Episode III: The Trouble with Three is the third episode of NWR Origins and was uploaded on December 10, 2015.
At Knapford in 1922, The Fat Controller is in his office talking to his Lawyer who has found a great deal on Three Engines which he can bring on trial and decide which will become Sodor's No.3. Two were built at Crovan's Gate with one being painted Green and a mix between a LNER A1 and a GNR C1, as this engine doesn't have an official number, the workmen have given him a number 3. The second is a completely custom built blue engine with the number 87546. The third in engine however is an actual design, a green LNER B12, with the number 98462. The Fat Controller then asks about each of the Engines names. The Lawyer reveals that 87546 doesn't actually have a name, whereas the unnumbered engine is called Henry and 98462 is called Alfred.
The next morning, 87546 and Alfred pull into Knapford with the latter commenting on how modernization will result in their types of Engine, taking over the railway. The Fat Controller along with Edward welcome both engines warmly with Alfred boasting about how he was named after Alfred Jovington; chief designer in the LNER, and King Alfred the Great. The Fat Controller is then surprised to see a number 3 on Alfred even though his number was 98462, to which Alfred boasts how he is the most likely candidate for Sodor's No. 3 so decided to have a No. 3 anyhow. The Fat Controller then asks about where Henry is to which Alfred and 87546 mock claiming how Henry is an experimental failure. Finally Thomas spots Henry approaching, Henry apologies to the Fat Controller explaining how he had trouble building up steam, to which the latter responds how he is just glad that Henry arrived safely.
Later that same night in the sheds, Alfred continues to boast about how B12's are the finest locomotives on the LNER due to the smoothness at which they pulled their trains, to which 87546 claims that being the only member of his class makes him more unique than Alfred, but when Henry points out that he is also unique, Alfred mocks him rudely claiming that he is a pathetic sight as he looks like someone sucked out all of the dignity of an LNER A1. Henry argues back and claims that it was just a build error, to which 87546 points out rudely that the Fat Controller doesn't have time to fix engines everyday and that is 16 years older than Henry yet has never had a flaw, to which Henry responds that with such an attitude one day he may collapse and fall apart. Eagle eventually has to break the argument, before complaining that ever since Henry, Alfred and 87546 arrived on the railway they've done nothing but insult each other, to which Alfred points out that it gives them character before being told to shut up by Neil.
The next morning Alfred and Henry both pull passenger trains and when each engine departs they treat their coaches differently. Alfred roughly pulls his coaches, shouts at them and calls them "wooden things" whereas Henry smoothly pulls his coaches and calls them "dears". Alfred continues to mock Henry by commenting how there's snow on the horizon and when Henry points out it's July, Alfred laughs implying Henry so slow that it will be snowing by the time he reaches the next station, to which Edward comments to Thomas on how rude both Alfred and 87546 are to Henry. Later on Henry is cruising along the countryside enjoying himself, however his Driver points out that they may need to increase as they are running behind schedule. Henry however continues to moan on how he couldn't go any faster. Eventually he arrives at Kellsthorpe, late and 87546 mocks Henry for being late as his train was meant to arrive after Henry's left. As 87546 departs a passenger thanks Henry for a very smooth run. Later in the sheds the Fat Controller scolds at Henry for being late due to many complaints from Passengers but praises Alfred for his work to which Alfred smugly thanks him. The other engines apart from 87546 sympathize with Henry.
The next morning Henry has trouble building up steam despite trying hard and arrives at Knapford well behind schedule, where passengers complain about his lateness and workmen mock how terrible he looks. Henry feels down due to him believing that nobody wants him but the coaches tell him that they would much rather go with him than Alfred or 87546 as he is much smoother with them pointing out that a passenger shared the thought. Henry then realizes that despite the taunting and bullying by Alfred and 87546 about being disabled but he's proud of it and today will get the train on time. The driver, fireman and passengers cheer him and apologies for being rude as he departs the station. Henry has a lovely ride until suddenly his driver spots a red flag and a train. When Henry comes nearer he suddenly realizes with delight that the Engine is 87546 and the guard reveals that he was too impatient to fill up with water so ran out on the main line and asks Henry to push 87546 to the next station. Initially doubtful but with much support from his driver, fireman, passengers and both coaches Henry begins to push the grumbling 87546 and his train. Halfway through the journey the fireman notices that the smoke coming from Henry's funnel is dirty but the coaches continue to encourage Henry as they approach Wellsworth. When they arrive, the driver, fireman, passengers and coaches cheer Henry although the driver points out that he looks slightly ill. The Fat Controller congratulates Henry and apologizes for his harshness the night before but also points out how Henry looks unwell.
Henry explains that he has trouble building up steam and then one of the passengers reveals to be an old engine driver and says that Henry needs a thorough cleaning of his pipes and smokebox as they are usually blocked. At this point Henry sneezes getting soot all over the Fat Controller, the old engine driver and a very annoyed Alfred as he passes with his train. After this the Fat Controller agrees to give Henry good cleaning out. After the clean out Henry performs much better and can even travel at greater speed. A few nights later the Fat Controller compliments Henry on having his clean out and after much consideration, especially after Henry helping to push 87546's train despite being unwell has concluded that Henry will be Sodor's No.3 much to Alfred and 87546's anger but to the other Engines delight. When 87546 questions about them receiving a reward, The Fat Controller warns them that they have been very troublesome, especially Alfred, but if they behave and improve they may become the railways No. 4 and No. 5, while the other engines cheer on Henry being the Sodor's No.3. Suddenly Alfred erupts into anger stating how he will not be numbered after Thomas, whom he calls "a shunting Tank Engine", Edward, whom he calls "an old Teapot" and finally Henry, whom he calls a "mix bread mongrel", much to the other Engines shock, before departing to pull his evening passenger Train. The Fat Controller yells at Alfred demanding him to comeback and apologize to his Engines before calling him a disgrace to Sir Alfred Jovington. As he leaves, Alfred swears to show the Fat Controller who he refers to as the FattHatt the ways of the London North Eastern Railway.
The next day Edward sympathizes with Henry, claiming he too was treated badly on his old line but never to the point that Alfred did. Henry reveals that he's not too bothered about it and used to look up to Alfred due to how smoothly he ran but due to his attitude he's lost all respect for him. When Edward asks about 87546, Henry reveals that although he's horrid Alfred is worse, to which Edward agrees. Suddenly Alfred appears round the bend travelling at a very fast speed, shooting past the platform but claiming that the LNER run ahead of schedule despite his driver warning him to slowdown otherwise he'll crash. Alfred denies this but too late, his crew jump clear, the coaches coupling breaks and he smashes into some trucks in the harbour before ending up in the sea, much to Thomas, Edward and Henry's shock. Once Alfred is rescued from the sea, the Fat Controller confronts him claiming that injuring people is not the way of the LNER with Alfred agreeing. As his contract was renewed the Fat Controller has no choice but to keep Alfred but believes that his name and heritage have made him an arrogant engine. Therefore the Fat Controller concludes that he will have Alfred painted blue and to avoid disgracing Sir Alfred Jovington even more, Alfred's name shall be nullified. The green engine swears that he cannot be removed of his name while stuttering before the Fat Controller interrupts telling him to be grateful to the fact that he has been given a second chance and any more mishaps and he's gone. 87546 laughs at the other engine's misery before the Fat Controller turns to him warning that if he to causes any mishaps, he too will go. As he walks away believing that he should never have invited either engine to the railway he is interrupted by the Stationmaster who reveals someone would like speak to him and when the Fat Controller asks who the Stationmaster reveals that it's Sir Nigel Gresley.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Sir Nigel Gresley (mentioned)
- Clive (cameo)
- Matthew (cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (cameo)
- DarthWill3: Alfred
- EnterprisingEngine93: Edward
- Kanefan701: Eagle
- JakerBraker123: Thomas
- Thomas1Edward2Henry3: Everyone Else
- The events take place in 1922.
- The episode's plot shares some similar elements to the 1964 holiday classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "Something Smells".
- This is the first video to be edited in Sony Movie Studio rather than Windows Movie Maker. Because the music was added in the video editing rather than Audacity, the video was longer than usual.
- The new Knapford Station seen in the TV series is under construction in this episode.
- The voice of the coaches are different then usual as the high pitch voice was very difficult to do without voice cracking. The voices are now similar to those of Beverly and Jennifer.
- JakerBraker123's single line for Thomas was recycled, as the original line was accidentally left out of the sent script.
- The character Alfred was used to create a steam engine villain, rather than the typical arrogant diesel. His character was further explored in episodes IV and V.
- The accident at the end was added on at the last minute to create a better reason for Sir Topham Hatt to take away Alfred's name and paint. It was also supposed to represent why Henry was scared of water, but this aspect was never applied.