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“What's that?"
"Shh! It's Gordon."
"It looks like Gordon, but it can't be. Gordon never comes on the branch lines. He thinks them vulgar."
"If it isn't Gordon, it's just a pile of old iron."
"Which we better take to the scrapyard."
"No, Bill, this lot's useless for scrap. We'll take it to the harbour and dump it in the sea!"
am Gordon! Stop! Stop!”
―Bill and Ben teasing Gordon

Wrong Road is the twenty-second episode of the second series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Main Line Engines.


Thomas and Edward's branch lines are very important to the railway. However, their tracks and bridges are not as strong as those on the main line, so the Fat Controller does not allow the larger engines (like Henry and Gordon for example) to run on them. Although this is purely for safety, Gordon believes the rule is for another reason entirely.

One day, he complains to Edward about BoCo being allowed to take main line trains when he is only supposed to work on the branch line. Edward jokingly suggests that Gordon ask if he can take BoCo's trucks in return, but Gordon refuses to consider it. Edward notes that it might be a nice change, but Gordon claims the Fat Controller would never agree and states that branch lines are vulgar before snorting off, followed by an amused Edward.

Every evening, both Gordon and Edward take late-night trains from Knapford. Gordon takes the express along the main line, while Edward leaves five minutes later with a branch line train. Normally, everything runs fine, but that evening, there is trouble; a lady wearing a green floppy beach hat is on the platform, saying goodbye to a friend in the guard's van when it is nearly time for Gordon to start. Looking back, Gordon's fireman sees what he thinks is the guard waving the flag, but is actually just the lady's green hat moving. Gordon leaves with the majority of his passengers, their luggage and the guard stranded on the platform as a result. Everyone is surprised and mostly cross.

Gordon is soon stopped and brought back, feeling humiliated. By now, Edward is late, so he sets off first instead. However, this causes more trouble because no one informed the junction signalman about the change of plans and Edward is accidentally sent down the main line. When Gordon follows, he is sent down the branch and ends the evening by being forced to sleep in a siding at the harbour.

The next morning, Bill and Ben arrive to pick up trucks from BoCo in the yard. While neither BoCo nor the trucks are there, they do not mind, as they much prefer the idea of teasing Gordon. After joking that the large blue engine near them cannot be Gordon, as Gordon would never go on branch lines as he thinks them vulgar, they jokingly conclude that he is a pile of old iron. Bill considers taking the old iron to the scrapyard while Ben suggests throwing it into the sea. Gordon, unaware of the twins' joking nature, starts to panic and begs BoCo to save him when the diesel arrives with some trucks. BoCo soon realises what is happening and sends the twins off by threatening to take the trucks he brought for them away. They quickly run off, as a relieved Gordon thanks BoCo. Not knowing the twins were only teasing, Gordon ends up thinking that BoCo saved his life.




  • Christmas lights are used for Gordon and Edward's headlamps. This would later happen in the following episode.
  • Gordon is shown pulling express coaches from the first series.
  • Several of the passengers are represented by 1:32 scale Scalextric figures.
  • This is the only episode from the first three series not released on multiple home video releases before the Complete Collection in the UK and Australia.
  • This was the final episode to air on Children's ITV in 1989. It was repeated in a double bill with The Diseasel a day before the TUGS episode "Quarantine" would premiere.
  • This episode is the first to use Gordon's tired and alarmed/alternate shocked faces, as well as the only appearance of these faces in the Clearwater Features era.
  • The JEI TV version of the Korean dub added subtitles to inform viewers what Main Line and Branch Line are.
  • The "busy" theme is heard in the first shot of Knapford in the UK, Welsh, original Norwegian, original Swedish and Japanese dubs.
  • This episode was aired alongside Old Iron in an airing of Storytime with Thomas.


  • When Gordon and Edward talk about branch lines, before Gordon leaves, steam is rising in front of him. When he leaves, it continues rising. Additionally, in the restored version, the top of the set can be seen.
  • In the restored version at the beginning, studio equipment can be seen on the top of the set.
  • Edward is missing his eyebrows in the scene at Knapford. In the same scene, there is a gap in Edward's right eye (viewers' left).
  • When Gordon is brought back blu-tack is visible on the Fat Controller's shoes and his eyebrows are much bigger.
  • The back end of the coach's roof at the end of Edward's train seems to have snapped.
  • In one shot, BoCo is missing his eyebrows.
  • When the narrator says "Gordon started" and when Gordon comes back to the station, wires are visible on Gordon's and Edward's buffer beams.
  • Light bulbs are visibly sticking out from Edward's and Gordon's lamps.
  • When Edward crosses the viaduct, his last coach does not have any lighting.
  • Gordon pushes the buffers out of place when he comes into the siding.
  • When Gordon shouts "Stop, stop!", one of his eyes is not looking at Bill and Ben, making his eyes look very misaligned.
  • Gordon's front bogie wheels are derailed near the end. His left eye (viewer's right) is also scratched.
  • During the outro theme, static is audible.
  • When the scene cuts away from the guard and into the passengers, the woman's old friend can be seen among them.
  • Edward's passenger train has no brake coach.
  • In the Japanese dub, when Edward and Gordon are at Knapford Station, Ringo Starr's narration can faintly be heard in the background.
  • Edward does not cross the viaduct slowly despite it being under repairs.
  • In a close-up of Ben, his nameplate is falling off on his right (viewers' left) side.
  • When BoCo is threatening the twins, Gordon's eyes are wonky.
  • When BoCo threatens to take away the trucks for Bill and Ben, the twins are smiling.
  • After BoCo threatens Bill and Ben and they both leave, rolling stock sound effects are heard, even though the twins were not pulling any sort of train.


Gordon: It's not fair.
Edward: What isn't fair?
Gordon: Letting branch line diesels pull main line trains.
Edward: Never mind, Gordon. I'm sure BoCo will let you pull his trucks/cars sometimes.
Narrator: Gordon spluttered.
Gordon: I won't pull BoCo's dirty trucks/cars! I won't run on branch lines!
Edward: Why not? It would be a nice change.
Gordon: The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt would never approve. Branch lines are vulgar!

Gordon's fireman: [whilst mistaking the lady's green floppy hat for the guard's green flag] Right away, mate!

Bill: What's that?
Ben: SHH! It's Gordon.
Bill: It looks like Gordon, but it can't be. Gordon never comes on the branch lines. He thinks them vulgar.
Narrator: Gordon pretended he hadn't heard them.
Ben: If it isn't Gordon, it's just a pile of old iron.
Bill: Which we'd better take to the scrap yard.
Ben: No, Bill. This lot's useless for scrap. We'll take it to the harbour and dump it in the sea!
Narrator: Gordon was alarmed.
Gordon: I am Gordon! STOP! STOP!

Gordon: BoCo! My dear engine! Save me!

Gordon: Those little demons. How do you do it?
BoCo: Ah well. It's just a knack.


In Other Languages

View content
Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese Fora da linha
Chinese Mandarin 歧途
Croatian Krivi put
Czech Nesprávná Trať
Danish Gordon og Sidesporet
Dutch De Verkeerde Weg
Finnish Väärä Reitti
French La mauvaise voie
German Der falsche Weg
Greek Λάθος δρόμος
Hungarian A Rossz Út
Italian Linea sbagliata
Japanese しせんをはしったゴードン
Korean 어긋난 길
Latin American Spanish El camino equivocado
Norwegian På Ville Veier
Polish Nie Tędy Droga
Romanian Drum Greşit
Russian Неверный путь
Serbian Progrešan Put
Slovenian Na Napačni Poti
Swedish På Vilo Vägar
Turkish Yanlış Yol
Welsh Colli’r Ffordd

Home Media Releases





  • James Goes Buzz Buzz and Other Thomas Stories
  • Best of Gordon

DVD Boxsets



  • The Deputation and other Stories
  • The Complete Series 2

DVD Boxsets

  • Complete Series 1-10
  • Classic Collection
  • Series One and Series Two Double Pack














DVD Packs



  • Thomas and Friends Season 1-4