Quarantine is the thirteenth story of the second volume.
|Season X, Episode 39|
|Air date||14 June 2020|
It was a difficult time on the Island of Sodor. There were few trains and fewer engines out on the tracks. For the most part, the work was being handled by diesel engines. The Fat Controller wanted as few crew members as possible coming to work. This meant most of the engines were stuck in the sheds. On the Main Line, BoCo and Bear took charge of the passenger trains whilst James and Henry alternated on goods trains.
One day, Bear was waiting at the Big Station when James puffed in with a goods train.
"Not a lot of passengers, I see," said James.
"They're not allowing many passengers on board," said Bear.
"The goods trains though have been longer than ever."
"Plenty of supplies needed, I suppose."
"On the other hand, a lot of people are just staying at home."
"That is true."
"I suppose you miss all the passengers coming up to you and taking photographs."
"I do actually. But I've been told goods trains is essential work so it hasn't been that bad."
Just then, Norman rolled up.
"Hey James. I can take your trucks away now."
"Thank you Norman."
"You know, we are lucky to be able to go out," said James. "The others range from bored to anxious to desperate."
"Well, we are all used to plenty of work, and then when there is not, it can be tough."
"I understand that."
Then, the Guard blew the whistle and Bear rolled away. After that, James went back to the shed.
"Hullo James," said Henry as James backed in. "We were just playing an awkward game of 'awkward silence'."
"What? You haven't anything to talk about."
"Well we did," said Gordon. "After a while, we just can't figure out anything to talk about."
"It just feels like we've been in here for ages," sighed Jessie.
"It almost feels like the 'strike' all over again," put in Henry.
"Honestly, you aren't missing out on much," said James. "I'm stuck on goods trains, and few people are travelling."
"Still, I'd rather be out and about than in here," said Duck.
Again, silence fell upon the shed.
"It is times like these were we all miss oor wurrk," said Douglas, at last.
"I really miss local trains and stopping at the Junction," said Henry. "Heck, I even miss Thomas at times. Even though he keeps me waiting."
"I thought you kept him waiting," chuckled James.
"Well, as you know, I stuck in the same place for twenty years," said Jessie. "Ever since I came to Sodor, I have been so happy to work. I am really uncomfortable just sitting around."
"Now, dinna fash yersel," said Donald. "None of us like being in here, but we shan't be stuck in here forever."
Jessie smiled a bit. "Yeah. Even in the park, I never lost hope I might someday return to work."
"And eventually it did happen," said Donald.
"I guess that's the same for us," said Duck. "Sooner or later we will all be back at work."
"We're not in forever that's for sure!" said Jessie.
"Exactly," said Donald.
The engines felt much better now.
"You know," said Gordon, "I don't like being stuck but at least I'm stuck in here with all of you."
"Right back at you," said Duck.
"There have been some fun times," said Douglas.
"Yeah, we've been creating bizarre 'what if' scenarios," said Jessie.
"Along with some other stuff such as naming our favourite stations," said Duck.
"So, it hasn't been that bad," said James.
All the engines agreed that even if they weren't out on the track, at least they had each other for company.
Later that day, James was pulling a goods train and was soon approaching Gordon's Hill.
"We'll need a banker engine to help us," said the Driver.
They stopped outside Edward's station.
Then, Edward bustled up.
"Hey James. I see you need help."
"All right. Let's do this."
James pulled and Edward pushed. They pounded up the hill. Finally, the slope became easier and they were soon resting at Maron.
"Thank you Edward."
"Have have you been?"
"Well, I'm on duty in case any engines need help up the hill. How about you?"
"Henry and I are taking turns on the goods work. BoCo and Bear are taking care of passenger trains."
"That's good to hear. How is everyone else? Stuck in the sheds, huh."
"Yeah, but they're doing all right. Obviously, bored from being stuck inside all day and night but hey, we always find something talk about, so it hasn't been too bad."
"That's good to hear," said Edward. Then, the Guard's whistle blew. "You'd best get going now."
"Yeah. It was great speaking to you," said James.
"Same here," replied Edward.
James puffed away and for the first time in a while, he felt very happy.
- Donald and Douglas
- BoCo (does not speak)
- Sir Topham Hatt (does not speak)
- Thomas (mentioned)
- A follow-up story titled Quarantine at Ffarquhar was later released. It takes place around the same time but deals with the engines on Thomas's Branch Line.