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"I don't want to hear the Flatbeds of Fear, I don't want to hear the Flatbeds of Fear."
— Henry

Flatbeds of Fear is the third episode of the eighteenth season.


It is a very misty day on Sodor and Thomas is at the docks to collect a flatbed of pipes. While they are being unloaded, Thomas hears an eerie whistling noise. Salty tells Thomas that the noise is "the Flatbeds of Fear". Salty explains that, long ago, some flatbeds broke away from an engine on a hill and, to this day, they roll the island whistling and wailing, looking for an engine to couple up to.

Soon, Thomas is puffing through the countryside with his flatbed of pipes when he suddenly hears the spooky noise again. Thomas looks around, but he cannot see anything that could have made such a strange whistling sound.

Henry and Emily are at the shunting yard when Thomas arrives with his flatbeds. Thomas tells the two engines all about the Flatbeds of Fear and that he has heard them. Emily thinks this is ridiculous and is sure there is a sensible explanation, but Henry is worried.

The next morning, Henry is sent to collect the pipes from the shunting yard and take them to Vicarstown. On his way to the yard, Henry gets a fright when he hears a loud noise. Fortunately, he realises it is just a cow in the field. Then, as Henry passes through Wellsworth, he hears another loud noise. He thinks it is the Flatbeds of Fear, but notices that it is just the stationmaster blowing his whistle.

It is not long before Henry has collected the flatbeds of pipes and is on his way to Vicarstown. During the journey, Henry hears the ghostly whistling. Henry is terrified and slows right down. Thinking something is wrong, the driver pulls Henry onto a siding. Once on the siding, Henry refuses to budge.

Emily is called to take over Henry's train. Emily thinks Henry is being very silly, but Henry insists that he actually heard the Flatbeds of Fear. Emily is still convinced there is a sensible explanation as she is coupled to flatbeds of pipes.

As Emily puffs along, she hears the eerie noise herself. She thinks it is Thomas playing a trick on her at first, but when she realises Thomas is not there, she speeds off as fast as she can. Now thinking the Flatbeds of Fear are real, Emily goes faster and faster to escape the Flatbeds of Fear. She goes round a bend much too fast and the pipes topple off the flatbeds. She even lifts partially off the tracks as well. Rocky is called to put the pipes back on the flatbeds.

Meanwhile, Thomas arrives at the docks as Cranky is unloading more pipes for him. As Thomas is waiting for Cranky to load the pipes, he hears the spooky noise again. Thomas thinks it is the Flatbeds of Fear again until Cranky tells him it is just the wind whistling through the pipes he is loading. Thomas is not very happy with Salty, but Salty admits he had just been teasing.

That night, Emily arrives back at the sheds very late. Emily admits that the Flatbeds of Fear are real. Thomas tells her that she had been right all along, there was a sensible explanation. Emily feels very foolish when she is told it was just the wind whistling through the pipes. After that, no-one ever mentioned the Flatbeds of Fear again - except Salty who tells the story to a very worried looking Bill and Ben. As Emily jokingly tells him to stop telling made-up stories as she enters the docks with Henry and Thomas, the Flatbeds themselves roll away from behind Bill and Ben.







  • The whistling pipes make different sounds in both narrations.
  • Stanley is the old engine pulling the flatbeds of pipes.
  • The events of this episode were mentioned by Thomas in the nineteenth season episode, Salty All At Sea.


  • The narrator says, "But it was just the stationmaster blowing his whistle," but it is the guard who is supposed to blow the whistle.
  • When Emily tries to stop, her leading and trailing wheels spark, but they are not fitted with brakes.
  • The brake van on Stanley's train is an up-scaled narrow gauge design; it has retained its "chopper" coupling.
  • Some descriptions claim Salty is the one who was scared by the noises.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese きょうふのかしゃのおと Sound of Trucks of Fear
Spanish Plataformas de Miedo Flatbeds of Fear
Indonesian Gerbong Datar Menakutkan Flatbeds of Fear
Hungarian A szellemkoscik The Ghost Cars
Dutch De Duistere Diepladers The Dark Low Loaders
Russian Платформы страха Platform Fear
Ukrainian Платформи Страху Plattorms Fear
Czech Plošiny strachu Platform Fear
Romanian Platformele spaimei Platforms Fear
Polish Wagony Strachu Wagons Fear
Italian Pericolo sui Binari Danger on the Rails
Thai รถบรรทุกขวัญหาย Scared Truck
Chinese 恐怖平板車 Horror Flatbeds
Lithuanian Baimės platformos Fear Platforms
Norwegian Fryktelige flatvogner Dreadful Flatbeds
Brazilian Portuguese Plataformas do medo Platforms of Fear
Danish Frygtens ladvogne Flatbeds of Fear
French Un Bruit dans le Brouillard A Noise in the Fog
Korean 공포의 짐차들 Fear of Fear

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