound, and Gordon has Henry's.
  • When Thomas leaves the station he has one chicken car, but when he arrives at the Docks he has two.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese 托马斯尽了全力
Croatian Tomica daje sve od sebe
Czech Tomáš se snaží
Danish Thomas' tivolitur
Dutch Thomas doet zijn best
Finnish Tuomas Tekee Parhaansa
German Thomas tut sein Bestes
Greek Ο Τόμας βάζει τα δυνατά του
Hungarian Thomas Mindent Belead
Italian Thomas fa del suo meglio
Japanese いっしょうけんめいなトーマス
Korean 즐거운 놀이공원
Norwegian Thomas gjør sitt beste
Polish Tomek bardzo się stara
Portuguese Thomas faz seu Maior Esforço
Romanian Thomas își dă Silința
Russian Томас делает всё возможное
Scottish Gaelic Tomas Dicheallach
Slovak Thomas se snaží
Spanish Thomas hace su mejor esfuerzo
Swedish Thomas gör sitt bästa
Thai โธมัสพยายามทำดีที่สุด

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