Happy Accidents is the tenth episode of the first season .
As the episode begins, Matt and Tanya are building a block tower near the lost and found. Matt stacks the final blocks on top when the phone rings. Harry answers the phone; it is the dispatch office reporting that the train to Pelican Falls is running late and will arrive at 11 a.m. Harry promptly changes the schedule board to reflect the train’s late arrival. Meanwhile, the stack of blocks Matt and Tanya were working on collapses and Matt apologizes, saying that it was an accident. Just then, the phone rings again. A passenger is calling about the train to Pelican Falls. She has to get to a wedding at 3:30 p.m. but Harry tells her about the late running train and assures her she’ll have plenty of time. When his phone call is finished, Harry hands a note to Matt and tells the kids to give it to Stacy if he's not back in a few minutes. Matt asks what the message says and Harry explains about the late train. Harry then leaves to work on the platform.
Later, Matt and Tanya are still concentrating on their block stacking when Stacy arrives. Matt says he has a note for her, but Tanya interrupts as two gymnasts visit the station and start to perform in the waiting room. Stacy joins them as Matt and Tanya watch. After the gymnasts leave the station to catch their train, Stacy notices the schedule board has been altered. Unaware of the late train, she changes it back. Matt and Tanya, distracted by the gymnasts, completely forget about Harry’s instructions and the note he wrote for Stacy. Stacy then leaves to attend a meeting with the superintendent of the railway.
A passenger (the one who was on the phone with Harry earlier) enters the lobby and when she looks at the schedule board that Stacy altered, she is devastated! She says that this contradicts what Harry told her over the phone earlier. She sees Matt and Tanya, and asks them how she can get to Pelican Falls. Tanya says she should take the next train, but the passenger says the next train departs at 4:00 and she has to be at her sister’s wedding at 3:30. She says she is the maid of honor and, still in a panicky state, leaves for the platform. Matt says he doesn’t remember the Pelican Falls train coming in, and asks Tanya if she remembers either, which she doesn't. Just then, we hear a creak, and the block stack collapses once more.
Stacy, Harry and Schemer enter the station, and Matt tells them about the incident with the passenger. Harry says he changed the schedule board to 11:00, and Stacy mentions that she changed it back to 9:00. Harry mentions the note, but Stacy says she never received one. Matt explains that he was going to give her the note, but got distracted. This creates an awkward predicament, especially since a passenger was given misleading information, and Stacy told the superintendent the station was running smoothly! Stacy composes herself, and says the first thing to do is fix their mistake. She says that people look to the railroad for reliability, and there should be no schedule mistakes in the future. Schemer, who has been listening the whole time, says the process of correcting the mistake is not fast enough, and their biggest goof-up was making a paying customer angry. He goes on to say if the station was his, he’d turn it into a restaurant. He takes a bite of his sandwich, but a meatball drops out, and the kids laugh. Schemer said he paid $2 for the sandwich, and there were 4 meatballs, and calculates almost a dollar for each meatball. He irately picks up the meatball with a napkin and leaves. Stacy agrees with Schemer in that they can’t afford to lose any passengers, and she leaves to find the passenger who was given the wrong information.
Just then, Mr. Conductor appears on the information booth drinking a cup of tea. He says he’d been traveling to the Island of Sodor visiting Henry the Green Engine, and asks Matt and Tanya what they have been up to. The kids tell him all about the passenger, the schedule mix-up and the predicament they are in, and Mr. Conductor is reminded of how Henry had been feeling poorly and needed a special type of coal to feel better. He tells the kids the story that was called "Henry's Special Coal":
One morning, Henry wakes up feeling very ill. He complains about it to James, however James simply shrugs it off as Henry being lazy. The Fat Controller is also unhappy about this, given that this is the latest in a long line of problems with Henry. He tells Henry and his crew that he is becoming too expensive to maintain, as he has been given new parts and paint which have done nothing to make him feel better and if his condition does not improve soon, he plans to have him replaced, upsetting Henry, his driver, and fireman.
Later that day, Henry arrives to take his first train. The Fat Controller, determined to get to the bottom of Henry's problems, decides to ride along with his crew. Henry manages to start, however he struggles and the fireman explains that Henry's fire does not give enough heat. As a result, Henry does not produce enough steam.
Henry tries to pull the train as hard as he can, but still can not produce the steam he needs. He struggles to make it to Edward's station and then is uncoupled from the coaches and runs sadly into a siding while Edward takes charge of the train. Henry's crew and the Fat Controller disembark and continue discussing what the problem is. Henry's fireman explains the root of the problem; the coal provided for Henry is unsuitable for him. While the other engines have large fireboxes, Henry's is too small and therefore can not produce heat from the coal as well. The fireman then tells the Fat Controller that if Henry had Welsh coal, he would easily improve. The Fat Controller notes that Welsh coal is expensive but wants to give Henry a fair chance and arranges for James to fetch some.
Soon the Welsh coal arrives, causing Henry's crew to become excited. The fireman carefully makes up Henry's fire to give the best possible results, however Henry has his doubts.
Henry's worries soon turn out to be unfounded, as when he gets to the station his water is boiling so well that he has more than enough steam. The Fat Controller is happy to see that Henry is feeling so well and warns the driver not to push him. The driver comments that it is not a worry, in fact, he will have to hold Henry back.
Henry goes on to have a wonderful day, having never felt so well and is eager to go fast but his driver does not let him, reassuring that they have plenty of time.
For the first time, Henry makes it to the junction before Thomas. Thomas is astounded to see Henry having beaten him and Henry calls him "lazybones" before running quickly off. Thomas is too shocked to be cross, a sentiment shared by Annie and Clarabel.
Afterward, Matt says he wishes there was something they could do to cheer Stacy up. Mr. Conductor asks what cheers them up when they’re down, and Tanya mentions making up funny rhymes. Mr. Conductor suggests they make up some rhymes for Stacy. They try their best, but Mr. Conductor offers some advice to help them, such as keeping an appropriate rhyme, and the appropriate word will strike at the drop of a dime! As he disappears, a dime appears in his place.
Stacy returns to the station, unable to find the passenger, and is sure she’s going to miss the wedding. Matt and Tanya then recite rhymes to help cheer her up, and Stacy is so impressed after their recitation, that she goes off to write a poem for them in return. Schemer then arrives, and when he sees the dime left by Mr. Conductor, he quickly snatches it off the floor, but is startled and drops it when Tanya says his name. Matt and Tanya recite rhymes for him too, but Schemer says he doesn’t like to rhyme. He finds himself rhyming anyway and as much as
he tries to resist, he can’t control himself! He then quickly rushes to the Jukebox to play a song to clear his head.
Meanwhile, in the Jukebox, all the band members are asleep, until Didi notices a nickel dropped into the machine, and she wakes everybody up. Schemer, impatient to hear his song, rocks and bangs the machine. He asks the kids if anyone broke the Jukebox, and says he has to get his tools to fix the machine, something he doesn’t like because time is money. He rhymes money with “funny,” and leaves, holding his mouth shut to stifle further rhymes. Tito then mentions that when Schemer (not referred to by name) comes back, the band has to get their groove together. Didi agrees, saying Schemer is bad news for them.
Harry then emerges from his workshop holding a handrail for the platform, and asks the kids what all the commotion is about. The kids mention that they (and Schemer) think the jukebox is broken. Harry mentions that the jukebox is delicate, and given the way Schemer rushes through things, he is bound to ruin it further. Harry explains that rushing causes most of the accidents in the world, and if people would just slow down in life, everything would run much smoother. He then tells the story of how railroad rules came about, mostly in books. In short, everyone has to work hard to keep from getting into accidents. He then goes to the platform to install the handrail.
Tito, having heard Harry’s speech, then leads the jukebox band into singing “Wreck of Old ’97.” After the song, Matt and Tanya are sitting on the bench near the entrance when they hear a loud crash. It’s Mr. Conductor; he fell off a ladder while fixing a shingle on his roof. They ask him if he’s all right, and he says he’s fine, and everybody has accidents, such as the time Henry had an accident with the Flying Kipper. He tells the story that was called "The Flying Kipper":
One night in winter, after his day's work is done, Henry is told by his driver that they will be leaving early in the morning to pull "The Flying Kipper", a train from the quay that carries fish from the harbour to the mainland. The driver tells Henry that his special coal is working so well that if he pulls the Flying Kipper nicely the Fat Controller will let him pull the express, a thought that makes Henry very happy.
Early next morning, Henry arrives at the quay ready to pick up the Flying Kipper. Everything goes very smoothly and Henry leaves the harbour without a hitch. After getting the vans to come along quickly and quietly, Henry quickly begins to enjoy his journey marvelling at the countryside as the sun rises.
Soon Henry comes to a yellow signal indicating caution. Henry's driver initially prepares to stop, until he sees the signal is down meaning that the line ahead is clear. With that, the driver allows Henry to continue at full speed. What the driver does not know, however, is that the points from the main line to a siding had been frozen, and the signal, which should have been set at "danger", had been forced down by snow.
In the siding is a goods train which had pulled in to let the Flying Kipper pass and the engine's crew is enjoying cocoa in the brakevan. However the crew notices that it is nearly time for Henry to pass by, so the crew leaves to return to their engine. Their escape comes just in time, as Henry comes flying down the siding at full speed and, unable to stop, crashes straight into the train causing a massive wreck which completely destroys the brakevan and causes Henry to derail.
A few hours later, the clean-up effort is underway. Henry's driver and fireman had jumped clear before the crash, but Henry is left on his side dazed. The Fat Controller comes to talk to Henry and kindly reassures him that the accident was not his fault, but was caused by the weather. He then tells Henry that he is going to be sent to Crewe, an excellent place for sick engines. As well as repairing him, they will also give him a brand new shape and a larger firebox. As a result, Henry will feel much better and will not need special coal anymore.
A few weeks later, Henry returns from Crewe. Although he enjoyed his time there, he is happy to return to the Island of Sodor. A lot of people wait at the station to welcome him home and see him in his new shape. When he rides through, he looks so splendid and strong that the crowd gives him three cheers much to Henry's gratitude. A lot of children are now often late for school as they want to wait to see Henry ride by and often see him pulling the express. He is able to pull it so well that Gordon feels jealous, but that is another story.
By the time he finishes, Schemer has arrived to fix the Jukebox. Mr. Conductor vanishes, but returns long enough to collect his ladder before disappearing again. The kids run over to the arcade, and they see Schemer using toy tools to try to open the jukebox. The kids said he didn’t give the machine enough time to warm up, but Schemer doesn’t believe them. He then notes that there are never any nickels inside the machine and wonders where they go. He says that one day he will take the machine apart and find out what happened to his nickels.
Stacy calls the kids, and she reads the poem she wrote for them. After she is done, Tanya tries to sign it, but spills ink on the paper. Stacy says that’s nothing to worry about, for she folds the paper in half and makes the ink blot turn into the silhouette of what Matt thinks is an airplane, and Tanya thinks is a butterfly. Just then, the passenger from before returns, and somberly drops her suitcases and sits on the floor, while Stacy apologizes that she missed her train. The passenger asks which way to the 4:00 train to Pelican Falls, and Stacy leads her to the platform. Matt tries to pick up one of her suitcases, but it accidentally opens up. Tanya and Matt proceed to pick up the clothes, but Stacy spots a piece of paper among the clothing. It’s an invitation to the wedding, and Stacy realizes that the passenger won’t be late at all, since the invite says the wedding is on the fourth and today is the third. Everyone is relieved that the mix-up is solved.
Matt and Tanya then review all the accidents that happened through their day: the blocks falling over, Matt forgetting to give Stacy the note, and so forth. As Stacy, Matt, Tanya and the passenger converse, Schemer reappears drinking a bottle of orange soda. When he sees the passenger pick up a dime, he says that dime is his, and she tosses it onto the floor again. Just as Schemer bends over to pick it up, he spills some of his orange soda onto his brand new shoes. He blames the passenger, saying that the shoes cost $20, and works out a cost of about $15 per shoe. Tanya then proceeds to make a rhyme, but Schemer tells them to quit, only to start rhyming again himself! Stacy, the kids and the passenger all head out to the platform with the passenger’s suitcases, while Schemer dries out his shoes and Stacy tells him to get a mop to clean up the soda. Finally, Mr. Conductor appears to reclaim his dime as the episode ends.
Henry is sick and never has enough steam to pull trains. He is worried he will be sent away and replaced. It turns out his firebox is too small to handle the poor quality coal on hand. So Sir Topham hat gets special Welsh coal for Henry.
Henry pulls a special train from the harbor called, “The Flying Kipper” because it’s full of fish. They couldn’t have known that a long the way a switch had been frozen and a signal that should have been set to danger forced down by the snow. The faulty switch sends Henry into disaster. Sir Topham hat sends Henry to crew for a new shape and a larger firebox.