|James Pulls the Royal Train|
|Season 6, Episode 26|
James Pulls the Royal Train
Young and Old
Pulling the Express is a very important job indeed. Not many engines ever get the chance to pull it. And when an engine does get to pull it, it's often rarely and it's a special occasion when an engine does get to pull the train. Because of this, Gordon often feels very proud to pull the big Express, when other engines can't. And this can get Gordon especially boastful...
It was a sunny morning at Tidmouth Sheds. Gordon was boasting as always. "You know, it's not surprising that small engines don't get to pull my special train..." Gordon smirked. The engines were furious. "I'm not small!" protested James. "Your special train?!" scowled Henry. "Why yes... You're all so weak that you can't pull it...!" snickered Gordon. Edward rolled his eyes, but James' cheeks were soon flushed with anger. Before he could respond though, Hank interrupted. "What about me, Gordon? I can pull the Express, and I'm even bigger than you are!" Gordon grunted. "You? Pah! You're merely a goods engine!" The engines gasped, horrified by Gordon's claim. Hank in particular was fuming. "A goods engine?!" he spluttered. "Despicable!" fumed Henry. "Disgusting!" agreed James. "Disgruntling!" finished Murdoch. "Do you even know what that is?" asked Hank. "...no." "You engines just can't handle the truth...!" Gordon scoffed. The engines are about to retort again when Edward said, "*ahem*". The engines all looked to Edward. Gordon had a snooty smirk, while the other engines were hoping for answers. "It seems that you can't handle the truth, Gordon... You do this all the time. Complain about how others are smaller than you, and how you are the fastest and best (imitating Gordon from this point forwards in this line) and I pull the Express! Only issue is that pulling the Express doesn't make you special. Any tender engine can do it really, and even Duck, Thomas and Percy have shown in the past that tank engines can pull the train too." Edward said wisely. The engines grinned, all except Gordon, who blushed angrily. "They managed on luck you know, and I don't see you pulling it anytime soon..." Edward chuckled. "Maybe I will..." "Huh! I'd love to see you try!" The engines quieted down, shocked. Edward said nothing, rolling his eyes as he puffed away. "...oh dear." Murdoch sighed.
Later that day, Edward was backing down onto some red coaches at Knapford. Gordon puffed alongside with the Express, smirking. "I see you're pulling regular coaches, dear Edward. Too bad you aren't pulling the Express! Think of gliding along the line, pulling this special train, carrying all these important people!" "Unlike you, I don't obsess over what I pull..." Edward muttered. "Shots fired, heh heh..." giggled Stafford from the yard. Gordon glared at him. "Go away Stafford, and leave me in peace!" Stafford chuckled as he rushed away. Gordon looked back to Edward. "Look Edward, I respect you and all. You help us through everyday tasks. But to think you can pull my train? Huh! That's pushing your luck!" Gordon blew his whistle and stormed off. "Take a look at this Edward, because you're never going to do it!" Edward chuckled.
That night, at the shed, Edward told BoCo about what Gordon had said. BoCo laughed. "Pompous Gordon can't handle it when another engine takes the express. That'll come back to him soon...!" "Indeed," grinned Edward, "I'm not too bothered by his boasting. I'm used to it." "So am I," replied BoCo, "Though I'm a bit annoyed he picks on you all of engines. Especially since you've been shown to be a strong friend." "I'm a bit vulnerable, being so old and all," said Edward matter-of-factually, "He knows I'm useful by now. Just not for pulling the express, I suppose." "When was the last time you pulled the Express?" inquired BoCo. Edward thought for a moment. "I'm... not entirely sure, really. I know I pulled it often when it was just me and some older engines back in the day, but I think Gordon took my place after Henry and I showed signs of age." "Well, that shows you can pull it, doesn't it?" BoCo chuckled. Edward frowned. "Not necessarily. Sodor's boom in business has made the Express heavier and heavier. Pretty soon it got to the point where Pip and Emma are often called in to help." "Oh..." Edward smiled reassuringly. "Ah, it doesn't matter BoCo. Gordon's just his usual self. Nothing to worry about." BoCo grinned. "I suppose not. Night Edward..." And the engines fell asleep.
Early next morning, at Tidmouth Sheds, Gordon was getting ready to pull his morning train. He grinned as the firelighter lit his fire. "Another routine run." he chuckled to the others, "But it never gets old." "Not like your boasting..." muttered Duck. Hank groaned. "Don't you ever think of anything else but ya train, Gordon?" "Sure. I think of plenty of things. Bricks... Tumbleweeds... My paintwork... Math..." "Why do you think about math? Nobody thinks about math." "Because... uh..." Before the conversation could continue, a loud bang was heard inside of Gordon. "Ouch!" cried Gordon, "What was that?!" The firelighter coughed. "I think I broke something... Wait, hold on." He checked the controls on Gordon's cab, and then sighed. "Well, this is bad..." "What happened?" asked Gordon's driver as he walked up to the cab. "I think I broke something in the cab... By accident... Come take a look." The driver sighed as he walked into the cab. "What did you do...?" "A lever's broken so... um..." "Darn it Jackson, you broke the throttle! Now Gordon can't move!" Hearing this news, Gordon gulped. "So... I can't pull the Express?" "What do you think? The throttle is what makes a steam locomotive move. If it's broken... well... you're not going anytime soon." Gordon groaned. "Oh the indignity..." James laughed. "All puffed out, eh Gordon? Looks like someone else will have to take the Express!" The big engine gasped. "What? No! They can't!" "The train can't stop just because of your crisis, Gordon," replied Murdoch, "One of us will have to go." "Oh pick me! Pick me!" exclaimed James. "I can do it!" cried Henry. "Don't you two have your trains...?" asked Hank. Henry sighed. "Oh right... Produce..." "I'll phone the Fat Controller," said the driver, "Jackson... Don't do this ever again..." "I told you it was an accident! It just snapped in half!"
The Fat Controller was eating a plate of bacon when the call came. "Michael? Why are you calling now? I'm in the middle of eating my delicious fried pig!" "Sorry sir, but Gordon's throttle's broken. He can't move now. Someone else will have to take his place." The Fat Controller nearly dropped the piece of bacon he was holding. "What?! What do we do? Pip and Emma are on loan to the Mainland!" "Why'd you do that exactly...?" "They needed help, I sent them." "Okay... Anyone else that isn't going to do anything?" "Well," said the Fat Controller thoughtfully as he nipped a piece of meat, "Henry's taking his produce... James has a local run... Murdoch's helping out with some construction... and Hank has a train to take to the Mainland. Everyone else has their own work to do or is having their service at the Steamworks." "Well, you did this very well," moaned Gordon's driver, "What exactly are we going to do?" The stout gentleman winced, munching on his bacon faster. "I'm... not sure." Suddenly the Fat Controller got an idea. "I know! Edward can do it! Huh, I guess bacon is brain food. I knew it all along!" "Are you sure, sir? Edward's a fine engine, sir, but he's... old." "I know, but we don't have much of a choice at this point." Gordon's driver cringed as the Fat Controller could be heard crunching on some bacon through the telephone. "Also, why are you chewing bacon while talking to me? Isn't that rude?" he asked. "Not really, Michael. Bacon helps mend the wounds of the mind." "Um... okay." The Fat Controller hung up, biting into another piece of bacon. "Now where's my pencil..."
At Crocks Scrap Yard, Edward was shunting a few trucks of scrap out of the way. "Reg, have you met Gordon?" the blue engine asked. Reg chuckled. "If you mean the workman sure. He waves to me every day." "Um no, I meant the engine." "Oh," Reg said, "Then um... not really. Big engines don't come down this branch line very often. Why do you ask?" "Just wondering," replied Edward. Reg was a bit confused, but didn't bother to press the issue. Just then, the manager of the scrapyard ran up to Edward. "Edward, there's an urgent matter in the yard. Gordon's throttle has snapped and there's no other engine available. We need you to take the Express." Edward was shocked. "Me sir? But... isn't there someone else to do it?" "I'm afraid not Edward. Don't worry; BoCo and Derek can look after your branch line until you get back." Edward sighed. "Alright, sir..." "Why are you sad, Edward?" asked Reg helpfully, "This is an amazing opportunity for you! My opportunities consist of scaring engines. Not very interesting." "I'm not sad, Reg," replied Edward, "It's just I haven't pulled the Express in a long time." "Well, give it your best shot," replied Reg, "These passengers need to do their things that humans do." Edward chuckled. "You're right, Reg. Come on driver, off we go!" Edward's driver released the brake and Edward chuffed away. "Bye Reg!" Reg chuckled. "Old Reliable Edward is at it again... Am I reliable, manager?" "Um..." Suddenly Reg dropped the piece of scrap he was holding. "I think that answers your own question." Reg chuckled nervously. "Sorry..."
At Tidmouth Station, Rosie was waiting beside the platform where Gordon was, worried. "Where on Earth is Gordon? He's very late!" she cried out, "These passengers are already thundering to the Fat Controller's office." Hank whistled as he puffed beside her at the other platform, preparing to leave. "Gordon's throttle's snapped," the American engine said, "Someone is gonna have to pull the Express." "But who?" wondered Rosie. "Not sure, I'm afraid," replied Hank. Just then, a whistle blew. "I think that's Edward!" cried Hank in surprise. Edward backed down onto the coaches, grinning sheepishly at the two engines. "Yes, the Fat Controller chose me. I know I may not seem like the appropriate choice but-" "Don't say any more, Edward. I think you can do a great job!" replied Rosie, "For a very old engine, you're very strong!" "Quite right," agreed Hank as he started to puff away, "Good luck, champ!" The passengers were surprised, but pleased that Edward was going to be their engine. "He's very reliable," they murmured to each other. Edward chuckled as the Fat Controller walked beside him. "Edward, I know you haven't pulled the Express in a long time, but I know you can do this. Try to make it to Crovan's Gate. An engine from the Mainland may be able to take it from there." Edward grinned. "Yes, sir! Ready to go, sir!" "Ah, that's my Edward," the Fat Controller chortled as he climbed aboard. The guard blew her whistle and waved her green flag. She hurried into the brake carriage as Edward started on his way. "Go Edward!" whistled Rosie.
At first, Edward wasn't as fast as Gordon, but the passengers didn't mind too much. He panted as he raced through the countryside. "I will do it... I will do it..." he whispered to himself, remembering when he felt a similar way when he pushed Gordon up the hill, all those years ago. But soon the train went a bit faster. Edward's wheels pounded the rails as he rushed around the bend. Suddenly he heard a loud horn from behind him. It was Bear, hauling Gordon to the Steamworks. "Hello Edward!" called the Diesel as he rushed beside Edward's tender, "My, you're fast today!" Edward chuckled. "Well that's because I'm taking over for Gordon," he called back. When Gordon saw that Edward had taken his place, he was horrified. "Oh the indignity... You can't pull the Express all the way to Crovan's Gate!" Edward smirked. "Oh, I can't? Just watch me!" Edward added a burst of speed, making his cheeks grow redder and he started to wheeze a bit. "Woah..." said Bear; he was speechless. But Gordon wasn't. "Go faster Bear! We can't let Edward beat us to Knapford! What if Thomas sees us?!" "So what?" asked Bear, "We've got plenty of time anyway." Gordon growled, but there was nothing he could do except Edward slowly pull in front. "Bother..."
At Knapford Station, Thomas grinned as he pulled to a stop at the platform. "Well, well, well! Looks like Gordon's late... or I'm early! Either way I can't wait to see the look on his face when he gets here...!" "Now Thomas, you shouldn't do that," scolded Annie. "Precisely. Be the better engine and console him!" Clarabel agreed. Thomas blinked. "Yeah... no." Just then, a whistle blew. "That's not Gordon..." said Thomas in surprise. "It's Edward!" exclaimed Clarabel. "Edward...?" spluttered Thomas and Annie together. "Hello," wheezed Edward as he came to a halt. He coughed a few times. Thomas winced. "Are you alright, Edward?" "I think so," replied Edward as he wheezed, "I think it's just... a little getting used to the new speed... That's all." "Be careful then," advised Thomas, "We don't need Old Reliable breaking down, heh heh." Edward smiled weakly. "I'm sure I can make it, Thomas. It's just..." He suddenly had a fit of coughing, alarming Annie and Clarabel. "You should be taken to the Steamworks instead of taking the Express," cried Clarabel. "But these passengers need to get to Crovan's Gate," protested Edward, "Besides, there's no other engine available." "Oh dear..." Just then, the guard blew his whistle and Edward started off, barely able to whistle goodbye to Thomas. Thomas frowned. "I hope he's alright..." Just then, Bear rolled alongside with Gordon. Bear panted as he came to a halt. "What are you doing, Bear?!" Gordon huffed, "We need to get to the Steamworks!" "You're working me off my wheels, Gordon..." replied Bear, "Just... give me a second..." Thomas grinned at Gordon. Gordon, realizing what Thomas' subtle message was, groaned.
Soon, Edward was out on the Main Line again. He slowed down a bit, so he wouldn't use up all of his energy at once. The blue engine panted and wheezed. "Oh my... Maybe Thomas had a point..." he said to himself. "If you have to stop, we can," replied the driver. "No driver... I must complete the journey..." His driver nodded as Edward stormed down the rails. Inside a coach, the Fat Controller couldn't help overhearing Edward's wheezing. "I hope I made the right decision..." he sighed as he munched a piece of bacon he had saved. It took a while for Edward to reach Kellsthorpe Road. When he did arrive, he could barely move. "Oh... my wheels..." he wheezed. "Take it easy, ol' boy," soothed his driver, "We can stop if we have to." "Maybe... if it's just... for a moment..." the old engine sighed sadly. He looked back to the coaches, seeing a few passengers annoyed. "Why are we stopping here? This isn't an express station," huffed a businessman. "Quite right," agreed an architect, "I have to get to Crovan's Gate to catch a train, but it seems I won't be able to now." Edward groaned, realizing he was letting the passengers down. "Driver... release the brake." "But don't you need a rest?" asked his driver worriedly. "I can handle it, driver..." Edward wheezed, "I can do it... I will do it..." His driver, though unsure, admired his engine's courage and released the brake. "Some things never change about engines..." he chuckled to himself as Edward puffed away.
At Crovan's Gate, Duncan was waiting for the Express, and Skarloey couldn't leave because of a tree on his route. "Ugh, where is Gordon?" snapped Duncan, "I canna wait all day for that blasted engine!" "I'm sure there's a good reason for it," replied Skarloey firmly, "Just be patient." "Do ye know how hard it is to wait for somethin', Skarloey?!" "Well... I'm waiting for Rusty to get that tree off the line." "But there's a very important difference between the two predicaments, ye hear?" Skarloey smirked. "And what would that be, Duncan?" Duncan stammered. "I, uh, um..." A whistle blew loud and long, surprising the two narrow gauge engines. "Who's that supposed to be, eh?" asked Duncan huffily. "I believe that's my old friend Edward!" exclaimed Skarloey. "Edward...?" The two could see a puff of smoke floating high in the air, and it was getting closer. They couldn't believe their eyes when they saw Edward coming to a halt at the platform. He had a face redder than James' paint, his panting could be heard all throughout the station, and he could barely speak. "I... did... it..." he said between long periods of breathing. "What took ye so long then...?" asked Duncan rudely. "Duncan!" huffed Skarloey, "Respect your elders!" Edward chuckled, but then coughed. "Edward, what happened to you?" Skarloey asked quickly. "I... took... the Express... and... I... barely... made it..." the big engine explained breathlessly. "Oh my..." Duncan scoffed. "Good thing ye made it then... Otherwise I would've sat here for hours!" Skarloey glared at Duncan. Duncan gulped. "I mean, um... well done." Edward grinned, as it was the best he could do without wheezing. Just then, Bear raced up with Gordon, panting heavily. "I... oh, Edward got here first anyway..." the Diesel muttered. "What are you talking about?" Edward asked quietly; he was now able to talk and could form comprehensible sentences. "Gordon wanted to get here first," replied Bear with a laugh, "Pretty silly though." Edward looked back at Gordon, surprised. "...oh the indignity..." muttered Gordon. "Is that the best you can come up with?" Bear sneered. "...quiet." The Fat Controller walked out of the Express, beaming from ear to ear. "Edward, I must say you were wonderful! I've never seen an engine pull the Express with such effort!" Edward smiled, wheezing slightly. "Thank you sir... It was an honor to pull the Express again, sir..." "I say you were quite fast, despite your condition!" continued the Fat Controller. Gordon's jaw dropped. "F-fast?! But sir, he barely made it here!" The stout gentleman glared at his express engine. "Gordon, I thought you have learned to respect Edward's well being by now." "I do sir, but he acted like he could pull the Express! That's being overconfident!" Gordon spluttered. "Wow, no hypocrisy at all. Well done, Gordon. So much fact in that statement," Bear said flatly. "Bear has a point, Gordon. That's pretty hypocritical of you to say," the Fat Controller said sternly. Gordon looked down at his buffers. "Yes sir..." "And Edward, I have one more surprise for you. I'm going to give you an overhaul!" Edward gasped. "An overhaul? Sir, I can't thank you enough! I've been feeling a bit out of shape for a while now!" "Ha ha, no need to thank me, Edward." Gordon sulked, looking away in envy. "Now Bear, you think you can take the Express the rest of the way?" the Fat Controller asked. "Sure, sir. If you want me to," offered Bear as he was uncoupled from Gordon. He then looked to find The Works Diesel shunting a few trucks of engine parts out of the way. "Excuse me!" he called as he waved his arms. The Works Diesel looked over and grinned. "Oh, hello sir!" "Can you take Edward and Gordon to the Steamworks? I don't think Edward has the strength now," the stout gentleman explained. The diesel grinned. "Right away sir!"
Soon, Edward and Gordon were coupled up behind The Works Diesel, and they were rushed out of the station to make room for other trains. "Goodbye Edward! Take care!" shouted Skarloey. Duncan grumpily puffed away as he whistled rudely. In the Steamworks, Kevin was loading a new delivery of wheels when The Works Diesel rushed in with the two blue engines. "Hello Kevin," cried The Works Diesel, "Here are Edward and Gordon. They need to be repaired." Kevin was shocked by Edward's pint-tinted face. "What happened to you, Edward?" he asked quietly. "I... pulled the Express," Edward explained. Kevin was so surprised he nearly dropped his load of wheels. "Wow! You pulled the Express?! That's amazing!" "Heh heh... I suppose so," grinned Edward. Gordon just grunted. Victor puffed up, surprised. "Oh my goodness! You two look really out of shape!" "Edward pulled the Express! Maybe Gordon broke down so Edward had to help...?" suggested Kevin. Gordon was less than impressed. "That wasn't the story at all!" "Actually it kind of was," replied Edward, still grinning. Gordon just scowled and said nothing more. Soon, Edward was on the hoist, being looked over by workmen. Gordon sat on a siding, looking jealously at Edward. "How come he gets to be repaired first, Victor?" he whined. Victor glared at the big engine. "Edward treats engines with respect. It seems you don't. Besides, Edward will have to get a complete overhaul. You just have a broken throttle." "Ooh..." "Maybe you should apologize, Gordon," said Kevin, "Edward'll understand. Right?" "Of course," said Edward. He looked down at Gordon, half-expecting him to say something. Gordon sighed. "...sorry Edward... I should've have underestimated your abilities... again..." "Will you respect Edward fully from now on?" Victor asked sternly. "...yes." "Good... Kevin, bring some tools. We can start fixing Gordon," said Victor. Gordon's frown changed into a slight smile. Edward looked down at Gordon again, grinning. "I accept your apology, Gordon... I'm glad to see you've learned sense." Gordon chuckled nervously. "Yes... I suppose the Express isn't just a train built for me..."
Soon, Gordon was repaired and tried to be nice about other engines taking his express. In fact, the very next day, Henry took Gordon's express for him while he pulled a slow goods. He was surprised at how much of a nice change of pace it was, and knew he had to thank Edward once he returned.
- The Works Diesel
- Annie and Clarabel
- The Fat Controller
- Percy (does not speak)
- Toby (cameo)
- Emily (cameo)
- Neville (cameo)
- Stanley (cameo)
- Ryan (cameo)
- Henrietta (cameo)
- Bertie (cameo)
- Trevor (cameo)
- Pip and Emma (mentioned)
- Rusty (mentioned)
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Wellsworth Sheds
- Crocks Scrap Yard
- Kellsthorpe Road
- Crovan's Gate
- Sodor Steamworks
- A reference to the Railway Series story Triple Header is used.