|Stuck in the Snow|
|Season X, Episode 4|
|Air date||17 April 2019|
Oily in the Morning
It was winter on Sodor. Snow was falling heavily.
Donald and Douglas were in charge of patrolling the line but this year, they found work more difficult than usual.
"These drift oor juist tae heavy!" said Donald.
"Come on! Another try!" replied Douglas.
The Twins charged at the drift.
"I ne'er seen snow as heavy as this," observed Donald.
It was tough going, but at last, the track was clear.
The Caledonian Twins arrived exhausted at the Big Station.
Gordon was waiting with a stopping train.
"I was starting to get worried," he called.
"Aye, really?" asked Douglas.
"Well, if the weather is so bad, this train might have been cancelled."
"Och, the Fat Controller wouldna close the railway," replied Donald.
Just then, Daisy purred in.
"All this snow," she shivered.
"I thought you liked it," said Gordon.
"Certainly not! It blocks my air-intake!"
"Och, at least I got mae warm boiler," said Douglas.
Services had to be reduced due to the thick snow. As a result Jessie and the Works Diesel were also sent to help clear the lines.
One day, Pip and Emma were waiting at London to take the Express back to Sodor.
"Lots of snow on Sodor, I hear," said the Driver.
"I hope it doesn't stop us," replied Emma, who was at the front.
"We've got four engines clearing the lines, so we should be fine. We'll just have to mind our speed."
Presently, the Guard blew his whistle and waved his green flag. Pip and Emma started their long journey back to Sodor.
The journey on the Other Railway gave little trouble. The rails were icy but Pip and Emma managed well.
Finally, they reached Barrow-in-Furness where they had a rest before continuing along to Crovan's Gate.
"The snow's deeper nearing the Junction," warned Rheneas. "So my Driver says."
"Donald and Douglas are clearing the lines," replied Emma. "But I expect we might be delayed."
As they made their way, the weather turned for the worse. The wind picked tossing the piled up snow over the track.
Pip and Emma had just crossed the viaduct when suddenly, in front, they saw a tree fall right onto their line!
"Stop!" cried Emma.
The Driver skilfully stopped the train, just in time!
The Guard made his way up to the cab.
The Driver phoned the Signalman and soon, all trains were halted and a message was sent down the line.
Meanwhile, Donald and Douglas found drifts so high that they couldn't charge at them.
"We canna risk being stuck," said Donald's Driver.
Workmen hacked away the snow but it was thick and seemed like a wall of bricks. Soon, everyone was exhausted.
"Och, we canna clear the track!" cried Donald.
"Weel hae tae go back," said Douglas.
They returned to the Big Station looking glum.
"The snow's juist tae deep," explained Douglas's Driver.
"I'm afraid so," replied the Fat Controller. "All trains are suspended for now. Worse still, Pip and Emma are stuck about a mile beyond Maron due to a tree on the line."
"Och dear," said Donald. "Will they be fine?"
"All trains have enough supplies to last at least a day," explained the Fat Controller. "The weather's getting worse and I don't want to risk anything."
Donald and Douglas were worried that if the harsh condition didn't cease soon, the passengers and crew might starve.
The Fat Controller walked towards his office when suddenly, all the lights turned off!
"Nae a black-out!" exclaimed Douglas.
"I'm sure all the Stationmasters and Signalmen know what do," assured the Fat Controller. "Meanwhile, we'll have to take care of the passengers here."
Meanwhile, Emma's Driver was concerned.
"I don't know how long we'll be here," he thought to himself. "We'll have to ration all the food we have."
For the next couple hours, snow fell without stopping. But at last, the sky cleared and the sun shone for the first time in several days.
"At last," sighed Douglas.
"Well, before trains can resume, we must clear the line," said the Fat Controller.
"Aye," agreed Donald. "I juist hope the Express is all right."
Pip and Emma were freezing. Snow was piled up all around them. The passengers had already requested meals, so the Driver and Guard carefully handed out the food.
"When are we going to be rescued?" asked the passengers.
"I am not sure," sighed the Driver. "We can only wait and hope."
"But we can't be stuck here forever!" cried a woman.
"Trust me. There's certainly a reason why trains have been cancelled. But I assure you, that as soon as it's safe, Donald and Douglas will work very hard to rescue us."
"Are you sure?"
"You obviously don't know the Caledonian Twins like I do," smiled the Driver.
"Indeed," agreed Emma. "They're very reliable."
"Always going wherever they're needed," added Pip.
It was the following morning before the Twins set out with the first priority to clear the line and rescue the Express.
Donald and Douglas worked hard. The sun was out, but it was still hard work.
It was starting to get late as they approached Gordon's Hill.
"E'eryone's exhausted," sighed Donald.
"It's best we go back," agreed Donald's Driver.
Meanwhile, Pip and Emma were worried.
"Where are Donald and Douglas?" they wondered.
"I reckon the snow's just so thick," said the Driver.
But that didn't soothe the passengers' complaints.
But at the crack of dawn the next day, the Caledonian Twins were back out on the line.
Finally, they reached Edward's station.
Edward and BoCo were there.
"Looks like the electricity is back on," said Edward.
"Aye, at last good news," sighed Donald.
"Everyone should have a rest before you go back out there," put in BoCo.
So they did.
By then, the snow slipped away easier. The Twins were relieved.
By this time, the Express's extra supplies had been finished.
The passengers were cross.
"This is ridiculous!"
"We should have been rescued ages ago!"
Then, they heard two familiar whistles and a coat of blue against the white snow.
"Hooray!" they cheered.
"Just in time," sighed the Driver.
Then, from the other direction, came Molly and Dodger.
"Heard you needed help," called Molly.
They had brought plenty of food and water as well as coal trucks.
Everyone was pleased to see them. Whilst the workmen shovelled the snow away from Pip and Emma, the passengers and crew were fed.
Donald and Douglas filled up with coal and left the van to Molly and Dodger. Then, they heaved the tree out of the way.
"You get the passengers to Tidmouth, we'll patrol the line," assured Molly.
No more snow had fallen so the Caledonian Twins made good time to the Big Station.
The Fat Controller was waiting.
"I apologise for the delay but the snow was the worst we've ever seen in a long time."
"We did almost starve, but your engines worked very hard to rescue us," they replied.
After they had gone, the Fat Controller addressed the engines.
"Well, Pip and Emma, you'll be inspected and hopefully running again in no time."
"Thank you Sir."
"And I'm very proud of you both," he turned to Donald and Douglas.
"Och, it was nothing," they replied modestly.
"You've once again proved to be the 'go anywhere, do anything' engines I can always rely on," finished the Fat Controller.
Donald and Douglas were pleased.
Pip and Emma were soon mended and back at work. Meanwhile, many passengers came to thank the Caledonian Twins, their crews and the workmen for having braved harsh snow to rescue them and that made them very proud indeed.
- Donald and Douglas
- Pip and Emma
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Dodger (does not speak)
- Jessie (does not speak)
- The Works Diesel (does not speak)
- This story is based on a real event in Oregon on an Amtrak service that was stranded in the snow for thirty-six hours from 24 February to the 26th.