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New Challenges is the fifth episode of the sixteenth season.

New Challenges
Season 16, Episode 5
Air date 3 March 2014
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Edward and Rocky
Thomas and the Great Railway Show Part 1


Toby the Tram Engine was heading down the Main Line with Henrietta.

Rocky and David's efficient work on the restoration of the Kirk Ronan Branch Line meant it was opened two months earlier than planned.

Dodger and 'Arry and Bert had helped out while a new engine was being built.

His name was Russell and he was completely new and original to the North Western Railway.

He did, of course have to learn the ways, and Toby had been elected to help him out.

He arrived at Kellsthorpe Road and saw Dodger waiting with Russell and three coaches.

"I was never here when the Kirk Ronan Branch was in its pride condition, but I have heard its a very beautiful line," Dodger was telling Russell.

"My mother told me of lots of times she went down there," Ms. Valdez added. "I was born in the '60s so I didn't see the line in its pride condition either. But after going down there, I think my mother was right."

"Well, I guess it'll be exciting," the young engine said.

"Oh, there you are Toby, what took you so long?" asked Dodger, cheekily.

Toby smiled, knowing there was plenty of time to spare.

"Hullo," he began.

"This is Toby and he's a tram engine," Dodger interrupted.

"I can introduce myself, thank you. And, yes I'm Toby, I'm from the Great Northern Railway, worked at Great Yarmouth Docks and on a tramway before coming here."

"Why not mention the most important part of your life?" Dodger asked in a bored voice.

Toby smiled "My tram line closed in 1951, so I was actually going to be scrapped, but the Fat Controller saved me."

"I'm Russell, and I'm ready to get going."

"Good, let me turn round."

"This will certainly be a new challenge," thought Toby on the turntable.

He coupled Henrietta to the coaches and let Russell go up front.

The Guard blew his whistle and that was the sign that they were ready to go.

"Gently now. Steady. That's it. That's it," conducted Toby.

"Well, time for us to get back to work," said Dodger.

"No, its time for us to have some lunch," Dodger's Driver corrected.

"I've made grilled sandwiches for you," Ms. Valdez told them.

"Right. Of the best quality. Nothing is better than home-made sandwiches," Dodger's Fireman said.

Then, the three stepped into Dodger's cab and set back off to Vicarstown.

"I have to admit, that lady and Dodger's crew are very friendly," Russell called to Toby.

"Ms. Valdez is the best. She always has been fond of the railway" replied Toby, "and Dodger and his crew are very hard workers. They get up earlier than anyone on the Island."

The two engines slowed to a stop at Rolf's Castle.

"The branch line is so beautiful," admired Russell. "I'll be working here everyday, right."

"Yes," Toby replied.

Then, the two engines set off to the harbour at Kirk Ronan.

"Do people come here in the summertime?" asked Russell.

"Yes, so I bet you'll be packed then," Toby answered.

Then, the two engines set back up the line.

That night, at the sheds at Kellsthorpe Road, Russell slept with satisfaction of a good first day.

As the days went by, Russell slowly went learning the ways.

Toby would often stay at Kellsthorpe and simply leave the young engine to do his work alone.

Finally, the Fat Controller came to visit them.

"Well Toby. You've done a marvellous job on taking this challenge and totally helping our dear Russell learn the ways," he paused impressively. "I think it is now time that Russell take full control of the branch by himself. You've been wonderful Toby."

"Thanks for helping me out. Thanks a lot," thanked Russell.

"You're welcome, and don't worry, I'll come down and visit as much as I can, and you'll keep company with the big Main Line engines as well."

Toby returned to Ffarquhar late that night.

"Hullo, Toby. How have you been?" Daisy greeted.

"Hullo, Daisy, well, wonderful. It was great getting to know the Branch Line."

"And leaving me to take the milk. Is that great?" complained Daisy

"No, but . . ."

"Daisy just likes to exaggerate," Percy said quickly. "The Truck and I usually do that."

"Yeah, because the other day, you spilt the milk on me," The Truck said from in the carriage shed."

"And how'd you like Kirk Ronan," added Percy.

"It was a great, new, wonderful challenge," said Toby honestly, "one of the best experiences in my life."

With that, the four engines fell asleep in the silent of Ffarquhar.



  • Ffarquhar Sheds
  • Kellsthorpe Road
  • Rolf's Castle
  • Kirk Ronan