|Gordon's Last Run|
|Season X, Episode 28|
|Air date||26 January 2020|
Taking Toby to the Works
Daisy and the Milk
Gordon has pulled the Express for many years. He enjoys pulling this train and everyone knows it. Henry, James, and Bear take in turns to pull the Express if Gordon is away. But for the most part, people will often see Gordon pulling it.
One day, Gordon pulled into Barrow. This is where the Express changes engine. Another engine takes the train to London.
"You've been to London before, haven't you," said the diesel who was getting ready to take the Express.
"I have. Several times before."
"I wonder why you couldn't take it there regularly."
"I think it has something to do with the distance."
Gordon puffed away to the sheds. He was also low on coal but there was no coal anywhere.
"Not again," groaned Gordon. "I suppose we'll have to wait for Dodger to bring it."
"Quite right," said the Driver.
It was an hour before Dodger brought plenty of coal for Gordon.
"Why isn't there any coal?" asked Gordon.
"This is the Other Railway. Here, it's up to them to provide coal and water. I guess there's not many steam engines around, so they don't provide much coal and water anymore," replied Dodger.
"Couldn't you bring coal over from the Mines?"
"We'd need permission. I also hear that it also has to do with money."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, it's becoming expensive to maintain a coal and water facility here which is why often times there's no water."
"That's why I fill up at the Works station now. Even if we lose some time."
"I just hope you can continue pulling the Express."
"Well of course I'm going to continue with the Express. It's my job."
"Think about it though. Less coal and water here, the timetable is tight, and the engine exchange could pave the way towards someone else pulling the Express in future."
Gordon knew Dodger was right.
"In the meantime, you're still doing a grand job."
Dodger puffed away.
Later, Gordon was preparing for the return journey, still thinking about what Dodger had said.
"I suppose there are improvements that could be made to the Express," he told his Driver.
"I suppose so."
"It has gotten a little harder to keep time. Especially since we have to take on water at the Works station."
"From what I know, the Fat Controller has looked into various solutions to these problems."
"Could it mean that I may no longer be in charge on the Express?"
"Not sure about that. It all depends really."
Gordon decided not to think about it anymore. Soon, the diesel arrived and Gordon was coupled to the train. In no time at all, he was over the bridge, and roaring through Vicarstown. He passed Molly, who was waiting outside the station. Once he was gone, she puffed gently into the station.
"Look who's back!" called Dodger. "Haven't seen you in ages."
"And by ages, you mean this morning," chuckled Molly. "Any news?"
"Actually, I had to take coal over to Barrow again."
"Yeah. If something doesn't happen, soon there will be no coal and water at Barrow."
"That would be dreadful."
"You know," continued Molly, "I've heard a rumour that the Fat Controller is thinking about purchasing Pip and Emma."
"The high-speed train that came for the Golden Jubilee?"
"They'd be taking charge of the Express."
"It would solve a lot of problems."
"Yes, 'cause there'd be no need to change engines at Barrow. They would pull it from Tidmouth to London and back, every day."
"But this is just a rumour."
"And I reckon Emily told you."
"No . . . Yes. We want to keep this dark. We don't need any false information going around. But from what she told me it has definitely been discussed by the Fat Controller."
"I agree. But you know, as much as a change sounds necessary, it will be a shame for Gordon. He's pulled the Express for ages."
"That's also why we don't want this information going around."
Meanwhile, at the Big Station, Gordon had arrived. He puffed back to the shed feeling very tired.
"Its never been an easy job, but nowadays, it just feels a lot harder," he thought to himself.
Gordon was asleep even before his crew finished their duties.
"Night Gordon," whispered the Driver as he and the Fireman left.
"I can't belive he's already asleep," smirked James.
"The Express is hard work," said Emily.
James had to agree.
One day, the Fat Controller came to see Gordon.
"Now, I want to begin by saying that you have always pleased me with your runs of the Express. You always proved you were the most capable of pulling it."
"Thank you Sir."
"But recently, I have noticed how much harder you have been working. Then, there's coal and water problems on the Other Railway. I feel it is time to make a change."
"I understand . . ."
"A change in engine for the Express. You know them already."
"Pip and Emma."
"Precisely. I know there's been some rumours going around that I was going to purchase them. Well, now I have. They are now part of Our Railway."
"With them working the Express, there would be no need for a change of engine at Barrow. They'd be able to make the complete trip to London and back each day."
"I can see how that would work."
"As for you, well, I think you might like stopping trains. Yes, it will be a change from the hustle and bustle of the Express, but it is kind of what you need."
"Very well then. I do need a change and if this is something that will work then I won't stand in the way."
"Once again, thanks for many years of the Express."
"No problem Sir."
Gordon was a bit upset at first.
"You've had the job for a long time now," soothed his Driver.
"I think we all knew that someday we were going to step aside," added the Fireman.
"Besides, you're still part of the railway and you will still have passengers to pull. It'll be different, but we'll get used to it."
Gordon felt a bit better.
When the other engines returned, Gordon told them the news.
"Is it official?" asked Paxton.
"From what the Fat Controller told me - yes."
"That's a shame," said Bear.
"I'm sorry to hear that too," added Duck. "That really was your job."
"I am a bit upset but I'll be all right. After all, I will continue to be useful just doing another job."
The next day, Gordon was getting ready for his stopping train.
"The weather is fine and the sea looks lovely," he thought as he stood at the platform.
Norman brought his coaches.
Gordon was soon on his way and found time to spare when he arrived at the Junction. In no time at all, he was at Edward's station.
"Hullo Gordon. Pleased to see you. And I heard you're now longer in charge of the Express. How are you doing with this train?"
"It's going fine actually. I don't have to rush and I was always having to rush with the Express recently."
"Glad to hear you're all right."
"Indeed. I'll probably get used to this routine."
"Its different from the Express, but I think you'll enjoy it."
"Yeah. It was nice to see you Edward."
"Same. And with these stopping trains, we'll probably see each other all the time."
"Good. It has been a while."
Just then, the Guard's whistle.
"Better be off. If something hasn't changed, it's the hill!"
"I'll be around if you need a banker!"
"No need! But its glad I'll be to you talk to you more often."
Gordon continued on his way. The rest of the journey allowed Gordon to take his time and enjoy himself.
"Quite a change from rushing about and maintaining speed," he thought to himself.
He reached Vicarstown with no trouble at all. He was uncoupled from his coaches and puffed over to the sheds for a rest.
"Hey Gordon," said Molly. "I hear you're running stopping trains now."
"Yes, that is true," replied Gordon.
"How was your journey?"
"It was great. I got to talk to Edward for a while."
"You two are good friends."
"We have been for a long time."
"Well, you'll have more of that with these trains."
"I think I'll be fine. For once it was great to not have to rush."
"That's great. But, I think you will miss the Express."
"Well, yes. I pulled it for many years - it was pretty much my train, but if Pip and Emma are a success, then I won't stand in the way. I do want what's best for this railway."
Molly and all the engines were glad Gordon was feeling great despite not being the engine for the Express anymore.
Pip and Emma soon proved to be a success. They ran the Express from the Big Station to London daily in good time.
One month later, Gordon was at the platform just as the Express was about to leave.
"Have a great journey," said Gordon.
"Thanks," said Emma. "And we're glad you're handling the change well."
"That's all right. It was becoming more and more difficult. Besides, you two have managed fine."
"Well, you'll still always be remembered for pulling the Express."
As the Express rolled away, Gordon did feel a bit empty.
He reached Edward's station in no time.
Edward noticed Gordon looking off.
"What's the matter?" he asked.
"Ah, well, I know I've settled well into this routine of stopping trains but at the same time, I do miss the Express."
Edward understood. "Perhaps you need closure."
"What do you mean?"
"One last journey with the Express."
"That would be fantastic."
"How about I talk to the Fat Controller about that?"
"Oh, you don't have to."
"Don't worry. He'll understand."
Indeed the Fat Controller understood and soon arranged a special train for Gordon.
Many people came. They took his photographed and Gordon's Driver and Fireman signed until their arms ached. Gordon pulled the Express to time and everyone was very impressed.
When they returned to the Big Station, Gordon smiled.
"It was a great pleasure to have pulled the Express for so long. Now, I am ready for my new role on the railway."
Everyone clapped and cheered for Gordon. They knew that he will always be Really Useful.
- The Other Railway Diesel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Pip (does not speak)