The Big City Engine
Season 5, Episode 4
Air date December 20th, 2015
Written by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Directed by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Episode guide
Butch's Snow Rescue


Once, there was a foreign engine who got into an argument with Gordon and Duck about the big station of London. His visit to the railway was short-lived, because he had to go back. Since then, he's remembered the engines and the island, but not in a good way. "Ugh, those Sodor engines..." he says to himself.

Christmas was just around the corner for the engines of Sodor, and the North Western Railway felt overworked as usual. To solve this problem, the Fat Controller had telephoned the Mainland for another engine one evening. "Hello, hello... Yes, it's me. Sir Bertram Topham Hatt. Yes, I want to buy an engine. How many are there? Just one? So, is he available? Yes...? Excellent. How soon can he arrive? Tomorrow morning? Wonderful. Thank you so much." And the Fat Controller hung up. "Thank goodness for that... I better tell the other engines." And he ran to his car, turned it on, stepped on the gas pedal, and drove off to Tidmouth Sheds.

The next morning, a LMS "Patriot" rumbled across the Vicarstown Bridge. "Why now of all times...? Why do I have to go back to this wretched island anyway?" he grumbled. Just then, a teal blur raced by him, shaking the ground. Patriot gasped. "What on Earth was that?!" Patriot had to stop at Vicarstown Station to get a drink of water. As he stopped at the water tower, he looked over to find Derek at the platform, while Diesel was arranging a few trucks. "Who was that engine who went past earlier?" Patriot demanded, catching the two Diesels off guard. "Who...? Connor...?" asked Derek, a bit confused. "Yeah, him. He just left me in the dust at the Vicarstown Bridge! I swear, you Sodor engines are quite full of yourselves to be showing off like that..." "But Connor isn't even one of us," countered Diesel, "He's a Mainland engine." But Patriot wasn't bothering to listen. "Whatever. You're still showoffs." "I beg your pardon...?" Derek asked, surprised. "Well, you are! Rushing around the rails like you're kings, even if some of you probably break down all the time!" Patriot fumed. Derek coughed, feeling a bit embarrassed. "All filled up, Patriot," said the engine's driver as the water tank was filled, "Come on. Onto Knapford, where Sir Topham Hatt's office is." "Right... I don't care." Patriot huffed as he started to puff away. Diesel and Derek exchanged a confused look. "What's with that grouch? And what does he have against me?" spluttered Diesel. "I haven't the faintest idea, but I'm not so sure I'd want to know..." replied Derek.

A while later, Patriot approached Maron Station. Bear, who was dropping off a few passengers, honked his horn in greeting. Patriot just rolled his eyes and kept on going. Bear was confused. "What's with him...?" he wondered. Up ahead was the junction that lead to the Ulfstead Branch Line. Normally, this wouldn't be concerning, but the signalman inside the signalbox was busy reading a book and had completely forgotten that Patriot would be coming, and had set the points to the branch line. "Oh Benjamin... You are so entertaining." Patriot rumbled by the signalbox, and onto the points. Since he hadn't been to the island in a very long time, he hadn't realized where he was going.

At Ulfstead Castle, Connor was getting a refill on water and coal, while Stephen and Millie were busy resting. "Why aren't you two doing the rounds?" asked Connor with interest. "Because the Earl wants to be a guide, or something," replied Millie, "I'm just as confused as you are. It was a random idea, to say the least." "I think it works alright," Stephen said with content, "I mean, we get to rest our wheels for a change while he gets to lead the tourists along the path." "Well, I do miss giving rides... This isn't permanent, is it?" Millie asked, worried. "Knowing the Earl, most likely not," Stephen smirked, just as they heard a long whistle. "Who in the blazes is that?" Connor cried out, voicing everyone's thought. Stephen squinted, seeing a large, dark green tender engine coming towards them. "I don't know, but we better give him a warm welcome," whispered Stephen. Patriot was horribly confused as he looked around. "They have a castle as a station? How disorganized!" he huffed crossly. "Um... may we help you?" asked Millie. Patriot looked to the trio and rolled his eyes. "Oh great, more Sodor engines. How delightful..." Stephen's jaw dropped. "Well, how rude!" "Look, I'm looking for a 'Sir Topham Hatt'. Since this is his office at Knapford, I expect him to be here." Patriot said. Stephen and Millie exchanged a confused expression. Connor burst out laughing. "What's so funny?" Patriot scowled, "Where's your controller?" "Well, this isn't exactly Knapford... This is Ulfstead Castle!" Connor laughed. Patriot stared, then gasped and finally his cheeks grew bright red. Millie snickered. "W-well... Si-since this has clearly been... a-a mistake... Where... is Knapford? I haven't been here in a lone time." said Patriot quietly. Millie and Connor were too busy snickering to answer, so Stephen spoke up. "Just go back down to the Main Line and head straight to the big station with four platforms. You can't miss it," advised Stephen. "...thanks..." Patriot huffed as he reversed down the line, "That stupid signalman... He sent me down the wrong track! How dare they!" Stephen sighed. "What a strange engine..."

At last, a while later, Patriot arrived at Knapford Station. The Fat Controller was glancing at his watch when he arrived. "Patriot, I expected you this morning. Now it's 1:00!" the stout gentlemen said, miffed. "Well, one of your signalmen sent me down a branch line to a castle instead of Knapford, so I have an excuse," Patriot huffed. The Fat Controller shook his head. "Whatever, Patriot. I need you to collect a goods train from the yard, and take it to Wellsworth " "Yes, sir..." "Good." And the Fat Controller left for M. C. Bunn. Patriot looked over to find Stanley and Hank at the other platforms. "Did you listen to the entire conversation?" Patriot snapped. "Oh, uh... yes?" said Stanley, flustered. "I'd expect that from a Sodor engine..." "What in the hay is that supposed to mean?" asked Hank, disliking Patriot more by the second. "It means that I'm not sorry to say that your railway is a disgrace - even more so than my last visit!" Stanley and Hank gasped. "Unfocused signalmen, rude engines and those stupid decorations for the station! They look so... cluttered and ruin the feeling of this station!" "How rude!" exclaimed Stanley, "These decorations symbolize Christmas." "Which is something I don't think you know about, at all," agreed Hank, 'Uncivil, I say!" Patriot scoffed. "I suppose I don't know about it, but I don't care. I have to take a goods train, if you don't mind..." The LMS engine whistled and stormed off to the yard.

At the water tower in the yard, Gordon was filling up with water, and Duck was waiting behind him. Patriot backed down onto the train, which was beside the line. Gordon looked over and glared. "I recognize you... You're that engine we argued to all these years ago." "So what?" Patriot fumed, "I'm sick of being asked stupid questions. London engines are better than Sodor engines." "I see you haven't changed in the slightest," remarked Duck. Patriot was crosser still. "And then there's another thing. What's with all these over-the-top decorations everywhere? There are wreathes on the roof of Knapford, lights are everywhere, a giant Christmas tree at the castle-" "What's wrong with decorating the railway? It is Christmas," said Duck. "Maybe so, but it's annoying seeing engines get fussed up over something that doesn't concern them. Engines don't get presents. Humans do. Christmas is more of a holiday for humans than locomotives..." Patriot ranted. Gordon scowled. "Oh, so you're a Scrooge now too, eh? This just keeps getting better...!" "What's that supposed to mean?" Patriot scowled. "You don't seem to like Christmas being celebrated by others, so therefore you're a scrooge," explained Duck. "No, I just know where my boundaries lie. Good day..." And Patriot puffed away with his goods train. Gordon and Duck were furious. "That engine is going to be a pain in the buffers. I can tell..." Gordon huffed.

Soon Patriot was out on the Main Line, but whenever another engine whistled or honked at him, he wouldn't whistle back. This made the engines cross, but they respectfully said nothing to him about it. "They're awfully quiet... As they should be," Patriot said to himself, "I don't want anyone getting in my way..." Patriot arrived at Wellsworth. Murdoch was at the other platform, delivering some goods before heading to Vicarstown. He looked over suspiciously. "Are you that visiting engine the Fat Controller told us about?" Patriot grunted. "I suppose you could say that... What, are you a merry little soul too?" Murdoch blinked. "What?" "You heard me. Everyone on this island is so... merry." Patriot visibly cringed, not liking the idea. Murdoch was confused. "Why is being merry a bad thing? It's Christmastime. The time of good will toward fellow man." "Key word being 'man', not 'locomotive', Engines take things too seriously with something that doesn't concern them. It's ridiculous..." "I don't see what the issue is," said Murdoch calmly, "It's all about feeling the Christmas spirit. It's a special feeling that cannot be explained, and yet almost everyone on the island feels it." "Well, I'm not a Sodor engine-" "That has nothing to do with it. Engines from the Mainland have the ability to feel the Christmas spirit. There's nothing special about Sodor engines like you think so. We're just preserved from the rest of the world," said Murdoch. For once, Patriot had nothing to say. Murdoch's guard blew his whistle, to signal him to continue on to the Mainland. "Maybe you'll someday learn about the true meaning of Christmas for everyone." Murdoch finished icily as he started to puff away. Patriot had to admit that he did have a touch to think about.

That evening, Patriot had been fitted with a green snowplough, so he could cut through the snow. The cold put him in a bad mood, and the fact he was taking a goods train to Brendam Docks didn't help matters. "Oh well, might as well get this over with..." he muttered as he rumbled along the Main Line, heading to Wellsworth. Patriot's lamp shone brightly as the pink sky slowly started to turn darker and darker as the sun went down. A light snow fell, and the snowplough pushed the snow aside. The train puffed by a signalbox, but the signalman inside had dozed off, and wasn't paying attention. Suddenly, Patriot felt his wheels swerve onto a different track. "What?! Where am I going?" cried Patriot with fright as he raced onto a siding. His driver gasped when he saw some buffers, and a snowdrift behind them. He desperately pulled the brake lever and Patriot slowed down, but not in time. Pieces of the buffers flew apart as Patriot smashed into the snowdrift. When Patriot stopped moving, snow lightly fell on top of him. "Ouch..." "Ugh, we're really in a jam now... There's no telephones around here..." his driver groaned, "And we can't walk all that distance..." "You did bring food, right?" asked the fireman. "I have... uh... nothing." "...great..." Patriot felt miserable. "Dumb signalmen... "

At Brendam Docks, Porter was starting to grow worried. "There was supposed to be a train full of goods coming around this time, right?" he asked Timothy, who had been sent to help the Docks with extra shunting due to the Clay Pits being closed. Timothy looked up. "Huh? Oh yeah, I think there was one... According to the timetable, at least." Porter frowned. "Then it should be here by now..." "Argh, I think you're getting worked up over nothing," replied Salty, "I'm sure it's just a signal failure or something." "I wish it was that simple..." Porter sighed. As minutes went by, Porter got more and more worried. "I really do think something's wrong," he said at last. "Will you quit your whining? Please? I just want to enjoy one Christmas for once," complained Cranky. "You can, down here with us! Isn't that exciting?" Salty asked. "" "I'm serious. That visiting engine doesn't know the railway that well, but the points should've guided him in the right direction! He must've crashed or been sent down the wrong line again or-" "Or what?" asked Edward, braking beside Porter as some last-minute Christmas passengers ran up to his coaches. "Oh, Edward. Thank goodness. I have suspicions that the visiting engine-" "Patriot?" Edward offered. "Yes, him. I think he's gotten into trouble. He's been gone for a while, and doesn't seem to be the kind to be late like this." Porter said worriedly. "But... you've never met him before," Timothy pointed out. "I know an engine when I hear about him... or her," Porter said, "Can you investigate, Edward?" Edward wasn't so sure. "You may be onto something about him being in trouble, Porter, but I can't just leave these passengers. They're waiting to get home to all their families for Christmas. Since tomorrow is Christmas, and there aren't any trains running all day." "I guess I could take them," suggested Porter, "I mean, I am capable of pulling trains." "Are you sure?" asked Edward. "Yes. Just trust me, Edward. I know when trouble is brewing. Timothy, can you make sure things don't go awry?" "I can take on the Clay Pits. Surely I can do the same here," replied Timothy with confidence. Edward sighed as he was uncoupled. "I sure hope you're right about this..." He puffed away, feeling guilty about leaving his passengers behind.

Soon, Edward was out in the countryside, peering to see if there were any signs of an engine. He puffed forward to the junction, looking at every angle, but there wasn't any sign at all. "I don't see him anywhere, driver... Perhaps we should turn back-" "Help! Please!" Edward blinked, shocked. "Hello? Who's in there? Patriot, is that you?" Inside the snow, Patriot was ecstatic. Luckily, his crew noticed Edward's shining lamp and ran over, waving their arms. "Oh, thank goodness you've come along! Patriot crashed because of some stupid points." "And there was no food!" yelled the fireman. The driver rolled his eyes. "Focus, Brad... Can you help?" the driver asked. Edward smiled. "Of course I can. It is in the Christmas spirit to do so, after all." Patriot couldn't believe what he was hearing; after all the rude things he said, an engine was helping him? Not to mention the engine mentioning Christmas. Was helping engines in need part of the "Christmas spirit"? "I'll go and fetch Jerome and Judy. I think they're more suited for this kind of situation. And they're more used to snow."Patriot's crew hopped in the blue engine's cab. Edward whistled as he set off for the yard, while Patriot was all alone, inside the snow.

Jerome and Judy were sleeping when Edward whistled as he was coupled up to them. "It's an emergency, you two! An engine is stuck in the snow and derailed!" "Right! Let's go!" Jerome cried out as Edward puffed away. Soon, Edward returned with The Breakdown Train. Patriot could hear that an engine had returned. "Oh, please, please, please get me out of here!" Edward couldn't hear him since his voice was muffled by all the snow, but nevertheless, Jerome and Judy set to work. First, they lifted the trucks and goods onto another line, so they could be delivered to Brendam Docks. "Are you ready, Judy?" asked Jerome. "Well, of course I am. I always am," replied Judy. "Good. Let's go. Lift him on one..." "Two..." "Is a countdown really necessary?" asked Edward. "Three!" At once, the two cranes lifted Patriot out of the snow. He coughed and spluttered as some of the snow that covered him fell to the ground. "I can breathe again! I can breathe again! Oh thank you! Thank you! I thought I'd be stuck in there forever!" Patriot gasped. Edward couldn't help chuckling. "Well, I couldn't just leave you there when I heard you were in trouble..." As the cranes lowered Patriot back onto the rails, he found that he was still surprised as to why Edward rescued him. "But... but why bother? All I did today was bash Sodor engines..." he said with a twinge of guilt. "So I've heard from Gordon," Edward sighed, "Yes, you were in the wrong, but Christmas is about helping anyone in need. It's about caring for another engine, even if their priorities are... not the most important." Patriot blinked, not sure where Edward was going with this. "I'll go with you to Brendam Docks with that train. On the way, I'll explain to you what Christmas really means," Edward suggested as Patriot's crew started up a fire again. "Okay... But what about the cranes?" Patriot asked. "We can be left in that siding," suggested Judy, "We don't mind. We like snow. And the cold." "Then it's decided," said Edward, "Come on." Edward shunted Jerome and Judy, and then started off to Brendam. Patriot whistled and quickly followed.

"You see Patriot, Christmas may be made by humans, but engines can celebrate it too." "" Patriot asked. "Well... Take the Vicarage Orchard for example." Patriot and Edward stopped by the orchard in question. "Look at all those lights the Vicar put up for the children, and for his traction engine, Trevor." "They... do look nice," Patriot admitted. Trevor noticed Edward and Patriot and chugged over. "Greetings, you two! What are you doing?" "Oh, hi Trevor. I'm just showing this visitor, Patriot, about how Christmas is important to vehicles as much as humans. Do you have anything to say?" Edward said. Trevor smiled. "Oh, I do. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Easter's nice too, but that's a whole different topic. My point is that Christmas brings a certain joy that nothing else can. I know Christmas wasn't meant for me at first, but considering that we feel emotions too, it's only natural for us to want to join in on the fun. We maybe cannot get presents but we can deliver them to make sure children and adults alike get them on Christmas Day. It's that kind of selfless act that makes us all fuzzy inside. Christmas isn't just about giving presents; it's about the effort it takes to give those presents to someone else." Edward grinned. "A fine speech, dear Trevor. Did you learn something, Patriot?" "I... I think so... I guess this holiday may more depth to it than I first thought..." Edward and Patriot started to puff away. "Goodbye Trevor! Merry Christmas!" Trevor whistled to the two engines. "Take care, and a merry Christmas to you too!"

Edward and Patriot puffed along the branch line a bit more, to Crocks Scrap Yard. Reg turned to the two engines, grinning. "Hello, mates! What brings you to a scrapyard on Christmas Eve?" "Well, I wanted to show Patriot something else about Christmas. Do you see that 'tree' over there, Patriot?" Edward asked. Patriot looked to one of Reg's scrap sculptures. "...yes...?" "You like it? I made it out of pieces of scrap." Reg said. "That's... pretty clear. Edward, I don't see what this has to do with Christmas." said Patriot. "Oh, but it brings up something else; interpretation. Not everyone is going to celebrate Christmas the same way. Some celebrate with lights and rides on carts like Trevor, others like to improvise and make their own traditions, like Reg here." Edward replied. "Exactly, mate. These sculptures are... art." "They don't look like art," Patriot scoffed. Reg chuckled. "Maybe not to you, but to me and Edward, they are." "Exactly. Everyone has their own way of celebrating the holiday, but the key theme of helping and being together always shines through. Humans are like that too; they can go to a shopping center and 'meet Santa Claus', put up decorations in their front yard, or even just be together as a family. There's nothing wrong with your own traditions, provided they don't hurt someone else." Edward stated. "Right. My scrap never hurts anyone!" Reg smiled as he picked up a piece of scrap and accidentally threw it. A workman jumped out of the way, just in time. Edward glared at the crane. Reg chuckled nervously. "Right... Um... I'll just... get back to... doing stuff now." Edward sighed. "Come on, Patriot. We best get to Brendam Docks. They're probably thinking I disappeared or something." Patriot agreed and the duo set off at once.

At Brendam, Porter had already returned from his passenger run. "Where are they?" he asked worriedly. Even Salty was starting to get anxious. "Argh, they best be coming soon or else these goods won't make it in time for Christmas!" Two long whistles blew, and Porter instantly grinned. "It's Edward and Patriot!" "Hurrah!" cheered Salty and Timothy. Cranky just grunted. Patriot smiled as he came to a halt. "Edward, I think... I think I've truly learned something." Edward smiled. "Good. Will you be at the Christmas party tomorrow?" Patriot was surprised. "You mean... I'm actually invited?" "Well, of course you are! You know Christmas now!" Edward said warmly, "I'll see you there!" Edward whistled and set off for the sheds. Patriot beamed.

The next night, the engines were all at Tidmouth, waiting for the Fat Controller to light up the lights. Stanley looked over to find Patriot puffing up to the station. "Everyone, look..." he whispered. The engines all stared at Patriot, who came to a stop between Edward and Diesel. Nobody said a word. Hank was fuming. "What the heck are you doing here? Are you gonna try and ruin Christmas for the rest of us?" "Yeah. This party is for engines who can tolerate others' traditions," agreed Gordon. Edward quickly leaped to Patriot's defense. "Engines, stop! I've had a chat with Patriot, explaining why we like Christmas, and he seems to understand!" Derek frowned. "But Edward, he's done nothing but say that our celebrating of Christmas is petty. I understand you seem to know engines well, but you can be wrong sometimes." "I-" "No Edward... I'll handle this..." sighed Patriot, as he looked from engine to engine. Edward wasn't sure, but decided to see what Patriot wanted to say. "Engines of the North Western Railway... It has come to your attention that I have been an arrogant fool in the last couple of days. I thought Christmas was for humans and only for humans. But now I see it is something more. Something to be cherished. We engines have our own ways of celebrating the holiday, and it was rather foolish of me to think otherwise. I'm terrible sorry for my actions... Can you forgive me?" The engines looked to each other, surprised. "Come on, everyone... It is Christmas..." Edward said. "Yes... He's right," Murdoch decided, "It would make us hypocrites if we didn't see his point of view." All at once, the engines whistled and cheered. "Merry Christmas Patriot!" Patriot smiled his biggest smile. The Fat Controller, dressed as Santa Claus, walked out of the station building and plugged the lights in. "Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas, engines!" "Merry Christmas, sir!" the engines chorused. So the party began. Lights twinkled, engine drivers handed out presents to children, and the engines even sang Christmas carols. "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" Patriot said as he whistled the loudest whistle of the party.


  • Edward
  • Gordon
  • Duck
  • Patriot
  • Murdoch
  • Stanley
  • Hank
  • Stephen
  • Connor
  • Porter
  • Timothy
  • Diesel
  • Bear
  • Derek
  • Salty
  • Millie
  • Jerome and Judy
  • Trevor
  • Cranky
  • Reg
  • The Fat Controller
  • Emily (cameo)
  • Donald and Douglas (cameo)
  • Molly (cameo)
  • Rosie (cameo)
  • Samson (cameo)
  • The Works Diesel (cameo)
  • 'Arry and Bert (cameo)
  • Paxton (cameo)
  • Norman (cameo)
  • Dave (cameo)
  • Sir Robert Norramby (mentioned)


  • The Mainland
  • Crosby
  • Vicarstown Bridge
  • Vicarstown
  • Maron
  • Ulfstead Castle
  • Knapford
  • Knapford Yards
  • Wellsworth
  • Brendam Docks
  • The Vicarage Orchard
  • The Fenland Track
  • Crocks Scrap Yard
  • Tidmouth
  • Tidmouth Sheds (mentioned)
  • London (mentioned)
  • China Clay Works (mentioned)
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