Banker Engine is the sixth story of volume three.
|Season X, Episode 56|
|Air date||21 March 2021|
Change in the Air
Edward and Jenna
One day, James was puffing along the line with a stopping train. Presently, he reached Edward's station. Passengers climbed in and out of the coaches and soon James was ready to head up Gordon's Hill. But today, he had more coaches.
"We'll need help to get up the Hill," said James's Driver.
"I'm sure Edward is around to help us," said James.
But Edward was nowhere to be found.
"It looks like we're on our own," said the Driver at last.
The Fireman sanded the rails and the Driver gave James as good of a start as he could.
"Come on, come on," puffed James.
The line grew steeper and steeper.
"I must do it, I must do it," panted James.
However, the Driver was concerned.
"The train is too heavy," he decided.
James couldn't make it to the top and they brought the train carefully back down to the station.
Fortunately, Douglas had been stopped outside the station with a goods train. He saw what was happening and came to help push from behind.
"Dinna fash yersel James. I can help ye oot!" he called.
"Just let me catch my breath," replied James.
Soon, James was ready. Then the two engines pushed and pulled the heavy coaches up the hill and finally, they were resting at Maron.
"Thank you Douglas."
"Nay problem," replied Douglas. "Now, I muist get back tae my guids train." And Douglas ran back to the station.
James finished his journey without any further trouble. That night in the sheds, he told the others what had happened.
"You know," said Henry. "I would tease you but the other day, I was pulling a goods train and I needed a banker but Edward wasn't available."
"To be fair, Edward is quite busy on his branch line," put in Gordon.
"I know," said Henry, "but the fact is that we need a designated banker of sorts at Edward's station."
"Yeah," agreed Duck. "Edward can't be everywhere."
"I hope the Fat Controller realises this soon," added James.
All the engines agreed that a designated banker engine was needed but all they could do is wait and hope.
A few days later, Henry was at the Junction. He was waiting for some stone trucks from Percy. At last, the little green engine arrived.
"You know, sometimes I remember that I used to take goods trains to the other end of the line," said Percy as he shunted the trucks into place behind Henry.
"And I remember all your little friends in our shed," put in Henry.
"Which you didn't like one bit!" chuckled Percy. "I had a lot of good friends though. You might even remember Jinty and Pug who came to help whilst we went to England."
"Yes of course. Jinty ran the Branch Line," said Henry.
"And Pug was the station pilot," added Percy. "But really, they were very versatile engines. They could do almost any job."
"What was the last you heard of them?" asked Henry.
"I think that in the sixties, they were still around though many of their brothers and sisters were already being withdrawn. The last thing Jinty mentioned is that at least one brother and sister of his had been preserved. Pug told me that not a lot of his siblings were being preserved. In conclusion, I'm not exactly sure what happened to Jinty and Pug but I am sure that several Jintys have been preserved," explained Percy. "By then I was making less trips to the end of the line and now, I rarely go there, but hey there's plenty of work around here."
Then, the Guard's whistle blew.
"Well, I have to get going. I hope I can make it up Gordon's Hill today."
"You'd need a banker," put in Percy.
"Edward's not always around though."
"I see . . ."
"Anyways, talk to you later!"
Henry puffed away but his conversation with Percy had him thinking about several things.
Luckily for Henry, Edward was there to help Henry up the hill.
"I'm sorry for not always being around," said Edward.
"Never mind. We know you're busy," replied Henry kindly. "All of us agree that it would be nice to have a designated banker."
"That is a good idea."
"I had an interesting conversation with Percy and I may even have some solutions for all of this."
"I'll be at Tidmouth tonight. You can tell me then."
"All right then. See you later Edward!"
"Till later Henry!"
That night, Henry told everyone his idea.
"So, earlier today, Percy was telling me about his friends Jinty and Pug from when he took stone trains to the other end of the line and that got me thinking." Henry paused for a moment. "We need a 'Jinty' to act as banker engine. They are very versatile engines."
"That is a good idea," commented James.
"That way, I don't have to worry about banker duties," put in Edward.
"Exactly," murmured Henry.
"I just hope the Fat Controller can find a solution soon," said Duck.
"And if it's a 'Jinty', even better," said Donald.
Then they heard a familiar voice.
It was the Fat Controller.
"Hullo Sir," said all the engines.
"I know you have all been working hard and I have noticed that there are difficulties getting up the hill."
"I suppose so," murmured James.
"It is really steep," put in Henry, nervously.
"And we can't always expect Edward to be around," added Gordon.
"Ah relax, I know all about that," chuckled the Fat Controller. "I say that we do want a banker engine at Edward's station."
"Definitely," agreed the engines.
"The other day, Percy commented to me about the old days and the friends he made when he took stone trucks to the other end of the line."
"I guess he's been reminiscing a lot about the old days then," whispered James to Henry.
"Seems like it," replied Henry.
"He reminded me that 'Jintys' are very versatile engines and are just what we need for this banker problem," continued the Fat Controller
"What does this mean then?" asked Duck.
"It means, that a 'Jinty' is coming here to act as a banker engine."
All the engines were glad to hear this and were looking forward to giving Jinty a warm welcome.
A few days, Percy was waiting at the Junction when he heard an unfamiliar whistle. Then, coming out of the tunnel was a very familiar engine.
"Wait, is that Jinty?" Percy was very surprised.
"It certainly is a Jinty," said Percy's Driver.
The 'Jinty' stopped at the platform.
"Hullo Percy. It's me - Jenna!"
"Oh, of course Jenna, I could never forget you."
"It's great to see you after all these years."
"Same here. But what are you doing here?"
"I suppose you haven't heard," she chuckled. "Your Controller wants me to work as a banker engine over at Edward's station, I believe."
"Oh yeah, to help trains going up Gordon's Hill."
"Well that's great to hear. Now I just have one question. Do you know what happened to Jinty? I know he was still around in the sixties but I never knew what happened to him. Over time, I stopped taking trains to the other end of the line."
"About that," she said grimly. "In total, nine of us are preserved but unfortunately, Jinty himself wasn't. The last time I saw him was in 1967 when I was taken to a colliery. He had the chance to go too but he told me it would reduce my chances of being preserved and so only I was taken and eventually, he was scrapped . . . Despite the fact that we often argued, in the end, we were always there for each other and I know he's glad that at least some of us were preserved."
"Well, I am sorry to hear that about him," sighed Percy.
"I know it's not what you wanted to hear, but that is what happened."
"Despite that, I am still glad to see you and at least I have some sort of closure now. For some reason, I've been thinking about all of you and all the fun we had back in the day so it's to get some closure. Perhaps another time you can tell me about the others."
"Definitely. I want to know more about you since we last saw each other."
"I'm doing fine on the branch line. So, I'll see you around then."
Nowadays, Jenna resides at Edward's station and is always ready to help heavy trains up the hill. Edward was glad to have some company. But that's another story.
- References to The Fat Controller's Engines from The Eight Famous Engines are made.
- This story takes place in 1976.