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Down at the Station is the twenty-first story of the first volume.

Down at the Station
Season X, Episode 21
DownattheStation
Air date 1 November 2019
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Previous
The Monster of Brendam
Next
Jessie and the Frozen Points

Plot

Thomas the Tank Engine stood at Ffarquhar with Annie and Clarabel. He was ready for the journey down to the Junction. It was a lovely afternoon. There was a slight breeze and the sun was shining.

"Best weather to be on camera," Thomas told his coaches.

"Oh, is she here again?" asked Clarabel.

"Yes, over there," replied Annie.

"She's always around, especially on weekends," said Thomas.

At the end of platform, stood a young woman with a video-camera focused on Thomas and his coaches.

(The young woman is about sixteen-seventeen years old. She's about 5'7", has black shoulder-length hair, and carries her cameras in a black bag.)

"I mean, what exactly does she want with us?"

"Why don't you ask her?" suggested Annie.

"What? I mean, I don't really mind being on camera."

"Look, here she comes!"

"Hullo there. I'm Thomas, as you may know."

"Yes, I know who you are Thomas," she replied. "My name is Liza."

"Well, Liza. What exactly are you doing?"

"Just getting footage of hard working steam engines."

"You come here often."

"I live nearby."

"I suppose you've read all about us."

"I certainly have and I have to say, I continue to have a love for steam engines."

"That's very nice to hear. Especially from someone as young as you."

"Thanks!"

"You know," continued Thomas. "Now that I know you like recording, how would you like to go into the yard?"

"That'd be very nice."

"Well, then my Fireman will go ask the Stationmaster."

Thomas's Fireman returned shortly. "Stationmaster says it's all right."

"You've been around us for quite a while," put in Thomas. "And you're like seventeen, then I think she'll be fine by herself."

"Just take care then," said Thomas's Fireman.

"All right, see you later Liza," said Thomas.

"Yes, thank you very much," she replied.

"What a nice girl," said Clarabel.

"She'd make a great addition to the staff," added Annie.

Just then, the Guard blew the whistle and Thomas set off.

Meanwhile, Liza strode over to the sheds and saw Toby and Mavis resting.

"Hullo," said Liza. "My name is Liza, and I know you're Toby and Mavis."

"Nice to meet you Liza. What brings you here?" said Toby.

"I just wanted to see the yard and sheds. I like to gather footage at the station."

"Ah, Percy mentioned he'd seen someone constantly recording him," put in Mavis.

"That's me!"

"You must like railways a lot," said Toby.

"I do indeed."

Just then, Percy steamed in, covered in dust.

"What happened to you?" asked Toby.

"One of the truck's door burst open and spilled the stone right besides me," explained Percy. "I still have to bring coal from the Junction and collect milk vans. I'll be even dirtier then."

"No worries, we'll give you a good wash," soothed his Driver.

"Yes. Maybe Liza can help," put in Toby.

"Hullo Liza," said Percy.

She shook hands with Percy's Driver and Fireman.

"I've never done it before, but I'd be happy to help clean Percy."

"All right. Sounds good to us," said Percy's Driver. "You wouldn't mind sticking around for a few hours."

"Not at all."

"Toby and I have to go to the Quarry soon, but I believe Jessie will be here soon with supplies for the station," said Mavis.

"Perhaps you could help the porters unload that," suggested Percy's Fireman.

"Then, you can talk to Jessie," said Percy.

"Sounds like a plan to me," agreed Liza.

She went over to the station and asked the Stationmaster if she could help.

"Of course!" he said. "You know," he went on, "it's nice to finally meet and talk to you."

"It feels great to help out too!"

Soon, Jessie arrived and everyone worked to unload the supplies. Then, she took her trucks to yard and finally rolled into the sheds.

Liza arrived shortly.

"That was definitely a good work-out," she thought to herself.

"Hey Jessie, that's Liza," said Percy.

"Very nice to meet you," said Jessie to Liza. "If I'm not mistaken, you just helped unload my train."

"That was me!"

"And she's the one who is often recording us," added Percy.

"It's great to see you getting involved."

"Later today, I'm helping to clean Percy."

"I really want a wash."

Then he chuffed away.

"He'll have one at the end of the day," chuckled Liza.

"You know, we were all wondering why you record so much?"

"I just like watching the daily life at Ffarquhar. Also, I hear about what's happening on other parts of the Island."

"I know you know a lot about the others since they were included in the Thin Clergyman's books, but what do you know about me?"

"I'm aware you aren't in the books. But I have a friend who wrote about your prior life, arrival to Sodor, restoration, and of course, current life."

"Really?"

"Yeah. Not only you - several others who weren't in the books have had stories written so that everyone knows who you are."

"I reckon there would have to be more than forty-two books to completely cover everything that happens on Sodor."

"There's always something interesting to write about. It just lets people know that there's plenty of reasons to visit Sodor."

"Very well said. We've only just met, but I have really enjoyed talking with you. You should come by more often. We could really use the help - not just in cleaning engines."

"Thanks. If time permits then I would like to help out around here."

"That's great."

Jessie and Liza talked for a while before Jessie had to take stone trucks to the Junction. Liza wasn't alone for long - Thomas returned from his passenger run.

"All right. Time for a rest. You two certainly enjoy that," said Thomas as he shunted Annie and Clarabel into the carriage shed.

"Yes, it is nice to rest our wheels before going out on the tracks again," they replied.

"Suit yourself. I want to talk to Liza."

"How was your journey?" asked Liza.

"It went very smoothly. There were no delays at the Junction so that was nice," replied Thomas. "How are you doing?"

"I'm just glad to finally talk to you guys."

"You know, not everyone talks to us as nicely as you do."

"Really?"

"Yeah. I think it's great that you come down here so often."

"Thanks."

Then, she noticed Thomas was a bit dirty.

"Hey, how would you like a nice wash before your next journey."

"That would be splendid."

"Good thing we have your help," remarked Thomas's Driver.

So Thomas puffed out of the shed. Thomas's Fireman came back with buckets of water. Liza fetched some brushes.

"All right. Let's get right to it," said Thomas's Fireman.

The three of them cleaned Thomas thoroughly. Liza clambered up to Thomas's boiler and polished his whistle.

"There. I can see my face in that shine," she said.

"Good," said Thomas's Driver. "Head over to the station, we also have to clean Annie and Clarabel's windows."

In no time at all, Thomas was at the platform with his coaches. Liza helped several people clean the windows. Others made sure the floors were clean. Then, passengers began to arrive.

The Guard came up.

"Thanks for helping out," she said to Liza. "Now, just stand here and see if anyone needs help or has any questions."

Soon, everyone was on board. The Guard's whistle blew and Thomas set off.

Not long after Thomas had gone, Percy arrived with coal trucks. When he had finished shunting, he puffed over to the Yard.

"I'm glad that's done," he sighed. "Now, time for a wash."

Percy's Driver, Fireman, Liza, and other workers all cleaned him.

Percy was soon clean again.

"That's much better," said Percy.

One by one, the other engines returned to the shed. Liza helped the crews in the various end of the day duties.

Finally, she was ready to go home and talked to the Stationmaster on the way out.

"Thanks for all your help," he said.

"My pleasure."

"We'd definitely love to have you around more. I have something that I think you might like."

"What is it?"

"We get a lot of letters asking about the railway, the engines, locations and such. If you can come down, you can answer them."

"I'd be glad to do that."

"All right. See you around."

Liza arrived home, tired but content.

Nowadays Liza helps out at Ffarquhar. She still records the engines and answers any questions about the railway. The engines and station staff enjoy having her around and Liza is glad to be part of the crew.

Characters

Trivia

  • The entire episode takes place at Ffarquhar.
  • The concept for this episode was devised last year. The Writer wanted a character similar to Nancy or Kathy and Lizzie who helps out with cleaning engines and some other tasks, so Liza was created to fulfil that role.
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