“Ho ho ho ho! That's another win for the red team!"
"No, it's not!"
"Reds are the best!"
"No, blues are the best!"
"Well, let's go and see WHO'S the best then."
"Red engine! Red engine! Red engine! Red engine!”
―James and Thomas

Reds vs. Blues is the fifteenth episode of the nineteenth series.


One day, the Sodor United Football Team are having a football/soccer match against Barrow, with the Fat Controller being the referee. He summons Thomas and James to give them a job of transporting a lot of passengers to and from to the football/soccer field at Dryaw, adding that they must work together. Thomas and James' work goes on well at first, when they collect their first passengers, who cheer for them because of their paint matching the football teams' colours. The fans of the Sodor United team cheer for Thomas, while the fans of the Barrow team cheer for James. During their first journey to Dryaw, Thomas and James decide to have a competition to see which team is the best, despite Annie and Clarabel trying to remind them what the Fat Controller said about working together.

After dropping their first loads of passengers, Thomas and James continue collecting more loads of passengers throughout the day. James collects more Barrow fans from Brendam Docks, while Thomas collects more Sodor United fans from Kellsthorpe, and on each journey back to Dryaw, they both try to arrive first. Not long before the start of the football match, Thomas and James have to collect one last load of passengers each. James becomes impatient when his passengers are moving slowly, and decides to leave right away so to try and get to Dryaw before Thomas, unaware that his passengers are actually the Barrow football players. The guard tries to stop James, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Thomas decides not to stop at Kellsthorpe, unaware that the Fat Controller is waiting at the station while eating ice cream. The Fat Controller yells out to Thomas, but Thomas is too far away to hear him.

Thomas and James soon catch up with each other, and race back to Dryaw to try and win the competition. They both arrive at the same time, but they keep arguing on who got there first, before deciding to see which team is the best. However, they only find the Sodor United players, who are complaining about having no opponent team or referee. This makes Thomas and James immediately realise their mistakes, just as Percy arrives with the very cross Fat Controller and the Barrow players. With the Barrow players unhappily heading to the field, the Fat Controller issues Thomas and James a yellow card penalty for their rivalry. He also threatens to have them red carded, should they make another mistake, and explains that a red card means a football/soccer player is out of the game for causing bad behaviour. With Thomas admitting that he and James do not want to be sent to their sheds for their behaviour, the Fat Controller reminds them to work together to take everyone back home, no matter which team they support.

As the match starts, Thomas and James apologise to each other, admitting that it is better for them to work together. Just then, the ball is shot up into the air and accidentally lands, getting stuck, on Thomas' funnel. One of the players asks to have it back, so Thomas blows steam out of his funnel to shoot the ball back onto the field and into one of the goals.


  • Thomas
  • James
  • Percy
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Sir Robert Norramby
  • The Grumpy Passenger
  • Several Workmen
  • The Football Supporters
  • The Football Players
  • Sodor United Football Team
  • Barrow Football Fan
  • Barrow Football Team
  • The Ginger-haired Boy
  • Edward (does not speak)
  • Diesel (cameo)
  • Salty (cameo)
  • Lady Hatt (cameo)
  • Stephen Hatt (cameo)
  • Bridget Hatt (cameo)
  • Dowager Hatt (cameo)
  • The Mayor of Sodor (cameo)
  • The Teacher (cameo)
  • The Bird Watcher (cameo)
  • Dowager Hatt's Friends (cameo)
  • The Blond-haired Boy (cameo)
  • The Schoolchildren (cameo)
  • The Great Composer (cameo)
  • The Welsh Bird Watcher (cameo)
  • The Lady with the Big Hat (cameo)
  • The Great Railway Show Judge (cameo)
  • Albert's Wife (cameo)
  • Albert (cameo)
  • The Female Puppet Show Entertainer (cameo)
  • Big Mickey (faceless, cameo)


  • Kellsthorpe Road
  • Tidmouth Sheds
  • Brendam Docks
  • Dryaw
  • Dryaw FC
  • Barrow (mentioned)



  • John Hasler as Thomas
  • Keith Wickham as James, Sir Topham Hatt, the Grumpy Passenger and the Football Players
  • Nigel Pilkington as Percy
  • Teresa Gallagher as Annie, Clarabel and the Barrow Football Fan
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby
  • Rob Rackstraw as the Football Players


  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Rob Rackstraw as James and the Football Players
  • Christopher Ragland as Percy
  • Teresa Gallagher as Annie, Clarabel and the Barrow Football Fan
  • Keith Wickham as Sir Topham Hatt, the Grumpy Passenger and the Football Players
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby


  • Going by production order, this is the seventeenth episode of the nineteenth series.
  • This is the first time Barrow has been mentioned in the television series.
  • In real life, Barrow's team colour is actually blue, though their "third kit" is red as shown here.
  • When Thomas does not stop at the station, Sir Topham Hatt's recording, "Ah! Thomas! Thomas! Stop!" from The Adventure Begins is re-used.
  • This is the second time Thomas and James race, the first was in The Great Discovery.
  • Percy breaks the fourth wall, as he states the infamous "And then there was trouble!" as he pulls into the station. This is also the first instance where an engine says a line that the narrator would normally say.
  • At the end of the episode, the football landing on Thomas' funnel then blew back to the goal, is similar to a annualstory, Henry Scores a Goal.
  • An arrangement of James' theme from Series 8-12 plays throughout the episode.
  • This episode is similar to the tenth series episode, Thomas and the Colours.


  • Some of the members of both the Sodor and Barrow football teams are duplicated.
  • In one shot of Thomas and James racing, James' leading bogie wheels stops moving.


“Come on, you reds!”
―James, supporting Barrow
“And then there was trouble!”
―Percy breaking the fourth wall


  • TrackMaster - Blue Team Thomas
  • Books  - Reds Against Blues! and A Day at the Football
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