|Duck and the Coaches|
|Season 4, Episode 16|
|Air date||July 1st, 2015|
Cows and Whistles
Alice and Mirabel are two Great Western autocoaches, who travel up and down the Little Western with Duck. They were saved from scrap and put to work. But recently newer coaches have arrived on the Little Western. Alice and Mirabel remembered when they first saw them.
Alice and Mirabel were resting at Tidmouth Hault Sheds when Alice noticed three maroon and cream coaches were being shunted next to them. "Who are they?" asked Alice worriedly. "I won't really care as long as they're friendly." said Mirabel. But the two were surprised to find that it was Duck shunting them. "Ello, Alice and Mirabel. Meet my Slip Coaches!" Duck said proudly. "Yours?" spluttered Mirabel. "Slip Coaches? What are slip coaches?" stuttered Alice. The slip coaches smiled. "Would you like to explain?" asked the first coach to the second. "Yes, you're great at explaining things." agreed the third coach. "Well, alright. We're coaches which could be uncoupled without even stopping! It's very efficient." "But where did you come from?" asked Alice. "I used to pull them on the Sunshine Line, back on the Great Western Railway," explained Duck, "During the summer season, it'd get very busy, so slip coaches were great use. That way, we always ran on time and there were never any delays." The three slip coaches chuckled. "And who are you?" asked the third coach. "We're Alice and Mirabel, Duck's autocoaches." explained Mirabel. "And...what are autocoaches? 'asked the first coach. "Oh, autocoaches have a the driving cab at one end, allowing the driver to control the train without needing to be located in the cab of the engine. This erases the need to run the engine round to the other end of the coach at the end of each journey." explained Alice. "Wow, that's pretty useful too." said the second coach. "But wait, does that mean we're all Duck's coaches?" asked Mirabel. "Yup! Isn't that great? Now, if you excuse me, I need to take these slip coaches to Tidmouth for a passenger train. Goodbye!" and Duck puffed proudly away. Alice looked worriedly to Mirabel. "A-are we being replaced?" asked Alice. "I hope not." frowned Mirabel.
And now, sitting in the lonely back of Tidmouth Hault Sheds, Alice and Mirabel watched as Duck puffed by with the slip coaches. "Alright, time to uncouple the back coach!" called Duck and the guard inside nodded and uncoupled the coach. Duck puffed by the shed as he whistled proudly. Alice sighed. "We're never used anymore, are we Mirabel?" "Nope Alice. It's so lonely in here... All we have for company is some dirty trucks." The two autocoaches looked towards the trucks, then back to the station. "Those silly slip coaches are always taking our work," continued Mirabel crossly, "What's so special about them?" "Remember Duck told us that they can be uncoupled at stations and the engine doesn't have to stop?" reminded Alice. "I know, but can't someone else use them instead? Duck is our engine." grumbled Mirabel. "Indeed." sighed Alice sadly as Duck steamed out of sight. In a few minutes, Oliver puffed in to collect some empty trucks to take to the Small Railway. He bumped into the trucks, and noticed the two autocoaches as he shunted Toad. "Hello Alice and Mirabel. What's the matter?" he asked kindly. 'it's those slip coaches! They took our job!" fumed Alice. "We never go out anymore." frowned Mirabel. "I'm sure you'll be used again eventually. Duck's just caught up in the moment." Oliver chuckled. Alice and Mirabel sighed to each other. "Do you really think so Oliver?" asked Mirabel quietly. "I'm sure of it," smiled the Great Western engine, "Now if you excuse me, I have to go to the Small Railway." Oliver whistled and puffed away with the trucks rattling in front of him. Alice and Mirabel looked to each other sadly and hoped Oliver was right.
But little did the coaches know that Oliver wasn't so confident himself as he pulled the empty trucks along the line. "Is that conversation with Alice and Mirabel still fresh in your mind, Mr. Oliver?" asked Toad. "I'm afraid so, Toad. I just wish I could help them. It isn't fair they're just stuck in a shed." Oliver sighed. "Don't worry, Mr. Oliver. Nothing you could've prevented." said Toad cheerily. "I suppose so, but I still wish there was a way for me to help." Oliver said as the train passed Haultraugh. Soon, Oliver arrived at Arlesburgh, where Frank was waiting on top of the chute with loaded ballast trucks. By the station, Duck was arriving with the last slip coach. "Hello Frank." said Oliver sadly. "What's with the long face? It's bad enough with Mike's grumpy attitude; I'd prefer it if you remained upbeat." mumbled Frank. "What's that about me?" asked Mike angrily. "I said you were grumpy. You always hold grudges." scolded Frank. "You don't scare me... What does scare me is that you think you're always right. That'll cost ya." chuckled Mike. "Why, you-" "That's enough, you two." grumbled Oliver, "Mike, don't you have passengers waiting?" "Pah! I'd rather have trucks, thank you!" and the red miniature engine puffed away. Oliver looked over to Duck, who was chatting happily with the slip coach. "We're soon to go, Slippie! Wasn't that journey splendid?" Duck said happily. "I'd say so, but I feel a little stiff." confessed the slip coach. "Hmm... Well, we can't exactly wait for that. Sidney should be along in a bit with the other two coaches." Duck said thoughtfully. A horn blasted around the yard. "Hello... um... Falcon!" called Sidney as he scurried in with the two coaches, "Here are your autocoaches." "We're slip coaches." said the other two slip coaches crossly. "Oh... sorry." Oliver winced, remembering that Alice and Mirabel were still in the shed. "I'm Duck, not Falcon." continued Duck. "Well, they're both birds. It gets confusing." Sidney said sheepishly. Soon, the train was ready and Duck's guard blew his whistle. "Wait, Duck!" cried Oliver, "I think-" "Sorry, Oliver. I have a job to do. Perhaps tonight though!" Duck whistled and he puffed out of sight. Oliver frowned. "Eh, you can talk to him later." murmured Frank. Oliver glared as his own guard blew his whistle and the tank engine puffed away with his filled trucks.
Over the next week, Alice and Mirabel could do nothing but watch from the shed as Duck puffed by with the slip coaches. However, in that time, the two autocoaches noticed something peculiar. "Alright, time to uncouple the third coach!" called Duck. "Right!" the third coach called back and it was quickly uncoupled as Duck approached Tidmouth Hault. The coach was quickly uncoupled but as the Duck continued on, the third coach's brakes groaned creaked. "What the? What's going on?!" the coach cried as it just barely managed to stop at the platform. "Um...sorry everyone, some difficulties." the slip coach sighed. Alice cocked an eyebrow. "What was all that about?" she asked. "Search me." muttered Mirabel.
As the passenger train puffed along the coast, Duck and the rest of the slip coaches were unaware to what had happened at Tidmouth Hault. "The sun sure is pretty." said the second slip coach. "Yes, indeed, but we can't think about the weather right now. We're almost to Haultraugh." cautioned Duck. "Oh, yes, of course. Ready when you are!" said the slip coach as they neared Haultraugh. At the station, Oliver was dropping off a van of fish so the fish could be unloaded and taken into the resort. He was still upset about Alice and Mirabel's situation. "In the shed again." he sighed, "I don't think they'll be used anymore. But I better not tell them that..." "Oh, it's alright, Mr. Oliver. They'll be used again." said Toad, who was trying to cheer the Great Western engine up. "What makes you say that?" chuffed Oliver. "It's a hunch, Mr. Oliver, and a mighty good one too." chuckled Toad. Oliver couldn't help but laugh. "Thanks Toad. Oh, there's Duck's whistle." And it was. Duck was puffing into Haultraugh, as the guard of the second coach was getting ready to uncouple it. The coupling was uncoupled, and the second coach was now on its own. But, like the third coach, its brakes were jammed too, and it came to a halt too early; the passengers were stranded. "Oh, no!" cried Oliver as he puffed out of his siding, and pulled the coach to the platform. "Are you alright?" Oliver asked the slip coach. The slip coach sighed in defeat. "No; all our brakes are malfunctioning like this." "Oh my." said Oliver gravely. "Indeed." sighed the slip coach, "If this keeps up, we'll have to go to the Steamworks tomorrow to get repairs. Who'll take our place?" Oliver did feel sorry for the slip coaches, but all the same, he grinned. "I'll take care of that."
The next day, at Tidmouth Yard, the slip coaches were waiting for Duck. "I hope he's not late," said the first slip coach worriedly. "Look, there he is!" cheered the third slip coach. Duck, bunker-first, rounded a bend and was coupled up to the slip coaches. The tank engine whistled. "Come along, Slippies! To Tidmouth!" Duck puffed forward, but suddenly felt a jerk on his back coupling. "What's going on? Why aren't you moving? Come on; this isn't the Great Western Way!" Duck said, miffed. "It isn't our fault, Duck," said the second slip coach, "It's our brakes. This time, they've jammed on for good. Oh, I knew this would happen!" Duck groaned. "Bother! How are we going to deliver our passengers?" "We don't know, but we must be taken to the Steamworks to get our brakes fixed." said the third coach. "We need Rocky to life you onto flatbeds. Don't worry, I'll be right back!" called Duck urgently as he scurried away to find Rocky. "Let's hope so." muttered the first coach.
Duck puffed through the station, and quickly neared the harbour. At the harbour, Dave was working with Rocky; they were loading lumber and other supplies to help repair the goods shed. "Here's some more lumber." called Jack. "Thank you Jack." said Rocky, "Where's Alfie?" "He should be along in a minute." said Kelly. "Here I am!" grinned Alfie as he arrived with some logs in his bucket. Suddenly they all heard a whistle. "Who's that?" asked Alfie. "I think that's...Duck." muttered Dave, "What's he doing?" Duck puffed into the harbour, whistling frantically. "Do you all mind if we can borrow Rocky for a bit? We have to take the Slip Coaches to the Steamworks." he explained. "Oh, of course, if it's for a little while. I'll help you." offered Dave. "Oh, thank you Dave." said Duck gratefully as Rocky dropped the lumber he was carrying. "Come back quickly!" called Jack, "We still have a job to do!" "We will!" called Dave and Duck together. Back at the yard, the Slip Coaches could hear passengers at the station. "I don't like this." groaned the second slip coach. "Neither do we." sighed the first coach. They could see Dave and Duck rounding the bend with Rocky. "Hello everyone! I'll have you on track in no time!" "Thanks Rocky." grinned the slip coaches as Duck shunted some flatbeds alongside the coaches' siding. Soon they were all in place. "Who's going to pull them to the Steamworks?" asked Duck worriedly, "I still need to take my passengers." "I think I can do it." said Dave confidently, "Don't worry." "Alright, if you say so." said Duck as Dave honked his horn and rolled away. "How are you going to deliver your passengers?" asked Rocky. "An answer will come to me, hopefully." muttered Duck as he puffed to the station.
Oliver arrived at Tidmouth with Isabel and Dulcie, to drop off his own passengers. "What's all the commotion about?" asked Oliver as he heard the passengers yelling "Money back!" "It's coming from the other platform." observed Isabel. "I hope it's nothing bad." worried Dulcie. "Oh, but it is I'm afraid." said Duck sadly as he puffed in, "I'm afraid to say there aren't any coaches for me to use." Oliver stared for a while, then chuckled. "Have you forgotten your coaches that easily?" he said. "...what?" "Alice and Mirabel, your own autocoaches!" explained Oliver, "They've been all alone in the Tidmouth Hault Sheds for a while now." Realization dawned upon the Pannier tank. "Oh, of course! How could I have forgotten them?" and Duck puffed away. "Nice move." said Dulcie. "It's a gift." joked Oliver.
At Tidmouth Hault Sheds, Mirabel was staring at the seaside. "I spy with my little eye something... blue." "The sky?" asked Alice dully. "Nope. The ocean. Your turn." muttered Mirabel. "Alright, I spy....Duck coming toward us?" "Wait, what?" asked Mirabel. She looked back and went agape as Duck puffed into the shed. "What are you doing here?" asked Alice. "Before I answer that, I just want to... apologize for being ignorant. I thought the Slip Coaches were the best, but I realize now you two are useful in your own way." The two coaches looked to each other with joy. "Does that mean we're being used again?" asked Alice. "Yes. The Slip Coaches' brakes have jammed, so now you're going to be used. And this isn't a one-off either. We'll take turns!" suggested Duck. "Oh, that would be lovely!" grinned the two coaches. So they were brought back to Tidmouth, and the passengers cheered. "Thank you Alice and Mirabel! We thought we were stranded!" They climbed onboard and the journey finally began. Duck, Alice and Mirabel had a splendid run, and now Alice and Mirabel don't feel jealous of the slip coaches anymore. Instead, they're all firm friends.
- Alice and Mirabel
- Isabel and Dulcie
- The Slip Coaches.
- Donald and Douglas (cameo)
- Jock (cameo)
- Nelson (cameo)