Dirty Sidings is the pilot story for volume one of Adventures on Rails.

Dirty Sidings
Season X, Episode 1
Air date 5 March 2019
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide

Author's Notes

So, here it is. The first of various stand-alone episodes that'll be released. Some are coming after the release of Work and Play, due to the inclusion of Jessie. Anyways, I do want to provide some context. This episode takes place whilst James is stuck on Edward's Branch Line and locking the points to the Main Line. I decided to release this one first because it felt more finished. Nevertheless, we will see the explanation quite soon. In addition to this story centred on Edward's line, I realised I've kind of side-lined the Brendam and Clay Pits crews. But, I recently thought of various ideas so eventually I might compile four together. That's all I have to say. Enjoy!


James was waiting at Brendam Docks for the return journey to Wellsworth. Since the points to the Main were being repaired, James and Edward took in turns with passenger trains.

This meant most of Bill, Ben and Timothy's china clay trains terminated at Brendam.

Today however, there seemed to be more trucks present than ever.

"Goodness me! We've not enough sidings to store all these trucks," observed Salty.

"You're right," agreed Cranky. He could see other sidings were full as well.

"There's a big shipment due to leave tonight," explained the Dock Manager.

"We still need room for the passenger service," said Salty, "and we don't want the Docks all cluttered."

"I'll phone to Suddery and see if we can take some trucks there for the time being and then bring them back before the ship leaves."

And the Manager hurried away. He returned soon.

"All right. The Stationmaster says there's room up there. Now, James, as you aren't busy, you must take some over there now."

James sighed, changes tracks and was coupled on.

He reached Suddery in no time and started to shunt the truck into the sidings.

"Ugh!" he exclaimed as he neared the siding. "Such dirty track! Weeds growing all over. Disgusting!"

James wasn't concentrating.

"Stop! James!" cried his Driver.

James's Driver applied the brakes but the trucks hit the buffers and two trucks came off the tracks.

"Sorry," apologised James. "But what do you expect? This siding is the most dirtiest one I've ever seen!"

James had to help clear the mess. He was glad when it was done.

That night, at Wellsworth, he told Edward all about it.

"It has been a while since we've maintained some of those sidings," said Edward.

"Well, you'd best do something about it."

"Not until we have access to the mainline again."

The next day, James had finished the morning run at Edward's station and was getting ready to leave the coaches in their siding.

He wasn't going fast as he entered the Yard, but suddenly he heard a shunter shout, "Stop!"

"What's wrong?" asked James.

"I don't know," replied his Driver and stopped.

James looked down and realised why.

"Not another one of these filthy sidings!"

Not only were there weeds but the tracks were slightly submerged in mud.

"The points were set incorrectly," explained the shunter.

James tried to back out, but he couldn't!

"Careful!" called the shunter.

James's Driver stopped him.

"If your wheels keep spinning, you'll be stuck even more."

Edward came over to help.

They uncoupled James from the coaches, then coupled Edward to James with chains.

"Ready? Pull!" instructed James's Fireman.

Edward puffed his hardest. Slowly, James's wheels came out of the mud and onto firm track. Then, Edward shunted James into another siding to be cleaned. Finally, he rescued the coaches.

James's wheels were soon clean and properly oiled.

"Thank goodness," he sighed. "I'm far too splendid to be asked to shunt in those rubbish sidings."

"Best of all," chuckled Edward, "you did prove your point. We'll tell the Fat Controller soon enough and work on the line can start when the points are fixed."

With that, James had to be content.

PSA - Sidings

This PSA has been brought to you by James the Red Engine.

(sunny day, camera pans down to James resting at Edward's station)

James - I know you have enjoyed this story - but the truth is, sidings need to be well maintained. They can get dirty and then weeds grow in them. This has many adverse effects for us engines. So, if you are travelling on our railway, and see a siding that is rundown, dirty, or just plain disgusting - please notify our railway staff and we will attend to it as soon as possible. Thank you.

(end scene)




  • This story takes place within the events of Tenderfirst which was released six days later.
  • On 29 August, a fake PSA was written inspired by the events of this episode.
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