Hector the Ballast Hopper
Season 3, Episode 12
Air date September 28th, 2014
Written by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Directed by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Episode guide
Paul and the Weedkiller
Superior Designs


Hector is a coal hopper, usually working at the Coal Mines with Molly. Hector and Molly got along swell, and Hector was happy; he liked carrying coal.

One day, Hector watched Molly shunting a coal train to take to Brendam. "Hey Molly," called Hector, "Why aren't I in your train?" Molly stopped and stuttered timdly. "Uh, um... I don't know," Molly said quickly and she puffed away. "That's odd." said Hector, but he didn't think much of it as he went to sleep. Suddenly he felt something bump against his buffers. "Ah!" he cried and he saw a Pannier tank in front of him. "Who the heck are you?" Hector spluttered. "Duck's the name," the tank engine said, "and you're Hector. I've heard of you from Rosie." Hector was suddenly cross. "Don't remind me!" he yelled. Duck shivered from the impact. "Hector, geez, I'm just trying to get you to come to my branch line to get some ballast." Hector grew crosser still. "Ballast?! Ballast?! Listen here mister Duckie, I pull coal, and only coal. So go away and lay an egg!" The trucks were laughing like crazy. "The old Hector's back! Yay!" Duck was shocked. "B-b-but I thought you were a nice truck now!" "Only to engines who know I'm a coal hopper, not a ballast hopper," growled Hector. "Don't be difficult Hector, now come on." Duck started to pull Hector out of the mines. "No!" cried Hector, "No, please! I hate ballast!" Duck rolled his eyes as they rushed onto the Main Line towards Tidmouth. "And don't cause any problems, do you hear?" Hector smirked when Duck wasn't looking. "Sure..." 

Soon Duck and Hector arrived at Tidmouth. "I have to put you in a siding real quick so I can get the rest of my trucks," explained Duck as he shunted him. He left him there and backed down onto some more trucks. "You're going in the back," said Duck, a bit worriedly; he had also heard what Hector did to engines, biffing and bashing them about. Hector groaned as he was put in the back. "Aww..." he sighed as Duck set off on his way again. 

At Arlesburgh Junction, Oliver and Toad were dropping off passengers. "Hello Duck, hello... big, scary truck," said Oliver slowly as Duck arrived. "Hi," said Duck, then he noticed Toad. "Oliver, you know you don't need a brakevan when you have a brake coach, don't you?" "Yes, I know, but I prefer to keep Toad with me at all times," explained Oliver, "Isn't that right Toad?" "Yes Mr. Oliver..." "Ok then. Hector, time to go under the chute." Rex was shunting some ballast trucks onto the chute, where the ballast falls through the holes into the big engines' trucks. Duck pushed Hector and the trucks under the chute. "Come on," he said, "You might like it!" Hector still wasn't convinced however. Instead, he wanted to play a trick on Duck. "On! On!" yelled Hector to the trucks and pulled Duck under the chute, and the ballast went all over Duck. "Oh, no! *cough* Why did you do that, Hector?" coughed Duck. "Because you clearly don't know how to deal with a coal hopper." said Hector indignantly, "Besides, everybody knows rolling stock is better than locomotives!" Rex was indignant. "We engines pull and push the trucks, and without us, you trucks would be useless!" Hector knew that Rex was right, but he honestly didn't care. Soon, the workmen arrived to clear up the mess and load up the trucks, including Hector. "No!" shouted Hector, but the workmen didn't take any notice. "Just ignore him." they said to each other. Duck groaned. "I have a feeling this is all my fault!" he sighed to his driver. "Don't worry, Duck. This wasn't your fault. It was just those stupid trucks again." said the driver. Oliver noticed the incident and couldn't help chuckling as he puffed away.

The word soon spread of the incident, and by the time Duck got to the sheds that night, all of the engines had heard about it. "Och, ye have no luck with trucks, eh Duck?" teased Donald. Duck sighed, "You wouldn't be laughing if it had happened to you!" "Well, the trucks have gained my respect." boasted Oliver, "so I'm sure I can take Hector tomorrow." "Are you sure?" asked Duck, "He's pretty cross right now." "Oh please," chuckled Oliver, "He's like a feather." "Oh no, I can tell where this is goin'," said Douglas. "Aye, ye do?" asked Donald, "Well, I can tell where this leavin'!" "That's not funny." 

The next day, Oliver set off for Tidmouth Yards. "Well Toad, this should be interesting, shouldn't it?" "I guess so Mr. Oliver, but I'm worried." "Why?" "Isn't Hector a bully?" asked Toad. "Not anymore Toad. Everybody knows that Hector is..." "Is what Mr. Oliver?" Oliver didn't respond; he was frozen in fear at the stare Hector gave him. "Uh-uh-uh... h-h-hi Hector." stuttered Oliver. Hector still stared. "N-n-nice day, huh?" Hector still stared. "Come on Mr. Oliver, couple up," said Toad. Oliver gulped as the shunter coupled him up to the menace that was Hector. "P-p-please don't cause any t-t-trouble," said Oliver, scared. Hector finally spoke. "I'm. Not. A.  Ballast. Hopper." Oliver's wheels wouldn't move. "Uh-uh, yes, I know that Hector, b-b-but you do need to transport ballast today." Hector growled at him; he was deeply offended that everybody thought he was a ballast hopper .The nice Hector had gone and was replaced with the old Hector, except a bit worse. Oliver then remembered why the trucks respected him to begin with. "If you don't behave," he cried bravely, "I'll pull you apart like S. C. Ruffey!" Hector's stare faded as he suddenly realized messing with Oliver was a bad move. Toad grinned ."Nice job, Mr. Oliver!" "Of course Toad," grinned Oliver and they puffed towards Arlesburgh.

On the way to the junction, Hector devised a plan to make Oliver cross without him being a suspect. He whispered something to the trucks. The trucks giggled, to which Oliver bumped them ."Stop it!" he said sternly. The trucks remained silent until they reached Arlesburgh Junction. "Hello Rex." Oliver said. Rex glared at Hector. "I guess you're doing well," Rex said. Oliver chuckled. "Yes indeed." Then out of nowhere the trucks sang a song Oliver tried hard to forget. "Oliver's no use at all, thinks he's very clever! Says that he can manage us, that's the best joke ever! When he orders us about with the greatest folly, we're just push him down the well! Pop Goes Old Ollie!" the trucks sang, except Hector, who decided the rest of the trucks singing was enough. Oliver was furious. "Shut up!" Rex giggled. "Sorry Oliver, it's just funny." he laughed. Oliver was now fuming. "I'll show you!" Oliver went on his way, furious with the trucks. The trucks began to sing another song. "Oliver's the lamest of all, saying that he's above the rest, always thinking he's the best! He thinks he's got our respect, but we'll put it to the test!" Oliver bumped the trucks again. The trucks laughed instead. Toad was scared. "Mr. Oliver, please do something!" Oliver sighed as the trucks continued singing. Hector smirked as Oliver tried to think of something. He then abruptly stopped. The trucks bumped into him, including Hector and Toad. "Oliver, what are you doing?" asked his driver. "I won't move until those trucks apologize!" Toad was now cross with Oliver. "Mr. Oliver, this is unacceptable! You can't just stop in the middle of the line!" Oliver and Toad's arguing gave the trucks the chance they wanted. "On! On!" they laughed, bumping Oliver's crew off the footplate. "Ow!" cried the driver. Toad's guard tried to apply the brakes, but it was no good; Hector's weight made it nearly impossible to stop. "Help! Help!' cried Oliver. Now Hector knew the trucks were going too far. "Trucks, please stop! This is as far as I'm willing to take it!" But the trucks, being ballast trucks, didn't listen. They raced through Haultraugh, surprising Donald. "Och aye!' Tidmouth neared in the distance. Oliver was scared that he would collide with an engine. "Toad, help!" "I can't!" shouted Toad, "My brakes aren't strong enough!" 

At Tidmouth, Duck was at Platform 1, watching in horror as Oliver puffed swiftly past him. "Oliver, watch out!" cried Duck, but it was no good; up ahead Molly was taking a load of coal down to Tidmouth for the Little Western engines. She gasped when she saw Oliver running towards her. "Oliver, stop!" she shrieked as her driver put on the brakes. "I can't!" cried Oliver. Hector gasped as he saw Molly up ahead. The times of being with his best friend came to Hector's mind and he suddenly realized what he was doing was wrong. "Nooo!" Hector cried as he put on his brakes. With both Hector and Toad's brakes on, they managed to stop Oliver and Molly from colliding. Molly was shocked. "Bust my buffers Oliver! Are you all right?" she asked. "Yes, thanks to Toad. Toad, I had no idea you were that strong." "I'm not that strong though Mr. Oliver." said Toad, "I believe Hector helped you." "Hector?!" cried Oliver. "Oh yes, he's helped me a few times when I've had runaways. I haven't had an accident," said Molly. Just then the Fat Controller arrived in Winston. "Oliver, you clumsy engine!" he scolded, "You almost had an accident with Molly!" Oliver sighed. "I'm sorry sir, it's just that-" "That what? You were being silly?" asked the Fat Controller. "Actually sir, it wasn't his fault," interrupted Hector, "It was mine. I told the trucks to play tricks on him because I was offended by them calling me a ballast hopper. I now realize I was being very silly though..." The Fat Controller was surprised. "Well, erm, sorry I snapped at you Oliver. But Hector, as punishment, you will stay as a ballast hopper until you learn to behave for good." "Yes sir..." said Hector sadly. Just then Hank puffed up behind Molly and whistled. "Oh, uh, Oliver, please back down to your platform so Molly can pull into the station," the Fat Controller finished as the driver and fireman arrived on a handcar. "" panted the driver. "I think I lost ten pounds..." groaned the fireman. "Well, that's settled then .Off we go!" said the Fat Controller and he drove away. "Winston, aaaaaaaah!" Duck was surprised and smiled. "I thought you could handle Hector!" he told Oliver. "Uh, well, I guess I did at first, but it kinda got out of control. It doesn't matter now, since Hector will behave from now on." said Oliver. "Right Hector?" asked Molly, eyeing him crossly. "Yes everyone." and Hector stuck true to his word. He did behave from that day forwards, and never cared what he carried in him, whether coal or ballast. 


  • Duck
  • Donald and Douglas
  • Oliver
  • Molly
  • Rex
  • Toad
  • Hector
  • The Fat Controller 
  • Hank (does not speak)
  • Winston (does not speak)
  • Emily (cameo)
  • Stanley (cameo)
  • Flora (cameo)
  • Jason (cameo)
  • Logan (cameo)
  • Alice and Mirabel (cameo)
  • Rosie (mentioned)
  • S. C. Ruffey (mentioned) 
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.