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"Now if I had two tenders I wouldn't have to stop so often, and I wouldn't have to listen to silly little engines!"
— Gordon

Tender Engines is the twentieth episode of the third season. In the US, it aired on the Shining Time Station episode, Mr. Conductor's Movie in 1993.


Gordon gets tired of being given advice by the other engines and claims that big engines have big needs and little engines are just annoying. Later, Gordon is impressed when he sees a visitor with two tenders and says that if he had two tenders, he would not need to listen to silly little engines.

However, he becomes depressed when Diesel gloats the Diesels' victory over steam engines on the mainland. He perks up when he is told by the Fat Controller that he will never be scrapped on Sodor and that the visitor had two tenders due to the lack of coal and water in between stations on the Mainland, but while Gordon feels much better, Henry is cross and grumbles that he deserves two tenders for his work.

Duck, planning a trick, coerces Henry into pulling some spare tenders. Henry is delighted, but is less than thrilled when he finds out that they are dirty, old and filled with boiler sludge, much to the other engines' amusement.




  • This episode is based on the story "Tenders for Henry" from The Railway Series book, Enterprising Engines.
  • A photograph from this episode was released as a Royal Mail stamp in 2011 to mark the Reverend Awdry Centenary.
  • One of Henry's "tenders" has LMS written on the side, a possible reference to his basis, the LMS Black 5 Class. Some of the other tenders have "NE" on the sides, indicating that they are North Eastern Railway tenders.
  • Flying Scotsman was originally intended to have a larger role in this episode, but due to budgetary constraints the entire locomotive model could not be constructed.
  • This marks Diesel's last speaking role until the sixth season episode, The World's Strongest Engine.
  • This episode marks the first time Donald is seen without Douglas.
  • This episode marks the only appearance of Flying Scotsman before The Great Race.


  • When James first arrives at the coal chute to speak to Gordon, his pony truck is derailed.
  • When James leaves the coal loader, his eyes are wonky.
  • Flying Scotsman's second tender is a standard LNER corridor tender when it should be an auxiliary water tender.
  • When Henry bangs the trucks one bounces upwards.
  • Henry's face is loose when he complains about always working hard enough for two tenders.
  • In the restored version, when Henry passes over the viaduct, you can see Percy on the track below. As Percy exits the shot, a shadow passes over the set. This is presumably a "crew-member's" hand picking up Percy before he falls off the set.
  • Before Henry comes out with the tenders, look at James; his first wheel is crooked.
  • Henry passes Thomas twice while pulling the tenders.
  • In the restored version, a camera tripod is seen when Gordon says "Don't be vulgar!"
  • Studio equipment can be seen when Gordon leaves Tidmouth.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish A Cada Uno Lo Suyo Each To His Own
Finnish Hiiltynyt Veturi Charred Locomotive
German Lokomotiven mit Kohlewagen Locomotives with Coal Wagons
Norwegian Kullvogner Coal Trucks
Japanese たんすいしゃがほしい I Want the Tender
Czech Tendry Tenders
Polish Wagony z Węglem Wagons with Coal
Italian Locomotive Bisbetiche Ill-Humored Engines
Slovenian Lokomotive s prikolicami Locomotives with Trailers
Dutch Kolenwagens Coal Wagons
Russian Нежные паровозы Tender Locomotives
Ukrainian Тендерні паровози Tender Locomotives
Greek Το μέλλον των σιδηροδρόμων The Future of Railways
Romanian Locomotive Tender Tender Locomotives
Slovak Tendry Tenders
Hungarian Szerkocsis Mozdonyok In his Wagon Locomotives
Swedish Kull Vogner Litter Wagon
Chinese 煤水车 Coal Water Tankers
Danish Kulvogn eller ej Coal Wagon or Not
Thai รถฟืนพ่วงท้าย Firewood and Car Trailers
Serbian Tenderi i Lokomotive Tenders and Locomotives
Korean 탄수차 때문에 생긴 일 What Happened Because of the Tender

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