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Shining Time Station

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Shining Time Station
Shining Time Station title card.jpg
The Shining Time Station title screen with UP 844
Created byBritt Allcroft
Rick Siggelkow
Directed byMatthew Diamond
Gregory Lehane
Stan Swan
Wayne Moss
John Ferraro
Steve Wright
StarringRingo Starr (1989–1990)
George Carlin (1991–1995)
Didi Conn (1989–1995)
Leonard Jackson (1989–1995)
Tom Jackson (1991–1995)
Nicole Leach (1989–1991)
Jason Woliner (1989–1991)
Erica Luttrell (1991–1995)
Ari Magder (1991–1995)
Danielle Marcot (1991–1995)
Brian O'Connor (1989–1995)
Jonathan Freeman (1989–1995)
Theme music composerJoe Raposo
Opening theme"Shining Time Station Theme" sung by Kevin Roth
Composer(s)Joe Raposo
Paul Derrick Mason (season 1)
Stacey Hersh (seasons 2–3)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes75
Executive producer(s)Donald Johnson (1989)
Angus Wright (1989)
Britt Allcroft (1991-1995)
Rick Siggelkow (1991-1995)
Jerry Hamza (1995)
Producer(s)Britt Allcroft (1989-1990)
Rick Siggelkow (1989-1990)
Nancy Chapelle (1991-1995)
Jim Corston (1995)
Running time27–28 minutes
60 minutes (1995 specials)
Production company(s)The Britt Allcroft Company
Quality Family Entertainment
Fuji Television Network (Some Thomas Stories from Seasons 2 and 3)
Original networkPBS
Original releaseJanuary 29, 1989 – June 11, 1993 (Regular series) February 28, 1995 (1995-02-28)
November 20, 1995 (1995-11-20) (1995 specials)
Related showsThomas & Friends
Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales
Storytime with Thomas

Shining Time Station is an American children's television series jointly created by British television producer Britt Allcroft and American television producer Rick Siggelkow. The series was produced by The Britt Allcroft Company (now Gullane Entertainment, a subsidiary of HiT Entertainment) and Quality Family Entertainment in New York City for New York City's PBS station WNET, and was originally taped in New York City during its first season and in Toronto during the rest of its run. It incorporated sequences from the British television show Thomas & Friends, which was in turn based on a series of books that had been written by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry. The series aired on PBS from January 29, 1989 until June 11, 1993, and then continued on the network in reruns until June 11, 1998.[1][2] It aired on Fox Family from 1998 to 1999. It also aired on Nick Jr. in 2000 and on Canadian television networks such as APTN and SCN. Elements from the show were incorporated into the Thomas and Friends film Thomas and the Magic Railroad.


After the success of Thomas & Friends in the United Kingdom, Britt Allcroft and her production company teamed up with PBS station WNET in New York City to produce and distribute the sitcom-esque Shining Time Station, every episode of which would include a couple of episodes of Thomas & Friends. The series starred Ringo Starr, George Carlin, Didi Conn, Brian O'Connor, and The Flexitoon Puppets.[3] Ringo Starr, who had already been providing the voice of the storyteller for the British series, agreed to extend the role to include the on-screen character called Mr. Conductor in Shining Time Station. He later left the show and was replaced by George Carlin.

Shining Time Station received critical acclaim. In a review for Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker states that, compared to the faster paced Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, "'Shining Time Station' wants to slow things down. It's an old-fashioned show that creates a gentle, lulling atmosphere to convince children that life is fun and that trains are the way to travel."[4] It was a ratings success as well. In its first season, the show averaged a 0.9 Nielsen rating, translating to about 1.2 million viewers on average.[2] At the peak of its popularity, the show brought in up to 7.5 million viewers per week.[2]


The Shining Time Station is a train station on the Indian Valley Railroad in an unknown part of the United States of America. It is managed by Stacy Jones. Its workshop is run in the first season by Harry Cupper, and thereafter by Billy Twofeathers. A local named Horace Schemer, simply referred to as Schemer, runs the station's arcade and serves as the series's comic relief. The narrative is driven by regular and incidental visitors to the station.

Mr. Conductor is a tiny man who lives in a signal house inside the station's mural and tells the stories taken from Thomas & Friends to the kids. He also introduces songs to the kids in The Anything Tunnel. Sometimes, he may present a magic bubble to the kids that has the song inside as a way of introducing it. On occasion, the kids may look through a film viewer to see the song or film.


Series regulars (1989–1995)

Season 1 regulars (1989)

Christmas Special characters (1990)

Seasons 2–3 regulars (1991–1993)

Recurring characters (full series; 1989–1995)

  • Jerome Dempsey - Mayor Osgood Bob Flopdinger
  • Mart Hulswit - Mr. J.B. King, Esq.
  • Bobo Lewis - Midge Smoot

Recurring characters (Seasons 2–3; 1991–1993)

1995 Family Specials characters

The Jukebox Band

  • Jonathan Freeman – Tito Swing The Piano Man
  • Olga Marin – Didi The Drummer
  • Wayne White – Tex The Guitarist (1989)
  • Alan Semok – Tex The Guitarist (1990–1995)
  • Craig Marin – Rex The Guitarist
  • Peter Baird/Alan Semok/Vaneese Thomas – Grace The Bass Player (1989)
  • Peter Baird/Kenny Miele – Grace The Bass Player (1990–1995)

Their songs were produced and arranged by Steve Horelick and co-arranged by Larry Wolf.


The intro to each episode consists of the main theme song of the show, played to various footage of Union Pacific 844 and beginning credits of the recurring characters. Only the first verse is sung for the beginning theme. The closing credits contain more shots of the 844 and the credits, in addition to the full Shining Time Station theme song.

  • Flexitoons Puppets & Marionettes - The Jukebox Band - the show's station band that performs a song inside the jukebox. They consist of pianist Tito Swing, drummer Didi, guitarists Tex and Rex (who control the guitar together), and bass guitarist Grace Bass. JJ Silvers is the manager of The Jukebox Band.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends - Storytellers, Ringo Starr and George Carlin
  • The Anything Tunnel- Inside the anything tunnel, which is the tunnel on the station mural, there is a song with a cartoon, a stop motion clip, or a live action clip. Sometimes instead of the anything tunnel, Mr. Conductor would show a magic bubble or one of the kids look through a film viewer.


Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 20 January 29, 1989 (1989-01-29) June 11, 1989 (1989-06-11)
2 20 November 18, 1991 (1991-11-18) December 27, 1991 (1991-12-27)
3 25 March 22, 1993 (1993-03-22) June 11, 1993 (1993-06-11)

Season 1 (1989)

  • Season 1 consists of 20 episodes.

Mr. Conductor: Ringo Starr

No. Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2 The Jukebox Band's Songs Music Video Airdate
1 A Place Unlike Any Other Thomas Gets Tricked Edward Helps Out I've Been Working on the Railroad Start Where You Are January 29, 1989
2 Does It Bite? Come Out, Henry! Henry To The Rescue Camptown Races Don't Be Afraid February 5, 1989
3 And the Band Played Off A Big Day For Thomas Trouble For Thomas She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain Learn from Your Mistakes February 12, 1989
4 Pitching In and Helping Out Thomas Saves The Day James Learns a Lesson Railroad Corral   February 19, 1989
5 Show and Yell Foolish Freight Cars A Proud Day For James Freight Train Bounce Back February 26, 1989
6 Faith, Hope and Anxiety Thomas and the Conductor Thomas Goes Fishing Wabash Cannonball The Kite Song March 5, 1989
7 Agree to Disagree Terence The Tractor Thomas & Bertie's Great Race Abilene We Do Things Differently March 12, 1989
8 Whistle While You Work Tenders and Turntables Trouble In The Shed Pop Goes the Weasel Let's All Work Together March 19, 1989
9 Two Old Hands Percy Runs Away Thomas Comes To Breakfast A Railroader's Bride I'll Be Baking a Cake March 26, 1989
10 Happy Accidents Henry's Special Coal The Flying Kipper Wreck of the Old '97   April 2, 1989
11 Ring in the Old Toby The Tram Engine Thomas Breaks The Rules Train Is A' Comin' Old But Wise April 9, 1989
12 Impractical Jokes A Cow on The Line Old Iron Poor Paddy Works on the Railway   April 16, 1989
13 Finders Keepers Double Trouble James In a Mess The Desperado   April 23, 1989
14 Just Wild About Harry's Workshop Duck Takes Charge Percy Proves a Point Union Train What Goes Around Comes Around April 30, 1989
15 Promises, Promises Better Late Than Never Pop Goes The Diesel Oh! Susanna   May 7, 1989
16 Word's Out Diesel's Devious Deed A Close Shave For Duck Jesse James Be Good To Yourself May 14, 1989
17 Too Many Cooks Gordon Takes a Dip Down The Mine The Ballad of Casey Jones   May 21, 1989
18 Mapping it Out The Runaway Percy Takes The Plunge Red River Valley Follow Directions May 28, 1989
19 Things That Go Ga-Hooga in the Night Percy's Ghostly Trick Woolly Bear Oh My Darling, Clementine   June 4, 1989
20 Is This the End? Saved From Scrap A New Friend For Thomas Little Black Train   June 11, 1989

Christmas special (1990)

Mr. Conductor: Ringo Starr

No. Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2 The Jukebox Band's Songs Music Video Airdate
21 'Tis a Gift TV: Terence The Tractor VHS: Thomas' Christmas Party TV: Thomas' Christmas Party VHS: Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree Over the River and Through the Woods, Jingle Bells, It's Christmas time at the Railway Station, Simple Gifts The Hobo Song December 9, 1990

Season 2 (1991)

  • Season 2 consists of 20 episodes.
  • Jason Woliner and Nicole Leach reprise their Season 1 main roles for two episodes.

Mr. Conductor: George Carlin

No. Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2 The Jukebox Band's Songs Music Video Airdate
1 Scare Dares Percy's Ghostly Trick Thomas, Percy and the Dragon Midnight Special What Am I Afraid Of? November 18, 1991
2 Oh, What a Tangled Web Diesel's Devious Deed No Joke For James Mama Don't Allow   November 19, 1991
3 The Magic is Believing Old Iron Edward's Exploit Nine Hundred Miles   November 20, 1991
4 Win, Lose or Draw Double Trouble Gordon and the Famous Visitor Arkansas Traveler   November 21, 1991
5 Sweet and Sour Donald and Douglas The Deputation Erie Canal   November 22, 1991
6 Achoo Trust Thomas Whistles and Sneezes Cosher Bailey's Engine Caring November 25, 1991
7 A Dog's Life James In a Mess The Trouble With Mud Home on the Range   November 26, 1991
8 Field Day Percy Proves a Point Thomas & Bertie's Great Race Take Me Out to the Ballgame Everyone's a Winner November 27, 1991
9 Wrong Track Thomas Saves The Day Down The Mine Sweet Betsy from Pike   November 28, 1991
10 Washout Bertie's Chase Percy's Promise Cumberland Gap   November 29, 1991
11 Crackpot Woolly Bear Henry's Forest John Henry   December 16, 1991
12 Yabba, Yabba, Yabba Pop Goes The Diesel Diesel Does It Again Old Dan Tucker   December 17, 1991
13 Nickel in a Pickle Thomas Comes To Breakfast Thomas Gets Bumped My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean   December 18, 1991
14 Stop the Press Percy and the Signal A Big Day For Thomas Tennessee Central (Number 9)   December 19, 1991
15 He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not Thomas, Percy and the Mail Train   Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair Would He Ever December 20, 1991
16 Double Trouble The Diseasel Donald's Duck This Train   December 23, 1991
17 Is Anybody There? Thomas Goes Fishing A Scarf For Percy Chattanooga Choo Choo   December 24, 1991
18 Do I Hear Mavis Toby's Tightrope The Riddle Song Better When He Grows Up December 25, 1991
19 Jingle, Jingle, Jingle Time For Trouble Trouble For Thomas City of New Orleans   December 26, 1991
20 All's Fair Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party   The Railroad Cars Are Coming Home December 27, 1991

Season 3 (1993)

  • Didi Conn has a haircut starting with this season.
  • Starting with this season, Danielle Marcot was added to the opening credits.
  • This season consisted of 25 episodes.

Mr. Conductor: George Carlin

No. Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2 The Jukebox Band's Songs Music Video Airdate
1 Becky Makes a Wish All At Sea   Celito Lindo Help Your Wish Along March 22, 1993
2 Schemer's Alone Percy, James and the Fruitful Day   Polly Wolly Doodle I Can Do It March 23, 1993
3 Bully for Mr. Conductor Bulgy   Jamaican Farewell Bad Guy March 24, 1993
4 Stacy Cleans Up James Goes Buzz Buzz   Five Hundred Miles If Everyone Did a Little March 25, 1993
5 Schemer's Robot Tenders and Turntables Trouble In The Shed While Strolling Thru the Park One Day   April 19, 1993
6 Billy Saves the Day A New Friend For Thomas   Get On Board, Little Children   April 20, 1993
7 Billy's Party Thomas & Percy's Mountain Adventure   We Gather Together/Come, Ye Thankful People, Come medley Thanksgiving April 21, 1993
8 Fortune Teller Schemer Thomas and the Conductor A Cow on The Line Turkey in the Straw   April 22, 1993
9 Billy's Runaway Train A Close Shave For Duck   Freight Train Blues   May 3, 1993
10 Schemer Goes Camping Percy Takes The Plunge   Crawdad Team May 4, 1993
11 Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin Heroes   Danny Boy   May 5, 1993
12 Bad Luck Day at Shining Time Station Gordon Takes a Dip   Engine One-Forty-Three   May 6, 1993
13 Mr. Conductor's Fourth of July Escape   Patriotic Medley   May 17, 1993
14 Stacy Forgets Her Name Thomas Gets Tricked   Lullaby Medley   May 18, 1993
15 Schemer's Special Club Oliver Owns Up   Old Joe Clark   May 19, 1993
16 Mr. Conductor's Movie Tender Engines   There's No Business like Show Business   May 20, 1993
17 The Joke's on Schemer Wrong Road   This Old Man Laugh and a Half May 31, 1993
18 Dance Crazy Percy Runs Away   Orange Blossom Special Dancin' Maitre D' June 1, 1993
19 Mysterious Stranger Come Out, Henry! Henry To The Rescue Waltzing Matilda Everyone's Afraid of Something June 2, 1993
20 Dan's Big Race Henry's Special Coal The Flying Kipper Michael Row Your Boat Ashore Start All Over Again June 3, 1993
21 Mr. Conductor Gets Left Out One Good Turn   New River Train   June 7, 1993
22 Mr. Conductor's Big Sleepwalk Better Late Than Never   Beautiful Dreamer Dreamland June 8, 1993
23 The Mayor Runs for Re-Election James Learns a Lesson Foolish Freight Cars Hurray for the Railway   June 9, 1993
24 Stacy Says No Duck Takes Charge   Cannonball Blues   June 10, 1993
25 How the Station Got Its Name Toby The Tram Engine Thomas Breaks The Rules Cowboy Medley   June 11, 1993

TV Family Specials (1995)

Mr. Conductor: George Carlin

No. Title Thomas story 1 Thomas story 2 The Jukebox Band's Songs Airdate
1 Once Upon a Time Rusty To The Rescue Thomas & Stepney Lonestar Trail Medley, Buffalo Gals Medley, What's New Pussycat? February 28, 1995
2 Second Chances Granpuff Sleeping Beauty Down in the Valley, Skip to My Lou, Freight Train, Take Me Out to the Ball Game September 25, 1995
3 One of the Family Toad Stands By Thomas and the Special Letter If My Friends Could See Me Now, Long, Long Ago, This Land is Your Land October 23, 1995
4 Queen for a Day Thomas Meets The Queen Special Attraction The Lovely Ohio, Scarborough Fair, Mrs. Murphy's Chowder November 20, 1995

Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales (1996)

Mr. Conductor: George Carlin

No. Title Story 1 Story 2 Story 3 Story 4 Story 5 Song Airdate
1 Missing Whistles Bulls Eyes Train Stops Play Percy's Ghostly Trick Thomas, Percy and the Dragon Special Funnel Really Useful Engine October 7, 1996
2 Wildlife Four Little Engines Trouble For Thomas Toad Stands By Thomas Saves The Day Rusty Helps Peter Sam Toby October 14, 1996
3 Wish You Were Here Thomas, Percy and the Mail Train Mind That Bike Home at Last Rock 'n' Roll Thomas and the Special Letter Island Song October 21, 1996
4 For the Birds A Bad Day For Sir Handel Steam Roller Old Iron Double Trouble Bowled Out Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover October 28, 1996
5 Splish, Splash, Splosh Passengers and Polish Gallant Old Engine Bertie's Chase Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady You Can't Win Gone Fishing November 4, 1996
6 Paint the Town Red Come Out, Henry! Fish Whistles and Sneezes Henry and the Elephant Bulldog Let's Have a Race November 11, 1996



The beginning of each VHS copy of Shining Time Station (except for Shining Time Station Singsongs, Schemer Presents: The World According to Me, The Jukebox Band: A Day in the Life, and The Jukebox Band: Lullaby) featured a model scale of a typical 1950's drive-in movie theater called the "Shining Time Drive In Movie Theater" with parody commercials before the episode started. Then, after the episode of Shining Time station was shown, a short segment known as "Schemer Presents!" was shown. Each segment featured Schemer and he taught the viewers how to do something and have someone help him. Afterwards, the announcer wishes everyone a safe drive home. The Drive-In segments were created by Chip Lord & Mickey McGowan.

  • 'Tis a Gift
  • Sweet and Sour
  • Stacy Cleans Up
  • Schemer Alone
  • Bully for Mr. Conductor
  • Becky Makes a Wish
  • Billy's Party
  • Schemer's Special Club
  • Mr. Conductor's Evil Twin
  • Shining Time Station Singsongs
  • Schemer Presents: The World According to Me
  • The Jukebox Band: A Day in the Life
  • The Jukebox Band: Lullaby


  • A book, titled This Old Band, was written by Britt Allcroft and Rick Siggelkow. It featured the Juke Box Band and was published by Quality Family Entertainment in 1994.


  1. ^ "Thomas The Tank Engine Near End Of The Line With PBS". 1997-12-19. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  2. ^ a b c "Shining Time Station Season Guide". Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  3. ^ Whitlock, Natalie Walker; Michael Mallory (2006-11-06). "How Thomas the Tank Engine Works". HowStuffWorks, Inc. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  4. ^ Tucker, Ken (1992-01-10). "Two Tickets to Ride". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-06-25.

External links

See also