This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the 2010 magazine story or the 2012 magazine story.
"What's that noise, boss?"
"Who knows, Kevin, who knows? Some early bird!
— Kevin and Victor
The Early Bird

Greg Tiernan


Nicole Stinn


David Richard Fox


Michael Angelis
Michael Brandon

Air date

February 1st,
2010 (UK)

Previous episode

Slippy Sodor

Next episode

Play Time

The Early Bird is the sixth episode of the thirteenth season.


Percy is at the Sodor Steamworks for repairs, so the Fat Controller puts Thomas in charge of the mail run. Thomas is excited about doing it, but Gordon tells him to take advice on how to do it from Percy. Thomas ignores Gordon and doesn't ask advice from Percy as he heads back to Tidmouth Sheds.

Early next morning, Thomas collects the mail coaches and makes deliveries at the Quarry, Brendam Docks, and the Steamworks. To alert the management at each location, Thomas blows his whistle loudly and he accidentally wakes up Mavis, Cranky, Victor, and Kevin. On his way back to Tidmouth, Thomas is surprised to see Mavis and Cranky making mistakes with their work, unaware that they have fallen asleep as a result of being woken up too early.

When Thomas returns to Tidmouth Sheds, the Fat Controller scolds him for blowing his whistle too loudly as Mavis and Cranky have made mistakes. Thomas feels bad; however, he has the chance to redeem himself as Percy is still under repair, so he'll take the mail train again. Gordon overhears the conversation, and recommends, again, that Thomas should ask Percy for advice. Thomas puffs to the Steamworks to ask Percy, he tells Thomas to deliver the mail train quietly and to not blow his whistle this time.

So, when Thomas takes his second mail train, he makes his deliveries very quietly and does not blow his whistle. When he arrives at the Steamworks, Thomas is very happy, and then falls asleep.




  • This episode's plot is similar to the eleventh season episode, Edward and the Mail.
  • Stock footage from Hero of the Rails is used.
  • In Poland this episode is called "Dawn". In Italy it is called "Thomas Wakes Up Early". In Sweden it is called "Up Early". In Finland it is called "Early Birds". In Denmark it is called "Early Going On". The Welsh title is "The Early Riser".
  • The music at the beginning is the same tune used in the seventh season episode, The Runaway Elephant (revised music version).


  • Thomas says he always wanted to take the mail. However, he has done so on numerous occasions.
  • Cranky is asleep at Brendam, but it was mentioned on a few occasions that he works twenty-four hours a day and never gets any sleep.
  • Thomas and Gordon wait at a level crossing, but nothing passes by. Then, when a car does approach the gates close.
  • Brakevans should have been added to Percy, Mavis, and Thomas' trains.
  • As Thomas puffs away from Mavis' shed, you can see that the track she is on ends abruptly.
  • Thomas says that Mavis and Cranky never make mistakes, but they both have. (Mavis and No Sleep for Cranky respectively.)
  • In the US narration, the term "trucks" is used once.