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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story.

“We won't shunt like common tank engines. That was Thomas' job. We are important tender engines. You fetch our coaches and we will pull them. Tender engines don't shunt."
"Oh, indeed! We'll see about that. Engines on my railway do as they are told.”
―Gordon and the Fat Controller

Trouble in the Shed is the sixteenth episode of the first series. It is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Troublesome Engines.


At Knapford, there is no sign of the morning train, causing the passengers to become angry. The Fat Controller is told by the stationmaster that Henry is refusing to leave his shed, so he goes to find out what is going on. Gordon tells him that he, James, and Henry will no longer fetch their own coaches or shunt in sidings, declaring that tender engines do not shunt. The Fat Controller is very surprised that the bigger engines are trying to tell him what they are willing to do and leaves for Wellsworth to enlist Edward as a station pilot to ensure that the day's trains run as normal, noting to himself that the yard has never been the same since Thomas left to run his branch line. Edward is happy to shunt the coaches and the rest of the day's trains run as usual.

The next day, the Fat Controller visits the yard to see how Edward is getting along. To his dismay, he sees Gordon puff by and hiss loudly at Edward, who tells the Fat Controller that all the big engines hiss him and say he has black wheels, thinking he is a traitor since he is a tender engine as well. The Fat Controller kindly assures Edward that he has nice blue wheels and is very proud of his work, saying that tender engines do shunt. All the same, however, he decides that they do need a new tank engine to find a permanent solution to the problem.

Visiting an engine workshop, the Fat Controller is shown all kinds of engines. Soon he sees a smart green saddletank and knows this is the one he wants. The Fat Controller asks the engine if he is willing to work hard. The engine eagerly responds that he is. With that, the matter is settled. The Fat Controller names him Percy and takes him back to the yard.

The Fat Controller asks Edward to get Percy acquainted with the yard and the pair set off for work. Edward is very impressed by Percy's hard work and loud wheeshing - something he learned in the workshop so as to be heard, which startles Henry when he attempts to insult Edward again. The Fat Controller then decides to send for Thomas and calls all three engines to the yard for an announcement. He tells them that he has shut up the big engines in the shed for their little mutiny until they learn to behave and that, in their absence, the two tank engines and Edward will run the railway.

Edward and Thomas are put in charge of the main line, while Percy takes care of the branch line as well as looking after Annie and Clarabel. While there are fewer trains, the passengers understand that the two tank engines and Edward are doing their best to keep the railway running and that the big engines are in the middle of learning a lesson.

Meanwhile, in the sheds, Gordon, James, and Henry are left cold, lonely and miserable. The three finally start to realise just how silly they have been.




  • This marks the first appearance of Percy in the television series.
  • From right to left or the viewers' left to right, the other engines under the tarps in the workshops are Gordon, The Marklin Engine, James, Henry and Edward, the latter three without their tenders.
  • Stock footage from Thomas' Train is used.
  • The scene of the Fat Controller putting his hat on is cut in the restored version.
  • The shot of the Fat Controller with Edward before the fade into the workshop is a freeze-frame.
  • The close-up of the Fat Controller in front of two piles of coal when confronting the engines at Tidmouth Sheds was used for the "Next Story Coming Up Soon!" card in between double bills and early American videos. This was also used in HBO's parodic news series, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, in a YouTube exclusive segment on endorsements.
  • In the UK version of this episode, the big engines in the earlier night told Edward that he had black wheels. This insult is a play on the word blackleg, which is a derogatory term for someone who works during a strike. However, the insult might seem odd coming from the big engines as James actually has black wheels. In both US versions, the insult was changed to "grey" wheels, likely to avoid confusing American audiences.
  • On the Shining Time Station episode, Schemer's Robot, Thomas Comes to Breakfast and Other Thomas and Adventures and Thomas and His Friends Help Out, the first few seconds of the opening are cut.


  • Just before Gordon hisses, he is passing Edward, but when he stops hissing, he is passing Edward again.
  • In a close-up of Gordon, his buffers are crooked.
  • In a close-up of Henry in the sheds, his rear wheel arch is missing.
  • In the close-up of the Fat Controller to Edward at Tidmouth Sheds, the viewer can see he has some small holes in his chin.
  • In the shot of Edward being "wheeshed" by Gordon, the Fat Controller is not seen on the platform.
  • When Gordon passes Edward, he "wheeshes" at him, but in the next scene, Gordon is too far away to be able to "wheesh" at Edward.
  • When Edward and Percy shunt, Edward's trucks push the buffers out of place.
  • When Henry comes out of and reverses back into the shed, he is in his new shape.
  • Because stock footage is used, the background in a close-up of the Fat Controller is Knapford.
  • In the close-up of Edward, Henry, and Percy at the sheds when Percy "wheeshes" at Henry, The berths Henry, James, and Gordon were in are closed, Henry and Edward are off the rails, Percy's left eye is not a perfect circle, the track on the left of Henry comes to end, and two things happen with Edward:
    • His tender is missing.
    • He has Thomas' whistle sound.
  • When Percy is running with Annie and Clarabel under the bridge, the first shot has them both facing backwards (with Annie positioned incorrectly) while the second shot has them both facing forwards (with Clarabel now positioned incorrectly).
  • Henry, Gordon and James keep changing positions in the shed throughout the episode.
  • When Thomas and Edward pass each other, Thomas' brake coach is backwards.
  • Some of the people shouting at Knapford have blu-tak on their shoes.
  • In the close-up of Henry looking angry and the close-up of him looking surprised, one of his wheel arches is missing.
  • When Edward meets Percy, his tender is tilted.
  • When Percy arrives at Knapford Station, there is a random piece of track beside him with no entrance or exit route.
  • In the final scene, Henry, Gordon, and James had all moved one shed to the left.
  • In the Brazilian dub, when Thomas and Edward pass each other on the main line, Thomas is referred to as Percy.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese A Greve
Chinese 车棚里的麻烦
Croatian Nevolje u Spremištu
Czech Potíže v Depu
Danish Ballade i Remissen
Dutch Rumoer in de Remise
Finnish Ongelmia Vaunuvajassa
French Des Problèmes dans le Dépôt
German Ärger im Depot
Greek Η Mεγάλη Aπεργία
Hebrew צרות בסככה
Hungarian A Szállítomozdonyok Lázadása
Italian Guai al Deposito
Japanese きかんこのもめごと
Norwegian Trøbbel i Lokomotivstallen
Polish Kłopoty w Hangarze
Romanian Necazuri în Hangar
Russian Неприятности на путях
Serbian Problem u Garaži
Slovak Problémy v Depe
Slovenian Zapleti na Postaji
Spanish Un Problema para Sir Topham Hatt
Swedish Trubbel i Lokstallet
Thai หัวรถจักรประท้วง
Ukrainian Неприємності у депо
Welsh Streic yn y Sied

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