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Record Breaker is the tenth story of the first volume.

Record Breaker
Season X, Episode 10
Air date 14 June 2019
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
The Fire
High Tide

Author's Notes/Dedication

This episode is dedicated to Olivia Colman, Marion's voice-actor, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Queen Anne in The Favourite.

I devised this episode shortly before the Academy Awards. After Olivia Colman won the Academy Award, I wanted to finish this episode right away, but it wasn't finished at the time. Eventually, other ideas and outside stuff got in the way, but now it is finished! This features Marion, voiced by Olivia Colman going after a record herself.


"It's a lovely morning," puffed Marion. "Which means, more digging!"

Marion loves her job at the china clay workings. She loads clay into trucks but she does occasionally have other digging jobs outside the clay pits. The only thing, Marion loves more than digging, is talking about digging. Her favourite digging story, is her sister's digging record.

One day, she was helping lay fresh ballast at Edward's station.

"Och, Jeames always complains aboot yon sidings. Aye, we be doin' him aye favour noo," chuckled Donald.

"Indeed! These sidings will look cleaner than ever. As soon as I move this . . ." she stopped and Donald grinned, he knew exactly what she was going to do.

"Och aye. What do ye hae in yere shovel?"

"Take a guess!"

"Aye. A scarf?"


"Dirty laundry?"

"Nope! Last try!"


"Yes! Also known as dirt!"

"Ye ne'er stop, do you? How much do ye knen aboot digging?"


"Do ye knoo how much ye've dug in yere life?"

Marion stopped for a moment.

"I'm not sure, but I remember one of my sisters dug up forty-one thousand cubic metres of earth in twenty-five eight-hour days!"

"And has noo one broken it since?"

"Not to date. And anyways, I'm the only one of my class still in regular service."

"Ye dinna say. It'd be nice tae own the record yersel, eh?"

Marion thought about it.

"You're right! I, Marion the Steam-shovel, shall remove more than forty-one thousand cubic metres of earth in about two-hundred hours."

"That's braw hearing. But ye should focus on yere job, no aboot any records," advised Donald.

Marion agreed and carried on with her job, but later told Timothy all about the record.

"I'm surprised you don't hold it!" chuckled Timothy. "But it's not easy. We'd need someone to record it."

"Still, it's worth a shot," put in Marion.

"Great," sighed Bill, "she's going to make us work harder than ever."

"That'll be beneficial to all of us," replied Timothy.

"Okay. See you later then," replied Ben.

"What are you doing?"

"Oh, just taking some china clay trucks to the Docks."

"Good." (after a moment). "Wait, that's my job!"

"Too late!" called Ben and he was soon away with the trucks.

"Ha, ha," laughed Bill. "Now you have to shunt."

"So do you," Marion pointed out.

"Wait a second, we were suppose to take that train together!" cried Bill.

"Not anymore! Bring me more trucks! And prepare those hoods!"

With that, everyone set to work.

"After a bit of practising, I'll be able to load trucks in record time," thought Marion.

She worked faster than ever before keeping Bill, Ben, and Timothy very busy.

Edward came down to collect a train.

"Marion's working faster than ever today," he observed.

"She's going for a digging record," explained Timothy.

"I say. I just hope she doesn't tire herself out."

By the end of the day, Marion was exhausted.

"You need a good rest," said her Driver.

She fell fast asleep not even noticing Bill and Ben's usual arguments.

"I'll pay you out for abandoning me," said Bill.

"Well, it was my idea," retorted Ben. "And I never said the trick couldn't be played on others besides Timothy."

"Look, don't argue," interrupted Timothy. "We should help Marion achieve the record. We won't if you two quarrel."

"All right, we won't," replied Bill.


"For now," Bill whispered to Ben.

Ben said nothing and they all fell asleep.

The following morning, the Clay Pits Manager had a visitor.

"He is here to record Marion's potential record," explained the Manager.

"Thank you! I will get to work straight away!" cried Marion.

Soon, the Clay Pits were bustling with activity.

BoCo came down for a train.

"I heard all about Marion's pursuit towards the record," he said to Timothy. "How's it going?"

"Well, she's off to a great start from what I can see," replied Timothy.

It was a busy day and Marion finished the day with a good start towards the record.

But the next day, when the engines woke up, they found it was raining heavily.

"This will hinder work I'm afraid," said the Manager.

When it rained, the "Drain", which is a hollow in the land en route to Brendam often flooded. Because of this, precautions were taken so as to not have any engine stuck as had happened to Ben once.

Over the next few days, the rain got worse.

One day, the Manager brought bad news.

"The water level at the 'Drain' is too high. This means no one can access Brendam."

Marion was upset.

"I'll never get to the record now," she thought sadly.

The rain caused problems all over Sodor.

One day, James was taking a stopping train.

"I wish this rain made my coat shine," he complained.

"It makes me cleaner," chuckled Dodger.

James was soon nearing Henry's Tunnel. He had just exited when he heard a rumble.

"That's not thunder, is it?" he asked his Driver.

"No," replied James's Driver.

The Fireman was shovelling coal when he saw something extraordinary.

"Don't stop!" he called.

James sped up. He was just in time as piles of earth came from the cutting all over the line!

"We'd best get to the Works station quickly!" cried the Driver.

They were soon there and told the Signalman what had happened.

The Guard checked the train.

"Everyone is okay. We were just in time," he reported.

Workmen went to the scene.

All three mainline tracks were blocked.

The Fat Controller wasn't happy to hear this, but quickly made arrangements.

Because of the bad weather, clearing the line seemed improbable until the weather improved.

The next day, the rain subsided as did the water level in the "Drain".

The Fat Controller telephoned the Clay Pits to ask if Marion could help clear the line.

Marion was excited to get back to digging, so once she had steam up, she steamed towards Henry's Tunnel.

"My, I think this is the most earth I've ever seen!" she observed.

Douglas arrived with empty trucks.

"Ready, aye?" he called.

"I certainly am!"

The job took longer than expected. The rain had loosened the cutting and many trees had also fallen across the line. Added to that, most of the line needed to be replaced.

"About time maintenance was carried out here anyways," said the workmen.

Marion had to clear away the old ballast.

Donald and Douglas brought ballast and took away trucks loaded with earth and old ballast.

"Ye know," Douglas said to Donald one day. "Imma surrpised she hasnae broken yon record yet."

"Aye," agreed Donald. "She's been wurrking hard!"

Whilst the line was being cleared, trains departing from the Big Station stopped at the Works station. Buses then took passengers to Vicarstown.

Finally, the line was completely mended.

"Phew! Big digging job, just how I like it!" said Marion.

"Good job," agreed Donald and Douglas.

Soon, she was back at the Clay Pits.

One morning, the Manager arrived.

"Morning everyone. I have some pleasant news." He paused. "Marion worked for twenty days clearing the line. In that time, after taking into account the volume of her shovel and the volume of earth the trucks could carry as well as some margin-of-error, it has been reported that she dug forty-one thousand five-hundred metres of earth thereby setting a new world record."

"Amazing!" exclaimed Bill and Ben.

"I wasn't even thinking about it!" cried Marion. "It's an honour."

"Into the record-book you go," smiled Timothy. "Soon, you'll be very famous."

"I wonder if we could achieve any records," suggested Bill to Ben.

"Tricking Timothy more than twice a week perhaps," replied Ben.

"Right. Twice is not often enough."

"I'm wise to your tricks," cut in Timothy. "Besides, we should celebrate Marion's record now."

"Thanks Timothy! And all of you!"

Marion's record has now become one of her favourite digging stories and she enjoys talking about it. Of course, the others know that without Marion's help, the line would not have been cleared and are very proud of her indeed.




  • The beginning scene with Donald and Marion laying new ballast at Edward's station is a reference to Dirty Sidings, where James was complaining about the ballast on Edward's line.