Diesel Shunters is the fifth episode of the nineteenth season.

Diesel Shunters
Season 19, Episode 5
Air date 27 December 2014
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Hard Work
Cranky and the Twins


Norman works every day at Tidmouth.

He is the pilot engine, which means he shunts all the trucks and coaches for the engines.

The engines always appreciate his work, and Norman works very hard every day.

Too hard sometimes . . .

"Norman, could you get my three o clock goods train ready?" asked David, one afternoon.



"Come on, you trucks. Let's get going."

"But we were resting!"

"Yeah, and you snore too loudly."


Norman soon shunted the first half of David's train onto Platform 6.

David came back, just as Norman was shunting the other half into place.

"Oh! Ouch! Ugh!" Norman coughed.

"Everything is fi-," he was cut off as thick black smoke filled the air.

"Overheated," Norman coughed.

"Oh, I see."

The Fat Controller came to see him.

"Well, I guess I'm going to have to send you to the Dieselworks to have your cooling system mended. Stupid workmen never repair you properly. Whatever. David, can you push him and pull your train?"

"Of course, Sir."

It was hard work, but soon, David reached Vicarstown, where Den and Dart were waiting.

"All right. We'll take him to the Dieselworks," said Den.

"What he means is - we'll take him from here, so you don't have to!" corrected Dart.

"All right. Good bye!"

Then, he heard Dodger's shrill whistle.

"Oh hey. I saw Norman broke down - again."

"The workmen never repair him properly," replied David.

"I see. Though, that overhaul looks like its going to take more than a day . . ."

"What? Oh, I see what you mean. Gordon, James, and Henry won't be happy."

And they weren't.

(scene fades to Tidmouth Sheds)

"No! I will not shunt my own coaches!" complained Gordon. "I totally appreciate the Fat Controller's investment, but I absolutely refuse to shunt! To think, so many dirty trucks!"

"Gordon, you don't even pull trucks!" said James.

"Still, we are tender engines and tender engines do. Not. Shunt. Simple as that. That's the reason why we have diesel shunters. It's how British Railways should run."

Just then, David puffed into the sheds.

"What's going on?" he whispered to Percy and Delete.

"Gordon, James, and Henry are complaining about having to do their shunting of course," whispered Percy.

"Hey! Shut up!" shouted David to the three big engines. "I know you're upset, but there's no use in complaining. Besides, Norman might be back next morning."

"I don't know," said Henry. "Its been several break downs now, and so I don't know."

"After years of not shunting, its absolutely disgraceful to shunt again!" said Gordon.

"Disgusting!" put in James.

"Despicable!" finished Henry.

"All right. Just maybe sulk - a little lower, please . . ."

"Some of us are trying to go to sleep," said David.

The three big engines sulked.

Percy sighed and David yawned.

"Why am I spending the night here again?" asked Percy.

"I don't know. Did you have trucks to take to the Harbour?"


"All right. Let's hope the Fat Controller can find a solution," sighed David and closed his eyes.

Percy shunted the vans for the Flying Kipper for Henry when he left with the mail train, so that Henry didn't have to fetch them himself.

But Gordon had to shunt his own train in the morning.

"Disgraceful!" grumbled Gordon. "I refuse to shunt my own coaches! So there!"

Just then, Edward bustled in.

"I honestly don't get why you hate shunting," he sighed. "I'm helping out today, though that just means more work for David and BoCo on my branch line. But, alas, I'll have your coaches sorted out, Gordon."

"Good riddance. Imagine me - ME! Going through the Yard - Ugh!"

But Edward managed to be pilot engine all day and that day the trains ran smoothly and on time.

That night, the Fat Controller paid a visit to the Dieselworks.

"So, Robert. What's the news?"

"Well, Sir. We will have to move him into the maintenance shed. And it should take no more than a month."

"I see," he said, and strode over to the shed.

"Today at the Blue Mountain Quarry, we were blasting!" Paxton told the other diesels.

"Oh, how exciting!" said Diesel.

"Sarcasm, much?" asked Paxton.

"Yes! Tell us something interesting! Like, did you bump any steam engines?"


Before he could say any more, the Fat Controller came up.

"Oh, hullo, Fat H - I mean, Sir."

"Why, hullo, Diesel. As you are aware, Norman is currently out of commission."


"So, I need someone else to take over as station pilot at Tidmouth."

"Not me!" said Diesel, 'Arry, Bert, Den, and Dart.

"Oh, I'd love to do it . . ." began Paxton.

"Yes, let Paxton do it! Please, Sir!" begged Diesel.

"But I have a job at the Blue Mountain Quarry! I can't!"

"Oh, you'll be a great station pilot, Diesel," said the Fat Controller.

"Wait, what?"

"Besides, there's no maintenance work right now."

"What? Fine."

The next day, Diesel rolled into Tidmouth. He had to shunt the morning Express.

The coaches were surprised to see Diesel.

"Who's he?" The coaches hadn't seem Diesel in a long time.

"All right, let's get to the station."

"Ooh, very smooth," the coaches chorused as Diesel rolled them gently over to the platform.

Just then, Gordon puffed in.

"What the heck?"

"Oh, hey, Gordon," Diesel said, cheekily.

"Diesel, what are you doing here?"

"Oh, I'm going to be your pilot engine while Norman is away."

"You, you? . . ." Gordon was most surprised.

"Broke the record of most trucks shunted in a day, yes, Gordon, I did."

"What? Huh! Just don't let them tease you!"

"I won't."

Later, he organized the Yard.

"All right. Listen to me. You will not sing, and we shall do our work so that I can be a Really Useful Engine," said Diesel.

"Hey! We only want to help!"

"Oh really?"

"Um . . ."

"Exactly. Come on! Don't block the line!"

It was busy day.

Many trucks and coaches came in, and Diesel had to work hard shunting them in the Yards and for engines to take out on journeys.

Finally, the day was done, and Diesel was welcomed into Tidmouth Sheds.

All the engines had been impressed by his hard work.

"Nice work, Diesel," said Gordon, impressed.

"That wuz Really Useful," said Donald.

"With oot doubt," added Douglas.

"I knew you could do it," said Paxton.

"Oh, my dear Pax. I knew that too."

Diesel worked hard for about a month until Norman returned.

He had enjoyed it, but was glad to go back to the peace of the Dieselworks, and hopes he never has to again!



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