Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 16

The Runaway Caboose

2
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Feb 11, 1976 on NBC
7.7
out of 10
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54 votes
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Episode Summary

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Mary, Laura, and Mr. Edwards' adopted son Carl long to get a first-hand look at the kinds of trains they learn about in school, but accompanying their fathers on an upcoming business trip would mean missing school for a day. The kids eventually con their parents into letting them go, and when everything is finally settled, the five of them head off on their way. While messing around on a caboose at the train station, the children are in for the ride of their lives when it detaches from the rest of the train and runs loose. With the caboose going increasingly faster, and another train coming full-speed in the opposite direction, it's up to Charles and Mr. Edwards to save their children.moreless

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  • Children poking around where they shouldn't be, leads to all kinds of trouble.

    6.0
    Miss Beadle has been teaching the children about trains in school. When their fathers are going away on a business trip for a day, the children beg to go with him in order to assist in their education. So, Charles and Mr. Edwards find that they have some young company travelling along with them.



    While at the train station, like most young children, they get more than a little curious and start poking around a caboose. Unfortunately for them, it unhooks itself from the main carriages and sends them on a fast and furious train ride, while their parents and railroad officials try to save them.



    This one was very dull, and not up to the usual standard of the show at all, in my opinion.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Lindsay Greenbush

Lindsay Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Sidney Greenbush

Sidney Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Arch Johnson

Arch Johnson

Shell

Guest Star

Parley Baer

Parley Baer

Diamond

Guest Star

Larry J. Blake

Larry J. Blake

Asa Dunn

Guest Star

Victor French

Victor French

Mr. Isaiah Edwards (guest star prior to season 2)

Recurring Role

Brian Part

Brian Part

Carl

Recurring Role

Bonnie Bartlett

Bonnie Bartlett

Grace Edwards

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • This story, like several others in the series, takes enormous liberties with the geography of this part of Minnesota. In reality, it is only about 10 miles from Springfield to Sleepy Eye and the land is completely flat, so the map which is shown of the railway line connecting them is a total fiction.

    • Why wouldn't Carl's siblings John and Alicia go on the trip, also? If Mary, Laura and Carl got to miss school for the day and join their fathers on the trip, it seems unfair that the other two would be excluded.

    • The locomotive used on this episode was Sierra Railroad #3, which appeared in many TV shows and movies. One of its more famous appearances was on the series Petticoat Junction as part of the "Hooterville Cannonball".

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Carl: (about going on the trip with Charles and Mr. Edwards) I wish we could go. I couldn't actually go on the train, but I could at least see it up close.
      Mary: Why don't you ask your Pa?
      Carl: It wouldn't do no good.
      Laura: But we're studying railroads. It would just be like some extra special homework.
      Carl: Yeah!
      Laura: Mary can ask our Pa.
      Mary: Why me?
      Laura: Because you can put your glasses on and look serious. If I ask him, he'll think I just want to go for fun.

    • Mary: It's all my fault. If I had only jumped when you told me to!
      Carl: It's not your fault. It's mine. I'm the one who got you on this thing in the first place.
      Mary: I'm the oldest. I shouldn't have let you do it.
      Carl: You couldn't have stopped me. You're a girl.
      Mary: Well, what's that got to do with it?
      Carl: A lot, that's what!
      Mary: Well, what?
      Carl: Never mind.
      Mary: There, you see? It was my fault.
      Carl: It was not!
      Laura: It was both of your faults! You feel better now?

    • Mary: We thought we'd go with you and Mr. Edwards to Springfield and learn all about trains. You always say there's nothing better than seeing things first-hand.
      Charles: Hey, now hold on. You'd be missing school.
      Laura: Not really, Pa. It would be just like school, only different.
      Mary: We could learn a lot.
      Charles: Well, you can learn just as much by going to school. You can learn everything you have to know.
      Laura: But Mr. Edwards is letting Carl go.
      Charles: Oh, he is?
      Laura: Yeah. I guess he'll be the only one getting extra credit.
      Charles: Carl, what did your Ma say about that?
      Carl: Well......
      Laura: She didn't say anything.
      Charles: Hmm. Well, if Grace thinks it'll all right, I guess I shouldn't stand in the way of higher education. You can go.
      Laura and Mary: Thanks, Pa!
      (the kids leave)
      Mary: You shouldn't have lied.
      Laura: I didn't yet.
      Mary: What do you mean you didn't? You said Mr. Edwards said he could go, and that his Ma didn't say anything about it.
      Laura: Well, all we have to do is ask him if Carl can go. Your Ma didn't say anything, did she, Carl?
      Carl: Of course not! She doesn't even know yet!
      Laura: There. You see? All we have to do is get him to say yes.

  • NOTES (2)

    • "The Runaway Caboose" is Brian Part's (Carl Edwards-Sanderson) favorite episode.

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, with Sierra portions filmed at Railtown State Park, Jamestown and Sierra Railway vicinity, Red Hills, Chinese Camp and Cooperstown, Tuolumne and Stanislaus Counties, California, and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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