Episode VIII: A Tale of a Small Green Engine was uploaded on March 3, 2014 and is the 8th episode of the first season. It is also a continuation of Engine Unknown.
The story continues where Engine unknown left off, at the part where Thomas finally finds out the identity of the unknown engine, who is revealed to be Neil. Later that night, Thomas tells the other engines at Tidmouth Sheds about finding Neil, much to the surprise of the other engines.
The following day, Neil shows up at Tidmouth Station where Boco, Edward, Henry, Gordon, and
Stepney and are surprised to see him. Neil then begins to tell the five engines of why he hides from the other engines.
Neil and his five brother once ran the Sodor and Mainland Railway until it went bankrupt in 1910 and was bought up by the North Western Railway. Three of his five brothers were scrapped following the S&M's bankruptcy, leaving him and his two remaining brothers named Clive and Matthew. Although Neil was saddened by his brothers scrapping, Edward eventually help him get over it. On the North Western Railway, Neil, Clive and Matthew were used as shunting engines until 1941 when Sir Topham Hatt states that the Second World War has financially obstructed him from keeping them running. When Matthew asks him if they are going to be scrapped, Sir Topham Hatt states that he made a deal with some Indian executives to work as goods engine near Bombay, India, much to the engines excitement.
Neil, Clive, and Matthew left Sodor from Knapford Harbor in September 1941 and arrived in India about six months later. Neil states that India was very different from Sodor, being more populated but not as developed and the citizens appeared to be living in what looked like cardboard shacks. Although transportation wasn't as developed compared to Sodor, Neil, Clive, and Matthew found themselves to be very useful by carrying freight around the area. Neil made friends with the engines from the railway, including a friendly engine named Ahmadabad, who was named after the city he was built in. Ahmadabad states that if they keep up their hard work, they will be on the railway for a long time.
Indeed, the engines were there for a long tome. As time progressed, industry flourished, factories were built and the amount of work increased. However in 1980, a rude diesel engine named Rijul insults Neil and states that his time is coming to an end. Although diesel engines have existed in India since 1957, they were at first only used for passenger service and didn't pose a threat to the steam locomotive working there. However, throughout the 1980s, Neil and his brothers were beginning to be used less as they became more expensive to operate and maintain. Then in 1990, history repeats itself and the manager tells the engine that he can no longer afford to keep all three of them operating. When Matthew asks the manager if they will be scrapped, the managers tells the engines that there is a small railway in Somalia that is in despite need of an engine, but can only afford one. The other two engines will be relocated to a nearby power plant. Since Clive and Matthew are wearing out, they will be sent to power plant while Neil will be sent to Somalia. Neil then states that he left for Somalia a week and it would be a worse fate than being scrapped.
Gordon comments that Somalia is a nasty place while Boco asked Neil how he survived. Neil states he mentally didn't, but for the first few years, working in Somalia was alright, Neil was proven to be really useful again and the transportation was even less developed than India's. However the Somali Civil War put the country in chaos as a result of the extreme poverty in the country, violence everywhere, industry was very weak, and government was gone. Then in 1996, a group of warlords who were despite in need of money to pay their bosses attacked the factory where Neil stayed. Many people were killed in the chaos, which traumatized him. Various engines were hijacked and were never seen again. Neil still had to do his work despite the events happening around him. Many people came to the factory with weapons just to feed their families. Neil wished he could've been scrapped to put him out of his misery.
Years passed and Neil was planning about getting himself blown up to end his life, but the factory went out of business. Sir Topham Hatt eventually found out about Neil and brought him back to Sodor. But even back home, he isn't happy due to all the horrors he had experienced while working in Somalia.
Henry then asked why Neil hides for the engines of Sodor. Neil states that he doesn't hide from the engines, but from society. Sir Topham Hatt respected this and allowed him to stay hidden and states the world is corrupt and hates how engines are cut up for scrap and how people act like animals.
Edward tells Neil that he can't talk like that on Sodor. But Neil states the other engines would if they saw what he saw.
Gordon tells Neil that the engines won't deny how terrible his past was, but also tells him that Sodor is a place where steam engines thrive and almost everyone is friends with each other. Gordon also tells Neil that he is one of us again and to put the past behind him. Gordon also states he doesn't blame Neil for having suicidal thoughts, but won't know what is ahead of him.
Stepney tells Neil that life is a box of chocolates and you won't know what you will get.
Henry tells Neil that the engines of Sodor are there for him and will be welcomed warmly with Neil telling the five engines that they're very caring.
Edward tells him that if they didn't care, they wouldn't be the engines of Sodor.
Stepney then tells Neil that he has also felt similar felling in the past and has gotten over it. He then tells Neil that Mark Twain tried to commit suicide but ended up becoming one of the most famous authors of all time. He then states that the past is in the past and he must get over it.
Neil grumbles and says they don't understand.
Henry states some things in life are bad, other things make you mad, and other things just make you swear and curse.
Gordon comes in and states that when you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumbles, give a whistle.
The Troublesome Trucks then begin to sing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", much to the annoyance of Boco, Henry and Gordon. However, Neil enjoys this and it cheers him up, and causes him to smile for the first time in years. He now knows that the engines of Sodor are always there for him.
- Troublesome Trucks
- Matthew (appears in flashback)
- Clive (appears in flashback)
- Sir Topham Hatt's I and III (the first appears in flashback, the third is mentioned)
- The Indian Railway Manager (appears in flashback)
- Rijul (appears in flashback)
- Ahmadabad (appears in flashback)
- James (cameo)
- Horrid Lorry (cameo, faceless)
- Diesel 10 (cameo)
- Scrap Engines (cameo)
- S.C.Ruffey (cameo)
- Butch (cameo)
- Trevor (cameo)
- Duck (cameo)
- Toad (cameo)
- Bill and Ben (stock footage, cameo)
- Bert (stock footage, cameo)
- Wretch (stock footage, cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (stock footage, cameo)
- Bear (stock footage, cameo)
- Peter Sam (stock footage, cameo)
- Bulgy (stock footage, cameo)
- Donald and Douglas (stock footage, cameo)
- Stephen (mentioned)
Several Indian steam and diesel locomotives, an engine resembling a South Australian Railways 520 class, as well as Somali steam locomotives resembling Marklin appear during the flashbacks.
- Thomas: RightonTracks10
- Edward: EnterprisingEngine93
- BoCo: Andrew Homer
- Everyone Else: Thomas1Edward2Henry3
- This episode has quite a darker tone than previous episodes; it deals with war, suicidal thoughts, and the reality of the world.
- This episode was acclaimed by fans for dealing with real world issues.
- The trucks' song at the end is a high pitched version of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, a song featured in the 1979 film Life of Brian and originally sung by Eric Idle.
- This is the last episode to feature RightonTracks10 as the voice of Thomas, he retired shortly after completion. He will be replaced with JakerBraker123.
- Stock footage from all previous 7 episodes plus the remake of Thomas and the Rumors is used. Also, a still from the 2013 film Captain Phillips is used.
- Stepney's quote with the box of chocolates is a well known quote said by the title character from the 1994 film Forrest Gump.
- At a length of 14:54, this is currently the longest in the series. Since the YouTube time limit is 15 minutes, if this record is broken, it will only be by a few seconds.
- The scenes in India were actually the default Trainz route "Port Ogden and Northern".
- The episode was originally planned to be uploaded in February 2014, but complications from a massive school project and illness postponed production.
- The episode contains music from the films The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Star Wars Episode IV, Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and Monty Python's Life of Brian.
- The episode is the first not to feature any music originally composed by Mike O'Donnel and Junior Campbell, excluding the title and credits.
- This is the first episode to use real life pictures as well as Trainz (excluding How the Diesel Stole Christmas)
- When BoCo tells the trucks to be quiet, his Trainz 2006 model is used because his 2010 one was having trouble changing faces. A similar problem happened with D199 in Old Reliable, which delayed production.