Nose-diving is the fifteenth story of the first volume.
|Season X, Episode 15|
|Air date||23 August 2019|
The Trouble with the Enthusiasts
James the Red Engine was waiting at Vicarstown. Diesel had just brought his coaches to the platform.
"This is going to be a splendid journey," said James.
"You say that all the time," groaned Diesel.
"Well, it's true. Even though Henry says he's better at working stopping trains."
"That 'cause he is," teased Diesel.
"And he's stronger than you," retorted James.
"All right. You didn't have to remind me of that."
"But I did."
"Fine, whatever. I'm just going back to the Yard."
Diesel purred away, and then, Pip and Emma roared by with the Express.
"Not long now," thought James.
James's Driver came back to the cab.
"Finally, you're back," said James.
"Yes, just had the best Danish bread of my life," replied the Driver.
"I could care less about your meals - but at least that means you'll have energy to get home."
Then, the Stationmaster came up.
"Pip and Emma have failed and are stuck at the Works station. The Fat Controller wants James to pull the Express back to the Big Station."
"All right," said James, gleefully. "I always love a chance to prove I can still pull the Express."
"Who will take care of our passengers?" asked James's Driver.
"Molly will be along soon," replied the Stationmaster.
With that, James set off to the Works station to collect the Express.
"This will be a good chance to stretch my wheels," smiled James.
"Haven't seen you so happy in a while," observed the Fireman.
"Stopping trains can get boring. I'm glad of a change."
James was soon coupled to the Express.
"Hopefully I'll be able to make up for lost time," thought James, and he pulled out of the station, slowly at first, then he started to gather speed.
As the Driver opened the regulator, James felt himself dive forward a bit.
"Whoa, what the heck was that?"
"My fault," called the Driver. "Just some nose-diving as I adjusted the cut-off. You'll be all right now."
"Hmm, nose-diving, now where have I heard that," thought James.
By the time he reached the Big Station, he had figured it out. He told his Driver about it in the shed.
"So we're sure that nose-diving was a one time fluke," said James, "because I remember before I arrived here, I had a pony truck added to cure nose-diving."
"Yeah. Today was really just my bad," assured James's Driver.
"All right. Glad we cleared that up. Now go have a nice dinner."
"All right. Until tomorrow then."
"Had some difficulties pulling the Express," teased Gordon.
"No, as a matter of fact I managed to make up at least five minutes of lost time, so, there you go!" replied James.
"Still, I suggest you take care," continued Gordon.
"Right back at you Rattle-box."
"Now, let's not get started."
"Of course not. It was just my Driver's mistake. That's all."
James remained unusually silent for the night. Secretly, he was a bit worried his nose-diving might returned.
He remembered that he had been sold by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway after having failed as an experimental engine for the Class 28. At high speeds, his class tended to nose-dive thus the addition of a pony truck and larger driving wheels for James. After his accident on his first day, the problem had been solved but it didn't mean it was gone forever.
"It must be something a problem with a spring or something. I shouldn't want the Fat Controller to take me out of service due if my nose-diving returns," thought James, as the others were sound asleep. "I really hope it won't happen again."
The next morning, he felt better, though his little nose-diving incident seemed to have spread. James just ignored any reference to that. He needn't have worried - he completed all his jobs without any mishap.
"See, it was just a one time mistake," said James. "Not likely to happen again."
"Right," chuckled Henry.
"Yes. Now, let's all get some rest."
"Really?" asked Duck.
"Of course," put in Percy. "We all have had busy days and tomorrow will be busy too, so I agree with James - let's get some rest."
"I agree with him," said James.
"Wait, did they just agree on something?" whispered Norman to Paxton.
"I guess so," Paxton whispered back.
Soon, everyone was asleep.
"I can't wait for this to blow over," thought James.
Since Pip and Emma were still being repaired, the next day, it was James's turn to take the Express.
"This is sure to be a splendid run," said James, as he waited at the platform for the Guard's whistle.
James was soon flying down the line. He had just crossed the Viaduct when he felt himself dive again.
"Oh great. Not again!" cried James.
"Steady!" called the Driver. "Don't worry. You'll be all right."
The Driver adjusted James's controls and no further mishaps occurred.
James was soon at the Works station.
Skarloey steamed in to collect his passengers.
"Hullo, James. Nice to see you pulling the Express again."
"Well, thanks Skarloey. At least some engines appreciate my work. And its not like I'm having any trouble when going at high speeds," stuttered James.
"Glad to hear you're running fine. You are, right?"
"Of course! No trouble at all."
Just then the Guard's whistle.
"Ah, well, got to go. Don't want to be late!"
James was off in a huff and Skarloey was left slightly confused.
After all the passengers had disembarked, James went to the sheds for a rest.
Emily was there. "Ah, James. Glad to see your foot-plate perfectly balanced."
"Oh, come on! You too! I'm completely fine."
"I was just teasing a little."
"Well I wish you wouldn't."
"I mean, it's not actually a big problem, is it."
"Well, no. I apologise for pouting. As you can see, I arrived right on time."
"You did. Nice job. Now, I've got to take my passenger train."
Emily set off.
Next, James's Driver and Fireman inspected James.
"Yeah, I'm afraid this nose-diving might continue," said the Driver, anxiously.
James sighed, defeated. "I figured. I didn't want anyone to know."
"It's best we don't take the Express back," added the Fireman.
"I have to. If not, I'll be the laughing stock of the night."
"Better that than possibly having an accident with hundreds of people on board," replied the Driver.
"Still, I'm sure one journey can't hurt," continued James. "I don't have many chances to pull the Express nowadays. I have to take advantage of them."
His Driver and Fireman reluctantly agreed.
"I'll be fine. I'll be fine," James re-assured himself as he waited to start his journey back to the Big Station.
He had no trouble getting to the Works station, but as he passed Kellsthorpe, he nose-dived again.
"Bother!" groaned James.
"Steady!" called his Driver.
James was too cross and began to faster.
The Driver eased him off.
"Any faster and we'll be in real trouble!"
James didn't care. He just wanted to finish the journey, and safely if he could.
He passed Edward's station, and once again nose-dived.
"Just great," scoffed James.
Finally, he reached the Big Station.
His crew was relieved.
At the platform stood the Fat Controller.
"Well done James. I'm very pleased with your work on the Express today."
"It's no hassle, Sir."
"Tomorrow you can rest from the Express."
"Oh yeah, that'll be fine Sir. Even goods wouldn't be a bad job to do."
"Really? Well, you do have a goods train tomorrow, but you will get a passenger run as well."
"Any job is fine. After all, I'm in the best possible condition."
"Great to hear."
The Fat Controller walked back to his office.
"'Best possible condition'," said the Driver.
"Yeah. I am - am I not?" replied James.
"I know, but I really don't want anyone to suspect there's something wrong with me."
"Everyone already does suspect."
"It'll blow over soon."
James puffed into the shed where Duck and Donald were waiting.
"Experienced any difficulties today?" teased Duck.
"No, as a matter of fact, I'm better than ever," replied James.
"So ye say," chuckled Donald. "Ye really might want tae have yersel checked over juist in case."
"I appreciate everyone's concerns - but I'm fine."
When the other engines arrived, James's nose-diving was the main talking point.
James wasn't bothered at first, but he slowly began to get tired of the topic.
"Can't we move to something else?"
"There's nothing better tae talk aboot," replied Douglas.
"Of course not," replied James, sarcastically.
"It is quite a funny topic," Percy chimed in, "but I think we've talked about it enough for today."
"Really?" asked Gordon.
"Besides, its not like it affected his performance."
"Yeah," put in James. "I was on time with the Express today. I'd like to see you do better."
At last, the engines decided to get some rest.
James was still grumpy when he woke the next morning.
"Are you all right, James?" asked Percy.
"Uh, yes," replied James.
"Just don't let it bother you."
"Of course not. I'll show them how useful I can be."
With that, James steamed to the Yard to collect his trucks to take to Killdane.
Now he felt even stranger.
"It feels as if my entire front is out of balance," he told his Driver.
"We definitely need to go to the Works now," replied the Driver.
James sighed. He knew his Driver was right.
Jessie had arranged his trucks.
"Take care, James," she called.
"Of course. I may need to go to the Works but I'll show everyone just how useful I can be. Try making fun of my nose-diving when I deliver these trucks in record time."
Then the Guard blew the whistle and James moved slowly out of the Yard. Then, once on the Main Line, he gathered speed and was soon running well.
However, he couldn't take his mind off all the engines' teasing.
Presently, he was approaching the station. But he was going much too fast!
"Easy James!" cried the Driver, and set on the brakes.
It was too late, James passed the station, slid into a siding and crashed into some slate trucks.
A thick cloud of grey dust arose all around him.
James's Fireman went to call for help.
Just then, Henry steamed in and saw the situation.
"Well, well, well. Seems like you dived straight into trouble," he chortled. "Looks like I'll be taking care of these trains for now."
Henry was soon on his way.
Later, Edward arrived with Rocky to clear up the mess, and help James to the Works.
"Don't worry," said Rocky. "You'll be repaired in no time."
"I hope so," sighed James, sadly.
He was soon on a flat-truck, and Edward pulled him to the Works.
"I've heard about your nose-diving," ventured Edward.
"You have. Well, everyone has been teasing me about it. I was still cross about that and wasn't concentrating. That's why I had an accident."
"You should have been to the Works a lot sooner."
"Perhaps then the teasing wouldn't have occurred."
"Yeah, now I'll hear about it for ten years."
"Nonsense. Everyone knows how useful you are no matter what. You really did do well with the Express I hear."
James felt better by the time he reached the Works.
Victor and Kevin were waiting.
"Well James, let's get you fixed as soon as possible," said Victor.
"And perhaps give you a new coat of paint," added Kevin. "Should I go fetch the paint boss?"
"Uh, not now Kevin."
James was lifted by gantry next to Pip and Emma.
"Hullo James. Quite surprised to see you here," said Emma.
"I know. I didn't expect to be here either," replied James.
He told them what had happened.
"Glad you're getting repaired now."
"So am I."
Whilst James was at the Works, Gordon, Henry, and Bear took in turns with the Express.
Pip and Emma were repaired first, and quickly resumed their daily Express duties.
Finally, James was fully repaired. Even his nose-diving had been cured.
The engines welcomed him back.
"We're sorry we teased you," said Duck.
"You are really useful," added Gordon.
"It's all right. I'm just to be back."
James hoped he'd never have to worry about nose-diving again.
- Donald and Douglas
- Pip and Emma
- Molly (mentioned)
- Bear (mentioned)
- The real-life L&YR Class 28s did experience nose-diving at high speeds sometimes which was the basis for the episode.
- At first, the Writer wasn't sure if the concept of nose-diving would work as an entire episode, but it had been one that he'd been wanting to use for some time, and eventually, it did come together as an episode.
- There are references to Thomas and the Breakdown Train, The World's Strongest Engine, and Respect for Gordon.