Contaminated is a Sudrian Heroes episode.
It was March of 2020. A huge pandemic swept across the globe called the coronavirus or COVID-19 for short. All airports and ferry docks were closed and no engine was allowed to go past Vicarstown. Thankfully, social distancing wasn't needed on Sodor as everyone who wished to board a train or enter into a shop were required to wear something over their nose and mouth. Bradford the military break van made sure of this. Another engine would take him along the rails, making sure that any train that was carrying passengers without masks was shunted. With his strictness, Bradford kept the COVID-19 outbreak in check. Unfortunately, some people think they are above the law and refuse to follow the proper procedure. When the express and the Ffarquhar Branch Line passenger service were shunted due to some rather irate passengers.....let's just say Thomas and Gordon put it best.
- Thomas: Shunted! And on my own branch too! What a pest some passengers can be.
- Gordon: Indeed Thomas. Now the express and your trains have to be decontaminated before we can leave. If this keeps up, we might as well halt passenger services.
- Edward: This is the biggest outbreak I have seen in years.
- Gordon: ...and you've been around since before the first differential gear, Edward, judging from the sound of your boiler.
What made this year more stressful was presence of Alfred and Crovan, two inspections engines from the mainland. Busy bodies the pair of them, they were an unwelcomed sight with their unwelcomed advice. Years, ago they were brought to Sodor on trial, but sent away for being too big for their wheels. They were officially brought by the BR to inspect the railways. They would often hand Sir Topham Hatt with their recommendations on making improvements to the railway, which aggravated him to no end. Edward was their main subject this time.
Struggling up the line, Edward's boiler began to give him grief. The reason why it had not been repaired was because Alfred and Crovan had blocked every attempt as they believed that Edward was too old to be working anyway. As came up to a level crossing near Suddery, he saw George the Steamroller through. But road vehicles were supposed to stop at level crossings to let trains through.
- Edward: You silly steamroller! You're meant to stop!
- George: Get lost Old Iron!
Edward's boiler didn't react the way he expected it to and accidentally reversed down the line, running straight into James who was coming with a passenger train.
- James: Whoa! Are you ok, Edward? Why did you reverse?
- Edward: Its this boiler! How many times do I have to tell Sir Topham Hatt that I need a new boiler?
- James: Come on, Edward! You know Alfred and Crovan are the reasons why you don't have one.
- Edward: Oh dear! What will they say?
- James: I'd rather not find out.
Meawhile, at Vicarstown.....
- Alfred: Ah....Sir Topham....
- Sir Topham Hatt: WHAT?
- Crovan: Have you heard what happened with Edward?
- Sir Topham Hatt: So what if I have?
- Crovan: You must understand that he is finished, wouldn't you say Mr. Alfred....
- Alfred: Indeed Mr. Crovan. The railway doesn't need a relic like him.
- Sir Topham Hatt: That relic has been an invaluable resource since he first arrived during the days of my great grandfather. His accomplishments on Sodor far outweigh any issues he may have.
- Crovan: I see.
- Alfred: A more competent director would've made sure that some better engine would be brought in.
- Sir Topham Hatt: Well until such a man is in my place, I will run this railway as I see fit! Now CLEAR OFF!!!!!
Alfred and Crovan left snickering. But Sir Topham Hatt was worried.
- Sir Topham Hatt: What am I going to do about Edward?
One thing that I failed to mention was that it wasn't just passenger trains that were affected. Goods trains were affected too as food and livestock would also be contaminated and after an incident where they found some contaminated fish on one of Henry's flying kipper trains, this law was strengthened to allow unauthorized checks on the trains and the ones that were contaminated were shunted. These trains would be guarded by a customs agent waving a yellow flag. Out on Edward's Branch Line, Philip was scheduled to take a small meat train to the market. But when he got there, the yellow flag was up.
- Philip: Well...looks like I'm not taken that one.
But then the butcher came out, shook hands and the flag was taken down. The butcher's name was Quirinus Quirrell and he was a shady character.
- Philip: Wait a minute! The yellow flag is gone. Ok....
- Quirrel: Hey you! Are you here to take my meat?
- Philip: Uh....well.....
- Quirrel: Don't play with me! Are you gonna take it or not?
- Philip: NO!!!!!
And Philip ran off. He met Lester the lorry at a crossing.
- Lester: Well little Philip! What are you doing here?
- Philip: I'm doing work! Secret work!
- Lester: Let me guess! You went to the butcher shop and found out the meat is in quarantine. Now what's so secret about that?
- Philip: Well if I told you, it wouldn't be secret.
Philip thought he was being a savage. That was until Edward and James arrived.
- James: Is everything ok, Philip? Weren't you supposed to take that train? Why did you refuse?
- Philip: Well.....it had a yellow flag.
- Edward: You didn't get near it, I hope.
- Philip: Well I was tempted to when the yellow flag was removed. But...
- Lester: So that's the secret? That delivery is mine.
- James: No it isn't! Not if I get there first!
- Edward: No James! STOP! COME BACK! STOP!!!!!!!!!
- James: Oh no Edward! Look at what you've done to your engine.
- Edward: I saved your life. You were about to pull a contaminated train.
- James: Philip says he saw the flag come down. So its safe.
- Edward: He also said but. How were you going to end that statement, Philip?
- Philip: I also saw the guard shake hands with the butcher and the guard lowered the yellow flag and changed it to a green one.
- Edward: My guess is that the agent was bribed.
As Lester was at the meat shop getting loaded, Philip and James brought Edward to the steam works where Sir Topham Hatt was waiting. The trio were sad because it was likely that they'd never see each other again. Alfred and Crovan were there too.
- Alfred: So....I see age has finally caught up to him.
- Crovan: Let us offer our services. We shall take great care of him.
- Philip: No Sir! Please don't let them take Edward.
- Sir Topham Hatt: I'm not going to! Edward is NOT for sale! Victor and Kevin, use all your skills to give Edward a complete overhaul. We need to be able to pay for this so Philip and James, get back to your work. I've arranged for BoCo to come back to do Edward's goods work while he's away. We need to be able to pay for this!
- Alfred: No! GRRRRR!!!!! The board won't approve!
- Sir Topham Hatt: They've already been notified of the overhaul and I have received permission. I've also informed them that you will be returning to the mainland with a minimum amount of fuss. Now get moving!
- Alfred: You haven't seen the last of us. We'll be back!
But Lester wasn't so lucky!
- Bradford: Quirrel! What are you doing? Your butcher shop is still contaminated! And you, Longbottom, get that flag up boi! You know what your job is!
- Lester: Well...since I'm in the way....I'll just leave. I didn't know after all.
- Bradford: Whether you knew or not doesn't make a difference lad! Ye are contaminated! Stay put!
- Lester: But I'm innocent I tell you!
- Bradford: Get those flags up Private!
- Lester: Thanks a lot Quirrell, you pig!
- Quirrel: I WANT ME MEAT TAKEN!!!!!!
Edward's overhaul went without a hitch and is now able to service the North Western Railway for many years to come. As for Lester. Well....let's just say he won't be working for a while. By June of that year, COVID-19's reign on Sodor had ended and the engines are now happy.
- Quirrel and Lieutenant Longbottom are named after Harry Potter characters.
- The episode is based on the TUGS episode, titled Quarantine.
- Edward is presented as OJ
- James is presented as Ten Cents
- Philip is presented as Sunshine
- Lester is presented as Zorran
- Alfred and Crovan are presented as Burke and Blair
- Bradford is presented as Coast Guard
- Quirinus Qurrell is presented as Mantucket
- Sir Topham Hatt is presented as Captain Star
- Gordon is presented as Top Hat