|Down the Bridge|
|Season 1, Episode 7|
|Air date||January 23rd, 2014|
The Crashing Kipper
The Wrong Way
One autumn morning, Duncan furiously bumped the trucks at the Blue Mountain Quarry. "Come along. I have to get to Crovan's Gate before the Thin Controller screams at me again!" he fumed; he had been derailing lately and he was certain that it was because Mr. Hugh was not mending the line properly. However, the Thin Controller would have none of it. This made Duncan very cross. To make matters worse, Duncan felt rather lonely with just Ivo Hugh; the little engine wasn't exactly chatty, at least with him. Despite Duncan being rude at times, Owen and Merrick felt sorry for him. "You'll never be alone here!" remarked Owen, "We can never move since we've been stationed here. Day in and day out." "Indeed." agreed Merrick, "I'm always busy." Owen laughed. "You sleep most of the time!" "Not as much as I would hope." replied the gantry crane and everyone laughed, except Duncan. "Humph!" Just then the manager ran up, holding a time sheet. "The Thin Controller e-mailed me this and I printed it out! Here!" he said and gave it to the driver. "Huh. It says here that we need to be at the bridge. Something about maintenance." Duncan groaned; he hated maintenance work, but he decided it would be better if he didn't fuss.
At the bridge, The Pack and Rusty, the little Diesel, were working to repair the bridge. "Here's some more supports!" called Kelly. "Oh, I can't wait until it's finished!" beamed Alfie. Rheneas was busy testing the bridge to make sure it was safe. He slowly chuffed onto the bridge. As his wheels turned, it groaned and creaked. "Woah!" gasped Rheneas, "My wheels are wobbly!" The driver quickly backed him up to safety. "That means the bridge still isn't safe." groaned Ned, "It'll never be fixed!" "Don't be impatient, Ned," said Oliver politely, "Soon, the bridge will be as good as new." "Oh, who cares?" grumbled Max, "Just let the old thing fall." "Are you talking about me?" asked Rheneas indingantly. "No, I was talking to this tree, Of course it's you!" fumed Max. Monty giggled. Suddenly, Duncan puffed in with some supplies, grumbling. "Ugh, this is a boring job!" he fumed. "Nonsense!" retorted Rusty, "Maintenance is important. If we just don't repair things, the railway would fall apart!" Rusty took great pride in his work. Duncan snorted. "Sure, whatever you say, Rusty. Except I never listen to you." "Famous last words." chuckled Rusty. Max and Monty were dumping dirt into position, and they could see Duncan grumbling.. "Hey, that yellow engine right there is the kind we could use to play out our idea!" whispered Max, "He's similar to us!" "I wonder if he'll do anything interesting." Monty added. The foreman walked out of his trailer and was surprised to see no progress. "Hey, now! No time to chat! Let's get movin'." grumbled the foreman. "No need to pushy." huffed Jack, so The Pack set to work.
For the next hour, Max and Monty paid attention to Duncan, and could hear his grumbling. "He sounds like the perfect one to carry out our plan." whispered Max, "We should go visit!" added Monty, so the twins rolled under the bridge and up the steep slope to the track. Duncan fumed as he bumped the trucks. "Get in line, you lot." Duncan grumbled. "Playing around in a construction site isn't a good idea!" warned Rusty. "Yes it is!" said Max cheekily. "Of course you'd say that." muttered Kelly. The dump trucks ignored him and glanced at Duncan. "What do you want?" huffed Duncan. "What's your name?" asked Max. "Can't ye read my nameplate? Alright, fine. I'm Duncan," "Interesting. I'm Max, and he's Monty." "I see we have many things in common." added Monty. "Like what?" retorted Duncan huffily. "We both don't like being bossed about, we both don't like boring work, and we both don't like fusspots." Max explained. Duncan considered. "Well, that's all true... I haven't had many friends, besides Sir Handel, but he's stuck working at the Wharf, and the Thin Controller doesn't let me go there often." "What do ya say?" said Max, "Would you like to be friends? "Oh, alright." sighed Duncan, hoping the twins would leave him alone but they didn't. "We've got a clever plan. Wanna join us?" Monty asked. Duncan blew his whistle impatiently. "Will ya quit yer yakking?" he grumbled. But the little engine was too loud. "What's going on over there, Duncan?" called Rheneas from the other side of the bridge. "Erm, nothing Rheneas!" Duncan said. "Sorry, we just wanted you to hear a plan we have for that old fusspot over there," whispered Max, and glanced at Rheneas. "I hope this bridge is repaired soon... I have to take a stone train from the quarry to Ulfstead Castle this evening." said Rheneas. "It should be safe by then. Then again, I'm not sure." said Oliver politely. Duncan opened his mouth to say something, but Rusty interrupted him. "Duncan! Don't just sit there; puff forward already!" "I'll talk with you later..." whispered Duncan as he puffed forward with the narrow gauge Breakdown Train.
That evening, the work was halfway done, so the workmen, The Pack, and the little engines put in their best effort, minus Duncan, Max and Monty. But it wasn't enough for the foreman. "Come on, people! We'll work until 10:00 P.M. if you don't go faster!" fumed the foreman. "No need to be harsh." grumbled Ned as he trundled under the bridge. The two dump trucks followed Ned under the bridge. "So, we tell him now, right?" asked Max. "Of course, you moron!" huffed Monty. Max and Monty drove up to Duncan again, except this time he was taking on water at the nearby water tower. "What is it now?" groaned Duncan. "You'll have the privelege of knowing our plan." grinned Max."Okay, you trick him into going over this bridge on the way to Ulfstead Castle, and then WAM! The bridge will snap, and poor Rheneas will have an accident!" they whispered excitedly. Duncan thought for a moment; he had gotten into trouble lately, but then again, he didn't like Rheneas all that much either. "Well?" huffed Monty, "Are you in or not?" Duncan sighed. "Well, I suppose, but-" "Great!" interrupted Max, with an evil grin on his face. "Best do it now." "What do you have against Rheneas anyway?" asked Duncan curiously. 'He's mean." whined Max. "He tells us what to do." agreed Monty. Duncan frowned, then slowly, his frown became a grin. "Right. Let's teach that old fusspot a lesson." he said. Max and Monty looked to each other and honked their horns. Just then, the foreman was yelling again. "Show's over, folks! Time to get some rest, and we'll start again tomorrow at 6:00 A.M. sharp. Alfie and Jack, you two are on night duty." "Dang it." grumbled Alfie. The engines honked their horns and blew their whistles as they puffed away.Duncan puffed up to Rheneas. "Uh, Rheneas. I know a shorter way to Ulfstead Castle." he said quickly. Rheneas laughed. "Oh, don't worry. I've already got my route set, so..." "Come on. Routes are just plain and boring! Take this way, and you'll be early!" Duncan persisted. "But the bridge isn't repaired. The line is supposed to be closed, you know." Duncan thought quickly. "Well, then just puff to the junction, where your driver can switch the points and go the other way. It's just as short." Rheneas sighed. "Oh, whatever. I guess that means I'll get some sleep." Duncan smirked as Rheneas puffed away. "Plan set..." he said to himself.
Rheneas puffed into the Blue Mountain Quarry, to find his trucks waiting in a long line. "Thanks, Ivo Hugh." said Rheneas. "No problem! I just hope I'll get back to passenger duties. It feels a little boring here." "I can understand that!" laughed Rheneas, "Merrick isn't exactly chatty. And Owen's just Owen." Merrick suddenly woke up. "Huh, what? Oh, it's you. Did you say something about me?" "Uh... yes." chuffed Ivo Hugh. "Hopefully it was positive. Nighty night." and Merrick went back to sleep. Owen and Rheneas snickered. But Ivo Hugh remained silnet. "So long, Rheneas." he called. Rheneas whistled in reply and chuffed off into the sunset, towards Ulfstead Castle. Dusk soon turned into darkness, and the driver turned on the permanent light on Rheneas' footplate. Rheneas yawned. "Ugh, I'm glad this is my last train of the day..." He puffed up to a junction, but the signalman was having dinner in the signalbox and he left the points switched to the broken bridge. But Rheneas didn't notice.
At the bridge, Jack and Alfie were digging. "This is boring." muttered Alfie, "Not to mention spooky." "Cheer up! I think it's neat." said Jack, "So much mystery involved." "Nonsense. I.... just don't like the dark." Alfie sighed. "Hey, you've got me right alongside you. Don't worry about it." said Jack. "Thanks, Jack. You're a good friend." smiled Alfie. A whistle could be heard in the distance. "Is that... Rheneas?" asked Alfie. "I think it is. Why is he going this way?" Jack said, who was rather puzzled too. Rheneas puffed along the line, his lamp shining brightly. Suddenly he realized the bridge was up ahead. "Ah!" he cried as the driver put on the brakes. Sparks flew and brightened the darkness a little. "Uh oh! I better hold the bridge up for him!" gasped Jack and he started to the bridge, but Aflie, gasping in horror, drove right up in front of him, blocking his path. "No! You barely handled the last two bridges you held up, and look what damage you caused for yourself." said Alfie. "But-" Before Jack could answer, the bridge groaned and suddenly snapped. The supports snapped too, causing Rheneas and the train to fall to the ground. "Ouch! Oh, that's just great..." he fumed. "Woah." gasped Jack. Luckliy, nobody was hurt, but Rheneas was quite shaken. "Ugh, Duncan tricked me!" he groaned. "Uh, to be honest, he didn't do anything." replied the driver, who was brushing off his knees. "What?!" "Really. It was that signalman." Rheneas groaned with fury. "Duncan still did this..." The guard ran back for help.
The yardmaster was about to go home when the call came. "Ugh, what now?!" he yawned as he picked up the phone. "Rheneas has come off the rails. Send for Skarloey and the Breakdown Train." explained the guard. The yardmaster yawned and hung up the phone. "Hello? Hello? Answer!" grumbled the guard, but nobody did. Meanwhile, the yardmaster arranged for Skarloey to come and then drove off towards his home. Skarloey soon arrived at the bridge. "Oh, no! What happened, old friend?" "One word: Duncan." fumed Rheneas. Skarloey sighed as the cranes lifted the trucks back on the rails. Jack and Alfie exchanged puzzled looks. "It's always Duncan these days, isn't it?" fumed Skarloey. Rheneas murmured in agreeement. "Well, let's get you back to the sheds." said Skarloey.
At the shed, Skarloey puffed in with Rheneas. "It's alright, friend. We'll soon put you right." Skarloey said kindly. But Duncan found Rheneas' situation quite amusing. "You're late." teased Duncan as Rheneas was uncoupled. "No thanks to you!" fumed Rheneas. "And," Skarloey added crossly, "The Thin Controller will see you tomorrow morning. My driver made a message on his phone." The others glared at Duncan. "But it was Max and Monty's idea!" huffed Duncan. "Well, you shouldn't have bowed to peer pressure then, Duncan." said Rusty. Duncan felt guilty about what he had done, and he knew too well what the Thin Controller would say.
- Ivo Hugh
- Max and Monty
- Peter Sam (cameo)
- Freddie (cameo)
- Sir Handel (mentioned)
- The Thin Controller (mentioned)
- Blue Mountain Quarry
- Skarloey Railway Engine Sheds
- The Wharf (mentioned)
- Ulfstead Castle (mentioned)
- References to the sixth season episode "A Friend in Need" and "King of the Railway" are made.