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Thomas the Tank Engine is a polluter

Thomas and Friends are an environmental nightmare.

Don't get me wrong, there are many redeeming qualities about the engines of Sodor. Compared to most of the other things my toddler could be into, this one is head and shoulders above. And I think trains are cool, too. The lessons taught are about being reliable, friendship, hard work. Everybody is included and has something to add to the life of the island. The show is technical and fairly accurate with regard to railroads, equipment, there are consequences--usually "confusion and delay"--to wrong actions...even for a "magic railroad."

One thing that I just can't get over lately, however, is all that coal and steam. Has nobody thought to change these trains over to a cleaner electric? People don't complain about the smoke as the locomotives sit idling in Knapford? There are a limited number of diesels on the island, apparently. But the majority of these trains are being pulled by old-fashioned steam. Really? This is a viable economic model, Sir Topham?

Actually, Kelly and I have lately had a bigger issue with Thomas and company. It's that they're always being stupid. Curious George for that matter, too--the Man With The Yellow Hat is always leaving a monkey alone in his apartment and always surprised to come home to chaos. You'd think he'd learn. The same with Sir Topham. He gives instructions. The engines fail to follow said instructions. Confusion and delay result. The engines spend the rest of the time fixing the problem.

Though it really bothers us that their humans seem to have nothing to say about this. Clearly, humans are needed to couple and uncouple cars. Humans have to stoke the fires to make steam. So no human ever stops to say, "hey, Percy, maybe you might want to drop that load of flowers off before you go get a flatbed of bees."  Apparently, on the Island of Sodor, the trains call the shots once they get orders from Sir Topham Hat.

Oh, and let's not forget that the faces are just creepy. Maybe I've just seen one too many episodes.


  1. Well Diesels are bad news... I know you have seen the movie!

    1. Kelly and I have noted the differences between movie and tv though. Toby's personality and traits. And diesels seem to be less villainous in the tv version.


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