|Jack and Alfie Swap|
|Season 3, Episode 4|
|Air date||August 31st, 2014|
The Fastest Engine in the Hills
It was a nice summer day on Sodor. Everything was hot and very busy indeed, including the railway, the roadways, and the airways. The Pack were busy at a demolition site near Wellsworth Station, knocking down an old house. Everybody was busy. "Here you are!" cried Isobella, "More supplies for the construction." "Thank you, Isobella." said Ms. Jenny, "Now if you excuse me, I need some breakfast." and she walked to her Land Rover. Everyone was busy, except Alfie, who was digging some dirt out of holes to plant new trees on the other side of the road. "It's not fair," he complained to his operator as he worked, "Everybody else gets the good jobs. I'm stuck with trees while everybody else gets to help the demolition." "Look on the bright side," said his operator kindly, "At least you're being useful." But Alfie was still jealous of the other machines. "Look at Jack over there. He's doing all sorts of exciting jobs." Alfie grumbled, "And I'm stuck with trees. Is it because I'm green or something?"
Jack was shoveling debris into Max and Monty, who took it down to the station to be put into trucks. He was very tired out indeed. Currently, Oliver was using his wrecking ball to knock down an old wall. "Hurry up!" huffed Max. Oliver rolled his eyes as he swung his ball. The ball collided with the wall, and it fell down easily. "Well, that was quick," said Ned. "It just goes to show how much of a use my wrecking ball can be," chuckled Oliver. "Now it's your turn, Jack," said his operator, "We must shovel debris." Jack gulped. "R-right..." the little front loader said nervously as he scooped up some rubble. "Come on little runt! I have to go to the station now!" shouted Max angrily. "I'm coming, I'm coming!" panted Jack as he raced to Max. "No, I need those!" growled Monty. "Oh, ok!" and Jack turned around and he drove to Monty as quickly as he could. "Over here!" taunted Max. "No, over here!" said Monty cheekily. Jack couldn't tell where he was supposed to be going at all. He grew dizzy and nearly fell on his side in exhaustion. "Oooh... I can't be in two places at once!" "Then you're useless!" sneered the dump trucks. Oliver sighed as he returned to work. "Max, Monty, stop it." he said. "Whatever," grunted the dump trucks. Alfie, feeling sorry for Jack, drove across the road to his friend. "Hey Jack, how's your job?" "Too much excitement," groaned Jack, "I'm exhausted! Max and Monty are awful these days! How about your job?" "Mine's boring," grumbled Alfie, "I already finished. Now I have to wait for Trevor, who's slower than Buster." "I'm nowhere near finished," sighed Jack, "If only I had a job as simple as yours." "And if only I had a job as exciting as yours," said the excavator. Then Alfie thought of something. "How about we switch jobs? I do yours and you do mine?" Jack smiled gratefully. "That sounds wonderful. I could use a day of doing nothing. Thanks!" Their operators agreed and Jack drove over to the filled holes by the side of the road. "This should be easy!" he chuckled, "All I have to do is sit here!"
Over the next couple of hours, Jack was enjoying himself as he watched the others demolish the rest of the house. "Watch out, Ned!" cried Oliver. "Opps!" said Ned as he trundled back as the north wall came down. "It's nice to have a quiet job for once," Jack said to his operator, who agreed, "All I have to do is wait for Trevor to come with the trees so people can plant them. Until then, I can relax my wheels..." Jack looked across the street; cars and buses drove to and fro along the highway reaching their destinations. The front loader yawned. "I'm starting to get bored..." he grumbled. "Why?" asked his operator. "There's only so far looking at everyone doing something will get you," said Jack, "I want to be out and about like them." As the minutes past, Jack was growing very bored indeed. "Operator, can't I at least drive around for a while?" Jack complained. "Sorry Jack, but we're meant to stay here until Trevor arrives. Although... He should be here by now." "Wonderful," said Jack angrily, "I like Trevor, but he'd lose in a speed contest automatically." "Cheer up chap! It's a lovely day!" honked Bertie happily as he drove by. "It isn't for me... I'm bored." Jack grumbled, who was getting more and more restless.
Alfie, meanwhile, was busier than ever before as Max and Monty kept on demanding debris. "Runt, get over here!" said Max. "I'm coming!" Alfie cried and he scooped up some debris, and then unloaded it into Max. "I need more than that, little runt!" growled Max. "Any more and you'll burst," commented Isobella cheekily, "Then again, I don't think anyone would miss you." "Shut up," scolded Max and he drove away. "Never mind them," said Isobella, "They're just fusspots." Alfie just panted. "What's wrong, Alfie? You don't look so well," said Oliver worriedly. "It's... just... all this work... It's... tiring." Alfie spluttered as his cheeks were red from exhaustion. "I hear you," muttered Oliver, "All this demolition work recently is tiring." Alfie had to agree, although he was so tired he couldn't say anything.
Meanwhile, Jack was growing more and more bored. Minutes seemed like days, and he watched the traffic race by. "Why is Trevor so slow?" Jack sighed to himself. "Because hes's a traction engine," explained his operator, "Besides, he's probably doing work for the Vicar." "But shouldn't Trevor be focused on this job?" asked Jack. "Yes, but maybe another complication arose. You never know," said his operator. Jack was cross. "I admit that could be a possibility but stilll, does that excuse me just sitting here? No! I'm a construction vehicles. I should be used more!" Jack kept on complaining, while his operator just walked off to look at the sights of the nearby field. It was a long time before Trevor arrived, except it wasn't the way Jack thought. Butch drove up with the traction engine being towed behind him. Jack was rather surprised. "Butch has you? Trevor, why exactly?" he asked worriedly. "Sorry about this Jack," apologized Trevor, "But I ran out of coal on the way here." "Told ya we should've filled up on coal," grumbled Jem Cole. "Yes, Jem Cole... I'm sorry..." said Trevor. "It doesn't matter," sighed Jack, "Just hurry up and help plant the trees." "I can't..." "Why not?" "I'm broken down, remember?" said Trevor, "And Terence is plowing Farmer Trotter's field, so he can't help." "Oh... So... now what?" Jack said. "Elizabeth was called to bring me coal, but that won't be for a while," Trevor explained. Jack was now even more bored; he couldn't do anything at all except wait.
While Jack was too bored, Alfie was too busy. "How done are we?" he groaned. "We still have to knock down the left wall." explained Oliver politely. "Hurray!" cheered Ned, "I love demolition!" "Yay..." mumbled Alfie; he knew he'd have to dig up debris again soon. Isobella chuffed up with more fuel. "Hello Alfie! Still getting on well?" she asked cheekily. Alfie glared. "No. In fact, it's the opposite." "Why?" asked Isobella. "It's all this work!" he complained to Isobella, "I used to like being busy, but this is way too much!" "Oh, it can't be that bad." Isobella said, "It's just loading and unloading." "It is with these harsh dump trucks." groaned Alfie, "All they do is boss me around like a pet." "Oh shut up runt," teased Max, not noticing a certain Land Rover driving on the scene. "Max!" scolded Ms. Jenny as she got out of her car. "Yes Ms. Jenny... Sorry... Not!" and Max chortled away to Wellsworth with his load. Alfie sighed sadly as Ms. Jenny walked up to him. "Sorry m'am, it's just that I haven't worked this hard in a while. And Max and Monty certainly aren't helping." "I understand," said Ms. Jenny, "Although I thought Jack was supposed to be here." "He's sitting across the road with Trevor, waiting for coal." Alfie said. Ms. Jenny rose an eyebrow. "Why is he doing your job?" "We agreed to swap jobs," admitted Alfie, "He was too tired and I was too bored. Now it appears to be reversed..." Ms. Jenny nodded gravely and looked over to Monty. "Monty, stop fooling around and get to work!" "Yes Ms. Jenny..." and Monty drove away to Wellsworth. Alfie sighed in defeat. For the rest of the day, even without Max and Monty's behavior, the day was still long and hot for Alfie. "Ugh, I'm so hot!" Alfie complained, "And a tad giddy..." "Just relax yourself," said Oliver. "I can't... I feel hot and bothered... It's just the sun I guess. Good thing Max and Monty are still at Wellsworth..." Alfie sighed.
For Jack, it took forever for Elizabeth to arrive. "Where is she?" he yawned. "There she is," Trevor grinned. Elizabeth drove up alongside Trevor. "Goodness me, Trevor, what on Earth happened to you?" she asked snobbishly. "I... ran out of coal," Trevor admitted. Elizabeth rolled her eyes. "Of course." she muttered, "Just be grateful I'm still in service." Elizabeth's driver got out a shovel and started to shovel the coal into Trevor. Jack closed his eyes and quickly fell asleep. At last, the job was done. "There you are. And be more cautious next time!" Elizabeth snorted. "Y-yes... Of course," Trevor said sadly as Elizabeth drove away. Bertie drove up. "Hello everyone! Here are the workmen to help plant the trees," Bertie said. "Thank you," said Trevor. Bertie honked his horn as the workmen disembarked. "Goodbye!" called Trevor as Bertie drove away. Bertie gave a small "Toot, toot!" in response. Trevor chuckled and looked over. It turned out that Jack was still asleep "Um...Jack? Jack?" called Trevor and he blew his whistle. Jack woke up with a start. "Huh?" "We're ready to get started." grunted Trevor. "Oh... Sorry." said Jack sheepishly. The trees were starting to be planted, but Jack couldn't help much, so he was still bored. "Can you please hurry so Nelson can take me home?" Jack complained. "You can't rush delicate work," grinned Trevor. At last, all the trees were planted. "Alright, all done!" said Trevor. Jack opened an eye. "Finally... Nelson should be here in less than a minute." "Someone mention my name?" asked a voice. Out of the evening light came Nelson. "Hop on board my trailer, Jack!" he grinned, "And let's head home." "Thank goodness," panted Jack as he drove up onto the trailer. The workmen attached chains and Nelson drove away.
That night, Jack and Alfie rested in the shed. "Today was horrible!" grunted Alfie, "Max and Monty were their typical selves, but they didn't help my work." Jack sighed. "That's how it was for me before we switched jobs..." "How was your day Jack?" asked Isobella cheekily. "Boring," grumbled Jack, "I had to wait five hours for Trevor! And then he was out of coal, so Elizabeth had to come and bring him some! And then they had to plant the trees! It took forever! Ugh!" Isobella laughed. "That's irony for you." Ned grinned. "Well, I'm glad we're home at least," yawned Alfie, "I need a good night's rest." "I'm not even tired," said Jack. Oliver smiled. "Well, your experiment didn't go as well as you thought, eh?" he asked, chuckling. Jack sighed. "Yeah... Say Alfie, do you think we can switch back to normal? Please? I can't take another day of boredom!" Alfie didn't answer. Isobella and Ned snickered. "Alfie? Alfie?" Jack said, "Come on, answer me!" He looked over and was very surprised. Jack then laughed; Alfie was already asleep from all the hard work. "I'll take that as a yes." murmured Jack. "Well, you go to sleep too," grinned Oliver, "We have a lot to do tomorrow." Jack smiled as he closed his eyes. "Good..." he said quietly.
- Max and Monty
- Jem Cole
- Ms. Jenny
- Butch (does not speak)
- Bulgy (cameo)
- Terence (mentioned)
- Buster (mentioned)
- The Vicar of Wellsworth (mentioned)
- Farmer Trotter (mentioned)
- This episode is based on the cancelled The Pack episode of the same name.
- Unlike the original episode, Byron doesn't appear.