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"Steamies are fast, Steamies are first!"
— Thomas
Don’t Go Back

Steve Asquith


Simon Spencer


Simon Spencer


Michael Angelis (UK)
Michael Brandon (US)
Pierce Brosnan (UK/US; original cut)

Air date

18th September 2008 (UK)
16th November 2008 (US)
17th November 2008 (AUS)
13th May 2009 (GER)

Previous episode

Tram Trouble

Next episode

Gordon Takes a Shortcut

Don't Go Back is the fourteenth episode of the twelfth season.


Thomas and Diesel are to load and shunt trucks of stone for Henry, but they get sidetracked when Diesel claims Diesels are faster than steam engines - and declares a backwards race to prove it. Unfortunately, the three heats (which end in a draw) cause Mavis, 'Arry, and Bert to be derailed after Thomas and Diesel collides with them. When Henry arrives, none of the trucks have been loaded. While Thomas arranges the train and collects Rocky to put Mavis, 'Arry, and Bert back on the rails, Diesel clears away the mess from the races. When the two are done, Diesel challenges Thomas to another race, which Thomas orders to be forward. This time, both arrive at the quarry gates at the same time.




  • Stock footage from Hector the Horrid! and The Great Discovery is used.
  • A third rail is used to make Mavis derail and is clearly visible.
  • After crashing through the shed, Diesel says "Oh No!" in the UK narration, but says "Uh Oh!" in the US.
  • This episode aired before Edward Strikes Out in Australia, meaning the audience wouldn't know who Rocky is.
  • This is the final episode written by Simon Spencer.


  • Diesel blows steam from his cab when he and Thomas shunt the trucks of rubble and wood.
  • 'Arry and Bert are missing the stubble on their CGI faces. Their faces are also considerably smaller than usual.
  • Diesel's wheels do not go round as he reverses away from the hopper.
  • Right before Thomas and Diesel crash into 'Arry and Bert, one of the twin's eyes are wonky.
  • When Thomas tells Henry that his train "will soon be ready," his CGI face isn't proportioned correctly.
  • In the close up of the trucks filled with rubble from the sheds, one of them is over Thomas' steam platform.
  • When Thomas puffs away from Henry in the overhead shot, he is lacking a face mask.
  • There is no brake van at the end of Henry's train.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
French La Compétition / Ne Pas Revenir (Québec) The Competition / Don't Go Back (Canada)
Italian Vietato Correre All'Indietro Forbidden Racing Backwards!
Spanish A No Retroceder No Going Backwards
Czech Prozpátku Ne Not Backwards
Portuguese Não Anda Para Trás Goes Not Backward
Indonesian Jangan Mundur Never Backward
Polish Jazda Tyłem Driving Backwards
Flemish Niet Gaan Terug Don't Go Back
German Nicht Rückwärts Not Backwards
Slovak Pozadu Nie Behind It
Chinese 别倒车 Do Not Reverse
Thai โธมัสแข่งวิ่งถอยหลัง Thomas Racing Running Backwards

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