"Silly old Gordon fell in a ditch, fell in a ditch, fell in a ditch. Silly old Gordon fell in a ditch. All on a Monday morning!"
— The boys
Off the Rails

Gavin Rose


Britt Allcroft
David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry (original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton (adapted)


Gavin Rose

Air date

February 21 2007

Previous episode

Via Sellafield

Next episode

The Visitor

Off the Rails is the sixth episode of the Railways of Sodor, but was the first released. The episode was launched on Febuary 21 2007


One morning, Gordon is resting his eyes at the station ,when 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. Gordon was still in a bad mood. As Thomas shunted Henry's coaches and Thomas calls Gordon as "Grisly Gresley". When Henry arrives, Gordon reminds Henry "not to come off the rails today", much to Henry's anger. When he leaves, Gordon notices he was too fast. He called out to Henry to slow down or else he will break a coupling soon. Henry was now in too much of a temper to slow down now. He got faster and faster until he arrived at Gordon's Hill and slows down. In Henry's absence, Gordon was enjoying some 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. No matter how hard his driver persuaded him, he would not listen. Then Sir Topham Hatt arrives and scolds Gordon, but he eventually manages to convice Gordon to pull the train.

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 turntables 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 an 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.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Gordon the Big Engine.
  • According to the boys' song, the events of this episode take place on Monday.


  • Gordon was not full asleep in the first scene and he was not surpriesd when henry arrived.
  • Why did they take Gordon to Vicarstown Sheds? Vicarstown is on the other side of the Island from Knapford.
  • The camera shakes in a few scenes.
  • How can James and Henry rescue Gordon from the ditch if there are no tracks leading towards the turntable opposite the ditch?