Pompous Popularity
Season 3, Episode 22
Air date November 10th, 2014
Written by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Directed by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Episode guide
Derek Comes Home
Jacob Helps Out


Norman is an engine who craves popularity with the other Diesels in the Dieselworks. He'd always try to impress them, but always fails.

One day, he was complaining to Derek about it at Wellsworth. “I never get any attention!” he grumbled. “Nonsense, you’re Really Useful, when you want to be,” reminded Derek. Norman sighed, “If only I could show them that I am a decent engine.” "You are a decent engine." said Derek, but Norman wasn't listening. "I have to go against the steam engines... Hmm... what to do?" wondered Norman. Derek was worried. "Uh, Norman?" But Norman had already left. "Uh oh..."

Later that day, Norman was shunting at the Shunting Yards as usual. He was lost in thought and biffed into some Troublesome Trucks. "Ow!" they shouted. Norman took no notice. Neville arrived to collect a train of timber. "Hello Norman," he smiled, but Norman didn't respond. "Hello? Norman?" Norman didn't answer. "Uh... Bye." and Neville puffed away with his train. Diesel was in the yard too and was impressed. "Well Norman, I didn't think you were with us." Norman looked over. "Well, uh... I suppose I am." he said. Diesel grinned. "Fantastic, another member! But you need a bit of learning to do. We'll talk at the Dieselworks tonight." Diesel winked and oiled away. Norman felt proud.

That night, at the Dieselworks, Diesel brought Norman to the shed. "Now something you need to learn Norman is that we Diesels are revolutionary." he said. "I know that already," said Norman slyly, "But I mean, what do I have to learn?" "Well, you have to be a devious engine and play tricks." "What sort of tricks?" "Remember when Den, Dart, Sidney, and I hid from Paxton? Ha, that was the best!" Norman chuckled, remembering. "But that was Paxton, a naive sort. What can I do?" "I've had experience," said Diesel as they approached the Dieselworks, "I say you play tricks, but you can get creative with it." Norman understood.

Later, Norman was to shunt Henry's Flying Kipper, but when he arrived at the yard, he decided, "I have an idea. I won't shunt for those kettles anymore! That's brilliant!" So he stopped on a siding, and did nothing. His driver was tired, and agreed, mostly because he had hardly gotten any sleep. Henry arrived to find nothing. "Norman!" he yelled. Norman just sat. "Norman!" Henry was surprised; Norman always had his deliveries on time. "We'll have to shunt the Kipper ourselves I suppose." his driver said grimly. Henry was upset; now he was running late. By the time Henry had shunted all the vans, the sun was beginning to rise. "Oh no!" cried Henry, 'We must leave now!" and he chuffed away. Norman grinned.

At noon, Sidney arrived with a ballast train. Norman quickly shunted it out of the way and into a siding. "Thanks," said Sidney and he rolled off. Dave had seen everything. "Norman, what's this? You didn't shunt the Kipper, but yet you shunt Sidney's ballast train?" he asked. Norman smiled. "I'm part of the group now. I'm going to be popular!" "But Norman, popularity doesn't always mean good." Dave warned, but Norman was too stuck-up to listen, and he rolled away to the Dieselworks. "Oh dear..." groaned Dave, "This is going to cause some problems..."

That evening, Douglas was to take a train of passengers up to Kellsthorpe Road and back, but when he arrived at Knapford, he was shocked to find the coaches buried in lines of trucks. "Norman!" cried Douglas. Norman looked over, but simply shunted trucks of scrap that BoCo had brought from Crocks Scrap Yard. "What are ye doing with that scrap? That train isn't due for an hour!" "Whatever." Norman sniffed, as he bumped the trucks into a a platform. "And ye know ye're blocking James' path with the stopping train, don't ye?" asked Douglas severely. Norman scoffed and oiled away. Douglas was furious.

At the Dieselworks, Diesel was telling the other Diesels about Norman. "So he's coming to see my point of view? Excellent.. At least he listens." said Diesel 10, who glared at Dave. Dave just sighed. "So far he's done minor things, but I assure you he'll improve." promised Diesel. "Improve what?" asked Sidney. Diesel ignored him and continued. "I'm sure he'll soon see that he is more efficient than steam engine on this railway." But Paxton and Dave were worried. "Are you sure this is a good thing?" asked Paxton, "After all, steam engines are engines too." "Outdated, stupid engines," snorted 'Arry. "Yea, causing all that steam and polluting the air." added Bert. "We're not exactly the best inventions either," said Dave, "We have exhaust that comes from us too. At least with steam engines, they blow out steam." "You don't deserve to be here, Dave," scowled Diesel 10. Just then, Norman arrived on the turntable. "Hello, hello, hello." he smiled. Everyone went silent. "Well hello." said Diesel 10, "I see you've learned the true ways." "Yes," said Norman, "I have. I refuse to shunt for steam engines." "What?!" cried Paxton and Dave. Diesel 10 grinned deviously. "Wonderful... Norman, after all the things we've been through, I'm glad to see you thought of something decent. I'd say that you are a true Diesel now." Diesel, 'Arry, Bert, and Dennis honked their horns in agreement. "Now, tomorrow go back to the Shunting Yards and make me proud..." said Diesel 10. "Of course," said Norman and he oiled into his shed.

The next morning, Paxton and Dave were waiting for their drivers. "I'm worried about Norman," said Paxton, "He seems to be taking this popularity thing too far." "I agree," said Dave, "We have to do something before he gets in trouble with the Fat Controller." "Or gets sent away!" cried Paxton worriedly. "Come on, we better find him and clear this up." so Paxton and Dave's drivers came and they scurried away.

Throughout the day, Norman only shunted for the Diesels. This meant that Rosie had to shunt for the steam engines. "Norman, please help! I can't shunt all these heavy trucks by myself!" she cried, but Norman simply scoffed. Rosie was upset; she could only shunt so many trucks, and Knapford was experiencing many delays. Paxton was roaming through the station with a train of stone to find everything a mess. "Bust my buffers!" he exclaimed. "I know," sighed Rosie, "But Norman refuses to shunt for steam engines. He won't even talk to me. Do you know why? It's pretty sporadic of him to do this." Paxton frowned. "I can't explain at the moment. Sorry Rosie." and Paxton headed towards the Docks. Rosie sighed and glanced at the yard; trucks were everywhere, and nothing was organized. "Ooh... I'm going to be in trouble." she worried to herself.

Paxton arrived at the Docks. Dave was dropping off trucks of coal. "Dave, I'm getting more worried." Dave sighed. "What's happening now?" "Rosie was called to the yard, but she can't do it herself, but Norman refuses to shunt for steam engines." "The Fat Controller will arrive on the scene soon." said Dave solemnly, "We better take care of this before he does." "Right.... but how?" "That remains to be seen," sighed Dave, "I haven't got a plan yet. We may know more tonight at the Dieselworks." Paxton agreed, but was still worried.

At the Dieselworks, Norman was getting plenty of praise. "Your plan is so creative!" said Diesel, "I should've thought that ages ago!" 'You are an asset to us," said 'Arry. Norman grinned. "Oh, it was nothing, really!" he said, but he was enjoying his newfound popularity immensely. Paxton and Dave oiled in to the Works. "Now Norman, considering the fact that you are now an example, you must take it to the next level." said Diesel 10. Norman was a bit nervous. "Uh, and what is that?" Norman asked. "You must... " he paused impressively. "scrap an engine." Diesel 10 said triumphantly. Norman was surprised, as were the other engines. "Nobody's done that before." said Sidney. "Shame we haven't," sighed Bert. "Thank you for establishing my point," fumed Diesel 10, "We must do that in order to survive. But you apparently are too weak to do so." "Or maybe they have ethics," stood up Dave. Everyone turned to look at him. "Norman, you don't have to. Popularity isn't always a good thing." "Yeah, and we want you to be the good friend you have been. Don't give yourself up to these morons." agreed Paxton, "You too Sidney." "Why am I here again?" asked Sidney. "Ugh, fine you three, but Norman's with this," said Diesel, "Isn't that right Norman?" Norman gulped. "Uh..." He looked from Paxton and Dave, to Diesel 10 and Diesel. "Um..." "Who are you with?" asked Bert impatiently. Suddenly the Fat Controller drove up. "Sir, I'd appreciate it if you don't ram into the turntable." "I won't Winston, relax!" and the Fat Controller stopped the inspection car. "Thank goodness..." The Fat Controller climbed out of Winston, looking very cross indeed. "Norman!" Norman sighed. "Yes sir... What is it?" "It has come to my attention that Knapford is a complete mess, and its your fault." "Sorry sir." said Norman meekly. "What?! Don't give up Norman, be strong like us!" cried Diesel. "I had a feeling you sooner or later would get mixed up in this. Norman, what has gotten to you?" Norman sighed. "I wanted to be popular, but it isn't everything it's cracked up to be. I'm sorry sir. You too Dave and Paxton." The Fat Controller smiled. "Well then, Knapford's ready for you to shunt for everybody." "Yes sir," said Norman as he oiled away. "What?! Come back!" cried Diesel 10. "I'll talk to you later." the Fat Controller said sternly and he walked back to Winston.

These days, Norman shunts at Knapford, for everybody, steam or Diesel. He's learned that popularity doesn't make a useful engine.


  • Henry
  • Douglas
  • Diesel
  • 'Arry and Bert
  • Derek
  • Diesel 10
  • Neville
  • Rosie
  • Sidney
  • Paxton
  • Norman
  • Winston
  • Dave
  • The Fat Controller
  • James (does not speak)
  • Dennis (does not speak)
  • Billy (cameo)
  • Stanley (cameo)
  • BoCo (mentioned)
  • Den (mentioned)
  • Dart (mentioned)


  • A reference to the eighteenth season episode Disappearing Diesels is made.
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