Off the Rails - UK/Gordon Takes a Dip - US is the twenty-fourth episode ever made in Season 1.


One morning, Gordon is resting his eyes at the station while bragging to himself just how important he is. Henry suddenly pulls up and wakes Gordon rudely. Gordon is very cross, believing that an engine who has never had an accident should be treated with full respect. Percy arrives and innocently asks if jammed whistles and burst safety valves count as accidents. Gordon shrugs this off and tells Percy that those are malfunctions that could happen to any engine, not like Henry who came off the rails.

It is Henry's turn to take the express and Gordon reminds Henry "not to come off the rails today", much to Henry's anger. When he leaves, Gordon tries to go back to sleep, but it is not long before his driver arrives telling him that they have been asked to pull a special goods train. Gordon, who is already in a grumpy mood, balks at the idea of taking trucks, very much wanting to take some coaches.

Gordon's fire does not start very quick, so Edward is called in to push him to the turntable to get him facing the right way. Gordon complains the whole way, and refuses to take the train. Edward chides him for his silliness as they reach the turntable. By now, the movement has got Gordon's fire burning nicely and steam is being produced.

As the turntable turns, Gordon is now in such a bad mood that he is willing to do anything that stops him from taking the train regardless of the consequences. When the table gets halfway round, he moves forward in attempt to jam it. However, Gordon finds himself unable to stop and slides down the unused rails into a ditch. Gordon is horrified and screams that he wants to get out, however his crew furiously tell Gordon that he is stuck.

In his office, the Fat Controller is called and told everything that has happened. Seeing Gordon from his window, he arranges for Edward to take the special train and leaves Gordon where he is for now. Meanwhile, some little boys come by and start to tease Gordon with a rhyme. Utterly humiliated, Gordon now wishes for nothing more than to be rescued.

Gordon stays in the ditch for hours and the rescue operation does not occur until that night. After extensive work preparing sleepers to keep Gordon out of the mud, he is pulled out from the ditch by James and Henry.

Late that night, a filthy and disgraced Gordon crawls back to the shed, much sadder and wiser for his experience.


  • In the opening scene, Gordon's front bogie wheels are slightly derailed.