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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the Hero of The Rails sticker book, the pull-the-tab book, the Story Library book, the Take Along DVD, the promotional DVD or the DVD.

“Well done, Thomas. You have saved the day. You are a Really Useful Engine and a credit to the railway.”
―The Fat Controller

Thomas to the Rescue is the third episode of the eighth series.


The Fat Controller sends Thomas to work with Mavis at the quarry, which has an important order to fill. When Thomas arrives at the quarry, he is shocked to discover that Diesel is working there as well. Diesel is not pleased to see Thomas, who tells him that he has come to help Mavis. Diesel claims that steam engines cannot help as much as diesel engines. Thomas scoffs at Diesel's insult and sets to work at once. However, Diesel is up to causing mischief and he pushes Thomas underneath the hopper, covering him in gravel. Diesel teases Thomas and claims that the Fat Controller is planning to scrap steam engines. Thomas refuses to believe Diesel, but he cannot help worrying about what he said in the shed that night.

The next morning, Salty delivers fresh diesel fuel from the Mainland. After being refuelled, Diesel brags that the fuel makes his axles tingle. However, as he begins to work, his engine coughs, splutters and stops amid clouds of smoke billowing from his exhaust. Diesel feels sick, as does Mavis, who is coughing out smoke from her exhaust. The Quarry Manager realises that the new diesel fuel has been contaminated with water. It is not long before 'Arry, Bert and Salty break down too.

Having heard the news, the Fat Controller orders the Quarry Manager to send Thomas to collect some clean diesel fuel. Thomas sets off for the fuel depot and the workmen fill up two flatbeds with diesel fuel drums. Despite the heavy load, Thomas sets off and delivers the clean fuel to Salty, 'Arry and Bert, and then he makes his final delivery at the quarry, where all work has just stopped. The contaminated fuel is drained out of Diesel and Mavis' tanks and they are refilled with the clean fuel. Mavis thanks Thomas, and after the important order has been filled, the Fat Controller arrives aboard Percy to congratulate Thomas for being Really Useful and a credit to the railway; even Diesel has to agree with that Thomas is very special, especially when he is a steam engine.




  • Going by production order, this is the twenty-fourth episode of the eighth series.
  • In the original storyboards, Bill and Ben were meant to have a major role in this episode. In the Steamie Stumpers Quiz on Steamies vs. Diesels and Other Thomas Adventures, it is revealed that Bill and Ben were at the works because they needed repairs, and that was why the Fat Controller sent Thomas to the quarry. A deleted scene featuring Bill and Ben was shown in Calling All Engines!
  • This episode marks Mavis' only episode appearance in the eighth series.
  • In a deleted scene, 'Arry and Bert are smiling when Thomas delivers the clean diesel fuel.
  • This episode may have been rewritten from the cancelled Jack and the Sodor Construction Company episode, Pop Goes the Diesel, which was likewise written by Paul Larson.
  • In the All Aboard with the Steam Team DVD, the narrator saying, "Even Salty had ground to a halt." is said earlier than in individual airings and other DVDs with the UK narration.
  • In the half-hour airing, Differences and US DVD The Greatest Stories, the music played when Salty said, "Fresh diesel from The Mainland" is omitted.
  • This episode is the first of a few things:
    • The first episode in which Thomas and Diesel interact.
    • The first episode to have Paul Larson co-write with another writer.
    • The first episode where Diesel's depressed face is used.
  • When Thomas imagines if the Fat Controller scraps all the steam engines, the scrapped engines appear to be the models of City of Truro, Donald/Douglas.
  • The steel company from TUGS can be seen when Salty broke down.
  • In the zoom-in scene of Mavis after getting new fuel, her mouth is edited.


  • In the opening shot, Percy's steam platform is visible and Gordon has Duck's whistle sound. In the same shot, Gordon's eyes appear to blink.
  • Thomas' lamp is facing backwards when he sees the workmen loading fuel drums.
  • Salty is missing his rear lamp in the first shot at the docks and a hole is visible where it should be.
  • When the narrator says Thomas was tired and he has one more delivery to make, his whistle is slightly out of place.
  • The steam appears on the right when Thomas passes the hopper and Mavis taking the trucks.
  • Right before the quarry manager talks to Thomas, his whistle is severely tilted.
  • Mavis has a male voice in the Finnish dub.
  • When Salty brings in the diesel fuel, there is a small gap between his face plate and eyes.


Thomas: (stating his opinion) "Coal doesn't make my axles tingle. I wish I could have fresh fuel."


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Thomas Vai ao Resgate
Chinese Mandarin 托马斯的救援
Croatian Tomica Priskače u Pomoć
Czech Zachránce Tomáš
Danish Thomas Kommer til Undsætning
Dutch Thomas Komt te Hulp
Finnish Tuomas Pelastaa Tilanteen
German Diesels großer Irrtum
Hungarian Thomas a Megmentő
Italian Operazione di Soccorso
Japanese トーマス、だいかつやく
Korean 특별한 증기 기관차, 토마스
Norwegian Thomas til Unnsetning
Polish Tomek Przybywa na Ratunek
Romanian Thomas Sare în Ajutor
Russian Томас спаситель
Serbian Tomas Stiže u Pomoč
Spanish Thomas al Rescate
Swedish Thomas Hoppar I

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