“Fancy bringing Gordon's coaches up the quarry! The stones would have been very comfortable!"
"Every stone would have had a seat to itself!”
―Peter Sam and Rheneas

Samson at Your Service is the twenty-fourth episode of the eighteenth series.


Samson is a very proud tank engine and when he first arrived on Sodor, bringing Sir Robert Norramby's dinosaur models from the Mainland, it was dark. Samson ended up getting lost as he was too proud to ask for help and ended up spending the night at the Blue Mountain Quarry. Samson did not reach the Earl's estate until the following morning.

One day, the Fat Controller gives Samson the job of collecting stones from the Blue Mountain Quarry and delivering them to the Mainland. Samson is very eager, but says he must refill with coal first. The Fat Controller warns Samson to ask for help if he needs it, but Samson says he will not make another mistake and he knows where the Blue Mountain Quarry is.

At the coal hopper in the shunting yard, Samson pushes his way to the front of the queue, stating that he has a very important job. Thomas cannot resist teasing Samson and tells him not to get lost. Samson is not very pleased when Duck and Percy start laughing at him.

Samson's trucks are ready to be collected, but Diesel cannot resist teasing Samson first. Samson is so busy replying to Diesel's taunts, that he backs up to Gordon's express coaches instead. Stanley tries to warn Samson, but the stubborn tank engine becomes exasperated and pulls away with the coaches instead of the trucks.

Presently, Thomas arrives to fetch Gordon's coaches and Stanley explains that Samson has already taken them. Thomas assumes that Samson must be trying to prove a point by doing everyone else's jobs.

At Knapford, Gordon is surprised to see Thomas pull in without his coaches. Thomas asks if Samson has brought the coaches and Gordon says that he has not and the express is already twenty minutes late. Thomas jokes that Samson must have decided to pull the express himself, but Gordon scoffs at the idea; only big tender engines can pull the express.

Meanwhile, Samson puffs through Wellsworth pulling the express coaches. Much to the passengers' annoyance, he clatters straight through the station without stopping. James catches up with Samson and tries to tell him that he has made a mistake, but Samson is insistent that he knows what he is doing and puffs away.

Shortly, Samson has to stop at a junction to let Bill and Ben pass through. Bill and Ben tease Samson, but Samson does not take the hint and thinks Bill and Ben are seriously calling him useful and he carries on with the express coaches.

Back at Knapford, the express is getting very late as the clock strikes seven o'clock. The Fat Controller is very cross and orders Gordon to take Annie and Clarabel. He also tells Thomas that he will have to use Henrietta. Both engines are very shocked by this.

Elsewhere, Samson enters the Blue Mountain Quarry with the express coaches. The narrow gauge engines are pleased to see Samson, but Skarloey is surprised; he was expecting Samson to bring empty trucks, not passenger carriages. Samson realises his mistake and feels very silly indeed.

Out on the Main Line, Annie and Clarabel are being pulled along at high-speeds by Gordon and they do not like it one bit; neither does Gordon, who is most annoyed at having to put up with their complaining. When Gordon arrives back at Knapford, the coaches are very grateful. Suddenly, he sees Samson charging towards the station with his express coaches. He calls out to Samson, but the proud tank engine is so focused on the job that he ignores the big engine.

On his way back to the shunting yard, Samson meets up with the Fat Controller in Winston. The Fat Controller is very surprised to see Samson with the express coaches. Samson explains that he is returning the coaches to the yards, but the Fat Controller tells him he has caused a lot of confusion and delay. Samson apologises and says that he has made a mistake and it will not happen again. The Fat Controller tells him that everyone makes mistakes, but they make even more mistakes when they do not ask for help when they need it.

As the sun begins to set, Samson picks up the empty trucks from the shunting yard and takes them to the Blue Mountain Quarry. The trucks are loaded up with stone, but it is too late to take them back to the Mainland. Samson is forced to spend the night in the quarry again. The narrow gauge engines start to tease Samson, and this time, even Samson sees the funny side.


  • Thomas
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Percy
  • Duck
  • Bill and Ben
  • Stanley
  • Samson
  • Diesel
  • Skarloey
  • Rheneas
  • Peter Sam
  • Winston
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Sir Robert Norramby (edited stock footage; does not speak)
  • Rosie (cameo)
  • Merrick (cameo)
  • Owen (cameo)
  • The Teacher (cameo)
  • The Bird Watcher (cameo)
  • Dowager Hatt's Friends (cameo)
  • The Blond-haired Boy (cameo)
  • The Welsh Bird Watcher (cameo)
  • The Lady with the Big Hat (cameo)
  • The Female Puppet Show Entertainer (cameo)
  • A Schoolgirl (cameo)
  • Stephen (edited footage cameo)
  • Marion (edited footage cameo)
  • Millie (edited footage cameo)
  • Toby (mentioned)
  • Henrietta (mentioned)


  • The Mainland
  • Vicarstown Bridge
  • Island of Sodor
  • Blue Mountain Quarry
  • Blondin Bridge
  • Knapford
  • Knapford Yards
  • Maron
  • Wellsworth
  • Gordon's Hill
  • The Cow Field
  • Ulfstead Castle (edited footage)



  • Ben Small as Thomas and Rheneas
  • Keith Wickham as Gordon, James, Percy, Skarloey and The Fat Controller
  • Steven Kynman as Duck and Peter Sam
  • Jonathan Broadbent as Bill and Ben
  • Robert Wilfort as Samson
  • Kerry Shale as Diesel
  • Teresa Gallagher as Annie and Clarabel
  • Matt Wilkinson as Stanley (uncredited)


  • Martin Sherman as Thomas, Percy and Diesel
  • Kerry Shale as Gordon, James and Sir Topham Hatt
  • Steven Kynman as Duck and Peter Sam
  • Jonathan Broadbent as Bill and Ben
  • Ben Small as Stanley and Rheneas
  • Robert Wilfort as Samson
  • Keith Wickham as Skarloey
  • Teresa Gallagher as Annie and Clarabel


  • Edited stock footage from Marion and the Dinosaurs is used.
  • This episode marks Stanley's first speaking role since the fifteenth series episode, Surprise, Surprise and his only speaking role in the eighteenth series.
  • This episode marks Winston’s only appearance in the eighteenth series.
  • This is the last episode for several things:
    • The last episode to date where both Percy and Diesel are voiced by Martin Sherman in the US dub.
    • The last episode to date where James is voiced by Kerry Shale in the US dub.
    • The last episode to date where Ben Small voices Rheneas in both dubs and Stanley in the US dub.
    • The last episode to date where Keith Wickham voices Percy in the UK dub.
    • The last time to date Duck is voiced by Loukas Frangoulis in the Greek dub. Haris Grigoropoulos takes over the role in Toad and the Whale, respectively.
    • The final episode in Japan to date that Rokurō Naya voices Sir Topham Hatt before his death.
    • Skarloey's last speaking role and appearance until The Great Race.
    • Rheneas and Peter Sam’s last appearances until The Great Race.
    • Merrick’s last appearance until the twentieth series episode, The Missing Breakdown Train.
  • The first minute and a half of this episode takes place during the events of the episode Marion and the Dinosaurs, and a reference to said previous episode is made in this episode.


  • Matt Wilkinson is not credited in the UK credits for voicing Stanley.
  • When Samson arrives at the Castle, the lighting suggests that it is early morning. However, in Marion and the Dinosaurs (the episode at the end of which this scene occurs), it is broad daylight. Also, the two dinosaur models in the middle have switched places.
  • When Thomas comes to get Gordon's coaches, the brake van attached to the train leaving the yard is not coupled to the trucks, due to the difference in couplings.
  • When Thomas goes to fetch Gordon's coaches, he gives three toots from his whistle, but steam can only be seen coming out of the whistle on the last toot.
  • When Thomas leaves Knapford Yards, the hills, watertower, wall and shed seemed to have moved up a little.
  • In the first shot of Samson passing through Wellsworth, there is asphalt all around the area, but in the next shot of James, the asphalt suddenly becomes grass.
  • James' chassis is not rendered properly when Samson passes him.
  • At the Blue Mountain Quarry, several standard gauge trucks can be seen on narrow gauge rails.
  • In the close ups of Samson being coupled to the Express coaches, a truck next to him appears to be on the ground rather than the tracks.
  • When Rheneas and Peter Sam cry "Samson!", they swap voices.
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