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Christmas Help is the twenty-third story of volume two.

Christmas Help
Season X, Episode 49
Air date 6 December 2020
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Emily's New Route
Christmas at Norwich


It was Christmastime on the Island of Sodor. The engines kept busy come rain, sun or snow.

One morning after snow had fallen the night before, Thomas was waiting for Henry at the Junction.

"It feels like old times when he was always ill and we'd always have to wait here," remarked Thomas.

"Hold on, I think I see steam," called Clarabel.

"It must be him," said Annie.

Indeed, there was Henry puffing slowly into the station.

"Sorry Thomas. I was held up at the Big Station," said Henry.

"Sometimes I think you're only late on purpose," teased Thomas.

"Perhaps!" chuckled Henry. "Anyways, the Fat Controller was talking to us about borrowing an engine for help with the heavy workload."

"You need even more help?"

"Hey, it gets really busy."

"So you say," snickered Thomas. "Anyways, did the Fat Controller say who is coming."

"He didn't but he said it will be someone very well known that has visited the railway before."

Then, Thomas's Guard blew the whistle.

"That sounds interesting but I have to go now."

Thomas puffed away still thinking about what Henry had said.

Later, he told Percy all about it.

"So it's someone we know," said Thomas.

"And we've had several famous engines visit the railway," put in Percy.

"Like Flying Scotsman but I think he's out on overhaul so it can't be him."

"The other two options would be either 'City of Truro' or Stepney."

"It would be nice to see Stepney again," said Thomas.

"Yeah, he was great with trucks," said Percy.

All across the railway, the engines were wondering who would be coming to help them.

"It would be nice to see 'City of Truro' again," said Duck.

"So ye can talk Great Western all night long," teased Douglas.

"And catch up on things since his last visit," retorted Duck.

"Dinna fash yersel. It's all right," said Donald. "But I think it might be someone else."

The engines found out soon enough.

Molly and David were waiting at Vicarstown when they heard a whistle.

"That doesn't sound familiar," remarked David.

A familiar Terrier tank engine steamed into the station.

"Hullo everyone," he said.

"Hullo Stepney," greeted the engines.

"It's very nice to see you again," said Molly.

"It's nice to see you too," said Stepney. "I'm glad to be visiting your lovely railway again."

"What brings you here?" asked David.

"I'm just running some charter trains. The Fat Controller arranged for me to come here again, and I was delighted to come."

Just then, Dodger arrived and saw Stepney.

"Hey, it's Stepney, right. Very nice to see you. I don't think we've met properly. I was still fairly new when you last came."

"I hadn't even arrived yet," put in David.

"Well I do have some time," said Stepney.

"I'll leave you three then. I have coal to deliver," said Molly.

And soon, the three were chatting like old friends.

Later, Molly stopped at Edward's station.

"Hullo Edward. How are you doing?"

"Very good Molly," replied Edward. "I hear the visitor has arrived."

"Oh yes. You definitely know him."

"If it really is Stepney, then yes."

"It is Stepney!"

"Ah, it will be nice to see him again."

Meanwhile, Stepney was making his way to the Big Station. He was approaching Henry's Tunnel. Unbeknown to Stepney, a drift of snow had fallen from the cutting. When he did, it was too late! Stepney was stuck fast in the snow.

James was at the Works station when he heard the news.

"Stepney is here?" asked James.

"Yes," said James's Driver, "and we must rescue him from the snow."

So James puffed to the rescue.

"Hullo Stepney," said James. "It's great to see you although I didn't think it'd be like this."

"Neither did I," chuckled Stepney.

"Anyways, I'll soon have you out."

James pulled and pulled and finally, Stepney was out of the drift.

"Well, looks like you're clear to go," said James. "Take care!"

"I will!" replied Stepney. "Thanks James!"

Stepney  reached the Big Station with no further trouble. Everyone was glad to see him. He enjoyed talking to old friends and met new ones such as Oliver, Jessie, Paxton and Norman.

"As you can tell, we are still hard at work here," said Gordon.

"I know. I only recently came back from an overhaul," said Stepney.

"I'm sure you'll have some work to do here."

"I only wish I could see Thomas's Branch Line again," sighed Stepney.

"Tell you what. You can take my goods train to Ffarquhar tomorrow and I'll stay in the Yard," suggested Jessie.

"That's a good idea," agreed Stepney.

So the next day, he headed up the Branch Line. At Ffarquhar, the engines were delighted to see him.

"Well this is a surprise," said Thomas.

"A very good surprise though," said Percy.

They talked till Thomas and Percy had work to do. But Stepney wasn't alone for long for Toby arrived after taking workmen to the Quarry.

"How long are you staying here?" asked Toby.

"For a few more days then I have to get back to the Bluebell Railway," said Stepney. "In the meantime, I'm glad to help out in anyway I can."

For the most part, Stepney helped on the Branch Line.

When it was time for him to go, many engines came to see him. The Fat Controller thank Stepney and his Controller for coming.

"Have a happy Christmas. It was a pleasure to visit your railway again!"

"Goodbye Stepney!"

With that, Stepney puffed away.




  • This is Stepney's first appearance in The New Adventures on Rails.
  • Several ideas were considered for this episodes and ultimately, the Writer settled on this one.
  • Stepney was originally going to appear in Snow Rescue.