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“Ya, Tōmasu! Boku Gachapin, Nippon kara kitanda! (Hi, Thomas! I'm Gachapin, I came from Japan.)"
"Anō, Anō, Watashi wa Mukku desū. (Um, Um, I am Mukku.)"
"Yā! Yoku kitane! (Hi! Welcome to!)”
― Gachapin, Mukku and Thomas

Thomas the Tank Engine and the U.K. Trip (Japanese: きかんしゃトーマスとイギリスのたび) is a Japanese Thomas & Friends/"Ponkicki" crossover special. It aired in December 1991 exclusively in Japan.



Mukku, Gachapin and Thomas

Two children's television characters from Japan, Gachapin and Mukku, travel to the United Kingdom. During their visit, they stop on Sodor to meet Thomas, Sir Topham Hatt, and the other engines. During the second half of the programme, they visit real railways as recommended by Sir Topham Hatt and learn how steam locomotives work.


According to producer Yōichi Fujita, in 1991, Fuji Television Network submitted the plan of this special to the Britt Allcroft Company.[1] Later, Britt Allcroft requested Fuji TV to submit the storyboard, and Atsuo Sugano completed and submitted it overnight.[1]


The ending of the third series

In the fall, the special was photographed in the UK with the filming cooperation of FCI London, a Fuji TV group company, and the cooperation of Japan Airlines, the British Tourist Authority and Kensington, Inc. Also, the scenes of Thomas and his friends interacting with Gachapin and Mukku were filmed at Shepperton Studios for this special during the production of the third series with the filming cooperation of the Britt Allcroft Group Limited.[2]

The special was broadcast in Japan on 30 and 31 December 1991, the year before the third series broadcast.




First day

  1. Thomas' Train
  2. Thomas Goes Fishing
  3. Thomas and Bertie
  4. Off the Rails
  5. Ghost Train

Second day

  1. Thomas and the Guard
  2. Trouble in the Shed
  3. Tenders and Turntables
  4. Edward's Exploit




  • This was the first mark of several things:
  • There are four instances of songs by The Beatles being played (of which Ringo Starr was the drummer) and one instance of a song that was covered by Marmalade (of which Junior Campbell was part):
    • "Magical Mystery Tour" can be heard during the intro.
    • An instrumental version of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", covered by David Arnold, Paul Hart & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from the 1989 album 'Pop Go The Beatles', is used when different locations on the Island of Sodor are being introduced.
    • An instrumental version of "The Fool on the Hill" is used when Tidmouth Sheds first appears.
    • "When I'm Sixty-Four" plays during the end credits.
  • Thomas' Anthem is played in English, thus being the first time a Thomas song is broadcast in English outside the UK and the United States.
  • A Wilesco traction engine is steamed and shown running in one of the office segments.
  • Fuji Television produced "I'm Thomas the Tank Engine" as Thomas' image song for Japan,[1] so they did not acquire the right to produce a music video. After that, it officially acquired the right.
  • This is the last Thomas the Tank Engine production produced in 1991.
  • Because this production was only aired exclusively in Japan, there is no English dub for both the UK and the US making it one of the only pieces of classic Thomas & Friends media not to be dubbed in English.


  • When Thomas is talking to Gachapin and Mukku, a wire is hanging from underneath Thomas' running board.
  • Henry's firebox is crooked.
  • When James and Henry puff out of the shed, they are going slowly, but the sound of them puffing is fast.
  • Bulgy was incorrectly referred to as "バルギー(Barugī)" instead of "バルジー(Barujī)".


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ponkicki Days 3 chapter 3
  2. "A Britt Allcroft production in association with Fuji Television Network, Inc." was credited at the ending of the third series.

See also