In 2006, it was revealed that the released film had been drastically cut from the original script written and shot by Britt Allcroft against her will.
Join Thomas The Tank Engine and his railway friends in his very first movie!
Sir Topham Hatt is away on a "much-needed" summer vacation and he has left Mr. Conductor (Alec Baldwin) in charge of the railway. Unfortunately, Thomas and his friends are being bullied and tormented by the evil Diesel 10 and his sidekicks Splatter and Dodge. Diesel 10 plans to destroy Thomas and his friends so that he (Diesel 10) can control the railway.
At Shining Time Station, eleven year old Lily Stone (Mara Wilson) is traveling to Muffle Mountain to visit her grandfather, Burnett Stone (Peter Fonda), a retired railroad driver, who now lives a solitary life as he tries to repair a magical engine called Lady who has been secretly hidden inside Muffle Mountain after an early incident with Diesel 10 from long ago. Lily believes that her grandfather holds the magic between Shining Time Station and the Island of Sodor.
Can Thomas and his friends, along with Lily, Burnett Stone, Lady, Mr. Conductor, and the gang from Shining Time Station all try and stop Diesel 10 once and for all?
Note: This sympois is based on Britt Allcroft's original screenplay to the movie "Thomas And The Magic Railroad". This film is set in 1980.
The film begins with a narrator (Lily as an adult) introducing Thomas and the Island of Sodor.
Gordon is waiting for Thomas at Wellsworth Station. When Thomas arrives, Gordon scolds him for being late. Thomas explains that he's off to pick up Mr. Conductor (Alec Baldwin) who is coming to take care of the Sodor Railway while Sir Topham hatt goes on a much needed vacation. Gordon is unsure about Mr. Conductor's stay on Sodor...until Diesel 10 speeds past.
The Indian Valley and Shining Time Station is introduced where we meet Mr. Conductor for the first time.
In the Big City, eleven year old Lily Stone (Mara Wilson) is preparing to visit her grandfather Burnett Stone (Peter Fonda); a retired railroad engineer who now lives a solitary life, because his wife, Tasha, has passed away many years ago. Lily finds a black and white photograph of her grandpa and grandma. She decides to bring it along with her.
Back at Shining Time Station, Patch finishes painting the "Welcome" sign and tells a dog named Mutt that Shining Time Station has the best "Welcome sign" ever.
Billy Twofeathers (Russell Means) is driving his train, the Rainbow Sun, towards the station. As he waves to two children in field, he sees a motorcyclist driving along the country-road. The motorcyclist cuts in front of the train at the railroad crossing, startling Billy to stop the train.
When Billy arrives at the station, he congratulates Patch for painting the sign. Patch then tells Billy about some shadowy lines on Billy's map. After a brief talk about it, Patch goes to Muffle Mountain, to do some chores for Burnett Stone. Billy calls after him, telling him to be on the lookout for a 'stranger'.
When Billy and Mutt arrive on the station's platform, they find P.T. Boomer (Doug Lennox) waiting for them. Boomer is the motorcyclist who has cut in front of the Rainbow Sun at the railroad crossing. Boomer happens to be Burnett Stone's rival. Boomer asks for Burnett's whereabouts, but Billy stonewalls him; telling Boomer to "not to mess with the innocence of the Indian Valley". Boomer walks away, pausing to whack Mr. Conductor's flower basket. Billy picks up the flowers and walks into the station; where he looks over a child's drawing with Stacey Jones (Didi Conn); the station's manager. They both agree that the drawing has been made by Burnett Stone when he was a little child.
Back on Sodor, Thomas is talking with James at Tidmouth Sheds. They're suddenly confronted by Diesel 10; who reveals his wicked plot to destroy a lost engine named Lady which would completely destroy Thomas and his friends. James is confused, but Thomas is angry as he follows Diesel 10; saying that he won't let Diesel 10 destroy him (Thomas) and his friends.
As Thomas chuffs through the countryside, he wonders about his railway friends; including Henry, Gordon, James, Toby, and Percy.
At the Scrapyards, Percy and Toby are talking about Mr. Conductor's stay on Sodor. They don't know that Diesel 10's two henchdiesels, Splatter and Dodge are eavesdropping on their conversation.
Diesel 10 is admiring his rock-face that he has carved with his gigantic claw, Pinchy, in the Quarry. When Splatter and Dodge arrive at the Quarry, Diesel 10 tells them about his wicked plot. Splatter and Dodge tell him about Mr. Conductor's stay on Sodor and Diesel 10 decides to destroy Mr. Conductor too!
At Shining Time Station, Mr. Conductor is preparing to leave for Sodor. He somehow is having trouble with his gold dust that has him travel from both Shining Time Station and the Island of Sodor. He succeeds in departing for Sodor.
Thomas finally meets up with Mr. Conductor and brings him to Knapford Station.
Later, Thomas and the engines are discussing about how to stop Diesel 10, unaware that Splatter and Dodge are spying on them. Splatter and Dodge begin to tease Thomas, until Harold The Helicopter flies by; spraying dust everywhere!!
At Sir Topham Hatt's office, Mr. Conductor recieves a telephone call from Sir Topham Hatt and recieves his instructions.
That night, Diesel 10 sneaks up to Tidmouth Sheds and knocks over the barriers that are covering over a big hole in the sheds' wall; awaking Thomas, Mr. Conductor, and the other engines. Diesel 10 tries to force Mr.Conductor to tell him where the lost engine is been hidden, but Mr. Conductor scares Diesel 10 away with bag of sugar, threatening to seize up Diesel 10 with the sugar.
At Muffle Mountain, Burnett Stone looks at a painting of Lady and says that he's sorry for letting her down. When he arrives home, Boomer confronts him; asking for Lady's whereabouts, but Burnett refuses to reveal where Lady is being hidden and he sends Boomer away.
Later that night, Mr. Conductor has a dream; that Shining Time Station is no longer a safe place without the magic. Mr. Conductor instantly realizes that he has to find some more gold dust...and quickly!
The next morning, Lily goes to the Big City Train Station; whereupon Mutt the dog directs her onto the wrong train (the Rainbow Sun); because P.T. Boomer is on the station's platform; talking in a telephone booth about buying Shining Time Station.
At his mountain house, Burnett Stone looks at a book about railroading. He somehow hears a distant train whistle from far away in the mountain.
On Sodor, Mr. Conductor helps James get rid of a big itch on his nose. Then, Mr. Conductor decides to go to the windmill to look for the clue to the gold dust source. He somehow gets lost on a waterfall. He then realizes that he's completely out of his gold dust and that he must find some more and quickly!
Thomas and the engines all figure out that if Diesel 10 finds Lady first, that would destroy them all. As Thomas leaves, he is challenged to a race by Bertie The Bus, but Thomas denies racing with Bertie; saying that he must be a Really Useful Engine and that he must solve some mysteries instead. Following this scene, Thomas stops at a railroad crossing to let George The Steamroller go by.
On top of the waterfall, Mr. Conductor eats some vegetables to help himself think properly. He gets an idea and he decides to call his cousin Junior (Michael E. Rodgers).
At the Railyard, George enviously watches Gordon on the turntable. Diesel 10 rumbles by and promises George the turntable as a reward...if George would do Diesel 10 a favor: destroy all the buffers on Sodor; in hopes of finding the connections of the Magic Railroad.
Mr. Conductor finds some bellflowers and calls Junior (who is at a beach at this point) and tells him to go to Shining Time Station and fetch his extra supply of gold dust. When Junior tries to ask for more information, the phone's tracking lines go dead.
Meanwhile, on Muffle Mountain, Boomer digs at the base of a cliff; looking for Lady. He doesn't know that Patch is spying on him from nearby. Patch then rides off to tell Billy Twofeathers.
Lily arrives at Shining Time Station. She meets Junior for the first time. When Junior leaves, Lily finds some of the gold dust that Junior has left behind.
On Sodor, George destroys a set of buffers but realizes that Diesel 10 wants him to destroy all of the buffers on Sodor. George begins to worry.
Mr. Conductor, meanwhile, is sleeping at bottom of a hill. Thomas passes him; calling out his name. Mr. Conductor tries to answer, but Thomas is too far away to hear.
Stacey Jones meets Lily and takes her to meet up with Burnett. When they arrive at a crossroads; they find Burnett and Boomer confronting each other again. After Boomer leaves, Burnett and Lily drive home. That night, they hear a distant train whistle from far away. Patch, who is outside practicing with his horse, hears the strange whistle as well.
Night has fallen on Sodor. Percy meets up with Thomas at Knapford Station, and they both figure out that Mr. Conductor travels on a secret railway from Shining Time Station to Sodor. Diesel 10 overhears their conversation and leaves to tell his gang. At the Scrapyards, he tells George, Splatter, and Dodge about his new wicked plot to destroy the Magic Railroad, as well as the lost engine. Toby, who has secretly followed Diesel 10 to the Scrapyards, rings his bell, startling Diesel 10 who swings his claw around, knocking over the shed that he and his gang are in, trapping them inside.
After the "Really Useful Engine" song sequence, Thomas goes to a siding and finds Henry looking rather ill. Thomas offers to get some special coal for Henry. Upon collecting the coal, Thomas doesn't notice that the last coal car accidentally disappears into an old set of buffers. Thomas later tells Percy about the missing coal car and they both figure out that the old set of buffers could be the entrance to the Magic Railroad.
Meanwhile, Mr. Conductor is walking along an embankment when suddenly Diesel 10 appears. Diesel 10 grabs Mr. Conductor with his claw and dangles him over the edge of the viaduct; threatening to drop him off the viaduct if Mr. Conductor doesn't tell him where the Magic Buffers are. Mr. Conductor succeeds in getting free by cutting a hydraulic hose on Diesel 10's claw; which rockets him to the windmill. There, Mr. Conductor finds the clue to the gold dust source: Stoke up the magic in the mountain and the Lady will smile; then watch the swirls that spin so well.
Splatter and Dodge later find Diesel 10 and they ask why he let Mr. Conductor escape. Diesel 10 says that he was testing Mr. Conductor, but Splatter and Dodge don't trust that and they tease their boss about "training" pants. Angrily Diesel 10 bashes his claw against the coal chute, causing the coal to fall out on top of him. At Muffle Mountain, Lily meets Patch, who takes her to Shining Time Station (Burnett tells Lily to come back by the time the sun sets). When they arrive, they find Boomer confronting Billy Twofeathers again. After Billy drives away on the Rainbow Sun, Boomer leaves the station on his motorcycle.
Inside the station, Lily meets Junior again who takes her to Sodor. They meet up with Thomas who takes them to the windmill where Mr. Conductor is.
Mr. Conductor tells Junior about the clue to the gold dust source and then he (Mr. Conductor) recieves another telephone call from Sir Topham Hatt. Junior climbs onto the windmill (much to Thomas' dismay), and accidentally gets tossed onto Diesel 10.
On a cliffside of Muffle Mountain, Patch tells Burnett about Lily's disappearance and Burnett comforts Patch and says that they will find Lily. After Burnett walks away, Boomer confronts Patch and pursues him, demanding where Lady is.
Night falls on Sodor. Percy travels to the old sidings and sees Splatter and Dodge trying to make George destroy another set of buffers. Percy hurries off to warn Thomas. Mr. Conductor and Lily are camping by the tracks while Thomas watches them. They all figure out that Burnett is the one holding the clue to the gold dust source.
In Burnett's workshop, Burnett shows Lady to Patch. Then, Burnett reavels about Lady's past: Burnett has been promoted as Lady's caretaker by Mr. Conductor's family, but Boomer has crashed Lady long ago. After the incident, Burnett takes Lady into the workshop to fix her up.
Patch and Burnett both realize that the Magic Railroad is fading away because of the lack of energy.
On Sodor, Percy tells Thomas that they must get Lily back to Muffle Mountain before the Magic Railroad gets destroyed. Mr. Conductor encourages Thomas to take Lily home. Thomas hesitates at first, but when he sees Lily smiling at him, he agrees to take her home.
Thomas, with Lily in his cab, succeeds in entering the Magic Railroad (through the Magic Buffers). They find the missing coal car and they bring it along with them. They arrive on a cliff of Muffle Mountain and Lily hurries off to find her grandfather. As soon as she is gone, Boomer sets off an explosion that blows Thomas off the cliff. Boomer chases after Thomas, believing that Thomas is just a huge train plaything. This leads them into falling into another portal of the Magic Railroad.
Lily meets up with Burnett; where she discovers Lady. She concludes that the special coal that she and Thomas have found can bring Lady back to life and she encourages Patch to fetch the special coal.
On Sodor, Diesel 10 roars into the Scrapyards, with Junior still on his roof. They encounter James inside the Smelting Shed. Junior gets flung onto James's roof. Diesel 10 then tries to force them into a melting pit, but Junior manages to save himself and James, by transporting them in a cloud of gold dust...out of the Smelting Shed and to a location near the Magic Buffers. They meet up with Mr. Conductor and Percy.
By now, Burnett manages to get Lady into steaming up. Along with Lily, Patch, and Mutt they all drive out of the workshop and onto the Magic Railroad. They meet up with Thomas and they all arrive back on Sodor where they meet up with Junior, Mr. Conductor, and Percy.
Suddenly, Diesel 10 and his gang appear from far away. Diesel 10 starts to chase after Lady and Thomas, but Splatter and Dodge back out. Boomer flies out from the Magic Buffers and he lands atop of Diesel 10. Burnett jumps into lady's cab and vows to never let Lady down again. Mr. Conductor warns them about the viaduct, but then he and Junior realize, after the engines have rushed off, that Lady is the answer to the gold dust source.
The chase finally comes to the viaduct. As Burnett and Lady cross over the viaduct, it begins to crumble, leaving a big hole in the viaduct. Thomas heroically jumps over the gap and Burnett congratulates him.
Diesel 10, however, can't stop in time. He slides over the big hole in the viaduct and he and Boomer both tumble into the ravine below; landing in a passing barge of sludge. Diesel 10 looks on the bright side; saying that it's "a good time fo the year for a cruise".
Lady, Burnett, and Thomas meet up again with the rest of the gang and they finally solve the clue of the gold dust source. Lily mixes some golden shavings and some water together and tosses it into the air; which transforms into gold dust. As the two conductors refill their whistles with the new gold dust Thomas calls Lady a really useful and helpful engine.
We flash forward into the future where Lily and Patch are both adults, are married, and they have a little son. Lily recounts the story to her son as they look at photos from the Indian Valley and the Island of Sodor.
The movie happily finishes as Thomas chuffs off into the sunset.
Sadly, the film was a blockbuster failure; although it still proved popular. Because of the big failure, Britt Allcroft lost her position in her own company; and she also lost the rights of owning Thomas. One reason that the film was a failure was because Shining Time Station never aired in the U.K. (but it did air in Ireland) which made the U.K. critics accuse Thomas of being 'Americanized'.
A few months before the film was released to the theatres; a couple of test screenings were held in Los Angeles. The test audiences made Britt Allcroft and her crew delete many scenes from the film.
In late February 2007, a group called Sodor Island Community Forums found a copy of the original screenplay by Britt Allcroft. This sparkling discovery proved that it wasn't Britt Allcroft's fault that the cuts were made; but it was the fault of the test audiences. This sparkling discovery sparkled a lot of people's interest in the Director's Cut of the movie. The Sodor Island Community Forums group organized a petition to get the Director's Cut released to the public. No one knows for sure how many signatures will get the original version released.
The Reverend W. Awdry (the author of the "Thomas" Railway Series) passed away on March 15, 1997; exactly three years before this movie was made and released. No one knows that he would've hated or like the film if he had lived to see it.
Original Sequences (Director's Cut)
One major reason that the film was a blockbuster failure was because Diesel 10 wasn't to be the only villain involved in the storyline. A human villain named P.T. Boomer (played by Canadian actor, Doug Lennox), an unfriendly motorcyclist and Burnett Stone's rival, was also involved in the movie.
In the final cut it is revealed that Diesel 10 almost crashed Lady long ago; but it was actually Boomer who almost crashed Lady long ago. Britt Allcroft describes Boomer (in the script) as "a drifter by choice". Boomer was cut from the movie because the test audiences quoted him as being "too frightening" for younger audiences. P.T. Boomer had been jelaous of Burnett Stone (Peter Fonda)'s relationship with Tasha (Lily's Grandmother) and tortured Burnett into letting him (Boomer) take Lady out for a testing run. After crashing her, Boomer left the Indian Valley; leaving Burnett to restore Lady to no avail. Boomer now returns forty years later; now as a darker and wicked character, hoping to destroy Lady for good. (When he, Tasha, and Burnett were younger, Boomer never believed anything that Burnett said; about Mr. Conductor, magic, the Island of Sodor, and Thomas). Boomer has no connections or relationships with Diesel 10; but they do have the same desire to destroy Lady and the Island of Sodor. He doesn't believe in magic and when he sees Thomas in the real world (note: Boomer is the one who sets off the explosion that blows Thomas off the cliffside of Muffle Mountain after he (Thomas) and Lily arrive from Sodor), he believes that Thomas is just a huge train plaything. Thomas is the reason why Boomer manages to end up on Sodor - he's transported back along the Magic Railroad from behind Thomas. P.T. Boomer and Diesel 10 both meet their doom when they topple off the viaduct into a barge of sludge.
One of Boomer's speaking lines was left in the final cut:
P.T. Boomer: Now I'll get you, Burnett Stone, and that engine too!
Burnett Stone: No you won't, Boomer, because the magic that you refuse to beleive in, will get the better of you!
John Bellis, an Isle of Man taxi driver/volunteer firefighter/railway fireman was handpicked by Britt Allcroft to perform the voice of Thomas! In an interview with the BBC, he said that it felt like "his big break"; because it was true - too good to be true. Sadly, the test audiences made Bellis turn Thomas' role down because they thought he made Thomas sound 'too old'. The role of Thomas went to Eddie Glenn who gave Thomas a youthful English accent.
Michael Angelis, who provided as the second narrator of the U.K. version of the Thomas television series was chosen to perform the voices of Percy and James (and Gordon - rumored), but the test audiences had him turn the roles down because they thought that he made Percy and James sound 'too old'. The role of James went to Susan Roman, Neil Crone (also voicing Diesel 10 and Splatter) got the role of Gordon , and the role of Percy went to Linda Ballantyne.
Patrick Breen was the original voice actor for the roles of Splatter and Dodge. It is still unknown why he was cut from the movie.
In the final cut, Mr. Conductor was the narrator. But in fact, in Britt Allcroft's original screenplay, Lily was intended the be the narrator. The original script also revealed that in the future, Lily and Patch would be married and Lily would be recounting the story to her young son.
Some "Shining Time Station" characters are not seen in the movie; including Schemer (Brian O'Connor) and the Jukebox Band.
In the original screenplay by Britt Allcroft, Cranky The Crane and George The Steamroller had major speaking role. Cranky actually had a major non-speaking role and George was to be one of Diesel 10's henchmen. Cranky's model as being prepared to be on the model sets when it was revealed that he won't be feature in the film. George's model, however, wasn't taken out of storage and his scenes were removed from the film completely. (No one knows if their scenes were actually filmed before getting deleted from the film).
The Original Workprint (Director's Cut)
In April, 2009, a YouTube user discovered a rare video clip of the original chase sequence; with P.T. Boomer. Even though the entire video was dubbed over by the musical score of "Dark City", everyone was amazed and excited to see Boomer's scene. The rare video also had the original voice talents of Patrick Breen (Splatter and Dodge), Keith Scott (Diesel 10), and John Bellis (Thomas). The workprint has been restored into the whole movie.
Quotes (Director's Cut)
Thomas comes out of the buffers and back to the Island.
Splatter: No...uh, no. Do it yourself.
Dodge: Yeah, yeah, do it yourself! And we mean that!
Splatter: Yeah, we mean that!
PT Boomer comes out of the buffers, while flying. Then lands on Diesel 10's cab roof.
PT Boomer: *screams* Ooh, wait for me! I'm after that engine! Oof!
Diesel 10: That makes two of us!
Thomas: Run Lady, quickly! And I'm going to help you!
Burnett Stone: So am I, m'lady. I'll not let you down again.
He drives Lady and she and Thomas set off.
Mr. Conductor: Watch out for the viaduct, it's dangerous!
Diesel 10 and PT Boomer chase after them.
PT Boomer: Now, I'll get you, Burnett Stone! Yes!
Burnett Stone: No you won't, Boomer! Because the magic you refused to believe in will get the better of you!
He Extends Pinchy towards Thomas.
Thomas catches up with Lady.
Burnett Stone: Come on, Lady.
Lady speeds up.
They go past the watermill and into the tunnel.
Lady and Thomas are away from Diesel 10.
Diesel 10 goes under a bridge.
Gets closer to Thomas and tries to grab him. Growls.
Diesel 10: PUFFBALL!
They go over another bridge and under Percy, who is pulling a goods train.
Burnett looks at PT Boomer, who takes his gloves off.
PT Boomer: Okay, Burnett! Hahahaha! The gloves are off!
Throws the gloves at Burnett and makes a gesture with his arms.
Lady and Thomas arrive at the viaduct, which is collapsing.
Burnett Stone: Well, Lady. This is your Shining Time, too.
Lady: With your help!
Thomas: Come on, Lady. Little engines can do big things!
Lady goes across the viaduct, which grows wider. Thomas follows her.
A stone falls and Lady crosses safely.
More stones fall, making a gap. Thomas slowly goes to the gap and jumps through.
Two pieces of arch fall, making a big one.
Burnett Stone: Well done, Thomas! Well done!
Blows Lady's whistle.
Diesel 10 and PT Boomer see the gap. PT Boomer takes off his goggles, puts them back on and gasps.
Goes on the track.
Screams. Diesel 10 tips and he and PT Boomer fall.
Diesel 10 grabs onto a sleeper.
Diesel 10: Puffball! Teapot!
Sleeper breaks. Diesel 10 growls and screams.
Diesel 10: Tin Kettle!
Diesel 10 lands into a sludge-filled barge.
The towboat tows the barge with Diesel 10 away.
Diesel 10 sighs and is almost fallen from the barge.
Diesel 10: *sighs in defeat*
'PT Boomer squirts water. He looks at his hands and' angrily glares at the camera.
The barge is towed away as Diesel 10 resigns himself to defeat.
The movie was filmed at the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania, Ontario and on the Isle of Man. Castletown railway station on the Isle of Man Railway formed part of Shining Time Station and the goods shed at Port St Mary railway station became Burnett Stone's workshop. The Strasburg Railroad was used for shots of the full-sized Indian Valley railroad.
Sodor was realised using models and chromakey. The models were animated using live action remote control, as on the television series.
The Magic Railroad was created using models and CGI.
Memorable Quotes (Director's Cut)
[from the Director's Cut.]
- P.T. Boomer: Now, I'll get you, Burnett Stone! Yes!
- Burnett Stone: No you won't, Boomer, because the magic that you refused to believe in, will get the better of you!
- Thomas: "Little engines can do big things," Thomas said to himself "Espeically when they have nice blue paint like me!"
- Thomas: Little engines can do big things!
- Diesel 10: [rumbles up alongside Thomas and begins menacing Thomas with his claw] Things are gonna change around here, Puffball!
[from the Director's Cut; last lines]
- Narrator (Lily as an Adult): [as Thomas is chuffing off into the sunset] Sometimes, all it takes is a little train to remind us that magic is timeless, and always worth the hope of its existence.
[Thomas blows his whistle twice.] [blackness. The final credits roll by.]
[from the Director's Cut.] [during the chase scene, Burnett looks back at Boomer who takes off his motorcycle gloves]
- P.T. Boomer: Okay, Burnett! Hahahahaha! The gloves are off!
[Boomer tosses his gloves directly at Thomas and then he makes a fighting gesature with his arm.]
[from the Director's Cut; first lines]
- Narrator (Lily as an Adult): I believe that most folks - like yourselves- understand that on a train journey, great adventure may never be very far away and that long after the sound of a train whistle has vanished, its romance will be safe in every human heart- whatever age, whatever the time….Most folks are happy to know this- sadly, a few are not- which is a pity because that's all it takes to cause a lot of trouble to some of the most precious things in life… This is a story about: trains; folks who were far apart; and a railroad that brought them together- as they were meant to be.
[after he falls off the viaduct; Diesel 10 lands in the barge of sludge that's passing beneath the viaduct]
- Diesel 10: Oh. Oh, well. It is a nice time of the year for a cruise.
[Junior and Lily both meet up with Thomas for the first time]
- Junior: Thomas! Now, don't look so surprised. I know that you haven't seen me since...
- Thomas: [interrupting] You stuffed party poppers down my funnel!
- Junior: Hey, we had a good laugh.
- Thomas: [sarcastically] You did.
- Lily: [to Junior; surprised] You're talking to each other!
- Junior: First prize. Lily, this is Thomas. Thomas, this is Lily. Now where is my cousin?
- Lily: [to Thomas] Hi.
- Thomas: [to Lily; smiles] Hello, Lily. Welcome to the Island of Sodor.
- Thomas: [crossly] Bossy sprockets! All that steam has gone to your funnel!
- Lily: [to Mr. Conductor; after Junior gets flung from the windmill and onto Diesel 10's roof] What's going to hapen to Junior now?
- Mr. Conductor: Well, my family is pretty good at getting themselves out of trouble...eventually.
- Thomas: I don't know what "eventually" means; but it sounds very, very, very long.
- Mr. Conductor (the main protagonist): Alec Baldiwn
- Patch: Cody McMains
- Billy Twofeathers: Russell Means
- Burnett Stone (the secondary tritagonist): Peter Fonda
- Stacy Jones: Didi Conn
- Lily: Mara Wilson
- Junior: Michael E. Rodgers
- P.T. Bommer: Doug Lennox
- Thomas (the main dueteragonist (but false protagonist)): Edward Glen
- Henry/Bertie/Harold (three of the minor protagonists)/Dodge (the tertiary antagonist): Kevin Frank
- Gordon (one of the minor characters)/Diesel 10 (the main antagonist)/Splatter (the secondary antagonist): Neil Crone
- James (the supporting protagonist): Susan Roman
- Percy (the supporting protagonist): Linda Ballantyne
- Toby (the supporting protagonist): Colm Feore
- Lady (the tritagonist): Britt Allcroft
- Annie/Clarabel: Shelley Elizabeth Skinner
- Mutt/Pinchy/Crows: Frank Welker
- Tumbleweed (a random, unimportant character): Jim Cummings
Original Voice Cast (Director's Cut)
- Thomas: John Bellis
- James/Percy: Michael Angelis
- Gordon, the Troublesome Trucks and the Tumbleweed: Neil Crone
- Henry, Bertie, Harold and the Troublesome Trucks: Kevin Frank
- Toby: Colm Feore
- Diesel 10: Keith Scott
- Splatter/Dodge: Patrick Breen
- Lady: Britt Allcroft
Notes for "Thomas And The Magic Railroad"
- New models of the characters from the original television series were used in the movie, and were subsequently used in the series itself from the sixth season onwards. The major difference between the old and new models is that the newer ones appear less "polished".
- This movie was the only appearance of Splatter and Dodge who, unlike Diesel 10 and Lady, have not reappeared, though their models were most likely reworked as 'Arry and Bert, who became recurring minor antagonists in the TV series. This film features appearances of the Yard, Tidmouth sheds, The Red Coaches, The Breakdown Train, the Smelters Yard, Knapford Station, Sodor Fuel Tankers, The Express Coaches, the Sodor Mail Coaches, Brake Vans, Wellsworth.
- Unlike most instances in Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, the engines are able to drive by themselves in this film rather than being driven by drivers. This was never explained, though it can be assumed they do so via magic.
- Henry is the only steam engine to talk with an American accent.
- There were 300 special effects shot in the film.
- The movie is currently on the IMDb Bottom 100 list (either the "Worst" or the "Best" lists).
- Phil Fehrle, the movie's producer, later worked the television series.
- The only clue in the movie as to where filming took place is when we see a boy with a goldfish approaching a pink haired woman. A flag in the background is clearly the Isle of Man flag along with a Germany flag.
Trivia for "Thomas And The Magic Railroad"
- Edward The Blue Engine and Duck the Great Western Engine were never written into the screenplay or seen in the movie; their models weren't finished in time for filming.
- The "Destination Films" logo was to appear before the Gullane Pictures logo; but it was cut from the film.
- The three portraits of James, Henry, and Thomas in Sir Topham Hatt's office (in the scene when Mr. Conductor gets his first telephone call from Sir Topham Hatt) are from some episodes of the Thomas telelvison series: "Time For Trouble" (Season Three), "Thomas, Percy, And Old Slow Coach (Season Five), and "Tender Engines" (Season Three).
- The first time that the Sodor engines are speaking in their very own voices. They would not, however, have their own voices again until 2009's Hero of the Rails.
- Some people who worked on the Thomas television series also worked on the movie:
- David Mitton (Model Unit Creative Consulant)
- David Eves (Model S.F.X. Supervisor)
- Stephen "Steve" Asquith (Model Supervisor)
- And Terence Permane (Director Of Photgraphy - Models Section)
- Although he was cut from the voice cast, John Bellis (the original voice actor for Thomas) was credited as the "Transportation Coordinator" under the "Isle Of Man Unit" in the final credits.
- Phil Fehrle and Shelley-Elizabeth Skinner both make cameo(s) appearances in the movie.
- In Britt Allcroft's original screenplay, Diesel 10 doesn't refer to his claw as "Pinchy". Neil Crone actually came up with the name "Pinchy" himself.
- The Sodor models and sets were filmed at C.O.R.E. Studios in Toronto, Ontario, Canada instead of being filmed at Shepperton Studios in London, England.
- John Barry was originally hired to compose the music score for the movie. He later left the production, although no one knows why. Hummie Mann was then hired to compose the movie's music score.
- C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures was hired to use some computer-aniamted imagery of creating the Magic Railroad and the rails on the collapsing bridge.
- This is the only Thomas & Friends movie to have live-action actors involved.
- The programme Lily is waching on T.V. is the Tiny Toon's episode Aroma Amore.
Goofs for "Thomas And The Magic Railroad"
- Continuity: As Diesel 10 dangles Mr. Conductor over the edge of the viaduct, the viaduct's keystone come sloose and then two more large stones and a smaller one are beginning to fall away; but when Mr. Conductor looks down at the river below, his point-of-view shows all three of the the stones fall together in a tight group; as if the stones have come loose at the same time.
- Revealing mistakes: As Diesel 10 falls off the viaduct, P.T. Boomer's reflection can be seen in one of his windows.
- Crew or equipment visible: When Thomas follows Diesel 10 away from Tidmouth Sheds, the end of the set is clearly visible.
- Continuity: In the Director's Cut version, as Diesel 10 is closing in on Lady and Thomas, he is on the left-sided track, but after P.T. Boomer lands on Diesel 10's roof, Diesle 10 somehow is on the right-sided track.
- Revealing mistakes: At one point in the "Really Useful Engine" song sequence, the captions say "Now he's got a workshop..." but the captions should've said "Now he's got a branchline..."
- Continuity: During the chase scene, Lady and Thomas are smiling as Diesel 10 chases them under a bridge.
- Revealing mistakes: Diesel 10 somehow goes from the right-sided track to the left-sided track when he falls off the viaduct.
- Continuity: In several scenes, Clarabel is facing the wrong way.
- Revealing mistakes: When Lily says to Thomas that he's a Really Useful Engine, Thomas' missing coal car disappears and then reappears in the next two shots.
- Revealing mistakes: When Toby says, "And if he finds her, I fear that'll destroy us all" he seems to be grinning.
- Continuity: In two scenes of Diesel 10 (when he leaves a shed after eavesdropping on Percy and Thomas' conversation about the Magic Railroad and when he falls off the viaduct); his claw is holding a moth.
- Revealing mistakes:In the final credits, Harold the Helicopter and Bertie the Bus are credited as "trains". The "trains" cast should've been entitled "The Voice Cast".
- Continuity: Lady and the Rainbow Sun (the train that travels to Shining Time Station) are not able to drive on their own; but Thomas and his friends can.
- Miscellaneous: Even though live-action actors are used in the movie; a model human can be seen inside Bertie's cab when Bertie challenges Thomas to a race.
- Continuity: As Diesel 10 is dangling from the viaduct; he is grinning.
- Factual errors: Shining Time Station is painted yellow in this movie; but in the original "Shining Time Station" television series the station is painted red.
- Revealing mistakes: When Diesel 10 shouts, "Coming, Puffball!"; Lady and Thomas are both smiling.
- Continuity: When Diesel 10 rumbles away after eavesdropping on Percy and Thomas' conversation about the Magic Rialroad; Cranky the Crane's base can be seen for a moment next to the tracks. Cranky hadn't arrived on Sodor yet until "Cranky Bugs"; his presence is likely a remnant of when he played a larger role in previous drafts of the script, suggesting that Cranky's role was cut late in production. Also, when Thomas and Percy are in the station, Thomas' cab door is open when it should be closed.
- Miscellaneous: At the finale of the movie; as Mr. Conductor refills his whistle with the new gold dust; some large pieces of "purple" snow are clearly visible on the sides of his torso.
- Continuity: As Mr. Conductor is reading the rabbit's birch-bark note; the note is held in it's palce by a wooden spring-clothespin, but when Mr. Conductor retrieves the note in the next shot, the note is actually lying loosely in the greenery.
- Continuity: As Mr. Conductor is being held by Diesel 10's claw; the hydraulic hoses on the claw are just plain smooth rubber, but in the close-up of Mr. Conductor's pliers cutting through the third hydraulic hose, the hydraulic hoses are all corrugated - like split-loom tubing.
- Miscellaneous: As Thomas and the engines are discussing about the Magic Railroad; the tracks behind Gordon have no buffers.
- Audio/visual unsynchronized: At the beginning, as the engines are greeting one another, one of them says "Hi, Thomas!" but Thomas isn't shown anywhere in that scene.
- Audio/visual unsynchronized: In the Thomas television series, steam comes out of the the engines' whistles as they greet each other. But in this movie, no steam comes out of the engines' whistles at all.
- Factual errors: Diesel 10 is referred as "Diesel" at several points in the movie. The actual Devious Diesel fails to appear in the movie, and was never in the script at all.
- Continuity: Part of Diesel 10's claw's hydraulic system is consisting of a wide metal box-like structure with three hoses attached to it. When Mr. Conductor cuts the third hydraulic hose with his pliers, there is only a narrow boxy housing with a single hose on it.
- Audio/visual unsynchronized: As Toby approaches the shed so that he can eavesdrop on the conversation that where Diesel 10, Splatter, and Dodge are conversing; he moves slowly and his smokestack is letting out two smoke-puffs every second. But the sound effects have him chuffing rapidly; like he's traveling at least twenty miles per hour.
- Continuity: At the Scrapyards, when Diesel 10 says, "Come in, come in, and join the party, Splodge!" a scrap model of Thomas can be seen in the background.
- Plot holes: The Magic Railroad has only one single track running down it. It would've been impossible for Thomas (and Lily) to pass the missing coal truck and then go back for it. Thomas would have to come up to the coal truck with it sitting on the track in front of him and then push it along ahead of him with his front buffers. It is possible, though, that there was a passing siding on the line.
- Factual errors: Through the movie; the live-action characters all say "railroad"; but Thomas and his friends all say "railway". This may be because the live-action characters are American, while the North Western engines are British.
- Continuity: When Lady is completely restored, she leaves the underground workshop (with Burnett, Lily, Patch, and Mutt in her cab) through a tunnel. In the next shot, she is traveling along the Magic Railroad; but how did she get onto the Magic Railroad anyhow?
- Crew or equipment visible: At the end of the movie; when Mr. Conductor answers the ringing bellflowers; look closely and you can see a thin wire tugging at the bellflowers at the left side of the screen.
- Revealing mistakes: The blades on the windmill wouldn't be able to spin because they've got no canvas on them to catch the wind.
- Crew or equipment visible: In a head-on shot of Diesel 10, a pencil can be seen at the right-side of the screen next to the tracks.
- Revealing mistakes: When Lily and Junior meet each other for the second time; a pile of gold dust disappears and reappears between shots when they leave for Sodor.
- In the UK trailer, a pole can be scene pulling Thomas along when he says "Who else were you expecting?"
- Continuity: At the finale of the movie, Mr. Conductor gives Junior his hat; but when Mr. Conductor is shown back at Shining Time Station; he's still wearing the same hat (the numbers on the hat are still the same). He may have several hats just like it, though, as no person of his station would dare work with only one uniform and not have spares if it gets dirty or damaged.
- Continuity: The door on Burnett Stone's Chevrolet truck changes from being closed unproperly to properly in the scene when Lily and Burnett both drive back to Burnett's house.
- Revealing mistakes: In the final cut, during the chase, just before Diesel 10 roars into the tunnel, P.T. Boomer can be seen on his roof; depsite that Boomer originally had been deleted from the film. The editors probably thought Boomer wasn't noticeable enough to warrant being deleted.
- Crew or equipment visible: At the beginning, as Diesel 10 races past Gordon and Thomas, a pencil is clearly visible in the bushes at the right side of the set.
- Revealing mistakes: When Diesel 10 confronts James and Thomas at Tidmouth Sheds; a goods wagon continously disappears and reappears in the nearby goods shed.
- Revealing mistakes: When Diesel 10 gets covered in coal; Henry is seen chuffing alongside Gordon; but in the next shot, Henry is right next to Splatter and Dodge.
- Factual errors: When the narrator says, "The engines on Sodor had Lady very much in their thoughts..." Percy is seen traveling down the same line that Oliver travels on in the episode from Season Five of the television series, "Oliver's Find". Therefore, Percy would'nt have been able to arrive at Knapford Station, and instead would have crashed into the same shed as Oliver.
- Continuity: In the Canadian DVD version, the footage on the Main Menu is mirrored.
- Miscellaneous: Bertie's eyes are wonky when he says, "Want to have a race with me, Thomas!?"
- Some scenes are a little shaky. This was, however, normal for the TV series at the time.
References to the TV series
- Thomas being late for Gordon is a reference to 'Thomas & Gordon' and 'Gordon & The Gremlin'
- The Fly around James' Nose is a reference to 'Buzz Buzz'
- James in the shed for being naughty is a reference to 'Troublesome Trucks' and 'No Joke For James'
- Thomas and Percy delivering the post is a reference to 'Thomas, Percy & The Post Train'
- Henry being sick later in the movie is a reference to his previous problems in 'Coal'
- In many Shining Time Station scenes, a jukebox can be seen which is a clear reference to the jukebox in the Shining Time Station TV series although this one was more rounded at the top whereas the original was more square. And Schemer was nowhere to be seen as well as the Juke Box Puppet Band.
- In some scenes where Mr. Conductor's signal house can be seen, the mural around it is very similar to the one from the TV series. It still has the "anything tunnel." and the train dubbed "Old Smokey". However, it is revealed in the movie that with gold dust, the anything tunnel is connected to Conductor's railroad, a railroad that leads from the Indian Valley to the Island of Sodor.
- The sign for Shining Time that Patch is working on looks exactly the same as the one from the TV series, it even includes the same population of 5,006 and says "give or take".
"The Director's Cut"
In late February 2007, a group called Sodor Island Community Forums found a copy of the original screenplay by Britt Allcroft; dated on May 19, 1999. Also, a YouTube user found a video of the original version of the chase scene with P.T. Boomer riding atop of Diesel 10 as they both pursue Lady, Burnett, and Thomas. These sparkling discoveries sparkled a lot of people's interest in the movie's Director's Cut.
The Reverend W. Awdry passed away on March 15, 1997, exactly three years before this movie was created. No one knows for sure if he would've hated or like the movie if he had lived to see what it would've become.
The original screenplay had differences that weren't revealed in the final cut.
Note: In several scenes, the engines all correct each other whenever they say "Sir Topham Hatt" to "The Fat Controller".
Note: Diesel 10 wouldn't have made a second appearance if Britt Allcroft's original screenpaly had been screened officially.
1. Diesel 10's claw, Pinchy isn't revealed until the scene when Diesel 10 is doing his first meeting with Splatter and Dodge. The claw was actually concealed beneath Diesel 10's roof. A book released around the time of the film's release shows this concept in action, along with several other elements deleted from the film.
2. The reason that Lily was visiting her grandfather was because her mother (Lori Hailler) was expecting a newborn baby.
3. P.T. Boomer is actually shown inside the Magic Railroad as a stowaway inside Thomas' cab during the scene as Lady, with Lily, Patch, Burnett and Mutt in her cab, is traveling back to Sodor. Also, Boomer's line "Now, I'll get you, Burnett Stone! Yes!" is actually said aloud in that scene (not during the chase scene). Following this scene, during the chase, Diesel 10 extends his claw outward to try and grab Thomas, but he grabs Boomer instead and drops him onto his own (Diesel 10) roof for the rest of the chase sequence.
4. At the end of the chase scene, when Diesel 10 and Boomer both topple off the viaduct into a barge of sludge, they instantly disappear or are turned into sludge themselves through a trick of Mr. C. Junior's bandana.
5. In the original version of the chase scene, extra scenes of Lady, Diesel 10, and Thomas are revealed that weren't in the final cut.
6. The scene when P.T. Boomer purposely cuts in front of Billy Twofeathers's train, the Rainbow Sun, at the railroad crossing wasn't written into the script. It was actually added in later on during the location-filming on the Strasburg Railroad in Strasburg, Pennsylvania.
7. The scene of Burnett Stone showing Lady to Patch for the first time was written into the screenplay at the point when Thomas is taking Lily back to Muffle Mountain; not at the point when Diesel 10 tells Splatter and Dodge about his wicked plot.
8. In the final cut, Junior is described as a Scottish. Mr. Conductor (through the seocnd telephone/bellflower call from Sir Topham Hatt) describes Junior as "a puppy in need of a good trainer", but in the original script, Mr. Conductor describes Junior as "an English puppy in need of a good trainer". This means that Junior is actually a British character, not a Socttish character.
9. Lady was actually never intended to speak at all in the original version. Her only means of communication throughout the original version was "telepathy" where Thomas could only feel her pain and sadness while he waited on the cliffiside of Muffle Mountain for Lily to come back for him. Thomas speaks to Lady, but he gets no verbal response. Lady was later given some speaking lines so that Britt Allcroft would be able to have a major role in the movie. Contary to popular belief, it was not Britt's idea, but a case of Executive Meddling.
10. The original screenplay also described Splatter and Dodge being first seen at the Scrapyards as they're watching Toby and Percy working there - not in the scene when Diesel 10 tells them (Splatter and Dodge) about his wicked plot.
11. Also in the original screenplay, as Thomas is traveling along the Magic Rialroad (with Lily in his cab); he sees the missing coal truck; but he does not stop to retrieve it. It is actually when he arrives on the cliffside of Muffle Mountain is when he realizes about it's significance. Lily also makes the same connection, but Patch and his horse both retrieve the missing truck from inside the Magic Railroad. Patch's horse's hooves are permantly etched with gold dust (previously from going through a puddle where some gold dust has drifted off Lily's clothes and into the puddle) which enables the horse to get into the Magic Railroad and retrieve the wagon.
12. It was rumored that P.T. Boomer had not only returned to destroy Lady, but to also buy Shining Time Station so that he could replace the railroad tracks with a freeway. A remnant of this is seen in the final movie during Mr. Conductor's nightmare, in which Stacy Jones is seen standing on what was once the platform of Shining Time, and the tracks have been ripped out and replaced by a road.
13. Also, in the original script, Sir Topham Hatt's poster image is described as a "Hitchcockian" image.
14. In the final cut, in the crossroads scene, there is a short moment when Stacey Jones is looking at a black-and-white photograph that Lily has given her to look at. In the original version, it is shown that the photograph is actually a picture of Burnett Stone and Tasha , both as kids, at a school dance. In the photo's background, a sulky young P.T. Boomer angirly watches the young couple.
- Really Uesful Engine
- Shining Time
- Some Things Never Leave You
- I Know How the Moon Must Feel
- Summer Sunday
- The Locomotion
- Old MacDiesel
- Working on the Railroad
- Mr. Blue Sky
"The Director's Cut Release" Petition - Signatures
Upon making their sparkling discovery of the Director's Cut version; the "Sodor Island Community Forums" people have made out a petition to get the Director's Cut released to the public. Both fans of Shining Time Station and Thomas The Tank Engine are all sure that the Director's Cut would have not only the deleted scenes of P.T. Boomer but also the narration of Lily (whoever played Lily as an adult).
No one knows how many signatures can get the Director's Cut version of "Thomas And The Magic Railroad" released to the public. The petition now has 1,433 signatures. Despite this, the petition was ultimately abandoned. It is unknown if the director's cut will ever be released, though the lack of any response from HiT Entertainment suggests they are unwilling to release it, possibly because they still think PT Boomer is too scary for audiences (even though a similar character named Sailor John appears in Sodor's Legends of the Lost Treasures without any complaints from test audiences, suggesting that modern audiences are much braver).
The film was broadcast on BBC1 on January 1st, 2004 and again on December 29th, 2008.