“She's so fast Victor, it was incredible! She must be the best engine ever!”
―Emily telling Victor about Caitlin

Best Engine Ever is the sixteenth episode of the nineteenth series.


One day, Connor and Caitlin are having a race when Caitlin has to stop suddenly; Emily has broken down on her track. Emily apologises, but Caitlin says she does not have to as everyone breaks down sometimes. Emily then asks Caitlin to push her onto a siding, but Caitlin is hesitant and changes tracks to get around her instead.

It is not long before Caitlin comes back after dropping off her passengers. Caitlin backs up to Emily and is coupled up. Caitlin then proceeds to pull Emily to the Steamworks. On their way, Connor puffs up and Caitlin decides to race him. Connor is winning until he has to stop at Kellsthorpe Road. Emily is extremely impressed with Caitlin.

Caitlin drops Emily at the steamworks and leaves her. Emily is still in awe of Caitlin and thinks she must be the best engine ever. Victor reminds Emily that speed is not everything, but Emily says she loves Caitlin's sleek shape, too. Emily imagines herself as a streamlined engine and asks Victor if the engineers can change her shape, but Victor tells her she is great just the way she is. Despite the truth to his words, Emily feels saddened she can't be streamlined like Caitlin.

A few days later, Emily has been repaired and is back at work on the main line. Caitlin comes up alongside and remarks how well Emily looks. Emily tells her that she will never be as good as Caitlin, but Caitlin says that is nonsense and tells her that she is a brilliant engine who gets to pull a wide variety of trains while Caitlin only ever pulls coaches.

Emily sadly pulls into the shunting yard with her train of trucks. She tells Thomas that Caitlin is better than her at everything, but Thomas is sure that is not true. Then, Marion arrives and says that Emily should be proud to be herself, but Emily takes no notice and puffs sadly away. That night, all the other engines try to cheer Emily up, but nothing works, and Emily goes sadly to sleep.

One day, Emily has to make a delivery to Ulfstead Castle. When she gets there, she is surprised to see Caitlin being examined. Caitlin explains that her driver had heard a strange noise and is just checking her over.

Emily heads back down the steep slope, away from the castle, still demoralized about not being as good as Caitlin. Then, she hears Caitlin calling for help; her brakes have failed and she is rolling along, out of control. She runs into the back of Emily, who knows she has to slow Caitlin down or there will be a bad accident if Caitlin derails on the cliff coming down from Ulfstead Castle. Emily applies her brakes and bravely manages to stop Caitlin at the bottom of the hill.

This time, it is Caitlin who has to go to the Steamworks and Emily is delighted to be the engine to take her there. Caitlin's skirt has been damaged and she reveals that is why she never shunts. Now, Emily understands why Caitlin did not push her onto the siding. Caitlin says she wishes she had buffers at the front like Emily. Caitlin then thanks Emily for her bravery and says she is lucky to have a friend like Emily and Emily knows she is lucky to have a friend like Caitlin, too.


  • Thomas
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Emily
  • Connor
  • Caitlin
  • Marion
  • Victor
  • Some Passengers
  • One of Dowager Hatt's Friends
  • Edward (cameo)
  • Henry (cameo)
  • The Bird Watcher (cameo)
  • A School Boy (cameo)
  • The Great Railway Show Judge (cameo)
  • Sir Topham Hatt (mentioned during No Help At All)


  • Vicarstown Bridge
  • Henry's Tunnel
  • Kellsthorpe Road
  • Sodor Steamworks
  • Victor's Shed
  • Knapford Yards
  • Tidmouth Sheds
  • Ulfstead Castle
  • Ulfstead Mine
  • Arlesburgh West (mentioned)



  • John Hasler as Thomas
  • Keith Wickham as Gordon, James and Some Passengers
  • Nigel Pilkington as Percy
  • Teresa Gallagher as Emily
  • Jonathan Forbes as Connor
  • Rebecca O'Mara as Caitlin
  • Olivia Colman as Marion
  • David Bedella as Victor


  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Kerry Shale as Gordon
  • Rob Rackstraw as James
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy
  • Jules de Jongh as Emily
  • Jonathan Forbes as Connor
  • Rebecca O'Mara as Caitlin
  • Olivia Colman as Marion
  • David Bedella as Victor
  • Keith Wickham as Some Passengers


  • Going by production order, this is the eighteenth episode of the nineteenth series.
  • This episode takes place during Salty All at Sea, Den and Dart and No Help at All:
    • In No Help at All, while Sir Topham Hatt is trying to figure out who could help out at Brendam Docks, he mentions Emily being at the Steamworks and Mavis at the Dieselworks, referencing this episode and Den and Dart respectively.
    • Ironically, Sir Topham Hatt does not appear in this episode.
    • The end of Salty All at Sea also takes place during No Help at All. 
  • An instrumental version of Emily's theme by Robert Hartshorne is heard when she is being pulled by Caitlin.
  • This is the first episode of the series to have three directors.
  • This episode marks Connor's only speaking role in the nineteenth series.
  • This is the last episode where Rebecca O'Mara voices Caitlin. Jules de Jongh will take over from Engine of the Future onwards.


  • Emily's front bogie wheels spark, even though they’re not fitted with brakes.
  • When Emily is being pulled by Caitlin, her brake pipe seems to be floating in mid air.
  • In the two close up shots of Caitlin when she says "You are a great big steam engine, like me!" Emily is gone from behind her.


  • Wooden Railway - Streamlined Emily
  • Books - Race to Callan Castle/The Best Engines Ever
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