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For other uses, see Trucks (disambiguation).
“Give up!! Give up!! You can't pull us! You can't! You can't!!!"
"I can and I will. I can and I will.”
―The Troublesome Trucks and James

Troublesome Trucks, retitled Foolish Freight Cars in American releases, is the ninth episode of the first series.


It has been several days since James damaged one of his coaches, and since then he has been shut up in the shed as punishment for all the trouble he had caused. Having been left alone and not allowed out to push coaches or trucks, James begins to cry and thinks he will have to stay in the shed indefinitely and no one will see his red paint again. However, the Fat Controller finally returns and tells James he hopes that he will be a better engine as recent actions have caused a lot of embarrassment for the railway. James sincerely apologises and the Fat Controller assigns him to pull some trucks, for which James cannot be happier to be let out and eagerly goes to work.

At the station, Thomas brings James his trucks and teases him about bootlaces before leaving. James angrily couples himself to the troublesome trucks, who tease him for his red paint. James just ignores them and sets off; however, the trucks refuse to go and attempt to hold back. James does not allow them to and drags them out of the station. As the journey continues, the trucks try everything they can to get James to give up, but it is no use as James is determined to prove himself a better engine.

Finally the train reaches Gordon's Hill and James tries his hardest to run up it as fast as he can which is initially tricky, but with a sudden jerk it gets easier and James makes it up the hill, but his driver stops him and points out that the brake van and the last four trucks became uncoupled and ran down the hill. They stop at the bottom, and the guard gets out to warn approaching engines.

James reverses down the hill to retrieve the trucks, where Edward has stopped due to the blockage. He offers to help, but James politely declines, determined to do it himself. Edward obliges and complements James as he makes his way up the hill. Pulling with every ounce of his strength, James finally makes it to the top of the hill and easily continues on to the station where Edward later arrives with the Fat Controller. James is very worried, thinking the Fat Controller will be angry at again him. This time, however, the Fat Controller is happy with James, having been aboard Edward's train and seeing everything. Since James made the most troublesome trucks on the line behave, the Fat Controller allows him to keep his red coat.





  • When the Fat Controller first speaks to James, his head is turned away from him.
  • Thomas' eyes are wonky in the opening scene.
  • James' tender is derailed while Thomas arranges his train. Also, the siding that James is on has no buffers.
  • When Thomas says "Have you got some bootlaces ready?" there is blu-tak under his lantern. Knapford is also missing in that scene.
  • When Thomas puffs off, James' eyes briefly jitter. They are also wonky.
  • When James puffs out of the yard, the truck at the front loses its face and regains it as James pulls the trucks up Gordon's Hill the first time. Also, the train next to James on a siding has a brake van in the middle of it.
  • When Thomas puffs away laughing, all the trucks are coupled to each other. But when James backs onto the trucks, one at the front is uncoupled.
  • When the trucks get to the bottom of Gordon's Hill, a truck disappears. It, however, reappears in the last shot of James pulling the trucks.
  • When James goes up Gordon's Hill the second time, a wire pulls him up.
  • James' puffing noise is not in sync with his speed.
  • When the narrator says the line "and sometimes their axles would run hot," a crew member's shadow is seen in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • When Edward is first shown at the bottom of Gordon's Hill, he has no train. When James backs down and couples to the lost trucks, look carefully and you can see Edward has at least one truck behind him.
  • In the close-up of James at Maron, the water tower next to him disappears.
  • In the last close-up of James going up Gordon's Hill, his driving wheels are not moving and when they start to move, they are going backwards.
  • When James couples up to his train, he is outside the station, but when he starts moving off, he is inside it.
  • When Edward talks to James at Maron, his tender is not seated properly on the chassis.

In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Vagões de Carga
Chinese 煤矿货车厢
Croatian Razigrani Teretni Vagoni
Czech Neposlušné Vagóny
Danish Besværlige Vogne
Dutch Lastige Goederen Wagons
Finnish Rettelöivät Tavaravaunut
French Les Vilains Wagons-Bennes
German Die Güterwagen Machen Ärger
Hebrew קרונות המסע המרגיזים
Hungarian Rakoncátlan Teherkoscik
Italian Un Treno Merci Combinaguai
Japanese やっかいなかしゃたち
Korean 빨간 멋쟁이 제임스
Norwegian Vanskelige Vogner
Polish Kłopotliwe Wagony
Romanian Vagoane Bucolaşe
Russian Заговор в товарном составе
Serbian Nezgodni Vagoni
Slovak Problémové Vagóny
Slovenian Poredni Tovorni Vagoni
Spanish Los Vagones de Carga Tontos
Swedish Dom Vresliga Vagnarna
Thai รถพ่วงเจ้าปัญหา
Welsh Tryciau Trafferthus


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Name Published Publisher Highlights Photo
James 2003 Egmont
James 2016 Egmont

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


  • Troublesome Trucks and 8 Other Stories




DVD Boxsets












  • Thomas the Tank Engine 1





DVD Packs









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