James Learns a Lesson - US/James and the Coaches - UK is the eighth episode ever made in Season 1.


James is settling into his new life nicely. The Fat Controller tells James that he is a mixed-traffic engine, so can take coaches or trucks easily, but must learn from his mistakes. James, who had a nasty accident with trucks on his first day, knew exactly what the Fat Controller meant.

James' first job of the day is to double-head a train of coaches with Edward, who warns him that the coaches don't like being bumped. People have arrived on the platform to admire James, who quickly gets full of himself and lets off steam without warning causing a shower of water to fall on the Fat Controller's brand new top hat. It is time for the train to leave and James tries to get out as fast as he can which angers Edward and the coaches. This causes trouble at the first station, when James causes two of the coaches to run beyond the platform forcing the train to reverse to let the passengers out. However, it seems that no one knows what happened with the Fat Controller, much to James' relief.

Next, James and Edward stop at the station on Thomas' new branch line, where the tank engine greets James before leaving. The train then passes the field where James had crashed. Finally, the journey ends and after unloading the passengers, James and Edward head for home, with James still wondering what the Fat Controller will have to say about his top hat.

The next morning, the Fat Controller visits James in the shed and gives him a severe telling off and warns him that if anything else happens, then James will be punished by being painted blue. James does not like that idea at all.

However, rather than calm James down, this only severes to make him cross and later that day, he roughly bumps his coaches, moaning that he has to fetch them. To make matters worse, none of the passengers dare go near him, which makes James even crosser.

James pulls the coaches very roughly and tries to run as fast as he can. Eventually, the coaches force James to stop. His driver explains that James' rough treatment has caused a leak with newspaper and a leather bootlace. However none of the crew have a leather bootlace on them. They ask the passengers and the guard finds a man with a leather bootlace, who initially refuses to give it up. The guard explains that without the bootlace, the train can not continue. The other passengers get very cross, both at the man and the railway. Under pressure, the man finally hands over the bootlace and the damage is temporarily repaired allowing James to finish the journey.

James proceeds on his way with the coaches, know that he is going to be in a lot of trouble with the Fat Controller.


  • While the Fat Controller is talking to Edward and James, a train passing them has a brakevan in the middle of its train.