“The passengers don't like being bounced around like peas in a pod!"

"Again! Again!”

―Sir Robert Norramby and the little boy

The Switch is the ninth episode of the seventeenth series.


At Ulfstead Castle, Luke meets Sir Robert Norramby, the Earl of Sodor, and his private engine Millie for the first time. Luke introduces himself and the Earl tells Millie to show Luke where the stone is needed. Millie notices that Luke has a dirty face, leading Luke to explain about his job at the dusty quarry. Millie suggests that Luke stay at the castle for the day and she can show him around. Luke would like to take Millie up on her offer, but he has work to do at Blue Mountain Quarry. Millie explains that she has work to do as well, delivering plants to the groundskeeper and taking visitors on tours of the grounds. Luke says he has more heavy stones to deliver. Millie says she has to pull heavy loads too. Luke complements her and says he has to rush back to the Quarry. Millie says that anyone can rush and that sometimes she has to be quiet and patient. Luke says that he knows how to be patient as well. Then, Luke has an idea and suggests that they swap jobs for the day. The Earl thinks that it is a great idea and Mr. Percival also agrees to the switch going ahead.

Millie arrives at Blue Mountain Quarry nervous, but excited. Rheneas is not sure that Millie is up to the job, but Peter Sam reminds him that Mr. Percival has approved it and asks Millie to take some trucks over to Owen. Millie struggles, just as Rheneas anticipated. Although Rheneas attempts to take over, it is not long before Millie's determination kicks in and she soon has the trucks moving.

Meanwhile, at Ulfstead Castle, Luke is being loaded up with supplies for the groundskeeper. Luke is smug about his light load and sets off to locate the groundskeeper's lodge, only to have some difficulty in finding it amongst all of the greenery. Everything looks the same - not like the busy quarry at all - and he soon winds up back where he started after doing a loop of the entire estate.

Over at the quarry, it is not long before Millie comes across a tunnel. She is not used to tunnels and does not want to go through it. She is used to big open spaces, not dark confined ones. Rheneas offers to push Millie through, but she is determined to do it on her own. She plucks up her courage and charges straight into the tunnel and out of the other side. Now, Millie loves the tunnels.

Back at the castle, Luke has another job to do; he is to take some visitors on a tour of the castle's grounds. Soon, Luke comes across a deer on the line. Luke blows his whistle to get the deer to move aside. Luke thinks he has done the right thing, but the passengers all groan loudly due to Luke scaring off the deer.

At the quarry, Rusty pulls up with a load of gravel for Luke and is surprised to see Millie, who explains the situation. Rusty asks Millie to take the load of gravel from him. Millie puffs round to the front of the trucks and is coupled up as Skarloey comes pounding along. Some of the rocks in Skarloey's hoppers bounce out, causing Millie to get covered in dust.

Luke, meanwhile, is still speeding around the Earl's estate with his carriage full of passengers. When he pulls up at the station, the passengers are not pleased and neither is the Earl. He explains that the passengers do not like being bounced around like peas in a pod and tells Luke that he needs to learn to take things easy.

Millie is now adjusting to her work at the quarry and is pleased to find out that she is not as feeble as she had thought, she is not afraid of tunnels and she is not worried about getting a little bit dusty. Luke now realises that he needs to take things a little slower in order to see everything at the castle.

After they have both finished work, Millie and Luke meet each other outside Ulfstead Castle. Luke asks Millie if she liked working at Blue Mountain Quarry. Millie admits that she loved it there and asks Luke if he liked doing her duties at the castle. Luke says that it had been very peaceful, but he is pleased to be going back home and Millie agrees with him. Luke and Millie both return to their own jobs, very pleased to have each made a new friend.



  • Ulfstead Castle
  • Blue Mountain Quarry


  • Ben Small as Rheneas
  • Steven Kynman as Peter Sam and the Passengers
  • Matt Wilkinson as Rusty
  • Michael Legge as Luke
  • Miranda Raison as Millie
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby
  • Teresa Gallagher as the Little Boy and the Passengers (uncredited)


  • Going by production order, this is the seventeenth episode of the seventeenth series.
  • This is the second consecutive episode to have exactly the same cast in both the UK and US dubs.
  • Meanwhile, this is the only episode to both have the same cast in the US and UK dubs and have different transcripts between said dubs.
  • This episode is similar to the cancelled Jack and the Sodor Construction Company episode, Grass is Greener.
  • This episode marks Peter Sam and Millie's only speaking roles in the seventeenth series.
  • This episode marks the first of two things:
    • The first episode of the CGI Series and the first since the twelfth series episode Mountain Marvel to feature no standard gauge engines whatsoever.
    • Millie’s first appearance in Thomas and Friends.
    • The first episode since the thirteenth series episode, Buzzy Bees, not to have Keith Wickham as part of the voice cast since he joined the voice cast.
  • This episode aired before King of the Railway premiered in the UK, this means that the audience would not know about Millie, The Earl of Sodor, or Ulfstead Castle yet.
  • Miranda Raison and Mike Grady join the voice cast.
  • This is the last episode to have both English dubs until the twentieth series episode, Blown Away.
  • This episode is similar to the story The Prince and the Pauper, in which a person of royalty (Millie), meets someone of a lower class (Luke), and they decide to switch places.


  • Teresa Gallagher is not credited in either the UK or US credits, despite voicing some passengers and a little boy.
  • In the first shot of Luke, he does not have his lamp nor his lamp-iron, but he gains them in the next shot.
  • When Luke first arrives at Ulfstead Castle, Millie and the Earl are nowhere to be seen, but in the next shot they are pulling up in front of Luke.
  • When Luke is leaving the quarry, he is pulling slate trucks, but later at the castle they mysteriously have become V-tipper trucks.
  • At the start of the episode, Skarloey is mistakenly seen pulling standard gauge trucks.
  • When Millie arrives at the quarry, her wheel spokes do not spin.
  • When Peter Sam tells Rheneas that the Thin Controller has approved of Luke and Millie's switch, the chain on his coupler seems to be upside down.
  • When Millie struggles to pull the trucks that Peter Sam asked her to take to Owen, she moves forward and backwards, but her wheels do not spin with her movement. In the exact same shot, there are no puffing sound effects in the UK version, but they are heard in the US version.
  • In both shots of Luke in front of the Earl's estate, the station platforms are no where to be seen.
  • When Luke is first shown showing visitors around the estate, he is not seen pulling a coach until the passengers groan after Luke scares off the deer.
  • When Rusty first pulls up alongside Millie, he is only pushing one truck, but when Millie buffers up to them, there are two, and they have moved over the points.
  • Before Millie backs up to Rusty's trucks, there is no perpendicular crossing in front of her, but afterwards, there is.


  • Magazine stories - The Switch
  • Take-n-Play - Millie's Dusty Discovery (2014; cancelled)
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