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Trouble on the Tracks is a PC game developed by Minds Eye Productions and published by Hasbro Interactive, released in 2000.


Sodor is running low on coal, so the Fat Controller sends James to collect some. But on his way, James goes too fast and derails at a very sharp bend. The Fat Controller is worried about James so he sends Harold out to search for him. Harold finds James and his pilot calls the Fat Controller for the Breakdown Train, but the engines still have no coal.

The Fat Controller calls one of the Horrid Lorries over and tells him to go to the mine and collect coal for the engines, but the lorry does not want to help the engines. However, after the Fat Controller explains that James has crashed and that it is an emergency, the lorry reluctantly accepts the job.

When the engines are steamed up again, the Fat Controller asks Thomas to rescue James. On his way, the crane's cogs come off on a bumpy track. However, the crane is soon fixed and James is lifted back on the rails, and Thomas pushes him back to the engine shed to be repaired.

Later, the engines help the Fat Controller to find a new whistle for James. Percy brings the new whistle to the Fat Controller and, after his tiring job, goes for a rest. Thomas, meanwhile, goes to the docks to pick up new parts for James from Cranky, but he finds it hard to do his work when the trucks cause trouble. Thomas then returns triumphantly to the yards.

The Fat Controller sends Percy to the lamp shop to collect a new lamp for James and soon arrives back at the yards. Percy finds a very sad James waiting to be fixed, thinking he will never be splendid again. James thanks Percy for helping him out and Thomas shunts James into the shed to be repaired.

A few hours later, James steams out like a brand new engine; feeling very splendid. Gordon is determined for some help with the hard work, but James is still not ready; he has to be filled with water and coal. When James is fully ready, Thomas shunts his coaches into place for him, saying he is pleased to have him back on the tracks. James then steams away from the coal yard.

James and the others are back in the shed. James is feeling proud and tells the engines that the passengers enjoyed themselves and that he was very careful not to have another accident. The Fat Controller then tells the engines they have all been really useful.




There are three levels of each activity, except Get James Ready.

  • Find James - Help Harold search the Island for James. Watch out for Tiger Moth the Biplane - he can help you!
  • Collect Coal with the Horrid Lorry - Help load the Horrid Lorry with coal, but do not get any tools! The winning lengths are:
    • Level one: 5 loads
    • Level two: 7 loads
    • Level three: 9 loads
  • Mend the Breakdown Crane - Choose the right cogs and put them into place to make the crane work and push the red button when they fit and to make Harold leave immediately.
  • Find a Whistle for James - Find the right whistles for the engines in the shed, the whistle that's left will be for James. Toby only appears in level one, however.
  • Load the Troublesome Trucks - Match the weight of the Troublesome Trucks with the crates of new parts for James, so that the two arrows on the weigh bridge meet.
  • Find a Lamp for James - Help put the lamps back on the shelf, the lamp that is left will be for James, so it needs to be put in the box.
  • Repair James - Repair and repaint James so that he can be a shiny new engine!
  • Get James Ready - James needs three units of water and coal before he can start his passenger run.


  • The narrator and characters are voiced by Michael Angelis in the UK and Robin Smith in the US. In the Norwegian version, Trine Lossius Borg and Harald Stoltenberg provide the voices.
  • Original music by Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell is used in the game.
  • The plot is similar to the episode Thomas and the Breakdown Train.
  • A Railway Series map of Sodor can be seen when the Fat Controller is talking to the controller at Harold's airfield.
  • The game's manual features screenshots of the game's prototype where some of the pictures have the original orange cursor from The Great Festival Adventure instead of the one used in the final version.
  • During the Dockside Trouble mini game, at one point audio of the Troublesome Trucks laughing from Dirty Work will play.
  • In the UK version of the game, the Breakdown Train is referred to as the Breakdown Truck for unknown reasons.
  • Some of the objects in the levels (excluding Finding James) and Sir Topham Hatt's office start an animation when clicked on or when the cursor moves over them.
  • Within the games files, audio files featuring:
    • Unused voice clips such as:
      • A few of them reveal that Toby was to appear in all three levels of the "Find a Whistle for James" game. 
      • Several US voice clips from Robin Smith's narration are in the UK game files. 
      • Several voice clips from Michael Angelis' narration as well as other versions featuring an unknown narrator can be found within the files for "Fix the Broken Breakdown Crane". 
    • Unused sound effects (some of which are from The Great Festival Adventure). 
  • This is the only production until the HiT Entertainment Model era and until the eighth series episode, Thomas Saves the Day to feature Thomas' unused third series hurt face.
  • The sound effect of James loading coal into his tender was later used in the eighteenth series episode, Spencer's VIP.
  • In the US version, after level three is finished, the outro video to Find a Whistle for James does not play, but in the UK version, it always does.
  • In the US version, the outro video to Find a Whistle for James plays, but only after all three levels are finished.
  • The US version includes the warning screen after the logos, but the UK version does not.
  • The certificates are:
    • Junior/Senior/Master Search and Rescue Navigator
    • Junior/Senior/Master Coal sorter (Lorry Driver in the UK version)
    • Junior/Senior/Master Crane mechanic
    • Junior/Senior/Master Whistle Matcher
    • Junior/Senior/Master Freight Loader
    • Junior/Senior/Master Lamp Shelver
    • Junior/Senior/Master Engineer
    • Master Driver's Assistant (Driver's Assistant without the word "Master" in the UK version)


  • A second arch is visible on the watermill.
  • When James is laying on his side in the opening video, the track beside him is upside down.
  • As Thomas pushes James back to the shed, his wheels spin backwards despite him moving forward.
  • When Thomas arrived with James at the shed, a second Thomas can be seen in the shed.
  • Edward has Oliver's current whistle sound.
  • Some scenes have the engines' side rods missing or wheels not turning. This is most common with Thomas.
  • When Thomas shunts James' coaches, they are both brake coaches, but when James pulls out of the yards, they are now Annie and Clarabel. Also, when Thomas backs away, the coaches' wheels are still moving.
  • When James tries to brake, sparks fly, but his wheels still keep moving.
  • When James is placed back on the rails, he moans that his lamp is broken, but he is not wearing a lamp.
  • When the Fat Controller orders Thomas to collect the Breakdown Train for James, Tidmouth Sheds now has five berths instead of six.
  • The track arrangement where James crashes changes.
  • In the "Find a Whistle for James" activity, Toby's number and headlamps are missing. Additionally, in the easy level he has two sets of buffers.
  • In the "Dockside Trouble" activity, Cranky's backside clips through the "Sodor Shipping Company" warehouse while he was loading and unloading the crates.
  • When Thomas tells James, "We'll soon have you back on the rails again", the track he is on leads into trees.
  • Harold has six blades instead of three.
  • James lands several feet from the bend where he derailed.
  • James' right side is scratched after he derails, but he landed on the ground on his left side.
  • In the end video, a third eye can be seen beside Edward in the shed.
  • The Senior Search and Rescue Navigator certificate has a period at the end of it.

In Other Languages

Language Title
German Im Noteinsatz!
Norwegian Trøbbel på skinnene