Bad Water
Bad Water
Season Three, Episode Fourteen
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Air date Thursday 5th April, 2012
Written by WildNorWester
Directed by WildNorWester
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Bad Water is the fourteenth episode of Season 3, and the thirty-second episode overall.


James returns to Tidmouth Sheds to find Alfred and Gordon arguing. Alice, Edward, James and Diesel want answers to the bad water between them, and The Fat Controller wants to stop the feud between the two engines, which had been going on for 60 years. He explains the story, that takes place in 1923. Sir Topham Hatt I, Charles' father and the first controller of the North West Railway, had called all of his engines (Thomas, Edward, Henry, Winston and Alfred) to the sheds to meet a visitor, who turned out to be Gordon. The Fat Director (As he was nicknamed) wanted to see if Gordon could become the new express engine. He performed well with that morning's Wild Nor' Wester to Barrow-in-Furness.

On the way back, Gordon is passing through Crosby when the stationmaster flags him down and tells him that Henry has broken down at the next signal box. Meanwhile, Alfred arrives at Knapford with a local passenger train. One of the passengers stepping off the train turns out to be Sir Nigel Gresley, Gordon's designer, who talks to Sir Topham Hatt I about Gordon's trial. Just then, Gordon arrives with Henry, and Alfred becomes worried when he heard Sir Topham Hatt I say he'd give Gresley a 4-6-0 as part payment for Gordon. Alfred speaks to Edward about his troubles later that day.



  • Black and white stock footage was used from First Impressions.
  • This marks the only appearance of Sir Charles Topham Hatt as a boy and Sir Nigel Gresley.
  • This episode marks the first appearances of Neil and Winston.


  • ANB is not listed in the end credits for playing Alice.
  • WildNorWester did not give Sir Nigel Gresley a Scottish accent when speaking to Sir Topham Hatt I.
  • The narrator said that Alfred looked worried after overhearing the conversation, but he looked annoyed.
  • In the flashback, the North West Railway is running to Barrow-in-Furness, despite not having rights to run there until 1925.

Voice Cast

  • WildNorWester as Narrator, Sir Charles Topham Hatt, Sir Topham Hatt I, Sir Nigel Gresley, Gordon, James, Thomas, Edward, Henry, Alfred, Winston and Donald
  • ANB as Alice