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The Bridge is fifth story of volume four.

The Bridge
Season 4A, Episode 5 (81)
Air date 27 March 2022
Written by MainLineEngines
Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Ryan Helps Out
Edward and the Special Train


Toby watched as the river beneath him surged rapidly.

"I hope someone comes soon," he quivered.

Suddenly, he heard Percy's whistle.

"Oh no," thought Toby.

"Hold on Toby!" cried Percy. "I'm taking your trucks away and then Thomas will pull you to safety!"

"No! No!" exclaimed Toby. "You two stay away!"

"Careful," warned Toby's driver. "All your shouting might make the bridge even more unstable."

"Well if Thomas and Percy carry out a rescue, I'm sure to fall either way."

"Nonsense Toby!" called Percy. "You can count on us."

Toby wasn't sure but he didn't have much of a choice. Percy took away the stone trucks whilst people anchored Toby with ropes. Then Thomas came up, ready to pull Toby back to safety.

"I would say you're not even allowed to be up here but I guess at this point it doesn't matter," grinned Toby.

Thomas was coupled up to Toby and then he pulled with all his might.

Wheel turn by wheel turn, Toby's wheels came back onto solid ground.

"There! I did it!" cheered Thomas. "See, you can trust me."

"And to think that a few days ago, I wouldn't count on you even if my life depended on it."

Five days ago.

Toby was resting at Ffarquhar when Percy came up. He was covered from smokebox to bunker in stone dust.

"What happened to you?" asked Toby.

"I got a bit rough with the trucks. Luckily for me, I was diverted into a siding and the buffers stopped me otherwise I might have ended up in the sea again!" explained Percy.

Then Thomas arrived. He laughed when he saw Percy.

"I love your new coat of paint. Very industrial indeed."

"Like you've never had your paint dirty," grumbled Percy. "Besides, this is what a Really Useful Engine looks like after some hard work."

"Nonsense. I reckon that you almost had an accident," retorted Thomas.

"Like you've never had any accidents."

"Not as much as you. You even left me to run the line all by myself once. Not that I mind. After all, I managed splendidly," he added.

"Honestly, both of you are just as wreckless," interrupted Toby.

"Hey, we're not wreckless," complained Thomas. "Well, perhaps Percy but I always take care."

"Rubbish," puffed Percy. "I do take care."

"Percy, you have a record amount of accidents on this railway. I think that speaks for itself," retorted Thomas.

"That is true," said Toby, "but don't act like you're not wreckless yourself Thomas."

"I can take care. Here, I'll prove it."

Mavis had just arrived with some stone trucks.

"Hullo Mavis. I'll shunt your trucks into the siding."

"Thank you Thomas."

"Then everyone can see just how careful I can be."

"This should be interesting," murmured Toby.

"Besides, I wasn't station pilot for many years if I didn't know a thing or two about safety."

Thomas continued to boast as he shunted the trucks into the siding. He wasn't watching were he was going and before he realised it, the trucks hit the buffers and stone went everywhere.

"Ha ha," chuckled Percy. "Not so careful after all."

"I haven't had to shunt trucks for a while. At some point, I was the fastest shunter around," fumed Thomas.

"Perhaps back then," chortled Percy.

"Honestly Thomas, you didn't know much about trucks back then, and now - well, the mess speaks for itself," finished Toby.

Thomas fumed away and went to fetch Annie and Clarabel.

Then Liza came over to the yard.

"Thomas looked cross over there," she told them.

"Ah never mind him Liza," said Percy. "He tried to prove how careful he is and just ended up proving the opposite."

"I see," murmured Liza. "You got yourself into quite a mess," she observed. "I suppose you'll need a washdown later."

"Yes please."

"Speaking of carefulness, Percy here is covered in stone dust after bumping into the buffers with stone trucks," put in Toby.

"My, my, how interesting," said Liza, trying not to laugh. "You both need to work on safety."

Percy puffed away just as Jessie arrived.

"Honestly, if the past few minutes have taught me anything is that I never want my life to depend on Percy and Thomas," said Toby. "So that means that Mavis and Jessie, I'm counting on you."

"Oh, how sweet," chuckled Mavis.

"I'm sure Thomas and Percy aren't that bad," said Jessie.

"Eh, just take a look at Percy and that mess over there, and you can draw your conclusions from there," replied Toby. "And not to mention all the other messes they've caused over the years."

"I'm just glad I have improved and now work always run smoothly up at the Quarry," said Mavis.

"I wouldn't say always," chuckled Toby.

"Well, almost always," said Mavis. "By the way, all the snow from the mountains is melting and the river is surging faster than ever."

"You better take care on the bridge then," said Liza.

"Definitely," agreed Mavis.

Later that day, Mavis brought some stone trucks for Jessie.

"So, do you really think that we're the ones Toby is counting on if he's ever in a life or death situation?" asked Jessie.

"He seemed pretty serious," said Mavis. "He also made it quite clear that Thomas and Percy are the very last ones he'd want to count on."

"I suppose so. I might even throw in James but that's up to him really."

"Besides, you know those two tank engines are so wreckless."

"I guess you have a point. Percy is quite accident-prone and Thomas also tends to run into trouble."


"Though I always figured that they come around when you really them."

"Perhaps, but in a life or death scenario, you need to rely on those you truly trust, and for Toby, that's us."

"Well, on the bright side, I am honoured to be one of the engines that Toby trusts the most," beamed Jessie.

"So am I," said Mavis. "Besides, it shows just how much has changed because when I first arrived at the Quarry, he would have trusted Percy more than me, but now, how the turntables."

"Good for you," said Jessie. "Now, I better get these trucks to the Junction."

Jessie steamed away. She was soon making good time but she was halted at Toryreck.

"I wonder what's wrong," said Jessie.

The Stationmaster came up.

"There's trouble at the Harbour. Percy has de-railed. Jessie, you must go down there and put things right."

Jessie headed down to the Harbour. When she arrived, Percy was very glad to see her.

"Thanks for coming Jessie. I had a little mishap with the trucks."

"So you say," muttered Jessie.

Later that day, all the engines were back at Ffarquhar.

"Those coal trucks need to go to the coal bunker," observed Thomas.

"I figured something was wrong," said Percy. "The coal is taking the siding that belongs to the milk vans."

Thomas and Percy went to move the trucks. Toby, Jessie, and Mavis observed from the shed.

"Something is bound to happen," grinned Toby.

"I have the exact same feeling," agreed Mavis.

"It's a very simple job. I'm sure nothing can go wrong," huffed Jessie.

"You never know with these two," said Mavis.

"Maybe I should just go help them then," said Jessie.

"Suit yourself or you can watch from here and if something happens, enjoy the whole thing up close," chuckled Toby.

Now, Thomas would have to take the coal trucks out of the way in order for Percy to move the milk vans into place. However, Percy was growing impatient.

"Hurry up Thomas," grumbled Percy.

"Calm down Percy, I'm trying to do a proper job," retorted Thomas.

Suddenly, Percy began to move. His trucks headed towards Thomas's trucks that hadn't cleared the points yet.

Jessie blew her whistle and Mavis blasted her horn but it was no use. The vans crashed straight into the coal trucks. Coal spilled everywhere and the milk vans were derailed.

Thomas and Percy were furious.

"You clumsy green caterpillar!" fumed Thomas. "You should have waited."

"I didn't mean to start!" replied Percy, innocently.

"Now we have to clean up the mess," added Thomas, crossly.

It took longer than expected to clean everything up.

That evening, Jessie met Toby at the station by the river.

"Now I can see why you don't exactly trust those two," she told him.

"They're all right. I know they'll come through but you have to admit that the whole situation was just hilarious," said Toby. "I reckon that's all they're going to talk about tonight. Good luck with that."

Toby was right. That night, Thomas and Percy spent half the night talking endlessly about the day's incidents.

Finally, Mavis intervened.

"All right. I get it. You're both idiots and wreckless. Now go to sleep."

"Fine," they murmured.

"At last," sighed Mavis.

The next morning, Toby was back.

"Last night, those morons spent the night talking about all their incidents in a single day," said Mavis.

"And that's why I put my trust in you two," said Toby.

For the next few days though, things ran rather smoothly. Toby and Mavis shifted their concerns to the bridge on the tramway.

One day, it seemed that the river was higher than ever, so both engines took extra caution when crossing the bridge.

That afternoon, Mavis brought stone trucks down to Ffarquhar for Jessie to take to the Junction. After that, she returned to the Quarry. Percy had to deliver milk to the dairy and Thomas was out with Annie and Clarabel, heading back up to Ffarquhar. Not long after Mavis had gone, Toby departed for the Quarry with some empty trucks. He was soon trundling down the lane and approaching the bridge. Unbeknownst to Toby and his crew, the rushing waters had undermined the supports of the bridge. All of a sudden, part of the bridge collapsed! Toby was near when this happened and the driver slammed on the brakes.

"I must stop!" Toby gasped.

Toby stopped just in time! He wanted to reverse back but the bridge was too unstable.

"One wrong movement and the whole bridge could go down," said Toby's driver, grimly.

"All we can do is wait for help then," sighed the fireman.

Up at the Quarry, the Manager was concerned.

"Toby should have arrived by now," he said. He sent Mavis down the line to see if anything was wrong. Mavis soon found Toby on the edge of the bridge.

"I'll go get help!" called Mavis.

Back at Ffarquhar, Thomas and Percy had returned from their jobs and were resting in the sheds when Liza came up urgently.

"Emergency!" she cried. "Toby is stuck on the bridge and is peril. You must go and rescue him! Now I'd say that technically you're not allowed on the tramway for obvious reasons, but this is an emergency so just go!"

"There's no time to waste so it seems like we're going to have to do this on our own Percy," said Thomas, bravely.

"Right," said Percy. "Let's go!"

The two tank engines hurried to the rescue.

Liza watched them go. "I hope they can carry out the rescue."

Meanwhile, Toby was still waiting for help as he watched the river surge beneath him. However, to Toby's surprise he was soon back on firm track.

"And to think that a few days ago, I wouldn't count on you even if my life depended on it, and I think we all know why now," chuckled Toby.

"I know, I know," grumbled Thomas as he pulled Toby back to Ffarquhar.

Back at Ffarquhar, Jessie had just arrived. She saw Liza in the yard looking out towards the tramway.

"What's wrong Liza?" she asked.

"Toby got stuck on the tramway bridge. Thomas and Percy went to go rescue him but they haven't returned," explained Liza.

"Oh dear. I hope they're all right."

"All we can do is wait and hope."

Just then, they heard Percy's whistle.

"I'm back!" whistled Percy.

"You made it!" cried Liza. "Wait, you only brought the trucks. Where's Toby?"

"Relax," chuckled Percy. "Thomas is bringing him in."

And sure enough, Thomas steamed in with Toby and his crew safe and sound. Toby's driver explained everything.

"Thomas and Percy really helped us out," chuckled Toby's driver.

"Good work Thomas! Good work Percy!" cheered Liza. Jessie was also impressed. She blew her whistle in excitement. Soon all the workmen, railway staff, and even the Stationmaster heard the news and joined in.

Liza was so excited she had to stop to catch her breath. "Just for that, you both deserve an extra special wash."

"Thanks Liza," said Thomas.

"It was nothing really," said Percy.

"Nah, it was something," said Jessie. "You saved Toby's life against all odds. Just wait till Mavis hears about this."

"Eh, deep down, I figured you'd come through," said Toby.

"Of course we will," said Thomas. "We've been together on this branch line for so many years after all."

"Yeah, no-one can ever forget the first three engines on the Ffarquhar Branch," added Percy.

That night, Thomas and Percy continued to talk about their adventure.

"So basically, we're heroes," gloated Percy.

"And quite deserved if I do say so myself," grinned Toby. "I guess you were right Jessie, Thomas and Percy really did come through for me today."

"I still can't believe you ever had doubt in us," said Thomas.

"To be fair, there was a good reason," said Jessie.

"Fair enough," said Thomas.

"Now just wait till Mavis returns," laughed Percy.

The bridge was repaired in due time and soon, Mavis was back making deliveries to Ffarquhar. Thomas and Percy frequently bragged to her how they saved Toby's life. Eventually, Mavis had to admit that they came through.

In the end, this made all the engines realise that no matter what, they are all friends and should look out for each other as good friends do.




  • This story was originally slated for volume three but was push back. Eventually, it was placed into the first section of volume four as one of the leftover ideas from the past.
  • Mavis references some of the events from Tramway Engines.
  • The original idea was to have Mavis stuck on the other side of the bridge after it collapses. However, for a while, Mavis did cross the bridge and was back at Ffarquhar in the sheds at night. Before the release of the story, this was reverted back to the original idea as the Writer deemed it fitting that Thomas and Percy would have to wait a while to be able to boast to Mavis.