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Night Bombing is the first episode of the eighteenth season.

Night Bombing
Season 18, Episode 1
Air date 30 September 2014
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Previous
Three Cheers for Thomas!
Next
Toby and the Flood

Warning

This story may influence scary images, so please read at your own risk.

Plot

There was a great thunderstorm on the Island of Sodor.

Dodger had been out delivering coal, so he was stuck at Tidmouth Sheds.

"Its hard to sleep with all this thunder and lightning around," complained Henry.

"I know right?" agreed Percy.

"Eh, the only thing that's stopping me from sleeping is a green caterpillar with red stripes right in front of me!" yawned James.

Percy just groaned.

(lightning sounds)

"Oh!" screamed Paxton.

"My, that sounded more like a bomb," said Gordon.

"Oh, that just reminds me when the Second World War broke out," sighed Dodger.

"You were already built back then! I mean, what was it like?," said Gordon.

"You obviously don't happen to remember my 100th anniversary just five months ago, don't you," laughed Dodger.

"Maybe if you tell us a story, it'll put us to sleep," suggested Norman.

"Good idea."

And so this is the story Dodger told the engines:

"Well, before I begin, I think it might be worth mentioning a bit before the War."

"Well, didn't you work at the 'North Riding' or something like that?" asked Gordon.

"The West Riding of Yorkshire near Ardsley," corrected Dodger. That's where I worked until 1939, when the War broke out, eventually though, I would be needed all across the London and North Eastern Railway."

"What jobs did you do?" asked Percy.

"Oh, I usually did shunting. Nothing of out the ordinary, really, well, except for Gunpowder trucks. I had to be careful with those. I remember when one night in the shed, I would hear bombing, and explosions."

"Did they ever attack you?" asked Paxton.

"Well, hmm, maybe not a direct attack, but I had never been so close to the end of the line once . . ."

"What?!" exclaimed the engines.

"Yes. I was working late into the night. Usually, I didn't do so. The year was 1942 when the raids began on British cities."

(switches to flashback)

"Phew! It's been hard working all day," I sighed.

"Yes, now let's go to the sheds. I don't want any mishaps," my Driver said, concerned.

"All right," I replied.

Just as we passed the station, came the alarm . . .

"Bombing in the area! Evacuate!" shouted the Stationmaster.

"Now, that's just great," I replied.

Then, there was trouble!

I had left a set of gunpowder wagons on a siding to be collected in the morning.

One of the bombs hit the gunpowder wagons!

"Ouch!" I cried, as a cloud of dust covered me!

"Quick! Get rid of the explosives!" yelled a man.

I wasted no time in coupling up to it.

"Ugh!" coughed my Fireman. "Let's get it out of here!"

The fire brigade was here, and they began to extinguish it.

"Now let's get out of here!"

However, as we passed the station, it began to collapse!

"Oh dear!"

Suddenly, the line in front of me was blocked!

I couldn't go forwards or backwards!

"You have to go!" I told my crew.

"What?!"

"Your safety is more important than mine!"

"Well, if this is the last time, well, we're sorry. It was nice working with you. Good bye!"

"Same," I said, worried. "I hope they pull those flames out in time."

I'm not exactly sure what happened next . . . I think the station fell on me, or maybe another bomb fell and I was knocked out.

(scene cuts to the engines at Tidmouth Sheds)

"But then, what . . . what happened?" asked Paxton.

(scene fades to flashback with Dodger on a siding at Doncaster Works)

Well . . .

"Uh!" I groaned.

"He's waking up!"

"Ugh! Where am I? Who are you? Wait, who am I?"

"Your at Doncaster Works, your original home," my Driver said.

"What? What happened?" I asked.

"Before we begin, do you actually have no idea who you are?"

"Of course I do! I was only . . . pretending, considering. Uh . . . what happened?"

"Well, there were a couple more bombs. Luckily, they didn't strike you, but you're a bit burnt."

"All right, then. I'm glad to be safe. What's next?"

"Well, first you need rest. And then next, on with the war."

(scene fades to present day)

Soon, afterwards I was allocated to York for a while.

"Wait, when?" asked James.

"During the Baedeker Raid," replied Dodger, mysteriously.

"Oh, then you were . . ."

"Yes, I was."

(scene switches to flashback)

I can remember that night of the 28th and 29th of April, when I was in the Shed, and suddenly heard the alarm warning everyone of the raid.

There was a sudden flash, and several small fires spread throughout the station.

In the morning, when the flames were out, I was sent to inspect and clear up the damage.

I could barely believe my eyes, for right on the ground was Sir Ralph Wedgwood, an A4 'Pacific'.

"Rest in peace, my friend," I whispered.

Then, I helped the workmen clear up the mess.

(scene flashes back to present day)

"He was beyond repair, so he was scrapped, though his name was given to . . ."

"No. 4466, previously Herring Gull," said Gordon.

"Right."

(scene changes to flashback)

The war time was tough, but I struggled everyday to keep trains running. I would work to late hours shunting trucks and coaches for the big engines. Finally, in 1945, the war ended, and the railway began to re-establish.

You would never believe the amount of dirt, soot, and dents when the war ended.

I was repaired shortly after, and then, in 1948, came Nationalisation, where I returned home to Doncaster. Then, just two years later, was bought by the Fat Controller to work here on the North Western Railway, for the rest of my life.

(scene fades to present day)

"And that's the whole story."

"What a story," said Norman. "I could cry."

"Thank goodness your still here, or else I wouldn't know what to do if I was still working at the Vicarstown Coal Mines," said Percy.

"That was . . ." began Henry.

"Dark," said Gordon.

"Deep," put in James.

"Enough to put me to sleep," yawned Henry.

And then the engines fell asleep, with the storm still raging across Sodor.

(scene fades away)

Although Dodger's own encounter in World War II is fiction, the Baekeder Raid is true. On the night of the 28th and 29th of April, 1942, LNER A4 No. 4469 Sir Ralph Wedgwood, previously Gadwall, was bombed at North York along with a B16 class No. 925. Its name was later given to No. 4466, previously Herring Gull, and a plaque was placed where it was bombed and is now in the Great Hall of the National Railway Museum in York.

Characters

Several real life engines are seen. Among these include LNER A4 No. 4469 Sir Ralph Wedgwood and LNER No. 4466 Herring Gull later renamed Sir Ralph Wedgwood.

Locations

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