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Here you'll find full details for the
Shining Time Station Family Specials (1995)

Once Upon a Time
Production #67 (FS.01)
Written by Sean Kelly
Directed by Wayne Moss
with Outdoor Scenes Directed by Frank Vitale
Summary by A. Younger

Shining Time Station Mural's Cowboy

Episode Characters/Stars:
•  Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
•  Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
•  Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
•  Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
•  Becky (Danielle Marcot)
•  Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)
•  Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
•  Ned Kincaid (Special Guest Ed Begley Jr.)
•  Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: It's Founder's Day on the Indian Valley Railroad. Becky wishes she could meet a real cowboy from long ago. Her wish comes true in the form of Ned Kincaid, a cowboy from 100 years ago. But the wish also has unintended consequences, such as Stacy falling in love with Ned, and Schemer being jealous.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Becky's wish makes mural cowboy come to life!

It is late at night at Shining Time Station and Mr. Conductor is writing about the day’s events in his diary. He begins the story by saying "once upon a time...", and takes us back to that morning. It is Founder's Day on the Indian Valley Railroad and Mr. Conductor is helping to get the station ready. He is using his Wishing Star to clean a stain off the mural. Becky, who is talking to Mr. Conductor, wishes that she could meet a real cowboy from a long time ago, for just one day. The two go off to do another job, unaware that the Wishing Star heard Becky's wish, and that a picture of a cowboy on the mural has disappeared. A short distance away from the station, a cowboy and his horse appear in the middle of a field.

Schemer enters the period costume contest

Back in the station, everyone is dressed up in clothing they would have worn had they been around when the station was founded. The kids have set up a face painting booth to raise money to go on a school field trip and ask Schemer if he wants his face painted. He refuses, as he’s busy hanging up posters telling people to vote for him in the station's costume contest to be held later that day. Stacy tells Schemer that he can hang the posters in the arcade, but she does not want them in the main station. Stacy then asks Billy to watch the station while she goes out to pick wildflowers to finish the decorations.

J.J. Silvers, Manager of the Juke Box Puppet Band

Meanwhile, the Jukebox Puppet Band is awoken somewhat rudely by their manager, J. J. Silvers, who urges them to get ready for all the Founder’s Day customers.

Outside in the field, the cowboy and his horse are riding along. The horse is spooked by a tractor, knocks the cowboy off, and runs away. Meeting Stacy in the field, he introduces himself as Ned Kincaid. Stacy notices that Ned's hand is injured and volunteers to bandage it up at the station. Back at the station, Stacy bandages Ned's arm. Ned is a little confused at the idea of the costume party. He tells Stacy that the last thing he remembers is chasing a train and then he just appeared in the field. Schemer asks Stacy to help him with his tie, but Stacy is more interested in Ned. This makes Schemer a little jealous.

Ned paints blind girl's face

The kids get their first customer, a blind girl named Lily. Dan tries to paint a flower on her cheek, but doesn't do very well. Ned then comes over and asks if he could try painting the flower. He does so, very well. After that, Mr. Conductor appears. The kids tell him about Stacy helping Ned with his injury. Mr. C says that helping someone is a great way to start a friendship and tells them a story of how Rusty the narrow gauge diesel helped an engine named Stepney. After the story, when Mr. C sees Ned and notices part of the mural is blank, he makes the connection that Ned is the cowboy from 100 years ago on the mural, and that Becky's wish came true.

Ned Kincaid & Stacy Jones in love

Schemer becomes increasingly worried about the amount of time and attention Stacy has been giving Ned. He talks to Midge Smoot, but being her normal gossip self, Midge takes this information and starts a rumor that Stacy and Ned are in love and will get married. It is then that Schemer realizes that he must do something. He tries to impress Stacy by buying her flowers, but the flowers are dead and infested with bugs. Ned gets rid of both. He and Stacy then go dancing, bike riding, and fishing while Schemer watches. Green with envy, Schemer decides that he must change his looks, personality, and even get a new jukebox. Stacy and Ned fall deeper in love with each other and almost kiss. But their moment is interrupted by Schemer, wearing a '80s style disco outfit and a frizzy wig. He also has a completely new jukebox, one that takes dimes. He once again fails to impress Stacy. He gets a call from the Jukebox Puppet Band, who are still in the old jukebox (which is now in a junkyard) but he ignores them, believing them to be a secret admirer.

Ned and Schemer make up

The kids are feeling somewhat ignored. They have only had three customers and the day is half over. Mr. Conductor tells them not to feel sorry for themselves, telling them a story of how Thomas the Tank Engine felt when Stepney came to visit. Mayor Flopdinger arrives and announces that Ned is the winner of the costume contest. An extremely jealous Schemer challenges Ned to a showdown, which is interrupted by a phone call from Schemer's mommy, who tells the boys to make up. Schemer and Ned shake hands and agree that there are no hard feelings. J. B. King then announces that it is time for the annual Founder's Day train ride. Stacy promises to save Ned a seat.

Out in the train yard, Schemer climbs aboard the engine for the Founder’s Day train. Figuring that the only people who get respect are cowboys and engineers, he starts fiddling with the controls. The train starts to move, prompting Schemer to jump off. Billy finds Schemer and realizes the train has no driver.

Ned & Mr. C. stop the runaway train

Back in the station, Mr. Conductor appears and informs Ned that he is at Shining Time because of Becky's wish and that he will disappear back to his own time around sunset. Ned tries to write Stacy a note explaining things, until Billy comes in and informs him of the runaway train. Ned finds his horse and goes off in pursuit. Meanwhile, the passengers of the Founder's Day train have learned for themselves that the train has no driver and Stacy is trying to keep everyone calm. Mr. Conductor appears in the cab, but is unable to close the engine’s regulator. Ned catches up with the train, climbs into the cab and brings it to a stop. He salutes Mr. Conductor, gets back on his horse, and rides off into the sunset.

Schemer donates the prize money

By the time the train returns to Shining Time, Ned has disappeared and is back on the mural as a painting. Billy gives Stacy the scarf that she used earlier in the day to bandage Ned's hand. It was found a few miles up the track. Schemer has gotten rid of the new jukebox and the original one is back in place. Stacy scolds Schemer for starting the train. Schemer confesses that he was jealous and only did it because he thought it would get Stacy to like him again. Stacy assures Schemer that she does like him and that they are friends. Mayor Flopdinger gives Schemer the prize money from the costume contest, saying that when he tried to give it to Ned, Ned told him to give it to Schemer, that he would know what to do with it. Seeing how upset the kids are that they didn't raise enough money, Schemer gives the money to them so they can go on their field trip.

Stacy meets a decendant of Ned's

That night, as Stacy locks up the station, a man comes in asking if he can get a ride into town as he missed his train. He looks identical to Ned and has the last name Kincaid. Stacy mentions that she thinks she once met a relative of his. Mr. Kincaid says that his great-grandfather Ned was a cowboy from around here a long time ago, but it's unlikely that Stacy ever met him. Stacy and Mr. Kincaid leave, joking about the unlikelihood of Stacy meeting Ned. We return to Mr. Conductor writing in his diary. He says that it is his belief that Stacy and everyone else at Shining Time Station will live happily ever after.

Episode Morals:
  • Don't play near railway tracks or on railway equipment.
  • Be careful what you wish for. 
  • If you are afraid someone doesn't like you because of how much time they spend with someone else, talk to that person about it.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Lonely Cowboy
•  Buffalo Gals Medley
•  What's New Pussycat?

Featured Thomas Stories:
•  Rusty to the Rescue
•  Thomas and Stepney

Episode Notes:
  • This is the first of the 1995 1-hour family specials. All four specials were broadcast in prime time slots.
  • Though similar to the season 2 and 3 opening credits, the Family Specials credits are slightly different. In these credits, Mr. Conductor appears and does various things on the credits, such as dusting them, balancing on them, etc.
  • This is the last appearance of Mayor Flopdinger.
  • This is the first televised appearance of the Jukebox Puppet Band's manager J. J. Silvers. Silvers previously appeared in the direct-to-video release "A Day in the Life of the Jukebox Puppet Band".
  • This is the only appearance of the new jukebox as well as its puppet band, the Rat Pack.
  • In her Founder's Day costume, Ginny bears an uncanny resemblance to Britain's Queen Victoria!
  • J.B. King's and Mayor Flopdinger's Founder's Day costumes remind us of Sir Topham Hatt's attire.
    J.B. King and Mayor Flopdinger on Founder's Day
  • The telephone voice of Schemer's mother is actually Stacy and Harry's conversation from Season 1's Promises, Promises.
  • Continuity goof: While the Jukebox Puppet Band also dresses up in historic costumes for Founder's Day, when they actually begin performing they suddenly revert back to their normal outfits. 
  • The outdoor scenes were taped in the Tottemham, Ontario Canada area and mostly along the South Simcoe Railway (tourist). The steam locomotive featured in the special is the South Simcoe Railway's No.136, a former Canadian Pacific Railway engine built in 1883.

South Simcoe Railway's No.136
South Simcoe Railway's pride & joy - Former C.P. engine No.136

Second Chances
Production #68 (FS.02)
Written by Brian McConnachie
Directed by Wayne Moss
with Outdoor Scenes Directed by Frank Vitale
Summary by A. Younger

Max Okowsky & Kit Twofeathers

Episode Characters/Stars:
•  Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
•  Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
•  Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
•  Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
•  Becky (Danielle Marcot)
•  Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)
•  Dan Jones (Ari Magder)
•  Kit Twofeathers (Bucky Hill)
•  Max Okowsky (Special Guest Jack Klugman)
•  Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: Kit, Billy's nephew, comes to Shining Time to stay with his uncle. While he makes friends with Becky quickly, Kit has some trust issues. But with help from his Uncle Billy, Becky, and Max, an old retired baseball player, Kit may just get a second chance. Meanwhile, Schemer's baseball team, the Scooters, goes up against their toughest rival, the Snarlyville Slashers.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Billy is getting ready for his nephew Kit, who lives in the big city, to come to Shining Time. Billy explains to Stacy that Kit coming to Shining Time is sort of a second chance for him, as Kit has been getting into trouble ever since his father died.

Schemer cowers before Luke Sledgebolt

Meanwhile, Schemer's baseball team, the Scooters, has just come back from winning another game. Schemer is feeling a bit overconfident in his so-far undefeated team. Until, that is, he learns that their final game is against their biggest rivals, the Snarlyville Slashers, led by the intimidating Coach Luke Sledgebolt. Schemer is so terrified of Sledgebolt that he literally freezes up in his presence.

Kit arrives in Shining Time and is less than enthused to be spending time there. He does, however, quickly become friends with Becky, who volunteers to show Kit around the station. Mr. Conductor arrives and tells Dan and Kara a story about an old engine named Duke from long ago. Mr. Conductor then has to leave quickly as he has an appointment with the Jukebox Puppet Band. Didi has a crush on Mr. Conductor and flirts with him a bit. The meeting is going well, but is cut short when a nickel falls into the jukebox.

Max holds the rock thrown through his window

That evening, Kit and Becky see an old man named Max drop a coin into the jukebox. Becky explains that nobody ever talks to Max and that most people are afraid of him. The two follow Max to his house, which is an old signal tower. They then watch Max and talk about baseball. Kit doesn't think Becky should play baseball, as she's a girl. Becky challenges Kit to a rock throwing contest. But, Kit throws a rock too hard and it breaks the window of the signal tower. Afraid of getting in trouble again, Kit and Becky run back to the station.

Billy and Kit talk

The next morning, Kit tries out for the Scooters, but does poorly. During practice, Max talks to Billy about the events of the previous night. Billy tries to talk to Kit about what happened, but Kit denies everything, fearing that Billy will be angry if he knew the truth. That night, Kit walks in the railway yard. He is followed by Max. At first, Kit is afraid of Max, but becomes less afraid after Max shows him how to properly hit a baseball. When Kit finally returns to the station that night, he and Billy have a talk in the workshop. Billy informs Kit that he knows what happened last night. Kit apologizes and explains that he didn't want Billy to be angry with them. Billy says that he's not angry, but that they need to start trusting each other if their arrangement is going to work. Kit agrees and they make a deal that, if they have a problem, they will talk it out.

Max gives Kit a prized baseball

The next morning, Kit goes and fixes the broken window. For the first time, Max speaks to him. They talk about baseball and that Max reveals he once won an MVP Award. Max has a baseball signed by Jim Thorpe, a famous baseball player. He claimed that there was magic in the ball and that it improved his game when he used to play. He gives the ball to Kit in the hopes that it will improve his game, too.

Meanwhile, bus driver Felix Perez reveals to Stacy that somebody spray-painted the baseball scoreboard. Then, the Scooters bring in Schemer on a stretcher. He had another encounter with Coach Sledgebolt and froze up again. The Jukebox Puppet Band attempt to have another meeting with Mr. Conductor, but are again interrupted by a nickel.

Coach Sledgebolt bribes Schemee!

With help from Max, Billy, Becky, Dan, and Kara, Kit greatly improves at playing baseball, makes several friends, and is really enjoying life at Shining Time. Mr. Conductor returns to tell Dan, Becky, and Kara another story about Duke the old engine, and he catches Becky up on the events of the last story. Meanwhile, Coach Sledgebolt makes a deal with Schemee, Schemer's nephew, that he will pay a nickel every time Schemee purposely drops a ball during the upcoming game.

The Snarlyville Slashers

The day of the big game has arrived. Stacy and Billy ask Kit if he knows anything about the scoreboard being spray-painted a few days ago. Kit says that he doesn't. Billy and Stacy try to make sure, but Kit takes it the wrong way and thinks that they think he did it. J. B. King arrives and informs Stacy and Billy that the scoreboard was purposely spray-painted so it could get a new coat of paint. Kit talks to Max about what happened and how he is planning on leaving. Max tells Kit that the reason he stopped playing baseball is because his father died and he was afraid he'd let his teammates down. Max doesn't want Kit to make the same mistake of running away from his problems, but Kit is sure that nobody wants him here. Max tries to convince him that he is wrong, that Billy wants Kit here, but Kit's mind is made up. At the game, the Scooters are losing horribly. To make matters worse, Schemer learns about the deal between Schemee and Coach Sledgebolt and benches Schemee, who was his best player. Mr. Conductor arrives at the game and watches with the Jukebox Puppet Band, who are out of the Jukebox and in a popcorn machine.

The Scooters

Billy learns that Kit is leaving and tries to stop him. He tries to explain to Kit that you can't run away from your problems, but Kit leaves anyway. Schemer becomes so desperate for another player that he tries to disguise Midge Smoot as a little girl. Sledgebolt tries to bully Schemer again but just as Schemer is about to freeze up, Sledgebolt does the unthinkable: he touches Schemer's curl. Schemer snaps out of it and a fight almost breaks out, until Stacy holds Schemer back.

Kit at the bat!

Max knows that Kit shouldn't leave, so he purposely switches the points so his train can't leave. Kit gets off the train and goes to the baseball game. When he asks if he can play for the Scooters, Schemer is more than happy to let him. Kit goes up to bat. His first two balls are strikes. But, after realizing that everyone from Shining Time supports him, and that the ball being used in the game is the ball that Max has that was signed by Jim Thorpe, Kit hits the next pitch out of the park. The Scooters win, Coach Sledgebolt, stunned that the Scooters won, freezes up, and Didi gets a kiss on the cheek from Mr. Conductor. After the game, Kit and Billy hug and make up. Max tells Kit that it looks like some of that ball's magic rubbed off on him after all. The episode ends with Billy and Kit playing catch with each other.

Episode Morals:
  • Everyone deserves a second chance. But, once you get one, it is important not to waste it.
  • Never run away from your problems. Talk it out with somebody.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  Down in the Valley
•  Skip to My Lou/Freight Train/Pick a Bale of Cotton
•  Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Featured Thomas Stories:
•  Granpuff
•  Sleeping Beauty

Episode Notes:
  • This is the first appearance of Kit Twofeathers and the last appearance of Dan Jones.
  • The name of Schemer's baseball team is different in this episode than it is previously. In the season 2 episode "Field Day", it was the Schemer Team. In this episode, it's the Scooters.
  • This is the first time we see the Jukebox Puppet Band outside of the jukebox.
  • This is the first time we see someone other than the Jukebox Puppet Band inside the jukebox.

One of the Family
Production #69 (FS.03)
Written by Brian McConnachie
Directed by Wayne Moss
with Outdoor Scenes Directed by Frank Vitale
Summary by A. Su

One of the Family

Episode Characters/Stars:
•  Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
•  Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
•  Billy Twofeathers (Tom Jackson)
•  Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
•  Becky (Danielle Marcot)
•  Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)
•  Kit Twofeathers (Bucky Hill)
•  Schemee (Johnathan Shapiro)
•  J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)
•  Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
•  Ginny (Barbara Hamilton)
•  Harry Cupper (Leonard Jackson)
•  Sister Conductor (Special guest Teri Garr)
•  Jukebox Puppet Band

Episode Synopsis: During the annual Soap Box Derby race, Kara's grandfather Harry Cupper visits Shining Time Station at the same time as Mr. Conductor's mischief-making sister.

Detailed Episode Summary:

Midge Smoot, J.B. King and Ginny agree to disagree

The story begins with Mr. Conductor writing a letter to Dan Jones, who is away at camp, about the upcoming Annual Engineer’s Benevolent Association Picnic, in which the Soap Box Derby Race is the biggest event. The Picnic Planning Committee, consisting of J.B. King, Midge Smoot, and Ginny, are arguing as usual, but Mr. Conductor writes they'll work out a solution as they always do.

Schemer and Schemee scheme!

Everyone is eager to participate in the race, with Becky and Kit shown working hard on building their race cars. Schemer and Schemee are also in the race, which they plan to win by using mice as their car’s motive power. Unfortunately, they lose their car when Schemee accidentally releases the hand brake and the car runs off on its own, too fast for Schemer and Schemee to catch.

Mr. C. receives an unwelcome letter...

Mr. Conductor decides to set his writing aside and unveils the official banner of the race. Kara approaches and Mr. Conductor asks if she has built her race car yet. Kara replies that she does not want to participate in the race this year since she never wins and that she wants to focus on her music instead. Mr. Conductor replies that her grandfather Harry would be disappointed, and Kara remembers that her grandfather is coming to visit for the picnic. Mr. Conductor says it's nice when relatives come to visit, but Kara feels embarrassed about being with Harry since she feels he still treats her like a baby. Kara then hands Mr. Conductor a letter which he realizes, to his dismay, is from his little sister, who is also coming for a visit. Mr. Conductor tells Kara how different his sister is compared to him - he's neat and polite, while his sister is messy and rude. He lists all the pranks and mischief his sister played on him since they were children, and mentions she is still mischievous even as an adult. Kara then reminds Mr. Conductor his saying of it being nice when relatives come to visit.

Harry Cupper returns to Shining Time Station!

At Shining Time Station, Harry Cupper arrives and is delighted to see the station just the way he remembered it. Finding no one around, he goes into Billy's workshop, which was once his, and decides the place needs some straightening up, putting some papers in the filing cabinet. When Harry walks out of the workshop, he is greeted by Stacy and is introduced to Billy. Harry is eager to share his plan of rebuilding an old steam locomotive to his friends, but they are too busy with other things to listen, and not even J.B. King and Schemer are in the mood to listen. Harry begins to think that things have changed after all.

Mischievous Sister Conductor!

Meanwhile, Mr. Conductor is thinking about how he could avoid his sister's visit when he hears a sound that signals her arrival. A small airplane enters the station and flies around the waiting room before landing. Sister Conductor steps out and greets her brother, who is dismayed that she came on a plane instead of a train like the rest of the family. Sister Conductor is eager to explore the station and wanders through every corner, with Mr. Conductor following and trying to tell her the rules of the station, but she is too excited to listen.

Harry eyes the prize!

In the tool shed, Harry is giving Becky and Kit advice on how to build their race cars when Kara enters. Learning that she has not built her race car, Harry decides the two of them will build it together, with Kara finding it difficult to tell him that she is not planning on taking part in the race. J.B. King arrives and shows the kids and Harry the trophy that will be given to the winner of the Soap Box Derby Race, which has a golden steam locomotive on it. Harry takes an instant liking to the trophy and expresses his hope that Kara would win it.

Sister Conductor & the Juke Box Band

Inside the Jukebox, Sister Conductor is telling embarrassing stories about her brother to the Band. The Band finds the stories hilarious, with only Didi feeling sorry for Mr. Conductor. Mr. Conductor appears and tries to get his sister to leave, but she replies that she promised to do a musical number with the Band in return for giving them rides in her plane. During the performance, Didi keeps trying to get Mr. Conductor’s attention, but is continually upstaged by Sister Conductor.

Harry catches up with Kara

Back in the tool shed, Harry is building Kara’s race car, with Kara half-heartedly helping. She sneaks off to the park where she meets up with Mr. Conductor, who grumbles about his sister before leaving. Harry catches up with his granddaughter and gives her a cotter pin, which is a useful item to have in case a wheel comes off. Kara wants to practice her flute, but Harry wants her to concentrate on winning the race. They argue until Kara finally shouts that she doesn’t want to be in the race at all and storms off, angrily throwing the pin in a garbage can. Harry is visibly hurt by Kara's outburst, and Sister Conductor, who has been giving rides to the Band on her plane, notices as well.

That night, Sister Conductor returns to her brother and eagerly asks him to tell her a Thomas story, so he tells her the story of Toad the Brake Van and how he helped Oliver the Great Western Engine. When the story is done, Mr. Conductor sees that his sister is asleep, so he gives her a kiss goodnight.

Schemer has another plan to win the race

The next day, Schemer and Schemee are building a new race car, with Schemer intending to use his mother's dog, Sergeant Arfenbark, as the motive power. However, the plan is foiled when the dog runs off to chase a cat. An indignant Schemer declares that he will no longer trust and employ animals. To add insult to injury, the unfinished car then falls apart.

In the Jukebox, Mr. Conductor comes into Didi's dressing room looking for his sister. Didi hasn't seen her, and says she didn't like the way Sister Conductor embarrassed him. Mr. Conductor replies that they used to spend a lot of time together and perhaps they should do it again. Thinking Mr. Conductor is talking about her, Didi suggests that they should go for a walk together. Mr. Conductor agrees and decides to do just that with his sister, causing Didi to feel left out.

In his workshop, Billy is looking for some schedules he thought he had left on his desk. When he asks Stacy about it, she realizes that Harry may have something to do with it. The two ask Harry, and he confirms that he put the papers in the file cabinet as he finds it efficient. He goes on to state that his is the right way of running a station and that they should be grateful for his help, causing Billy to leave in a bad mood. Harry is puzzled at Billy's behavior, and Stacy explains to him that just as Harry had his own way of running the station, Billy also has his own way. She also states that things have changed since Harry was last here, causing a disappointed Harry to declare that everything has changed but him.

Silly hats!

Meanwhile, Mr. Conductor and his sister are walking in the park when they come across the Planning Committee, still arguing. Sister Conductor decides to play some tricks on them, using her brother's magic dust to get them stuck in their seats, and then making them and her brother wear silly hats. He angrily snatches back his magic dust and turns everything back to normal, telling his sister that her irresponsibility was the reason their parents never gave her magic dust, and she protests that she was only having some fun.

Harry: Have we met?

Back at the station, Billy and Stacy see Harry by the Jukebox looking sad. They try to cheer him up by asking about the gold watch he received when he retired, but he states that it hasn't worked in a long time. Hearing Harry's disappointment, the Jukebox Band plays a song to cheer him up. As they play their song, Harry sits on a bench in the park and looks at all the other people having fun with their soapbox derby cars. Sister Conductor appears and suggests that he try to stop, look and listen to what other people are trying to say to him. Harry begins to give her advice some thought.

Kara comes into the toolshed and sees the finished race car Harry built for her. Mr. Conductor appears and remarks that Harry hasn't lost his touch for building things. Kara tells Mr. Conductor that she is too old for such things and she's growing up. Mr. Conductor asks if she's too old for a Thomas story, to which she says no, so he tells her the story about the time a letter led to Thomas and his friends being invited to the Big City. After the story is done, Kara states her disagreement with Thomas saying that letters can bring happiness, since Mr. Conductor wasn't happy when his sister wrote to him. Mr. Conductor says that was different, and he'll only be happy when she leaves. He decides to go find her before she gets in more trouble.

Harry talks to Kara

After Mr. Conductor leaves, Harry arrives and has a talk with Kara. He tells her that he had always thought she wanted to be an engineer, and she replies she did, because she wanted to do everything her grandfather did when she was little. Kara apologizes for her outburst, and Harry replies that whatever she wants to do is fine with him, as long as she knows what she wants, gives it her best shot, and never gives up. He tells Kara that despite wishing for the trophy, what he really wants is for Kara to be happy and encourages her to follow her heart. The two hug and make up. After Kara leaves for her music lesson, Harry realizes to his surprise that his watch has started ticking again.

Sister Conductor is having fun with the gold dust!

Later, Mr. Conductor peeks into the Jukebox Band's dressing room asking about his sister's whereabouts. They reply that she had gone to the park with a little bag, which Mr. Conductor realizes is his magic dust bag. At the park, Sister Conductor is using her brother's magic dust to grow some flowers when the mice-powered race car appears and scares several people. Seeing the car, Mr. Conductor believes his sister was responsible for the commotion and tells her to pack up and leave, refusing to listen to her explanations. Sister Conductor walks away, hurt.

The mice are freed!

The next day is the day of the Soap Box Derby Race. Becky and Kit are taking their cars out of the toolshed when Kara comes in asking if they’ve seen Harry. Kit mentions the argument Kara had in the park and says Harry must be real stubborn. Kara is offended by this and defends her grandfather as Kit and Becky leave for the race, while Kara goes off to look for Harry. Meanwhile, the mice-powered race car finally stops and releases the mice, and Mr. Conductor, who had been pursuing it, realizes that his sister wasn't responsible for the trouble it caused and leaves to find her.

Schemer & Schemee at the races

Back at the race course, Schemer and Schemee arrive with their new car, with Schemer secretly revealing to his nephew that he installed a lawn mower engine in it. However, it has taken too much space, with Schemee unable to fit himself in the driver’s seat. As Schemer tries to adjust the seat, he accidentally starts the engine and the car drives off with Schemer still on it, facing the wrong way.

Kara rushes to the race!

As the first race gets underway, Kara returns to the tool shed and sees her race car. Remembering what her grandpa said about following her heart, she decides to participate in the race and begins moving her car towards the race course. Mr. Conductor finally catches up with his sister, but before he can apologize, she urges him to get on the plane, saying they have work to do. Mr. Conductor has his initial doubts about flying, but he gives in and the two take off.

Billy comforts his nephew, Kit

The first race ends, with Stacy congratulating Becky on a good try, though she didn’t win. The second race starts as Kara continues to make her way to the starting line. The Conductors, flying on Sister Conductor's plane, spot Kara and they manage to drop the cotter pin into Kara's pocket. The second races ends, and this time it’s Billy’s turn to comfort Kit when he doesn’t win.

Kara nears the finish line

J.B. King calls for the final race, but there are only two cars, as Schemer is still trying to get his car under control. He crashes into Kara’s car, breaking a wheel. At first she thinks all is lost, but then finds the cotter pin, which she uses to quickly repair the wheel in time to take part in the final race. With her friends' cheering, Kara overcomes the odds and wins. She is greeted at the finish line by her excited friends and is later rewarded the steam locomotive trophy. As the Conductors report Kara's victory to the Band through the plane’s radio, Mr. Conductor apologizes to Didi for ignoring her and asks her out to dinner. In response, the Band performs a song to the Conductors through the radio.

Harry is presented with the prize!

At the end of the day, Stacy, Billy and Schemer arrive back at the station to find Harry getting ready to leave. Harry presents Billy with an extra key to the filing cabinet, and turns down the offer of a ride in Schemer’s race car. As Harry picks up his bag, he realizes that the trophy is in it. Kara arrives and tells her grandpa that she wants him to have it, but he decides to leave it in Billy's workshop so everyone can see it. As Harry and Kara head to the station platform, they give each other a hug goodbye, during which Harry and Sister Conductor give each other a thumbs up.

Saying farewell...

Later, as Sister Conductor is preparing to go home, Mr. Conductor tells her he's very proud of her. Sister Conductor is delighted, as she had been waiting her whole life for her brother to say that. As the two say goodbye, Sister Conductor tells her brother that he'll be missing her when she's gone. After the plane departs, Mr. Conductor appears outside the window and states that he is missing his sister already as he watches her plane fly off into the sunset.

Episode Morals:
  • Always stop, look and listen to what other people want to say to you.
  • No matter what you do, always give your best shot, never give up, and follow your heart.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  If My Friends Could See Me Now
•  Long Long Ago
•  This Land Is My Land

Featured Thomas Stories:
•  Toad Stands By
•  Thomas and the Special Letter

Quotes of Note:
  • Kara: (to Mr. Conductor) I told him I'm too old for this.
    Mr. Conductor: If you say so.
    Kara: There are other things i want to do!
    Mr. Conductor: Of course!
    Kara: I'm growing up.
    Mr. Conductor: Naturally...Does that mean you're too old for a Thomas story too?
    Kara: No...
    Mr. Conductor: Well, in that case (blows whistle).
  • This is the first and only appearance of Sister Conductor.

Episode Notes:
  • Dan's absence in this episode is explained as being away at camp.
  • This is the first and only appearance of Sister Conductor.
  • This is the return (and final) appearance of Harry Cupper.
  • This is the last appearance of Billy Twofeathers and Schemee.
  • Harry almost mentions Ringo Starr's Mr. Conductor character when he meets Sister Conductor.

Queen for a Day
Production #70 (FS.04)
Written by Sean Kelly
Directed by Wayne Moss
with Outdoor Scenes Directed by Frank Vitale
Summary by A. Younger

HM The Queen visits Shining Time Station!

Episode Characters/Stars:
•  Mr. Conductor (George Carlin)
•  Stacy Jones (Didi Conn)
•  Schemer (Brian O'Connor)
•  Becky (Danielle Marcot)
•  Kara Cupper (Erica Luttrell)
•  Kit Twofeathers (Bucky Hill)
•  J.B. King, Esq. (Mart Hulswit)
•  Midge Smoot (Bobo Lewis)
•  Ginny (Barbara Hamilton)
•  Felix Perez (Aurelio Padron)
•  Biff the Thief (Richard McMillian)
•  Bull the Thief (Ron Gabriel)
•  The Queen (Special Guest Jeannette Charles)
•  Prince Michael (Special Guest Andrew Sardella)

Episode Synopsis: There's a royal commotion at Shining Time Station. When two jewelry thieves disconnect her coach from her train, the Queen of England, and her grandson, Prince Mickey, end up in Shining Time. But everyone seems oblivious to the fact that this English woman really is the Queen. Meanwhile, the thieves try whatever they can to get their hands on the Queen's jewels.

Detailed Episode Summary:

a pair of inept jewel thieves!

It is late at night on a passenger train. A young boy from England goes into his grandmother's private coach. He tells her that he feels rather bored with their lifestyle and asks if his grandmother has ever wished that they were just ordinary people. The boy soon realizes that his grandmother is asleep and hasn’t heard him. Meanwhile, on the outer platform of the coach, two men are plotting to steal the woman's jewels. They disconnect the coupling, but are standing on the wrong side and watch as the train carries them away and leaves the coach behind.

Her Majesty The Queen!

The next morning, the coach is standing in the middle of nowhere. The boy's grandmother gets out and starts giving a speech, but realizes that there is no one there. Though momentarily confused, she decides to go looking for someone. Mr. Conductor is out riding his bicycle when he notices the woman and instantly recognizes her as the Queen of England.

Felix puts up poster for Animal Hospital Benefit

At Shining Time Station, Felix the bus driver is hanging up signs for the upcoming talent show to support the local animal hospital. The show is to be held at the station later in the week. Schemer shows up and, being his normal self, is confident that he will win. In the jukebox, Tex, Rex, Grace, and Tito discuss the talent show. Tito is of the belief that they could win. The four ask Didi what she thinks, but she is busy reading a mystery novel and does not wish to be disturbed.

Her Majesty The Queen at Shining Time Station!

Back at the station, the Queen arrives and attempts to give her speech again. No one seems to recognize her, and they treat her like any other normal passenger. She explains that her train left without her. Stacy thinks she means the train that just departed for Snarlyville and explains that there won't be another train until tomorrow. Midge Smoot then volunteers Ginny to take the Queen home with her. Ginny agrees, thinking that the Queen could help her at the farm. Felix then drives Midge, Ginny, and the Queen home. Mr. Conductor rides by and notices that the Queen has left her handbag at the station.

Prince Michael introduces himself as "Mickey"

Outside, Becky and Kara are rehearsing for the play they are putting on for the talent show. Kit is there as well, but thinks that the play is dumb. Kara gets confused on the pronunciation of the word ‘sceptre.’ The Queen's grandson walks over and informs them of the correct pronunciation and what a sceptre is. The boy is about to introduce himself by his official title, Prince Michael, but, seeing the opportunity to act like a normal kid, introduces himself as Mickey. Mickey asks where he is and informs them that his train departed without them. Kit volunteers to let Mickey stay in their clubhouse, which Mickey is excited to see. Becky, Kara, and Kit all go to show him where it is as Mr. Conductor, unnoticed by any of them, watches.

Queenie the Corgi confronts Schemer!

Back at the station, Schemer notices the Queen's bag. He reasons it must be his bag since it has the letters ER on it, as in ‘SchemER.’ Thinking it might be a bag full of nickels, he takes it into his arcade, opens it and is ecstatic to find out that "his" bag is full of jewels. But his moment is interrupted by Midge's dog, Queenie, who starts barking at him. Stacy and Midge come over, thinking that Schemer was teasing the dog. Schemer, still clutching the bag, denies teasing Queenie and quickly runs out of the station, followed by Queenie and Midge.

"Mickey" is introduced to Stacy

At that moment, Kara, Becky, Kit, and Mickey enter the station. They introduce Mickey to Stacy and tell her their plans to show Mickey the clubhouse and then practice for the talent show. However, Stacy reminds them of a mess they left in the workshop. Mickey volunteers to help clean, thinking that doing chores will be fun. In the jukebox, the Puppet Band decides to practice for the talent show and give the kids some music to listen to while they work.

After their work is done, Kit takes Mickey to the clubhouse, leaving Becky and Kara in the station. The two girls remark how polite Mickey is, and discuss whether or not they should ask him to be the prince in their play. They wonder what a real prince would be like. Mr. Conductor appears and the girls ask if he's ever met a prince. He hasn't, but he tells them a story about when the engines on Sodor met the Queen of England. Becky and Kara say that they'd love to meet the Queen someday, but it's unlikely she'd ever come to Shining Time. Knowing the truth, Mr. Conductor simply tells them that stranger things have happened.

Meanwhile, the thieves are still in pursuit of the Queen and her jewels, using a handcar to catch up with her train. Unbeknownst to them, Mr. Conductor has spotted them.

Mr. conductor pretends to be a doll

That night, Kit shows Mickey the clubhouse, which is inside of an old caboose. He loves it. As his train won't be back until tomorrow, Mickey asks Kit if he could stay in the clubhouse overnight. Kit is fine with it, and leaves, saying that he'll see Mickey tomorrow. Mr. Conductor appears and it seen by Mickey, who believes Mr. Conductor to be a doll. Though somewhat startled by the sound of a passing train, Mickey goes to sleep soon enough, with Mr. C, still pretending to be a doll, next to him.

HM The Queen meets J.B. King

The next morning, Schemer is in his arcade trying on the jewels when Ginny enters the station. She is becoming a bit annoyed with her guest, who has been treating her almost like a servant, even asking to be called Her Royal Highness. The Queen and Ginny both ask Stacy if she has seen the bag of jewelry. Hearing this, Schemer hides the bag behind his back and quietly sneaks out. J.B. King comes in, and Stacy introduces the Queen to him. Mr. King, though still not entirely knowing who she really is, recognizes the Queen as a lady of quality and is immediately infatuated with her. The Queen asks for a tour of Shining Time, which Mr. King is more than happy to give.

Later, the kids are rehearsing for the talent show when Mickey comes in, still carrying Mr. Conductor. Stacy suggests that the kids go fishing, an idea that they all love. Mickey joins them, leaving Mr. Conductor on the bench. The Jukebox Puppet Band play another song while Stacy and the kids take Mickey fishing and then teach him how to play baseball. Mickey loves being able to act like a normal kid for once. J.B. King is taking the Queen on a tour of Shining Time. Midge passes by while walking her dog and begins to wonder why the Queen looks so familiar to her.

Stacy confronts the would-be jewel thieves!

Schemer, realizing who the jewels really belong to, is about to put them back, when the two thieves enter. Passing themselves off as detectives, they begin interrogating Schemer. Just as they are about to forcibly take the bag from Schemer, Stacy runs over to see what's going on. Stacy politely asks them to either prove they are detectives, or leave the station. When the thieves refuse, Stacy stands up to them with a baseball bat. Intimidated, the thieves run away, claiming that they will return. To avoid any awkward questions about the jewels, Schemer picks up the bag and runs out.

That night, the two thieves are sitting around a campfire, roasting hot dogs. They discuss their plans on how to get the jewels. The taller thief says he doesn't want to go back to the station or mess with Stacy. When the shorter thief brings up the upcoming talent show, the tall thief gets an idea.

"Disco" Schemer in disguise!

The next morning, Kit walks in on Becky, Kara, and Mickey rehearsing for the play. Kit is annoyed that Mickey has been given his part. Kara says that they didn't think Kit wanted to be in the play, because of the way he's been acting. Kit is hurt by this and storms off as Schemer, disguised in a wig and disco suit, sneaks into the arcade. He overhears three members of a barbershop quartet having a discussion. Their fourth member missed his train, and they need a replacement for the talent show. Schemer proposes himself, but the other singers ask for an audition. At the same time inside the jukebox, Tito is trying to increase the band’s sound by hooking up amplifiers, but when Tito connects to the amp, the jukebox shorts out at the exact moment Schemer starts singing. A bolt of electricity goes through Schemer, making him sound really good. The members of the quartet welcome him in. Schemer jumps for joy, and the leader of the quartet hears a clinking sound. Schemer dismisses it as nothing, certainly not the jewels sewed onto the inside of his jacket so he can turn them in for a reward.

Outside of the station, the thieves are mixing up the ingredients for a stink bomb, which they plan to set off during the talent show.

Kit finds his niche working behind-the-scenes

At the station, Becky sees Mr. Conductor doing some jumping jacks. He is doing them so he can stretch out after having to be a doll. Becky is upset because she thinks she hurt Kit's feelings because of how much time she's been spending with Mickey. Mr. Conductor tells her a story about the time Toby wanted to be a special attraction in a parade. The story makes Becky feel better and she realizes that Kit just wants to feel special too. Kit wanders around the station and sees Felix painting one of the sets for the show. He asks if he could help, and while they paint Felix talks to Kit about how he's always preferred doing things behind the scenes rather than being on stage. Kit says that he feels the same way. Felix notices a tree that Kit has painted and tells him that he has a real talent for painting, which males Kit feel better.

Midge recognizes HM The Queen and faints!

Later, as the talent show is about to begin, J.B. King is talking to Stacy about how much he is enjoying spending time with the Queen. Ginny, on the other hand, is fed up with waiting on her and tries to convince Midge to take the Queen home with her. Seeing the Queen and her dog together, Midge finally realizes that for the last few days the Queen of England has been at Shining Time Station, and faints. The thieves sneak into the back row of seats.

Mr. Conductor foils a kidnap!

Everyone enjoys the talent show, including the kids’ play, although the Queen gets progressively bored with each act. Finally, the barbershop quartet comes onstage, with Schemer making a shambles of the performance, singing off key and messing up the other members’ dance cues. This annoys the other members of the group so much that, when Schemer tries to leap into their arms, they intentionally fail to catch him. After the quartet is finished, the thieves set off their stink bomb. In the ensuing chaos the thieves first recognize Mickey as Prince Michael and attempt to abduct him before deciding to go after the jewels instead.

In the jukebox, the Jukebox Puppet Band are wondering what the noise is all about. Didi mentions that at the end of the mystery novel she was reading earlier, a detective came and solved the crime. Mr. Conductor then appears, dressed as Sherlock Holmes. He says that the case is nearly closed and that all they need is some music. The band happily agrees.

HM The Queen pursues Schemer for her jewels!

As the Jukebox Puppet Band plays a song, the Queen realizes that Schemer has her jewels. Schemer tries to make a getaway on a motorcycle, with the Queen ending up in the sidecar. The thieves steal Ginny's truck and chase after them. Stacy and J.B. King see the thieves steal the truck, but Stacy has an idea.

Stacy and J.B. King cut off the thieves!

Back in the station, Becky comments how the thieves thought Mickey was a real prince. Mickey decides that it's time to reveal himself. Meanwhile, Schemer and the Queen are still being chased by the thieves in Ginny's truck. All of them are being chased by Stacy and Mr. King, who have commandeered a diesel shunter. As all three vehicles approach a crossing, Schemer zooms across the track just in time. The thieves, however, are stopped when Stacy blocks the road with the locomotive. Hearing sirens in the background, they finally realize that they've been caught. However the chase is not fully over, as the Queen continues to chase Schemer around the motorcycle.

Her Majesty leaves with a new servant!

A few days later, the station has been aired out and the smell is gone. By now, everybody at Shining Time knows about the Queen. Not only did Felix's talent show raise a lot of money, people are donating more money to the local animal hospital for having their picture taken with the Queen. Mickey and the kids exchange addresses and they promise to write each other. Mickey asks Becky to thank Mr. Conductor for his help. Becky is surprised that Mickey has known all along that Mr. C isn't a doll. Mickey responds that he knew he wasn't the only one pretending to be someone else. J.B. King announces that the Queen's train has arrived. The kids all say goodbye to Mickey, calling him Your Royal Highness, but the Prince insists on being called Mickey. As the Queen and Mickey wave goodbye to everybody, J.B. King salutes them, which Mickey returns. Mr. Conductor appears next to J.B. and also salutes. Mickey smiles and salutes him back. Then, the Queen and her grandson depart for their Royal Train. They are followed by Schemer, who is carrying the bag of jewels. The episode ends with J.B. King and Mr. Conductor seeing them off.

Episode Morals:
  • Everybody is special, in their own special way.
  • Sometimes, it's okay to just be a kid.
  • Don't steal.

Featured Jukebox Puppet Band Song:
•  The Lovely Ohio
•  Greensleeves/Scarborough Fair
•  Mrs. Murphy's Chowder

Featured Thomas Stories:
•  Paint Pots and Queens
•  Special Attraction

Episode Notes:
  • This is the last episode of “Shining Time Station.” While the station’s interior set would be used in the spin-off series "Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales," the only performer from the original cast to appear would be George Carlin as Mr. Conductor.
  • The characters of Stacy Jones, Billy Twofeathers and Mr. Conductor would appear one last time in the 2000 film "Thomas and the Magic Railroad," though Mr. C would be played by Alec Baldwin and Billy by Russell Means.
  • Schemer sings a few notes of “King of the Forest” from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” when he tries on the Queen’s jewels.
  • Jeannette Charles (The Queen) is a Queen Elizabeth II look-alike actress. Though the episode never explicitly states who the Queen is, it can be assumed that it is the current (at the time of writing) Queen, Elizabeth II of England. Prince Michael (Mickey) is a fictional character, but could have some basis in the Queen's real grandchildren, Prince William and Prince Harry. Jeannette Charle's interview with SiF can be found here
  • Though included in the opening credits, neither Tom Jackson (Billy Twofeathers) or Ari Magder (Dan) appear in this episode.
  • The exterior scenes were taped mostly around Tottemhan, Ontario, Canada. The coaches and diesel shunter are from the South Simcoe Railway. We've identified several of these locations in the picture below:  

Scenes taped near Tottemham Pond
Several scenes were taped next to Tottemham Pond, along the South Simcoe Railway, with the Caledon Trailway Path running parallel to the tracks. The scene where Kara, Becky & Kit practice their lines, and the scene where they meet Prince Michael were taped near the north point of the pond ("a" on the pcture). The storage tanks evident on the imagery ( Google Earth) can be seen in the scene's background.
The same pond can also be seen in the scene where HM The Queen looks out of her coach, and the scene where Biff and Bull head toward Shining Time Station on a rail handcart.
The South Simcoe Railway's main depot and station is located just north of the road seen at the top of the imagery. 
Tottemham war memorial
One scene featured in the special's music video was one with J.B. King pointing out a monument to the Queen. The monument is in fact the Tottemham War Memorial.
Scenes taped north of Tottemhan, Ontario

The chase scenes were taped north of Tottemham on 7th Line road. Referring to the satellite image above, a) is the railway crossing where Stacy and J.B. King intercepted the thieves with the Diesel shunter. b) is the road turn-off that Schemer and the Queen pass by, and c) is the railway overpass (Canadian Pacific Railway MacTier Sub-Bridge) that the motocycle and Ginny's stolen truck meet one another.

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