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“Maybe those inspectors were right. Maybe the Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt doesn't need two fire engines.”

Too Many Fire Engines is the sixteenth episode of the seventeenth series.


One day, Thomas is taking the Fat Controller, along with a team of railway inspectors around Sodor. The inspectors are pleased with what they have seen so far, and the Fat Controller tells Thomas to go to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre. Thomas quickly sets off.

At the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, Belle and Flynn are trying to see who can shoot water further as they wait for the railway inspectors to arrive. Flynn is just about to shoot water out of his cannons, when Thomas arrives with the railway inspectors. The Fat Controller explains how Belle has water cannons fitted to her boiler to fight fires. The inspectors are impressed, so the Fat Controller continues, saying how Flynn can run on both rails and roads. The railway inspectors are even more impressed, but wonder if there really needs to be two fire engines, which makes Belle and Flynn worry. But the Fat Controller suggests otherwise, which makes the pair of fire engines feel relieved just as the emergency bell rings. Butch arrives and explains that there is a fire in a shed near Wellsworth. Belle races off to put out the fire on the rails, but Flynn uses his road wheels instead, due to the road route being faster.

As Flynn reaches the shed, one of his tyres flattens and he has to stop, out of action. Flynn watches helplessly as Belle puts the fire out by herself. Thomas, Annie, Clarabel and the railway inspectors all congratulate Belle for her excellent skills, but Flynn is very disappointed. Butch arrives to tow him back to the Rescue Centre, and tries to encourage him, which makes the fire engine feel better.

A few days later, the alarm sounds again. Rocky tells Flynn that Harold has spotted a forest fire near Arlesdale End. Flynn is unsure at first, until Rocky reminds him that he is the only fire engine available. Flynn sets off on the rails to prevent another flat tyre. He races by Wellsworth, passing Thomas and his coaches. As Flynn nears Arlesdale End, he sees the smoke, but it seems to turn into steam. As he rounds a bend, he sees that Belle has already put it out. Flynn is disappointed again and starts to believe that the railway inspectors were right.

A few days later, Thomas arrives at Flynn's shed and tells him that the Fat Controller wants him to go to the Ulfstead Castle Fireworks display, to watch out for fire, but Flynn refuses to go, saying Belle can go instead. Thomas goes off and tells Belle to go instead. That night, Thomas arrives with visitors at Ulfstead Castle to watch the fireworks. Belle is there too, watching in case of a fire.

Meanwhile, Flynn is sulking in his shed, just as Butch arrives and warns him of a fire. At first, Flynn is reluctant, saying that Belle can put it out because she's already on guard at Ulfstead Castle. Butch tells him that the fire is not at Ulfstead Castle, it is at Brendam Docks, and that Belle cannot go because she has to stay at the castle. Butch tells Flynn that he is the only one who can put out the fire. Now, Flynn is motivated to go and leaves at once.

At the Docks, the dock workers are desperately trying to put out the fire, just as Flynn arrives and quickly puts it out. Flynn feels proud and realises that the Fat Controller does need two fire engines after all.






  • Martin Sherman as Thomas
  • Teresa Gallagher as Belle, Annie and Clarabel
  • Bob Golding as Stephen
  • Ben Small as Flynn
  • William Hope as Rocky and a Railway Inspector
  • Steven Kynman as Butch a Railway Inspector
  • Kerry Shale as Sir Topham Hatt
  • Keith Wickham as a Railway Inspector


  • Going by production order, this is the sixth episode of the seventeenth series.
  • This episode marks the first occurrence of several things:
    • The first time both Belle and Flynn appear in the same episode.
    • The first time Ben Small voices Flynn, as he takes over the role from Rupert Degas.
    • The first time Steven Kynman voices Butch in the US version, likewise taking over the role from Degas.
    • The first time an episode has aired in Australia and Japan before airing in the UK.
    • The first and only time Flynn uses his road trailer.
  • In the UK version, the fade effects are missing.
  • In the UK, the air date of this episode was held back until the 5th of November to coincide with Guy Fawkes Night.
  • The events of this episode were mentioned by Flynn in the nineteenth series episode, Rocky Rescue.
  • Some television guides incorrectly switched Belle and Flynn's roles in the episode's description, switching both the characters' names and their pronouns.
  • In most international dubs, this episode's title is translated as either "Too Many Fire Locomotives" or "Too Many Fire Trucks." The latter is inaccurate as only Flynn is a fire truck, whereas Belle is a locomotive adapted for firefighting.


  • When Flynn sets off for Wellsworth, he does not have his trailer. However, he gains it on his way there.
  • When Flynn diverts to the other track towards Belle, the points are set in the opposite direction.
  • When Flynn shows the inspectors how he can switch from rail to road, Annie and Clarabel disappear.
  • After Belle and Flynn have shot water at the tree on the slope, Belle lowers her water cannons, but in the next shot of her, they are still raised, and then in the next shot they are down again.
  • In the first head shot of Thomas, he begins to move. Then in the shot directly after that, he begins to move again. 
  • The inside of Belle's cab is not rendered properly when she is fighting the fire at Arlesdale End.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Chinese 太多灭火车了
Croatian Previše Vatrogasnih Mašina
Czech Příliš mnoho požárních lokomotiv
Estonian Liiga palju tulertõrjevedureid
French Flynn Déprime
German Zu viele Feuerwehrloks
Greek Πολλά πυροσβεστικά οχήματα
Hebrew יותר מדי כבאיות
Hungarian Tűzoltóból sosem elég
Japanese ソドーとうをまもるしょうぼうしゃ
Korean 소중한 소방차
Lithuanian Per daug gaisrinės
Norwegian For mange brannlokomotiver
Polish Za dużo pojazdów strażackich
Portuguese Várias locomotivas de bombeiro
Romanian Prea Multe Locomotive Pompier
Russian Слишком много пожарных
Spanish Demasiados trenes bomberos / Las Máquinas de Bomberos nunca están de más
Thai รถดับเพลิงล้นเหลือ
Ukrainian Забагато Пожежних Машин

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


  • Santa's Little Engine (Bonus Feature)


DVD Boxsets





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