The End of the North Western Railway is an Adventures on Rails short that was released the 11th of November 2015. In August 2020, the Writer announced there were plans to re-write the short.
|The End of the North Western Railway|
|Season B, Episode 3|
|Air date||11 November 2015|
The Legend of the Ghost Train
The Escape Plan
The expansion of the North Western Railway had been a great success. Lots of people came to visit the railway and the railway was doing well financially.
One day, the Fat Controller came into the Dieselworks.
"Oh, hullo, hullo," said Diesel.
"Hullo. Diesel, listen. The railway inspection is coming up."
"And how does that pertain to me?" asked Diesel in a bored voice.
"Because you are part of the railway. So, you will be doing maintenance work. We have to make sure that all track, bridges, tunnels and other structures are safe."
"Yes, Sir," sighed Diesel.
Soon, everything was being inspected. All stations were cleaned and even the engines had to go to the Steamworks or Dieselworks to make sure they were in working order. And if any repairs were needed, they took care of that right away.
Everyone was getting ready and soon the great day came.
Spencer brought the Inspectors to Vicarstown.
"Alright. Would you like to go to the Dieselworks first?"
"Yes, please," they answered.
Meanwhile, Thomas was at Knapford, ready for another run on his branch line.
Thomas heard the Guard's whistle and he slowly puffed away.
"After this we have the inspection," said Thomas' Driver.
"Oh, I hope it goes well," sighed Thomas.
"It will!" called Annie and Clarabel.
Thomas smiled and puffed onwards towards the first station.
Quite soon, he reached the Top Station. He had a rest and was puffing back into the station when Mavis trundled in with a train of slate trucks.
"Hullo Mavis!" called Thomas.
"Hullo Thomas," replied Mavis. "These slate trucks are for Toby. He'll be coming down from the Quarry soon. Meanwhile, I have to wait for a lorry bringing in some dynamite."
"Are you blasting again?"
"Yes indeed. Anyways, good luck with your inspection."
"Thank you, Mavis."
Ten minutes later, Thomas departed . . .
At Knapford Harbour, Percy was shunting trucks when he heard the Harbour Master groaning.
"What's wrong, Sir?" he asked.
"This boat has a shipment of dynamite that needs to be taken to Anopha Quarry. However, the lorry that's supposed to take it there is late," replied the Harbour Master.
"Do you want me to take it?"
"I'm afraid you can't. A boat of fresh fruit is coming in and we'll need you to take it to Ulfstead Castle."
"Hmm, okay then."
Just then, a lorry raced in the Yard!
"Sorry I'm late," said the Driver. "There was a bit of traffic."
"Hmm, whatever. Let's just get you loaded."
They quickly did so and the lorry sped off . . . before the door was closed properly, but he hadn't noticed it.
Meanwhile, Thomas had arrived at Hackenbeck where Bertie was waiting for some passengers.
"Right on time, Thomas," said Bertie.
"Thank you. Here are your passengers."
Then the Guard's whistle blew.
"Take care," called Thomas.
"I will," replied Bertie. "And uh, good luck on your inspection."
Thomas whistled cheerfully and then Bertie drove carefully out of the station.
Soon, Bertie was driving cheerfully down the road when suddenly a lorry rushed past them very quickly!
"Slow down!" called Bertie's Driver.
"Hmm, what was all that about?" asked Bertie.
"I don't know but he'll be in trouble soon if he doesn't slow down," replied his Driver.
Soon, he was running parallel to the railway line near Hackenbeck. Suddenly, he heard a small persistent rattle at the back of the lorry.
"Great," he thought, "all this hurrying has made the door come open. Can't stop now though"
And he hurried on . . .
In the meantime, Thomas had collected the Inspectors and was travelling cheerfully and on time up his branch line.
Presently, he stopped at the station by the river. Thomas took on water whilst the Inspectors nodded as the water flowed smoothly from the water column into Thomas' tank.
"There!" sighed Thomas. "A nice drink so I can continue my journey. And to clarify, I do NOT take on river water."
The Inspectors and the Fat Controller chuckled and climbed back on board . . .
"Good. I'm making up for lost time," thought the lorry driver as he approached the hill near Hackenbeck Tunnel..
But suddenly . . .
"Out of the way!"
He swerved to avoid hitting a silver car - As he swerved the back door came completely open and some crates of dynamite fell down . . . some towards the track!
"Your load has dropped!" called the car's driver.
But the lorry driver didn't hear him so he didn't stop.
"Oh dear. I must go and get help," he thought and hurried away.
The sun shone a strong light onto the rails and it soon caught fire with the dynamite . . .
Mrs. Kyndley was clearning around her house when suddenly there was big bang! She peered outside the window and was horrified! . . . the track bed and the tunnel had been completely swept away! Then . . .
"It's Thomas! And he's heading towards it!" she cried.
Quickly, she grabbed a red flag and headed outside.
"What!?" cried Thomas.
Quickly, he braked.
"Why have we stopped Thomas?" demanded the Fat Controller.
"I don't know. What's wrong ma'am?" Thomas asked Mrs. Kyndley.
"I'll show you," she replied.
So she showed Thomas' Driver and the Fireman, the Inspectors and the Fat Controller what had happened to the tunnel.
"I see," said the Fat Controller grimly.
"So do we," said the first Inspector.
"Obviously a weak track bed," said the second Inspector.
"And a weak structure," added the third Inspector.
"No! That can't be it. I'm sure our workman checked everything to make sure they were safe . . . I'm not sure what happened . . ." said the Fat Controller.
The Inspectors pondered.
"What shall we do now then, Sir Topham?" asked the first Inspector.
"Back to Maithwaite. A bus will have to take the passengers to Ffarquhar. Then Thomas will take you to Tidmouth for the Little Western inspection."
"Very well, Sir," they replied.
Soon, Thomas had dropped off his passengers and the Inspectors. He shunted Annie and Clarabel into the Yard, then puffed sadly to the shed.
The engines had heard of the news and very worried indeed.
"This is all my fault," faulted Thomas.
"Thomas, no it is not," soothed Edward. "And it wasn't the railway's either."
"But the only logical explanation there is is that the track and tunnel weren't checked properly," continued Thomas sadly.
"There could be multiple reasons. I assure you, our railway is completely innocent," replied Edward kindly.
"Like maybe some dynamite blew it up," suggested Percy.
"Now Percy don't be ridiculous," scoffed James. "That makes no sense whatsoever."
"Maybe it collasped because of erosion," said Gordon.
"But then it would've have to be the railway's responsibilty to stabalize it," said Henry.
All the engines tried to cheer Thomas up, but they didn't work. Thomas was thinking deeper about the situation.
"What could happen to the railway if we fail this inspection. And then what could happen to us? Our crews? The Fat Controller? Anyone working for the railway."
That evening, the Fat Controller gathered his engines at Tidmouth with an important announcement.
"Listen up. We have for now, 'failed' out inspection. The Inspectors are giving us 15 days to gather any evidence that will prove that the railway was not the cause of the accident."
"Only two weeks?" screeched Percy.
"Yes, Percy. Now, the trains must go on. As for you, Thomas. You will provide a shuttle service from Knapford to Hackenbeck. Bertie will then take your passengers to Ffarquhar."
"Yes, Sir," replied Thomas quietly.
"As for the goods traffic, that'll be taken care of."
"Okay, Sir," said Percy.
The next day, Thomas puffed into the station with Annie and Clarabel. On the platform were very few passengers.
Thomas soon reached Hackenbeck to find Bertie waiting.
"Hullo Thomas. I'm sorry for what happened yesterday. I do hope you can find a way to save the railway."
"So do I . . . Are those all the passnegers you've got?"
"I'm afraid so."
"Well, in that case, I think being on the road seems like a rest cure."
"Are you kidding!? Yesterday, this lorry almost hit me! Stupid drivers disobeying speed limits."
Thomas ran round his train.
"Well, good bye Bertie."
"Good bye, Thomas."
The next day, Mrs. Kyndley came down to the station.
"Hullo Misses," said Bertie. "What brings you down here?"
"I have to talk to Thomas," she replied.
Just then, Thomas puffed in.
"Hullo Bertie. Oh, hullo Mrs. Kyndley."
"Greetings, Thomas. Listen, I've heard about you trying to prove that the accident at the tunnel was an accident . . I think it wasn't because I did hear an expolsion."
Thomas quickly ran round his train.
"Well . . . the railway couldn't have caused the explosion. I must tell the others right away."
Thomas quickly steamed off.
When he arrived back at the Sheds, he told his news to the other engines.
"An explosion?" asked Gordon. "And we're just gonna go tell the Railway Board an explosion caused the accident."
"Of course not," replied Thomas. "We will have to find out what is was though."
The engines murmured in agreement.
(scene switched to Knapford Harbour; Percy is backing onto some trucks when he hears the Harbour Master groaning and moaning in his office)
"What's all that about?" asked Percy' Driver.
"Search me," replied the Fireman.
"Sir, uh, what's wrong?" asked Percy.
"Sorry, Percy, but I've been getting TONNES of calls, complaing that the railway is unsafe; that delivering dynamite by road is unsafe, ugh, I should have deliveries by horse and cart if people hate rail and road transportation . . . it's more environmentally friendly anyway . . ."
"Wait, why are they complaining about dynamite by road?"
"Well, you remember that lorry taking dynamite to the Quarry that was late yesterday - well, turns out most of the load dropped out before he arrived."
"I see. Well I have to go now. Good bye."
Percy delivered his trucks and puffed back to Tidmouth Sheds. Thomas was there alone resting.
"I haven't told you yet, have I?"
"Today, Mrs. Kyndley told me that an explosion caused the accident at the tunnel yesterday."
"Oh. What could it be? Did she know?"
"No. And the other engines and I can't figure it out. They were suggesting dynamite but, I don't know . . ."
Then Percy jumped excitedly.
"It could be!"
"First off, it does cause explosions. Secondly, yesterday a lorry delivering dynamite to the Quarry dropped most of its load. Maybe some of it was dropped at the tunnel!"
"How would it ingnite, though."
"Perhaps, the sun's reflection on the rails lit it."
"That makes sense and it's not the railway's fault either!" cheered Thomas.
"I want to verify, though, that the load was dropped at the tunnel. I can talk to the Harbour Master about that!"
Percy steamed quickly away.
Elsewhere, Harvey had come to the tunnel to clear it and Diesel had brought workmen up to help clear the mess at the tunnel. And they weren't just any workmen, they were ones who had inspected the tunnel prior to the Railway Inspection. He also brought the Fat Controller.
"What happened? You had filed in that both the track bed and tunnel were safe," said the Fat Controller.
"We did!" they cried.
"I don't know, you must've missed it. Anyways, go and clear the mess now."
Harvey set to work. From the other side, Toby had brought trucks and those were loaded as well and taken away.
Mrs. Kyndley came out to see the Fat Controller.
"Hullo, Sir. I have to tell you something."
"What is it?"
She told him all about the explosion she had heard.
"Thomas promised to investigate more," she finished.
"I must see Thomas at once," and he hurried away.
"Diesel! You must take me to Tidmouth Sheds. Harvey will take care of the trucks."
"Alright, Sir," replied Diesel.
Thomas was telling his news to Paxton and Norman.
"So Percy's gone to verify that the load was dropped at the tunnel."
"If that's true then the railway will be saved!" cheered Paxton.
"Good, so we can be busy again," added Norman.
Then, Diesel rattled in.
"Hullo, Sir," called the engines.
"Thomas! I've heard you've been investigating more about the accident. What have you found out?"
"Oh, a ton . . ."
Then he explained.
"So where's Percy?"
"He went to Knapford Harbour, but I think should be back. In fact, . . ."
"Hullo, everyone. Oh, hullo Sir. What brings you here?"
"Did you manage to verify where the load was dropped?" asked the Fat Controller.
"Well, the Harbour Master was able to contact the driver and he's coming there tomorrow morning to explain the situation."
"Very well then," replied the Fat Controller.
The next day, the Fat Controller, the Harbour Master, Thomas and Percy met the lorry driver at Knapford Harbour as agreed.
"Well," began the driver, "it seems you've figured it most of it out, but, yes my load did slip at the tunnel. My door was never closed properly. I swerved to avoid hitting a car and that's probably where my load slipped. I'm really sorry for hurting your railway."
"Thank you for your information. We do understand that it was accident and not intentionally. We will however ask you to attend our meeting with the Railway Board next week," replied the Fat Controller.
Soon, the day came. Thomas and Percy's crews went along with the Fat Controller, Mrs. Kyndley and the lorry driver. The meeting soon started.
"Alright Sir. You can begin your declaration."
First, Mrs. Kyndley spoke about the explosion.
"I didn't know what it was though," she explained.
"Some of the engines thought it could be dynamite," added Thomas' Driver.
"We investigated," said Percy's Driver, "and found that there was a shipment of dynamite going to Anopha Quarry."
"I didn't wait for the door to be shut properly. Near the tunnel, I swerved suddenly and my load slid out."
"The dynamite was then lit by the sun's reflection on the rails thus causing the explosion," finished the Fat Controller.
After that, the Railway Board left for a while but returned shortly.
"We have come to the conclusion that your story does indeed add up and so, we wish you many more years of the North Western Railway."
Everyone cheered and soon the news spread throughout Sodor. Everyone was very pleased.
That evening, the Fat Controller gathered his engines.
"I am proud to confirm that our railway will continue in service. I know we went through some tough times, but you've managed to overcome that, so I'm proud of you all. Especially to all of those who helped prove the railway's innocence."
The next day, lots of trains were full!
"People are just glad to see me back, aren't they?" chuckled Thomas. "They don't care that I'm only going part of the way."
The railway was soon busy again as well as the engines.
Hackenbeck Tunnel was also repaired and is probably one of the most safest structures and track bed on the Island of Sodor.
Now the engines cannot think of anywhere else to live than the North Western Railway.
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Mrs. Kyndley
- The Inspectors
- Spencer (non-speaking role)
- Harvey (non-speaking role)
- Murdoch (role dropped)
- Vicarstown Dieselworks
- Sodor Steamworks
- Hackenbeck Tunnel
- Tidmouth Sheds
- Anopha Quarry (mentioned)
- Ulfstead Castle (mentioned)
- The Engines of Sodor will lead right into this short.
- The short went through several changes prior to the final product
- The original idea was to have the railway end. Later, it was decided that the railway would survive in the end.
- Murdoch was to have a role in the short was well.
- The original draft consists of children blowing up the bridge with firecrackers. This was eventually changed to dynamite, but once again was cut.
- Mrs. Kyndley did not have a role in the original idea. Although, she plays a bit of a role in the final draft, the original draft had her in a much more prominent role.
- This is the only short that is not considered canon in Adventures on Rails. This is mainly due to the rushed production and non-satisfactory end result. Over time, the short also differed greatly the Writer's usual style. Despite this, in August of 2020, the Writer announced plans to re-write and thus make it canon. There are several ideas on how to do it using the writing style similar to that used in The New Adventures on Rails. The re-write could be released in October 2020.