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"Dirty or clean - I'm a famous machine!"
— Gordon

The Trouble with Mud, also known as Trouble with Mud, is the tenth episode of the third season. It first aired on the Shining Time Station episode A Dog's Life in 1991.


One morning, Thomas is being cleaned when a muddy Gordon arrives. Thomas tells Gordon to have a wash down, but Gordon does not care and leaves. A strong wind is blowing and Gordon's driver tells him to slow down, but that only makes Gordon more cross at being dirty and late. At the next station, Gordon sees a sign saying "All trains must wash down daily".

James is just finishing with his wash down and Gordon's driver tells him it is his turn now, but Gordon lets off steam and mud flies all over James. Gordon's driver tells him that he is a very naughty engine and now he has to wait until James gets another wash, but Gordon does not and leaves to pull the express. The Fat Controller is waiting for Gordon at Knapford and tells him that, because he is muddy, Henry will have to take the express. Gordon is then ordered by The Fat Controller to get cleaned up at once.

Gordon leaves to get a wash down and then pulls trucks for the rest of the day. James is getting ready to pull the express, when Gordon returns. Gordon warns James about the hills being slippery and says that he may need help, but James denies this and leaves. Earlier, a storm had swept across Gordon's Hill, blowing leaves onto the tracks. Though the storm had passed, the hill is still slippery.

When James is halfway up, and tries to pull the train over the hill by himself like last time, his wheels begin to slip and he rolls back down the hill. Gordon sees everything and helps James up the hill. That night, Thomas asks the Fat Controller if Gordon can pull coaches again. The Fat Controller says yes, as long as he stays clean. After he leaves, Gordon states that "Dirty or clean, he's a famous machine", even though there is no one else left awake or around to hear him.





  • The cleaners washing Thomas all have skinny flesh-coloured wires for necks.
  • As Gordon says "Mind my eyes!", his right eye is wonky.
  • When Gordon bumps the trucks, he bumps them together but in the next shot they are moving one by one.
  • When James first sets off with the express, his wheels slip.
  • When James is sliding back down Gordon's Hill, a wire can be seen attached to his rear coach pulling him back down the hill.
  • Gordon's eyebrows are missing at the beginning.
  • When Gordon and James are at the bottom of Gordon's Hill, a signal above them is set for stop.
  • In a rare picture of James climbing up the hill, his eyes are wonky.
  • When James tries to stop, his pony truck is derailed.
  • Gordon is a bit muddy again in Tidmouth Sheds at night at the end.
  • The signals at the bottom of Gordon's Hill are incorrect as the yellow Distant Signal is above the red home signal.
  • Some music videos reveal that Gordon is absent when James says, "We can do it!"
  • In the Norwegian version, James is reffered to as Henry when he says, "Trucks will be trucks."


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
German Immer Dieser Schmutz Again this Dirt
Brazilian Portuguese Os Problemas com Lama The Problems with Mud
Norwegian Vanskelig Søle Troublesome Mud
Danish Problemer Med Mudder Problems with Mud
Spanish Barro Problemas/Los Problemas con el Barro Mud Problems/The Problems with the Mud
Japanese どろんこゴードン Muddy Gordon
Finnish Mutaa Matkassa Muddy Journey
Chinese 泥帶來麻煩 Mud Brings Trouble
Welsh Helynt y Mwd Trouble the Mud
Dutch Die Lastige Modder That Annoying Mud
Slovenian Težave z Blatom Problems with Mud
Italian Una Doccia ci Vuole It Takes a Shower
Hungarian A Csúszós Vasúti Sín The Slippery Rails
Greek Το λασπόλουτρο The Mud Bath
Russian Проблема с грязью The Problem with Dirt
Ukrainian Клопіт через бруд Trouble Because of Dirt
Romanian Probleme cu Noroiul Problems with Mud
Slovak Ťažkosti s Blatom Difficulties with Mud
Czech Potíže s Blátem Problems with Mud
Swedish Vanskelig Søle Difficult Spill
Polish Błotne Kłopoty Mud Trouble
Thai กอร์ดอนไม่อยากอาบน้ำ Gordon Did Not Want to Bath
Korean 진흙투성이, 고든 Muddy Gordon

Home Media Releases




DVD Boxsets


  • Trust Thomas and Other Stories
  • All Aboard!
  • The Complete Third Series

DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets



DVD Boxsets



  • Thomas, Percy and the Post Train











Video Games


Season 3
1. A Scarf for Percy 2. Percy's Promise 3. Time for Trouble 4. Gordon and the Famous Visitor 5. Donald's Duck
6. Thomas Gets Bumped 7. Thomas, Percy and the Dragon 8. Diesel Does it Again 9. Henry's Forest 10. The Trouble with Mud
11. No Joke for James 12. Thomas, Percy and the Post Train 13. Trust Thomas 14. Mavis (episode) 15. Toby's Tightrope
16. Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party 17. Buzz, Buzz 18. All at Sea 19. One Good Turn 20. Tender Engines
21. Escape 22. Oliver Owns Up 23. Bulgy (episode) 24. Heroes 25. Percy, James and the Fruitful Day 26. Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure
Canceled: Gordon Goes Foreign