- “You're a gallant little engine! When you're rested, we'll mend you, so you'll be ready for tomorrow.”
- ―Rheneas' driver congratulating him
Gallant Old Engine, is the fourteenth episode of the fourth season.
Duncan is grumbling about being overworked, not being polished and especially passengers. Skarloey is dismayed by Duncan's stubbornness and attitude, especially in regards to the time he stopped on a viaduct in protest and bluntly tells him that he hopes Rheneas, who is due to return home soon, can talk some sense into him. When Duncan demands to know what Rheneas has to do with passengers, Skarloey points out that Rheneas single-handedly saved the Skarloey Railway.
At Peter Sam's insistence, Skarloey tells the two engines about the railway prior to when they arrived. It had been facing hard times and faced the threat of closure if the engines couldn't keep it running. Skarloey had been feeling sick, so Rheneas did his work for him, always reaching a station to rest no matter how tired he felt. Skarloey explains to an annoyed Duncan that Rheneas did this so as not to upset his passengers, as they get cross when a train stops where it shouldn't. He then recalls a time that Rheneas stopped in the wrong place.
That day, the weather had been poor and Rheneas was puffing home with a full train, including passengers in the brake van. His wheels kept slipping on the hill, but he had finally made it to the top and was heading back down when his valve gear on one side jammed, forcing him to stop in the middle of nowhere. Rheneas' crew fixed him up as best they could and urged him to get the passengers to the next station. Rheneas promised to do so and continued on. Despite feeling too sore and tired to continue, he kept going, knowing that the railway could close if he failed. After one last valiant effort, Rheneas finally reached the station. The passengers thanked him and promised to tell their friends about the railway. Rheneas' driver praised his "gallant little engine" and promised to fix him up ready for tomorrow.
Skarloey concludes his story by explaining that Rheneas was always "ready for tomorrow." A humbled Duncan admits he was wrong and thanks Skarloey for telling him about Rheneas.
The next day, Edward brings Rheneas home and a big celebration is held from the Skarloey Engines and some of the standard gauge engines. Rheneas is delighted to be back, especially with Skarloey and says he feels he truly has come home.
- Peter Sam
- Edward (does not speak)
- Thomas (cameo)
- Henry (cameo)
- Gordon (cameo)
- James (cameo)
- Percy (cameo)
- Sir Handel (cameo)
- Duke (cameo)
- Jeremiah Jobling (cameo)
- Jem Cole (cameo)
- Refreshment Lady (cameo)
- The Inspector with the Bowler Hat (cameo)
- One Little Boy (cameo)
- Skarloey Railway Engine Sheds
- Sodor Castle
- Hawin Doorey
- Rheneas Bridge
- Glennock (deleted scene)
- Rheneas Viaduct (mentioned)
- This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Gallant Old Engine.
- This is the 100th episode to air in Japan.
- On PBS Kids Sprout airings, this episode has stereo audio while the US VHS and DVD releases have mono audio.
- This episode marked the last of two things:
- Duke's last appearance until the seventh season episode, Harold and the Flying Horse.
- The last narrow gauge episode until the seventh season episode, The Old Iron Bridge where Rusty does not appear.
- This was one of the few episodes in the US dub that refers to the guard's van as a "caboose," its American term.
- Despite their appearances in the episode, Percy, Sir Handel and Duke do not appear in the nameboard sequence at the end of the episode in the Japanese dub.
- Rheneas is wearing Smudger's upset face when he passes Skarloey in the first part of the flashback.
- Throughout all of the field scenes, a wire is visible under Rheneas and one of his coaches.
- Henry and Sir Handel look grumpy when Edward puffs in with Rheneas.
- When Rheneas is on the causeway, he has Duke's whistle sound.
- When Rheneas arrives at Skarloey Station, his eyes abruptly change position, indicating a film cut.
- In the UK narration, the engines start whistling long before the narrator says they do.
- Gordon's buffer is crooked in one scene.
- When the passengers begin thanking Rheneas, Jem Cole is standing alone. Then in the next scene, he is standing with the Refreshment Lady amongst others.
- In a deleted scene of Rheneas, Skarloey and Duncan at the Sheds, Rheneas is wearing one of Sir Handel's face masks.
- On the US digital download release, the Thomas theme song is heard in the left audio channel when Skarloey talks about how he and Rheneas had to keep the trains running.
- Rheneas: You know, this helps a little engine to feel that at last, he has really come home!
- My Thomas Story Library - Duncan (discontinued)