Enterprising Engines Part 1 is the fourth episode of the thirteenth season.

Enterprising Engines Part 1
Season 13, Episode 4
Air date 25 July 2013
Written by Rev. W. Awdry
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Tenders for Henry
Enterprising Engines Part 2


"Super Rescue"

The two diesels surveyed the Shed. "It's time 7101." said one, "that we took this railway over."

"Shsh, 199! It's their railway after all."

"Not for long," protested 199. "Our Controller says, 'Steam engines spoil our Image'."

"Of course we do," snapped Duck. "We show what frauds you are. Call yourselves engines? If anything happens, you care nothing for your train. You just moan for a Fitter. We bring it home, if only on one cylinder."

"Nothing," boasted 199, "ever happens to us. We are reliable."

Vulgar noises greeted this.

"How rude!" said 199.

"You asked for it," growled 7101. "Now shut up!"

Next day, Henry was rolling home, tenderfirst. "I'm a 'failed engine'," he moaned. "Lost my regulator - Driver says it's jammed wide open, and he can't mend it till I'm cool."

"However," he went on, "I've got steam, and Driver can use my reverser; but it would happen after Duck fooled me with those tenders. Now they'll laugh at me again."

He reached a signal box and stopped, whistling for a "road".

Opposite the box, on the "up" line, stood diesel 199 with a train of oil tankers.

"Worse and worse," thought Henry. "Now 'Old Reliable' will laugh at me, too."

The Signalman came out. "For pity's sake take this Spamcan away. It's failed. The 'Limited' is behind, and all he does is wail for his Fitter."

"Spamcan!" fumed 199. "I'm . . . "

"Stow it!" snapped the Signalman, "or I'll take my tin-opener to you. Now then!"

199 subsided at this dreadful threat, and Henry pulled the train out of the way. The diesel didn't help. He just sulked.

The 'Limited' rushed by with a growl and a roar. Henry gave a chuckle. "Look, Spamcan," he said. "There's your little pal."

The diesel said nothing. He hoped 7101 hadn't noticed.

7101 hadn't noticed. He had troubles of his own. He was very cross with his coaches. They seemed to be getting heavier. He roared at them, but it did no good.

Engines have a pump called an ejector which draws air out of the train's brake pipe to keep the brakes "off". If it fails, air leaks in and the brakes come "on", gently at first, then harder and harder.

7101's ejector had failed. The brakes were already "leaking on" while he passed Henry. He struggled on for half a mile before being brought to a stand, growling furiously, unable to move a wheel.

"Well! Well! Well! Did you hear what Signalman said?"

"I thought they'd be laughing at me!" chuckled Henry. "Now, the joke's on them!"

"Moving two 'dead' diesels and their trains?" said his Driver thoughtfully. "That's no joke for a 'failed' engine. D'you think you can do it?"

"I'll have a good try," said Henry with spirit. "Anyway, 7101's better than old Spamcan. He did try and shut him up last night."

"Come on, then," said his Driver. "We musn't keep the passengers waiting."

"GET MOV - ING YOU!" Henry puffed the sulky diesel into motion, and started to the rescue.

Henry gently buffered up to the Express. While the two Drivers talked, his Fireman joined his front brake-pipe to the coaches.

"It's better than we thought, Henry," said his Driver. "The diesel can pull if we keep the brakes 'off'. So the only weight we'll have is Spamcan's goods."

"Whoosh!" said Henry. "That's a mercy." He was, by now, feeling rather puffed.

"Poop poop poopoop! Are you ready?" tooted 7101.

"Peep peep peeeep! Yes I am!" whistled Henry.

So, with 7101 growling in front, and Henry gamely puffing in the middle, the long cavalcade set out for the next Big Station.

Donald and Flying Scotsman were waiting. They cheered as Henry puffed past.

He braked the coaches thankfully; Spamcan and the tankers trailed far behind.

The passengers buzzed out like angry bees; but the Fat Controller told them about Henry, so they forgot to be cross and thanked Henry instead. They called him an Enterprising Engine, and took his photograph.

They were thrilled too, when Flying Scotsman backed down on their train. If the Guard hadn't tactfully "shooed" them to their coaches the train would have started later than ever.

Donald took the "goods". "Return 199 to the Other Railway," ordered the Fat Controller. "I will write my views later."

Henry and 7101 went away together.

"I'm sorry about last night," ventured the diesel.

"That's all right. You did shut 'Old Reliable' up."

"And," said the diesel ruefully, "made a fool of myself today too."

"Rubbish! A failed ejector might happen to anyone. I'd lost my regulator."

"You! Failed?" exclaimed the diesel. "And yet . . . " His voice trailed away in admiration.

"Well!" said Henry. "Emergency, you know. Trains must get through."

7101 said no more. He had a lot to think about.


Douglas had taken the "Midnight Goods" to a station on the Other Railway. He was shunting ready for his return journey, when he heard a faint "Hisssssssssssss."

"That sounds like an engine," he thought.

The "Hisssss" came again.

This time, it sounded almost despairing. "Who's there?" he asked.

A whisper came. "Are you a Fat Controller's engine?"

"Aye, and proud of it."

"Thank goodness! I'm Oliver. We're escaping to your railway, but we've run out of coal, and I've no more steam."

"Is it from scrap ye're escaping?"


"Then it's glad I'll be to help ye; but we maun wurrk fast."

Both crews joined in. They took off Oliver's side-rods, wrote out transit labels, and chalked SCRAP everywhere they could. Douglas marshalled Oliver in front of his train, "No time to turn around," he panted. "I maun run tender furrst."

"Yoohoo! Yoohoo!" yelled a passing diesel. "A steamer's escaping! Yoohoo!"

Douglas puffed firmly on. "Take no notice," he counselled; but they were stopped before they could clear the station throat.

The Foreman's lamp shone on Oliver. "Aha!" he exclaimed. "A 'Western' engine!" His light flickered back. "A 'Western' auto-coach and a goods-brake van too! You can't take these!"

"Can we no!" said Douglas's Driver. "They're all fer uz. See fer yersel."

Douglas's Guard showed him the labels and paper. Oliver's crew, hiding in the coach, hardly dared to breathe.

"Seems in order," said the Foreman grudgingly, "but it's queer."

"Sure, and it is," began the Guard, "but I could tell you queerer . . . "

"So could I!" interrupted the Foreman. "Right away, Guard."

"A near thing," puffed Douglas with relief.

"We've had worse," smiled Oliver. "We ran at night. Friendly Signalmen would pass us from box to box when no trains were about. We got on well till 'Control' heard about a 'mystery train'. Then, they tried to hunt us down."

"What did you do?"

"A Signalman let us hide on an old quarry branch. Driver, Fireman, and Guard blocked the cutting with rubbish, and levered one of the approach rails away. We stayed there for days, with diesels baying and growling like hounds outside. I was very frightened then."

"Small blame to you," said Douglas feelingly.

Presently, they rumbled over the bridge and on to the Fat Controller's Railway.

"We're home! They can't catch ye noo."

"Tell Isabel and Toad please."

Douglas called out the news, and heard a joyful "Tingalingaling! Tingalingaling!" He was surprised.

Oliver chuckled. "That's Isabel," he said. "There is a bell on her you see. She's clever. When we go out together, I pull one way, and push the other. When I pull, I can see ahead. When I push, I can't; so Isabel keeps a good look-out, and rings her bell to talk to me."

"Ye dinna say!" Douglas was impressed.

"About this Toad," he continued. "Is he . . . "

"Haud yer wheest," said his Driver. "Yon's the Wurrks. We maun slip in unbeknowst, and find a place for Oliver."

Douglas tried hard to be quiet, but the Night Foreman heard them, and had to be told their secret. "I know just the place," he said, and showed them an empty siding nicely hidden away.

Oliver said "Goodbye" and "Thank you", and Douglas puffed away. "Yon's an enterprising engine," he thought. "I won away here with Donald; but I'd been feared to do it on my own."

(screen fades away)

Douglas arrived back in time to see Flying Scotsman take his Enthusiasts home.

"Little Western"

The Fat Controller said they had all been honoured, and thanked Flying Scotsman and his Owner for their help. "Please tell everyone," he went on, "that whatever happens elsewhere, Steam will still be at work here. We shall be glad to welcome all who want to see, and travel behind, real engines."

The announcement was greeted with cheers, and Flying Scotsman departed to the strains of "Will ye no come back again?' led, as one might expect, by Donald and Douglas.

At last Douglas could tell his news. They were all excited about it, and agreed something must be done for Oliver.

"I'm feared," said Donald, "some murdering diesel may creep in, and him there alone, lacking steam to even whistle for help.

"You're right," said James. "He won't be safe until till the Fat Controller knows."

"You should tell him at once," said Gordon firmly.

"Is it me speak tae the Fat Controller? It's forward he'd think of me, and mebbe interfering."

"Well, here he is!" said a cheerful voice. "Now, what's all this about?"

Duck broke the awkward silence. "Beg pardon, Sir, but we do need another engine."

"I agree, Duck. That is why I am giving 7101 another chance." Their faces showed such dismay that the Fat Controller had difficulty with his own!

"Sir," ventured Gordon at last. "We had hoped for a real engine."

"They," said the Fat Controller gravely, "are rare, and unless one escapes, there's little hope . . . "

"But, Sir," burst out Donald, "one has . . . "

" . . . and, thanks to Douglas, is now at our Works," announced the Fat Controller.

"Sir," gasped Douglas, "Is there anything ye don't know?"

"More than you think," he laughed. "Oliver's crew told me all you did, Douglas . . . "

"Och, Sir! Ye couldna' see a braw wee engine, and him in trouble, and no do a wheel's turn . . . "

"More than 'a wheel's turn', I fancy. Douglas, I'm pleased with you. Oliver, Isabel, and Toad will soon be ours. Oliver and Isabel are just what we need for Duck's Branch Line . . . "

Loud cheers greeted this announcements.

" . . . and Toad wants to be your brake van, Douglas."

"Thank you, Sir. I'd hoped for that. He and I'll do brawly together."

That, of course, made everything right. Henry spoke a good word for 7101, and the others gave him a welcome.

He had good manners for a start, so Henry didn't find it hard to teach him our ways. 7101 finds them different from those of the Other Railway, but much more interesting. He is now quite a useful engine.

They teased him at first because he growls. They said he was like a bear. He still growls, not because he's cross, but because he can't help it. His name "Bear", has stuck. He likes it.

"It's nicer than having a number," he says. "Having a name means you really belong."

The Fat Controller soon had Oliver, Isabel, and Toad mended and painted in full Great Western colours. Then, he rescued three more "Western" auto-coaches. Two, Alice and Mirabel, he gave to Duck. The third, Dulcie, joined Oliver and Isabel.

Duck and Oliver are happy on their Branch Line. It runs along the coast to the Small Railway. "We re-open Branch Lines," they boast.

They are very proud of this indeed.

The others laughed at first, and called their Branch "The Little Western". Duck and Oliver were delighted, and now, no one ever thinks of calling it anything else.



  • This episode is based off the stories 'Super Rescue' which is based off a real life event in Waterloo in 1967, 'Escape', and 'Little Western' from RWS No. 23 "Enterprising Engines" by the Rev. W. Awdry.
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