The Gallant Old Engine is the 14th episode of Series 4 of Thomas and Friends and the 92nd episode overall
Duncan is grumbling about being overworked, not being polished and especially passengers. Skarloey is dismayed by Duncan's stubbornness and attitude, especially in regards to the time he stopped on a viaduct in protest and bluntly tells him that he hopes Rheneas, who is due to return home soon, can talk some sense into him. When Duncan demands to know what Rheneas has to do with passengers, Skarloey points out that Rheneas single-handedly saved the Skarloey Railway.
At Peter Sam's insistence, Skarloey tells the two engines about the railway prior to when they arrived. It had been facing hard times and faced the threat of closure if the engines could not keep it running. Skarloey had been feeling sick, so Rheneas did his work for him, always reaching a station to rest no matter how tired he felt. Skarloey explains to an annoyed Duncan that Rheneas did this so as not to upset his passengers, as they get cross when a train stops where it should not. He then recalls a time that Rheneas stopped in the wrong place.
That day, the weather had been poor and Rheneas was puffing home with a full train, including passengers in the brake van. His wheels kept slipping on the hill, but he had finally made it to the top and was heading back down when his valve gear on one side jammed, forcing him to stop in the middle of nowhere. Rheneas' crew fixed him up as best they could and urged him to get the passengers to the next station. Rheneas promised to do so and continued on. Despite feeling too sore and tired to continue, he kept going, knowing that the railway could close if he failed. After one last valiant effort, Rheneas finally reached the station. The passengers thanked him and promised to tell their friends about the railway. Rheneas' driverpraised his "gallant little engine" and promised to fix him up ready for tomorrow.
Skarloey concludes his story by explaining that Rheneas was always "ready for tomorrow." A humbled Duncan admits he was wrong and thanks Skarloey for telling him about Rheneas.
The next day, Edward brings Rheneas home and a big celebration is held from the Skarloey Engines and some of the standard gauge engines. Rheneas is delighted to be back, especially with Skarloey and says he feels he truly has come home.
- Peter Sam