The Escape Plan is an Adventures on Rails short revolving around Donald and Douglas that was released on January 18th, 2016. A revised version was released three years later.

The Escape Plan
Season B, Episode 4
Air date 18 January 2016

18 January 2019 (revised)

Written by Rev. W. Awdry (original)

MainLineEngines (adapted)

Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
The End of the North Western Railway
The Hurricane


The Caledonian Twins recall how they got to Sodor and what they had to go through to become part of the Fat Controller's Railway.


It had been a whole year since Donald and Douglas had visited their sister on the Straphsey Railway. They had enjoyed their visit but were now focused on their work on the Fat Controller's Railway.

One night, Douglas steamed into Tidmouth Sheds, feeling very exhausted.

"Every day seems long, but tae dae seemed almost twice as long," he sighed to the others.

"He looks worn out," whispered Paxton to Norman.

"Indeed," agreed Norman. "Donald didn't look any better earlier either."

Douglas's crew did their final jobs but once they were done, they both leaned against Douglas's footplate, visibly exhausted as well.

"Night, Douggie," they said at last and headed home.

Douglas was already asleep.

The other engines were a bit worried. They knew Douglas didn't mind hard work but even with Jessie's help, sometimes, there's too much for the twins to handle alone.

The next day, Jessie puffed into Tidmouth with a goods train and then prepared to help Norman with shunting.

"Good day, Norman," called Jessie.


"Busy day today?"

"Yes. Lots of trucks to organise."

"Nothing we can't handle. I will say," she went on, "that it feels like too much! I don't know if Donald and Douglas feel the same way."

"Interesting," replied Norman. "Douglas came into the sheds yesterday absolutely worn out."


"Yes. I know you're all hard workers but you do have a lot of mileage."

"Hmm, yeah. That's one of the most exhausting things. I'm here at Tidmouth, then at the Junction, up at Harwick, well, you get the idea."

Then the two engines set to work.

Norman took some coaches over to the platform. The Fat Controller was talking to the Stationmaster but presently went over to Norman.

"Right on time," began the Fat Controller. "Jessie's been helping you out these past few days. How's it going?"

"Great. I wouldn't have been able to manage myself," replied Norman. He paused for a moment. "Jessie does have other places to be."

"Quite right. Versatile, just like Donald and Douglas. And I expect they're rushed off their wheels!"

"Yes. A lot of mileage."

"Of course, if we had another engine . . ."

"Could definitely help them out, right?"


Norman paused again. "Are you bringing another engine?"

"Of course! I actually arranged it a while back. You remember when Donald and Douglas left to visit their sister?"


"Well, the Manager of their sister's railway also arranged her visit here. We decided to keep it a secret so it'll be a surprise for all three of them."

"That's great to hear. Donald and Douglas do speak constantly of her."

"Well, she's the only Caledonain 812 on the Other Railway."

"At least Donald and Douglas ended up here, although, weren't you expecting one engine?"

"That was actually my grandfather, but yes. Strange situation. In the end, BR told us we might as well keep both. Added to their work ethic and expertise. The rest is history as they say."

"Perhaps some day I'll hear the whole story," thought Norman as James came backing down onto his train.

"Full train," observed James. "Not unusual."

"Want a helping start?" asked Norman.

"That'll be great," replied James. "Oh, I'll probably also need help on Gordon's Hill too and then Henry will just tease me more."

"Doesn't he always do that already?" inquired Norman.

"Well, yes."

Soon the Guard blew his whistle, waved his green flag and Norman heaved from behind whilst James pulled in front. Soon, they reached the open line and James whistled good bye. Norman hooted in reply then went over to the Yard. Jessie had just finished arranging some trucks. Norman told her about the Twins's sister.

"Exciting," she said. "I'm keen to meet her."

"What railway were you based at?"

"The Dean Forest Railway, so I didn't get to meet her. Anyways, I have to take these trucks to Harwick."

"Later then."

The following week, a Caledonian 812 steamed into Vicarstown.

Dodger was just brining in some coal trucks when he saw the engine.

"Oh hullo, um." He stopped and looked at the engine's tender. "Wait, you're Donald and Douglas's sister right?"

"Yes," she laughed. "Pleased tae meet you."

"I figured. I recognised the shape. My name is Dodger. Welcome to Sodor. Long journey hasn't it."

"Aye, but I'm hopin' tae see Donal and Douggie again."

Then the Stationmaster came up.

"You can proceed to the shed. Then you'll take a goods train to the other end of the line."

"Say 'hullo' to Molly for me," called Dodger. "We'll talk later. I've trucks to shunt."

Molly was in the shed when she saw the Twins's sister.

"Hullo. I'm Molly."

"Nice tae meet you Molly."

"Do you simply have a number?"

"Yon railway staff calls me 'Diana'," she replied.

"It's always great to have a name."

"Indeed. You weren't named at first, were you?"

"No. Interestingly enough, Dodger was the one who named me!"

"The J50?"

"Yes, him. We've been friends for years even before coming to Sodor."

"Nice. I've known Donal and Douggie for a verry long time too."

"Are you older than them?"

"Aye, and I like to remind 'em of that!"

Molly and Diana talked for a while before Diana set off towards Tidmouth.

Over at Tidmouth, Donald was waiting.

"What exactly are we here furr?" he asked his Driver.

"The Fat Controller didna say. Must be something important."

Meanwhile, Diana steamed happily down the line. She crossed the Viaduct.

"Sodor is verry beautiful," she thought. Then she stopped at Maron.

"You're to wait for a banker," said the Stationmaster.

Just then, she saw an engine very much like herself backing towards her.

"Is it? I canna see from here."

The engine came closer and she realised it was who she expected.


"Diana? What are you doing here?"

"Visiting yon railway, of course!"

"Well, let's get this train up the hill then!"

The two engines heaved the heavy train up the hill. It was hard work but they were soon over the top and resting at Wellsworth where Diana took on more water.

Edward steamed in.

"Hullo, Douglas."

"Hullo, Edward. This is mae sister, Diana."

"Very pleased to meet you. Come to help out?"

"Yes. And pleasure to know you too."

Then, Diana finished taking on water.

"You don't mind help tae Tidmouth," called Douglas.

"That's actually where we're meant tae be," said Douglas's Driver.

The two engines reached Tidmouth in no time where the Fat Controller met them.

"Ah, 828, pleased to see you. Hope you had a pleasant journey."

"Wonderful so far, Sir."

"Very well. Now you can go to the shed."

Douglas puffed in first, excitedly.

"Donal, you wouldna believe who's here!"

Diana followed him.

"Sis!" cried Donald.

"Donal! Feels like its been ages!"

"Only a year!" chuckled the twins.

They were soon talking away. Likewise, their crews conversed until they had work to attend to.

That night, everyone was keen to meet Diana.

"You've all been kind!" she smiled. "But since you're all here. I have wanted to know you two, aboot how you got here and how both of you managed tae stay here."

Duck, Gordon, Henry, James and Percy chuckled.

"It's a long story really," began Duck.

"But its worth hearing," added Percy.

"Well," said Douglas. "We've time, so why not?"

"Honours all yours Douggie," said Donald.

"Alright. Here goes."

So Douglas began.

"Back then, we only had nummers. I wuz 57647 and Donald wuz 57646. As you all know. Diesels were taking over on the Other Railway. We were all concerned."

"You know that yon drivers and firemen cood lose their jobs if we're scrapped," said Donald.

"Aye, we canna let that happen."

"What coold we do?"

"I dinna know."

"You see," explained Douglas. "Our crews were cousins, but verry close and promised to keep together. So it had to be both of us escaping scrap.

"But then, in the summer of 1959, Donal, known as 57646 received news that he was being transferred to Sodor, courtesy of the Fat Controller."

"So you were the one he wasn't expecting?" asked Percy.

"Aye," replied Douglas. "And that kinda comes in later too."

Then he continued.

"Of course, I realised I'd be scrapped if I stayed. Diana here knew that too. We were allocated with a couple other of our sisters and brothers."

"Dinna worry aboot me. You two need to stay together. You're a great team. Who else clears snow as well as you do?" she told them.

Donald's depature loomed ahead but then came an opportunity.

One day, Donald's Driver came to the sheds excited.

"Listen up. I juist find oot aboot a guids train headed tae Barrow on the day of yere depature, 57646," he explained.

"But what does that have tae do with me?" asked Douglas.

"Barrow is tae gateway to Sodor. If Donal can take train, we arrange something," and he explained his idea.

"Sounds good," everyone agreed.

"The only problem now, wuz being able to take yon guids."

The Controller came to see No. 57646

"57646. It has to my attention that there is a goods train headed to Barrow on the night of your depature. It is most convinient for you to take it. Do a good job. I'm proud of your work and you'll continue to work for many years to come on Sodor. Now, if I can I'll try to save you 57647 but the Fat Controller only requested one engine." He turned and walked away.

"Dinna worry," said Donald. "We've got it all sorted oot."

"I will miss you two," said Diana. "But maybe we'll see each other."

"I hope we do," finished Douglas.

Soon the day came and it was time to put their plan in action.

Douglas was in steam whilst Donald's Fireman deliberately slowed down the build-up of steam.

The Controller walked in.

"57646, it's time to take your train."

"Sirr, Imma havin' trouble getting steam up."

"Hmm. 57647, you're in steam as well."

"Yes Sirr!"

"Then you can help your brother with the goods train. I will make arrangements for you to return from Barrow in the morning." And he walked away.

Donald and Douglas winked at each other.

So Douglas shifted Donald into place.

"One last thing," said Donald's Driver.

Both Firemen loosened the twins's number-plates.

"What's all this aboot?" asked Donald.

"We going tae loose our nummers," explained his Driver, "so they canna tell us apart."

Once the Firemen were finished, the twins were ready to leave.

Soon, the Guard's whistle blew and the two engines set off.

The journey was smooth. They stopped to fill up coal and water at London then headed towards Barrow.

Along the way, their number-plates slipped off, as expected.

"To be fair, they were already loose beforehand," commented Douglas's Driver.

Soon, the station loomed ahead. The twins arranged their trucks and went over to the shed.

"We'll be heading for Sodor first thing tomorrow," said Donald's Driver.

"Both of you must be as Useful as either," added Douglas's Driver.

"But noo, you both need names."

"57646, how aboot, Donal?"

"I like that."

"And 57647, Douggie."

"Of course!"

"That's settled. Night then."

Donald and Douglas were a bit nervous knowing only one engine was expected.

"But like Driver said, if we're both useful, shairly we'll both stay," they conceeded.

Early next morning, both twins travelled over the bridge and onto the Fat Controller's Railway. They were heading for Tidmouth on the other side of the island where they were expecting to meet the Fat Controller.

An Inspector was waiting for them.

"Aha! There you are! Right on time." He stopped. "Both of you? There must be some mistake. We ordered only one engine."

"Is that so?" asked the twins, innocently.

"Well, yes," replied the Inspector. "We ordered No. 57646."

He went to look at their numbers and was surprised to see none.

"Goodness gracious me! Were are your numbers?"

"They slyly slipped off. Ye ken hoo it is."

"Hmm. I'll be right back."

He headed to the station and into the Fat Controller's office. He knocked and came in.

"Sir! The new engines have just arrived."

"Excellent! Wait, did you say engines?"

"Yes. Two engines arrived instead of one."

The Fat Controller stared. "Did you say two engines, Inspector?"

"Yes Sir."

"Then send the other back at once."

"Certainly Sir, but which?"

The Fat Controller stared again. "Engines have numbers, Inspector," he explained patiently. "We bought No. 57646. Send the other one back."

"Quite so Sir, but there is a difficulty."

"What do you mean?"

"The two engines are exactly alike Sir, and have no numbers. They say they lost them on the way."

The Fat Controller seized his hat. "We'll soon settle that nonsense," he said grimly.

The two engines greeted him cheerfully.

"I head you've lost your numbers," he said. "How did that happen?"

"They maun hae slyly slippt aff Sirr. Ye ken hoo it is." The engines spoked in chorus.

"I know. Accidentally on purpose."

The twins looked pained. "Sirr! Ye wadnae be thinkin' we lost them on purrpose?"

"I'm not so sure," said the Fat Controller. "Now then, which of you is 57646?"

"That Sirr, is juist what we canna mind."

The Fat Controller looked at their solemn faces. He turned away. He seemed to have difficulty with his own.

He swung round again. "What are your names?"

"Donal an' Douggie, Sirr."

"Good!" he said. "Then your Controller can tell me which of you is which."

"Och! Ye'll no get muckle help fae him, Sirr."


"He disna ken oor names Sirr. Hoo cud he? We only gien oorsels names when we lost oor nummers."

"One of you," said the Fat Controller, "is playing truant. I shall find him out and send him home. Inspector," he ordered, "give these engines numbers, and set them to work."

He walked sternly away.

"Great job you two," whispered their Drivers.

Presently, the Foreman came up.

"Over here please. We'll be painting your numbers. Donald, you'll be 9 and Douglas 10."

"Suits us," replied the Twins.

Soon the workmen finished and the twins were left alone in the Shed.

"Ye may hae noticed, Douggie, that yon painters forgot somethin'."

"What did they forget?"

"They painted braw new nummbers on oor tenders, but they put nane on uz." Donald winked broadly at his twin.

"Ye mean," grinned Douglas, "that we can . . ."

"Juist that," chuckled Donald. "Haud yer wheesht. Here's the Inspector."

"Now 9 and 10," smiled the Inspector, "here's Duck. He'll show your round before you start work."

The twins enjoyed themselves, and were soon friends with Duck. He showed them the Yard.

Douglas came up the coaches and gently buffered up to them.

"Very nice," they commented. "For a new engine, it's pleasure to go out with him."

"Sometimes Gordon goes so fast, my wheels squeak," said another.

"You just need some oil!" laughed the other coaches.

"Come along! We musn't keep tae passengers waitin'," called Douglas and he started for the station and the coaches followed happily behind.

Meanwhile, Donald went with Duck to shunt trucks.

"Careful with those trucks. They like to troublesome," warned Duck.

"Dinna fash yersel!" laughed Donald and bumped the trucks. "C'mon you lot!"

The trucks didn't want to be moved so Donald bumped them again.


"Well, take yere brakes off, will you noo?"

Soon Donald had the trucks in order.

"Nice work," said Duck. "It'll be great not having to deal with the trucks."

"Noo problem," replied Donald. "We like it fine here."

"That's good," smiled Duck, "but take my tip, watch out for Gordon, Henry and James. They're sure to try some nonsense."

"Dinna fash yersel," chuckled Douglas. "We'll suin setle them."

Donald and Douglas had deep-toned whistles.

"They sound like buses," said Gordon.

"Or ships," sniggered Henry.

"Tug-boat Annie!" laughed Gordon. "Ha! Ha!"

Donald and Douglas cruised quietly up, one on each side. "Ye wadnae be makkin' fun o' uz wad ye noo?" asked Donald.

Gordon and Henry jumped. They glanced nervously from side to side.

"Er no," said Gordon.

"No, no, certainly not," said Henry.

"That's fine," said Douglas. "Noo juist mind the baith o' ye, and keep it that wey."

That was the way Gordon and Henry kept it!

Every day, punctually at 3.30, Gordon steams in with the Express. It is called "The Wild Nor' Wester", and is full of people from England, Wales and Scotland. There is also a special coach for passengers travelling to places on Thomas's Branch Line.

Duck explained to Douglas about Thomas's special coach. "You must take it to the bay platform and then take away the other empty coaches."

"How long does wee cooch stay there?" asked Douglas.

"Not long," replied Duck. "Thomas comes quickly from the Junction to fetch it."

One afternoon Douglas helped Duck in the Yard while Donald waited to take a goods train to the other end of the line. As Duck was busy arranging Donald's trucks, Douglas offered to take away Gordon's coaches.

Douglas was enjoying himself, when an awful though struck him. "I hope the Fat Controller disna find oot I shudna be here. I cudna abide gooin' back." He worried so much over this that he forgot about Thomas's special coach.

He pushed it with the others into the carriage siding, then ambled along to join Donald at the water column. As he went, Thomas scampered by whistling cheerfully.

Soon Thomas came fussing. "Where's my coach?"

"Cooch?" asked Donald. "What cooch?"

"My special coach that Gordon brings for me. It's gone. I must find it." He bustled away.

"Losh sakes!" said Douglas. "I maun hae stowed the special cooch wi the ithers."

"D'ye see that?" exclaimed Donald's Driver. A mob of angry passengers erupted from the siding. "They're complainin' tae the Fat Controller. He'll be comin' here next."

"Noo listen," said Douglas's Driver. "We chainge tenders. Then awa' wi ye, Donal, an' tak yon Guids. Dinna fash aboot uz. Quick noo! Dae as I say."

The Fat Controller and three passengers walked towards them; but Donald, with Douglas's tender (10), was out and away with the Goods before they came near. Douglas and his Driver awaited with innocent expressions.

"Ah!" said the Fat Controller, "No. 9, and why have you not taken the Goods?"

"My tender is awa' Sirr." The Driver showed him the tender, still uncoupled.

"I see, some defect no doubt. Tell me, why did No. 10 leave so quickly?"

"Mebbe Sirr," put in Douglas, "he saw ye comin' an' thocht he was late."

"Hm," said the Fat Controller.

He turned to the passengers. "Here, Gentlemen, are the facts. No. 10 has been shunting in the Yard. Your coach disappeared. We investigate. No. 10 - er - disappears too. You can draw your conclusions. Please accept my apologies. The matter will be investigated. Good afternoon, Gentlemen."

The Fat Controller watched them till they climbed the station ramp. His shoulders twitched; he wiped his eyes. Douglas wondered if he was crying. He was not.

He swung round suddenly. "Douglas," he rapped, "why are you masquerading with Donald's tender?"

"Losh sakes!" thought Douglas. "He figured it all oot!"

"I will speak to both of you when Donald returns," finished the Fat Controller and sternly walked away.

"Never mind," comforted his Driver. "For the meantime, neither of you are being sent away."

"Aye, but he wouldna want tae keep engines like oos," replied Douglas.

"Its alright. You can still prove tae be Really Useful."

When Donald returned, Duck helped the twins change tenders and the Fat Controller scolded both of them severly.

"There must be no more tricks," he said. "I shall be watching you both. I have to decide which of you is to stay." He strode away.

The twins looked glum. Neither wanted to stay without the other. They said so.

"The what is tae dae?" wondered Douglas.

"Och!" said Donald. "Remember, each maun be aye guid as ither. Syne he'll hae tae keep uz baith."

Their plan was good; but one day, Henry arrived with a goods train. He was late.

"What happened?" asked Douglas.

"At Barrow, my brakevan's brakes locked hard on. We're borrowing a new van but he's dreadful! Constantly holding me back," explained Henry.

"Aye. Well, I'll take wee trucks noo."

Henry was uncoupled and steamed away.

Douglas began to shunt the trucks.

"Come on!" he called and trucks relunctantly followed. "Now must get wee van." He went to shunt the van but it held back.

"Who are you to shunt me?" he called, rudely.

"You can't juist stay in the middle of tae Yard," replied Douglas. "Get movin'."

Then, the Fat Controller walked up.

"I need you to take some empty trucks to Edward's station. And good, it seems you have a brakevan ready."

"Losh sakes! This van is gunna be difficult," Douglas whispered to his Driver.

"Sorry, but we'll juist have tae make do with it," he replied.

Douglas organised his trucks in no time and set off.

The van constantly told the trucks to hold back. Douglas would then have to make the trucks behave. But then the van would let its brakes slip on and the Guard had to release them. All this did was cause Douglas to late.

Edward was surprised when Douglas came into Wellsworth.

"Douglas. It's not like you to be late."

"Sorry, it was . . ."

"We cannot have delays like this," interuppted the Stationmaster. "It is important that these trains run on time." And he turned and left.

"It wasna mae fault," Douglas told Edward.

Unfortunely for Douglas, things continued to go wrong when he had to take it out. Then his trains were late, and he was blamed. Douglas began to worry.

"If I keep being late with guids trains, the Fat Controller will shairly send me away!" he told Donald one day.

"Juist you wait. I'll teach wee van a lesson."

And he did.

"Ye're a muckled nuisance," said Donald one day. "It's tae leave ye behind I'd be wantin'."

"You can't," said the van, "I'm essential."

"Och are ye?" Donald burst out. "Ye're naethin' but a screechin' an' a noise when a's said an' done. Spite Douggie wad ye? Tak that."

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" cried the van.

"Haud yer wheesht," said Donald severly. "There's mair comin' syne ye misbehave."

The van behaved better aftert that. Douglas's trains were punctual and the twins felt happier.

Then Donald had an accident. He backed into a siding. The rails were slippery. He couldn't stop in time, and crashed through the buffers into a signal box.

One moment the Signalman was standing on the stairs; the next, he was sitting on the coal in Donald's tender. He was most annoyed.

"You clumsy great engine," he stormed, "now you must stay there. You've jammed my points. It serves you right for spoiling a nice new signal box."

The Fat Controller was cross too. "I am disappointed, Donald," he said. "I did not expect such - er - such clumsiness from you. I had decided to send Douglas back and keep you."

"I'm sorry, Sirr," but Donald didn't say what he was sorry for. We know, don't we?

"I should think so too," went on the Fat Controller indignantly. "You have upset my Arrangements. It is Most Inconvenient. Now James will have to help with the goods work, while you have your tender mended. James won't like that."

The Fat Controller was right. James grumbled dreadfully.

"Ony wan wad think," said Douglas, "that Donal had his accident on purrpose. I heard tell," he went on, "aboot an engine an' some tar wagons."

Gordon and Henry chuckled.

"Shut up!" said James. "It's not funny."

"Weel, weel, weel!" said Douglas innocently. "Shairly James it wasna you? Ye dinna say!"

James didn't say. He was sulky next morning and wouldn't steam properly. When at last he did start, he bumped the trucks hard.

"He's cross," sniggered the spiteful Brake van. "We'll try to make him crosser still!"

"Hold back!" whispered the van to the trucks.

"Hold back!" giggled the trucks to each other.

James did his best, but he was exhausted when they reached Edward's station. Luckily, Douglas was there.

"Help me up the hill please," panted James. "These trucks are playing tricks."

"We'll show them," said Douglas grimly.

"Come on Come one COMEON," puffed James crossly.

"Get MOV-in' you! Get MOV-in' you!" puffed Douglas from behind.

Slowly but surely the snorting engines forced the unwilling trucks up the hill.

But James was losing steam. "I can't do it. I can't do it," he panted.

"LAE IT TAE ME! LAE IT TAE ME!" shouted Douglas. He pushed and puffed so furiously that sparks lept from his funnel.

"Ooer!" groaned the van. "I wish I'd never thought of this." It was squeezed between Douglas and the trucks. "Go on! Go on!" it screamed; but they took no notice.

The Guard was anxious. "Go steady!" he yelled to Douglas. "The van's breaking."

It was too late. The Guard jumped as the van collasped. He landed safely on the side of the line.

"I might have known it would be Douglas."

"I'm sorry Sirr. Mebbe I was clumsy, but I wadna be beaten by yon tricksie van."

"I see," said the Fat Controller.

Edward brought workmen to clear the mess.

"Douglas was grand Sir," he said. "James had no steam left, but Douglas worked hard enough for three. I heard him from my yard."

"Two would have been enough," said the Fat Controller drily. "I want to be fair, Douglas," he went on. "I admire your determination, but . . . I don't know, I really don't know."

He turned and walked thoughtfully away.

After he had left, Edward noticed Douglas looking worried.

"I know you and Donald have caused a fair bit of trouble, but the Fat Controller understands that you are both very hard workers and been very valuable to the railway."

"Aye, its juist, he was only expecting one engine."

"Don't worry. You'll find some way to impress him."

Douglas sighed. "I hope so."

The wreckage was clear and after fetching a new brakevan, James was on his way again. Douglas steamed back to the Big Station.

Months passed. The twins continued to worry. The other engines understood.

"You're both very good at handling trucks," said Gordon.

"And thank goodness," added James. "You've been valuable additions to the railway."

The twins were glad the other engines liked them.

Soon, winter came.

"Driver says there's snow on the way," James said one morning.

"That's strange. Quite early for snow," replied Henry.

"Indeed. Surely, you two experienced snow up in Scotland."

"Aye, quite thick up there," said Donald.

"But," added Douglas, "we do have wee way of patrolling the line."

The twins explained. The engines were most impressed.

As expected, snow came. It stayed too and choked the lines.

Donald and Douglas were used to it. They knew what to do. Their Drivers spoke to the Inspector, and they were soon coupled back to back, with a van between their tenders. Then, each with a snow plough on their fronts, they set to work.

They puffed busily backwards and forwards patrolling the line. Generally the snow slipped away easily, but sometimes they found deeper drifts.

Then they would charge them again and again, snorting, slipping, puffing, panting, till they had forced their way through.

Presently they came to a drift which was larger than most. They charged it, and were backing for another try. There was a feeble whistle, people waved and shouted.

"Losh sakes, Donal, it's Henry! Dinna fash yersel, Henry. Bide a wee. We'll hae ye oot!"

The Fat Controller was returning soon. The twins were glum. "He'll send uz back for shair," they said.

"It's a shame!" sympathised Percy.

"A lot of nonsense about a signal box," grumbled Gordon. "Too many of those, if you ask me."

"That Brake van too," put in James. "Good riddance. That's what I say."

"They were splendid in the snow," added Henry. "It isn't fair." They all agreed that Something Must Be Done, but none knew what.

One day, Percy talked to Edward about it.

"What you need," said Edward, "is a Deputation." He explained what that was.

Percy ran back quickly. "Edward says we need a Depotstation," he told the others.

"Of course," said Gordon, "the question is . . ."

" . . . what is a desperation?" asked Henry.

"It's when engines tell the Fat Controller's something's wrong and ask him to put it right."

"Did you say tell the Fat Controller?" asked Duck thoughtfully. There was a long silence.

"I propose," said Gordon at last, "that Percy be our - er - hum - disputation."

"ME!" squeaked Percy. "I can't."

"Rubbish Percy," said Henry. "It's easy."

"That's settled then," said Gordon.

Poor Percy wish it wasn't.

"Hullo Percy! It's nice to be back."

Percy jumped. Some trucks went flying.

"Er y-y-yer Sir, please Sir."

"You look nervous, Percy. What's the matter?"

"Please Sir, they've made me a Desperation Sir. To speak to you Sir. I don't like it Sir."

The Fat Controller pondered. "Do you mean a Deputation, Percy?" he asked.

"Yes Sir, please Sir. It's Donald and Douglas Sir. They say, Sir, that if you send them away, Sir, they'll be turned into Scrap, Sir. That'd be dreadful, Sir. Please Sir, don't send them away, Sir. They're nice engines, Sir."

"Thank you, Percy. That will do." He walked away.

"I had a - er- deputation yesterday," said the Fat Controller. "I understand your feelings but I do not approve of interference." He paused impressively. "Donald and Douglas, I hear that your work in the snow was good. What colour paint would you like?"

The twins were surprised. "Blue, Sirr, please."

"Very well. But your names will be painted on you. We'll have no more 'mistakes'."

"Thankye Sirr. Dis this mean that the baith o' uz . . .?"

The Fat Controller smiled. "It means . . ."

But the rest of his speech was drowned in a delighted chorus of cheers and whistles.

"And that is the whole story," finished Douglas.

"My, you two went through more than I expected!" replied their sister.

"Aye, we never expected that either," said Donald.

"Do you think the Fat Controller ever find out that you would both be scrapped if you were sent back to Scotland?" asked Percy.

"Mebbe," replied Douglas. "During his holiday."

"Thank goodness you both escaped scrap. We'd not know what to do without you two," put in Duck.

"Aye, it's no trouble at all," said Donald.

"We're always glad tae help," added Douglas.

"And I'm very proud of you both," smiled Diana. "Even though we dinna see each other every day, I can see yere both hard wurkers and Really Useful."

"Thanks," replied Donald and Douglas.

"Well, let's get some rest noo?"

With that, the engines fell fast asleep.


Donald and Douglas are twins that had arrived from Scotland to help the Fat Controller. Only one engine had been expected. The Fat Controller had a disturbing time figuring out which twin he should keep, but eventually let both stay and they are very happy on the Fat Controller's railway.

One day, Donald and Douglas took their last goods train to Tidmouth Harbour.

"Och! It is late indeed," said Donald.

"Weel rest here toonight," said their Drivers and they puffed off towards the Shed.

"Hullo! Hullo!" called the Twins as they backed down into the Shed.

"Well today was a busy day," grumbled Gordon.

"Thank goodness for all these new engines," continued James. "I'd feel overworked otherwise."

"Do you mean like before Donald and Douglas arrived?" asked Percy.

"Yes, pretty much."

"Although," sighed Henry. "We had more work identifying you!"

The other engines chuckled.

"Identifying?" Paxton was puzzled. "Don't all engines have numbers?"

"Well, oor escape is a bit of a story," said Donald.

"Why don't we tell it?" suggested Douglas.

"Verry good. You can do it Douggie."

And so Douglas began . . .

I guess I'll start at the beginning. Donal' and I were built at St. Rollox Works in 1899. We were the loost of oor class. I wooz 57647 and Donny was 57646. Donal' was finished shortly before me, but we soon became friends. Our crews were also related and they always have been. We worked throught the times when the Caledonian Railway became the London, Midland Scotland Railway, through the wars and eventually when it all became the B.R. In 1952 though, things changed . . . Deezuls began appearing and our brothers and sisters began to be withdrawn. We were worried.

"Could this be oor end, Douggie, Donald wood ask.

"I hope not, I replied.

Soon, came the summer of 1959 and oor Controller had news for Donald.

"57646, I have recieved a message from Sir Charles Topham Hatt, the Fat Controller of the North Western Railway. He wants to purchase a goods engine for his railway and I agreed to send you to work there."

I was close by and asked, "What aboot me, Sir?"

"I'm sorry, 57647, I know you two are close partners and I know too that you'll both be safe on the North Western Railway, but he said he only wants one engine. I'm sorry. He turned sadly away."

"No! I canna bear staying. I'll be scrapped foor sure!"

"You'ra right there. Be woot can wee do?"

We weren't the only ones that didn't want to leave each other. Our crews were close cousins. We were basically family.

"I - I - I cannoot stay here. I'll be scrapped for sure and you will losee yoor jobs!" I cried.

"Quite right," replied my Driver. "We cannoot bear staying here. We must escape."

That was easier said than done. We knew we cood both escape to Sodor, but we needed to first, get rid oof oor nummers, give oorselfs names and convince the Fat Controller to let us stay. We began making plans . . . Then, two days before Donal' was due tae depart to Sodor, another goods engine was complainin' too oos.

"So many goods trains here. Can't believe it's the end of steam. You know," he went on. "There's this Island called Sodor. A lot of steam engines work there and they're not in danger of being scrapped. I sometimes take trains to the end of their line."

"Oof course!" we cried.

"I'm actually taking one in two days. It's a midnight goods though, but after soo much work, I really don't feel like taking it."

"How aboot if we took it?" asked Donald.

"Oh, that'd be wonderful. Hmm, if our Drivers agree."

Oor Drivers did agree and we began preparing.

"It only needs one engine though," said Donald.

"Yes, but woot aboot if you 'broke down', eh," I suggested.

"Ah, yes."

Soon, we had made a solid plan. We just hoped everything would turn out alright.

"Alright, 57646, take the goods immediately!" said oor Controlller.

"Och, there is a difficulty, yoo see," began Donald.

"What is it?"

"There's-a, some diffaculties with my fire," said Donald innocently.

"You poor engine. Well then, 574647, help 57646 to Barrow-in-Furness. You can rest there and come back tomorrow morning."

We couldna believe oor plan had woorked! But before we set oof, my Driver and Fireman painted over my nummer.

"That way, no one will recognize you," they said.

Quite soon we went on oor way, past London and steaming towards Sodor!

"Och aye!" we cried. "We'll be saved!"

Presently, we reached Barrow, but the Station Master quickly noticed me.

"Aha! A Caledonian Railway 812 class! This goods train is only supposed to have one engine!"

"Aye, but there wooz a difficulty," I explained innocently.

"I, 57646, was having difficulties and he helped me," Donald explained.

"I see, but, where's your number!?" he thundered.

"The wee coal trucks, um, they probably blocked it oot."

"Eh, whatever," he yawned. "Shunt your trucks in the siding and go to the shed. 57646 you can go on to Sodor if you'd like."

We shunted the trucks away and went to get coal and water. Whilst there, Donny's crew painted oot his nummer.

"We shoould give oorselfs names," I suggested.

"Right there," agreed Donald.

"Hmm, but woot?" I wondered.

"What aboot Donald?" suggested Donald's Driver. "That's the name of one of favoruite childhood cartoon characters."

"It soounds fine," Donald agreed.

"And you," said my Driver, "could be Douglas. There's beautifu place called that on the Isle of Man."

We loved oor new names and we trundled over the bridge to Sodor.

"Och aye! We made it!" we cheered.

Oor crews were also pleased.

"Now, let's get some rest," they said.

We slept at Vicarstoon and oor crews went off to sleep.

We were relaxed when an awful thought struck me.

"What if the Controller finds oot I shoulna be here. I coodn't bear going back?" I asked worriedly.

"Dinna worry," replied Donald. "Oor controller doesn't knoow oor names and withoor oor nummers, he'll not know which is the right one. Then each maun be aye guid as ither. Syne he'll hae tae keep uz baith."

Of course, we'd reckon withoot an Inspector, the Fat Controller, a Special Cooch, signalboxes and brake vans.

When we arrived at the Big Station, an Inspector meet us.

"Tidmouth," said my Driver. "That's where we're supposed tae be."

The Inspector was suprised!

"Two engines! We only ordered one and you are the right class. Where are your numbers?"

"Oor nummers," we said with innocent expressions, "we dinna know. We lost 'em on our journey here."

"Hmm, how about you?" the Inspector asked oor crews.

And they simply said they'd not remember oor nummers.

"Hmm, I'll go get the Fat Controller and sort this nonsense out. And do call him Sir, we don't want any engines not knowing that," and he turned away.

A smartly dressed man came up.

"I hear you've lost your numbers," he asked us. "How did that happen?"

"They maun hae slyly slippt aff Sirr. Ye keen hoo it is," we answered in chorus and innocent expressions.

"I know. Accidently on purpose."

"Sirr! Ye wadnae be thinkin' we lost them or purrpose, now would you?"

"I'm not so sure," said the Fat Controller. "Now then, which of you is 57646?"

"That, Sirr, is juist what we canna mind."

He turned away for a moment, then swung round.

"What are your names?" he thundered.

"Donal' an' Douggie, Sirr."

"Good," he smiled. "Then your Controller can tell me which of you is which."

"Och! Ye'll get no muckle help fae him, Sirr."


"He disna ken oor names Sirr. Hoo cud he? We only gien oorsels names when we lost oor nummers."

"One of you," said the Fat Controller, "is playing truant. I shall find him out and send him home. Inspector - give these engines numbers and set them to work."

Soon the workmen gave us nummers. Donald was 9 and I was 10. The workmen went away when Donald noticed something.

"Ye may hae noticed, that yon penters forgot somethin."

"What did they forget?"

"They pented braw new nummers on oor tenders, but they put nane on uz."

"Ye mean . . . that we can . . ."

"Juist that. Now haud yer wheesht. Here's the Inspector."

"Now 9 and 10. Here's Duck. He'll show you around and what to do."

"Hullo, I'm Duck. I'll show you around."

"I'm Donald and he's Douglas."

"Alright then. Let's get to work shall we."

"We were soon friends with Duck and learn woot tae do and hood a busy an' happy afternoon. We made booth trucks an' coaches behave well."

"Watch out for Gordon, Henry and James," warned Duck. "They're sure to try some nonsense."

"Dinna fash yersel. We'll suin settle them."

They often teased us because of oor deep toned whistles.

"We'll teach 'em something," said Donald.

"They sound like buses."

"Or ships."

"Tugboat Annie! Ha! Ha!"

"We crept up alongside."

"Ye wadnae be makkin' fun o' uz wad ye noo?"

"No, uh, certainly not."

"That's fine. Noo juist mind the baith o' ye, and keep it that wey."

They kept it that wey.

The next day, Gordon steamed in with the Express, rite on time oot 3.30.

"This front coach will go onto the bay platform. It is for people travelling on Thomas' Branch Line," Duck was explaning to me.

A coople days later, the Express steamed in right oon time.

"You get Donald's goods and I'll shunt the Special Cooch," I told Duck.

He agreed, but as I shunted the cooches, I had a dreadful thought. "I hope the Fat Controller disna find oot I shudna be here. I cudna abide gooin' back."

And I wooz worryin' so much that I forgot to shunt the Special Cooch for Thomas. I put it into the carriage sidin', then went to jooin Donal' at the water column, who was preparing tae take a guids train to dae other end of the line. Thomas puffed past, whistling cheerfully, but then came book looking cross.

"Where's my coach?" he asked.

"What cooch?"

" 'The one Gordon always brings for me. It's missing! I must find it', and he hurried away.

"Ye dinna sae!" I exclaimed. "I maun hae stowed the special cooch with the ithers."

Suddenly, a croowd of passengers came oot, complainin' to the Fat Controller.

"He'll be comin' here next," said Donald's Driver.

"Noo listen. We'll chainge tenders. Then awa' wi ye, Donal', an' tak yon Guids. Dinna fash aboot uz. Quick noo ! Dae as I say."

Duck helped us change tenders and Donal' was off with the guids and my tender before the Fat Controller and three passengers came towards us.

"Ah, No. 9 and why have you not taken the Goods?"

"The tender is awa' Sirr," I said innocently.

My Driver showed the tender, still uncoupled.

"I see, some defect no doubt. Tell me, why did No. 10 leave so quickly?"

"Mebbe Sirr, he saw ye comin' an' thocht he was late."

He turned to the passengers.

"Here, Gentlemen, are the facts. No. 10 has been shunting the Yard. Your coach disapperared. We investigate, No. 10 - er - disappeares too. You can draw your conclusions. Please accept my apologies. The matter will be investigated. Good afternoon, Gentlemen."

He wootched them till they cloomed the station ramp. He twitched his shoulders an' wiped his eyes. I wondered if he wooz crying or noot. He wasn't!

"Douglas!? Why are masquerading with Donald's tender?"

I couldna believe he foound oos oot!

"When Donald gets back, I will talk to both of you."

When Donal' came back, the Fat Controller made us switch oor tenders again.

"There must be no more tricks. I shall be watching you both. I have to decide which of you is to stay."

But neither of us wanted tae be withoot the other.

"Then what is tae dae?"

"Och!' said Donal'. 'Each maun be aye guid as ither. Syne he'll hae tae keep uz baith."

But soon, a yon brake van began coosing truble. Mae trains were and I wad blamed.

"If I canna be on time, the Fat Controller will send mae back foor sure," I told Donald.

"Och. I'll soon settle him," he replied.

"Ye're muckle nuisance. It's tae leave ye behind I'd be wantin."

"You can't! I'm essential."

"Och are ye. Ye're naethin' but a screechin' an' a noise when a's said an' done. Spite Douggie wad ye. Take that."

He bumped the van hard, "Oh! Oh! Oh!" cried the van.

"There's mair comin' syne yet misbehave."

The van behaved better after that. Mae trains were punctial and I was pleased.

But one day, I came home and saw Donal' with his tender in a signalbox!

"Losh sakes, Donny! Wut happened?"

"I couldna stop in time and slid into the signalbox. I holf tae stay here till it's mended. James had tae do guids work noo."

"Dinna worry. It'll be alright."

James wuz grumbling boot extra work.

"Ony wan wad think, that Donal had his accident on purrpose. I hear tell, aboot an engine an' some tar wagons."

Gordon and Henry chuckled.

"Shut up! It's not funny!"

"Weel, weel, weel. Sharily James it wasna you? Ye dinna say!"

He dinna say! He puffed crossly away!

The next day, I took some trucks tae Edward's Station. I had shunted them when Jeames came in.

"Help me up the hill please! These trucks are playing tricks!"

"We'll show them."

We were strainin' up the hill!

"I'm losing steam! I can't do it! I can't do it!" panted James.


"Careful," called the Guard. "The van's breaking!"

The Guard jumped as the van collapsed.

"I might have know it would be Douglas!"

"Mebbe I was clumsy, but I wadna be beaten by ton tricksie van."

Edward arrived to help.

"Douglas was grand Sir. James had no steam left, but Douglas worked hard enough for three. I heard him from my yard."

"Two would have been enough . . . I want to be fair Douglas. I admire your determination, but . . . I don't know, I really don't know."

I knew that the Fat Controller was making a decision.

"Don't feel bad," soothed Edward. "The accident wasn't your fault."

"Och! He might send mae away for sure," I said to Edward. "I canna return tae Scotland or else I'll face . . . scrap . . .'

"I see," said Edward. "You're both useful engines, so there's nothing to worry about."

"Thanks, Edward," I replied and steamed slowly away.

"Quite soon, tae signalbox was mended and Donald was oot again, but we couldna help feelin' worried. Tae other engines understood us too."

But winter came early that year and with it, snow.

"Bother all this snow," grumbled James. "It stays and chokes the lines."

"Then it's always hard to move," added Gordon.

"Och aye! We know what tae do," we said.

Oor Drivers spoke to an Inspector, then with Snow Ploughs at oor fronts and a van between oor tenners, we patroled the line.

One day, we were puffin' along when there was a snow drift bigger than tae rest. Suddenly, there was a whistle and people waved.

"Losh sakes, Donal', it's Henry! Dinna fash yersel. Bide a wee. We'll hea ye oot!"

Soon, Henry was baek again, but he was still sorry for oos.

"The Fat Controller is comin' back soon. He'll send us back for shair. And do ye know woot lies on the other side?"

"It's a shame!" sympathised Percy.

"A lot of nonsense about a broken signal box. Too many of those if you ask me," grumbled Gordon.

"That brake van too. Good riddance. That's what I say," put in James.

"They were splendid in the snow," added Henry.

We all agreed Somethin' Must Be Done, but know of us knew.

The next day, Percy came back excitedly!

"I've talked to Edward. He says we need a - a Depostation."

"Of course', said Gordon, 'the question is . . ."

" . . . what is a desperation?" asked Henry.

"It's when engines tell the Fat Controller something's wrong, and ask him to put it right."

"Did you say tell the Fat Controller?" asked Duck thoughtfully.

There was a long silence.

"I propose," said Gordon at last, "that Percy be our - er - hum - disputation."

"HI! I can't!"

"Rubbish Percy. It's easy," said Henry.

Then, a couple days later, we were resting in the Shed when James steamed in.

"The Fat Controller is back. Percy, you should go and speak to him."


"Yes, now. We don't have much time you know. We have to engines on the line!"

"Alright, alright, I'm going," sighed Percy nervously.

He returned a couple minutes.

"I talked to the Fat Controller and told him all great things about you . . . he says he's going to think about it."

"Thanks for being oor erm, disputation, Percy!"

"You're very welcome."

The next day, the Fat Controller arrived.

"I had a - er - deputation yesterday. I understand your feelings but I do not approve of interference." He paused impressively. "Donald and Douglas, I hear that your work in the snow was good. What colour paint would you like?"

"Uh, blue, Sirr please."

"Very well, but your names will be painted on you. We'll have no more mistakes."

"Thankye Sirr. Dis this mean that the baith o' uz . . ."

"It means . . ."

But there was a loud chorus of cheers and whistles!

"Hurray! Hurray!" chanted Henry, Gordon, James, Percy and Duck.

"We're here tae stay! We're here tae stay!" we chanted.

Later, we puffed into the Steamworks to get oor new coats of paint.

"Ye're here to stay forever an' ever," said oor Drivers.

"But I couldna done it without ya," I said to Donald.

"Neither withoot ya," replied Donald.

"Now we have had many years on the North Western Railway and couldna dream of being anywhere else. We were even more pleased when we heard one of oor sisters survived, No. 828, who's preserved and we've recently visited. That," finished Douglas, "is the whole story."

"Wow," said Paxton, amazed, "that was an interesting story. I never knew that you two."

"Well, yes it is good. Maybe not as good as mine, but still interesting," added Duck.

"Huh, yours . . ." muttered James.

"Well then, let's go to sleep now. We have a busy day tomorrow."

And with that the engines fell fast asleep.

Trailer 1

Donald and Douglas have now been on Sodor for many years . . . but no one can even forget how they got there . . .

Douglas - Only you? I canna bear being apart.

The Controller - I'm sorry. He only asked for one engine.

Douglas - What are we going to do?

Find out more about how they got to Sodor.

Douglas' Driver - We'll take oof ur nummers so you'll be unrecognizable.

Douglas - Good plan.

And what they had to go through to become part of the Fat Controller's Railway.

Inspector - This can't be right. We asked for one goods engine not two.

Sir Topham Hatt - One of you is playing truant. I shall find him out and send him home.

Donald - Ya may have nooticed Douggie, that yon painters forgoot somethin'.

Douglas - Ya mean . . .

Donald - Juz that.

The Spiteful Brake Van - Hold back!

The Signalman - You clumsy great engine!

Thomas - Where's my coach?

And will the Caldeonian Twins become part of the Fat Controller's Railway.

Sir Topham Hatt - I want to be fair . ..  but I don't know I really don't know . . .

Find out in "The Escape Plan"

Gordon - I propose Percy be our, er, disputation.

Percy - ME!

Coming January 18th, 2016.




  • This short is based on the Railway Series book The Twin Engines by the Rev. W. Awdry.
  • There is a slight possibility that this short will be re-written in the future. A revised version was eventually released on 18 January, two years after the first release. In addition to some story changes and the addition of CR 812 class No. 828, it gives Jessie her unofficial debut. She will be properly introduced in Work and Play and her appearance in the revised version is a sort of teaser prior to her first proper appearance.
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