High Tide is the eleventh story of the first volume.
|Season X, Episode 11|
|Air date||1 July 2019|
The Little Western runs right along the coast starting at the Big Station up to Arlesburgh and the line's proximity to the sea make it very popular for tourists.
It had been raining hard for the past couple days.
"All this rain," murmured Duck. "I reckon the sea level is rising."
"Still has to be much more to stop us," replied Oliver.
Duck couldn't help but worry as he collected Alice and Mirabel and set off to the station.
Daisy purred in, shivering.
"All this rain is bad for my swerves," she groaned, but was glad to see Duck. "How are you, Duck?"
"A bit nervous, to be honest," replied the Great Western engine.
"Well, with all this rain, I'm worried it might cause trouble on certain parts of the line which are close to the sea."
"I understand," replied Daisy. "I won't lie. The water was splashing against the line today."
"I wouldn't want the line to cave away."
"Neither do I," agreed Duck. "I'll tell the Fat Controller when I reach the Big Station."
Then, Daisy's Guard blew the whistle and she continued on her way up to Harwick.
Duck was soon on his way. He stopped at Haultraugh and realised Daisy was right about the water.
"I don't want a huge wave to come up and throw my fire out," said Duck, nervously.
"Don't worry. We'll take caution," said the Driver, as they slowly set off again.
The water lapped the bottom of Duck's wheels. But in no time at all, they were resting safely at the Big Station.
"Good thing it wasn't any higher," sighed Duck.
The Fat Controller came out of his office.
"Very rainy day, isn't it?" he commented.
"Indeed," agreed Duck. "There's been so much rain, that the sea level is beginning to rise."
This concerned the Fat Controller, so he immediately sent out Douglas to put red flags and lamps where the sea met the rails.
"Och, I ne'er seen yon sea so near the railway," observed Douglas.
"Aul done! Let's go noo!" called Douglas's Fireman, jumping back into the cab.
They finished the job and reached Arlesburgh just as Oliver was about to depart with Isabel and Dulcie.
"Take care!" called Douglas.
But Oliver didn't seemed concerned at all.
"Daisy said it was barely at her wheels. It can't be that bad," he thought.
His coaches were rather worried.
"Whenever he's like that, it means trouble," confided Isabel to Dulcie.
"I shouldn't want us stranded," added Dulcie.
The rain began to pick up and wind blew harder.
This caused more waves which soon began to splash onto the track. One of these knocked out the red lamps and flags that Douglas had just put out. Worse still, all the water started to weaken the embankment and Oliver was heading right towards it!
"What can go wrong? What can go wrong?" chanted Oliver, as he puffed through the rain and wind.
He was approaching the spot but didn't see the warning flags. Then, a huge wave splashed him!
"Ouch! That was cold!" cried Oliver.
Then, another enormous wave crashed against him!
"Oh no! My fire!" shouted Oliver.
Oliver tried to forge forward but it was no use, he was stranded! He didn't feel so brave now. He felt cold without his fire.
Oliver's Guard called for help.
At the Big Station, Duck was preparing for the return journey when the Fat Controller came up.
"A huge wave has stranded Oliver. This train is suspended for now," said the Fat Controller.
"I guess the waves really are that bad," said Duck.
Meanwhile, Douglas was preparing to rescue Oliver, his crew, and passengers.
"I wouldnae want ae go oot in this weather, but we hae too," said Douglas.
"C'mon!" said the Driver, and they started to the rescue.
Oliver felt miserable and cold.
"Help should be here soon," said the Driver.
"Thank goodness," shivered Oliver.
Then, there was further trouble.
"Do you feel like we're sinking?" asked Dulcie.
"I hope not," replied Isabel.
The Driver and Fireman looked and realised that there were.
"All the rain is loosening the embankment," said the Fireman.
The Guard stopped Douglas where the warning flags should have been.
"The embankment is beginning to crumble," explained the Guard.
"We canna rescue both at the same time then," replied Douglas.
So Oliver was uncoupled from Isabel and Dulcie.
Both crews worked carefully to fasten a chain from Douglas to Dulcie, the rear coach. Douglas had to stand a way back. Due to his weight, it could potentially cause the line to weaken even more.
Finally, Douglas was ready. He pulled, and slowly but surely, brought Isabel and Dulcie to safety.
"I maun take the passengers tae the station!" shouted Douglas.
"Hurry then! I feel like I'm sinking!" replied Oliver.
The coaches and passengers were soon at the station, safely, and Douglas went out to rescue Oliver.
By now, the line was even weaker than before. The tide was higher, and the waves grew bigger and splashed Oliver's boiler.
Douglas's Driver and Fireman were concerned.
"I'm nae so sure aboot this," said Douglas's Fireman, grimly. "It coold collapse under Douggie's weight!"
"Imma sorry, Oliver!" yelled Douglas. "It's nae safe!"
Oliver was upset, but it was no use. The line wasn't safe enough for Douglas to rescue Oliver.
Douglas brought Isabel and Dulcie back to Arlesburgh.
"Sorry we couldna rescue Oliver," sympathised Douglas.
"It's all right. It's not your fault," replied Isabel, sadly.
"I just hope the weather gets better soon," added Dulcie.
Over at the Big Station, the Fat Controller found out the bad news.
"The line is in danger of collapsing which made Douglas unable to rescue Oliver," he explained to Duck.
"Oh dear," gasped Duck. "Does that mean this train is cancelled?"
"Unfortunately, yes. All 'Little Western' trains will be cancelled until the weather improves and the line is repaired."
Then, the Fat Controller walked back into his office.
Jessie arrived as all the passengers disembarked.
"What happened?" asked Jessie.
"High tides stranded Oliver on my line," explained Duck. "Now, all trains are cancelled."
"Oh my. Would you like me to take your coaches away then? You could use some rest after all the rain you've faced."
Duck went to the shed, still worried about Oliver.
Oliver was feeling his position more and more deeply every minute.
Two days later, the rain stopped and with that, work on repairing the branchline began immediately.
Boats were sent to help Oliver and he was soon craned out of the water and he was taken to Tidmouth Harbour and loaded onto a flat-truck.
The Fat Controller met him.
"Well, the weather certainly got the best of you, didn't it?"
"I am sending you to the Works, so your yearly check-up can be done as well."
"Thanks, Sir. Now I know the dangers of high tides."
With that, Donald shunted Oliver in front of his train and he was soon being checked.
A good part of the line had been eroded by the rain, but everyone worked hard to repair the line.
Although the engines had already experience bad weather, there was still more to follow . . .