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Home Sweet Home is the fourteenth Adventures on Rails short. It was released on 11 November 2019.

Home Sweet Home
Season B, Episode 14
Air date 11 November 2019
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
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Best Engines Ever

Foreword

Dear Friends,

Tidmouth sheds is a simple four berth shed for the Main Line engines on the Fat Controller's Railway. It is their home, and they enjoy having the shed to rest and talk about the day. However, some strange things started happening at the sheds causing the engines to realise that they need their shed re-built. Continue reading to find out what happens.

The Author.

Plot

Rats

It was lovely evening on the Island of Sodor and all the engines were getting ready for a good night's rest.

"Well, it is nice to have a roof over your funnel and not have to face the cold night air," sighed Gordon.

"Speak for yourself," said Henry, "I have pull the 'Kipper' early in the morning."

"Yes, don't wake us up," put in James.

"You'd all benefit from waking up earlier," retorted Henry. "Anyways, more than anyone, I need my rest. Good night."

The big green engine fell asleep at once.

"At least it's quiet now," whispered James.

Just then, there came a puffing sound.

"Oh, great, it's you again."

"Yes James. I know my presence is always a pleasure," teased Percy. "Besides, this shed is better than that old shed at the Yard. It's dirty and filled with cob-webs and rodents," he shivered. "Then again, this shed has been around for quite some time too."

"Quite right, but still in perfect condition," declared Gordon.

"Right," replied James sarcastically. "There's this crack in the ceiling that's worrying me."

The three engines looked up and indeed, albeit not quite large, there was some cracked wood throughout the ceiling.

"What could have caused that?" wondered Percy.

"Search me. But I think this shed is getting old," said James.

"Suit yourself, but it's going to take a lot to bring down this shed," finished Gordon.

The engine said no more as it was still warm and comfortable inside Tidmouth Sheds.

Early next morning, Henry's crew arrived to prepare him for the "Flying Kipper."

Henry yawned as he felt his boiler warming up.

Suddenly, his Driver and Fireman shouted.

"What was that?" asked Henry, startled.

"Sorry old boy, but we'd just seen a rat!" called his Driver.

"Despicable!" groaned Henry. "How on earth did that thing get there?"

Meanwhile, the other engines had heard the commotion.

"Oh, is it time for the first train already?" asked Percy sleepily.

"I can't even get five good hours of sleep," complained James.

"What is the matter?" asked Gordon.

"My crew has just seen a rat," explained Henry

"What?!" cried all the engines.

"Quite right," said the Driver. He took out a flashlight and walked around the side of the Shed. "Ah," he murmured.

There was a small hole on the side of the Shed.

"I reckon that's where they spring from," said the Fireman.

The Driver agreed. "We'll tell the Fat Controller about it."

Soon, Henry set out to the Harbour to collect his train.

The others talked a great deal.

"They like dark places and rotten wood. That's why they're there," explained James.

"So there's more of them?" Percy asked worriedly.

"I'm afraid so," replied James solemnly.

Even Gordon was worried. "Perhaps we need something to contain those rotten rodents," suggested Gordon.

"Or a new shed all together," finished James.

The sun was now rising above the sea. Percy had gone off to the Station to prepare the trains. Gordon was preparing for his daily Express and James was moaning as usual about taking goods.

As Gordon backed onto the platform, he saw the Fat Controller. He had explained to his Driver about what had happened and his Driver told the Fat Controller.

"I will find a solution soon," he promised.

That night, before the engines' crews left for the night, they put several traps around the Shed.

"Hopefully, that'll keep them out," they confided.

The engines were unsure but decided that that was probably the best solution for now.

Rudely Interrupted

Several weeks had passed but there had been no more trouble at the Sheds. The engines were relieved but they still complained about the appearance of their home.

"Disgraceful."

"Disgusting."

"Despicable."

"Surely we deserve better," said Percy innocently.

"Indeed we do. I sure hope the Fat Controller's planning on fixing this ol' dump," grunted Gordon.

One day, after a great deal of shunting, Percy went back to the Sheds.

"We'll leave you right outside, how's that?" called the Driver.

"That'd be great actually," replied Percy thankfully.

Percy's crew went off for their lunch, but they had not gone far when their was a cracking sound and wood crashed behind Percy!

Part of the roof had collasped. There was now a gaping hole in the Shed.

"Well, at least we'll be able to see the stars," said Percy, sheepishly.

The Fat Controller soon arrived to inspect the damage.

"Well, I figured this would probably happen sooner than later. So I have arranged for a new shed to be built. Construction starts in a week from tomorrow."

"Well, I'm sleeping at the Yard tonight," remarked Percy.

That night, the big engines were alone in the Shed.

"Lucky Percy has another place to sleep," remarked Gordon.

"I'm actually glad I'm heading out early," said Henry.

"Regardless, I want some sleep," yawned James and the big red engine shut his eyes.

"He snores loudly," whispered Gordon to Henry.

"I heard that!" shouted James. But he shouted so loud that another part of the roof collapsed!

"Ouch!" cried the three engines.

Over at the Station, the Stationmaster and several workmen were looking over the platforms when they heard a commotion from the Shed.

"Bother!" thought the Stationmaster. "I better go see what's wrong."

He hurried away and soon saw what had happened.

"Goodness me! What a mess!" he exclaimed. "Now, now," he called to the big engines. "Settle down. We'll get this mess sorted out. Lucky we don't have much longer in this shed."

It took a long time to clear the mess and by the time the sun was rising, everyone was exhausted.

Now the only problem was finding alternative sheds for the engines. But that's another story.

The Other End of the Line

Due to the recent demise of Tidmouth Sheds, the Fat Controller realised that he had to temporarily re-locate his engines.

"Would the sheds at Vicarstown work, Sir?" suggested Percy.

"Yes, last year we renovated those. However," he went on, "it would be inconvenient to have head-quarters here at Tidmouth when all of you are based at Vicarstown."

"What does that mean then?"

"I'm shifting all services to Vicarstown," finished the Fat Controller. "The only problem is the 'Kipper' since it departs from Tidmouth."

"Perhaps Henry could stay at Wellsworth," added Percy.

"Yes, that would work!"

The Fat Controller hurried away to make the arrangements.

That night, Edward was resting in his Shed when he heard a familiar whistle.

"Oh, hullo Henry. What brings you here?"

"Tidmouth Sheds is closed for renovation," explained Henry.

"Where are the others?"

"They're staying at Vicarstown. I'm staying here because it's closer to the Harbour."

"So are all services moving to the other end of the line?"

"I'm inclined to believe so."

"It's been ages since Vicarstown was the main station."

"That is true. I wonder how it'll all work out."

Things were strange at first. Henry's crew arrived a bit late due to a longer distance from home to work. Meanwhile, at Vicarstown, Percy had to familiarise himself with another Yard. Passengers at first were confused and wondered about the change in schedule but soon understood and appreciated the engines' efforts to keep the railway running.

Weeks went by and the engines felt exhausted.

"I keep waking up thinking this is Tidmouth," muttered James.

"The Yard has a different layout but I'm getting the hang of it," confided Percy.

"Yeah, that's why the Express coaches were left behind some coal trucks," replied Gordon.

"Well, I've been practising. I'll get used to it."

Months went by and one night, the Fat Controller came to see them.

"You have all been doing a fine job despite the change," he began. "Work is progressing well over at Tidmouth. If everything runs well, the new engine shed might be ready by Christmas."

Gordon, James and Percy grinned.

"Until then, keep up the good work." Then the Fat Controller left.

"I wonder what the new shed will look like," pondered Percy.

"Maybe it'll just be an assortment of lines inside the Shed," suggested James.

"The only thing I know is that there'll be ash pits," put in Gordon.

"And a turntable."

"You and your turntables," chuckled Percy.

James and Gordon ignored Percy and went to sleep instead.

Meanwhile, at Wellsworth, Edward and Henry were still talking.

"So you're usually here by yourself?" asked Henry. "Has the Fat Controller thought of bringing in another engine?"

"Not yet. The traffic here hasn't too much for me."

"But you know, you might need repairs some time soon!"

"Probably. But you know me, no matter what happens, I'll always get the job done." He paused for a moment. "Although there are two little tank engines who were brought in to work at the China Clay Works. They're troublesome and it's kind of tough to keep them in order."

"Cheekier than Percy?"

"Thrice as much!"

"But they only work near Brendam."

"Quite so. China clay is really useful for many things. But unless you're accidentally switched onto my line, you probably won't see those two young rascals. They mean no harm, but they can be, hmm, well, I guess maddening."

"Maddening. Good word."

"Yeah, just thought of it just now.

"You know," continued Henry, "whilst I'm glad the sheds are being renovated, I think I will miss our old home."

"Lots of great memories there," added Edward.

"Yeah."

"But you'll make plenty new ones will be made in the new shed."

"You're right. And as long as we have somewhere to rest, we should all be happy."

"Agreed."

Then the two friends went happily to sleep.

Sweet Dreams

Autumn was coming. The weather grew colder with stronger winds and leaves fell from trees.

"The good thing is we'll have a sturdy roof over our funnels," shivered Percy one night.

"Yeah," agreed James. "I just wish it was warmer. Brr!"

"Just wait until it starts snowing then," added Gordon.

The following morning, Percy was shunting coaches for James's stopping train when the Fat Controller came out of his office.

"Right on time, Percy."

"Yes Sir. James will be here any minute."

Passengers began to climb in and presently, James came backing down onto the train.

The Fat Controller also climbed aboard.

"I wonder why the Fat Controller is on board," thought Percy.

He didn't think much though. After the train had left, he went back to the Yard.

Meanwhile, James was making good time.

"This has been a smooth journey," James told his Driver.

"Very good. Keep it up. We're almost at the Big Station," replied the Driver.

As James approached Tidmouth, he saw the Sheds.

"Well I never!" gasped James. "They look better than ever!"

The train soon reached the platform and the Fat Controller walked over to James.

"Sir! Are those our new sheds?"

"Quite right, James," replied the Fat Controller. "Now, shunt your coaches away then you can come and see it for yourself."

James found Gordon in the Yard.

"What are you doing here?" asked James.

"The Sheds are closed so I have to reside in this disgraceful siding," replied the big engine.

"The Fat Controller says we can come check out the new shed now."

"That'd be great but my crew has left."

"Pity then."

James steamed away.

"Eh," yawned Gordon. "I'll see it later."

The shed doors were opened and the new Tidmouth Sheds was revealed. Fourteen lines around a turntable.

"Simple, but I like it," remarked James.

"Glad to hear. We have all things necessary for an engine shed. Ash pits, two repair lines, turntable and windows for your pleasure."

"Very nice. This was definitely worth the wait. Although, why so many lines?"

"Well, with foreign engines coming and more engines in the future, it's best to be prepared."

"The railway is always expanding," commented the Driver.

"Makes sense then. When can we move in?"

"Well, I've already made arrangements to shift services back here to Tidmouth which will start in November."

"I'll admit though, I have enjoyed Vicarstown. But at least we now have engine sheds at both ends of the line."

That night, James told Percy and Gordon about the new shed.

"Ooh! I can't wait!" chirped Percy.

"He says we're going back there in November, so not long now," added James.

"Just when I was getting used to Vicarstown," grunted Gordon.

"Well what do you prefer, a tent?" teased Percy.

"Disgraceful! That thing would blow away in a minute with the winds we're dealing with now."

Indeed the wind was howling outside.

"Don't make me feel cold," shivered Percy.

"I know what'll help," interrupted James. "A scarf!"

James and Gordon laughed till their wheels ached. Percy ignored them and went to sleep.

"I think we laughed a bit too long," whispered James.

"And too hard," grinned Gordon.

November came and it was time for the engines to move back to Tidmouth.

At Wellsworth, Henry told Edward about the new engine shed.

"It'd be great if you could come sometimes," said Henry.

"Of course," smiled Edward. "We're pretty flexible on where we sleep for the night."

"And it was pleasure to share this shed with you."

"No problem, Henry. You're welcome any time."

"Thanks Edward."

Henry, James, Gordon and Percy settled into Tidmouth Sheds.

"How do you like it?" asked the Fat Controller.

"Feels comfortable," sighed Percy.

"Suitable for such a grand engine such as myself," said Gordon.

"You already know," put in James.

"Thanks for this lovely new home, Sir," finished Henry.

"No problem. Now sleep well. You all have a busy day tomorrow."

The engines went to sleep, content with their new home.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • The short takes place from about the end of 1951 to shortly before the events of Thomas's Christmas Party which takes place in Christmas 1952.
  • This short introduces the new Tidmouth Sheds seen in Thomas's Christmas Party which the Rev. Awdry mentioned had been present since 1952, despite the fact that it was not illustrated that way until Gordon the High-Speed Engine in 1987.
  • A four story format akin to the Railway Series is utilised in this short.
  • Dodger was originally considered to appear in this short but due to the recent changing of his arrival date, he was cut since he would arrive ten years after the events of this short.
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