|James and the Express|
Although James is finally making a good impression on the Fat Controller after his success with some troublesome trucks, he still finds himself subject to teasing by Gordon and Henry when they are alone in the shed. They constantly remind him of how a bootlace was needed to help him finish a journey with coaches and while James reminds them of Gordon getting stuck on a hill and Henry refusing to leave a tunnel, neither of them let up. Gordon boasts that he is the only engine capable of pulling the Express alone, claiming that he has never lost his way (conveniently forgetting that it is the signalman who ensures engines do not get lost).
The next morning, James and Gordon prepare for work. Gordon once again harps on about how he gets to pull the Express while James is left with 'odd jobs' before sending the red engine to fetch his coaches. James, now knowing to be extra careful especially with the elegant express coaches, takes them nicely into Knapford Station. James tells the coaches that he would love to be able to take the Express, before leaving them for Gordon who couples himself to the train as nosily and importantly as possible. Gordon then leaves with a train full of passengers, one of which is none other than the Fat Controller. James then goes back to work shunting trucks and fetching coaches.
Later, James is in the station when Gordon quietly slides into the station, trying not to be noticed. James asks if Gordon 'lost his way' and Gordon admits he was mistakenly switched off the main line and forced onto a long loop back to the station. James finds this funny, however the passengers are furious and demand refunds from the Fat Controller, who promises to find another train. With Gordon out of steam and no other engines available, the Fat Controller asks James if he wants to take the Express. James is more than happy to and quickly couples himself up. The Fat Controller wishes James luck and he pulls out of the station. The journey goes without incident and upon reaching their destination the passengers thank James for a nice journey. The Fat Controller is very impressed with James and asks if he would like to pull the Express sometimes. James is very happy and says yes at once.
The next day when James sees Gordon shunting trucks, the larger engine is enjoying the simpler work and getting to teach the trucks some manners. Gordon then congratulates James on his success with the Express. Gordon and James soon become good friends. James takes the Express for Gordon sometimes to allow him to rest. Bootlaces are never mentioned and the two very much agree when it comes to their opinion of trucks.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Thomas (cameo)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- The Viaduct
- The Main Line