Emily the Really Useful Engine title card

Emily the Really Useful Engine is the 20th episode of the first season.


James and Thomas make a character list for a new show called Thomas the Tank Engine Tales, but James does not want to include Emily, and says that she is useless. In the end, Emily proves to be a really useful engine when James and Percy get stuck on Gordon's Hill.


  • Thomas
  • Edward (mentioned)
  • Henry (mentioned)
  • Gordon (mentioned)
  • James
  • Percy
  • Toby (mentioned)
  • Duck (mentioned)
  • Donald and Douglas (mentioned)
  • Emily
  • Mavis (mentioned)
  • Bill and Ben (mentioned)
  • BoCo (mentioned)
  • Daisy (mentioned)
  • Diesel (mentioned)
  • Stepney (mentioned)
  • Skarloey (mentioned)
  • Rheneas (mentioned)
  • Duncan (mentioned)
  • Rusty (mentioned)
  • Peter Sam (mentioned)
  • Sir Handel (mentioned)
  • Duke (mentioned)
  • Harold (cameo)
  • Bertie (cameo)
  • Terence (mentioned)
  • Trevor (mentioned)
  • Caroline (mentioned)
  • George (cameo)
  • Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
  • Henrietta (mentioned)
  • Troublesome Trucks
  • Sir Topham Hatt
  • Lightning McQueen
  • Mater


  • This episode explains why Emily is not in Thomas the Tank Engine Tales.


Narrator: It was a beautiful day on the island of Sodor. Lightning McQueen and his best friend, Mater, came to see Thomas and James at Tidmouth Sheds.

Thomas: Hello, Lightning!

James: Hello, Mater!

Lightning McQueen: Today, you two are going to create a character list for Thomas the Tank Engine Tales, the new show coming to PBS Kids on August 1st, 2013.

Mater: It's very important that you do, because we need some good characters on the show.

Narrator: Then, they drove away.

James: I know the best characters who can be on the show!

Narrator: So James got some paper and a pencil, and began to write down the characters that he wanted to be in Thomas the Tank Engine Tales. When he was done, he showed it to Thomas.

Thomas: (reading the character list that James wrote) Thomas, Percy, James, Gordon, Henry, Toby, Edward, Donald and Douglas, Duck, Bill and Ben, BoCo, Daisy, Mavis, Diesel, Stepney, Skarloey, Rheneas, Peter Sam, Sir Handel, Duke, Duncan, Rusty, Bertie, Harold, Terence, Trevor, George, Caroline, Annie and Clarabel, Henrietta, Troublesome Trucks, Sir Topham Hatt, wait a minute! James, you need to put Emily on the character list!

James: What? No! Emily can't be in it! She's not even a useful engine!

Thomas: That's not true! Emily is a very useful engine!

James: Oh, no, she's not! She's gonna be retired!

Thomas: Retired? You mean taken out of service?

James: Yep! And not a moment too soon!

Thomas: Emily can't be retired!

James: (huffs angrily) She made you so silly!

Thomas: I'm ashamed of you, James! You should think of other engines, not yourself!

James: (angrily) Listen to me, Thomas! And you listen very carefully! We are making a new show about you, and Emily is not going to be on it! She is not a reliable engine, so she'll only get in the way! She's just useless!

Narrator: And James puffed away. Later, as Thomas was pulling Annie and Clarabel along his branch line, he saw Sir Topham Hatt, and told him about what James had said.

Sir Topham Hatt: Don't worry, Thomas. I will attend to the matter immediately.

Narrator: Sir Topham Hatt came up with a plan. The next morning, he called Emily to the yard.

Sir Topham Hatt: I want you to shunt some coaches at Knapford.

Emily: But sir, if I do that, who will do my goods work?

Sir Topham Hatt: Percy will do it for you.

Narrator: Emily steamed off to Knapford. When James heard that Percy was going to do the goods work, he was very happy.

James: Whoo-hoo! Goodbye Emily, and hello Percy!

Narrator: Percy was not having a good day. The trucks were teasing him, and they were very heavy.

Troublesome Trucks: Hah, hah! Hee, hee! Let's play tricks on Percy! Hah, hah! Hee, hee! Let's play tricks on Percy!

Narrator: Soon, they reached Gordon's Hill. Percy went slower and slower, and then, he stopped.

Percy: (exhausted) Bust my buffers!

Narrator: Just then, James approached the hill.

James: I'm gonna have to stop on this hill, and never get myself started again!

Narrator: James buffered up to Percy's goods train, and tried to set off again. But his wheels just spun helplessly.

James' Driver: It's not working! We're going to need a back engine! I will send for Emily at once!

James: (angrily) Oh, no!

Narrator: Emily had just finished shunting some coaches for Gordon and Henry, when Sir Topham Hatt drove up in his car.

Sir Topham Hatt: I need you to rescue Percy and James. They're stuck on Gordon's Hill.

Emily: Right away, sir!

Narrator: Emily arrived at Gordon's Hill, and found Percy and James.

Emily: Oh, dear! You two look like you're in a jam.

Percy: Yes, we are!

Emily: Don't worry. I'll help you both up the hill.

Percy: Oh, thank you, Emily!

James: Hmph!

Narrator: So Emily buffered up, and they started their journey. Emily was being a really useful engine. She helped Percy up the hill, as well as James. They soon arrived at Tidmouth Sheds.

Percy: Hooray for Emily! She is a really useful engine!

Narrator: James was very embarrassed. Sir Topham Hatt spoke severely to him.

Sir Topham Hatt: (to James) You have said rude things about Emily! She proved today that she is useful, reliable, and very helpful!

Narrator: James felt sad. The next morning, James apologized to Emily.

James: Thank you for helping me yesterday, Emily. I'm sorry for what I said about you. You really are a useful engine.

Emily: I accept your apology, James.

Narrator: Sir Topham Hatt's plan had worked. Emily had been really useful, and James never talked about her retiring again.

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