Saving the Mountain Engines is an Adventures on Rails short that was released on 27 December 2017. It revolves around the Culdee Fell Railway Mountain Engines.
|Saving the Mountain Engines|
|Season B, Episode 9|
|Air date||27 December 2017|
James and the Fat Controller
Very Famous Engines
After long years of running, Alaric and Eric, Nos. 7 and 8 respectively of the Mountain Railway are withdrawn from service. Fear arise that both engines will be scrapped so it's up to the other Mountain Engines to figure out how to keep their friends in service . . .
The Island of Sodor is home to many unique engines. One of the most unique railways is the Culdee Fell Mountain Railway located at Kirk Machan along the Peel Godred Branch Line. It climbs several mountains en route to the summit at Culdee Fell.
There are seven engines working on the railway. They are all painted in a purple livery. They have a stove-pipe chimney, their boilers are titled downwards and their cylinders "back-to-front."
The Mountain Railway is a popular attraction during the Spring and Summer seasons and all the engines are kept busy running the line. However, sometimes, the engines need repairs.
It was a windy evening and Alaric was preparing the leave Devil's Back.
"The wind's alright!" called the Signalman.
"We better fill up your tank just in case. This will help weigh us down," commented the Fireman.
Soon, everything was ready and Alaric descended the mountain carefully.
"Oh! The wind is strong!"
"You can do it!" called the Driver and he set on his brakes.
"I better put on my automatic brakes as well," thought Alaric. He tried but nothing happened. Suddenly, he picked up speed.
"Oh no!" he cried, but the Driver tightened the brakes. Alaric tried to put on his brakes again, and this time, it worked.
"Phew! That was close," he sighed.
His Driver inspected him at the next station.
"You're brakes are rather stiff," he said at last. "We better not take any risks. Patrick will be up here soon to take your passengers."
In no time, Patrick arrived.
"Sorry for the wait, but climbing mountain's hard work as we all know."
"Thanks for coming. My brakes are faulty."
"Better safe than sorry, I always say. You should never take risks on the Mountain Railway."
Of course, all the engines knew that Patrick had been a risk-taker and gotten into trouble on numerous occasions. But now, he had settled down and frequently attended emergencies.
Patrick turned around and headed down the mountain.
Finally, at the end of the day, Patrick arrived to take Alaric home.
When he arrived all the engines were waiting. So was Mr. Walter Richards, the Manager of the railway. Some workmen looked over the No. 7 as the others waited anxiously.
"Well, the men have done their job. We'll analyse the situation and get back to you soon."
"Oh dear, it hope this isn't anything bad," said Ernest.
"Maybe you just need an overhaul," suggested Eric.
Before Patrick, Alaric and Eric had arrived, the engines had to travel to their manufacturer in Switzerland or England to be repaired. After Shane Dooiney returned from his overhaul all repairs have been carried out at Crovan's Gate.
"We'll have to see about that," said Mr. Richards. "We may not have enough money to mend you."
"Oh dear!" exclaimed Alaric.
"But don't worry about that, we'll figure out something for you."
Alaric was kept in the Shed for the rest of the season. He began to worry deeply.
"What if I've actually done my last run? I can't imagine not working."
Finally, the railway closed for the Winter season and the Manager came to see the engines.
"I thank you all for keeping the railway running under Alaric's absence." He turned to the number 7. "I'm sorry, but for now, you must go the Steamworks. I promise if there's anything we can do then we will."
The next day, Donald arrived to take Alaric to the Works.
"Goodbye!" called his friends. "We'll see you soon!"
"I hope so," Alaric called back.
Then the Guard blew his whistle and the Caledonian engine set off.
"Dinna worry, you'll be fine at yon works with Victor and Kevin. They'll take good care of ye!"
"I know," sighed Alaric. "But I'm worried that there might not be enough funds to repair me. Mountain engines need high maintenance you know."
"Och, dear. Weel, I wish ya the best," replied Donald.
Soon, they arrived and the workmen unloaded Alaric.
A couple days later, Victor came up. He looked rather worried.
"Well my friend. The workmen are here to uh, do some work."
"Really? Will I be back in time for the Spring."
"I'm afraid it's not that type of work. We have to remove your boiler, you see."
"For what reason?"
"From what I've been told, it will be moved off-site and dismantled. I'm not sure what will happen to you next though."
Alaric gulped. This couldn't be the end, could it?
The news of Alaric soon spread across the North Western Railway. But unfortunately, since the Mountain engines were in their Shed, they knew nothing about it.
Several engines gathered at the Big Station.
"Disgraceful!" said Gordon.
"Disgusting!" put in James.
"Despicable!" finished Henry. "To have an engine suffer like that is simply unacceptable."
"But what can we do?" asked Emily. "He's not an engine on our railway."
"Aye, I'm afraid to say that engines like 'im oor quite expensive," commented Donald.
"Think aboot it! They're a completely different design than us," added Douglas. "With yon rack and pinion system and cylinders."
"Exactly. That makes them quite expensive," inquired Emily. "But anyways, I'm sure their Controller is working hard to save him."
"I hope so," said Gordon.
"For now all we can do is wait and hope," finished James.
And indeed that was all Alaric could do. His boiler was scrapped and it was stored off-site.
Soon it was Spring and the Mountain Railway opened up again.
Eric was to take the first train. He collected his coach and headed to the station.
"There is a lot of people," he thought to himself. "I don't know if everyone will fit."
There was more than enough people for his coach. Everyone crowded in.
"Is everyone safely inside the coach?" the Driver called to the Guard.
The Guard double-checked everyone.
"We're good to go!" he replied. Then, he blew his whistle and waved his green flag.
Eric felt the weight of his coach and he slowly began to ascend.
"This is the heaviest I've ever pushed!" he thought.
The Driver was anxious. "You're losing steam!"
The Fireman shovelled in some more coal but Eric continued to struggle. It was a lot harder than expected, but Eric pulled into Shiloh completely out of steam.
"I don't you'll be doing any more work today," said the Driver.
Patrick was called up to take Eric's train to Culdee Fell Summit.
"Sorry," said Eric as Patrick shunted him onto a siding.
"No problem. I'm always glad to help a friend in need."
Patrick was soon coupled up to Eric's coach and he set off to Skarloey Road.
It wasn't until the end of the day that Patrick came to take Eric back to the Shed.
The Manager was waiting and he didn't look pleased. He talked with the Driver and Fireman and then turned his attention to his engines.
"Well, for now, we will have to run the railway without Eric."
"Sir, what about Alaric?" asked Ernest. "Is he still at the Works?"
"He is still at the Works, but the problem is we do not have enough money to repair one engine. You are all very unique engines but also very costly and we also want to properly maintain you to ensure the safety of our passengers and good running of the railway."
A couple days later, Donald came to collect Eric.
"Och, you didnae tell me we have another wee engine ta take to yon Works."
"I'm afraid so Donald," said Eric, sadly.
Patrick pushed Eric onto the exchange siding and carefully onto Donald's flat truck.
"Away we go! Thanks Patrick!" called Donald.
At Killdane, Donald stopped to fill up with coal.
"So, what's going tae happen noo?" Donald asked Eric.
"I am not sure. The railway does not have enough money to pay for my repairs. And poor Alaric is still at the Works."
"Aye so. We're lucky he hasnae gotten scrap yet."
"I hope not. The railway needs all seven of us."
"I agree. Every engine on a railway has its purrpose."
Soon, Donald's tender was loaded. Then Gordon thundered by with the Express. The signal dropped and the Caledonian 812 made his way to the Works.
Donald left Eric and went back to Tidmouth to collect a goods train to take Arlesburgh.
Douglas was waiting for his brother.
"Och, aboot time. Where have ya been, Donal'," teased Douglas.
"Dinna fash yersel. I was taking a poor wee engine to the Works!"
"Och dear. Who was it?"
"Yon Eric from wee Mountain Railway."
"Again? I ha' thought that another engine had been taken there too!"
"Yes, Alaric. So now the railway's doun two engines."
Donald was coupled up to Douglas and then the Twins set off, still worrying about their Mountain Railway friends.
Of course, the Mountain engines were worried as well.
Ernest and Culdee were waiting at the Shed for their next journey.
"I don't how long we'll be able to run the railway with just us four," Culdee told Ernest. "Of course we'll try our hardest, but there's only so much we can do."
"Indeed," agreed Ernest. "It looks like we'll need a way to find money to help pay the repairs for Alaric and Eric."
The two engines thought hard but didn't know what to do.
Luckily, they had a lot of engines also concerned for them.
That night, Molly and Dodger delivered some coal to Tidmouth.
"Good thing we stay up late so those big engines can take the coal before we even put in the chute," said Dodger.
Soon the coal was unloaded and two engine went to the Shed.
Gordon was speaking loudly.
"It's obvious we've heard about the situation with the Mountain engines. Indeed, if I broke down, who would pull the Express?"
"Henry could!" said Percy.
All the engines roared with laughter except for Gordon.
"All right! Very funny! Now stop being silly and let's focus on the task at hand."
Dodger and Molly saw lines next to David that were empty.
"What's going on?" Molly asked.
"Well, I'm sure you've heard about Alaric."
"Yes," both engines replied.
"Today, Donald took another Mountain engine to the Works."
"Oh dear," cried Molly.
"They may not be part of the same railway but we're all engines so we must help them."
"Indeed. That's the way to go," agreed Dodger.
The engine talked late into the night about ideas for raising money.
"First, let's be logical. How much money do we need to raise?" asked Emily.
"I don't know," said James. "But I can find out. I usually make runs to Peel Godred. I'll ask and see if anyone knows."
"Then we need ideas for a really successful fund-raiser," Paxton chimed in.
"Yes, like luxury Expresses," said Gordon.
"Isn't that advertising yourself more than anything?" asked Henry.
"Hey! But the money would go towards their repairs. Besides, its not you'd make any more pulling a thousand 'Flying Kippers.'"
"Either way we need more than just Gordon pulling coaches to his delight," said Percy.
The engines thought, but eventually decided to continue their discussion later.
The next morning, David took a goods train to Wellsworth. There, he saw Edward getting ready for his passenger train to Brendam.
"Good morning," called David.
"Morning. Slept at Tidmouth Sheds last night, I assume?" replied Edward.
"Yes indeed. We had quite a conversation."
Then David explained to Edward.
"Ah, I see. I'll say that I'm glad we're all uniting to help other engines."
"But we need more ideas than just Gordon's Express."
"That is true." Then Edward remembered. "I know something that might work."
"Do you remember the Vicar's garden party?"
"Of course! That was very successful."
"Only this time the money will go towards the Mountain engines' repairs. If I get the chance, I'll ask Trevor to speak to the Vicar if he can host something similar."
Then, Edward set off to collect his coaches.
Meanwhile, James was heading up to Peel Godred to collect a load of aluminium to take to Tidmouth Harbour.
"Pulling trucks is not the most splendid job, but at least I'll try to talk to one of the Mountain engines."
Approaching Kirk Machan, he saw the yellow signal turn red.
"We'll have to wait until one of the Electric Engines' train comes through."
At Kirk Machan, James went onto a siding near the station to wait for the passenger train.
"Jeff will be here in about five minutes!" called the Stationmaster.
On the platform, Culdee was waiting.
"Hullo!" called Culdee.
"Hullo. I'm James and you are Culdee."
"Well, a lot of us standard gauge engines have heard about what happened to Alaric and Eric."
"That is how it is," replied James and he explained the ideas to raise money.
"Really? For them?"
"Of course. We're always glad to help out any engine."
"Well, I advise to speak to your Controller about it. I'll speak to Mr. Richards as well."
"Indeed," agreed James.
Just then, they heard a loud horn and Jeff rolled into the station smoothly.
"Hullo, Culdee, James. Nice to see you both. Well, here are your passengers Culdee and I'll be off!"
Then Jeff rolled away.
"I have to get to Peel Godred now," said James. "Also, can you find out how much we need to make to pay for repairs?"
"See you then and I'll see to that as well."
The two engines set off on their way.
That night, Culdee asked the Manager about Alaric and Eric's repairs.
"It is quite expensive," he began.
Then Culdee told him about the other engines' plans to raise money.
"I'd better speak with the Fat Controller about it."
The next day, Edward was on his way to Brendam when he had to stop at a signal by the Orchard. Trevor was there.
"Hullo Edward," said Trevor.
"Hullo Trevor. Fine day isn't it?"
"Yes and a good lot of work too."
"Trevor, I wanted to ask you about something."
"What is it?"
Then Edward told him his idea.
"That's a good idea. I'll speak to the Vicar."
Then, Edward's signal turned green.
"I have to go now. Thank you Trevor!"
Trevor whistled as Edward chuffed away.
That afternoon, Henry pulled into Tidmouth with his passenger train. As he puffed into the station, he saw the Fat Controller waiting on the platform.
"Hullo Sir. Expecting someone?"
"Yes indeed Henry."
Out of the coaches stepped Mr. Walter Richards.
"Good afternoon Sir Topham."
"Afternoon, Walter. We'll go into my office and discuss the matter at hands."
"I've got plenty of food in here too!"
Just then Norman pulled in.
"I'll take your coaches now Henry."
"Thank you," the green engine replied. "And it seems like the Mountain engines might be saved after all," he thought to himself.
That night, both the Manager and the Fat Controller went to Kirk Machan were all the Mountain engines were waiting.
"My engines," began the Manager. "I know you have all been very concerned about Alaric and Eric. Indeed, its been two years since Alaric was put out of service. But thanks my good friend, Sir Topham and his engines, we have a high chance of saving Alaric and Eric."
Culdee, Ernest, Wilfred, Patrick and Shane Dooiney cheered!
The plan was soon put into action. Hundreds of posters went out promoting luxury expresses and the Vicar's party.
"All proceeds go to Alaric and Eric's repairs," announced Henry.
At last, the day came for Gordon's Express.
"This is a fine job. Even my brother would be jealous," he boasted.
"You better get to Barrow and back safely though," advised Norman.
"Well, with him gone, I can take the Express," said Henry.
"Suit yourself. This is twice as grand."
The Guard blew his whistle and Gordon set off. He made good time. All the coaches were full but Gordon soon arrived at Crovan's Gate where he filled up with water. Then, at Barrow, he took on more coal for the return journey. He turned around and set back to Tidmouth.
"Very nice job Gordon," said Paxton.
"It was no trouble at all."
"Oh, they're going to love the Vicar's party as well," said Percy.
"A party?" asked the passengers.
"Yes, next Saturday at the Vicarage Orchard, hosted by the Vicar of Wellsworth. And it is also to help the Culdee Fell Railway."
"That sounds even more fun!" exclaimed a boy.
"We must go," said a woman.
"You little . . .," muttered Gordon.
But Percy had already puffed away.
The day of the Vicar's party came. Edward and BoCo were kept busy that day with passengers.
"I foresee a pretty good reception," BoCo told David. "Anyways, how are the goods?"
"It's been all right. A bit more work, but I'm fine with it. I'm glad we're helping out other engines."
"Indeed. Well, I must get going now. See you later!"
At the end of the day, the Vicar came to see the Fat Controller and the Manager.
"Well, here's all the money collected. It's a good amount I must say."
"Thank you. And for hosting the party as well," replied the Manager.
"It's no problem at all. Sir Topham helped pay for Trevor's repairs when he felt ill."
Then the Vicar left.
It took some time to count the total amount of money raised but at last the job was done.
Both the Fat Controller and the Manager looked at the final amount and nodded their heads in agreement.
The next day, the Fat Controller boarded Henry's train in the morning and stepped off at Killdane. Then he went up to Kirk Machan. The Manager was there already.
The Mountain engines were getting ready for another day of hard work when the two gentlemen appeared in front of the Sheds.
"I'm sure you've all heard about the recent efforts to raise money for Alaric and Eric's repairs," began the Manager.
"Yes of course," all the engine said.
"Well, we've finishing tallying up the total."
The engines froze suddenly.
"And we have made enough to cover the repairs!"
"The North Western Railway has also kindly donated to help out."
"The rest is sufficient enough for the CFR to cover."
"Hurray!" cheered all five Mountain engines.
The news spread like wildfire across Sodor. It was soon the talking point of every conversation.
Percy rushed into Tidmouth. Gordon was about to depart with the Express.
"What's the rush, Percy?"
"It's about Alaric and Eric. They're saved!"
"Very good then. Seems like my Express worked after all."
"I don't know about that, but whatever!"
"Donald! Douglas! Norman!" called Percy as he reached the Yard. Then he told him the news.
On the other side of Sodor, at Vicarstown, Molly and Dodger heard the news.
"Thank goodness!" sighed Molly. "I'm pleased for them."
"Let's get to the Works quickly then," said Dodger.
At the Works, Molly was uncoupled from the trucks and went to see Victor.
"Victor! Victor!" she called.
"Yes, my friend. What's happening?"
"Alaric and Eric are saved!" she shouted.
Alaric and Eric, both sitting quite lonely and depressed both heard this.
"What?!" they exclaimed together.
"Is this really true?"
"Pues que felizidad. Now, I assume you brought coal."
"Oh, uh, yes. We'll get unloaded right away."
Later that day, the Manager came to the Works.
"You probably have heard the news. I will arrange with the workmen here to start as soon as possible and I'll be very glad to have you both back in service very soon."
It was long and hard job, but Victor, Kevin and the workmen worked hard to assist and carry out the overhauls.
At long last, the job was complete. Both engines were given a fresh coat of paint and their crews came to see them.
"Thank goodness. You're both back. We missed you very much."
Donald came to take them to Kirk Machan.
"Away we go!" he puffed cheerily.
At Kirk Machan, Rocky lifted them both onto the rack and pinion track.
"I'm glad to be on hard rails again," sighed Alaric.
"I feared I might never be running again," said Eric.
That night, all seven engines had a reunion.
"It wasn't fun," said Alaric.
"We were all worried for you two," said Wilfred.
"Thanks for caring," said Eric.
"Of course, a lot of the Fat Controller's engines helped too," added Shane Dooiney.
"Yes indeed," said Alaric and Eric.
Then, the engines talked into the night like family.
At one point, everyone feared both engines might never enter service again. Now, Alaric and Eric and in service and have proven to be more effective than ever. Their story of restoration has stuck with them and the engines are pleased to have been able to help. No matter what the difference is between railways, all the engines united for a single cause. No other place can compare with the Island of Sodor.
The Culdee Fell Railway is a unique railway which uses a rack to climb steep mountains.
There are seven engines on the railway.
Culdee - We make a great team, don't we?
But what happens if they start to fail?
Alaric - I don't feel well.
Eric - Neither do I.
The Manager - We'll have to take you out of service for now.
Ernest - Sir, what are we going to do?
The Manager - We'll figure something out.
Patrick - Oh dear, Shane, what if they're scrapped?
Shane Dooiney - He wouldn't, would he?
Find out this Autumn.
For years, the Culdee Fell Railway has operated well with its seven locomotives.
Alaric and Eric are the youngest of the batch but they are still prone to their own problems.
Alaric - I just don't feel well today, Driver.
Alaric's Driver - We'll look you over. You might be in need of an overhaul.
Walter Richard - We can't afford an overhaul for both of you!
Eric - What will happen to us?
Patrick - Don't worry, everything will be all right.
Culdee - So what's your plan?
Patrick - We will campaign and raise funds for their repairs.
Walter Richard - All right, but you don't have much time.
Watch as the Mountain Engines work together will the rest of the engines to save two of their friends.
Patrick - Spread the word to everyone!
Douglas - Aye, will do lad.
Donald - And was all this aboot?
Douglas - Get yon overhool for the Moountain Engines.
Gordon - Well, of course we must save them!
James - Agreed.
Percy - I actually agree with you two on something for once.
In Saving the Mountain Engines coming November 2017.
- Donald and Douglas
- Shane Dooiney
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Vicar of Wellsworth
- Mr. Walter Richards
- Kirk Machan
- Devil's Back
- Culdee Fell
- Sodor Steamworks
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Barrow-in-Furness (mentioned)
- Arlesburgh (mentioned)
- This short is based upon Alaric's and Eric's real-life basis, Ralph and Eryri's current situation which as of 2015, they have been withdrawn from service on the Snowdon Mountain Railway.
- A teaser was released on 19 June along with the release of James and the Fat Controller. The first trailer was released on 25 August.
- The short was originally considered for a mid-November release like past November shorts/specials. However, the release date was announced as the 27th. Later, outside circumstances led the writer to push the short back. It will be released in late December 2017. Eventually, it was released on December 27th.
- The short takes place in 1990-1992.