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Whistles and Sneezes is the twentieth episode of the first series. It is based on the stories Gordon's Whistle and Henry's Sneeze from the Railway Series book Henry the Green Engine.


One morning, soon after Henry has returned from Crewe in his new shape, Gordon is jealous that Henry now gets to pull the express and complains that he never needed a new shape and left them to do all his work as well as their own. He also claims that Henry whistles too much and too loudly at stations, saying that "it isn't wrong, but we just don't do it.". Henry is hurt at these words, but Percy tells him he is glad that he is back and likes his whistling.

Later when Henry arrives at Wellsworth, Edward tells Henry that he was glad to hear his whistle, cheering Henry up. Suddenly, the sound of a far-off and continuous whistle can be heard much to the engines' confusion. It turns out to be Gordon, whose whistle valve is jammed, causing the noise. He flies down the hill and through the station. Edward is surprised, while Henry tells him what Gordon had said about whistling.

Gordon speeds down the line, the awful noise from his whistle continuing even when he reaches the last station which causes everyone, including the Fat Controller to hold their ears. Gordon leaves the express behind and is taken to some fitters who hammer his whistle valve back into place, which causes the noise to finally stop. Gordon sneaks home that night to an empty shed, much to his relief. As the other engines arrive back, Henry whispers that "it isn't wrong, but we just don't do it.", but says nothing about whistles.

The next day, Henry takes an express train feeling as well as ever and soon approaches a bridge where three boys are waiting. Henry whistles in greeting, but the boys do not answer and instead throw stones on him and his coaches, breaking the coaches' windows.

While unhurt, the passengers are, naturally, furious. While they want to call the police, Henry's driver, however, has a better plan to get their own back. After getting everyone to promise to keep the plan a secret, the driver tells them that Henry is going to sneeze at the boys. The passengers are eager to see what will happen and on the way back from the other end of the line, the driver makes sure everyone is ready and to keep all the windows shut until they are past the bridge.

Soon Henry approaches the bridge where the boys are waiting with more stones. Carefully judging the moment, the driver has Henry sneeze at exactly the right time, causing the ashes that are built up in his smokebox to fly high into the air, covering the boys from head to toe in soot, much to their horror and the amusement of Henry and his crew.

Henry goes home satisfied knowing that, with a whistle and a sneeze, he was able to teach Gordon and the silly boys a lesson they will not soon forget.


  • Edward
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • Percy
  • Thomas (cameo)
  • James (cameo)


  • This episode is based on the stories Gordon's Whistle and Henry's Sneeze from The Railway Series book, Henry the Green Engine.
  • Stock footage from Coal and The Flying Kipper is used.
  • In the restored version, the scenes of Percy coming back to the shed at night, Henry pulling the express, Henry arriving at Lower Tidmouth and the last scene had no fade effects.