|The Return of Boulder|
|Season 2, Episode 9|
|Air date||March 24, 2018|
Duncan's Discovery - Part 1
Many years ago on the Skarloey Railway, there was a quarry located off the Ulfstead Branch Line, it was built up in the hills and is where the rock and stone were transported, there was also a large boulder resting atop the mountain, he was covered in moss and had a face, which was identical to Gordon's. When a machine named Thumper was digging into the mountainside, this caused a boulder to fall off the mountain and roll down the line, causing trouble on the railway. More worse was that it also rolled and destroyed the engine sheds in the quarry, which is when the Fat Controller decided to close it down. Ever since then, Boulder had been re-moved to a mountain closer to the yard and many engines, in particular Rusty, are sure that on a clear night, it is gazing high up at the mountains and that its sighs are being carried over on to the wind where it once used to stand, proud and silent.
One morning at the Blue Mountain Quarry, Rusty was shunting some hoppers onto Owen's platform. "Here you are, Owen!" tooted Rusty.
"Thanks Rusty." replied Owen, as his platform went down the incline. "Going down!" he chanted.
Rusty chuckled. "That seems like your catchphrase, Owen."
"It seems it does." agreed Owen, and he chuckled as well.
"Busy day today, eh?" said Rusty.
"Yes indeed, Rusty," Owen replied. "I'll be doing the same old thing I do all the time."
"And that would be working as an incline, won't it?" laughed Rusty.
"Certainly right," answered Owen, who also laughed. "Why, what are you doing today?"
"Well first, I'm working here, then I can have a rest at the depot and then, I'm on bridge duty."
"Well, that's a lot, isn't it?" said Owen.
"Sure is." replied Rusty. As he backed up, Skarloey shunted a hopper onto Owen's platform.
"Another hopper, Owen!" he said to the traction engine.
"Alright." replied Owen. "Going down!" Skarloey and Rusty chuckled at Owen's usual chant.
"He always says that, doesn't he?" whispered Rusty.
"He must like saying the phrase," suggested Skarloey, "besides, he always stands in the exact same spot."
"Without going anywhere." added Rusty, who felt a little sorry for Owen. "It's really boring just standing in the same spot all of the time."
"I see your point Rusty," sympathised Skarloey, "but at least he's not the only one who stands in the exact same spot twenty-four hours."
"I don't know anyone." muttered Rusty.
"Well, Merrick has gantry rails, so he can move left to right." chuffed Skarloey.
"Yes, but he only has some very short rails to travel on, and he can't go anywhere else really." said Rusty.
"Well, at least he can move around, so that would be alright, wouldn't it?"
"I'd say so," muttered Rusty, he thought of who else would stand in the exact same spot. "Oh I know, there's Colin at the Wharf, he's always stood in the same position."
"Yes, that's right," puffed Skarloey, "there will be some engines that stay in the same spot as well you know, like abandoned engines or engines that are stuck in a particular place."
"Which I think the latter is quite boring," added Rusty, "who else would stay in the same spot?" he pondered, but then he remembered one in particular, he wasn't an engine or a vehicle, but he was a- "Boulder!"
Skarloey was confused. "Boulder?" he exclaimed. "Do you mean the boulder that fell off of the mountain at that old quarry and started chasing us down the line, the one that had the face?"
"Yes, that one," replied Rusty, "it also destroyed the engine sheds there, which resulted in the quarry being closed down."
"I remember now, it chased me down the line when I was taking some flatbeds to the quarry and I reversed into some siding and boulder went passed by, and destroyed a water tower into pieces." explained Skarloey.
"He also chased Rheneas down the line as well." said Rusty.
"Who chased me down the line?" asked Rheneas, overhearing the conversation.
"Oh, hello Rheneas didn't see you there."
"Oh right, but did you say my name?"
"Oh uh, we were talking about a boulder years ago, you might remember him, do you?" answered Rusty.
Rheneas thought. "Do you mean that one particular boulder from that old quarry that fell off and started rolling down the line, he had a face right?"
"Yes, that's the one," corrected Rusty. "but to be honest, his face kind of looked like Gordon's."
"Indeed." agreed Skarloey.
"Oh, by the way Rheneas, we were talking about how it chased you down the line, remember?" Rusty asked him.
"Oh yes, I still do," replied Rheneas. "I was rounding a bend heading towards the quarry and Boulder came rolling around the bend, I reversed backwards as fast as I could and went into a siding, where the boulder passed by, but why are you still going on about him?"
"Oh, we were just talking about vehicles that stay in the same spot." replied Rusty.
"But that's the point, because Boulder's not an engine." Rheneas chipped.
"Well, that boulder was moved onto a ledge closer by the yard anyhow," said Rusty, "and I'm sure that every time you see Boulder there, you'll hear his sighs from where he once use to stand, proud and silent."
"That sounds quite horrifying if you ask me." muttered Rheneas. Then Luke pulled up alongside.
"Um, you're supposed to be helping me Rheneas." he chuffed.
"Oh right, uh sorry Luke, but just give me a minute."
"Alright." and Luke went back to work.
"Do you think that Boulder will ever fall off the mountain again?" asked Rusty.
"Well," The two engines pondered, "I'd say probably not." replied Skarloey.
"Unless there's an accident then, yes."
"But thankfully, there's never been an accident over at that mountain," soothed Rusty, "engines are really careful when they go past that point."
"Which is the good thing," smiled Rheneas, "well right now, I have to get helping Luke, I'll talk another time." And with that, Rheneas chuffed back to work.
"Same here Rusty." Skarloey whistled and he also headed off back to work.
"Well, I have no more work to do here anyway," The little diesel said to himself. "I can rest at the depot." and that's where Rusty headed off to, as he was heading towards the depot, he was passing by the mountain where Boulder had been relocated. Rusty stared at the boulder, but had a deep thought inside. "What if Boulder did come off that mountain?" he asked himself.
"Oh, I'm sure it won't, it hasn't moved off that mountain for years now." said his driver firmly.
"I know, but you never know what could happen." replied Rusty.
"You do have a point there, to be honest," agreed the driver. "but there's never been an accident at this one mountain, has they?"
"No." came the reply.
"Then it'll be fine, well that's my theory."
"If you say so." And Rusty went to the depot, as he reversed into the shed, he kept thinking about Boulder. "Will he ever fall off that mountain?" he thought to himself. After a long while resting in the sheds, his crew arrived.
"Alright Rusty, it's time to start work again." he said.
"On bridge duties?" Rusty asked him.
"Yes correct," came the reply, "you're not still thinking about Boulder are you?"
"No, not at all." grinned Rusty, who still had that worried thought inside. "Anyway, let's get to work." And Rusty chuffed out of the shed, ready to start work, but as he was coupled up to two trucks and a brakevan. He saw Freddie zoom by the sheds.
"HEEEELPPP!!!!" he wailed as he was being pushed along the line by the trucks.
"On! On! On!" They chanted.
"Freddie!" Rusty exclaimed, and he headed off quickly to catch up to him, but Freddie was going way too fast.
"This is the fastest I've ever been!" he cried out.
"Don't worry, I'm coming!" called Rusty, as fast as he could. But then there was trouble up ahead, as Freddie was approaching the mountain where Boulder was resting atop of, the trucks pushed him even harder, Freddie applied his brakes, but it was too late, Freddie crashed into the wall of the mountain, which caused the whole area around the mountain to start shaking and rumbling.
Rusty glanced up to see rocks tumbling down and saw something even shocking, Boulder was beginning to move, he tumbled off the mountain and landed right on the track in front of Rusty, who shuddered quite violently. "O-Ohhhh..."
"Watch out, Rusty!" Freddie cried, Boulder began moving and Rusty began reversing, Boulder gained speed and so did Rusty, who was now racing backwards down the line, as Boulder rolled down the line towards him.
"YIKKEEEEES!!!!" yelled Rusty as he was being chased down the line. In the brakevan, the workmen were being bounced about.
"WOOAAAH!!" One cried.
"What is going on out there?!" exclaimed other.
A workman looked out the window and gasped. "There's a boulder chasing us!"
"A boulder?" exclaimed a workman. "Is it that boulder from years ago you know, the one at that old quarry?"
"Let me re-check." And the workman did, he suddenly realised. "Yes, it's the exact same one."
"Oh no, this isn't good at all." said one workman worriedly.
"We could have an accident on an oncoming bridge, if we don't get to our job on time!" shouted another workman.
"Oh, that leads to trouble." muttered another.
Rusty was approaching Skarloey Bridge, which was unsafe.
"Oh no, the bridge is UNSAFE!!" shouted Rusty, he raced across the bridge and so did Boulder, but because of both of Rusty and the Boulder's weights, the bridge had collapsed. "Oh no, the bridge has collapsed!"
"We need to find a siding, and fast." said the driver, but there were no sidings around. Rusty gulped, as Boulder rolled even faster down the line. They raced through Rheneas where all the passengers were shocked when they saw Boulder zoom by.
"Wow, look at that big ball!" one man exclaimed.
"It looked more like a boulder to me." commented a woman.
Up ahead, there were some points that led to a siding. "At last, a siding." said Rusty. "Quick! Driver! Alert the signalman!" And Rusty's driver shouted to the signalman...
"HURRY! CHANGE THE POINTS!" as they went by, the signalman quickly changed the points as Rusty was diverted into the siding, but he hit the buffers and the brake van came off the tracks, with the workmen falling all over the place.
"OWWW!!!" They groaned.
"Sorry," gulped Rusty, "I'm going to chase after that boulder." And as Rusty exited the siding and turned around, he hurried off to follow the boulder.
Up ahead, Skarloey was taking a train of stone to the coal mines, when he saw Boulder. "Bubbling boilers! The Boulder's back!" he cried as he raced backwards down the line with Boulder gaining speed. "YIIIKEEEEESSSSS!!!"
"Oh no, quickly Skarloey!" cried Rusty. A quick thinking signalman saw the boulder up ahead and immediately changed the points, sending Skarloey onto a siding while Boulder rolled past. "Bust my buffers, that was uncalled for!" boomed Skarloey, Rusty then pulled up, trying to catch his breath. "Are you alright, Skarloey?" he asked him.
"Yes, that was indeed a close one!" he barked. "How did the Boulder fall off the mountain anyway?"
"An accident happened at the mountain he was on," Rusty replied, "but I can't stay to talk, I must get after that Boulder." And he chuffed quickly away.
"Good luck." said Skarloey meekly.
The Boulder rolled across the Old Wooden Bridge, but that bridge was also unsafe and a piece of it fell into the ravine below. "Oh no, the bridge is collapsing!" Rusty cried, as he oiled across the bridge swiftly, but more pieces fell into the ravine and the bridge completely collapsed. Rheneas was chuffing through the junction when saw Boulder.
"(gasps) Oh no, reverse quickly!" And Rheneas sped quickly backwards.
"We could've just moved onto the other track." said his driver.
"I know, but we wouldn't have had time." replied Rheneas. "YIIKKEEEESSS!!!"
Meanwhile, Luke was trundling happily along the same line as Rheneas, he then saw a brake van rushing backwards. Luke was surprised.
"Get out of the way, Luke!" cried Rheneas, as Luke reversed backwards down the line with Rheneas and the Boulder.
"What's going on?!" asked Luke.
"A boulder's chasing after us!" said Rheneas.
"Boulder? Oh no..."
Meanwhile at home, the Thin Controller was peacefully having tea with his family.
"More tea dear?" asked Mrs. Percival.
"Yes please, Polly." replied her husband.
"Dad, I'm hungry." moaned Penny.
"Me too." agreed Pansy.
"Don't worry, mother's going to come with your tea soon." said the Thin Controller, but as they were sitting peacefully at the table, they heard wailing coming from outside. "Huh, what was that?" And the Thin Controller looked out his window and saw Rheneas and Luke racing backwards down the line as Boulder was rolling after them, he gasped in horror. "Oh no, that boulder is going to cause chaos on my railway, I must get going." And Mr. Percival hurried to the hallway and put on his hat and his jacket.
"Where are you going, dear?" asked his wife. "I just made you another pot of tea."
"I have to go and uh, sort something out on my railway." The Thin Controller replied, and he slammed the door as he scurried to his bicycle, then Rusty pulled up, catching his breath as quick as he could.
"Sir! Sir! A boulder has... (pant) fell off a mountain and is rolling... (pant) down the line!"
"Right, I'm on my way!" And the Thin Controller rode immediately away, followed by Rusty. The engines at the sheds were surprised at this.
Meanwhile, Rheneas and Luke were trying to get away from the Boulder, they were approaching a signalbox, where a quick thinking signalman changed the points, so Rheneas and Luke were diverted off the line and onto a siding, the two engines took a deep sigh. "Bust my buffers, that was awful!" remarked Rheneas.
"Where did that even come from?" asked Luke, then they saw the Thin Controller and Rusty whoosh by them.
"Sorry can't talk!" he said to them, Rheneas and Luke were surprised. Elizabeth had stopped at a level crossing up ahead when she saw Boulder fly by.
"Steaming lorries, what was that?" she asked in agape, then she saw Rusty.
"Sorry Elizabeth, there's a runaway boulder on the loose." he explained.
"A runaway boulder?" Elizabeth exclaimed. "Then I suppose you should go after it, it could do some serious damage to the railway."
"I am doing." replied Rusty and he quickly chuffed away.
"Oh no, the boulder's heading for the quarry!" Rusty shrieked.
The Boulder had entered the Blue Mountain Quarry, it rolled into some hoppers causing them to tumble off the tracks, stone went everywhere. Paxton had just arrived at the quarry with some empty trucks when he saw Boulder up ahead. "Dizzy Diesels!" he cried, but a workman quickly pulled a leaver, resulting in Boulder to go down another line. Paxton was concerned, but surprised. "Huh, what was that?" he thought to himself. Owen was surprised when he saw the Boulder.
"Wow, look at the size of that!" he said to Paxton.
"I know, it's huge." replied the young diesel. The Boulder bounced off Owen's platform and hit the quarry wall, which caused the quarry to begin shaking and stones came tumbling down. Then the alarm sounded.
"AVALANCHE!!!" cried the manager. "Quick, everybody flee."
This even woke Merrick up. "Huh, what?" he stuttered.
"Oh no, what's happening?" he asked Paxton.
"There's an avalanche," Paxton replied. "a boulder came in and hit the quarry wall."
"Engines, to the top floor quickly!" ordered the Thin Controller, and they all went to the upper floor of the quarry."
"Oh no, but where is it now?"
"I don't know, but you need to go to the upper floor quickly!" said Paxton cautiously.
"But you're a standard gauge engine, you can't go to the upper floor." said Rusty.
"I'll have to leave then." and Paxton quickly made an attempt to get out of the quarry, but a tower of rocks came tumbling down near the entrance. "I'll have to switch tracks!" And Paxton quickly changed tracks, but more rocks came tumbling down, Paxton was now worried. "Now I'm stuck in the avalanche, what can I do?" he asked agitated.
Rusty pondered. "Uh, I suppose you'll have to be lifted onto Owen's platform."
"But how, I'm a standard gauge engine?" spluttered Paxton.
"Well, we did the same to Thomas a couple years ago, I suppose it'll work for you." said Rusty firmly.
"We need to hurry right now!" said the Thin Controller, quite impatiently. And a nearby crane lifted Paxton onto Owen's platform, but he was really heavy.
Owen grunted. "You're... too... heavy..."
"I don't think this will work." frowned Paxton. The rocks in the quarry were beginning to tumble off the quarry floors. Everyone, including the Thin Controller watched as Owen tired, but triumphantly lifted Paxton onto the upper floor. "Phew, I'm free." Paxton let out a calm sigh.
"But what about you, Rusty?" asked Owen.
"Huh, oh no!" Rusty was still on the bottom floor of the quarry and he needed to go to the upper floor quickly. "What can I do?"
"Go through the tunnel to the second floor, and quickly!" answered the Thin Controller.
"Yes sir." replied Rusty.
"Oh, and take me with you, I can't peddle onto the next floor." said the Thin Controller and Rusty chuffed through the tunnel, up and the hill and onto the second floor, now he was safe. "Well, at least we're all safe now." soothed Rusty, more rocks came tumbling down the quarry and it wasn't long before the entire landmark was covered in rocks. Rusty just couldn't believe his eyes, now look what the boulder had done, this was worse then last time's events. The Thin Controller walked out of Rusty's cab inspecting the damage to his quarry, he wasn't pleased. "That blasted boulder has done enough damage to my railway, I'm afraid the quarry will have to be closed down for the month, you'll have do walk elsewhere I'm afraid." he said.
"Yes sir." muttered Rusty, then Skarloey, Rheneas and Luke arrived at the quarry, but they weren't able to enter because of the fallen rocks.
"Flattening funnels! What happened?" asked Rheneas.
"Was it that boulder?" questioned Luke, but no one could hear them as they were all in the wreckage of the quarry grounds.
Then Rusty just realised something. "But sir, how are we going to leave the quarry now?" he asked.
"Huh, what?" The Thin Controller gasped a little and sighed. "Oh, I wasn't thinking about that," he muttered, "I'm afraid you're trapped here for a little while, but I'll make sure help comes soon."
"Alright." muttered Rusty, soon some of the rocks on the quarry floor had been cleared, but not all of them. The narrow gauge engines left the quarry and it had been closed down for the month. All the engines had to work elsewhere, especially Luke, there were many bridges that needed to be repaired as well, so the engines would often be late to their destinations.
"I'm not normally used to working out of the quarry." Luke puffed to Skarloey.
"I know Luke, but this'll have to do for now." The old engine replied. Rusty still wonders what has happened to Boulder, but it seems that he is now sat under the quarry rocks and he is sure that the Boulder's cries for help could be heard from the quarry entrance.
After the quarry closed, the engines were stuck to pulling passengers and shunting trucks throughout the month, they missed working at the quarry.
One morning, Duncan was complaining as he came to pick up some coaches from the depot. "'Tis is boring work," he grumbled, "I want ta go back to work at the quarry."
Rusty was shunting trucks nearby. "Oh Duncan, it's not long now until the quarry reopens." said the little diesel.
"But I've been stuck with passengers all the month, and I wanna have some change." moaned Duncan.
"Well, it's not that bad, is it?" retorted Rusty.
"Hmph, but it can get repetitive, and too 'ard," huffed Duncan, "noow if you'll excuse me, I have a passenger train ta run." And Duncan steamed grumpily away.
To be continued...
- Mr. Percival
- Mrs. Percival
- Pansy and Penny
- Duck (cameo)
- Sir Handel (cameo)
- Peter Sam (cameo)
- Bertram (cameo)
- Mighty Mac (cameo)
- Thomas (mentioned)
- Gordon (mentioned)
- Thumper (mentioned)
- Colin (mentioned)
- The Fat Controller (mentioned)
- Boulder Quarry
- Blue Mountain Quarry
- Skarloey Railway Depot
- Skarloey Bridge
- Rheneas (station)
- The Old Wooden Bridge
- Mr. Percival's House
- Rocky Ridge Line
- Rheneas Viaduct
- Sodor Castle
- This episode is based on the fifth season television episode Rusty and the Boulder, references to said episode are also made.
- The ending of the episode contains a small sneak peek of Duncan's Discovery, indicating that the episode will appear as the follow-up of this episode.