|The Restoration of Vicarstown|
|Season A, Episode 10|
|Air date||June 15th, 2015|
The Case of the Missing Engines
After years of being abandoned, Vicarstown is finally going under restoration.
A MainLineEngines film . ..
From Adventures on Rails Studios . . .
In association with Pom-Pom Productions presents . . . .
The Restoration of Vicarstown.
When the North Western Railway first formed, Vicarstown was the main station.
The railway was managed back then by Sir Topham Hatt I, known at the "Fat Director".
Thomas was the first engine to arrive on Sodor.
He was the pilot engine of Vicarstown which meant he shunted the trains for the other engines.
A month later, Edward arrived.
Edward was the only Main Line engine at that time.
The railway was small, so Edward could handle both goods and passengers.
But as the years passed, the workload got bigger until Edward could not handle it on his own.
The Fat Director was desperate for an engine, so he was quick to by Henry in 1919, an engine built from stolen plans from Sir Nigel Gresley. He was more of a mix between an 'A3' Pacific and a C1 'Atlantic'.
This caused problems due to the fact that Henry could sometimes pull trains and at other times could not.
But by 1922, the Fat Director decided that Edward needed help.
He brought in two LNER B12s to help him out, but they didn't prove to be a good solution.
They were rude, nasty and spiteful.
"Ha! We're bigger and better engines!" they boasted.
They were rude to Thomas, Edward and Henry.
"Hurry up, you small tank engine. People want to see me flying down the tracks with the Express," boasted 98462.
All the same, Vicarstown was quite the important station on Sodor.
Trains were not allowed to run to Barrow, so engines from the Other Railway came to Vicarstown to provide connection with England.
Eventually, 98462 and 87546 were sent away.
"I've had enough of them," stated the Fat Director.
Instead, he brought a nice, strong, Reid D34 named Nix.
She was could pull both passengers and freight which helped Edward a lot when Henry could not take trains.
Later that year, the Fat Director borrowed Gordon, the prototype for Sir Nigel Gresley's A1 'Pacific's'. The A0.
He was sent on trial to the North Western Railway and quickly proved to be a great Express engine.
Eventually, the Fat Controller decided to purchase him.
Finally, to complete his fleet, in 1923, he bought James, a Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Class 28.
Unfortunely for him, he had an accident on his first day.
But shortly afterwards was officially bought.
Nic's trial on Sodor ended and she returned to the Other Railway.
But the Main Line was complete.
The railway was running smoothly with Vicarstown as its main station.
The Fat Director was finally able to reach agreements with the LMS to allow trains to operate to Barrow-in-Furness.
The main station and terminus was switched to Tidmouth and Vicarstown became a smiple station on the Main Line.
A lot buinesses moved to Tidmouth as well.
During World War II, Vicarstown's condition worsened.
It was often attacked since a lot of military used it for refuge.
But there was also a shocking discovery . . .
It was shortly after the war.
The engines were exhausted.
"Finally, our normal lives will be back," sighed Thomas.
"Thank goodness," sighed Percy.
The engines were soon getting back to their daily routines.
"Finally, no more goods," said Gordon.
One day, some military men came to see the Fat Controller.
The Fat Controller was surprised to see them.
But they had important news.
"We often used Vicarstown for coverage," they said. "One day, as we were finding refuge, we came to an abondoned site filled with coal. We were thinking the coal could be useful for your railway."
"We'll have a good look at that coal," replied the Fat Controller.
(scene changed to Vicarstown)
"What are we testing anyways?" asked James.
"A new type of coal," replied his Driver.
"A new type of coal. Better not be a poor lot. Where's this new coal coming from?"
"Why it's directly from our Island?" replied his Fireman.
"Our Island? I didn't know we had a suitable coal mine."
"Neither did the Fat Controller. Military men found it during the war."
Soon, a truck came with the new coal.
James' current coal was emptied out and the new coal was put in.
"Ah, this does burn nicely," sighed James. "And it doesn't produce black smoke either."
"So far working," observed the Fat Controller.
As James took his train down the line, the coal burned nicely.
When he reached Tidmouth, he was very impressed.
"For a moment, I had thought this would be a poor lot."
"Nope," said the Fat Controller. "This would definitely save us money, now that we could provide ourselfs with coal."
Soon, the plan was put into action.
Work began on a line leading to the Coal Mines.
It was hard work, but finally in 1950, the coal mine opened.
It was named Vicarstown Coal Mines.
But the Fat Controller knew there was a problem. He would need an engine to work there permanently.
Percy volunteered to work there, but eventually the work was too much for him.
"Thomas needs my help on his Branch Line," sighed Percy. "I can't be at two places at once."
"You're right. Which is why I'm getting another engine."
The Fat Controller did some research to see if there were any engines suitable for the job.
"Aha! At Doncaster, there's several J50s. Those are suited to work at coal plants. I'll pay a visit."
And he did.
Soon, he came home with LNER number 68899 who was soon named "Dodger".
He had been built at Doncaster in 1914 and worked at Ardsley from 1914 to 1948. He had also worked on the steeply graded West Ridings, often worked at coal plants. He didn't mind trucks and was pretty strong considering he was a tank engine.
"This is Dodger," said the Fat Controller. "He will be working at Vicarstown Coal Mines. Please, make him feel welcome."
"I'm glad you came. Trucks are troublesome things, you know," said Percy.
"No problem. I've work at coal plants before, so it's good," replied Dodger.
"So," said Gordon. "I hear you're from the LNER. Where were you built?"
"I was built at Doncaster in 1914."
"What!?" spluttered Gordon.
"You two. That's great! You know, Doncaster's the best. You know I also once my designer, Sir Nigel Gresley."
The other engines laughed at Gordon.
"Well," said Thomas. "Gordon was also designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built at Doncaster . . . in 1922."
"No . . . Yes. I mean, I can't believe a little tank engine is built by the same works and same designer as I was, eight years before me!"
"Let's be honest. Gresley hadn't even thought of you when he designed the J50s," teased Percy.
Soon, Dodger began to understand the routines of the North Western Railway.
The Fat Controller had come to agreement with Doncaster for a year long trial and then an option to buy him.
And currently, the Fat Controller was coming to terms that Dodger would stay on the North Western Railway.
Dodger was a hard worker as the Fat Controller had expected.
He didn't mind getting dirty or working with trucks.
One day, Dodger was having difficulties lighting his fire.
"I feel so short of steam," groaned Dodger.
"Hmm, your tubes might be damaged," examened his Driver. "But we'll have to deal with them later."
Later on, Dodger started to wheeze badly.
"Oh great, now I'm wheezing. This is bad. The Fat Controller won't want to keep me like this," he thought.
Later that day, James was working with Dodger at the Mines.
"Just shunt the trucks slowly and carefully into the shaft. The, uh (coughs) rack system will take 'em down," explained Dodger.
"Are you OK?" asked James.
"I'm fine. For now."
James preceeded, but he bumped the trucks too hard!
They ran out of control and right into the mines!
Soon the alarm sounded.
"CLEAR THE MINES! THERE"S GOING TO BE AN AVALANCHE!"
Workmen screamed and ran for their lives!
The mines supports were collasping.
Worse still, the rails they were on began to crumble.
Dodger brought some empty trucks for the workmen to climb into.
"Quickly!" wheezed Dodger. "Jump in!"
James was coupled on and off he went!
"No one is left! Let's go!"
But it was too late! James cleared the Mines, but Dodger didn't!
He was burried in tons of coal!
"We're all safe now, right?"
(James hears no reply)
"He and his crew must be stuck!" called a workmen.
"We must dig him out then!" called another.
When they finished, they found Dodger's crew barely with life.
The Fat Controller arrived.
"Oh no," thought Dodger. "I hope he understands it wasn't my fault."
But the Fat Controller wasn't cross. In fact, he had good news for him.
"Well Dodger. Your work at the Mines has been exceptional. Plus your qucik thinking of shunting those empty trucks saved lots of lives. So just this morning, I confirmed your purchase from Doncaster to the North Western Railway, joint ownership with Vicarstown Coal Mines."
"So I can stay!?"
"But, Sir. I would need lots of repairs. You see, I had an accident during World War II, and since they were in a rush to repair me. I don't think they actually checked my tubes correctly."
"Well, no fear. Doncaster agreed to pay any repairs you might need. Whilst you're gone, we'll clean up this mess and then this will be your new home."
"Thank you Sir!"
So Dodger was sent to Doncaster the next day and when he returned there was a really rousing welcome for him.
Presently, in 1952, diesels first started arriving.
This was of none other than Diesel.
Diesel was sent packing, but presently in 1960, Daisy arrived and eventually did stay.
One day, Daisy was picking up passengers from Henry at Elsbridge.
"Hullo Daisy. Do you smell smoke?"
"That's nothing, Henry. I'm just a hard worker," replied Daisy.
But Daisy was beginning to encounter difficulties.
She could barely make it to Knapford.
"Do you feel fine, Daisy?" asked her Driver.
"No," she replied weakly.
Soon, her fitter came to examine.
"So you're the one who always told her to not pull."
"Well, she is rather lightweight."
"Yeah, but even a 'Coffee Pot' could pull a milk truck and brake van!"
"Anyways, she does look like she's in need of some repairs."
So Percy was sent to take her to the Steamworks.
"Don't worry señorita. We'll fix you," said Victor.
"You can repair diesels?" asked Percy.
"Well, I hope we can."
Meanwhile, the Fat Controller was talking to the Manger.
"We don't have the tools to fix Daisy. We will need to send her to the Other Railway for repairs. In the meantime, we'll try to stock up on parts for diesels," the Manager explained to the Fat Controller.
But overtime, more diesels came to the Island.
Like Diesel 10 in 1962 and BoCo in 1966.
'Arry and Bert were bought in 1967 as well as Diesel.
When they broke down, the Steamworks experienced problems.
"We need a works for diesels alone," said the Fat Controller.
"Well, no problem, Sir. Me and my sons know just as much about diesels as steam engines," said the Steamworks Manager.
So, the construction for a new Dieselworks began.
They decided to built it near Vicarstown, since there was a good area to build it.
It took a whole year, but at last, it was done.
"Finally, our own place," said Diesel 10.
The diesels marveled at the beauty and how modern their Dieselworks looked.
Vicarstown was becoming more popular now.
Towns that had been damaged by the war efforts had been rebuilt. Even the station was back to its original look in 1923.
Quite near Vicarstown, there is a lovely forest.
Henry enjoyed coming here.
On a relaxing afternoon, Henry and his crew would get permission from the Signalman to puff onto the forest line for a while.
"I really do enjoy coming here," said Henry.
His Driver understood.
The next day, there was rain and the wind blew hard. Storm alerts loomed.
Henry did not want to leave the shed, but he knew there was work to be done.
At the forest, trees swayed and lurched. The biting wind seemed to want to blow them away. The rain loosened the torrents.
Finally, it was the end of the day and Henry puffed into Tidmouth Sheds to rest.
"Just in time, Henry," said Norman. "There's going to be a massive storm."
Henry was worried for the forest.
Indeed, there was a raging storm!
The wind blew harder than ever.
The engines were having fun at the Sheds. All except Henry.
"You know," began Toby. "If Gordon wasn't here. I'd say all that wind was him thundering by with the Express."
There was an outburst of laughter, except Henry.
That night, hundreds of trees were knocked over.
The wind blew them away and the rain loosened the roots.
By morning, a good chunk of the forest was gone.
Henry woke up to the bad news.
He was sent with Donald and Douglas to help clear up the mess.
Henry was very depressed.
"What will happen to all the animals who live here?" he thought sadly.
Once the trees were cleared away, the hillside looked so bore.
Henry took flat trucks of logs to be made into wood, paper and other things.
He was glad it was put to use, but was still sad to see the forest go away.
"Och, Douggie. I've never seen him so sad," sighed Donald, sympathically.
"Och aye, but what can we doo aboot it, Donny. We can't mend trees," added Douglas.
The Fat Controller understood and he had a plan.
One day, he called Henry to Knapford.
"I know Henry you are sad about losing a big chunk of the forest, which is why I have a surprise for you."
Then, Toby puffed in with trucks of beautiful, young green trees ready to plant.
"We're going to begin again," said Toby. "The hillside will look better than ever."
"Yes," agreed the Fat Controller. "Now, some men have opened an interest in starting a logging company. They will only cut down old trees bound to fall down anyways and trees that are too close to the line."
Henry was pleased.
Soon, Henry, Toby, Terence and Trevor were at work moving the trees wherever needed.
"I'll assure you in a couple months this place will look fantastic once more," said Terence.
And he was right.
A couple months later, the trees grew and forest looked better than ever.
This made Henry of course, very happy.
With the institution of the Vicarstown Logging Company, buiness bloomed. Vicarstown was beginning to live like the old days.
But there was still something the engines did not like about Vicarstown.
Unlike, any other sheds on the Island, these were rather old and outdated.
This was due to the fact that most trains continued on to Barrow, so engines would rest there rather than Vicarstown.
Sometimes though, engines did have to stay at Vicarstown.
One night, James brought a late goods train to Vicarstown.
"We'll spend the night here, old boy," said his Driver.
The turntable was pretty old too. It didn't work so well and the Fireman had some difficulties with it.
Futhermore, as James backed down onto his berth, he saw his wheels didn't grip the rails very well.
"Ugh, these old sheds," complained James. "They really need an update."
"Sorry, boy. See you in the morning."
James yawned and went to sleep.
The next morning, he woke up to return to Tidmouth with a stopping passenger run.
He puffed onto the turntable.
No sooner had it turned when it stopped all together.
"Great. It's jammed," said the Fireman.
James was stuck on the turntable!
The Fat Controller soon sent for Rocky.
"Well, James, the turntable didn't want to take you on a spin today, eh?" teased Dodger.
"Shut up. It's not funny. These sheds are outdated and even the turntable is. Even your shed at the Mines is better than this."
"Oh, don't exaggerate. Sure, my shed has air conditioner and heater, space for any minor repairs, a considerable amount of space and . . . Yeah, even that's better than this."
"I am going to speak to the Fat Controller about this."
Soon, Rocky lifted James onto the rails and he set off.
Later, he arrived at Tidmouth.
"You will not believe what happened to me," he told Delete. "Those sheds at Vicarstown are so old, that that old turntable jammed on me."
"Yeah. I spent the night there last week and roof beam collasped on me," agreed Delete.
Presently, James spotted the Fat Controller.
"Sir, I have to talk to you about the sheds at Vicarstown. They're all kinda, oh who am I kidding, they are old, dirty, filthy, disgusting, outdated and faulty. The station had a reconstruction, so why shouldn't the sheds?"
"Hmm. You're right. Besides, the turntable's not even working anymore. Yes! I will send for a new Vicarstown sheds immediately!"
His plan was soon put into action.
The new sheds were more spacious, more luxurous.
They had air condition and heaters and a lot of the same feaures as Tidmouth and they were painted in a beautiful coat of silver.
The turntable was as good as new.
"Now this is luxury," said James.
"So comfortable too," agreed Delete.
"Almost overpowers mine," chuckled Dodger.
As with the new Vicarstown Sheds, it could be said that Vicarstown was pretty much back to how it looked before 1925 when Tidmouth became the main station of the railway.
And though it may not be the most important station, the economy is really well with the Coal Mines, Dieselworks
When the North Western Railway first formed, Vicarstown was the main station.
It's where Thomas originally worked as a station pilot. And where the engines had their sheds.
Presently, Vicarstown was abandoned as the main station in 1925 and most business moved to Tidmouth.
But after the Second World War, things changed . . .
Sir Topham Hatt - A coal mines? We'll need an engine to run it.
Dodger - My name's Dodger.
A workaen - Avalanche!
Find out what happens as Vicarstown returns to its glory days.
Henry - All the forest is gone.
Sir Topham Hatt - We can open a logging company!
James - Uh! We need new sheds!
Find out on June 15th, 2015 in The Restoration of Vicarstown.
Airing on BBC.
- Donald and Douglas
- 98462 and 87546
- Diesel 10
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Diesel (non-speaking role)
- 'Arry and Bert (non-speaking roles)
- BoCo (non-speaking role)
The resr of the Steam Team, and most if not all the rest of the Diesels are also likely to appear.
- The special was to take a similar format of Calling All Engines! and include a slight Diesel-Steam rivalry.
- This special reveals a bit more about how the North Western Railway formed and how many engines arrived, and covers up a lot of the unknown history of the engines' arrival to Sodor.
- The special was temporary put on hiatus due to lack of ideas, but a month from its release, a trailer was announced that confirmed the special.
- This special celebrates Adventures on Rails' 4 year anniversary.