Middle Engines is the seventh episode of the nineteenth season.

Middle Engines
Season 19, Episode 7
Air date 29 December 2014
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Cranky and the Twins


'Arry and Bert are twin diesel shunters that work at the Smelter's.

They love to scrap metal and play tricks on the engines.

One day, James bustled into Vicarstown.

"We're to take a goods train back to Tidmouth," said his Driver.

"Goods?! Nonsense!" spluttered James.

"You will do as you are told," said his Driver severely.

"I supposed I must," yawned James.

He puffed to the Sheds and returned an hour later.

The goods train had arrived and 'Arry shunted it into place behind James.

Then, James heard a shrill whistle.

"Hullo James! Here are the rest of your trucks!" said Dodger.

"Phew! Well, just shunt them, please," replied James.

"Oh! I'll take the honour," said Bert.


But Bert shunted the trucks in front of James.

"Little red piggy in the middle!" laughed Bert. "The Grim Messenger of Doom struck again!"

"You mean Grim Messengers of Doom!" laughed 'Arry.

"Nonsense," grumbled James. "Get those dirty trucks off in front of me. Now!"

'Arry and Bert oiled away, still laughing.

"Those silly little two," sighed Dodger.

"Oh, well," sighed James, as the shunter coupled him up. "I suppose I must try."

But James was late when he arrived.

"Hullo, James!" laughed Henry. "Stuck in the middle, again? Bet you couldn't climb the hill!"

"Shut up! You wouldn't be laughing if you were in the middle," fumed James.

(scene fades to next day at Vicarstown)

"Silly James!" laughed Henry as he backed onto his log vans. "They'd never put ME in the middle. They wouldn't dare!"

"But I have," said an oily voice.

Henry groaned as some coal trucks were pushed in front of him!

"Ha! Little green piggy in the middle!" laughed 'Arry.

"The Grim Messenger of Doom struck again! Stuck in the middle, just like James," jeered Bert.

Then, the twins puffed away.

"Well," said Henry. "I'm not little. I'm not a middle engine, and I'm not moving."

And he didn't.

James was sent to collect him.

But instead of teasing him, the two engines complained about the two diesels all the way to Tidmouth.

Later that day, Norman was shunting the Express for Gordon.

It was heavy, and Norman had had a long day.

"Oh! Ugh! Help! Ouch!" he coughed.

Black smoke bellowed from his radiator, and he couldn't move.

"Not again," said Gordon.

"Those workmen never mend engines properly!" sighed the Fat Controller. "I will have to look for another pilot engine or else we'll have some confusion like we did a couple weeks ago."

(scene fades to night at the Dieselworks)

"What a good day's work," Diesel was telling 'Arry and Bert.

"Yeah, you, got the big green engine," added Den.

"What 'e means is that you got that green engine stuck 'n the middle," corrected Dart.

"Shut up!" said Diesel. "We know what Den means."

"Poor Norman, broken down again," sighed Paxton.

"Ah! Yes. We'll, uh, fix him . . ."

"What 'e means is we'll fix 'im!"

They were rudely interrupted.

"Ah! Winston! Stoooooop!"

"Early days, Sir. Early days," groaned Winston.

"Oh! Its Fat Hatt again," groaned Diesel.


(Diesel looks elsewhere)

"Whatever. I've come to speak to you two."

He looked at 'Arry and Bert.

"My engines are not a fan of being middle engines, so I am bitterly disappointed in you two."

He paused impressively.

"However, I will give you a chance to redeem yourselves when you come and help out with the shunting whilst Norman is repaired," he said. "Now, let's go Winston."

"It'll be one bumpy ride back to Wellsworth," sighed Winston

But 'Arry and Bert snickered in the darkness.

"We'll have some great fun. We'll get that galloping sausage next."

The next day, they arrived in the Yard.

'Arry shunted the Express, whilst Bert shunted Delete's trucks.

"Oh, hullo, engines," they purred as Gordon and Delete puffed into view.

"Well, we've shunted your trains, but . . ." said 'Arry.

"There's been a change," continued Bert.

"My dear David. You take the Express, and Gordon you'll pull these trucks."

"What?! Trucks! No, I won't."

"Is it the Fat Controller's orders?" asked Gordon's Driver.

"Why, yes of course," said 'Arry.

Gordon sighed and backed down onto the trucks.

David puffed onto the Express, the passengers boarded the train, the Guard blew his whistle and waved his green flag and he puffed away.

"We've got a couple more trucks for you, Gordon," said 'Arry.

"All right, I'll just uncouple - and hey!"

Bert bumped the trucks in front of Gordon!

"We got him!" cheered 'Arry.

"Grim Messenger of Doom, three; steam engines, zero," boasted Bert.

"Oh, shut up!"

"Sorry, Gordon," said his Driver. "We're just going to have to make the best of it."

Gordon groaned as he was coupled on, and puffed away.

At Wellsworth, he saw the Fat Controller talking to Edward.

"Whoa, Gordon!" said Edward.

"They made me a middle engine," groaned Gordon.


"Its -"

"'Arry and Bert, I know," said the Fat Controller.

"That's why I've come up with a plan to pay them out," said Gordon.

And then he told Edward and the Fat Controller his idea.

"Great. I'll make arrangements."

James was complaing to David when Gordon puffed back into Tidmouth Sheds.

" . . . And I heard they made poor Percy a middle engine too. It's disgusting."

"I know," agreed David. "I'd like to pay them out if anything."

"It's disgraceful," grunted Gordon, "and that's why I came up with a plan."

He whispered it.

Paxton came down with his load of slate from the Blue Mountain Quarry.

"Uh, Paxton!" said David. "Leave five trucks in a siding. They're needed at Vicarstown tomorrow."

"I can take them if you like," offered Paxton.

"Eh, its too late now," sighed David. "James can take them on his morning goods."

"All right."

"Good," said David to the other engines.

The shed remained respectfully quiet that night.

The next day, 'Arry and Bert shunted the morning Express and James' goods train.

The engine's crews had been informed of the plan and knew what to do.

"I don't feel well!" moaned James.

The Stationmaster phoned them.

"Its nearly time to go," he said.

"James isn't ready. Who came take the train?" replied James's Driver.

"Only 'Arry and Bert."

"All right."

'Arry and Bert were soon coupled to the train.

David followed them to the station.

"Oh! You need to take these trucks to Vicarstown."

"All right . . ."

(shunts trucks in front of 'Arry and Bert)

"Wait, what's this?" asked 'Arry.

"Ha! Stuck in the middle, much?" laughed David.

The shunter coupled them up.

"Huh! I'm not moving!" said Bert.

"Well, neither am I!" agreed 'Arry.

And they didn't.

"Why haven't they moved?" asked the Stationmaster. "Oh, I see."

He chuckled, "well, David, you'll have to do it yourself."

David laughed and was coupled on.

The Guard blew his whistle and he puffed off.

It was hard work, but he didn't mind, he knew the smelting diesels were having a lesson.

Engines laughed as David passed.

Finally, they reached Vicarstown.


"What's this? A middle engine! Ha ha! Good one!" laughed Dodger, and he laughed so hard he thought his boiler would burst.

"How indignant!" said Diesel.

David shunted the front trucks out of the way, and 'Arry and Bert went to sulk at the Dieselworks.

Then, he marshalled the trucks into place for another engine to take to London.

Later, at the Sheds the engines were laughing and joking.

"Good riddance!" laughed James.

"That'll show 'em a thing or two," agreed Duck.

Then, the Fat Controller came.

"Well, thanks to Gordon's plan, those two will probably be much more behaved. And I want to say that whether you're a middle engine or not, you're all Really Useful."

"Thank you, Sir," murmured the engines.

And they laughed and talked about diesels and middle engines all night long.

'Arry and Bert, on the other hand, have learnt sense, and haven't made a single middle engine since!




  • This episode is based off the sixth season episode, Middle Engine.
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