ABC For Kids Wiki

Escape is the twenty-first episode of the third series. It is based on the stories Escape and Little Western from the Railway Series book Enterprising Engines.


One day, Edward is talking to Trevor when Douglas steams past and scolds Edward for talking instead of working. Edward later meets Douglas again and tells him that both he and Trevor have a lot in common as they were both nearly scrapped, to Douglas' horror. Edward continues, explaining how Trevor is now Really Useful, but thinks that the railway could use another steam engine, to which Douglas agrees.

Later that night, Douglas has taken a goods train to a faraway part of the Island where only the diesels work. He is shunting for his return journey when he hears a hiss of steam. He pauses, and hears the hiss again. A voice comes from nearby, asking if he belongs to the Fat Controller. The engine reveals himself as Oliver, who has run away from being scrapped with his brake van Toad, but has run out of coal. Douglas is still nervous at hearing the word "scrap," but then remembers Edward's story about Trevor. Douglas' crew work hard to rescue Oliver and Toad. Douglas begins the journey by running tender-first of bringing the two to the Fat Controller's railway. Just before they clear the station, a foreman and his watchdog stops them. Douglas' driver explains that Oliver and Toad belong to them, and although wary at first, the foreman lets them continue. It is daylight when they finally arrive. Douglas' driver finds a place at the works for Oliver, who thanks them all.

The next day, Douglas tells the engines all about Oliver. They think Douglas should tell the Fat Controller about him at once, just as he arrives. He explains that unless a steam engine is saved from scrap, there is little hope to find one. Luckily, the Fat Controller already knows about Oliver and decides that he will work on Duck's branch line.

Oliver and Toad are restored, and painted in Great Western colours. The other engines laugh and call the branch line "The Little Western" at first, but it delights Duck and Oliver.




  • The first appearance is Oliver and Toad in the TV Series.
  • In some of the early versions, the title has an added exclamation mark.
  • In the restored version, the scene of Duck passing Oliver and Toad is extended making a few seconds of the beginning of the last scene cut off.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things:
    • Trevor's last appearance as a guest character, discounting cameos in the subsequent two seasons. 
    • The last episode where a driver's face without eyebrows is seen until A Better View for Gordon.
  • The works set is the Ffarquhar Sheds set redressed.
  • The Other Railway is Tidmouth station redressed.
  • A reference to the second series episode, Saved from Scrap is made.
  • This episode and the next episode feature musical variations on the theme from the 1963 film The Great Escape.
  • This episode aired alongside Diesel Does it Again on Storytime with Thomas.
  • The LT building, the three berth garage, the large brown building, and the steel company from TUGS appear in the episode.
  • This episode marks the first of a few things:
    • The first episode where Douglas appears without Donald.
    • The first appearance of Oliver and Toad.
    • The first appearance of the Vicarstown in the television series.
    • The first appearance of Edward's two face masks:
      • The only time his angry face gains some teeth.
      • The first time his annoyed/cross face mask is used, which would later be frequently used between the seventh to the end of the model era excluding The Great Discovery.


  • At the beginning of the episode, Edward's whistle is severely crooked.
  • When Edward confronts Douglas, a small hair can be seen above Edward's left eye (viewer perspective).
  • Wires can be seen behind Douglas' wheels while talking to Edward.
  • Throughout the episode, Douglas has Donald's whistle sound, and Thomas and Edward have the same one.
  • When Douglas reverses into the sheds, Henry's eyes are misaligned.
  • When Oliver introduces himself, the word "SCRAP" is already painted on the side of his water tanks, even before Douglas tells the drivers and firemen to do so.
  • When Douglas' point-of-view is shown of him backing away from his trucks before he finds Oliver, the track in front of him is crooked.
  • For most of the episode, Douglas' nameplates are loose.
  • George Carlin gives Douglas' driver a Scottish accent when he speaks to the foreman, but when they all arrive at the Works, he loses his accent. This is not a problem in the UK version of the episode, however, as his driver never changes his accent
  • Douglas has a black dot on his right cheek when he says "That was a near thing."
  • When the narrator says that all the engines whistled and cheered after they heard the good news, Thomas has Edward's whistle sound.
  • Duck's face is crooked when he puffs by Oliver with the express coaches.


Douglas: Come on, Edward. Stop gossiping in dae sun when there's work tae be done. [Edward reacts in annoyance]

Edward: Trevor and I are old friends, and you and he have a lot in common too.
Douglas: Aye, and what would that be?
Edward: Scrap.
Douglas: Don't mention that word! It makes my wheels wobble!
Edward: It does the same to Trevor. He was being sent to the scrap yard, but the vicar and I saved him, and now, he's really useful again. Even so, the Fat Controller certainly does need another steam engine here.
Douglas: Aye, he does. And quickly!

Douglas: That sounds like a steam engine. [hearing the hiss carefully] Who's there? [hears a whisper]
Voice: Are you a Fat Controller's engine?
Douglas: Aye, and proud of it.
Voice: I'm Oliver and I'm with my break van, Toad, we've run out of coal and have no more steam.
Douglas: But what are you doing?
Oliver: Escaping?
Douglas: From what?
Oliver: Scrap.
Douglas: [shivers before remembering Edward's story about saving Trevor] I'll be glad to help you. It'll have to look those as you're ready for scrap and I'm taking you away.
[the drivers and firemen work fast]
Douglas: No time tae turn round. I'll run tender first. Come on!

[a foreman catches Douglas escaping with Oliver and Toad]
Foreman: Aha! A Great Western engine, and a brake van, too. You can't take these!
Douglas: Aye! But they're all for us. See for yerself.
[the foreman looks all over Oliver]
Foreman: Seems in order. Right, away, guard!

Douglas: That was a near thing.
Oliver: We've had worse.

Douglas: We're home!
Driver: Shh! There are the works. We'll find a place for Oliver.

James: The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt would have to know.
Gordon: Douglas should tell him at once.
The Fat Controller: Well, here he is. Now what's this all about?
Duck: Beg pardon, sir, but we do need another engine.
Gordon: Yes sir. A steam engine, sir.
The Fat Controller: Well, unless one saved from scrap, there's little hope.
Douglas: But sir, one has!
The Fat Controller: Yes indeed. And thanks to you, Douglas, he is now at our works. Oliver is just what we need for Duck's branch line.