|Season X, Episode 9|
|Air date||1 June 2019|
Hullo everyone, just wanted to preface this story which a little background information. This episode was really inspired by the episode of the same name from The Office. It is one of my favourite episodes and I just kept wanting to use the concept. I only recently wrote it out and definitely had fun doing so. With that, enjoy the story!
Henry was waiting at the Big Station. Pip and Emma had just left with the Express and it was not long before he was due out with his stopping train.
"Routine journey, as I like it," he thought to himself.
He had plenty of steam and enjoyed when people came up and took photographs of him.
"I truly am an Enterprising Engine," he boasted.
"Aye," called Douglas, "dinna get tae puffed up!" He made some breathless breathing noises then set off to collect ballast trucks at Arlesburgh.
"Very funny," snorted Henry. "Luckily, I feel fine today. Better than ever! Nothing can go wrong," he concluded.
Finally, all was ready. The Guard had her flag and whistle ready so Henry's Driver looked back.
Then, just as the Guard was about to blow her whistle, there came a shouting from behind the station -
"Fire!" someone yelled. "Fire! Call the fire brigade and get the heck out of here!"
The Guard's whistle blew and Henry puffed off as a commotion arised in the station.
The Fat Controller came out of his office to see what was the matter.
"Okay, what the heck is happening?" he asked. "Is it really happening?"
"Yes, fire at the back of the station. I've called the fire brigade. They'll be here any minute!" replied the Stationmaster.
"We just need to stay calm," continued the Fat Controller. "Everyone stay calm! STAY CALM!"
Meanwhile, Henry was clear of the platform and on his way to the Junction.
His crew looked back and saw smoke rising up.
"We left just in time," remarked the Driver.
Jessie was bringing in some coaches as Henry was leaving.
"There's been a fire," called Henry as he passed her.
"What?" She was surprised and even more so when she was stopped at the signal gantry.
Her Driver peered out and saw smoke.
"Henry's right," he remarked. "Doesn't look too thick."
"Still, I hope everyone's all right," said Jessie.
Unfortunately, many passengers were panicking whilst the Stationmaster, porters, and the Fat Controller tried to calm everyone down and make sure everyone was safe.
"That's it," said the Fat Controller. "Blow the whistle!"
The Stationmaster blew his whistle, so loudly, that everyone stopped.
"Attention everyone!" boomed the Fat Controller. "Please gather up at platform three! Opposite of where Henry's train departed!"
"Go, go," urged the Stationmaster.
Finally, everyone was well away from the fire and just then, the fire brigade arrived.
"Quick response time," beamed the Fat Controller. "Thank goodness you're here."
Meanwhile, Jessie was still held up at the signal gantry. Then, the Signalman came up.
"Well, all trains will stop at the Junction or Haultraugh until we have clearance that it is safe to enter the station."
"And I have to stay here too?" asked Jessie, slowly.
"Um, well, unfortunately for you, well, yes."
"Great," snorted Jessie. "Then again, I'm used to staying one place, right?" She sighed. "This'll be boring."
The Signalman went over to the shed.
Gordon, James, Duck, Donald, Paxton, and Norman were there. All were ready for a day's work.
"Well, seems like Henry's got the passenger today," remarked James.
"So do I," grinned Gordon. "Also, he's had stopping trains for the past week."
"Yeah. Kind of weird," replied James. "Wait! You don't suppose he's tricked me into goods work for an entire week!"
"I wouldnae be surprised," answered Donald. "Ye did hae wedding guests fur two days."
"Oh, how funny. He decided to pay me out. Just wait till I see him."
"Well, that'll have to wait," interrupted the Signalman.
"What's wrong?" asked James's Driver.
"All right. Attention everyone. There's been a fire at the station. The fire brigade are working on it and it seems like everything is under control but for the meantime, you must all stay here. I will call when it is safe to proceed."
"Well, seems like you have another problem now James," said Duck.
"Oh, great. And Percy's not here to argue, er, debate with."
"Thank goodness," said Gordon. "You two keep up us till midnight, arguing about trivial topics."
"Hey! I wasn't about to let him claim how great Knapford Harbour is without showing him that Tidmouth is better!"
"The real question is how you spend more than an hour on that subject," put in Duck.
"Or why," added Norman.
"Why not," answered James. "My next topic will be why I make a better passenger engine."
"Ye canna lie," teased Donald.
"People say I give the smoothest rides! Besides, Gordon and Henry often run over the speed limit . . ."
"Um, I do not."
"It's not the Express. You can't go that fast."
"Uh, of course, and I do mind my speed."
"Sure. Right, Gordon. Just like the BR Class 9Fs."
Gordon just grunted.
"Point James!" he whispered to Paxton.
Back at the station, the station staff and the Fat Controller had done a head count and everyone was safe and calm, albeit a little impatient.
"I do hope we can make it Arlesburgh. The weather's so fine," said a woman.
"We'll resume trains when we can, but it is important to make sure the station is safe," assured the Fat Controller.
Over at the signal gantry, Jessie was as bored as she had ever been. Her Driver and Fireman were in the signal-box.
"I miss those children," she said quietly. "At least then I had company. At least some company."
In the sheds, the engines and crew were discussing what to do.
"Well, I don't want to listen to James's statement on how I exceed the speed limit," Gordon grunted.
"Scared, are you?" teased James.
Gordon ignored him and James winked at Paxton and whispered, "James two, Gordon zero."
"Am I keeping score?" replied Paxton, quietly.
"Yes, but don't tell Gordon till later."
And the two sniggered quietly.
"How about, Nations League Finals, huh," suggested Duck. "England looks strong. Jadon had a great season in Germany."
"If Dortmund's second half of the season had been better they might have won the Bundesliga," said Norman.
"Anyhoo, I think Scotland's women team is verra excited for the World Cup," put in Donald.
"I have to take ballast trains for a week if Scotland wins against England," said Duck.
"It's been ages since ye done so!"
All the engines laughed together.
Then, James's Fireman came up with his wife.
"Brought your wife to work?" asked the Driver.
"Yes, she's covering for me today!" laughed the Fireman. "Not really, but she did bring brownies for everyone."
"Indeed!" said the Fireman's wife and the crews all enjoyed their food.
Meanwhile, at the station, some people were growing hungry and were hoping that the café would soon re-open.
The lead fireman came up.
"There was an electrical spark behind the station which spread to some boxes from the café. There is no structural damage and it is now safe to re-enter."
"Hooray!" everyone cheered.
"Thank you very much for your help," said the Fat Controller.
"Our duty," replied the fireman.
"Well, now we can resume operations," the Fat Controller told the Stationmaster.
The Stationmaster called the Signalman to tell him the news. He was playing cards in his signal-box with Jessie's crew when he received the call.
"All clear now? Good. All right then. Thank you."
"What was that?" asked Jessie's Driver.
"It's safe to proceed now," replied the Signalman.
Jessie was glad to see her crew return.
"I haven't been so bored since I was first put at the park," she said.
"We'll be taking a goods train to Vicarstown later," said the Driver.
"Thank goodness. My axles are actually aching because I haven't moved!"
Then, the signal dropped and Jessie brought the coaches into the platform.
"Great to see the station is all right."
"Indeed," said the Fat Controller. "The fire wasn't too big and the fire brigade handled it splendidly."
At the sheds, James's Fireman's wife was just getting ready to leave.
"See you tonight and I hope you can get back to work," she said.
Then, the Signalman came in and told everyone that the station was safe.
"Perfect timing," said James.
"All right. Off you then!" replied the Fireman's wife.
So, Gordon set out for his stopping train, James got ready for the goods, Duck went out to take his branch line train, Norman went off to the Yard, and Paxton went to collect slate from Crovan's Gate.
Donald was still waiting when Jessie returned after Gordon left.
"Interesting day, right?" said Jessie.
"Aye, indeed," agreed Donald. "Quite fun chatting here with e'eryone."
"Good for you. I was bored to the frames standing under the signal gantry."
"Weel, at least ye hae guids train tae Vicarstown."
"Right after some shunting, yes."
"I'll take care of the shunting."
"Thank you." (moment of silence) "I'm glad the station wasn't badly damaged."
"Aye, guid thing."
"Is it the first fire that's ever occurred?"
"I dinna know, but I think it is."
Then Donald's Driver jumped into the cab.
"Weel, I'll be off. See ye later!"
"See you." replied Jessie.
Donald steamed out of the shed and Jessie rested before taking her goods train to the other end of the line.
- Donald and Douglas
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Percy (mentioned)
- Pip and Emma (mentioned)
- The episodes uses the concept from the second season episode of the same name of the US version of The Office and the fifth season episode, Stress Relief which are two of the writer's favourite episodes from the series.
- Just like the previous episode, the episode takes place entirely at Tidmouth.
- This episode was written in under an hour making it one of the quickest episodes written.