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Taking Toby to the Works is the first episode of the second volume, and twenty-seventh episode overall of The New Adventures on Rails.

Taking Toby to the Works
Season X, Episode 27
TakingTobytotheWorks
Air date 5 January 2020
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Previous
Thomas's Snowplough
Next
Gordon's Last Run

Plot

James and Henry were at the Sheds.

"It's that time of year again," said James.

"The one I look forward to least of all," said Henry.

"Taking Toby to the Works, right," chuckled Jessie as she steamed in.

"Yeah, how'd you know?" asked James.

"Wild guess. I mean its not like you've been talking about it for the past few weeks."

"I just don't get why we have to do it," grumbled Henry.

"It's more convenient," replied Jessie.

"Really? Why can't Donald or Douglas do it? They're always doing odd jobs around the Island," suggested James.

"I'm afraid that they need to be available."

"Or why couldn't you do it?"

"You know I'm needed here and on the Ffarquhar Branch!"

"Yeah, then we'd just have Norman as station pilot," said Henry.

"I just - don't want it to be me this year," continued James.

"Why not? You did a splendid job last year," said Henry.

"Yeah, which means it is your turn to take him to the Works."

"But I could never do such a grand job like you."

"Shut up. I know you're trying to flatter me into taking the job, but it's not going to work."

"Oh great, you caught me," finished Henry, sarcastically.

"Unfortunately for you two - the Fat Controller decides who takes him to the Works," said Jessie.

"Well, I have to fetch my trucks," said Henry. "See you two later."

Henry steamed away.

"You know, I can't convince Henry to volunteer to take Toby to the Works, but I can influence the Fat Controller's decision on who to pick," said James.

"Really?"

"Yeah. I'll drop subtle hints about how Henry should take him to the Works and eventually, the Fat Controller will definitely choose Henry."

"And how long will that take?"

"Hmm, I guess I hadn't thought of that. (beat). I'm desperate."

"Is it really that bad?"

"The coaches get really full sometimes, and Toby is actually pretty heavy, so you can imagine all that weight."

"I understand that."

"Thank goodness. I just wish Toby hadn't run out of water that one time," added James. "After that is when the Fat Controller decided to couple Toby up at the Junction on one of our stopping trains."

"So only you and Henry have ever done it."

"Yeah, why can't someone else do it for a change?" Then he realised something. "That's brilliant! I just need to find someone else."

"Well, why don't you analyse your options?"

"There's Gordon, BoCo or Bear."

"The thing is, you both take turns on the same service. That is the train the Fat Controller's been using."

"Great, so that's it. I just have to face the inevitable."

"Yeah, but it'll be all right. Traffic isn't too heavy, so it might be a bit hard, but nothing you can't handle."

James just sighed, defeated.

Later, Jessie was at the station when Henry steamed in.

"Hullo Henry. How was your journey?"

"It was great. I got the chance to think about - well, taking Toby to the Works."

"Well I'd like to hear your thoughts."

"I thought about getting someone else to take Toby but that plan fell flat when I remembered its only ever done on our service."

"My, my. Great engines think alike."

"What do you mean?"

"James had the exact same idea."

"But I reckon he hasn't thought of getting out of the job by pretending to be ill . . ."

"You know, I wouldn't be surprised if that occurred to him."

"Nonsense. Just wait and see."

The next morning, Henry's fire was slow to start.

"I just can't get up steam," he moaned.

"Well, my tubes are clogged. I might even have to go to the Works myself," complained James.

"Funny how both of you suddenly got ill," commented Jessie.

"Even kind of suspicious, isn't it," continued Bear.

"It really is," agreed Gordon.

Then the Fat Controller walked up.

"Dear, oh dear. How is that both of you are ill?"

"It just happens sometimes," said Henry.

"I apologise for the inconvenience," said James.

"I'm sorry as well."

"Now this doesn't have anything to do with not wanting to take Toby to the Works, does it."

"Of course not Sir."

"Hmm, I just figured you two rather be really useful than lazy."

James and Henry stopped for a moment.

"Actually, my tubes are fine. I'm off to fetch my coaches," said James, and he puffed swiftly away.

"And my fire will be roaring in no time," said Henry.

"Glad to see you both made the right choice."

"Yes Sir."

Jessie brought coaches to the platform and saw the Fat Controller.

"I just don't understand why they always complain about taking Toby to the works."

"It is kind of an inconvenience for them."

"What do you mean?"

"They already have to pull a heavy train and pushing Toby makes it very hard work."

"That makes sense then."

"But I understand that their complaining can get tiring. I mean, they've been talking about it non-stop."

"In the end, they'll always do what's right and be really useful."

Then the Fat Controller walked away.

The next day, James's Driver had some news for James.

"Guess who's joining us on our morning train?" he said.

"Toby," replied James immediately.

"How'd you know?" laughed the Fireman.

"Why couldn't it be Percy for a change?" James grumbled.

"Never mind, yesterday's train wasn't too bad. You didn't even need a banker up Gordon's Hill. We'll be fine for tomorrow."

Even so, James was still a bit cross the next day as he stood at the platform at the Big Station.

The Fat Controller came to see him off. "You know the routine James. Toby will be in low-steam and be coupled at the Junction and then uncoupled at the Works."

"Business as usual," murmured James.

There was still ten minutes before the train was due, and the coaches were almost full.

"Either everyone has arrived early or this train will get full," thought James.

Soon it was time to go. The coaches were packed.

"Full train. Just what I needed," scoffed James.

The Guard blew the whistle, waved the green flag and James puffed slowly out of the station.

He made good time as was soon at the Junction where Toby was waiting.

"Goodbye Henrietta!" he called as he switched onto James's line and backed in front of him.

Then, James set off again. He reached Crosby and then Edward's station with no trouble.

"Hullo Edward," said Toby.

"Nice to see you Toby," replied Edward.

"Nice to see you too," cut in James.

"I haven't seen Toby in a while, but I'm glad to see you too James," chuckled Edward.

"I know. Just having some fun."

Now James had to push Toby and pull his train up the hill. The Driver gave him as good as a start as he could.

"Puff hard and we'll be up before you know it," encouraged the Driver.

James heaved his hardest. The coaches were heavy, but he tried his hardest.

"I can do it!" he panted. But as the slope got steeper, he was not so sure. "I must do it!"

It was no use. His Driver brought the train back to the bottom of the Hill.

"Bother!" huffed James.

The Guard went back to the station to tell the Signalman what had happened.

"Edward's already left, so we're on our own," explained the Guard.

"So we're just stuck here?" cried James.

"Unless, . . ." put in Toby.

"Unless what?"

"I could push."

"Really?" asked James, doubtfully. "But there's really no other choice. So, let's get back to the station and have you push from behind."

The two engines puffed into the station. Toby ran to the back and by now, his fire was burning nicely and making plenty of steam.

"Ready?" called James.

"I'm ready!" replied Toby.

The two engines worked their hardest.

"We can do it! We can do it!" they puffed together.

The passengers leaned out the windows and cheered them on.

Toby and James heard nothing. They were using all their steam to get to the top of the hill. Toby clanked and rattled as he pushed, but he didn't give up.

Finally, the slope became easier.

"We've done it! We've done it!" cheered James.

The passengers nearly raised the roof.

At Maron, everyone congratulated them.

"Good work James!"

"Good work Toby! You are really useful."

"So are you."

"Now let's get you to the Works so you can stop clanking!"

The two engines were soon on their way and James found his story was there before him.

"Impressive work both of you," said Victor.

"Well, I couldn't have done it without you Toby," said James.

"Thanks James. See you in a few weeks."

"I should hope so!"

James went back to his train feeling proud of himself.

"I guess I complained for nothing. In the end, all that matters is that I'm a really useful engine."

He reached Vicarstown, very content indeed. Douglas was there.

"I reckon ye going to start complain' aboot Toby."

"Actually, I had a very good run. I'm glad I was able to take him to the Works," replied James.

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"That's great to hear. What exactly happened?"

"I'll tell you later."

"All right. See ye soon."

James puffed over to the sheds.

"Not a bad day so far. Not bad at all."

Alternate version

This story was modified for one of the writer's classes.

Tidmouth, also known as the Big Station, is the main station on the North Western Railway and is located close to the sea on the western side of the Island of Sodor. The station has four platforms and an overhead glass roof. Mainline trains begin their journey here to Vicarstown, the other end of the line. Just in front of the station, are the engine sheds which have everything essential for the running and maintenance of steam engines and diesel engines. There are twelve tracks in a circle with a turntable in the centre, ash-pits below the tracks and some repairs can be done here. Heavier repairs take place at the Works which is close to the other end of the line. Most engines can get there, but there are some that need help to get there.

One day, James and Henry were in the sheds. They are usually in charge of stopping trains which stop at all the stations along the Main Line.

"It's that time of year again," said James.

"The one I look forward to least of all," said Henry.

"Taking Toby to the Works, right," chuckled Jessie as she steamed in.

"Yeah, how'd you know?" asked James.

"Wild guess. I mean it is not like you've been talking about it for the past few weeks."

"I just don't get why we have to do it," grumbled Henry.

"You know Toby can’t get to the Works by himself," replied Jessie. “The Works are at the other end of the line and he doesn’t have a big water capacity.”

"Really? Why can't Donald or Douglas do it? They're always doing odd jobs around the Island," suggested James.

"I'm afraid that they need to be available," replied Jessie

"Or why couldn't you do it?" asked James

"You know I'm needed here and on the Ffarquhar Branch!" said Jessie.

"Yeah, then we'd just have Norman as station pilot," said Henry.

"I just - don't want it to be me this year," continued James.

"Why not? You did a splendid job last year," said Henry.

"Yeah, which means it is your turn to take him to the Works," replied James

"But I could never do such a grand job like you," said Henry

"Shut up. I know you're trying to flatter me into taking the job, but it's not going to work," retorted James.

"Oh great, you caught me," finished Henry, sarcastically.

"Unfortunately for you two - the Fat Controller decides who takes him to the Works," said Jessie.

"Well, I have to fetch my trucks," said Henry. "See you two later."

Henry steamed away.

"You know, I can't convince Henry to volunteer to take Toby to the Works, but I can influence the Fat Controller's decision on who to pick," said James.

"Really?" replied Jessie.

"Yeah. I'll drop subtle hints about how Henry should take him to the Works and eventually, the Fat Controller will definitely choose Henry."

"And how long will that take?"

"Hmm, I guess I hadn't thought of that . . . I'm desperate."

"Is it really that bad?"

"The coaches get really full sometimes, and Toby is actually pretty heavy, so you can imagine all that weight."

"I understand that."

"Thank goodness. I’m sure Henry feels the same way. I just wish Toby hadn't run out of water that one time," added James. "After that is when the Fat Controller decided to couple Toby up at the Junction on one of our stopping trains."

"So only you and Henry have ever done it."

"Yeah, why can't someone else do it for a change?" Then he realised something. "That's brilliant! I just need to find someone else."

"Well, why don't you analyse your options?"

"There's Gordon, BoCo or Bear."

"The thing is, you both take turns on the same service. That is the train the Fat Controller has been using."

"Great, so that's it. I just have to face the inevitable."

"Yeah, but it'll be all right. Traffic isn't too heavy, so it might be a bit hard, but nothing you can't handle." James just sighed, defeated.

Later, Jessie was at the station when Henry steamed in.

"Hullo Henry. How was your journey?" asked Jessie

"It was great. I got the chance to think about - well, taking Toby to the Works," replied Henry.

"Well I'd like to hear your thoughts," said Jessie.

"I thought about getting someone else to take Toby but that plan fell flat when I remembered it is only ever done on our service," explained Henry.

"My, my. Great engines think alike," said Jessie.

"What do you mean?" asked Henry

"James had the exact same idea."

"But I reckon he hasn't thought of getting out of the job by pretending to be ill . . ."

"You know, I wouldn't be surprised if that occurred to him."

"Nonsense. Just wait and see."

The next morning, Henry's fire was slow to start.

"I just can't get up steam," moaned Henry.

"Well, my tubes are clogged. I might even have to go to the Works myself," complained James.

"Funny how both of you suddenly got ill," commented Jessie.

"Even kind of suspicious, isn't it," continued Bear.

"It really is," agreed Gordon.

Then the Fat Controller walked up.

"Dear, oh dear. How is that both of you are ill?" asked the Fat Controller

"It just happens sometimes," said Henry.

"I apologise for the inconvenience," said James.

"I'm sorry as well," said Henry

"Now this doesn't have anything to do with not wanting to take Toby to the Works, does it?" asked the Fat Controller.

"Of course not Sir," said James and Henry.

"Hmm, I just figured you two would rather be really useful than lazy," continued the Fat Controller.

James and Henry stopped for a moment.

"Actually, my tubes are fine. I'm off to fetch my coaches," said James, and he puffed swiftly away.

"And my fire will be roaring in no time," said Henry.

"Glad to see you both made the right choice," said the Fat Controller.

"Yes Sir," said Henry.

Jessie brought coaches to the platform and saw the Fat Controller.

"I just don't understand why they always complain about taking Toby to the Works," sighed the Fat Controller.

"It is kind of an inconvenience for them," said Jessie.

"What do you mean?"

"They already have to pull a heavy train and pushing Toby makes it very hard work."

"That makes sense then."

"But I understand that their complaining can get tiring. I mean, they've been talking about it non-stop."

"In the end, they'll always do what is right and be really useful," finished the Fat Controller. Then he walked away.

The next day, James's Driver had some news for James.

"Guess who's joining us on our morning train?" he said.

"Toby," replied James immediately.

"How'd you know?" laughed the Fireman.

"I kind of expected it by now," James grumbled.

"Never mind, yesterday's train wasn't too bad. You didn't even need a banker up Gordon's Hill. We'll be fine for tomorrow."

Even so, James was still a bit cross the next day as he stood at the platform at the Big Station.

The Fat Controller came to see him off. "You know the routine James. Toby will be in low-steam and be coupled at the Junction and then uncoupled at the Works."

"Business as usual," murmured James.

There was still ten minutes before the train was due, and the coaches were almost full.

"Either everyone has arrived early or this train will get full," thought James.

Soon it was time to go. The coaches were packed.

"Full train. Just what I needed," scoffed James.

The Guard blew the whistle, waved the green flag and James puffed slowly out of the station. He made good time and was soon at the Junction where Toby was waiting.

Toby switched onto James's line and backed in front of him.

Then, James set off again. He reached Crosby and then Edward's station with no trouble.

"Hullo Edward," said Toby.

"Nice to see you Toby," replied Edward.

"Nice to see you too," cut in James.

"I haven't seen Toby in a while, but I'm glad to see you too James," chuckled Edward.

"I know. Just having some fun," said James.

Just beyond Edward’s station, is a steep hill where the line climbs to reach Maron. It is the steepest and most difficult part of the line. James’s train was full and he had to push Toby, so the Driver gave him as good of a start as he could.

"Puff hard and we'll be up before you know it," encouraged the Driver.

James heaved his hardest. The coaches were heavy, but he tried his hardest.

"I can do it!" he panted. But as the slope got steeper, he was not so sure. "I must do it!"

It was no use. His Driver brought the train back to the bottom of the Hill.

"Bother!" huffed James.

The Guard went back to the station to tell the Signalman what had happened.

"Edward's already left, so we're on our own," explained the Guard.

"So we're just stuck here?" cried James.

"Unless, . . ." put in Toby.

"Unless what?" asked James.

"I could push."

"Really?" asked James, doubtfully. "But there's really no other choice. So, let's get back to the station and have you push from behind."

The two engines puffed into the station. Toby ran to the back and by now, his fire was burning nicely and making plenty of steam.

"Ready?" called James.

"I'm ready!" replied Toby.

The two engines worked their hardest.

"We can do it! We can do it!" they puffed together.

The passengers leaned out the windows and cheered them on.

Toby and James heard nothing. They were using all their steam to get to the top of the hill. Toby clanked and rattled as he pushed, but he didn't give up.

Finally, the slope became easier.

"We've done it! We've done it!" cheered James.

The passengers nearly raised the roof.

The line levelled out and they reached Maron.

"Good work James!" said Toby.

"Good work Toby! You are really useful," said James.

"So are you," said Toby.

"Now let's get you to the Works so you can stop clanking!" said James.

The two engines were soon on their way and James found his story was there before him.

James pushed Toby into the Works.

"Impressive work both of you," said Victor.

"Well, I couldn't have done it without you Toby," said James.

"Thanks James. See you in a few weeks," said Toby.

"I should hope so!"

James went back to his train feeling proud of himself.

"I guess I complained for nothing. In the end, all that matters is that I'm a really useful engine."

He reached Vicarstown, very content indeed. Douglas was there.

"I reckon ye going to start complain' aboot Toby."

"Actually, I had a very good run. I'm glad I was able to take him to the Works," replied James.

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"That's great to hear. What exactly happened?"

"I'll tell you later."

"All right. See ye soon."

James puffed over to the sheds.

"Not a bad day so far. Not bad at all.”

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • The events of Double Header are mentioned by James.
  • Toby acting as a banker is taken from the eighth season episode You can do it, Toby.
  • The title is simply because the Writer cannot think of anything better. Another title considered was A trip to the Works and on the Writer's release scheduled it is titled just James and Toby.
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