I've had a lot of inquiries regarding our Caledonian Twins, Donald and Douglas. In my latest story, they were involved in an accident with our No. 1, Thomas. They were sent to the Steamworks and had to spend Christmas there . . . They had a very interesting time there. But you must read for yourself.
Merry Christmas, The Author
It was a snowy morning on the Island of Sodor.
Donald and Douglas woke up early.
"Are ye readdie, Douggie?" asked Donald.
"Aye. I'm always ready," replied Douglas.
The Twins had their snowploughs attached to their fronts. Then, they went off to the Yard to find the Works Unit Coach.
"Come oon!" called the Twins to the workmen.
So everybody climbed on board. Then, coupled back to back with the van between their tenders, they set to work.
The Twins were soon puffing onto the Main Line.
"We betta clearr the Main Line foorst," suggested Donald.
"Aye," agreed Douglas.
The snow was no trouble at all today and their snowploughs sliced the snow aside easily.
After they reached Vicarstown, they refilled their tenders with coal and water.
"We best go back and check ool the lines are clear," said Douglas.
"Right so," agreed Donald. "There are wee cuttings along the line which could block the lines."
Once they were done, they set back to Tidmouth.
Meanwhile on Thomas' branch line, Thomas was grumbling about the snow.
"Silly snow. Silly snowplough," he grumbled as he pushed through the snow.
Donald and Douglas reached Tidmouth where the Fat Controller was waiting for them. It was almost noon by now.
"Well done," praised the Fat Controller. "You two can rest for a while now. Then, I'd like you to patrol the lines as usual."
"No problem!" called the Twins.
So the Twins settled for a while and then set off again onto the Main Line.
They were making good time as they passed through Tidmouth Tunnel. There was no snow . . . yet.
Up above the line, Thomas had a problem.
Snow had fallen from the cutting, blocking the line.
"No! It isn't that much. I can bash right through it! We don't have all day."
Thomas tried to push through, but he couldn't without his snowplough.
Meanwhile, the Twins entered the Tunnel, unaware that Thomas was stuck up ahead. When they rushed out of the Tunnel, it was too late!
"Get oot of the way!" cried Donald.
"What's wrong?" asked Douglas.
Donald hit Thomas' train and derailed. Douglas, truly unaware of the situation, crashed into the van and derailed as well.
All three engines were in a terrible mess. Luckily, all crews and the workmen were okay.
Douglas' crew ran back to Knapford to warn the Signalman and to call for help.
Edward and James soon arrived with Rocky.
"Oh dear," called Edward, as he observed the mess.
Edward and James had to clear all the snow. Then, Henry arrived to take Donald and Douglas to the Steamworks.
The Fat Controller also arrived. He was not pleased.
Donald's front was damaged as well as Douglas' tender. Repairs would take beyond Christmas. So, he assigned Thomas, the Twin's job of clearing the snow.
Henry took the Twins to the Works where Victor and Kevin were waiting.
"Oh dear!" cried Victor.
"Yes, the damage is quite major," said Henry.
"I'm afraid we won't be able to get them back onto the tracks until after Christmas."
"Aye, so dat means weel be spending Christmas here," commented Donald.
"Yes. But don't worry, we'll take good care of you," assurred Victor.
"We dat we can't argue," said Douglas.
"We will miss your work in the snow though," said Henry.
"Thomas is good in the snow too."
"Well, maybe. We'll see. But I better get going now. Good bye!"
"Let's get you two over to the repair area," said Victor.
"Alright boss! Anything I can do?" asked Kevin, eagerly.
"Hmm, take Donald's tender and move it into that siding."
"It doesn't look like it needs any major repairs boss."
"Indeed. Still, the workmen will inspect it further."
"It's quite odd being seperated from my tender," said Donald.
"Well what do ya think I felt when you left me in the snow?" asked Douglas.
"Me? That wooz all yoor fault," retorted Donald.
"Hey guys, calm down. It was no one's fault, remember?"
"Fine," sighed Douglas. "Just donna mention it again."
Donald and Douglas were soon moved.
Donald's front needed more repairs than Douglas'.
"At this rate, I'll be oot of here faster than you!" teased Douglas.
"Ye wouldna be laughin' if this wooz you," replied Donald crossly.
Douglas retreated at this and said no more.
Later, the workmen removed the Twins' nameplates.
"Aye, ye best know which of us is which," Douglas called to Victor.
"No worries. You both have 'builder's plates' on your cab. It has your North Western number on it so we'll be able to tell which of you is which when we need to put your nameplates and tenders back."
That gave Donald and Douglas a bit of relief.
The days passed and the days grew colder, but luckily, inside, it was nice and warm.
The Twins were concerned with the weather, however.
"I hope the snow disna get too hard for yon Thomas. He's only a tank engine after all," said Donald.
Presently, James puffed into the Steamworks with some spare parts.
"Here's your spare parts, Victor," he huffed.
"Oh, hullo you two, How've you been?"
"Bored," they replied dully.
"Yeah well, so have I. I'm pulling passengers all day 'cause the Fat Controler keeps scheduling extra trains."
"Are ye're complain' aboot that?" asked Douglas.
"Well, I can actually control trucks! Not passengers. They have 'special needs'."
"Can ya no get any grumpier?"
"Me?! Grumpy?! Pah! Anyways, luckily, Thomas has done a good job in the snow. However, the weather's getting worse. We're expecting a blizzard on Christmas Eve."
Soon, Kevin was done unloading the parts.
"Hope to see you back on the tracks!" he called as he departed.
"Well, this lot here is some spare buffers, coupling rods, couplings, lamps, lamp irons and funnel," announced Victor.
Donald was pleased to here this.
"And also, a new tender coupling."
Douglas smiled as well.
"But we'll start with repairs on you first Donald."
"Very well, besides, I can wait," said Douglas.
However, he soon got tired of waiting.
"Aye, Victor. I'm still here."
"I know, my friend, but we did say that your brother needed repairs more than you."
As the days passed, more and more snow came.
Kevin was excited, but Victor wasn't.
"Wow! The snow looks wonderful!"
"Get back over here Kevin! Snow is nothing but trouble. Accidents can occur because of snow. Don't you remember when Thomas got stuck in the snow and had to be rescued by Terence? Snow is a nusiance and blocks the line."
"You can say that again," called David as he entered the Steamworks.
"Hey everyone. Well, first, I've got your Christmas tree!"
"Thank you," replied Victor.
"Now about the snow," continued the J11. "Today's been the worst and tomorrow, we're expecting a blizzard."
"Tomorrow's Christmas Eve!" exclaimed Kevin.
"But don't worry, Thomas is doing a grand job so all trains will run."
"That's good," sighed the Twins.
Soon, the Christmas tree was set up.
"I feel just like at home," said Kevin.
"Well, you are home, my friend," smiled Victor.
"You know. This may not be oor home, but we're still pleased to have you two for company," said Donald.
"Our pleasure," replied Victor.
The next day, the wind blew hard and it became very cold.
Soon, it was evening.
"Well, no one can go home tonight, I'm afraid," announced the Manager. "I know a lot of you were looking forward to spending Christmas with your families. But, the snow's getting worse and a lot of roads are blocked. It's recomended we stay indoors and keep warm."
"Aye," sighed Donald. "I do wish we were back with the other engines too."
"Don't worry everyone," called Victor. "We have each other. We can celebrate together."
"He's right! Come on! We can still have a good time!" exclaimed Kevin.
So everyone relaxed and everyone enjoyed some lovely Christmas carols.
Finally, past midnight, the snow still fell, but everyone settled down to rest . . .
When they awoke, the sun was shining and the snow was melting.
"Everyone gets the day off!" announced the Manager. "We'll resume your repairs tomorrow," he said to the Twins.
"Well this will be a boring day," sighed Donald.
24 hours later, work resumed.
"All we need now is to give you a new coat of paint," said Victor.
First, the workmen removed their old coat of paint. Next, they applied a special grey undercoat. Finally, their tradition blue livery.
At long last, the Twins were ready for work.
"Just the tender now," said the workmen.
They brought over Donald and Douglas' tenders which had also been repainted.
The workmen also placed back their nameplates.
Both Twin's firemen came to start the fire. Douglas' fireman looked his engine all over. He noticed the nameplate but as he climbed up the cab, he noticed the builder's plate. It read "NWR No. 9" whilst the nameplate read "Douglas".
"That's odd," he thought. "Hey!" he called to Donald's fireman, "check the builder's plate and nameplate!"
Donald's Fireman did and almost fell off the step ladder!
"I dinna sae! Ya both have the wrrong nameplate."
Victor quickly came over.
"What's this? A mishap? We'll soon settle this."
The nameplates were soon switched and both engines soon had steam up by the time the Drivers arrived.
"That could have been a big mishap!" laughed Donald.
"I sae! Indeed," agreed Douglas.
Donald and Douglas were both glad to be back at work and the engines were very pleased with their return.
That was Donald and Douglas' Christmas, at the Steamworks.