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Jessie and the Old Engine is the seventeenth story of the second volume.

Jessie and the Old Engine
Season X, Episode 43
JessieandtheOldEngine
Air date 16 August 2020
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Previous
Quarantine at Ffarquhar
Next
Thomas and the Lighthouse

Plot

The engines at the Steelworks are regularly maintained. Most repairs can be done right at the shop at the Steelworks but sometimes, the engines have to go to Caerphilly, the main engine works in Cardiff which is several miles away.

Jessie continued to work hard but one evening, she came back to the shed feeling “stuffed up”. Black smoke billowed from her funnel.

“You don’t look too good,” observed Kelly.

“Yeah, that’s kind of obvious,” coughed Jessie.

“You may need to go to the Works,” continued Kelly.

“I’ll be fine. Fireman just has to clear my firebox, that’s all.”

But the Manager decided to send Jessie to the main engine works.

“Great, that means I’ll be out of action the next few days,” complained Jessie.

“Never mind,” soothed Eden. “You’ll get some rest and then come back as good as new and ready to work again.”

Still, Jessie found the next few days rather boring as she waited to travel to the Works. Finally, the day came and Jessie puffed out of the shed. As she was passing through the yard, she saw that another engine had broken down. The engine was older than Jessie and her sisters. He was a medium sized tender engine that had four driving wheels and four smaller wheels in front. He was painted all black. Kelly was helping the engine onto a siding.

“What’s going on?” asked Jessie.

“This engine broke down. I have to take his train to Swansea now,” explained Kelly.

“Well, I’m heading to the Works now,” said Jessie.

“You don’t suppose you could help me there,” chuckled the old engine.

“That’d be no problem at all,” replied Jessie.

So Kelly took charge of the train and Jessie got ready to help the old engine to the Works. Soon, they were ready and waiting for the signal to turn green.

“My name is John,” said the old engine.

“I’m Jessie. It’s very nice to meet you,” replied Jessie.

Just then, the signal dropped and they started their journey. The engines puffed through tunnels and under bridges. The two engines talked as they went on their way.

“You know, it’s good to see you and your sisters still have work,” said John. “Nowadays, I’m lucky to have any jobs. Usually just the occasional goods train and run to the Steelworks.”

“You probably have been working for a long time now,” replied Jessie.

“Yes indeed. But there’s newer engines now that are bigger, faster, and stronger than me. Like you’re very strong for a tank engine.”

“Still, all of us need repairs every now and then.”

“Yeah, but to be honest, I don’t know how many more Works visits I have left,” sighed John. “Many of my brothers have already been taken out of service.”

Jessie felt sorry for John.

Presently, they reached the Works. Another engine came out to help John into the Works. The engine was very different from both Jessie and John.

“What an interesting engine,” said Jessie.

“Ah, diesel engines,” said John. “The newest thing from British Railways. They’re more modern and require less maintenance.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. That’s also why engines like me have less work.” John paused for a moment. “With diesel engines, things are bound to change.”

“Like what?”

“Well, depending on how things go, diesels might soon be the main source of transportation. Even over us steam engines.”

“So, would steam engines be withdrawn and replaced with diesels?” asked Jessie.

“Perhaps,” replied John, slowly.

Jessie said no more. She had a lot to think about.

A few weeks went by as Jessie’s repairs were carried out. Finally, when she was fully repaired and ready to go, she said goodbye to John and headed back to the Steelworks. On her way back, a diesel engine roared by.

“Surely, it can’t be the end of steam just like that,” thought Jessie.

As she headed back to the Steelworks, Jessie was determined to be just as useful as ever.

Characters

  • Jessie
  • Eden
  • Kelly
  • John
  • The Manager (mentioned)

Locations

  • East Moors Steelworks
  • Caerphilly Works

Trivia

  • The Writer wrote this story for a writing class.
  • There are some elements borrowed from Toby's Seaside Holiday from Toby, Trucks and Trouble by Christopher Awdry.
  • Originally, a different story taking place at the Steelworks was planned but it was shelved in favour of this story. This story is also the start of a planned trilogy which focuses on Jessie's life at the Steelworks.
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