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James and Percy is the first Adventures on Rails short centring on James, Percy, and their rivalry. It was originally released on 19 January 2015. The short was revised and re-released on 19 June 2019 with numerous changes to the plot, and characters that appear.

James and Percy
Season B, Episode 1
Air date 19 January 2015

15 June 2019 (revised)

Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
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The Legend of the Ghost Train

Plot

It was summertime on Sodor. The engines were as busy as ever carrying goods and passengers on the Main Line - down to Brendam Docks - up to Ffarquhar - up mountains and to lakes.

James, in particular was feeling restless.

"I can barely stop to catch my breath," he complained at the Works station, as he took on water.

"You're just cross that you have to pull trucks next," teased Peter Sam.

"Yes, all the way back to Tidmouth and then, take some tar tankers to Edward's station."

"I thought you had three utility engines. Donald, Douglas, Jessie."

"Yes, but Donald and Douglas are taking in turns with important maintenance on Duck's Branch. Jessie is mostly on Thomas's Branch, so in the end, I've become the utility engine. Which would've been my role anyways, had Jessie not come."

"You poor engine," chuckled Peter Sam.

"Not like I expected sympathy from him anyways," James grumbled when he reached Vicarstown.

"You're doing great work," soother his Driver. "The Fat Controller's very impressed." The Driver leaned against James's footplate. He sighed. "Although, it certainly is a lot. We should ask for help."

"Yes, there's always a spare engine in the shed," replied James, sarcastically.

The Driver ignored him.

Presently, Dodger arrived with a long line of coal trucks.

"Worry not. Only half of this lot is for you," he teased.

"I've got more important things to do than jokes," replied James.

"Fine then."

Dodger arranged James's trucks in no time.

"Back to the Mines! You hardly have time to rest this time of the year."

James had to wait for some trucks from the Other Railway. He waited and waited.

"Now we'll be late," groaned James.

Finally, his train arrived and when he set off, he wanted to make up for lost time.

He panted into the Big Station, just as the clock struck the hour.

"Goodness," sighed James, "just barely made it."

But he little time to rest. As soon as Norman had taken his trucks, Jessie brought the tar wagons.

"You look tired out," she observed. "I can take this load if you'd like."

"No thanks," replied James.

Jessie was reluctant, but agreed.

Finally, James reached Edward's station and went to the shed for a rest. Edward was there, waiting to take his next passenger train.

"Hullo James, you do look exhausted. It's been a long day, hasn't it?" said Edward

"Too long for me. With the Caledonian Twins helping elsewhere, I'm stuck taking over for them."

"I see."

"And now if you'll excuse, I'm going to have a good nap before heading back to Tidmouth."

"Make yourself at home," replied Edward.

James was still resting when Edward steamed away to fetch his coaches. At the platform, he saw the Fat Controller.

"Hullo Edward, right on time."

"Thank you. It has been a very busy day."

"Indeed. Plenty of tourists at this time."

"Maybe even a bit too much."

"What do you mean?"

Edward told the Fat Controller about James.

"I understand." The Fat Controller thought about it for a moment. "Ah! I have an idea."

"You do?"

"Of course," he replied. "Percy will be back from the Works in two days. I will send him to help out on the Main. It'll be a nice change for him and Jessie can handle Percy's work on the Ffarquhar Branch."

"Seems like a good idea," replied Edward.

Just then, the Guard blew his whistle and the Fat Controller climbed on board.

However, when Edward reached Brendam, he was beginning to have doubts.

"Those two don't have the easiest relationship," he thought. "I wouldn't want there to be any disturbances. James really needs help though . . ."

Two days later, Percy was at the Works, being warmed up.

"It'll be great to be out and about again," he told Victor.

"Yes, and your brakes work splendidly again."

"Thank goodness. Can't wait to be back at the Harbour."

"Well, the Manager will re-lay the Fat Controller's order to your Driver very soon."

"Suits me."

"Would you like me to bring you some coal?" asked Kevin.

"No thanks, Kevin. I'll go once I have enough steam."

"All right then. I need to take these tools to the workmen."

"Right," said Victor. "Just be careful and don't . . ."

(Kevin drops the tools suddenly besides the workman.)

"Sorry, slip of the hook."

"I've never heard that one before," said a workman.

Then, Percy's Driver arrived.

"Well, Percy, we're heading to the Big Station and taking care of some shunting duties and some goods work on the Main."

"Really? I was expecting stone deliveries perhaps."

"It'll be a nice change of scenery."

"Of course," agreed Percy. "No problem."

Then, he steamed cheerfully out of the Works.

At Killdane, he stopped to take on water and to wait for James's train to pass.

"I reckon he's running late," chuckled Percy.

Presently, James steamed in.

"What are you doing out here?"

"Just back from the Works. I'm heading to the Big Station."

"Really?"

"Of course, aren't you glad?"

"I'm not sure if I'm glad but it's certainly something that you're heading there and not Ffarquhar, where you should be."

"Well, listen James. I am an important engine after all. So, surely there's a specific reason for me be at the most important station on Sodor."

"I expect you'll be shunting long hours and sleeping in the goods shed."

"On the contrary, I'll be pulling trains out here as well."

"Rubbish!"

"Perhaps fish, but it's not that bad. And you might see me at the sheds, as I am very important."

"Don't you dare!"

"You'll see!"

Just then, James's signal turned green.

"I have to get going. This train is far more important than arguing with you."

"So, that's a forfeit then, right," replied Percy, as James left.

"Nonsense!"

"I won!" laughed Percy and just then, his signal turned green and he puffed away before James could reply.

Next, Percy stopped at Edward's station.

"Hullo Edward. Nice day, isn't it?"

"Of course!"

"And great to be back."

"Indeed. Even better, I'm heading to the Big Station. I'll even be working out here, think of that!"

"Very true," replied Edward, dryly.

"What's the matter?"

"Ah, well, the Fat Controller told me about that actually."

"Really?"

"Yes, I was talking to him about James being over-worked."

"Typical James. Always complaining about something."

"Jessie will be looking after your work on Thomas's Branch."

Then Percy realised what this meant. "I do fancy helping out James. It makes perfect sense the Fat Controller would chose me."

"Yes, but, you have to get along with James."

"We're fine. Practically brothers."

"Brothers who argue till midnight." Then, Edward was stern. "You really have to mind your behaviour, both of you. The Fat Controller's relying on you to help James."

"Okay then. I will."

"Good."

Then, Percy steamed away. Edward on the other hand couldn't help worrying.

"It's not as if they hate each other or anything," Edward confided to his Driver, "but they do disagree . .  . a lot."

"We'll go down there when we can. We have our own to work to think about as well."

Edward agreed.

Later, Percy steamed into the Big Station.

"My presence is always a pleasure," he sighed, grandly.

"What the heck are you doing here?" asked Gordon, who was ready to take a stopping train.

"Helping out, of course. Especially that poor, old James."

"Just him?"

"Well, he's been having a lot of hard work recently."

"It has been very busy lately."

"So, alas, the Fat Controller sent me.

Gordon said no more. He just grinned.

Percy re-fuelled, then joined Norman in the Yard and helped organise the trains.

"Thanks, Percy," said Norman.

"You're welcome," replied Percy. "I'm glad someone appreciates my help," he thought to himself.

Soon, it was the end of the day, and Percy steamed back into the shed, ready to rest.

(Henry, Gordon, James, Percy, Duck, Donald, Douglas, Jessie, Paxton, and Norman.)

James was already there.

"Oh, look who's where," called James as Percy arrived.

"Yes. Big surprise, right?" replied Percy.

"Yeah. Biggest since my one-hundredth anniversary, no doubt about that."

"Here we go again," whispered Henry to Jessie.

"You could just sleep somewhere else," said Percy.

"Joke's on you. My Driver and Fireman have already left. You still have steam."

"Not for long. My boiler's cooling. Just think about it. If I do well, perhaps the Fat Controller will keep me here all the time!"

"But there's not enough space for both of us."

"There's space for me!"

"I've worked here longer than you!"

"So have I!" interrupted Henry. "And I've worked here long enough to know that we all need a good night's rest."

"Fine," said both engines together.

"You know," whispered Percy to Duck. "James serves well as a night light."

"Just . . . don't . . .," replied Duck, quietly.

Percy chuckled then fell fast asleep.

The next day, Percy was fetching coaches for the next stopping train. As he shunted, he saw a familiar figure.

"Hullo Percy!"

"Hullo Old Slow Coach, it's been a while, hasn't it?"

"Indeed," she replied. "What brings you here?"

"I'm helping out here on the Main Line."

"Very well."

"You know," continued Percy, "it'd be nice to take a stopping train out on the Main."

"That's a good idea. This is James's train, right."

"Yes, and he's over-worked. I am here to help him out, so . . ."

In no time at all, Percy was waiting at the platform whilst Norman went to the shed to tell James the news.

"Long day of work ahead," sighed James as Norman rolled in.

"Good news, James. Percy is kindly taking over your passenger train to let you rest for another hour," explained Norman.

"What?!" exclaimed James. "He can't."

"He is here to help you out."

"Hmpfh."

James was more cross than pleased. He began to sulk as he watched Percy depart with his train.

"He did this on purpose," he complained to Duck.

"You did want help," reminded Duck.

"On my goods trains perhaps," sulked James.

He was still cross when he departed an hour later with a goods train to Vicarstown.

When he arrived and had arranged his trucks, he puffed to the shed to see Percy there.

"You're not stealing the return train."

"Fair enough. It leaves in half an hour."

"You know I will pay you out."

"I was helping you. But I apologise for making you cross. Some engines appreciate help more than others."

Then, Molly steamed in.

"Lots of coal trucks to deliver later," she sighed. "Anyways, how are you James, and great to see you Percy."

"Thanks Molly. I'm here helping out as usual," replied Percy.

"Helping out too much if you ask me. He might take charge of your trains as well!" James grunted.

"Well, coal deliveries are very important so I might," chuckled Percy.

"I think I'll be fine!" replied Molly, "but thanks for the offer."

"No problem. At least you'd appreciate my help."

"Of course."

"Not like James over here. Just sulking when I gave him an extra hour of rest."

"I will pay you out for this if it's the last thing I do," muttered James.

Molly grew slightly uncomfortable and steamed away without James or Percy noticing.

At the station, she saw David arrive with a goods train.

"Strong winds blowing on Gordon's Hill," he said when Molly arrived. "But I managed it, and the weather's better than ever. How are you?"

"Oh, I was just at the sheds with James . . . and Percy."

"Hmm, perhaps we should stay out here."

"Maybe. It was getting pretty heated."

"What was it about?"

"Percy took James's train in the morning because he's helping him out."

"I see."

Then, David steamed quickly over to the sheds. Not surprisingly, the two engines were still arguing.

"Enough!" whistled David. "James, your train is due in fifteen minutes, so get a move on."

"Finally. Better than sitting here with this green caterpillar."

"Some peace at last," sighed Percy, after James had left.

Then, both David and Molly steamed in the sheds.

"Why do you argue with him so much?" asked Molly, quietly.

"Oh, come on. It's just a little banter," chuckled Percy.

Of course, David and Molly weren't convinced.

"Can you arrange my coal trucks please?" asked Molly.

"No problem." He puffed quickly away.

"What should we do about them?" asked Molly.

"Well, try to keep interactions between them to a minimum. Though of course, that's unlikely," replied David. "I'll talk to Edward," he continued, after a moment.

"Yes! Perhaps you could look after work on Edward's line and he'd be out on the Main. He really knows how to keep everything under control," agreed Molly.

"Indeed," murmured David.

Later, David saw Edward, resting.

"Great to see you again," called Edward.

"Great to see you too. It's been a while, hasn't it," replied David.

"Yes, but BoCo and I are managing fine here."

"Good to hear." He paused for a moment. "I wanted to talk to you about, James and Percy."

"Oh dear. Has anything happened?"

"Percy took on James's train this morning."

"Say no more," sighed Edward. "I suppose they've been arguing."

"Sadly, yes."

"Percy's definitely the right engine for the job, but they have such contrasting identities and work ideologies."

"Have they always had disagreements? You've known them since they arrived."

"Yes," sighed Edward, remembering. "Shortly after the strike, James had to show Percy around in the Yard . . . and even then, they disagreed on how many trucks to take, where certain trucks should be placed, the right amount of coaches, etcetera . . ."

"And this is like eighty years ago?"

"Sounds ridiculous at this point."

"Well, what if you and I switched jobs for the time being, so you can keep an eye on them," suggested David.

"Great idea, but we'll have to ask the Fat Controller first."

The Fat Controller agreed.

That afternoon, Percy was shunting in the Yard, much more cheerful, when James steamed in with a goods train.

"The last ten trucks are for Douglas," James told Percy. "Now be quick about it! I've got a passenger train."

"Afraid I might steal it," teased Percy.

"Why bother? You're busy yourself."

"I am a fast shunter."

"Really? Let's see."

"I'll show you."

Percy raced to put the trucks he was shunting back in their siding, but the trucks saw a chance for mischief.

"On! On!" they cried.

"Oh no!" wailed Percy.

His Driver applied the brakes, but it was too late! He burst through the buffers and stone spilled everywhere.

"Ha, ha!" guffawed James. "You're really fast at making a mess - and making me laugh!"

Percy just groaned as Douglas arrived to help him back on the rails.

"You should hae been more careful," advised Douglas.

"I know, but I needn't worry about James," replied Percy, calmly.

"Really?"

"Of course! I just wish I could be at Edward's station."

"Why?"

"Oh, no particular reason."

"At least he's nae planning anything," thought Douglas.

At the station, Norman had brought James's coaches.

"The wind's really picking up," observed Norman.

"Yes, it's blowing leaves at my paintwork," replied James.

"It'll be even stronger at Gordon's Hill."

But James paid no attention to Norman's warning.

"He'll be in trouble," thought Norman.

Soon, James was on his way and making good time.

"It feels so fresh out here," said James, as he made good time to the Junction.

"You look happy," said Toby.

"The weather's fine and I'm right on schedule," replied James.

"Well, have a good journey then," called Henrietta.

"Thank you!"

Then, he heard the Guard's whistle and James steamed away.

Soon, he was at Edward's station, and, as Norman had predicted, the wind was blowing strong. These winds tend to make climbing Gordon's Hill more difficult. Trees are planted to give shelter but today, the wind was stronger than ever.

The Driver was concerned. "The wind's really blowing now."

He talked to the Stationmaster and gave James as good of a start as he could.

"Puff hard," he told James.

James's Fireman shovelled more coal into his firebox, and James had plenty of steam as he started the ascent.

But the wind had other ideas and soon, James ground to a halt. His wheels kept spinning but his heavy train and the wind prevented him from climbing any further.

"It's no use. We'll need a banker," the Driver sighed and brought the train safely back down the Hill.

Donald was at the station, having just delivered a train of ballast, and was glad to help.

"Come on! You dinna want tae loose more time," he called.

The two engines snorted up the hill. It was tough going but at last, they reached the top. Once at Maron, Donald got ready to run back down to Wellsworth.

"Thanks for your help," said James. "But not a word about this to a particular someone," he muttered quietly.

"Nae problem," replied Donald. "But I canna promise he will nae hear aboot it." Then, he left.

Even so, James wasn't concerned and finished his journey without any further mishaps.

Meanwhile, Donald steamed into the Big Station to find Percy shunting.

"Hullo Donald. There are some trucks you need."

"Indeed."

"I'll have them ready in no time."

He soon had the trucks arranged.

"What have you been up to?"

"Douggie's on maintenance wurrk, so I wuz juist at Edward's station, as a matter of fact."

"Oh." Percy paused, then grinned. "Did you see James?"

"Och, yes. Why?"

"I just knew it," laughed Percy.

"Knew what?"

"Oh, the usual."

"What are you talking aboot?"

"James got stuck on the hill, didn't he?"

"Och, weel, uh . . ."

"I just knew it," laughed Percy.

"I dinna sae. You figured it oot."

"Wasn't it obvious?" continued Percy. "He paid no attention to the weather warnings and was way too puffed up in his smokebox. Best of all, all I had to do was absolutely nothing."

Donald puffed away with Percy still chuckling to himself.

James returned late to the shed and found his story already there.

"Look! There he is! Maybe it should be called James's Hill now!" laughed Percy, loudly.

"Shut up! How'd you hear about that?" retorted James. "Donald!"

"Dinna blame me. The lad figured it oot on his own!" replied Donald.

"Who didn't?" continued Percy.

"Well, at least I'm not bashing buffers and damaging our very own rolling stock," replied James, crossly.

"You don't even shunt, so what do you know?"

"I know plenty! I was the pilot engine before you came!"

"But I've much more experience shunting!"

"No you don't! You're supposed to help me, but all you've done is cause me trouble!"

"Well, I'm sorry for helping out!"

"Helping me! Don't take away my passengers! I'm better with coaches! All you know is how to shunt trucks!"

"I can handle coaches quite fine, actually."

"On the branch line, maybe."

The two engines were unstoppable despite the other engines' protests.

Just then, Edward bustled in.

"What the heck is going on?" he cried. He blew his whistle loudly. "QUIET! Both of you!"

All the engines stopped suddenly. They had never seen Edward so cross before.

"I've heard all about your behaviour from the other engines and it's absolutely disgraceful."

"I've never agreed with him more," Gordon whispered to Henry.

"James, yes, Percy took your train but you have the help you need. Percy is the right engine for the job."

"I would rather have the likes of Old Stuck-up helping instead," James grunted.

"And I'd rather be helping at the Dieselworks instead," retorted Percy.

"Why don't you go there and stay there?"

"Why don't you leave Sodor then?"

"Well, then I wish you had never come to Sodor!"

"So do I!"

Edward whistled loudly again.

"Come on! You're both better than this! You're supposed to be friends! But since you can't behave, Percy, starting tomorrow, you are to stay in the Yard until further notice."

"But this isn't my fault!" cried Percy.

"Yes it is," scolded Edward. "Both of yours. And if this continues, I will tell the Fat Controller."

"Please, don't!" they pleaded.

"Finally, they agreed on something," whispered Paxton.

"Good," smiled Edward. "I'll be helping out on the Main, as David will be covering for me on my line. You both must try to get along."

That silenced James and Percy for the night. Finally, there was some peace and quiet at last.

The next day, the yard was argument-free to the relief of the other engines.

"If I had a pound for every remark," commented Henry. "I'd be filthy rich."

"Thank goodness Edward came in," added Jessie.

"He may be old, but there's no problem he can't handle!"

Edward was glad to help out and tried to keep as much peace as possible.

Percy had brought some coaches to the platform when Daisy purred in.

"Lovely day isn't it, Percy," she smiled.

"Maybe for you," replied Percy, a bit grumpily.

"Why are you so down?"

"Oh, James was being pretty in the Shed last night. I mean petty - and rude."

Daisy couldn't help but worry and talked to Ryan about it.

"I heard from Henry that there was a big argument," confided Ryan.

"Oh my."

Later that day, Percy took a goods train to the Works and saw James coming down the other way. Both engines looked away and said nothing to each other.

A couple days later, Percy was at the Harbour, ready to take some fruit to a market at the other end of the line.

Meanwhile, James was resting at Vicarstown, before his return stopping train.

The workmen were loading the vans and Percy was growing impatient.

"Come on," he urged. "The fruit will spoil."

"No rush," reminded his Driver. "There's plenty of time."

But the trucks had spotted a chance for mischief.

"If he wants to get there on time, we'll help him," they giggled.

Percy heard the trucks chattering.

"All right," he called. "What are you planning?"

"Nothing, Percy," they replied. "We'll be on our best behaviour!"

"Thank goodness," sighed Percy. "Trucks always behave well with me nowadays."

He set off from the Harbour, full of confidence.

Percy was running smoothly and the trucks gave no trouble on Gordon's Hill, and soon he was at the top . . .

From the other direction, James was just steaming into Cronk, also on time, and in a good mood.

Meanwhile, Percy was preparing to stop when he felt the trucks push him forward!

"On! On! On! On!" they cried.

"What the . . .!" cried Percy, and before he could say any more, he flying down the hill at full speed! His Driver and Fireman were knocked over in the cab, and as they got up again, they felt the Guard's brakes.

"Thank goodness for brake vans," thought Percy.

The Driver, still dazzled, lept for the brake, but there was worse to come. The Signalman had not set the points and when Percy flew past Maron, he was diverted onto James's track!

"Oh no!" cried the Signalman and phoned Percy's Driver.

Percy then realised he was on the wrong side of the track.

"I just hope no one is coming!" he cried.

They crossed the Viaduct and saw James, heading towards them!

"Stop!" shouted James. "Get out of the way!"

"I can't!" wailed Percy. He was slowing down now, but there could still be a crash!

It was too late! Both crews braced themselves as the two engines bumped into each other.

Fruit exploded all over Percy, James, and his coaches!

"What were you doing on my track!" cried James.

"The points weren't set correctly!" replied Percy.

The two engines began to argue over who's fault it was.

Percy's Guard went to tell the Signalman what had happened whilst James's Driver, Fireman, and Guard went to see if anyone had been hurt.

Some of the coaches were de-railed and some passengers had suffered minor injuries which were dealt with immediately.

In no time at all, Edward brought Rocky. And the Fat Controller.

"Has anyone been hurt?" asked the Fat Controller.

"Thankfully, no," replied James's Driver. "Seems like both of us were able to minimise the impact."

"Indeed," agreed Percy's Driver, and they both shook hands.

But the two engines were still arguing.

"What's going on?" asked the Fat Controller, surprised.

"Well, Sir," began Edward. "I didn't want to worry you, but James and Percy have been rather difficult lately."

The Fat Controller was not impressed. "Silence!" he boomed. "You both realise that you both have actually prevented a much more serious accident."

"Huh," scoffed James. "He was being careless with his trucks again."

"It wasn't my fault the points weren't set correctly," replied Percy.

"It wasn't anyone's fault, but as you two can't seem to get along and we've little time to spare, you will both stay here until tomorrow."

Emily came to take the passengers home. Rocky cleared up the mess, and Edward took the damaged trucks to the Smelters.

But Percy and James were left out all night and instead remained completely silent, refusing to talk to each other.

The next morning, Douglas came to take them to the Works.

"Och, seems keek you two will be back soon," he observed.

The two engines said nothing as they were loaded onto flat-trucks.

Victor was waiting for them.

"Thank you, Douglas. We'll have them back on the tracks in no time at all."

"Nae problem. And seems like they've settled down."

Later, at the Works, Kevin was resting by Percy.

"I haven't dropped anything today, actually," Kevin told Percy. "But these hooks are slippery you know."

"Indeed. Anyways, glad to talk to you. I won't be talking to that red engine anymore."

"You mean, James?"

"Yeah. It's a punishment - using silence."

"Very interesting."

Even after both engines were repaired a week later, they refused to speak to each other.

"I don't what's worse," sighed Edward. "The arguing or the silence treatment."

"They're both worse," concluded David, and Edward agreed.

Two days later, Pip and Emma were ready for their usual trip to London.

"More passengers than ever," commented Jessie.

"So many, that the Fat Controller's thought about adding extra trains," said Emma.

"I wouldn't be surprised."

Emma and Jessie were right. The Fat Controller was checking the schedule. He also had a map with model engines representing each of his engines which he used to keep track of where they were.

"So, to take the Express," he thought, "there's Duck, Donald, and James right now in the shed. Hmm, Bear's at Barrow right now, but I'm sure James can handle it and it'll be a nice chance for him to get a good run."

He walked over to the sheds.

"Ah, James. I need you to take the Express at 10.30 today."

"Really? Thank you, Sir."

"Have a splendid run."

James was proud. "Finally, a chance to exercise my wheels properly."

He steamed grandly away to the station.

"I haven't seen him so happy for weeks," said Duck.

"Aye. Let's hope he's keep it that way," added Donald.

Norman brought James's coaches to platform and was relieved to see him simmering happily.

"It'll be a good journey, with him in a good mood," said Old Slow Coach, who was the brake coach for James's Express.

Soon, all was ready and James was steaming along the track, making good time.

Percy was at Kellsthorpe when James rushed by. James didn't notice him. Percy did, but thought nothing of it.

James reached Barrow and was ready to let another engine take his train when the Stationmaster came up.

"Due to the late scheduling of this train, we haven't found another engine to take this train on to London," he explained. "However, the Fat Controller has agreed for you to take this train to London. But first, make sure you have enough coal and water to reach London. There will be some coal and water there."

"Nice," said James's Driver. "We'll show them what the Fat Controller's engines can do. Come on!"

Once James's tender was filled with coal and his tank with water, James was coupled to the coaches.

"Well, seems likes you're going foreign today, aren't you," called Old Slow Coach.

"Indeed. About time too."

Then, the Guard's whistle blew and James set off.

London was a long way away, and James was pleased when he saw the town in sight and then the magnificent station.

"This is now one of my favourite journeys," beamed James.

He found a coal and water supply waiting for him.

"Even better. My own reserved coal and water."

"There's limited supplies out here," added James's Fireman.

James then went over to the sheds, where he found several diesel engines there.

"Ah, you must be James from the North Western Railway," one called out.

"Indeed I am."

"Make yourself at home."

As the hours passed, James grew bored. Other engines came and went, but in general, James was alone.

"I don't have any way to entertain myself," he sighed. "Not even Percy to talk to."

"Who's Percy?" asked another diesel.

"Oh, a green saddle tank engine from Sodor. The number six on our railway who's currently helping me out."

"Sounds like a fine engine."

James thought about that for a moment.

"I suppose . . ."

It was now night-time. James collected Old Slow Coach and was soon on his way back.

Meanwhile, Percy was finishing up his work in the Yard.

"Last train for today Emily?" asked Percy.

"Yes indeed. Yet another busy day. The Fat Controller had to schedule another Express which James took to London."

"Really? Well, good for him. Is he back yet?"

"Not until tomorrow."

"Oh, okay then."

Once Emily's train left, Percy went to the shed.

"Evening everyone," he called as entered. "Been a busy, huh."

"Yes, of course," agreed Duck. "More trains scheduled as well."

"Lucky James got to go to London," chuckled Percy.

"Yeah," said Jessie. "Is, everything all right?"

"I'm fine, I guess. Just, have a good night everyone," and he went to sleep.

The other engines were simply amused.

Over on the Other Railway, James was making his way back with Old Slow Coach. It was a long journey, but the air was fresh, and the rails were clear.

In the night, signals display a bright, coloured lamp to display the signal so it can be seen from a distance.

James was approaching a level-crossing, where a Guard came up to the Signal-box to warm that his engine had broken down just beyond the crossing, and the line ahead was blocked.

"Very well," said the Signalman. "I shall take care of all the signalling now."

He set James's signal red. Once he finished, he glanced outside.

"That's odd," he thought. He realised that the signal-lamp was not working. The signal was invisible in the darkness.

Then, he heard James's whistle. Quickly, he grabbed a red flag and a flash-light, and hurried outside to warn James.

James puffed towards the level-crossing unaware of the signal failure. He was making good time.

"Seems like we don't have to stop," he thought.

The Driver thought so too, but as they passed the signal, James's lamp briefly illuminated the signal.

"The signal's down!" cried Old Slow Coach.

Up ahead, he saw the Signalman waving a red flag.

"Stop!" he shouted.

James's Driver applied the brakes, but it was too late! Just beyond the level-crossing, he bumped into the back of the failed train and came off the track . . .

"Oh, dear," groaned James. "Where are we?"

James had tipped over whilst Old Slow Coach had managed to stay on the rails. James's crew had jumped and were safely at the side of the track.

"Nearing Barrow," replied the Driver.

"What happened?"

"The signal-lamp failed," explained the Signalman. "There was a goods train stuck up ahead."

"Now, we must wait for help," said the Fireman.

By morning, the line was clear. James was too damaged to continue on his own, so he was shunted into a siding to wait.

Back on Sodor, the engines were getting ready when the Fat Controller raced into the sheds with urgent news.

"Listen up! James has had an accident near Barrow."

"Oh, dear," exclaimed the engines.

"He is unable to finish the journey, so -"

"I'll rescue him, Sir!" interrupted Percy.

"Are you sure?"

"Of course! It's the least I can do."

"I'll go as well," said Edward.

"Very well. Percy, you re-fuel at Vicarstown."

"We're on our way!" called Edward and Percy.

They collected the works coach and set off.

At Vicarstown, Dodger and Molly were waiting.

"Brought plenty of coal for you both," said Dodger.

"Thanks," replied Edward.

"Are you really going Percy?" asked Molly.

"Of course," assured Percy. "He's one of the Fat Controller's engines after all."

"Let's go then," called Edward.

By now, James had been re-railed and shunted into a siding.

"What are we waiting for?" asked Old Slow Coach.

"Help," sighed James, weakly. His buffers and funnel were damaged and his boiler was scratched.

Just then, his Driver and Fireman arrived.

"Cheer up! The Fat Controller has sent Edward and Percy to help us back home," explained the Driver.

"Thank goodness," sighed Old Slow Coach. "Are you two all right?"

"Oh, it was a couple minor scratches," replied the Fireman.

"Still, could be hours till they arrive," sighed James.

Just then, he heard two familiar whistles.

"James!" cried Percy.

"Edward! Percy! We're saved!" cheered James. "Thanks for coming! Both of you."

"Any time," said Edward.

"I, well, just wanted to make sure you're all right," said Percy.

"A bit damaged, but I'll pull through," replied James.

"Well, let's get you all to the Works," said Edward.

With that, Edward and Percy helped James, his crew, and Old Slow Coach back to Sodor.

The Fat Controller met them.

"Well done, Percy and Edward." He turned to James's crew. "I'm just relieved to see you're all right. James will be out for a while, so I'd like you two to take some time off as well."

"Thanks."

With that, James's crew left.

"I'll shunt James and Old Slow Coach," said Percy.

"All right then. I have work to do. See you later!" replied Edward, and he steamed away.

The Fat Controller went to speak to the Works Manager.

"Hey, uh, thanks for coming," said James.

"You're welcome," replied Percy.

They both paused for a moment.

"You know, you were brave to slow down after your trucks pushed you," ventured James.

"You were brave too. Braking at full speed with hundreds of people on board."

"The Fat Controller was right. We're both heroes."

"Indeed," agreed Percy. "So," he continued, "I'll be looking after your work whilst you're repaired."

"Yes," replied James. "And I think you'll do a great job. I'm sorry for wishing you'd never came. You're a valuable part of this railway."

"I'm sorry too. You are a Really Useful Engine."

"You're Really Useful too."

"Thanks."

Both engines were relieved. After bickering so much time, it was great to be friends.

"You know," ventured Percy. "Maybe we should form a debate team."

"Yeah," agreed James. "No one would stop us!"

"Then it'd be me against you!"

"I'd win!"

"No you won't!"

Both engines laughed loud and long.

Victor came over. "Well, seems like you've done everything you need to."

"Yes," said Percy. "Bye, Victor. Bye, James."

Percy puffed away.

For the next two weeks, Percy took care of James's work. He missed him a lot and was glad to see him back.

When the heavy workload had ended, Percy returned to the Ffarquhar Branch, and James was glad Percy had come to help him.

The two engines still see each other - either at the Junction or at the Big Station. They still tease each other, but are very good friends indeed.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • The short takes place in June 2014.
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