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Molly's Idea is the twenty-first story in volume two.

Molly's Idea
Season X, Episode 47
Air date 8 November 2020
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Duck, Henry, and the Tenders
Emily's New Route


The Norramby Branch Line runs from Vicarstown through the town of Ballahoo and down to the coast at Norramby where there is a village with a church, lighthouse, and beautiful beach. The line had been closed due to the Beeching Axe many years ago. However, the Fat Controller saw potential in the line and decided to re-open the Norramby Branch. It took a lot of hard work but finally, new rails and fresh ballast had been laid and the station at Norramby was complete.

Molly, Dodger and David were awaiting the grand re-opening. Molly was ready and waiting with the first passenger train.

"I have to admit, this is kind of exciting," said David.

"A brand new line which probably mean more work but that's all right," agreed Dodger.

"I'm just glad to be able to take part in this event," smiled Molly.

When all the passengers were on board, the Guard blew his whistle and Molly puffed away.

She had a splendid run. She puffed through Henry's Tunnel and down the line to the town of Ballahoo. She rumbled over the road and into the station. Then, she continued her journey through a valley till she reached the coast. Passengers looked forward to getting to the beach.

"Norramby looks lovely," thought Molly.

That night at the sheds, the three engines talked all about the new line.

"It was a pleasure to run on the new line," said Molly. "I do fancy myself going down there a few times but then again, I do have my usual coal deliveries to do."

Molly soon discovered that she would be needed more on the Norramby Branch Line than she thought. She had to manage all the passenger trains which was hard because many people were travelling on the line. No sooner did she finish one journey that it was time for the next.

She puffed into the sheds, looked over at the yard and saw a train of coal trucks ready and waiting.

"Oh no," she gasped. "If we don't get that coal delivered, that can only mean trouble."

"Sorry Molly," said her Driver, "but we have another train to take."

"Then Dodger will have to take it."

Just then, she heard his whistle.

"There he is!" she cried.

"I figured I might have to take this one myself," said Dodger.

"Yes please. Thank you."

"It's no problem. I know you're doing your best on the new line."

So Dodger delivered the coal whilst Molly took another passenger train.

It was late when she finished her journey. She was glad to see her friends already in the sheds.

"Norramby is proving to be very popular," she sighed to the others. "I just can't handle it all. I miss my coal deliveries and journeys along the Main Line. But I don't know what to do."

David and Dodger didn't like to see Molly so upset. They knew something must be done but none knew what.

A few days later, Molly was taking coal trucks down to the Big Station.

"First time in a while," she thought to herself.

Presently, she stopped at Edward's station.

"Hullo Molly," said Edward. "Glad to see you again."

"Hullo Edward. It's nice to see you too," smiled Molly.

"Where have you been?" asked Edward.

"I've been running the Norramby Branch Line," replied Molly. "It's been really busy so I haven't been able to make my regular coal deliveries. Fortunately, Dodger has covered for me even if he gets a bit behind in his own work at the mines."

"Seems like the branch needs a designated engine," observed Edward.

"Yeah. I'm sure the Fat Controller is working on it, but honestly, I just don't see who could run it. All of us have a fixed role it seems."

Just then, Emily puffed into the station. She didn't look happy at all.

"Silly trucks," she grumbled. "Good thing I have only two more days of this stupid route." Then she noticed Edward and Molly. "Oh, sorry you two. It's just been a rough day." Then she puffed away.

"Oh my," said Molly, after Emily had gone, "I'd never seen her like that. What happened?"

"She was running the engine service down my line but ran into some trouble so now she has to take trains of china-clay this week," explained Edward. "The worse part is that she'll probably be stuck in the shed after this."

"I remember she told me that she doesn't run that often," said Molly. Then she realised something. "Hold on. Now I have an idea."

"What is it?" asked Edward.

"If Emily doesn't have much work over here, perhaps she could come help run the Norramby Branch Line. She'd have plenty of passengers."

"That's a good idea," said Edward. "You should let the Fat Controller know."


"Of course. It'll help both of you."

Molly was rather nervous though.

"Don't worry. The Fat Controller is always open to good idea," encouraged Edward.

"Thanks Edward. I will tell him!" said Molly, confidently.

Then, the signal dropped and Molly puffed away.

Soon, she was at the Big Station.

"Hey Molly. Nice to see you again," said James, who was waiting at the platform.

"It's good to be back," replied Molly.

"I heard from Dodger that you were running the Norramby Branch," continued James.

"Yes, and it's been hectic."

"I see. Hopefully things will get easier for you."

"I hope so. Especially if the Fat Controller agrees with my idea."

"Well, here he comes," said James.

"Hullo James. Hullo Molly."

"Hullo Sir," said Molly. "I was just going to the sheds but I wanted to talk to you about something."

"What is it?" asked the Fat Controller.

"It's about the Norramby Branch Line. It's been very busy and I was thinking that perhaps Emily could run it."

"Hmm, that sounds like a marvellous idea," agreed the Fat Controller. "If she agrees of course."

At the sheds, Emily had just been cleaned and her crew was going off duty when Molly and the Fat Controller arrived.

Molly told Emily about the Norramby Branch Line.

"I would love to run it," said Emily, happily.

"I will make arrangements right away," said the Fat Controller.

"So I haven't seen you in a while and now I have a Branch line to run," chuckled Emily.

"I just thought of it today actually," smiled Molly.

"Thanks so much."

"No problem. Now tell me, what's been going on the past few weeks?"

So Emily told Molly what had happened. But that's another story.