“Trevor and I are old friends, and you and he have a lot in common, too."
"Och, aye, and what'd that be?"
”Don’t mention that word! It makes my wheels wobble!”

―Edward and Douglas

Escape is the twenty-first episode of the third series. It is based on the same story and Little Western from The Railway Series book, Enterprising Engines.


One day, Edward is talking to Trevor, when Douglas steams past and scolds Edward for talking instead of working. Later, Edward meets Douglas again and reminds him that both he and Trevor have a lot in common, such as nearly being scrapped. The mere mention of the word "scrap" makes Douglas shudder. Edward continues, explaining how Trevor is now really useful, but thinks that the railway could use another steam engine, to which Douglas agrees.

Later that night, Douglas has taken a goods train to a faraway part of the Island where only the diesels work. He is shunting for his return journey when he hears a hiss of steam. He pauses, and hears the hiss again. A voice comes from nearby, asking if he belongs to the Fat Controller. The engine reveals himself as Oliver, who has run away from being scrapped with his brake van Toad, but has run out of coal. Douglas is still nervous at hearing the word "scrap," but then remembers Edward's story about Trevor. Douglas' crew work hard to revive Oliver and Toad. Douglas begins the journey by running tender-first of bringing the two to the Fat Controller's railway. But just before they clear the station, a foreman stops them. Douglas' driver explains that Oliver and Toad belong to them, and although wary at first, the foreman lets them continue. It is daylight when they finally arrive. Douglas' driver finds a place at the works for Oliver, who thanks them all.

The next day, Douglas tells the engines all about Oliver, who think Douglas should tell the Fat Controller at once, just as he arrives. He explains that unless a steam engine is saved from scrap, there is little hope to find one. But luckily, he already knows about Oliver, and decides that he will work on Duck's branch line.

Now Oliver and Toad are mended, and painted in Great Western colours. The other engines laugh and call the branch line "The Little Western" at first, but it delights Duck and Oliver.




  • This is the first episode where Douglas appears without Donald.
  • In some of the early versions, the title has an added exclamation mark.
  • In the restored version, the scene of Duck passing Oliver and Toad is extended making a few seconds of the beginning of the last scene cut off.
  • This is the last episode where a Driver's face without eyebrows is seen until A Better View for Gordon.
  • The works set is the Ffarquhar Sheds set redressed.
  • The Other Railway is Tidmouth station redressed.
  • A reference to the second series episode, Saved from Scrap is made.
  • This episode and the next episode feature musical variations on the theme from the 1963 film The Great Escape.
  • A three berth garage, a large brown building, and the steel company from TUGS appear in the episode.


  • At the beginning of the episode, Edward's whistle is severely crooked.
  • When Edward confronts Douglas, a small hair can be seen above Edward's left eye (viewer perspective).
  • Throughout the episode, Douglas has Donald's whistle sound and Thomas and Edward have the same one.
  • When Douglas reverses into the sheds at the end, Henry's eyes are wonky.
  • When Douglas arrives on the Other Railway, Mavis is derailed.
  • When Sir Topham Hatt arrives, two thin wires can be seen behind the sheds.
  • In the shot of Toad near the end, he appears to have a slight bump at the back of his roof. This, however, does not appear in the restored version.
  • When Oliver introduces himself, the word "SCRAP" is already painted on the side of his water tanks, even before Douglas tells the drivers and firemen to do so.
  • When Douglas' point-of-view is shown of him backing away from his trucks before he finds Oliver, the track in front of him is crooked.
  • For most of the episode, Douglas' nameplates are loose.
  • In the Latin American version, when the line "I'm Oliver, and I'm with my brake van Toad. We've run out of coal and have no more steam!" is spoken, it was mistakenly said in plural when in fact Toad cannot run out of coal, nor is he able to produce steam.
  • George Carlin gives Douglas' driver a Scottish accent when he speaks to the foreman, but when they all arrive at the Works, he loses his accent.
  • Duck's face is crooked when he puffs by Oliver with the express coaches.


  • My Thomas Story Library - Oliver (discontinued)
  • Engine Adventures - Oliver
  • Magazine Stories - The Play Train!

In Other Languages

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Home Media Releases


  • Escape and other stories
  • Children's Pre-School Favourites (1993)
  • Chases, Races and Runaways
  • The Complete Series 3
  • 1st Class Stories (Unrestored; DVD)

DVD Boxsets

  • Classic Collection


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