Edward, James, and the Snow is the twenty-fifth story of volume three.
|Edward, James, and the Snow|
|Season X, Episode 75|
|Air date||5 December 2021|
A Bad Lot of Coal
The Christmas Wall
It had begun to snow on the Island of Sodor. Whenever there's snow, Donald and Douglas work together to keep the lines clear.
Jenna, in particular, was quite impressed by their work.
"I feel like I would get stuck in the snow but you two just plough through it," she observed.
"Dinna fash yersel," laughed Donald. "It juist take a bit of practise."
"Aye," agreed Douglas. "We also had plenty of snow back in Scotland so we're glad to do it here!"
Then Donald and Douglas puffed away.
That night, the cold wind blew and Jenna found it hard to sleep.
"It's so cold," she shivered. "My axles are freezing."
"I'd be surprised if it doesn't snow again," said Edward.
"Fortunately there's Donald and Douglas to clear the line."
"You know, you just reminded me of something. I'm not sure if you're aware but before Donald and Douglas arrived, I would be in charge of clearing the line."
"Yes. I'm not an expert like Donald and Douglas but I did have the most experience so I was given the job," continued Edward. "I remember one winter in particular though, shortly after James was repaired after his accident."
"Don't tell me," interrupted Jenna. "You had to clear the line with James."
"I'm all in for a good story!"
So this is the story Edward told her.
Winter had come to the Island of Sodor. The days were frosty and cold. All the engines were sure it would start snowing any day.
"At this point, it'll be no surprise when it happens," said Gordon.
"Honestly, I hope there's no snow. It just means more delays," grumbled Henry.
"Rubbish. We must run our trains whatever the weather," said Gordon.
Edward would come to the sheds and all the big engines talked about was the impending snow.
"Give it a rest!" chuckled Edward. "You've talked about it for days now! Besides, if the snow comes and blocks the lines, one of us will have to clear the line."
"Certainly not going to be me," snorted James. "I'm far too busy and splendid to clear snow."
"I have the Express to pull," grunted Gordon.
"I'd do it but sometimes I just don't have the strength," moaned Henry.
"Seems like it's going to be me then," chuckled Edward.
At last, the snow did arrive. The Fat Director came to see the engines.
"The line needs to be cleared as soon as possible," he announced. "Edward and James, you must work together to clear the line. When you reach the other end of the line, you must bring back a train of coal trucks." Then he walked away.
James was cross. "A splendid engine like me shouldn't have to clear the line with an old blue engine like Edward." Then he fumed away to have his snowplough fitted.
"Don't listen to him Edward," said Henry. "You know better than anyone how to deal with snow."
"Thanks Henry. I just hope he'll listen to me," sighed Edward.
Soon both engines had their snowploughs fitted.
James was ready to go.
"Let's get this over with as quickly as we can," he said.
"While it is urgent that we get the lines clear, we have to be careful. The rails are very icy," said Edward.
"Pah!" snorted James. "I'll clear the track in record time."
Edward and James began to clear the line.
Edward was taking his time but James was impatient.
"If we go at this pace, it'll take all day!" he called to Edward.
James began to go faster.
"Not too fast James!" whistled Edward. "The track is really icy!"
But James didn't listen. He picked up speed and was soon past the Junciton. He slowed down as he came to Gordon's Hill but once he was at the top, he gathered speed again.
"Now this is the way to do it!" cheered James. He was having the time of his life. He slid on the rails with his snowplough cutting easily through the snow. Presently, James was nearing the terminus and he applied his brakes. He screeched to a stop at the platform.
"That was fun!" laughed James.
His Driver and Fireman on the other hand didn't think so.
"We went way too fast," sighed the Driver.
"Edward was right. The tracks are really icy," agreed the Fireman.
"You worry too much like Edward," grumbled James. "Now we have to wait for Edward I suppose."
James turned 'round and then found the coal trucks waiting at the station platform. As he waited, a choir assembled on the platform and began practising some Christmas carols.
James enjoyed the music but he was still grumpy that he had to wait for Edward to arrive.
At last, Edward bustled in.
"Where have you been?" asked James, crossly.
"I cleared the line properly and safely," replied Edward.
"Well now we're running late," put in James.
"Better safe than sorry," said Edward, and he went to the turntable.
"Never mind James," said a woman from the choir. "Some Christmas carols will make you feel better."
"Edward has a point though," said the man next to her.
"Of course he does," agreed the woman.
James enjoyed the music and when Edward came back, he was eager to go.
Once the Guard blew the whistle, James started off. The trucks grumbled and groaned behind him.
"We still have take care!" called Edward from behind.
"No time for that," replied James.
"I don't know why I bother anymore, my words just fly over his funnel," sighed Edward.
James and Edward rumbled over the Viaduct and were now approaching Gordon's Hill.
Edward began to put on his brakes. He called out to James, "Put on your brakes James!"
But James wasn't listening. "We can make it down the hill and be at the Big Station in record time!" he called.
The train picked up speed down the hill. Edward was very worried and soon, he knew why.
As they approached the tunnel, James and his Driver saw that snow from the cutting had fallen onto the line.
"We'll soon clear that!" said James.
"Stop! James," called Edward, and applied his brakes.
James didn't want to stop. They came nearer and nearer.
James charged the snow drift fiercely but it was too thick, and soon he was stuck with spinning wheels, unable to move, and some of the coal trucks had come off the tracks.
"Help! Get me out!" cried James.
"I can't!" called Edward. "We need to clear the line first!"
"I'll go get help," said the Guard, and he ran back to the station.
It wasn't long till Henry arrived with the Breakdown Train. He also brought the Fat Director.
"James, this is most inconvienient. We must get you out of that snow drift to avoid any more inconvieniences."
"I'm very sorry Sir. I was in a hurry."
The Fat Director turned to Edward. "You should have warned him," he began to say but James interrupted him.
"Sorry Sir, but Edward did tell me to take care but I didn't listen to him. I was in too much of a hurry."
"Hmm, I figured," said the Fat Director. "Now, once you are out of the snow, you must deliver these trucks, and then James, you will work with Edward for the rest of winter, and you must listen to him."
The Fat Director walked away.
James was rather quiet.
"Cheer up James," said Henry. "You'll be working with the most experienced engine. You'll soon know everything there is to know about working in these icy conditions," he added.
Then, Edward pulled James out of the snow. The two engines delivered the trucks safely and then rested in the shed.
"I'm sorry for all the trouble I caused," apologised James.
"I forgive you," said Edward, kindly. "James, I know you're still learning your way around so it's okay to make mistakes. You just have to learn from them."
"I know," said James.
"Besides, you learned quickly how to handle coaches," continued Edward. "So, you can certainly learn a bit about snow!"
James chuckled a bit. "I hope so."
(back to present day)
"So James worked alongside me for the rest of that winter," finished Edward. "He did learn a great deal. In fact, I don't think he's ever had any trouble with snow or ice since then."
"Well, it's good to hear he learned his lesson," chuckled Jenna.
"Well, you know James, he really is a hard-worker and though he and I have our differences, I know that he always does his best."
"That's good to hear," yawned Jenna, and then finally, she fell asleep.
Once Edward saw that she was asleep, he closed his eyes too.
The next afternoon, James came by with a goods train. He whistled to Jenna. "I need help please!"
"I'm coming!" shouted Jenna.
"The tracks are really icy," called James.
"Nothing we can't handle," replied Jenna.
It was hard work but soon, the two engines were resting at Maron station.
"You know, Edward was right, you really do know about ice and snow now," chuckled Jenna.
"What do you mean?" asked James
Jenna told him about Edward's story.
"Not that silly story. I've improved since then," grumbled James. "I can't believe Edward still remembers."
James puffed away but for the next few days, he couldn't stop thinking about the entire incident.
"It's nearly Christmas, and I don't want this sense of guilt with me," James told his Driver. "I should go over and apologise."
"Didn't he forgive you then?" asked James's Driver.
"Yeah, but it is never too late to make amends."
One day, James took a stopping train and stopped at Edward's station.
Then Edward came in with his coaches.
"Hullo James. Nice to see you."
"Hey Edward. I'm glad to see you," said James. "You know, Jenna told me that you told her about my first winter here on Sodor."
"Did she? Oh, I'm sorry, I should have told her to keep it quiet," said Edward.
"It's all right," interrupted James. "After all, I was very impatient back then, and I wanted to apologise for all the trouble I caused.
"That's all right James," said Edward, "You were young back then. I knew back then you were bound to make mistakes. The important thing is you learned from them."
"D'you think so?"
"Well, I'm glad that's cleared up," said James.
Then the Guard blew the whistle.
"I have to go now."
"Indeed. I'll see you tonight at the Christmas party," said Edward.
"Yes of course," answered James, and he puffed away.
Later that day, James was heading home when he was stopped at the Works station.
"I wonder what's wrong?" he thought. Then he noticed Edward. "What brings you here Edward?" asked James.
"I delivered some trucks of china clay here," replied Edward.
Then the Stationmaster came up.
"There's an emergency," he called urgently. "The line is blocked up ahead. Donald and Douglas will clear the line from the other direction."
"It looks like we'll have to work together again, eh James," chuckled Edward.
"I'll just follow your lead then," said James, shivering a little.
"Never mind James, you can lead. After all, you know what to do now," encouraged Edward.
"All right then. Let's do it!"
So, with a van between their tenders, and snowplough in front, they made their way through the snow. Soon they found Donald and Douglas. They were helping Thomas out from a snow drift.
"Och aye! Some help at last!" cheered Donald.
"I didnae say, who is it Donal?" asked Douglas.
"James and Edward!" called Donald.
"Just like old times," chuckled James. "Now, let's get you out Thomas."
Once Thomas and the precious Christmas tree were out from the snow, the calvalcade headed towards the Big Station.
They were greeted by the Fat Controller.
"You may go and enjoy the carols," he told them.
That night, the engines had a lot of fun.
"So I hear you two worked together to clear the snow," said Jenna.
"Yes indeed," said Edward. "And I have to say, we make a good team."
"I have to agree," said James. "It was quite fun."
Then together, they enjoyed the Christmas party.
- This story takes place at two different times. The "present" day is around the events of Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree whilst the flashback takes place around 1925.