Timothy and the Rainbow Truck, retitled Timothy and the Rainbow Car in North American releases, is the twenty-second episode of the eighteenth series.


Of all the engines on Sodor, Bill and Ben love playing tricks on Timothy the most. One day, they tell him that they need him to find a lost truck for them. The truck in question is all the colours of the rainbow and is needed for something important. To cover themselves, Bill and Ben warn that the truck is a surprise so he must not tell the Fat Controller about it. Timothy, thinking he is helping his two friends, sets off in search of this special wagon.

Outside the Clay pits, Timothy passes Thomas and explains that he is looking for a rainbow-coloured truck. Thomas is dubious; he does not think there is a truck like that on the whole island, but Timothy is convinced there is and he is going to find it.

At Brendam Docks, there are lots of different trucks in lots of different colours, but Timothy cannot find one that looks like the rainbow truck that the twins had described. As he passes the Animal Park, Timothy sees a colourful parrot. Next, he passes Boxford and sees the Duchess wearing a very colourful dress. Finally, he passes a field and sees some children flying rainbow-coloured kites, but there is no sign of a multi-coloured truck anywhere.

Eventually, Timothy ends up at the shunting yard. Then, the little oil-burning engine spots the Fat Controller who is confused to see Timothy who is supposed to be working at the clay pits. Timothy does not know what to say and reverses away nervously, leaving the Fat Controller pondering.

Timothy is feeling very upset about not being able to find the special truck and nothing at all can cheer him up. Timothy decides to try the docks one last time. He calls out to Cranky and explains that he is looking for a truck that is all the colours of the rainbow. Then, Salty rolls up and says that he knows where the truck can be found.

Salty takes Timothy to the dockyard and shows him a messy old waste truck, covered in different colours of paint. Timothy does not think that a rubbish truck can be the same truck Bill and Ben were describing, but then it dawns on him; Bill and Ben have been playing a trick on him all along. The old waste truck does match Bill and Ben's description and Salty says if they wanted a multi-coloured truck, they are going to get one. Salty sends Timothy back to the Clay pits with the smelly rubbish truck.

Back at the Clay pits, Bill and Ben can smell something horrible as Timothy puffs in pushing the multi-coloured truck of rubbish. Bill and Ben tell Timothy that they were only playing a trick on him and there is no such truck as the one they described. Then, there is trouble as the Fat Controller arrives and reprimands Bill and Ben for sending Timothy on a fool's errand. By way of punishment, the Fat Controller puts the twins on waste collecting duty and demands that they start with the multi-coloured truck of dockyard scrap. Timothy and Marion cannot help chuckling to themselves.

Bill and Ben do as they are told and take the pongy wagon to Whiff's Waste Dump, complaining and arguing all the way there.


  • Thomas
  • Bill and Ben
  • Timothy
  • Marion
  • Salty
  • Cranky
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • The Duchess of Boxford (does not speak)
  • Henry (cameo)
  • James (cameo)
  • Percy (cameo)
  • Whiff (cameo)
  • Stanley (cameo)
  • Scruff (cameo)
  • Porter (cameo)
  • The Teacher (cameo)
  • Headkeeper Jack (cameo)
  • The Lady with the Big Hat (cameo)
  • The Ginger-haired Boy (cameo)
  • The Blond-haired Boy (cameo)
  • Two Schoolboys (cameo)
  • Big Mickey (faceless, cameo)


  • Sodor China Clay Company
  • Brendam Docks
  • Sodor Shipping Company
  • Whiff's Waste Dump
  • Animal Park
  • The Duke and Duchess of Boxford's Summer House
  • Knapford Yards



  • Ben Small as Thomas
  • Jonathan Broadbent as Bill and Ben
  • Tim Whitnall as Timothy
  • Olivia Colman as Marion
  • Keith Wickham as Salty and Sir Topham Hatt
  • Matt Wilkinson as Cranky


  • Martin Sherman as Thomas
  • Jonathan Broadbent as Bill and Ben
  • Tim Whitnall as Timothy
  • Olivia Colman as Marion
  • Keith Wickham as Salty
  • Kerry Shale as Sir Topham Hatt
  • Glenn Wrage as Cranky


  • This is the only episode in the eighteenth series to have different titles in the UK and the US.
  • Edited stock footage from the seventeenth series, episode Kevin's Cranky Friend is used.
  • The parrots seen in the zoo are based on a real bird called rainbow lorikeets, a species of parrot found in Australia.


  • One of the children at the Animal Park has been duplicated.
  • A truck is seen sitting on the ground and two small wooden carts are seen on the rails when Bill and Ben are teasing Marion. Another truck is on the ground at Brendam.
  • In one close-up of Bill when he and Ben are talking to Timothy about the truck, he is not rendered properly on the rails as he appears to be derailed.
  • When the Fat Controller arrives at the clay pits, there appears to be nobody driving his car.
  • Up until the point Timothy leaves the shunting yard, he only has one crew member, but when he passes the Duchess again and for the rest of the episode, he has two.
  • When Bill says, "Shh, Ben, look's who's coming!" the rainbow truck disappears and then reappears.
  • In the three shots of the Fat Controller arriving to scold the twins, Bill keeps changing positions.
  • Bill is not coupled up to the rainbow truck when he and Ben take it to the waste dump.
  • In the Dutch version, indigo and violet keep being listed the wrong way round.
  • When Timothy passes the Duchess at the summerhouse, the station name is missing.
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