|Arthur's New Route|
| Season 2, Episode 7|
|Air date||August 2nd, 2019|
Henry Knows Best
Clean vs. Dirty
Arthur is a big tank engine who works on the Norramby Branch Line on the Island of Sodor. His line starts from the town of Ballahoo and travels along the southeast coast of the island to the seaside town of Norramby. He enjoys running this line as he gets to work by the seaside and gets to deliver fish from the Fishing Village to the people of Norramby and to Ballahoo. The line isn't very long and Arthur is the only engine running it, but he still gets to see other engines once in a while and he loves working on the line very much indeed.
One morning, Arthur was at the fishing village collecting the fishermen's fresh morning catch of fish. He was waiting patiently as the fishermen loaded the fish into his vans, enjoying the morning sea air. Then he heard a whistle and looked and saw Emily arrive with some visitors.
"Good morning Arthur," she whistled.
"Good morning Emily," he replied. "Nice to see you. I take it you're bringing visitors to see the village and seaside again?"
"Yes, that's right," chuffed Emily, "and I take it you're about to take this fish to Ballahoo again?"
"Yes indeed," replied Arthur, "as usual. All part of my daily routine in the morning."
Emily smiled. "You really do enjoy taking all that fish everyday, don't you?"
"That's right," chuckled Arthur, "and I never get tired of it either. Taking fish and working on this branchline is the life for me, Emily, and I can't think of anything better."
Emily was surprised. "Really? You don't mind only working on this branchline? I mean, not to be rude, Arthur, but it isn't very long and you don't seem to get too many jobs. Don't you want to try doing other work in addition to your current ones?"
"No, not really," replied Arthur modestly, "and I don't mind it too much, to tell you the truth, Emily. Sure it's small and I pretty much just take fish, but working by the seaside is calming and peaceful to me and I like the smell of the sea. I could do more work elsewhere if I have to, but having more jobs would mean working away from here and I honestly couldn't abide by that, let alone someone taking over the branchline from me."
Emily paused for a moment. "Well alright then, Arthur. I was just curious. It just seems like you may need a change of pace to keep your mind rolling and explore new places, but if you like it here, then good for you." Then Emily's guard blew the whistle. "I must go now, so I'll see you later Arthur."
"See you Emily," whistled Arthur, then with that, the two engines puffed away to do their jobs.
Throughout the day, Emily was taking visitors along the Norramby branchline and showing them the sights, but as she was doing so, she couldn't help but notice Arthur as she worked. Sometimes he seemed cheerful and was enjoying himself, but other times, he seemed upset or something was bothering him. Emily was starting to worry about her friend.
A little later, she met Thomas at Knapford Station and told him about Arthur.
"He said he was fine with everything, but as we were working, I was getting the sense he was not all that happy with his work on that line," she explained. "It seemed like he wanted more to do or he doesn't like working on the Norramby Branchline anymore."
"Hmm, well I don't think it's the second thing you said, Emily, because I know Arthur has always loved working on that line ever since it opened years ago," replied Thomas, "and I don't think he has grown tired of it now, but it's possible that he needs a change of pace. Everyone needs one every now and then, so that might be all he needs."
"That's what I was thinking too," added Emily, "but he seemed serious about what he said and he doesn’t want any changes, though it's possible he just doesn't want to admit that he really does."
"Hmm, well tell you what," puffed Thomas. "I'll talk to Sir Topham Hatt into having me take a goods train to Ballahoo later, so when I see Arthur, I'll ask him if that's true."
"Well good luck with that, Thomas," chuffed Emily, "because if he won't admit it to me, then I doubt he'll do it with you."
"Don't worry, Emily," soothed Thomas. "Arthur and I are good friends. I'm sure once I talk to him, we'll have this sorted out and everything will be fine. You'll see." Then with that, Thomas puffed away, as Emily was left thinking about what Thomas was going to do.
Later that afternoon, Thomas was heading towards Ballahoo station with his goods train. He was keen to see Arthur and curious to find out what was on his mind, hoping there was nothing wrong with him.
"I'm sure it's nothing serious," he chuffed to himself. "He probably just needs someone to talk to, that's all."
Soon he arrived at Ballahoo. He looked all around and then he saw sitting at one of the platforms was Arthur, taking a drink. Thomas was pleased to see him.
"Hello Arthur," he whistled. "Good to see you again."
"Oh, hello Thomas," chuffed Arthur. "Good to see you too. What brings you this way?"
"I'm delivering this goods train to the people of Ballahoo," replied Thomas. "Also, I wanted a chance to talk to you as well. So how have you been, Arthur? I haven't seen you in a while, is everything good with you?"
"Oh yes, I've been good, thanks for asking," answered Arthur. "Life on this line is the best for me and I couldn't think of anything better." But after he said that, Thomas noticed that Arthur looked away and seemed to look down.
"Are you sure about?" he asked. "Because if you don't mind me saying and pointing it out, you looked rather upset after you said that, Arthur. Also, I was talking with Emily earlier today and she told me as she was working along your line, you seemed like you were unhappy about something. Are you sure everything's alright with you?"
"Yes absolutely positive," replied Arthur, who was slightly getting annoyed. "I'm fine with everything. There's nothing wrong with me or this line, so why is everyone so concerned about me all of a sudden? Can't an engine just enjoy himself without others pestering him? Huh!"
Thomas frowned. "I'm just asking Arthur. I'm not saying that what I said was true. I was just making sure there wasn't anything wrong with you, that's all."
"Well there isn't, so thank you for asking Thomas," huffed Arthur. "I like my life just the way it is and I don't need any changes, so there."
Thomas paused for a moment, then he spoke. "Arthur, it's okay. I'm your friend and I want to help you. If there's something that's bothering you, then you can always tell me. Now, are you absolutely, positively sure there's nothing bothering you?"
Arthur was still a little hesitant to answer, then he took a deep breath, and answered. "Alright Thomas, to tell you the truth, something is bothering me and it has to do with my branchline."
"Oh really?" asked Thomas. "What's wrong with it? Don't you like it anymore?"
"Oh yes, I definitely still like it," replied Arthur, "but the thing is…there's barely any work for me anymore. I mean, all I do is collect fish from the village then take it to either Norramby and Ballahoo and that's it. Occasionally, I take visitors as well, but even then, other engines bring them along my line instead and all I do is say hello to them. Sure it's nice catching up with them, but I see them for a little while, then they have to go back to work elsewhere and I'm left alone."
"Ah I see," murmured Thomas. "Well, just out of curiosity, Arthur, how come work has decreased along your line? I thought you delivered fish all the time."
"That was true back in the day," agreed Arthur, "but ever since Sir Topham Hatt started having the Flying Kipper run more regularly on a daily basis about seven years ago, fish has been coming in from other areas of the world to Sodor and people haven't been needing the fish that comes from the village as much as before. So I only deliver it to certain places on the island that the kipper doesn't go to, which is pretty much here at Ballahoo and a few other places, but that's it. I have to admit Thomas, I used to love working on this line, but now, it's become quite boring and uneventful."
Thomas thought for a moment. "Hmm, maybe we could talk to Sir Topham Hatt about this and see if he can make a few changes to your work schedule. I'm sure he can find something else for you to do."
"That's the thing Thomas," sighed Arthur. "I have brought this up to him a few times asking for more work, but he said he can't find anymore work for me here on the branchline. He offered me work elsewhere, but I told him I'm most comfortable by the seaside and I don't want to work away from here."
"Well maybe that's what you might have to do, Arthur," suggested Thomas. "Sometimes people need a little change in their life to make things better for them. So perhaps working somewhere in addition to here is what you need."
"Hmm, well all the same," said Arthur, "I just don't think I'm ready for that yet. So I appreciate your help and suggestions, Thomas, but I think I'll just stick to my usual work for now. I must get back to work now, so I'll see you later. Nice talking with you." Then with that, Arthur puffed sadly back to work, leaving Thomas to feel concerned for his friend.
As he was puffing back to Knapford, Thomas was trying to think of some way to cheer Arthur up again, but nothing was coming to mind.
"There's got to be something," he puffed to himself, "but what could Arthur possibly want that will make him happy again? Let alone make him feel useful." He was beginning to think this was going to be harder than he thought.
Soon he was approaching Crovan's Gate station. Then he saw Emily waiting at the platforms, collecting passengers.
"Hello Thomas," Emily chuffed. "So what did you find out? What did Arthur tell you?"
"Well he told me quite a lot," replied Thomas, "and it was just what we thought: he is unhappy with his work, but it was more than just that."
"Oh? What else did he tell you? Is he okay?" asked Emily.
"Well…sort of," said Thomas. "He did tell me there was something else bothering him and here's what he said." Then he told Emily everything Arthur told him about his situation.
"Oh I see," murmured Emily. "That is more than just being unhappy. Poor Arthur. I had a feeling he didn't have much to do. I wish there was something we could do to cheer him up."
"Me too, Emily," puffed Thomas.
"But wait a minute,” Emily pondered. “He’s not saying it's Henry’s fault that he doesn't have enough work on that line, right? You know, because of him taking the Flying Kipper all the time?"
"No, it's not Henry’s fault at all," replied Thomas. "Arthur's just upset that there's been a higher demand for the kipper in the past seven years and people haven't been wanting the fish that's been coming from the village, that's all."
"Oh okay," chuffed Emily. "I can understand that. But then why doesn't he work somewhere else that's near the sea? Surely, there's plenty of other places for him to do that."
"Mmm, not really Emily," chuffed Thomas. "The only other place that's next to the sea is Brendam Docks, but they already have Salty and Porter working there. I don't think there would be enough work for Arthur as well. Also," he added, "he doesn't like change either, so working at Brendam would probably be too much for him. Huh, what are we going to do?" The two engines thought, but none of them could think of anything that would make Arthur happy again.
Just then, they heard a whistle and looked over to see Rheneas arrive at the narrow gauge platform. "Hello everyone," he whistled cheerfully, then he noticed their gloomy faces. "Oh dear, you both look miserable about something. Is everything alright?"
"Not really Rheneas," chuffed Thomas. "We're a little upset about a friend of ours."
"Oh?" exclaimed Rheneas. "That doesn't sound too good. Who is your friend and what's the matter with him? Is there anything I could do to help?"
"Mmm, that's kind of you to offer Rheneas," said Thomas, "but I'm not sure you could." Then he and Emily told him about Arthur and his problem with his branchline.
"Oh my," puffed Rheneas afterwards. "That does sound like a problem for your friend. I wish there was something I could do for him, but now I'm not so sure." Just then Skarloey puffed up alongside Rheneas.
"Hello Rheneas," he chuffed, "and hello to…oh. What's going on here?" he asked after he saw how said everyone looked.
"A friend of Thomas and Emily's is in a bit of a rough patch, Skarloey," explained Rheneas.
"His name is Arthur and he works on a small branchline near Norramby," added Emily, "but lately, he hasn't had enough work to do and he now feels sad."
"And he also likes working beside the sea and nowhere else," continued Thomas, "but he doesn't like change and wants to continuing working by the sea, but we can't come up with anything."
"Can you think of anything that we can do to help them?" Rheneas asked Skarloey.
"Hmm," thought Skarloey. "Well…now that you've brought it up, there might be a way to cheer your friend up."
Thomas and Emily's eyes widened. "Really?" they asked. "What is it?"
"Well, there is always the wharf," suggested Skarloey. "I know there can be work for you standard gauge engines there and it's right there next to the sea."
"You're right, Skarloey," agreed Rheneas, "and if he works near Norramby, then he'll be very close to the wharf and he wouldn't have to go so far from his branchline."
"And if he feels as lonely as you say he is," added Skarloey, "then there will be plenty of people and engines for him to talk to, since quite a few of us work there too."
"So I think we might have found a solution to Arthur's problem!" said Rheneas. "What do you two think?"
Thomas and Emily looked at each other and smiled. "I think that's the perfect solution," said Emily happily. "Arthur would be most happy with that change."
Thomas frowned. "Well…" he said slowly. "Maybe not at first." The others frowned. "Remember, Arthur's an engine who doesn't like a lot of change, so he might disagree." Then he had an idea. "But maybe I could talk to Sir Topham Hatt about finding a way to ease him into working there. Then he won't be so worried after all."
"That's the spirit, Thomas," cheered Skarloey. "Sounds like a plan to me."
"Yes indeed," agreed Rheneas. "Excellent plan and I'm sure after a little getting used to, Arthur will be a happy engine again." Then with that, the engines whistled good-bye to each other and puffed away.
When Thomas arrived back at Knapford, he saw Sir Topham Hatt and told him about Arthur and the plan to make him happy again. Sir Topham listened.
"Hmm, that's certainly something I could do," he said after Thomas told him. "I'll start making the arrangements right away." Thomas was pleased.
Later that day, Arthur was slowly puffing around the village, still feeling bored and lonely. Just then he looked up and saw Thomas puffing cheerily in.
"Hello Arthur!" he whistled excitedly. "Are you ready for some work?"
Arthur was puzzled. "Uh, sure of course I am," he said slowly, "but what kind of work? I don't have anything to do right now."
"You do now," chuffed Thomas. "Sir Topham Hatt arranged for us to deliver a load of fish to the wharf and then we get to work there for the rest of the day! Doesn't that sound great?"
Arthur was concerned. "Umm, I'm not so sure about that Thomas. Working away from my branchline is something I haven't done in a long time, remember? And I don't even know where the wharf is. Is it by the sea?"
"Absolutely," replied Thomas. "It's not too far away from here and it is definitely right beside the sea. Also, there's plenty of work for you too. There's plenty of sidings, lots of trucks to shunt, and you'll see so many other engines too. Believe me Arthur, I'm sure you'll enjoy it very much."
Arthur was starting to smile a little bit, but then frowned. "I'm still not sure Thomas. I'm perfectly happy here all the same."
Thomas paused. "Arthur, it's okay. I understand you're an engine who doesn't like a lot of change, but like I said earlier today, change can be a good thing, and I honestly think that working at the wharf will be good for you. Besides, it's just for today, so if it turns out you don't like it, then you can forget about it and continue your usual work here. Also, I'll be working with you at the wharf too if anything goes wrong. So what do you say: are you willing to try?"
Arthur was still not sure, but he took a deep breath, and agreed. "Alright Thomas, I'll try. Let's go ahead and collect our fish." Thomas smiled.
Soon the two engines had collected the fish and were making their way to the wharf. Arthur was still wary, but he was feeling a little more confident now. Thomas could tell.
Eventually, they puffed into the wharf. Arthur looked all around. He was amazed by the busy, bustling atmosphere of the port. He never experienced anything like this in a while.
"Wow, you're right Thomas," he chuffed. "There is plenty of things to do around here."
"Told you," chuckled Thomas, "and just wait until we get started. Then you'll really enjoy it."
Then the two engines arrived at the wharf station. There meeting them were Skarloey and Rheneas.
"Hello there," said Skarloey. "You must be Arthur, the engine Thomas has been telling us about. It is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Skarloey."
"And I'm Rheneas," said Rheneas. "Welcome to the wharf, Arthur."
"Oh, uh, hello there," said Arthur. "It's nice to meet you two as well. Are you the engines who work here too?"
"Well, sometimes," said Skarloey. "We come and go, but there are many more of us that you'll see too. We come here to deliver goods to the ships and to engines on your and Thomas' railway."
"And we also collect goods from your railway too and take them to the people who live up in the mountains on our railway," added Rheneas. "Including your fish."
"Wait, there's more of you?" asked Arthur.
"Oh yes, definitely," said Skarloey. "There are plenty of us on this railway." Then they heard a horn and then Rusty came up. "Including this one right here."
"Hello everyone," said Rusty, then he saw Arthur. "Oh, hello there to you too. Are the engine on Sir Topham Hatt's railway that will be helping out here today."
"Yes I am," replied Arthur. "My name is Arthur by the way."
"Oh splendid," chuffed Rusty. "Well it's nice to meet you. I'm Rusty, and I think we're all looking forward to working with you today. Aren't we, Skarloey and Rheneas?"
"Indeed, Rusty," said Rheneas. "So what do you say Arthur, are you ready to get started?"
Arthur thought for a moment, then Thomas puffed up alongside and gave him an encouraging smile. "Yes, I'm ready," he replied eagerly.
"Excellent," said Skarloey. "Thomas, do you mind showing Arthur around and showing him all he has to do?"
"I can certainly do that, Skarloey," replied Thomas. "Come along, Arthur. Let’s get started." Then with that, the engines set to work.
First Thomas gave Arthur a tour of the wharf, showing all the different areas of the port, such as the sidings, warehouses, shipping and loading docks. Then they began shunting trucks into their proper sidings. There were quite a lot of them, but it was no trouble for either of them, especially Arthur, who was enjoying it. Then they collected some trucks and had them loaded up by the quayside. Thomas in one area, and Arthur in another with Colin the Crane, who was pleased to meet Arthur.
"Nice to meet you, Arthur," he chuffed. "It's not everyday that I get to meet an engine from your railway, aside from Thomas, but it's still nice to meet another one of you nonetheless. Hope you're enjoying your day here at the wharf."
Arthur smiled. "I think I am, Colin," he puffed. "I really think I am."
Soon, Arthur was getting the feel of the wharf and knew what he had to do, and was enjoying the work beside the sea. Throughout the rest of the day, he shunted, loaded and met many other engines from the Skarloey Railway. He even got to know them well and they got to know him.
"Ooh, a spotless record?" exclaimed Rusty. "That sounds fascinating. How were you able to keep that?"
"A lot of patience and being careful," explained Arthur. "It was not always easy keeping it, but I was able to keep trucks in order and make sure they wouldn't cause trouble, though someone kind of ruined it for me on my first day here," he added cheekily looking at Thomas, who looked away and blushed. "But sometimes, records are made to be broken and mended again and I've managed to keep the record going again." The little engines were fascinated.
All day long, the work at the wharf was going by smoothly and everything was getting done. Arthur was certainly working hard too and for the first time that day, Thomas could tell that he was genuinely happy again. He was pleased with this.
Soon evening came, and the work at the wharf was finished. Thomas and Arthur met Skarloey, Rheneas, and Rusty near Colin.
"Well Arthur," puffed Skarloey. "I must say you were a great help. I'd say you were the most help that we received from a standard gauge engine in a while here at the wharf."
"Indeed," agreed Rheneas. "You really worked hard today, Arthur, and you seemed like you were enjoying yourself. Can I assume that's correct?"
Arthur and Thomas looked at each other and smiled. "Yes that's correct," he smiled. "For the first time in a while, I had a great time doing my work and I felt good too, and when I see Sir Topham Hatt, I'll thank him for giving me this opportunity."
"Well your chance is probably coming up," puffed Rusty. "Because I think he's here now." The others looked and then Emily came puffing up with Sir Topham Hatt onboard.
"Evening all," he said, then he turned to Arthur. "Ah Arthur, nice to see you. I've been hearing good things about you and your work today and I'm pleased to hear it. I take it you worked hard today?"
"Yes I did, sir," replied Arthur proudly. "Today was the busiest one for me in a while. I had a great time working here at the wharf and meeting so many new faces."
Sir Topham Hatt smiled. "Well I'm glad to hear that as well, Arthur. Now as I'm sure Thomas told you, this was just for today because there was a lot of work here…" Arthur frowned slightly. "…but it also a little test as well because I was aware of your little issue of having no work on your branchline and I wanted to give you a chance to work somewhere else today. So if you would like to, I could extend your branchline from Norramby to Ballahoo to here, if you want. What do you think?"
Arthur thought for a moment. Then he smiled. "You know sir, I would've originally said no to that, but after working here today and enjoying myself for the first time in quite a while, I would like that very much. There's so much to do here, so many engines to talk to, and I could make twice as many deliveries between here and the fishing village."
"Then it's settled," confirmed Sir Topham Hatt. "Your branchline will officially be changed to the wharf as soon as possible." Arthur was delighted, and everyone else was pleased too and cheered for Arthur.
Then Arthur turned to Thomas and Emily. "And thank you two for looking out for me," he said. "I'm sorry if I was being stubborn to the both of you earlier today. I just was unhappy with my work and I didn't know what to do."
"That's alright Arthur," said Emily. "We knew you were going through some trouble and we wanted to help."
"I'm glad you did too," replied Arthur, "and Thomas, thank you for your encouragement to try something new, and for proving that change is a good thing after all. Everyone needs one every once in while and I'm glad you talk me into doing it."
"You're very welcome Arthur," smiled Thomas. "I'm glad that I could help and that you enjoyed your day today, and I hope you enjoy your new work as well."
"Oh I think I will," chuffed Arthur. "Working with the Skarloey engines, and Colin, and working at another port will be the new life for me." Everyone smiled.
"So Arthur, correct me if I'm wrong," puffed Colin, "but didn't Thomas help you get the fishing village branchline too?"
"Um, yes Colin he did," replied Arthur, looking confused.
"Oh, so the way I see it," chuffed Colin cheekily. "You better not let him introduce you to his branchline, because you might just take over that too."
Thomas looked scared, but Arthur just laughed. "I don't think that will be a problem, Colin," he said. "His branchline isn't beside the sea, so he can keep that for sure." Thomas let out a sigh of relief, and everyone else laughed.
Now Arthur is the happiest engine he can be. He still collects fish from the village and takes it to Norrmaby and Ballahoo, but now he also takes it to the wharf for the Skarloey engines to take to the people on their railway. Then when he doesn't have any other work to do, he helps out with shunting at the wharf and loading trucks for other engines on Sir Topham Hatt's railway to take to other places. He never gets tired of his work or being beside the sea and loves talking with the Skarloey engines and everyone agrees that Arthur is definitely happy with his new route.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Henry (does not speak)
- James (cameo)
- Stanley (cameo)
- Paxton (cameo)
- Stafford (cameo)
- Sir Handel (cameo)
- Peter Sam (cameo)
- Duncan (cameo)
- Duke (cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (cameo)
- Salty (mentioned)
- Porter (mentioned)
- Norramby Fishing Village
- Crovan's Gate
- The Wharf
- Brendam Docks (mentioned)
- References to the seventh series television series episodes, The Spotless Record and Something Fishy, are made in this episode.
- Going canonically by the television series, this episode marks Arthur's first speaking role since the television series special, The Great Discovery.
- This episode also marks the first appearance of Ballahoo Station.
- Arthur mentions that the Flying Kipper started running more regularly seven years ago. This is surprisingly accurate as seven years before this episode premiered, the kipper appeared for the first time in a while in the sixteenth season television series episode, Whiff’s Wish, back in 2012 and has made frequent appearances since.