Coal - UK/Henry's Special Coal - US is the eighteenth episode ever made in Season 1.


One morning, Henry wakes up feeling very ill. He complains about it to James. However, James simply shrugs it off as Henry being lazy. The Fat Controller is also unhappy about this, given that this is the latest in a long line of problems with Henry. He tells Henry and his crew that he is becoming too expensive to maintain, as he has been given new parts and paint which have done nothing to make him feel better and if his condition does not improve soon, he plans to have him replaced, upsetting Henry, his driver, and fireman.

Later that day, Henry arrives to take his first train. The Fat Controller, determined to get to the bottom of Henry's problems, decides to ride along with his crew. Henry manages to start, however he struggles and the fireman explains that Henry's fire does not give enough heat. As a result, Henry does not produce enough steam.

Henry tries to pull the train as hard as he can, but still can not produce the steam he needs. He struggles to make it to Edward's station and then is uncoupled from the coaches and runs sadly into a siding while Edward takes charge of the train. Henry's crew and the Fat Controller disembark and continue discussing what the problem is. Henry's fireman explains the root of the problem; the coal provided for Henry is unsuitable for him. While the other engines have large fireboxes, Henry's is too small and therefore can not produce heat from the coal as well. The fireman then tells the Fat Controller that if Henry had Welsh coal, he would easily improve. The Fat Controller notes that Welsh coal is expensive, but wants to give Henry a fair chance and arranges James to fetch some.

Soon the Welsh coal arrives causing Henry's crew to become excited. The fireman carefully makes up Henry's fire to give the best possible results. However, Henry has his doubts.

Henry's worries soon turn out to be unfounded, as when he gets to the station, his water is boiling so well that he has more than enough steam. The Fat Controller is happy to see that Henry is feeling so well and warns the driver not to push him. The driver comments that is not a worry, in fact, he will have to hold Henry back.

Henry goes on to have a wonderful day, having never felt so well and is eager to go fast, but his driver does not let him, reassuring that they have plenty of time.

For the first time, Henry makes it to the junction before Thomas. Thomas is astounded to see Henry having beat him and Henry calls him "lazybones" before running quickly off. Thomas is too shocked to be cross, a sentiment shared by Annie and Clarabel.


  • When Sir Topham Hatt tels Henry that he will have to be sent away, Sir Topham Hatt is smiling.