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Hiro and the Express
Season 2, Episode 18
Air date July 6th, 2014
Written by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Directed by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Episode guide
Previous
Gordon and the Sharp Bend
Next
Dave's Scary Tale

Plot

It was two days after Gordon's accident, and Cranky was busy loading ships at Brendam. He was waiting to see the visitor come to Sodor; today was the day the visitor was supposed to come. Just then, Neville puffed in with a train of metal when he heard a ship's horn. "Who's that?" he wondered aloud. "It's the boat the visitor's on. What did you think it was?" grumped Cranky. Neville looked out to sea and saw a black engine onboard. "I thought it was just a boat full of goods," replied Neville. Just then, the Fat Controller drove up in his car. "Ah, Neville. I'm glad to see that you will be able to meet the visitor." he said as the boat docked at the port. The engine smiled warmly at Neville. "Hello," he said. Neville smiled back and read the engine's nameplate. "You're 'Hiro', right?" he asked. Hiro chuckled. "Yes, I am. If you don't mind, could you get me off this boat?" Neville smiled. "Of course," the black engine replied. He puffed onto Hiro's line and pulled him onto the Island. Salty noticed and rolled over to where the two engines were chatting. "Ahoy matey! So our storm is over, I suppose? Hello, Hiro. Nice to see ya back here on Sodor." the Diesel said warmly. "Yes Salty, it is nice to be back again," replied Hiro. He then looked to the Fat Controller. "So what do I do sir?" "You are to pull the Express, Hiro. I've heard about your Japanese Express that you pulled when you were 'Master of the Railway,'" Hiro thought back to days long ago. He could remember all the details; the wind rushing past his funnel and his fast speed. "I'll be happy to do that sir." "Good." and the Fat Controller drove off. Hiro whistled goodbye to Salty and Neville and set off. 

As he chuffed by Elsbridge, Thomas was surprised to see Hiro. "Hiro? After so long?" gasped Thomas as Hiro whooshed by. "He seems in much better condition." observed Annie. "I'm sure he had a good time in Japan!" agreed Clarabel. Thomas grinned as he puffed along his branch line; he knew his old friend was back on Sodor.

He later puffed into Tidmouth, where Arthur was with a train of fish. "Hello, tank engine. Are these my coaches?" asked Hiro. "The name's Arthur. And yes, these are your coaches. Rosie just shunted them," Hiro puffed back to the shed to turn around. But when he got there, he was a tad disappointed. "I thought some engines were here! Oh well, I'll see them later tonight." he thought. Hiro turned around and was back at the station, being coupled up to the coaches. "I haven't done this for years!" he thought happily. The guard blew his whistle and Hiro thundered out off the station. Hiro loved the experience. The coaches certainly were impressed. "He handles us well. He handles us well," they twittered. Hiro made good time as he zoomed through Elsbridge, the junction to Thomas' Branch Line.

After an hour, Hiro puffed into Crovan's Gate, where he would be meeting Duke's train. When the black tender engine puffed to the platform, Duke was surprised. "Hiro! I never thought'd I would see you again after your visit in 1939," Duke said. Hiro looked over and saw his old friend. "Well, I broke down until a tank engine named Thomas helped me out. It's good to be out and about again." "I have a similar backstory. I was sheeted in a shed for years until a search party found me and put me into good use, as you can see." The two engines chattered until it was time for Duke to go. "See you, Hiro!" and he puffed away. Hiro chuckled; this was a great job, and he couldn't wait to go to Barrow-in-Furness for the first time.

Hiro soon set off and after an hour, made it into Barrow-in-Furness. A big class 40 was waiting on the other platform for the passengers. "Who are you? Some kind of new engine?" Hiro smiled. "Oh no. I'm visiting while Gordon's broken down," "Makes sense. That Pacific is very accident-prone." and the Diesel scurried away. Hiro made excellent time on the return journey as well. "Good job!" called the Fat Controller from the platform at Tidmouth later that day, "I think you matched Gordon's record!" Hiro smiled and got uncoupled.

That night, Hiro explained everything that happened to the other engines. "You should replace Gordon." laughed Henry. "Oh, Gordon can probably do better. At least he's used to pulling those coaches," retorted Billy, who was shunting some trucks nearby. "Billy, this engine was the pride of his railway and he used to pull a famous express. Be nice!" said Emily. "Yeah, whatever..." muttered Billy; he didn't like Hiro and he was a bit suspicious.

The next morning, Billy was talking to Duck about it. "I just don't trust him. I wish Gordon would come back." "Rubbish! He's a kind engine. Much more than Gordon too, I might add," retorted Duck. "He's right Billy. Gordon sang to me that annoying song the day before his accident," Oliver snorted indignantly. "What song?" "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'll just push him down the well... Pop Goes Old Ollie! He, he, he!" giggled some trucks. "That song..." muttered Oliver. Billy giggled as Oliver fumed away. Just then, Hiro puffed in to collect the morning express just as Billy bumped his trucks. "Billy, I don't think you should bump those trucks. Where I come from, they're very kind and gentle. I respect all trucks and you should too," Billy was horrified. "You trust trucks? What engine can trust trucks? They're practically the rascals of the entire railway. They'll always seize a chance to trick an engine." "Nonsense. You just need to be kind," and Hiro puffed to the platform. Billy was cross. "What a fusspot!" he grumbled. The guard blew his whistle and Billy set off for Brendam.

He continued to think of Hiro as he puffed along with his trucks. "Hiro's an old fusspot!" he grumbled, "Fusspot! Fusspot!" "Calm down, ol' boy," warned his driver, "Hiro just has his own ways of doing things." But Billy didn't listen. Billy soon approached Gordon's Hill when he heard the trucks giggling. "Quick! Lets pay him out for bumping us!" The trucks lurched at a coupling, and they lurched again and again until... "It's snapped!" gasped Billy, who had felt the jerk. The trucks ran away down the hill and right into the runaway siding. "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" they cried, "Let's crash into something!" They smashed straight through the buffers. "That was fun!" chanted the trucks. Hiro raced by the trucks and frowned. "Oh dear. What happened?" He approached the hill and saw Billy backing down and looking embarrassed. "I told you not to bump them." Billy sighed. "I know, but I didn't trust you. I don't believe in your philosophy about trucks, but I guess part of it is true," "And what would that be?" "Well, you're right about bumping trucks. You only bump them if it's necessary," said Billy, "I'm sorry I didn't trust you." "That's alright," replied Hiro and he continued up and over Gordon's Hill. From then on, Billy and Hiro were firm friends.

For the next few weeks, Hiro took Gordon's place on the Main Line, and the engines enjoyed his company. But one Friday, they saw a blue Pacific approach the shed. "Oh... Now Hiro has to go..." groaned Billy. "I thought you wanted Gordon to come back," chuckled Duck. "That was before," retorted the orange tank engine. Gordon looked over and saw Hiro. "I didn't think you were the visitor!" gasped Gordon, then he frowned. "Now I missed your visit." Hiro smiled kindly. "Don't worry about that Gordon. You're just in time for my farewell!" and he tooted his whistle and everybody else followed. The Fat Controller walked up and grinned. "I thank you Hiro for your help. You are always welcome on Sodor," "I know sir, and I'm looking forward to my next visit," Hiro whistled loudly. "Goodbye everyone!" he called and everybody blew their whistles and honked their horns in reply. Hiro smiled and puffed off to Brendam Docks to go back to his homeland in Japan.

Characters

  • Thomas
  • Henry
  • Gordon
  • Emily
  • Duck
  • Oliver
  • Salty
  • Arthur
  • Neville
  • Billy
  • Hiro
  • Duke
  • Annie and Clarabel
  • Cranky
  • The Fat Controller
  • Rosie (does not speak)
  • Percy (cameo)
  • Toby (cameo)
  • Porter (cameo)
  • Skarloey (cameo)
  • Elizabeth (cameo)

Trivia

  • The Class 40 at Barrow-in-Furness is not to be confused with The Diesel, who was introduced to the series later in the season, in Diesel Day.
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