Troublesome Trucks/Foolish Freight Cars

Oirignal UK title card

No. of season: 1
No. of epsiode: 9
No. of series: 9
Director: David Mitton
Producer: David Mitton
Robert D. Cardona
Writer: Reverend W. Awdry (original)
Britt Allcroft
David Mitton
Narrator: Ringo Starr (UK/US)
George Carlin (US)
Original air date: 6 November 1984 (UK)
16 April 1987 (AUS)
26 February 1989 (US)
29 May 1990 (JPN)
3 September 1993 (George Carlin US)
3 March 1998 (GER)
5 January 2008 (HUN)
Previous: James and the Coaches/James Learns a Lesson
Next: James and the Express/A Proud Day for James

Troublesome Trucks, retitled Foolish Freight Cars in American releases, is the ninth episode of the first season. It aired in the US on the Shining Time Station episodes, Show and Yell in 1989 and The Mayor Runs for Re-Election in 1993. In this episode, James is let out of the shed to pull a goods train.


After having damaged a coach and causing a lot of trouble recently, James has been confined to the shed for several days. James starts to cry, thinking that he will have to stay in the shed permanently and no one will see him again. The Fat Controller finally comes to speak to him and tells him that his recent actions have caused a lot of embarrassment for the railway. James sincerely apologizes and the Fat Controller decides to allow him out to pull some trucks; James couldn't be happier to be let out and eagerly goes to work.

At the station, Thomas brings James his trucks and, after teasing him about bootlaces, runs off. James crossly couples himself to the trucks, who tease him for his red paint. James just ignores them and sets off; however, the trucks do not want to go and attempt to hold back. James doesn't allow them to and drags them out of the station. As the journey continues, the trucks try everything they can to get James to give up, but it is no use as James is determined to prove himself.

Finally the train gets to Gordon's Hill and James tries his hardest to run it up as fast as he can. Although it is initially hard, but with a sudden jerk it gets easier and James makes it up the hill. However, James' driver stops him and points out that the end of the train became detached and ran down the hill. The trucks stop at the bottom of the hill, where the guard gets out to warn approaching engines.

James backs down the hill to pick up the trucks, where Edward has stopped due to the blockage. Edward offers help, but James is determined to do it himself and politely declines. Pulling with every ounce of his strength, James finally makes it to the top of the hill and easily continues on to the station where Edward later arrives with the Fat Controller.

James is very worried, knowing the Fat Controller may be angry again. This time, however, the Fat Controller is happy with James, having been aboard Edward's train and seeing everything. Since James made the most troublesome trucks on the line behave, the Fat Controller says that he deserves to keep his red coat.



Fun FactsEdit


  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book, James the Red Engine.
  • In George Carlin's narration on home media, the line, "After that, you deserve to keep your red coat," isn't heard, but remains on its broadcast on Shining Time Station.
  • Alternative footage from Thomas and the Trucks is used.
  • In the restored version, an extended close-up shot of James at Maron is shown.


  • When the Fat Controller first speaks to James, his head is turned away from him.
  • James' tender is derailed while Thomas arranges his train.
  • When Thomas says: "Have you got some bootlaces ready?" there is blu-tak under his lantern.
  • When James puffs out of the yard, the truck at the front loses its face.
  • When Thomas puffs away laughing, all the trucks are coupled to each other. But when James backs onto the trucks, one at the front is uncoupled.
  • When the trucks get to the bottom of Gordon's Hill, a truck disappears. It however reappears in the last shot of James pulling the trucks, and it is noticeable.
  • When James goes up Gordon's Hill the second time, a wire pulls him up.
  • James' puffing noise is not in sync with his speed.
  • When the narrator says the line, "Sometimes their axles would run hot," a crew member's shadow is seen at the end of the set.
  • When Edward is first shown at the bottom of Gordon's Hill, he has no train. When James backs down and couples the lost trucks, look carefully and you can see Edward has at least one truck behind him.
  • In the close-up of James at Maron, the water tower next to him disappears.
  • In the last close-up of James going up Gordon's Hill, his driving wheels are not moving.
  • When James couples up to his train, he is outside the station but when he starts moving off, he is inside.


In Other LanguagesEdit

Language Name Meaning
Croatian Razigrani teretni vagoni Playful Freight Wagons
French Les camions coquins The Naughty Trucks
Dutch Lastige Goederen Wagons Troublesome Wagons
German Die Güterwagen machen Ärger The trucks are making trouble
Italian Un treno merci combinaguai Freight Train Troublemaker
Spanish Los Vagones De Carga Tontos / Vagones Problemáticos The Silly Freight Trucks / Problematic Wagons
Norwegian Vanskelige vogner Troublesome Trucks
Welsh Tryciau Trafferthus Troublesome Trucks
Brazilian Portuguese Vagões de Carga Freight Cars
Japanese やっかいなかしゃたち Troublesome Trucks
Danish Besværlige vogne Cumbersome Cars
Hebrew קרונות המסע המרגיזים The Annoying Freight Cars
Slovenian Poredni tovorni vagoni Naughty Freight Wagons
Chinese 煤矿货车厢 Coal Truck Box
Korean 빨간 멋쟁이 제임스 Red Dandy James
Romanian Vagoane Bucolaşe Countryside Wagons
Finnish Rettelöivät Tavaravaunut Troublesome Trucks
Hungarian Rakoncátlan Teherkoscik Unruly Freight Cars
Slovak Problémové vagóny Problematic Wagons
Polish Kłopotliwe Wagony Troublesome Cars
Swedish Dom Vresliga Vagnarna They Crusty Wagons
Russian Заговор в товарном составе The Plot in the Product Composition
Czech Neposlušné vagóny Disobedient Cars
Serbian Nezgodni vagoni Awkward Wagons
Thai รถพ่วงเจ้าปัญหา Trailer Problems

Home Media ReleasesEdit


DVD Boxsets



DVD Packs


DVD Boxsets











  • Thomas the Tank Engine 1






DVD Packs










Troublesome Trucks – British Narration

Troublesome Trucks – British Narration

UK Narration

Foolish Freight Cars – George Carlin American Narration

Foolish Freight Cars – George Carlin American Narration

George Carlin US Narration

v - e - d Thomas and Friends episodes
Series 1 Thomas and Gordon · Edward and Gordon · The Sad Story of Henry · Edward, Gordon and Henry · Thomas' Train · Thomas and the Trucks · Thomas and the Breakdown Train · James and the Coaches · Troublesome Trucks · James and the Express · Thomas and the Guard · Thomas Goes Fishing · Thomas, Terence and the Snow · Thomas and Bertie · Tenders and Turntables · Trouble in the Shed · Percy Runs Away · Coal · The Flying Kipper · Whistles and Sneezes · Toby and the Stout Gentleman · Thomas in Trouble · Dirty Objects · Off the Rails · Down the Mine · Thomas' Christmas Party
Series 2 Thomas, Percy and the Coal · Cows · Bertie's Chase · Saved from Scrap · Old Iron · Thomas and Trevor · Percy and the Signal · Duck Takes Charge · Percy and Harold · The Runaway · Percy Takes the Plunge · Pop Goes the Diesel · Dirty Work · A Close Shave · Better Late Than Never · Break Van · The Deputation · Thomas Comes to Breakfast · Daisy · Percy's Predicament · The Diseasel · Wrong Road · Edward's Exploit · Ghost Train · Woolly Bear · Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree
Series 3 A Scarf for Percy · Percy's Promise · Time for Trouble · Gordon and the Famous Visitor · Donald's Duck · Thomas Gets Bumped · Thomas, Percy and the Dragon · Diesel Does It Again · Henry's Forest · The Trouble with Mud · No Joke for James · Thomas, Percy and the Post Train · Trust Thomas · Mavis · Toby's Tightrope · Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party · Buzz, Buzz · All at Sea · One Good Turn · Tender Engines · Escape · Oliver Owns Up · Bulgy · Heroes · Percy, James and the Fruitful Day · Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure
Series 4 Granpuff · Sleeping Beauty · Bulldog · You Can't Win · Four Little Engines · A Bad Day for Sir Handel · Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady · Trucks! · Home at Last · Rock 'n' Roll · Special Funnel · Steam Roller · Passengers and Polish · Gallant Old Engine · Rusty to the Rescue · Thomas and Stepney · Train Stops Play · Bowled Out · Henry and the Elephant · Toad Stands By · Bulls Eyes · Thomas and the Special Letter · Paint Pots and Queens · Fish · Special Attraction · Mind That Bike
Series 5 Cranky Bugs · Horrid Lorry · A Better View for Gordon · Lady Hatt's Birthday Party · James and the Trouble with Trees · Gordon and the Gremlin · Bye George! · Baa! · Put Upon Percy · Toby and the Flood · Haunted Henry · Double Teething Troubles · Stepney Gets Lost · Toby's Discovery · Something in the Air · Thomas, Percy and Old Slow Coach · Thomas and the Rumours · Oliver's Find · Happy Ever After · Sir Topham Hatt's Holiday · A Surprise for Percy · Make Someone Happy · Busy Going Backwards · Duncan Gets Spooked · Rusty and the Boulder · Snow
Series 6 Salty's Secret · Harvey to the Rescue · No Sleep for Cranky · A Bad Day for Harold the Helicopter · Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry · The Fogman · Jack Jumps In · A Friend in Need · It's Only Snow · Twin Trouble · The World's Strongest Engine · Scaredy Engines · Percy and the Haunted Mine · Middle Engine · James and the Red Balloon · Jack Frost · Gordon Takes a Tumble · Percy's Chocolate Crunch · Buffer Bother · Toby Had a Little Lamb · Thomas, Percy and the Squeak · Thomas the Jet Engine · Edward the Very Useful Engine · Dunkin' Duncan · Rusty Saves the Day · Faulty Whistles
Series 7 Emily's New Coaches · Percy Gets It Right · Bill, Ben and Fergus · The Old Bridge · Edward's Brass Band · What's the Matter with Henry? · James and the Queen of Sodor · The Refreshment Lady's Tea Shop · · The Spotless Record · Toby's Windmill · Bad Day at Castle Loch · Rheneas and the Roller Coaster · Salty's Stormy Tale · Snow Engine · Something Fishy · The Runaway Elephant · Peace and Quiet · Fergus Breaks the Rules · · Bulgy Rides Again · Harold and the Flying Horse · The Grand Opening · Best Dressed Engine · Gordon and Spencer · Not So Hasty Puddings · Trusty Rusty · Three Cheers for Thomas
Series 8 Thomas and the Tuba · Percy's New Whistle · Thomas to the Rescue · Henry and the Wishing Tree · James Gets a New Coat · Thomas Saves the Day · Percy's Big Mistake · Thomas, Emily and the Snowplough · Don't Tell Thomas · Emily's New Route · Thomas and the Firework Display · Gordon Takes Charge · Spic and Span · Edward the Great · Squeak, Rattle and Roll · Thomas and the Circus · Thomas Gets It Right · As Good as Gordon · Fish · Emily's Adventure · Halloween · You Can Do It, Toby! · James Goes Too Far · Chickens to School · Too Hot for Thomas · Percy and the Magic Carpet
Series 9 Percy and the Oil Painting · Thomas and the Rainbow · Molly's Special, Special · Thomas' Milkshake Muddle · Mighty Mac · Thomas and the Toy Shop · Respect for Gordon · Thomas and the Birthday Picnic · Tuneful Toots · Rheneas and the Dinosaur · Thomas and the New Engine · Toby Feels Left Out · Thomas Tries His Best · The Magic Lamp · Thomas and the Statue · Henry and the Flagpole · Emily Knows Best · Thomas' Day Off · Thomas' New Trucks Duncan and the Old Mine · Bold and Brave · Skarloey the Brave · Saving Edward · Thomas and the Golden Eagle · Keeping Up with James · Flour Power