Rusty and the Boulder
Rusty and the Boulder is the twenty-fifth episode of the fifth season and the one hundred and twenty-ninth episode of the series. In this episode, Thumper causes chaos when he dislodges a boulder.


On the Island of Sodor, high up in the mountains, there was a mysterious boulder and it stood alone for a long time. But one day, a new quarry was being built near the mines on the land below and Rusty was afraid the giant boulder would fall onto the line. He confesses his fears to Thomas and Percy. Then Edward arrives with a new machine called Thumper to help with the mining process. Soon, Thumper is working hard. The men are pleased, but no one bothers to check the boulder. But when it started raining, the workmen left. Rusty gazed up and shivered as above stood Boulder. Suddenly, a large slab of rock lands on the rails. Rusty is shocked and worried by this, but his driver is concerned. His driver thinks the rock has been loosened by the rain, but Rusty thinks it is Boulder telling them to go away. As they leave, a face mysteriously appears on Boulder and then disappears. The next day, the sun is shining and Thumper is working harder than ever. He always works hard on the rocks below Boulder. Suddenly, Rusty notices something and realizes that Boulder is moving, but his driver doesn't believe him until Boulder falls down in front of them and begins to chase Rusty. Boulder rolls along the line of the rails as Rusty quickly drives himself backwards to get away from Boulder. Rusty and his driver stop at a junction and wait for Boulder to pass by, but Boulder is nowhere to be seen. Then, they soon realise that Boulder is behind them. Just ahead, they see a small junction, so Rusty races towards it and takes the line that goes uphill, while Boulder thunders past by them. Meanwhile, Skarloey is making his way up to the quarry. Then, he sees the boulder heading for him. He becomes shocked, shouts for help and quickly reverses, but the boulder is catching up fast. Skarloey slips into a siding, while the Boulder passes by, then smashes up the water tower that was in between the tracks. Skarloey realizes that they have to warn the yards, but Rusty doesn't know how. Boulder rounds a bend and there ahead is Rheneas, who shouts that the boulder is running loose, as his driver quickly drives him back as fast as he can. Both Rheneas and the Boulder go along the viaduct, as Rheneas runs into some buffers with Boulder just missing him, but his driver sighs that it's rather a smash than a squash. At the yards, Percy was collecting trucks, but then hears Boulder approaching. Percy is shocked and realizes that Boulder is heading straight for him, so he makes his whistle squeak, closes his eyes, his crew jump off and Boulder crashes nearby into the sheds, causing a large explosion with flames. When Sir Topham Hatt inspects the damage, he has no choice but to close the mine; then he looks at Boulder with the shed, destroyed and realizes that they should've left this part of the island alone. They move Boulder to a hill close by the yards so it would never harm anyone or anything on the island anymore.



  • Boulder Quarry
  • Rheneas Viaduct
  • Echo Pass Ravine


  • Many of the scenes of Boulder chasing the engines look similar to the famous "boulder" scene from the Indiana Jones movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
  • Boulder's face is based upon Gordon's.
  • The same model for Boulder is used for both the large-scale and normal-scale sets.
  • In this episode, the quarry was brand new and closed in a short amount of time, meaning the events of Bye George! and Duncan Gets Spooked must have occurred during the events of this episode as they also took place at Boulder Quarry.
  • There are some differences in the US and UK narrations. Some differences are:
    • Some of the music throughout the runaway is missing in the UK version.
    • In the US version, the line "...but they veered into a siding" is omitted.
    • In the US version, a crashing sound effect is heard when Rheneas hits the siding, this is absent in the UK version.
    • In the UK narration, Rusty says "That's as may be, Percy" while in the US narration, he says, "Well, Percy".
    • In the UK narration Skarloey says "Yikes!" but in the US version he yells "Help!"
    • In the UK narration, Rheneas says "Yikes!" but in the US version he says "Hurry!"
    • In the UK narration, Rheneas' driver says "Rather a smash than a squash!", but in the US version he says "Better a smash than a squash!"
  • In Japan, this episode is called "Boulder Rock".


  • Rusty's small-scale model is used at the beginning and end of the episode, but his large-scale model is used throughout the rest. Because of this, Rusty's face seems to change size.
  •  When Boulder falls off the cliff, it hits an outcrop but still falls vertically onto the track.
  • Boulder is still covered in moss while it chases Rusty. However, once it appears behind him, all the moss has vanished.
  • Skarloey looked scared before he realized Boulder was coming.
  • In the close-ups of Rheneas, the hook attached to the camera he is pulling along is visible. * The viaduct should have collapsed under Boulder's weight.
  • Engines cannot simply "swerve" into sidings. The points would not have just been switched at the last second for the relevant characters. To add to that, Boulder was never seen running past any signalboxes or workmen to explain all the points being switched. * As Boulder approaches the sheds, the ground bounces.
  • Boulder sets the shed alight when it collides with it, but no reason is given. It is unlikely that Boulder created sparks when it impacted the shed.
  • Building so close to a boulder would have not been authorized in real life.
  • No natural boulder would be that round or have been able to form independently from the rest of the rock formation.
  • The dialogue and footage leads us to believe that Thumper is working near Boulder. However, the site where Thumper and the workmen are only has one narrow gauge line leading toward buffers. The area where Rusty observes Boulder has two lines, no siding, and Thumper and any other machines are not seen. So where exactly was Thumper working?
  • In the US version, the term "trucks" is accidentally used at one point.
  • When Boulder approaches Skarloey at the water column, Skarloey does not have a driver, but when the column is smashed, his driver is seen leaning out of the cab.
  • The close-up of Rheneas' driver is actually inside Rusty's cab.
  • When Boulder races pass Rheneas, the same scene from earlier in the episode when Boulder races pass Rusty is used.
  • No explanation is given as to how Boulder got behind Rusty. * Brakevans should have been added to Skarloey and Edward's trains.
  • When the water tower pieces crash onto Skarloey, his driver gets hit by the timber.
  • When the boulder was chasing Rusty, it should have knocked the tree down instead of just nudging it.


Home Media Releases


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