“Edward is a useless old steam-pot. He should be retired.”
“But he doesn't have tires.”
“Retired: Means taken out of service.”'
“And not a moment too soon.”'
―The engines talk about Edward being retired
Edward the Very Useful Engine, retitled Edward the Really Useful Engine in some releases, is the twenty-third episode of the sixth series.


Gordon thinks that Edward is old and should be retired. Henry and James agree with him, but Donald and Douglas are concerned about this. They tell Emily about what Gordon said about Edward and Emily tells the Fat Controller, who attends to the matter immediately.

The Fat Controller arranges for Edward to teach Oliver to run a new loop line, while Derek does Edward's work. Henry is happy about this, but it makes no difference to Gordon. Edward enjoys working with Oliver while BoCo is at the works, but Derek does not enjoy working with the trucks, especially when they hold him back on Gordon's Hill. Derek is stuck on Gordon's line and it is too late to switch Gordon [who is due any minute] to the middle line, so the guard tries to flag Gordon down. However, Gordon passes by and tries to push Duck up, but it is no good.

Gordon's crew sends for Edward to help both engines and as the strange train sets off and pulls into the station, Gordon feels rather embarrassed and is told off by the Fat Controller for saying very rude things about Edward who has proven to be responsible, reliable and very helpful. The next day, Gordon apologises to Edward and tells him that he really is a useful engine.




  • This is the only episode David Mitton wrote solo.
  • An alternative shot from the sixth series episode, Thomas the Jet Engine is used.
  • This is one of the six episodes of the sixth season re-narrated by Michael Brandon in the US and Michael Angelis in the UK with music composed by Robert Hartshorne.
  • Due to scenes on one particular set across the sixth series being filmed in one go, the scene at Knapford in this episode looks pretty similar to the scene at Knapford in Thomas, Percy and the Squeak. The same people are boarding the same trains, the same engines are in the same positions and the same posters are up.
  • Three posters at Knapford read "Allicia Botti in concert tonight at the castle."
  • In Michael Angelis' 2005 re-narration, the term "freight cars" is used at the beginning.
  • This is the last episode until the thirteenth series episode, Snow Tracks/Snow Tracks narrated by three people in the English dubs.
  • Despite Edward being the titular character, he only has two lines throughout the whole episode.
  • Not counting stock footage used of them in the seventh series, this episode marks the last appearance of one thing:
  • In the Japanese version, Derek's guard gains lines when he flags down Gordon.
<< Series 5 Series 6 Series 7 >>

#01 Lady Returns #10 A Friend in Need #19 What's in the Name #28 Thomas, Percy and the Squeak #37 Edward’s Important Passenger
#02 Impatient Crovan #11 Max-imum Overdrive #20 Express Reassess #29 Thomas the Jet Engine #38 Signal Failure
#03 Salty's Secret #12 Henry Sees Red #21 Tucker and James #30 Edward the Very Useful Engine #39 Thomas and the Swan
#04 Harvey to the Rescue #13 Thomas, Lady and the Snowplough #22 James and the Red Balloon #31 Dunkin Duncan #40 It's Only Snow
#05 No Sleep for Cranky #14 Twin Trouble #23 Jack Frost #32 Rusty Saves the Day
#06 A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter #15 The World's Strongest Engine #24 Gordon Takes a Tumble #33 Faulty Whistles
#07 Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry #16 Scaredy Engines #25 Percy's Chocolate Crunch #34 Duke The Proud Engine
#08 The Fogman #17 Percy and the Haunted Mine #26 Buffer Bother #35 The Missing Tender
#09 Jack Jumps In #18 Spam Jam #27 Toby Had a Little Lamb #36 Liz’s Chocolate Bunnies
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.