Dear Friends, Passenger services on the Small Controller's Railway are scheduled to meet up with passenger services on the Little Western at Arlesburgh West. And with a tight timetable, there is little room for delays. But with Oliver, who wants to be a punctual engine, he has little tolerance of tardiness. He can eventually get cross, which is what recently happened. What was even worse was he took it out on the small engines. But thankfully, he has realized his fault, and his friendship with the small engines has recently been mended. The Author
One day, Oliver was waiting at the station with Dulcie and Isabel. They were to collect passengers from Bert’s train and take them to the Big Station. At last, Bert arrived. “Sorry I’m late,” said Bert anxiously. “Some sheep strayed onto the line.” “Never mind,” soothed Oliver. “I’m sure I can make up for lost time.” But Oliver never did make up for lost time. When he finally reached the Big Station, he found James furiously waiting. “Where have you been,” snapped James. “I’m now running twenty-seven minutes late!” Oliver told James what Bert had told him. But James didn’t care. “Rubbish! It’s just an excuse for those small engines to make us big engines late!” “It’s no excuse,” said Oliver crossily. “The small engines would never make Duck or I late on purpose.” Just then, James heard the shrill of his guard’s whistle. “Pah. We’ll see about that,” said James huffy, as he left the station. As the weeks went on, Oliver started to wonder if James was right. At least once or twice a week, something would happen on the AR that would delay Oliver, which delayed the stopping passenger train he met up with at the Big Station. Eventually, Oliver had had enough of the complaints from the other engines. He decided it was time to say something to the small engines. One afternoon, Bert arrived late to the station. He was looking just as annoyed as Oliver. “What’s your reason this time,” demanded Oliver. “There’s a speed restriction on a stretch of line that the platelayers are working on,” grumbled Bert. “Oh really,” said Oliver huffy. “Is that the truth, or is it an excuse?” “It is the truth,” said Bert, becoming a little cross. “What makes you think otherwise?” “I think otherwise since it’s been a common theme of you or the others making me late. The engines on the main line blame me for the delays, when it’s really your fault.” Bert went angrily along the line with his last passenger train of the day. Although he’d made good time at the first two stations, he would be hurt by the delay of the 5:05pm Down train. “Come on. Come on.” Said Bert crossily. “My return journey is to meet up with Oliver yet again. I don’t want him scolding me for something happening that’s out of my control!” Five minutes later, Jock thundered gloomily past with the 5:05pm Down train. The moment Jock was out of sight, the driver radioed Control, and was given permission to leave the passing loop.. But as they continued their journey, the driver found it difficult to keep Bert under control. “No need to hurry along,” she said sternly. “We’re within station limits.” But Bert paid no attention to her. “Must make up time. Must make up time. Must make up time.” Puffed Bert, as he saw Marthwaite station coming into view. But Bert was going at too fast a speed for the driver to slow him down. Passengers on the platform watched Bert pass by. “Help! Help!” Shouted Bert, becoming alarmed. “I must stop!” Not far from the station is a set of points. This set of points diverts engines into the goods loop in the station yard, and onto the line leading to the granite quarry. A pointsman stands by the lever and operates it. As Bert approached the points, the pointsman pulled the lever. Bert’s speed was decreasing as he headed towards the goods loop. However, the loop was occupied by some empty hopper wagons and a brake-van. As he got closer to them, his speed decreased even more. CRASH! After ramming into the brake-van and empty hopper wagons, Bert came to a stand. However, the impact had derailed the rear wheels of the brake-van, along with sending it and the empty hopper wagons forward thirty yards. And if that wasn’t enough, Bert had damaged his buffer castings and brake-pipe. “Oh dear,” groaned Bert. “What will the Small Controller say?” He found out that night at the shed. “Bert, our passengers expect a safe journey. Your accident has led to three passengers being badly shaken.” “Sorry Sir. I wouldn’t had had the accident if Oliver-” “I don’t accept tales. After you’re mended, you’ll stay in the shed for a couple days to think over how you’ll improve yourself.” As the Small Controller left the shed, Bert did begin to think. He started thinking about what he’d say to Oliver when they next met.
The following day, Sigrid was returning to Arlesburgh West with the first Down passenger train. As she was approaching the station, she spotted Duck waiting at the platform with his autocoaches. “Thank goodness it’s Duck,” she thought, coming to a gentle stand at the platform. “If there’s anyone who can help, it’s him.” She quickly ran round her train, and was soon rejoined to her coaches. “Morning Duck. It’s a good thing I have a chance to speak with you.” Duck could tell something was wrong; but before he could utter a word, Sigrid quickly told Duck about Oliver, and about Bert’s accident the previous day. “Don’t worry,” said Duck soothingly, once Sigrid was done explaining everything. “I’ll speak with Oliver the first chance I get.” On his way back to the Big Station, he stopped at Haultraugh, where he met Oliver with his autocoaches. Oliver was pleased to see Duck. “Looks like the small engines won’t be delaying us today,” said Oliver cheerfully. “Indeed they won’t,” said Duck sternly. Oliver was surprised by Duck’s stern voice. “Is something wrong,” asked Oliver. “Indeed there is,” said Duck sternly. “Sigrid has told me how you’ve been treating her and the others, especially Bert. It’s disgraceful to put blame on them for being late when it’s not their fault.” “But they are at fault,” said Oliver, who was now feeling a little cross. “They should have seen the possible disruptions animals and people can cause to their and our timetable. Upon realization of this, they should have told the Small Controller, who could then make arrangements to ensure such disruptions never happen.” Just then, Oliver’s guard blew her whistle, waved her green flag, and got into Isabel. Oliver reversed angrily away, onwards to Arlesburgh West. A few days later, a gang of platelayers were examining the branch line. Here and there they replaced rails, chairs, and rotten sleepers. They were even packing up the sleepers with fresh ballast every now and then. And wherever the platelayers were working, a speed restriction was enforced. Duck and Oliver obeyed the speed restriction, but unlike Duck, Oliver would try to speed up the moment Isabel’s rear wheels were off the part of the line being mended. “Be careful! Be careful!” Dulcie and Isabel would say severely. “You’ll bump our passengers. You’ll bump our passengers.” “Nothing to worry about. Nothing to worry about.” Oliver would reply confidently. But one morning, there was something to worry about. Sigrid was late arriving at Arlesburgh West. “When will you small engines ever see the damage your tardiness does,” said Oliver crossily. Sigrid said nothing. She angrily ran round her coaches, while the passengers hastily boarded their respective trains. Oliver’s driver allowed Oliver to speed along to Haultraugh, and onwards, up until they were within distance of the overbridge. Oliver tried to continue hurrying along, but his driver held him back. “Steady Oliver, steady,” warned the driver. “We’re approaching the overbridge.” Presently, the platelayers were at work on a part of the permanent way that runs under an overbridge. The drivers always make sure to reduce their speed before the overbridge comes into sight. “Alright. Alright.” Puffed Oliver crossily, as his driver reduced his speed. Soon, the overbridge came into view. Oliver went carefully under it, and was soon on the other side. He would have started to speed up again, but he didn’t, for he felt something strange. So did his driver. Looking down, both his driver saw the problem. “We’re riding on the chairs,” exclaimed Oliver’s driver. The driver shut off steam and applied the brakes, while Oliver whistled for his guard to apply the brakes in Isabel. After alerting the guard of the danger, Oliver’s driver and fireman jumped out of the cab. It was a good thing they did, for after Oliver went a further few yards, he and his coaches all came off the line. Dulcie and Isabel remained upright, but were completely derailed, and in Dulcie’s case, she was leaning against Oliver’s bunker. As for Oliver, he had completely overturned. He found himself standing on his funnel, dome, and cab roof. Duck was in the yard at the Big Station. He was about to take Alice and Mirabel over to the station, when an inspector ran up. “All trains on the Little Western are to be cancelled,” said the inspector to Duck’s driver. “Why?” “Oliver’s had an accident just beyond the overbridge. Donald has already gone with the breakdown gang to put things right. You’re to stay here and work in the yard.” So, Duck joined in on taking coaches to and from the station, and arranging goods trains. He never stopped to rest his wheels until around noon, when he needed more water. As he came to a stand alongside the water column, Duck heard one short blast of Donald’s whistle. And in a few moment’s time, Donald trundled into the yard with the breakdown train. Directly behind Donald’s tender was a well wagon. Held to it by chains was Oliver. He was looking miserable. His front bufferbeam was bent; his smokebox door was pushed inwards, along with his cab roof also being pushed inwards. All his cab windows were broken, and he was missing his funnel, along with many other parts being bent or broken. “Oliver,” called Duck, “why didn’t you see such a disruption possibly arising? You should have known that such accidents like the one you’ve dealt with can happen if platelayers don’t do their job properly. And upon knowing this, you should have told the permanent way inspector. The inspector could then make arrangements to ensure such issues don’t occur.” Oliver didn’t reply. He just angrily looked at his bent buffers as Donald pulled him, the breakdown train, and his badly damaged coaches past the water column. “I could have never expected the rails to be slightly lower than the rest,” said Oliver angrily. Immediately after saying this, he realized something; the anger he was feeling now was the same anger Bert and the other small engines felt when accusing them for causing delays.
After being mended, and completing his sentence in the shed, Bert could finally return to work. But his joy was dampened by the fact of Oliver still blaming the other engines. “I hope I don’t run into him today,” said Bert grumpily, as he puffed off the turntable, and towards the station. To Bert’s relief, he found Duck with his autocoaches instead. He immediately went to feeling cheerful. “Duck! I’m so glad to see you.” “So am I,” said Duck kindly. “However, Oliver’s s-” “Being rude,” interrupted Bert. “I know. I plan on joining the other engines in giving him the cold buffer.” “Excellent. I feared I might be put in the middle of this situation.” “Oh, I wouldn’t dare put you in such a position,” said Bert assuringly as he left the station. Bert was having a wonderful time pulling the second Up train. He came to each station on time. “Couldn’t be better. Couldn’t be better.” Puffed Bert, charging up the hill in the woods. He came down the other side, and rounded a curve to see a horrifying sight ahead. Many railway enthusiasts were standing on the line. “PEEP! PEEP! PEEP! Brakes guard, please!” Whistled Bert frantically. His driver shut off steam, and put the brakes hard on. Bert shut his eyes, awaiting the horrible collision. When he opened his eyes, though, he found he had stopped with only inches to spare. He saw the railway enthusiasts using cameras and their phones to take pictures of him. “Come on Bert,” grumbled the railway enthusiasts, “give us a smile.” “No I won’t,” said Bert sternly. “Get off the line.” To everyone’s dismay, the railway enthusiasts stood on the line for ten minutes, taking pictures of Bert from every direction. “It’s about time,” said Bert crossily, once the railway enthusiasts finally moved off the line. Bert went at the pace of a snail, which tacked on an extra five minutes to reach the passing loop near Arlesdale Green. But due to railway enthusiasts possibly being anywhere on the line, Sigrid, with the first Down train, passed the loop at a snail’s pace too. That night, the engines discussed the day’s events. “It’s a shame Oliver was put in a position to come off the rails,” said Rex sympathetically. “Never mind him,” said Mike rudely. “We’ve got our own problems to worry about. The Small Controller finally holds the farmers more accountable, yet he allows trespassers to invade our line!” “I wouldn’t dare allow trespassers to do so,” said the Small Controller sternly, as he came into the shed. “Starting tomorrow, police from the Sodor Transport police force will be in charge of watching certain sections of the line.” “But the public doesn’t realize how dangerous it is to be on the line, compared to the farmers with their straying livestock,” protested Bert. “Surely the transport police will have just as much trouble as when we tried the Arlesburgh police force a couple years back.” “Sodor Transport police officers are well experienced with trespassers,” said the Small Controller sternly. “They’ll be successful. You wait and see.” A couple weeks later, Bert was sent along a line near Ffarquhar Road to collect spoil, commonly known as “weed resistant ballast” amongst employees and engines. “Come along. Come along.” Puffed Bert to the hopper wagons. “We must get to Ffarquhar Road before the next Down passenger train.” “We’re coming along. We’re coming along.” Grumbled the hopper wagons. Far from Bert, and on the same line as him, was a family of seven. The family were accompanied by a photographer. He was there to take a family portrait, with all seven family members standing on the railway line. “Say Arlesdale,” said the photographer, looking into his camera. “ARLESDALE!” Shouted the family, giving their best smiles as the camera flashed. The process was done a few more times, until the father and mother felt enough were taken to choose the best one. While they were looking at the pictures, the five children thought it fun to play on the line. “Can’t catch me,” shouted one of the boys. “Yes I can,” shouted one of the girls. They continued to laugh, scream, and run, until they heard their father say a dreadful word. “TRAIN!” The children looked back, and saw Bert hurrying towards them with his loaded hopper wagons. “Everybody off the line,” shouted the parents frantically. The children obeyed. But only four were off the line, while the youngest boy, who was running to safety, tripped on a rail. “PEEP! PEEP! PIP! PEEP! GET OUT OF THE WAY!” Whisted Bert frantically. One of the older girls ran towards her brother, picked him up, and carried him over to her older brother. A couple seconds later, Bert sped by. The children all stared at Bert until he and his ballast train were out of sight. As they all stood there in shock, a police officer from the Sodor Transport Police came walking up. “Hullo,” she said sternly. “What are you all doing on private property?” The mother and father explained. But the police officer wasn’t pleased with their response. “Seeing how your children are young,” said the police officer thoughtfully, “it’ll be just you two, and the photographer who’ll be fined.” The next morning, Bert’s driver brought his copy of the newspaper, and showed Bert the report about the near miss. “Well I never,” said Bert delightfully. “It’s a good thing I was wrong. Sodor Transport Police will do wonders for the railway.”
Oliver, Dulcie, and Isabel were mended and back at work. But Oliver wasn’t cheerful. He was longing to make amends with the small engines, especially Bert. However, he was very nervous about doing so. “What if they don’t believe my apology is sincere,” he thought, as he was going in reverse along the Little Western. When they came to Arlesburgh West, Bert was being rejoined to his coaches, in preparation of leaving with the next passenger train. “Hullo Bert,” said Oliver shakily. “Hullo Oliver.” The two engines looked at each other in awkward silence. “As you know,” said Oliver at last, still feeling nervous, “I had an accident that led to the Little Western being closed for a short time.” “Yes. What about it?” Asked Bert, a little confused. “Well, Duck teased me about being at fault for the accident occurring, and as I became furious, I realized my own fault of how I’ve treated you and the others.” Right away, Bert realized Oliver was apologizing. But he wasn’t sure about accepting it. “He does sound sincere,” thought Bert, “but after it being constant...I’m not so sure.” Then, he remembered his views on police officers in regard to how unsuccessful they were at catching trespassers on the line, until a few days ago when the Sodor Transport Police proved that they were successful. “Perhaps my situation with Oliver is similar to my previous views on the police officers. After all, a few days ago they charged the parents and photographer for trespassing, something I thought would never happen” Bert looked at Oliver; Oliver was showing signs of fear. But Oliver stopped showing these signs when Bert gave him a kind smile. “I understand,” said Bert kindly. He quickly told Oliver about his horrifying near miss, and was finishing his story when the guard’s whistle was blown. Oliver let off steam in relief as he watched Bert depart. However, this was only the beginning, for he’d be repeating the process for the rest of the day. That night in the shed, the engines talked about Oliver’s apology. “It’s nice to be friends with him again,” said Rex cheerfully. “The best part is he really means it,” added Jock. But Mike, who hadn’t interacted with Oliver during the day, didn’t agree. “It’s a shame you’re letting him simply apologize,” said Mike crossily. “We deserve more than that, after all the times he’s been rude to us.” “But an apology starts the process,” said Jock firmly. “I’d rather have an apologythan waiting for him to prove he’s sorry.” But Mike was still in disagreement. “You can give him a tap on the buffers. But I’m not letting him off the hook so easily.” The following day, Mike was to pull passenger trains. He grumbled dreadfully as he backed down onto the coaches. To make matters worse, standing at the NWR’s platform was Oliver, Dulcie, and Isabel. “Morning Mike,” said Oliver kindly. “I wo-” “I wouldn’t waste your breath,” interrupted Mike rudely. “I know this is leading towards you apologizing. While the others might be easy to persuade, I’m not.” Then, Mike angrily left the station, leaving Oliver to feel hurt. As he was travelling back to the Big Station, Dulcie and Isabel were sensing Oliver’s disappointment. “Don’t worry Oliver,” said Dulcie soothingly. “Give him time.” “He’ll soon see you’re being genuine,” added Isabel. “You’ll see.” Meanwhile, Mike was still in a bad temper. He stayed that way until evening, when he was at Arlesdale. “At last,” he said cheerfully. “The last passenger train of the day. I hope tomorrow I’m pulling goods trains than stupid passengers.” When everything was ready, Mike left the station. Half of his coaches were clear of the platform, when his driver realized a defect of some sort. He brought Mike to a sudden stand. “What’s wrong,” exclaimed Mike, who also noticed the defect. “Dunno,” said his driver, “but we mustn’t go on. We wouldn’t want to make things worse.” Oliver and his autocoaches were waiting at Arlesburgh West, when the stationmaster came up to Oliver’s cab. “Mike’s failed. Buses are on their way to collecthis passengers. You’ll be delayed I’m afraid.” “That’s alright,” said Oliver’s driver. “We wouldn't want Mike to be in a worse state than he is now. Right Oliver?” “Indeed not,” agreed Oliver. Poor Mike had to spend the night at Arlesdale, and wasn’t brought back to Arlesburgh West until the next morning, with thanks to Frank, who also shunted him to the works. “Cracked cylinder covers, and left piston head broken,” said a workman to the Small Controller. “We have the parts on hand. Should be a couple weeks until he’s back at work.” Two weeks later, Mike was back at work. He met Oliver with his autocoaches at Arlesburgh West. “I’m sorry I was rude,” said Mike apologetically. “The others told me you weren’t cross about being delayed, and was more concerned about me, which shows you really meant your apology. Let’s be friends once more.” “Suits me,” said Oliver cheerfully. Oliver cheerfully watched Mike leave the station. He let off steam in a merry, sighing manner, for it was official. Things were back to being usual between him and the small engines.
MrMilkDuctor: Most of them are hit era which I don’t mind since this is the I grew up on
Sept 21, 2021 19:07:34 GMT
aspiegurl: IDK where you are but it aired first the year I was born and in reruns until '98. It's on Youtube and there's a wikia for it.
Sept 21, 2021 21:20:27 GMT
MrMilkDuctor: I was born in the 2000s so i I didn’t even watch the reruns from 1993 - 1998, as I said the only time I watch shining time STS was probably on a unknown channel but hey that’s cool to hear
Sept 21, 2021 22:02:48 GMT
dtchapman1: I suppose that is one thing we do have to consider on this forum now. We are pretty much at a point that new members are going to have grown up largely with the HiT era.
Sept 21, 2021 22:26:37 GMT
Two Red Engines: Me, I was born in '96. I didn't really see the episodes when they were first broadcast (Dad's job took us overseas), but I had several VHS tapes from S1-8 - including the AUS releases of Thomas & Gordon, Percy & Harold, Trust Thomas,...
Sept 21, 2021 23:22:57 GMT
Two Red Engines: Story & Song Collection, and Thomas & The Special Letter!
Sept 21, 2021 23:23:27 GMT
MrMilkDuctor: The hit era is actually decent compare to what we have now also the merchandise was just incredible
Sept 21, 2021 23:33:57 GMT
MrMilkDuctor: Two red engines i had only Like 5 DVD’s when I was young sadly I lost 3 of them hopefully you kept all of your VHS tapes
Sept 21, 2021 23:37:21 GMT
Two Red Engines: Thanks! I think I managed to keep most of them (mainly the individual S1-4 releases, as well as my Series 5 box set), as well as two DVDs, an S1-5 compilation ('Truck Loads of Fun') and a Series 6 release, ('The Chocolate Crunch')...
Sept 21, 2021 23:41:07 GMT
Two Red Engines: ...but some were lost to time, and others (mainly the S8 releases!) were just simply given away. Still have about 5 VHS releases (6 if you count the fact that my S5 box set came with two tapes) and those two DVDs, though, so not too bad in my opinion.
Sept 21, 2021 23:42:55 GMT
Two Red Engines: Say, anyone still got copies of their Railway Series books? Me, I've still got my 1997 edition of 'The Complete Collection' (the Gawdry version!), as well as RWS volumes 31, 32 and 40 (along with some stories from RWS 28 and 30 from the TTTE Book Club).
Sept 21, 2021 23:45:44 GMT
MrMilkDuctor: Solid collection right there!
Sept 22, 2021 0:05:56 GMT
MrMilkDuctor: I have the complete first series of the classic collection DVD from 2003 the one that has a menu option,I might post that later and a another one from the hit era a steam team DVD these are the only ones I still have .
Sept 22, 2021 0:06:33 GMT
MrMilkDuctor: Classic Thomas is gonna come back?
Sept 22, 2021 10:15:53 GMT
MrMilkDuctor: Or did I just read that in a wrong way
Sept 22, 2021 10:19:38 GMT
whosgeoffrey: I'm personally inclined to think of it as just another one of Allcroft's very heart-warming messages to the adult fanbase. If she is doing something new with Thomas, I doubt it'll be new episodes, though — maybe the biography she mentioned some time ago?
Sept 22, 2021 12:36:14 GMT
MrMilkDuctor: Yeah that could be true
Sept 22, 2021 13:17:21 GMT