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The Fastest Red Engine on Sodor is the twelfth episode of the twenty-first season.


When Rosie is painted red she is challenged to a race by fellow red engine James. A screeching sound leads Rosie to suggest that James should get his brakes checked, but he is too proud to do that, which leads to trouble.




UK and AUS


  • Joseph May as Thomas
  • Kerry Shale as Henry, Gordon and Kevin
  • Rob Rackstraw as James
  • William Hope as Toby
  • Jules de Jongh as Emily
  • Nicola Stapleton as Rosie
  • David Bedella as Victor
  • Keith Wickham as Sir Topham Hatt
  • Christopher Ragland as the Troublesome Trucks


  • A flashback from The Adventure Begins is used. A reference to the aforementioned special and the first season episode, Thomas and the Breakdown Train are also made. Also James' screaming is re-dubbed by Rob Rackstraw in the UK version.
  • Going by production order, this is the thirteenth episode of the twenty-first season.
  • The ending of this episode takes place during the opening scenes of A Shed for Edward. The premise of A Shed for Edward is based on the repercussions from this episode.
  • The episode aired in the UK on the same day Christmas on Sodor was released for digital download in the US.
  • This episode marks a few milestones for Rosie:
  • This episode marks the first time that a tanker has been seen with a face since the fourth season episode, Toad Stands By.
  • James’ crash has some similarities to Thomas' in the second season episode, Thomas Comes to Breakfast and Gordon's in the fifth season episode, A Better View for Gordon; along with Old Stuck-Up's in The Railway Series story of the same name from James and the Diesel Engines. The same thing is also so similar in Disney's The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh film, where Tigger crashes in the snow while Rabbit crashes into his house.
  • James discovering that Rosie is red like him shows proof that Journey Beyond Sodor takes place after the twenty-first season, since James did not say anything about her paintwork in the special. However, in said movie, Edward is still sleeping at Tidmouth Sheds despite leaving it permanently in A Shed for Edward, which takes place right after this episode.


  • Emily has no shadow on her from the overhead canopy at Knapford station. After Thomas arrives, his face has no shadows on it as well.
  • Thomas' whistle does not emit steam when he leaves Knapford station.
  • As James is braking for the signal, Rosie's side rods do not move.
  • During the close up of James braking before and on Gordon's Hill, he suddenly has his external brake shoes from The Adventure Begins but for the rest of the episode, they are absent.


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