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A Proud Day for James

Original US title card

No. of season: 1
No. of epsiode: 10
No. of series: 10
Director: David Mitton
Producer: David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona
Writer: Reverend W. Awdry (original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton (adapted)
Narrator: George Carlin (US)
Patchouli knowledge (GEN)
Original air date: February 26th, 1989 (US)
May 5th, 1993 (GEN)
Previous: Troublesome Trucks/
Foolish Freight Cars
Next: Thomas and the Guard/
Thomas and the Conductor

A Proud Day for James in American releases, is the tenth episode of the first season of the series. It aired on the Shining Time Station episode, Show and Yell in 1989. In this episode, James was honoured when he's given the Express.


Although James is finally making a good impression on the Fat Controller after his success with some troublesome trucks, he still finds himself subject to teasing by Gordon and Henry when they are alone in the shed. They constantly remind him of how a bootlace was needed to help him finish a journey with coaches, and while James reminds them of Gordon getting stuck on a hill and Henry refusing to leave a tunnel, neither of them let up. Gordon boasts that he was the only engine capable of pulling the express alone, claiming that he's never lost his way (conveniently forgetting that its the signalman who ensures engines don't get lost).

The next morning, James and Gordon prepare for work; Gordon once again harps on about how he gets to pull the express while James is left with 'odd jobs' before sending the red engine to fetch his coaches. James, now knowing to be extra careful especially with the elegant express coaches, takes them nicely into Knapford Station. James tells the coaches that he'd love to be able to take the express, before leaving them for Gordon who couples himself to the train as nosily and importantly as possible. Gordon then leaves with a train full of passengers, one of which is none other than the Fat Controller. James then goes back to work shunting trucks and fetching coaches.

Later James is in the station when Gordon quietly slides into the station, trying not to be noticed. James asks if Gordon 'lost his way', and Gordon admits he was mistakenly switched off the main line and forced onto a long loop back to the station. James finds this funny, however the passengers are furious and demand refunds from the Fat Controller, who promises to find another train. With Gordon out of steam and no other engines available, the Fat Controller asks James if he wants to take the express. James was more than happy to, and quickly couples himself up. The Fat Controller wishes James luck, and he pulls out of the station. The journey goes without incident, and upon reaching their destination the passengers thank James for a nice journey. The Fat Controller was very impressed with James, and asks if he would like to pull the express sometimes; James is very happy and says yes at once.

The next day when James sees Gordon pushing trucks, the larger engine is enjoying the simpler work and getting to teach the trucks some manners. Gordon then congratulates James on his success with the express.

Gordon and James soon become good friends. James takes the express for Gordon sometimes to allow him to rest. Bootlaces are never mentioned, and the two very much agree when it comes to their opinion of trucks.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, James the Red Engine.
  • Stock footage from James and the Coaches is used.
  • References to Edward and Gordon, The Sad Story of Henry, and James and the Coaches are made.
  • An SiF interview with Christopher Noulton revealed that some of the passengers were made out of plasticine for this episode.
  • This is the only first season episode that the audio wasn't remastered from mono to stereo in the UK.
  • George Carlin's narration of this episode was never featured on an episode of Shining Time Station. It first appeared on Best of James.
  • The Italian title of this episode is "The Revenge of James". In Wales, it is called "James and the Fast Train". In Japan, this episode is called "The Joy for James". The French title is, "James and the Express Train".
  • In the George Carlin version, the start of the busy theme can be heard when James goes to fetch Gordon's coaches, but it is ommited in both Ringo Starr narrations.
  • In Ringo Starr's US narration, an owl can be heard hooting loudly up to where Gordon says "You talk too much, little James." The owl sounds get abruptly quiet.


  • After Gordon leaves Knapford, the truck in front of James changes.
  • In the scene after the passengers rushing to the booking office, a blonde woman in red has blu-tak underneath her shoes.
  • When James backed into Knapford with the coaches, a stagehand barely appears, then went off screen.
  • When the Fat Controller asks James if he would like to pull the express some time, the tree on the left behind him wobbles.
  • A wire is visible near Gordon's trailing wheel when he asks James to get his coaches.
  • Why the express stops at Maron was questionable because the express was only meant to stop at Knapford, Crovan's Gate, and Vicarstown.
  • Because stock footage is used, James brings the other coaches to platform 5. But when Gordon arrives back at Knapford, James is at platform 3. Also, the brake coach is in the middle of the train.
  • James places the coaches into Knapford at a point where the first coach was at the front of the platform, however when Gordon buffers up to them, they have moved back without Gordon pushing them, and he was then at the front of the platform.
  • In the close-up of James teasing Gordon, James' dome was chipped.

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