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Ryan Helps Out is the fourth story of volume four.

Ryan Helps Out
Season 4A, Episode 4 (80)
Air date 27 February 2022
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Toby and the Whistling Woods
The Bridge


Early one morning, Jessie was waiting for some ballast trucks from Ryan.

"Not long now," thought Jessie.

And sure enough, there was Ryan steaming into the yard.

"Good morning Jessie. Here are your trucks," said Ryan.

"Thank you Ryan," said Jessie. "Now, I have to get up to Ffarquhar. Percy had an accident and Thomas was left to run it alone. He did all right from what I heard."

"You know, I've always wanted to go on Thomas's Branch Line. I've never been there and it sounds like a lovely line," sighed Ryan.

"Hmm, you've just given me an idea," said Jessie, and she explained. "I can look after your work for today."

"Thank you Jessie. That sounds wonderful. I just hope the Fat Controller agrees," said Ryan.

Their drivers asked and soon all was arranged. Ryan prepared to take the ballast trucks up to Ffarquhar and Jessie prepared to go up to Harwick.

"Have fun!" called Jessie, as Ryan puffed towards the Junction.

As Ryan turned down the branch line, he felt his boiler bubbling with excitement.

"I can't believe I'm actually on Thomas's Branch now," he exclaimed.

"It is nice," said Ryan's driver. "Just stay steady boy."


Ryan puffed past stations and then over Elsbridge Viaduct. He stopped at a signal by a field and saw a tractor ploughing.

"Hullo!" he called. "I'm Ryan."

"Hullo Ryan. I'm Terence," said the tractor. "I don't recall seeing you before."

"I'm visiting Thomas's Branch Line today," explained Ryan.

"Well, I hope you had a nice journey up here."

"I certainly did."

Then the signal turned green and Ryan puffed away.

Finally, Ryan reached Ffarquhar. Thomas was getting warmed up for the day when Ryan arrived.

"Hullo. I'm Ryan and I've come to help you out today."

"Hullo Ryan. Welcome to my Branch Line. If I'm not mistaken, you work on the Harwick Branch with Daisy."

"I do."

"Well, I have to get going with Annie and Clarabel now but the shed is open so feel free to rest your wheels there."


Thomas collected Annie and Clarabel and brought them to the platform.

"That Ryan seems nice," said Clarabel.

"Indeed," said Annie. "It is a pleasure to him visit our branch line."

"Yeah, yeah," cut in Thomas. "It's only for today so don't get too excited."

"If I didn't know you any better, I'd say you're jealous," retorted Annie.

"Nonsense," huffed Thomas. "After running the branch single-handedly, there's no-one that could run the branch better than I."

"If you say so . . ."

Meanwhile, Ryan was resting when Liza came up.

"Hey there," she said. "I'm Liza, and you, if I'm not mistaken, are Ryan."

"That's correct," said Ryan. "How did you know?"

"Well, I help out here a lot but I have also heard about all of you through the books and on television."

"Really? How interesting. Now I was wondering, is there anything I could do until my next job."

"Hmm, well Mavis won't be here with stone trucks for another hour but if you want, you could tidy up the yard."

Ryan immediately set to work. He pushed trucks into their proper sidings and soon, the yard was much more organised.

"Great job Ryan. The yard looks better than ever," observed Liza.

When Thomas returned, he was surprised to see the yard all tidy.

"What happened here?" asked Thomas.

"Ryan was kind enough to tidy up the yard for us," explained Liza.

"What for? I already had it all organised," huffed Thomas.

"Apparently not good enough," grinned Mavis.

"Well, this is my branch line so around here, things run the way I like it," said Thomas, firmly. Then he slipped silently into the shed.

"What was all that about?" asked Ryan.

"Never mind him Ryan," said Mavis. "He's just cross that you can do things just as well as he can."

"He should know better," sighed Liza, "but don't worry Ryan, you're doing a great job. Now, you best get those trucks to the Harbour."

"I will!"

Ryan puffed cheerfully away. The trucks however were cross.

"Who's this?" they asked amongst themselves. "Another engine. Too many engines if you ask me. We'll bring him down a notch," they giggled and started making plans to trick Ryan.

Ryan paid no attention. He was much too excited. Thomas could see this.

"Be careful with the trucks Ryan!" he whistled.

"Don't worry, I will!" called Ryan.

With that, Ryan puffed away. As he went down the line, he began to pick up speed.

His Driver began to get concerned.

"We're going much too fast to be safe," he said.

Ryan began to apply his brakes. This was the signal for the trucks.

"Let's bump him!" they giggled.

This time, Ryan heard them.

"Oh dear, if we stop too suddenly, the trucks will push us onwards," said Ryan.

"We'll have to be careful then," said Ryan's Driver.

Ryan could see the Harbour station ahead. It was all or nothing now. Ryan's brakes came on. The trucks surged behind him.

"I must stop!" groaned Ryan.

The station came nearer and nearer. Ryan closed his eyes. When he opened them, he saw he had stopped just beyond the platform.

"Phew!" sighed Ryan.

"I'm glad you managed to stop safely," said the Harbour Master.

"Yes indeed," said Ryan. "Thomas was right to warn me. These were very troublesome and irresponsible. We all could have be serious hurt. Back on my line, my trucks know how to behave and they know not to attempt any tricks."

The trucks were ashamed.

"We're sorry Ryan," apologised the trucks.

"I'll let you off for now, but just remember what I said."

The Harbour Master was very impressed.

For the rest of the day, Ryan had no trouble with the trucks. Even Thomas was impressed at how well Ryan managed.

The Harbour Master was especially pleased with Ryan's work. "I do like an accident-free harbour," he grinned.

Ryan was pleased to help out. By the end of the day, he was rather tired and dirty.

"Why don't I give you a good wash?" suggested Liza.

"Really? Thank you," said Ryan, politely.

Presently, Thomas puffed into the station with Annie and Clarabel.

"You have to admit, Ryan has done some good work today," said Annie.

"Indeed. We're lucky to have his help," said Clarabel.

Secretly, Thomas knew Annie and Clarabel were right.

That night, Ryan and Thomas were quiet in the shed at first.

"I really enjoyed helping out here," said Ryan. "Thanks for warning me about those trucks. I might have had an accident if it weren't for you."

"You're welcome. I suppose you manage your trucks on your line in a certain way."

"Yeah. I've learnt how to handle trucks properly."

"Around here, Toby is the most experienced when it comes to trucks and a lot of things, in fact."

"You know, Daisy has actually taught me some stuff about trucks that she learned from Toby."

"Then you're probably aware that Daisy used to work here."

"Oh yes, she's told me all about it. She says she came here to revolutionise or something and basically she came after you had an accident and the Fat Controller put her in charge."

"Where'd you get all that from?" asked Thomas. "She must have made it all up!" he laughed.

"Is that so?"

"Yes Daisy came after I had a crash into the Stationmaster's house but from Toby and Percy told me, she was lazy and it wasn't till Percy had an accident that she finally began to work hard. Then after I came back, I become really good friends with her."

"Well, she has told me that you were one of her closest friends."


"Yeah. I think sometimes she even misses this line."

"Perhaps, but I think it's great that she has her own line alongside you." Thomas paused for a moment. "When you go back, do tell her that everything is fine here and say 'hullo' to her for me."

"Of course I'll do that," said Ryan. "Now tell me, why did you crash into the Stationmaster's house."

"I was silly enough to think I could go without my Driver!" explained Thomas. "Perhaps I was leaking steam or something but I began to move and then I realised I couldn't stop. I ran right off the rails and straight into the house."

"Why weren't there any buffers?" asked Ryan.

"Sometimes we have to transfer goods from rail to road, so it's easier to just end the track at the road. Besides, no-one anticipated me running without my Driver," explained Thomas. "On a side-note, I remember a cleaner who disappeared shortly after my accident. Anyways, I should have never even thought of it but hey, we live and learn."

"That's true. Honestly, I will admit that at first, I did find working with Daisy difficult."

"So did Percy and Toby."

"Yeah, but she keeps busy and she is a hard worker so I enjoy running the branch with her."

Thomas and Ryan continued talking late into the night. By morning, Ryan didn't want to leave but he knew he had to get back to Harwick.

"You're always welcome back Ryan," called Thomas.

"Thanks Thomas!" whistled Ryan, and he puffed back to his branch line.