Hullo, this is David's Biography. It goes back to 1904, to 2004. Enjoy!
John G. Robinson was the last Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Central Railway, and was a choice for the first CME of the LNER. He was born 1856, and died at Bournemouth on 7th of December, 1943. He designed varies locomotives including the B3-9s, B18s, B19s, C4s, C5s, D10s, D11s, and of course, of what this story revolves on, the GCR Class 9J, or the Robinson J11. These were nicknamed 'Pom-Poms' after the similar exhuast noise as the South African quick-firing gun sounds. All J11s became extinct in 1962, and none preserved. However, one does remain, and here is this preticular J11's story...
1903-1904- Beyer, Peacock, and Company
(screen flashes in black and white- 4,3,2)
(shows David being constructed)
I opened my eyes. I was in Beyer, Peacock, and Company. I was is gray, but puffed out onto a transfer table.
David- Ah yes. Every engine cannot go out unless it has passed some test. On the first day, I steamed out of the Workshop, trembling and nervous. What if it goes wrong? What if someone gets injured? What if...? There were too many 'What ifs?' to name. I decided to just go with the flow. Besides, the Driver and Fireman had been kind. They seemed to understand me very well. Once arriving there, I looked at the mess. Oil, Milk, TAR, water tankers were scattered all over. Coal, gravel, slate, and closed vans too. I just had to gasp. But, my creator, calmed me down. Then, twenty gentlemen with ties came, and ordered me to start arraging the trucks. The trucks giggled as I pushed them around. I started to organize goods trains. The engines seemed to make thing look easy... and fun. Soon, the day was over, and I puffed to a big engine shed. Many engines where there. Some smaller than me, some bigger, and some... about the same size. The works were near, so I could see engines, of my class being built. The inspectors came up to me and said...
Inspector- You did a fine job today. A few more days of that, and you'll be ready for work.
David- I was so delighted, I just had to tell the others.
David- Actually, it was fun with trucks, and I just couldn't understand why. At last in mid-1904, or what to me had seemed like ages! The controller came to see me.
GCR Controller- No. 228, you've done a great job, over the past few months. I find it nessecary to move you to a real railway, the Great Central Railway. You will also be painted in the Great Central Railway's black.
David- I couldn't believe it! I finally was going to be able to talk to other engines, of my class, and other classes. In a big shed full of engines.
1904-1923- Great Central Railway
David- For nearly twenty years, I was scattered over the Great Central area. My first Driver was Welsh and his name was David. I grew fond of that name. And by 1911, my crew often referred to me as 'David'. I enjoyed having a name, given none of my class had been given names.
David- Sometimes, other express locomotives, would say.
Engines- Come on, pull some coaches
David (narration)- I would reply
David- No thanks.
David (narrator)- I seemed to enjoy my time with trucks, and made some songs, like the Dock Song, or Down the Hill. It was just great.
1923-1948- LNER Ownership
After being scattered across the Great Central region, it was decided to give me a home. In 1923, the Great Central Railway became part of the London and North Eastern Railway, and they allocated me to Retford. I was also repainted to LNER black with red lining. 5228 on my cab and LNER on my tender. In 1939, LNER became NE in white due to the war. Goods trains were given priority. After the war, in 1946, my number changed to 4349.
British Railway ownership- Retford/King's Cross/Barnsley/Gorton
All of my brothers and I survived to BR ownership. I was kept at Retford until 1954. Then, I worked at King's Cross for a month. I met a famous visiting engine. Flying Scotsman. After that, the next month, I was allocated to Barnsley. Another month later, I headed over to Gorton, where I was to end my career...
Scrap- 16th of October, 1957 to 31st of January, 1958
(soft sad music)
David- Unfortunely, in 1952, Diesels started to appear, the BR Class 08 by the most. It now has nearly 1,000 of them. 996 to be exact. My brothers and I were worried. Withdrawls of my brothers began in 1954. By the 16th of October, 1957, I was no longer at work...
The day, I found out the news was the 14th of October, 1957. My Driver and Fireman looked worried and sad. I knew something was wrong.
"What's wrong?", I asked.
"British Railways have made their decisions", my Fireman told me.
"What? What decision?", I asked, tears forming. I knew what this meant.
"They will be withdrawing tomorrow. Today, we are to go to your old home, and collect trucks", my Driver explained.
"Beyer, Peacock, and Company", I murmured, as I left.
(sad music ends)
When I arrived at my old works. I sighed remembering the moment I had been unveald.
In my grey works livery. Then, just the next day, I had been painted Great Central Railway's black with red lining. Great Central and the logo stood proudly on my tender. 228, proudly on my tender. Now in BR Black with red lining and 64349. However, those memories struck a thought in my head.
"I should not be sad and wait for the end. I should make the best of my last journey. Come one trucks!:, I yelled. "We've work to do. Get moving!"
It was a splendid journey. Probably the best one yet. In was the next day, when I arrived back at Gorton.
"That was a good run, David", said my Driver.
"We'll miss you", my Fireman said.
I was shunted onto a siding the next day, and was left alone.
A month later, in November, workmen prepared me, and I was taken to Gorton Works.....
(Engine screaming, with worried engines, sparks fly, with sad music)
David (narrating)- So yes. There I was. With only a couple engines before me to be scrapped.
David- But what did you expect? Steam was always heading this way, and if you couldn't be preserved. You would be sent for scrap. But, I don't want to not exist.
David- But still. Here I am, funnel covered, rusted paint with SCRAP on it. Tender without coal, and hopelessly waiting for the end.
Edward- I tell you, Sir. You're not going to find any goods locomotive here. J11s are perfect, but I'm sure the first batch are done with scrap.
David (narrating)- Meanwhile, the engine before me, was just taken in... to be disposed of. To never exist again, to never make another run, to never be able to see, hear, or think. And now
David- I'm next. I remember my final run, at the Great Central Railway, of what was once my home. 40 Great Central trucks, with a Great Central brake van. And I saw my friends, for the last time.
David (narrating)- I closed my eyes to think about my life before this. And at the moment I was taken out of service, replaced by a batch of Diesels. I remember when we were prepared to travel here to be scrapped. My crew has to miss me. Then, I heard.....
David (narrating)- My Driver had just coupled me to a Diesel, ready to take me away. Suddenly, everything grew silence. Suddenly, everything grew silence. I broke the silence.
David- OK..? What are you doing. It is disposal time.
STH- No! You are coming with me.
David (narrating)- I couldn't believe what had happened....
1958 and 1959- On Sodor
David (narrating)- I was coupled up to the blue engine, and he pulled me away. Out of the Scrap Yard, and out across a bridge.
Edward- I never thought I'd see the day.
STH- Just goes to show Edward, that you can find a goods locomotive in the scrap heap.
Edward- You are a J11?
David (narrating)- Edward asked me
David- Of course I am. And proud of it too.
David (N)- We were soon at a place with many Steam engine parts. Funnels, wheels, domes. There was a hot air blower, paint foundery, repair shed, hoist, and turntable.
David (N)- the Fat Controller began.
STH- Crovan's Gate is looking a tad too crowded. Let me speak to the Steamworks Manager.
David (narrating)- Whilst they were away. Edward and I struck up a conversation
David- So, where exactly am I?
Edward- Well, you're on Sodor, the North Western Railway, in Crovan's Gate Steamworks.
David- Why do you need me?
Edward- Goods trains. We needed an engine who was meant to pull goods only. Many engines think trucks are a nuisance, and feel they are too important to pull them.
David- Well, I actually think trucks are fun.
Edward- So does Stepney. You'll be a great help to our railway. You'll probably be working on my Branch Line.
David (narrating)- Just then the Fat Controller arrived. I waited anxiously.
STH- Well, the Steamworks Manager says that they cannot fix you until 1959. That's six months from now, so we will put you in the shed. All the engines will try to visit you as often.
David (narrating)- I just wanted to whistle, but I couldn't, so I just wondered about years to come.
For three years I wasn't in service. But, at every moment, I knew, that, eventually I would be in service. Finally, on March 27th, 1962, I was ready to go out again. The Fat Controller came to see me.
"David, you will recieve a pair of nameplates. But, I want to ask you some questions. First, what do you want on your tender?"
"Great Central Railway, please", I replied.
"Next, what colour do you want?"
"Black with red lining."
"And last of all, before you can get back in service. You need to take a test run. So, you will have to pull five loaded coaches with passengers", the Fat Controller told me.
"Passengers, coaches, with... like people, Sir?", I asked.
I knew I did not know a single thing about coaches, passengers, or any of that. If I did take the offer, I could wreck it... and myself. I knew I couldn't do this, so I told the Fat Controller.
"You see Sir...."
"Very well. In that case, there are some trucks that need to be taken out of here."
It was arranged. Engines were anxious to see me. Many engines had only seen me being rebuilt.
"Here it goes", I said as I pulled the trucks away.
Later, the Fat Controller came to see me.
"Well, David. That was impressive work. So, all i can say is. Welcome to the North Western Railway.
And now, I had another true home. The Island of Sodor.
1962- Delete and David
It was now May. I was enjoying my daily goods train, along with a pick up goods at 3, and ocassional late night runs. One day, I was at Tidmouth Sheds. Edward and I usually stayed at Wellsworth, but I had helped Edward up a hill, whilst he had been taking a passenger train to Tidmouth. Edward and I were talking when a green tender engine backed down.
"I worked at Immingham, Retford, King's Cross, and Gorton before coming here", I said.
"I only worked on the Furness Railway before coming here in 1915, and your eight years younger than me."
"Idiot fitter!", the green engine roared.
"What's wrong Delete", Edward asked.
"The fitter put the wrong headcode", Delete replied.
"So instead of a headlamp on your smokebox, you had two headlamps on your footplate."
"Yes. its the fitter's fault."
"No it isn't", I burst out. "You should've checked your headcode."
"ME. That's the fitter's job. I was sure that my headcode was correct."
"I don't think you did", I retorted.
"I did too", he replied.
"Alright! Shut up! Both of you", Edward yelled. "David your late goods run."
"And I'm going to get a polish", Delete told me.
And we were off.
Later, Edward was talking to Thomas.
"You know", began Edward. "I thought David and Delete were going to get along. I mean, they both have the same letter to begin, both are tender engines, and both pull trucks."
"There are major differences Edward", replied Thomas. "They have different liveries. They also have different numbers, and come from different railways. David is older than Delete by 46 years. And they have different jobs."
"They both pull trucks", reminded Edward.
"But", continued Thomas, "David doesn't pull coaches. Delete pulls trucks, but does he enjoy it? No. So, there."
The next day, I was preparing to take coal, and slate to Vicarstown. Meanwhile, Delete was going to bring back flatbeds of bricks to Tidmouth. I set off. I liked working on Edward's Branch Line, but the Main Line was good chance to stretch my wheels.
I was enjoying my run so much, I didn't notice the trucks push me a tad. That, made me pass the points onto Delete's line, and past Crovan's Gate!
Delete saw me. I saw Delete.
"Out of the way!", we shouted at each other.
One moment we were on the rails, the next a cloud of slate and coal, and red bricks flew and dented us.
"Ouch!", we exclaimed.
"So they both derailed?", asked the Fat Controller.
"Yes", replied my Driver. "Both"
"Well, we'll send the Breakdown Train tomorrow. It's getting late now."
That night, we worked out our differences.
"I'm sorry for saying it was your fault", I said at last.
"I sorry I said it was the fitters", Delete replied. "I was only blaming the fitter, because I was upset. The first of my class, Thompson B1, had been scrapped. No. 1000/61000. Just this April. More are already withdrawn."
"All of the J11s are scrapped. And the only J11/5. The last J11/3 is in the scrapyard", I replied.
"Suddenly, I realize how similar we are", Delete added.
There was a long silence.
"So,...", I began.
So, from that very moment, we've the firmest of friends.
Months had now passed. It was now early December. Snow had fallen early too, so every engine was having to wear a snowplough. I, knew the importance of the snowplough. Unfortunely, some engines didn't.
"Snow's silly soft stuff", complained Thomas one day.
The engines, even me, rolled out eyes. For me, it was the first time I'd heard Thomas' complaints about snowploughs, but for the others, they had heard it.
"Donald and Douglas! You should've cleared my Branch Line."
"Och! Ya really expect us to clear ya wee Branch Line", complained Donald.
"We, have betterr thins ta do", agreed Douglas.
"Stupid weather. Thankfully, it can't get any worse."
But they did.
The next day, I collected a flatbed and brake van, and came to see the Fat Controller.
"Our Christmas Tree has arrived", he said to me. "I need you to fetch it."
"Right away, Sir!", I replied and was off.
"The weathers heading for the worse", I whispered mysteriously to my Driver.
It was. By the time I was out of the Steamworks. Soft snow had started to fall.
"I think it's best we take the snowplough", advised the Fireman.
Once I had my snowplough fitted, I was off.
"If snow hits on Christmas Eve, it'll turn into the worst winter since 1910. That was horrible."
"Snow undered, much."
Soft snow fell for two weeks, and it happened on the day of Christmas Eve.
I was at Vicarstown, bringing some empty trucks back. Just then, the wind started hollowing.
"That wind is really hard", I said.
"I'll cover up the fire", said my Fireman.
Soon, we were ready. But the snow and wind made it hard for it to see... and breathe. I reached Henry's Tunnel, but was exhuasted. We took a break, and set off again.
"I must make it. I must make it. I must make it to Tidmouth", I said along the way.
But there was one snow block after another. It made it seem as if Donald and Douglas hadn't done any work.
We saw a snow bank, high and thick, on the bottom of Gordon's Hill.
"We'll never get pass that", sighed my Driver.
"We can", I replied confident. "Listen up you trucks! You need to push with all your might."
"Why so?", they replied.
"Because I said so", I replied and bumped them.
"Fine!", they shouted back.
So, we charged down. I hoped I wouldn't derail. But we made it!
"Horray!", I shouted.
I got to Tidmouth, five minutes early. I was quickly uncoupled, and went to Tidmouth Sheds.
It was dark, and looked empty.
"Hey, were is everyone?", I asked.
My heart sank. My first real Christmas on this Island, and they...
But then, the lights turned on. I was surprised.
"Merry Christmas, David", all the engines shouted.
There was a tall Christmas tree in the middle, and thirteen more engines around.
"We thought you should have the best first real Christmas on Sodor", began Percy.
"So, we arranged it, espicially for you", added Delete.
"Come on. Enjoy the party", offered Duck.
(We Wish You a Merry Christmas plays)
And it truly was the best Christmas ever. With my new friends on the Island of Sodor.
1964- David's First Passenger Train
One night, Gordon was telling us how undignified it was for tender engines to pull trucks.
"And then, I had to pull those stupid silly trucks", complained Gordon. "What purpose do truck serve anyway?"
"They carry supplies people need", I replied. "I know because I'm a goods only engine."
"Your bound to pull passengers anyday", Gordon said to me.
The next day, I was waiting for Percy to bring trucks of coal. He had a mail route, so I had offered to shunt the trucks to fill the hopper.
Meanwhile at Tidmouth, two boys were playing with a ball, when one hit Gordon.
"Ouch!", cried Gordon, and his firebar collapsed.
It was too late to stop it from going out by the time his Driver and Fireman came back.
Henry took Gordon away, and the stationmaster came to see me.
"David, you must take the Express."
"No", I replied.
"You will, at my orders."
"But I, am a goods only locomotive. Goods only", I retorted.
"Nonsense, I saw a picture of your class on the internet, and you had a Express haedcode."
"That's because a idiotic fitter put an extra lamp on the left side. I even met that engine. You'll never see a J11 pull a passenger train."
"Well, your the first."
I groaned. I wheeshed steam at the boys, and they ran away to their parents.
Finally, the Guard blew his whistle. But I started too quickly! I left the Guard behind!
"Hurry, hurry!", I called to the coaches.
I was bumping them, and people were being bounced around.
"Stop... being... so... rough", called the coaches.
I passed Knapford, and through Crosby Tunnel, and Crosby, until finally, miraculously, I was flagged down at Wellsworth.
"Hullo", said the signalman. 'Your not light engine."
I looked at my headcode. Indeed, it was only a single headlamp on the middle lamp iron. I knew I had more, but I said, "If I have the wrong headcode, and I left my lamps behind, doesn't that mean I can't pull the train."
"Your right. I'll send for another engine at once", replied the signalman.
Delete soon arrived.
"Hey there, David", he said to me. "The Fat Controller said he had never intended to send you to pull the Express but the statiomaster wanted to take charge."
He whistled as he left. And I puffed home, content.
1968- The Flying Scotsman's Visit
Gordon the Big Engine was steaming through Crosby Tunnel, through Knapford..
"Can't be late, can't be late, can't be late", he chanted.
I was waiting for him. I looked at the clock, as Gordon steamed in.
"Right on time", I congradulated.
"Thank you", he said and puffed away.
I had been helping some workmen replace rails at Tidmouth, so I went to sleep at Tidmouth Sheds. When I arrived Gordon was talking.
"So you see", he said as I puffed in, "The Flying Scotsman is coming to visit. We must show him, that this is a grand railway like the BR or the LNER."
"Don't worry Gordon", we mumbled.
"Very well", finished Gordon, and he went to sleep.
The next day, the Fat Controller came to see us.
"Tomorrow, the Flying Scotsman is coming to visit. Now, I just need a couple volunteers."
"Me, me, me!", cried James.
"OK", the Fat Controller replied. "You will move and arrange all the trucks, blocking the way. There, I think are only a couple trucks of sludge."
"And, I was deciding, that you David, shall clear the line."
"Thank you, Sir! Will, I meet Flying Scotsman? I'd like to talk to him again", I said, thrilled.
"Yes", the Fat Controller replied.
"You spoke to my brother?", Gordon asked.
"That's amazing", agreed Henry.
"Yes, I did. Once in 1954 at King's Cross. We talked about the old days, and other things. I wonder if he'll recongize me?, I replied.
The next day, early. I made my way to Vicarstown, with all four lamps fitted. Flying Scotsman was to arrive at Crovan's Gate for an inspection, then go non-stop to Tidmouth. I trundled over the bridge to the British Railway.
Later, I made my way back, whistling excidetly. This allowed people to know, engines were coming through. People were at the Steamworks at Crovan's Gate. The narrow guage engines crowded in there too.
I came, followed a couple minutes later, by LNER No. 4472, Flying Scotsman. He whistled as he came into view.
He was placed an the turntable, and a workmen said to me, "Refill his tenders please."
I was surprised by the weight. But, astonished that he had two! I had to talk to him. Filling the tender would take a while, so I went to talk to the Flying Scotsman.
Luckily, people had been so desperate to get photos of him, they were done, and with his crew.
"Hullo", I greeted nervously.
"Wait", he replied. "David, is it?"
"Yes, it is me."
"After all these years, I thought you were scrapped!"
"Oh, no. I was saved at the last moment by the Fat Controller."
"I see. How's Gordon getting along?"
"Yesterday, he arrived five minutes early with the Express. How many A3s are preserved?"
"Actually, you won't believe it, but Gordon and I are the last A3s."
"You probably know how I feel, being the last J11. The last J11/3 was cut up four years ago. I'll be right back."
I got his tenders, brought them, said, "See you later."
Then, I went to clear the line.
1969- A Friend in Need
One day, James and Thomas were working at Brendam Docks. Thomas had had to bring coal. James was shuting for a punishment. I was there too, bringing in China Clay from the China Clay Railway.
James was watching Thomas shunt his trucks, at High Bay, a fifty foot high loading dock. He now had to switch onto the other line. Thomas, only just fit between the points and the buffers.
He went to fast, and crashed through the buffers, and landed half-on, half-off the track!
"Help! Help!", screamed Thomas.
I heard his calls, and immeditely went to see want was wrong.
James was laughing.
"How funny he looks, crying for help, when there is no danger", laughed James.
But I saw carefully, and saw Thomas was dangling! He was terrified! And so was his crew. They didn't want to abonden their engine.
"That's not funny!", I answered, and I took action.
"We have to rescue him", I told my Driver. "We'll puff slowly."
I didn't want to push him into the water, and leave myself in danger.
Soon, I arrived were Thomas was dangling.
"Are we glad to see you", sighed Thomas' Driver.
"Now then', I said. "Listen to me"
I heard small pieces starting collaspe.
"First, I will couple up to Thomas. But, I'll need an extra person."
Just then, the Guard from Thomas' train came up.
"Good. Now Driver, Fireman, you will put the reverser on, once, the Guard couples me up to Thomas. Then, you two will jump out. Then the rest, is up to me. Now go, we don't have much time!", I ordered.
Everyone did exactly what I said.
"Wow. It went better than expected."
Edward arrived, with the Fat Controller.
"Oh, no!", cried the Fat Controller, "Thomas is going to fall."
"Don't worry, Sir. David is on it. And James wipe that silly smile off your face", Edward said
"Oh! I'm thirsty", I cried.
"We only have a little more water left", cried the Fireman.
I knew the chain could snap, if I pulled too hard, but, I took the risk!
"We made it!", shouted the Driver, as a piece of bricks tumbled into the sea.
And, desperately thirsty, I pulled Thomas to safety.
"Well done", said the Fat Controller. "As a reward, you will get a drink, as well as a wash. James, please, get him some water, and then take him to Crovan's Gate."
"Why me?", complained James.
"You should've been the first one to take action", explained the Fat Controller.
"Darn it", said James, and then, he took me away.
At least I had helped a friend in need.
1970- David & The Scottish Twins
Snow had come early to the Island of Sodor. Most engines, were snowploughs, but don't actually clear the lines.
That is if...
(Donald and Douglas' series 2 theme starts)
you were Donald and Douglas the Scottish Twins.
Donald and Douglas were two blue Scottish engines, and by a series of mishaps and deputation had been allowed to stay on Sodor.
I knew them by reputation, not personally. They had been working on The Little Western for the time I was here, so I hadn't got to meet them. One day, I was a Wellsworth, shunting my goods train to take to Tidmouth
When a deep Scottishh voice said, "Need some help with that?"
"Not now, Donald", I replied.
"We'd be happy to help", said a light Scottish voice.
"No thank you, Douglas. I have it sorted out", I replied once more, and I puffed away.
Donald and Douglas snickered.
Later, I had to go to Wellsworth. Donald and Douglas were also there, so we three puffed into the shed.
Workmen were tighting the bolts on my side-rod.
"Ya didn' get our names right", said Douglas.
"Sorry", I replied.
"That's oka'. Many engines don' get out names right", added Donald.
"One of my side-rod bolts is loose. I don't get the importance of a side-rod", I replied.
"Niether do us", agreed Donald.
Well, at least we agreed on something for a day.
The next day, I was taking some china clay to Tidmouth. I was reaching Suddery when...
"You've broken you middle left side-rod bolt", said my Fireman.
"Can't we continue?", I asked.
"I'm afraid not", said the Driver. "We can't drag the side-rod against the line. We also can't unlosen the bolts on the two. If we could you could make it on one side-rod."
"So, does that mean..", I began.
"Yes. You're going to have to stay here until tomorrow, over the night", finished my Fireman
It was cold that night, the wind blew and snow fell. I was cold and shivvering.
Finally, the sun rose, and I started to feel warmer. Douglas came.
"We brought a mechanic", he said. "You'll be fixed in no time."
Then, Donald came and coupled up to me.
"Thank you", I said.
"Any time", they replied
And we puffed home.
1971- Dirty Work
One day, Percy was bringing trucks down from the Mines at Vicarstown.
"Stupid, trucks", he grumbled.
I was resting at Wellsworth. It had been a long day. Suddenly, I saw Percy rushing down the hill at full speed!
"Runaway", I shouted.
The signalman saw Percy, and diverted him into a siding.
I took him to Crovan's Gate, where the Fat Controller was waiting for us.
"Well, after today, Percy will not be able to work at the Mines. At least until his bufferbeam is fixed.. So you David, will work at the Mines."
"Yes sir", I replied.
The next day, I puffed to the Mines where Dodger the Gresley J50, was waiting.
"Let's get these trucks sorted out", he said, and we got to work.
I was loading some trucks onto a chute, so was Dodger, but he bumped me right into the coal!
He laughed, "Good one, eh."
I smiled slightly.
Usually, my .3 o clock goods train starts at Tidmouth, picks up and terminates at Vicarstown. Today, the Fat Controller had made an arrangement, so I could start at Vicarstown, and terminate at Tidmouth.
"Good bye!", called Dodger as I departed.
I was already covered in black soot, which didn't matter since I had black paint. Upon aproaching Crovan's Gate, where a load of slate waited, I forgot to stop, and
"Darn it. I'm covered in (cough) thick gray dust", I coughed.
I just coupled up to the trucks, and was on my way.
I absoutely enjoyed the long run between Crovan's Gate and Maron. To much, because once again I did not stop in time! Flour shot over me.
"Ugh!", I coughed, dirty work.
At Knapford, a load of lead was waiting from the Lead Mines.
I crashed into that.
"This is becoming a dirty work day", I said.
At Tidmouth, Gordon was watching Diesel shunt some ballast trucks.
"Why do I have to shunt these?", Diesel groaned. "Why can't you shunt them?"
"Because I am a Gresley A3 Pacific with only one brother in existens", Gordon replied. "Now hurry up."
Diesel hurried up, and instead of putting the trucks into a siding, he put them right on my line!
I saw the trucks and whistled, but Diesel just escaped. Gordon gave chase, and I crashed into the ballast!
"Blasted!", I cried.
I was not a pretty sight at Tidmout Harbour.
"Whoa", exclaimed Percy. "What happened to you?"
"All I can say Percy, is that I need a wash, coal, and drink. Today, has been a Dirty Work Day."
1972- The Hottest Day Ever
Summer is always a hot time on the Island of Sodor. But this year, I felt it was too hot. Hotter than usual.
One day, I was shunting at Wellsworth, when Gordon thundered through with the Express. His crew seemed to be in a panic to put out his fire.
"Seems Gordon got overheated", said my Fireman.
"Let's finish this shunting, and on the way home, we'll see what happened", sighed my Driver.
And soon, we were on the way. Presently, my Driver turned a radio.
"And we're expecting even more hot weather tomorrow", said the new reporter.
"Well, it looks like I'm stopping for a drink", I said, starting to feel thirsty.
My Driver let some more water into the boiler and we stopped at Crovan's Gate, where Gordon was looking rather uneasy.
"What happened?", I called, as I backed down next to him.
He sighed febblely.
"We need another engine", Gordon's Driver called to my Driver.
"We'll send for Delete", my Driver called back.
Delete came just as I was backing down to my goods train.
We whistled as we passed.
"I hope that never happens to me", I thought on the way home.
The next day, Oliver brought some ballast from the Small Railway.
"Careful with those trucks", Oliver warned me.
"Yes. Listen to Mr. Oliver please. Those trucks, were banging us around", added Toad.
"Don't worry. I'll take care", I replied. I whistled to them as I left.
I was having a lovely journey. Until, I started to feel thirsty. My water level was high, but I had not water in my boiler, so I beginning to feel hot.
"Hot, hot, hot!", I cried.
But accidently, my Fireman shoveled some more coal into my Firebox.
"HOTTER!", I cried.
"Don;t worry", my Fireman called, "We'll get some more water."
There is a tube between the tender and cab. That tube allows water to flow into the boiler. It is controlled by the Injector. My Driver released the injector to let in water.
Nothing happened. Again, nothing happened.
My Fireman saw why. "Stop!", he yelled. "The water's getting out, the tubes broken, we can't fix it at this speed."
"David", my Driver called, "You'll have to struggle on."
But I was so hot. The heat was worse.
Suddenly, I was cross, I shook my body, and started to slow down.
"Hooray!", my Driver and Fireman shouted from the cab.
Somehow, they were happy. I didn't know why.
"What's happening back there? Who's playing?", I asked crossly.
"No", my Fireman chuckled. "You were so cross, you collasped your firebars. That put out the fire."
"That was a good one. You saved a nasty accident. We'll call for help", my Driver explained.
Soon, Delete came.
"Hullo, old friend. A nice save, I have to say, I could've never done that", Delete said to me.
He pulled me and my train to Crovan's Gate, then took my train to Vicarstown, where the ballast was needed, and came back with the Fat Controller.
"Well, David", the Fat Controller began. "That was a nice save of you."
"Thank you", I replied.
"So, you will get a new set of firebars, and we'll hope this doesn't happen again."
I wearily agreed.
1973- David the Banker
Gordon's Hill is located just up the line from Wellsworth, and is the steepest hill on the Island. Edward the Blue Engine usually helps trains that get stuck up there, including me, up the hill. It is not easy, as sometimes, the other engine, has no breath, so it is all on Edward.
One day, Edward and I were at Wellsworth. Gordon was taking a night Express. Suddenly, there came reports from the station.
"Well, David has no fire, so we'll have to do it I suppose", said Edwards Driver.
"Come on, old chap", said Edward's Fireman. "Gordon is stuck on the hill, and we'll have to help him up."
"Alright", sighed Edward.
"Thank you for coming", Gordon said miserabely.
"Don't worry. We'll be up before you know it", Edward replied.
The two engines puffed and pushed. The express was eight coaches long today.
Edward was out of breath and his wheels hurt him.
Gordon whistled his thanks, but Edward, so out of breath, gravity took him right down, into a siding and off the rails.
Later, as I was preparing to take a goods train to Brendam, Henry passed with the Flying Kipper. He passed Edward, and his Driver contacted us.
"Edward is off. Can you pull him back on the rails before your goods train?", asked Henry's Fireman.
"Right away", my Driver answered.
And I was off.
"Are you OK?", I asked as I neared Edward.
"I'm fine. Just battered", he replied.
I pulled until he was on the rails again, and pulled him to Wellsworth.
"Don't worry, you should be back in service by tomorrow", I soothed. "Your damage isn't too bad."
He was going to say something else, but I left too quickly.
I had a lovely day. I enjoyed my goods trains. Especially, the Main Line Goods, a non-stop goods from Tidmouth to Vicarstown. Soon, I arrived at Tidmouth, rested, then went to my 3 o clock pick up goods.
I arrived early at Wellsworth, so I had a break to see Edward. Presently, Gordon passed with the Express.
"He looks like he'll need a banker", Edward warned.
Gordon slowed to a halt.
"Dang it", he groaned.
Little did I even know what this meant.
"David, you will have to push Gordon up the hill", the statiommaster told me.
I stopped mid-sentence. Edward was in repairs, no engines were around, except me.
"I'm going", I replied.
"Well Gordon, we'll be up in a moment."
It was hard work, but I soon helped the heavy train to the top, ran down, collected my goods train, and was off.
"Well, Edward. Being a banker is quite hard", I said to Edward that night.
"You've done enough for one day", Edward replied, and we went to sleep.
1974- David's Wierd Exhuast Noise
J11s' exhuast noise was similar to South African War quick-firing gun sounds. For that reason, J11s were nicknamed 'Pom-Poms'. It felt great to be in a class that had a nickname. Like the A4s, were Streak Liners, Other As were 'Pacifics'. D10s, and D11s, of my own designers were 'Directors'. And there were other nicknames for different types of engines. I was certain that none of the engines had ever heard this noise, but one day it was quiet at Tidmouth. Percy was resting, when I puffed in, Percy was surprised but didn't show it.
"Hullo, David", he said uneasy.
"Hullo, little Percy. Nice quiet day isn't it", I replied.
"Yes, but, at the station it's probably very noisy. In fact, that reminds me. I have to go shunt Gordon's Express! Bye!", and he was off. Quickly, and out of sight in almost an instant.
"Whoa! Stop little Percy!", shouted Gordon, as Percy puffed into the station.
"Sorry, but have you ever heard David's exhuast noise?", asked Percy.
"I have. I'm thinking of telling the Fat Controller. It doesn't look good."
"Ask all the engines if they've heard that noise. I sounds like a quick-firing gun sound."
Gordon heard my exhuast noise as I puffed into Tidmouth.
"Hmph!", he grunted.
Later, at the Sheds there was a meeting.
"Yes", said Edward, "I've heard it before. I think..."
"We have to tell the Fat Controller", interuppted James. "Who knows what the poor engine is suffering."
"No", said Edward, but no one was listening to him.
They started to wonder why I made that noise, and how to tell the Fat Controller.
"The next day we'll ask David how he feels", agreed the engines at last.
Edward rolled his eyes.
The next day, Thomas had to take some vans borrowed from Wellsworth.
"Right on time", I said.
"Wait", said Thomas. "How do you feel?"
"Fine. I think I wheeze a little, but I'm fine", I replied.
"But, your exhuast noise, isn't..."
"No. That's normal. We J11s make those sounds coincidently. We're nicknamed 'Pom-Poms'. They do sound like quick-firing guns in the South African War."
"Oh", said Thomas.
"It is, I agree, a wierd exhuast noise."
1975- In the Dark
Ocassionally, I have night goods trains. I like traveling in the dark, so I take the most of these runs. Today, I was departing a Vicarstown, and bringing back some vans the British Railway had borrowed.
I set off, to Rocky Ridge, and extention that was a shortcut to Crovan's Gate. It then continued to Kildane, and Maron. I had never taken that route. My headcode was one single lamp on the right side of my bufferbeam. But once I was at Rocky Ridge, the light suddenly went dark.
"Hey! Who turned out the lights?", I cried.
My Fireman carefully lit a torch, and examened my lamp. It was obvious, a rock, and several pieces of broken glass stood there.
"Get the back up", my Fireman called to my Driver.
Another lamp was put. But as soon as my Fireman went away, another rock fell.
"We'll only have one more after this, and that's the red one", my Fireman said to me.
"Now then, let's take the other way. It'll be safer", added my Driver.
I was backing out, when I saw the Express headcode!
"Quick!", I cried.
I moved into a siding! Too quickly! I was in time, to see my lamp fall off, and into the no where.
"That... was the last one", I said.
Now we were alone, with nothing to guide us, and nothing to see.
"I think we should stop at Crovan's Gate for more lamps", I said to my crew.
"Right", they agreed.
But what I didn't know, is that we had Crovan's Gate already. The red light was too dim to see. What I also didn't know is that Sodor was black out, with no light, electricity in general. Worse was to come.
I had made it to Crosby without knowing it. There is a tunnel just east to the station. It is a mile long, and was collasping! No one could warn us, as the phone lines were down, so that meant the Cab Radio Telephones too.
"Do you hear that?", my Driver asked.
"Yes", replied the Fireman.
"It sound like...."
"The tunnels collasping!", all three of us yelled.
Quickly, my Driver turned on the regulator, but put on the reverser instead. The brake van hit the rubble, the Guard quickly climbed back in. My Fireman opened the fire, so the Driver could see. I was off soon enough.
"That was close", I said.
"It certainly was", my crew added.
I passed Knapford without knowing it, and arrived at another covered station. It was Tidmouth, but I didn't know this just yet, but I was tired so I took a break.
"Were are we?", I asked.
"Lemme check", said my Fireman, lighting another torch.
"Oh", he said a couple seconds later. "Were at..."
"Crosby", I guessed. "No, Crovan's Gate, or Kellsthorpe Road. Wait, Wellsworth."
"Oh, I knew that", I replied embarassed.
"How 'bout we rest here until dawn, considering that we won't be able to make it back to the sheds."
The next day, I woke up to see Henry in front of me.
"David. Where the blaze have you been? We were worried for you. We were about to make a search party. I guess I found you", Henry said.
I told him all about it. The Fat Controller arrived.
"Well David, the night was certainly an adventure to remember", the Fat Controller said.
"It was, and I'm tired", I replied.
"I was thinking so. Donald will have you in the shed in no time, and he will handle your goods train."
As I slept, I thought about my recent adventure, and those to come.
1976- Over to London
I puffed out of Crovan's Gate with some slate trucks, and onto Vicarstown. Usually, I bring coal from my pick up goods, and slate. And usually, an engine from the British Railway comes to pick them up. Today's coal was to be taken to York, the National Railway Muesum.
Dodger was also at Vicarstown.
"I'll shunt your trucks for you", he said to me. "Just tell me which."
Soon, he was done and took a coal train back to Tidmouth.
"See you!", he called to me as he left
I was moved to a siding. I was tired, it had been a long day. I waited for the engine to come, it didn't. Minutes passed. I was getting impatient.
The stationmaster called to my Driver and Fireman. I overheard some parts on the conversation
"The Diesel has failed"
"If he agrees."
"... Probably will."
"We'll tell him."
They came back excited
"Well, David", said my Fireman, "We're going to London, and York."
"The Diesel coming to pick the trucks failed, so were to take these trucks", my Driver explained.
I was thrilled!
"Take care", warned the stationmaster.
"Don't worry", I soothed. "If Gordon did it, then I can do it."
It was not long until we reached the bridge leading to London, and we soon arrived at Barrow, where I saw the broken Diesel, and some mechanics.
It was a splendid journey. I passed King's Cross, and stopped.
"Wow!", I gasped. "I haven't been here, um. In nearly twenty years."
We went to York, and rested there, and came home next day.
"How was it?", alot of engines were asking me.
"Some things changed. Such as shops, the road, colour of houses. I haven't been there since 1959. It was great", I told the other engines.
All day, I had to tell engines what it was like. Gordon had gone, but hadn't enjoyed it. They said I gave much more information than Gordon.
1977- David and Dodger's Brave Efforts
Dodger is a Gresley J50. He works at the quarry or mines. Mostly at the mines near Vicarstown. He is mischevious, and enjoys a good laugh, as I found out from Delete.
One day, I was waiting at Wellsworth. My injector had failed, and I had just been repaired, so Donald and Douglas had taken care of my goods trains. But I didn't want to sit around, I wanted to work. At last, the Fat Controller arrived.
"I know you didn't want to stay here all day, so I have a job for you", the Fat Controller said to me. "So, you can shunt at Vicarstown Mines. Dodger needs some help, and meanwhile your their, you can bring the night goods with you."
"Yes, Sir!", I said, and quickly puffed away.
As I puffed down the hill near the Mines, I looked around for Dodger. He was no where to be seen.
"Strange", I said cautionly.
"Maybe the Fat Controller was wrong", my Driver said. "Maybe he's working in the quarrys."
"If he's not around... that means!"
(coal trucks crash, and coal flies)
"Ha ha!", laughed Dodger. "I got you good. Here I am. Now let's to work!"
Workmen mine for coal in the tunnels. There is a rack rail that is controlled by technology now-a-days, and then the engines can take the trucks to the coal hopper in the mines, or to places like Tidmouth, Crovan's Gate, or even the British Railway. I shunted four trucks, and the rack rail took them down, for workmen to load it up.
I went for a break meanwhile.
Suddenly, there was shouting from the office.
"The RR has failed!"
"How will we get the coal?"
"We better go and see what that's about", my Driver said to us.
Dodger was there when we arrived.
"Four trucks, pathetic", the manager said. "We can rescue them tomorrow. It's getting late now."
"No", I said. "I need them for my night goods."
"Then how will we rescue them", the manager said to me.
"I'll go in", Dodger said suddenly.
"What?....", the manager and Dodger's Driver asked.
"I'm going in to pull the trucks out", Dodger replied.
"No. Its too risky. David should go."
"Considering my weight, the rails could collaspe before I know it", I added.
"Well, here's my plan. A chain pulley will be attached to David. I will go in carefully, couple up to the trucks, and David and I will work our way out."
"Why the pulley?", asked Dodger's Driver.
"So I don't get lost, and in case", he finished.
"Very well", agreed the manager.
Quite soon, I was attached to the pulley, and Dodger was on the way.
"Careful", I shouted as he entered the tunnel.
I knew he could do it.
Soon, we heard.
"We're coupled to the trucks!"
Just then, the signal started breaking up, but that was not all.
"Water.... no... pulll... up."
"They must be in trouble", I cried. "We have to pull now."
My Fireman turned on the pulley, and we eased Dodger out.
"Oof", said Dodger relieved.
"We lost signal", explained the Fireman.
The next day, the Fat Controller came to see us.
"Well, David and Dodger. You both showed brave efforts at the Mines yesterday. Thanks to that, the trains ran smoothly today. As a reward, I am giving you new coats of paint. Any colour you want."
We looked at each other.
"We'll keep our same livery", we said together.
Dodger and I are just a firm as friends as Delete and I.
1978- David, Bill, and Ben
Just beyond Brendam on Edward's Branch Line, there is the China Clay Works. Two twin tank engines work there. Their names are Bill and Ben. They are yellow, were the numbers 1 and 2, and are cheeky.
One day, I was taking some empty trucks to Brendam. Bill and Ben were suppose to get the trucks and fill them. When I arrived, they were waiting for me.
"Here comes the goods engines, Ben!", cried Bill.
"Have you ever pulled coaches?", Ben asked me.
"Yes, one time fourteen years ago, a short bit", I replied.
"Wow. For a goods engine, you probably didn't enjoy it", Bill said.
"Perhaps he did", Ben argued.
Then, they started arguing about if I enjoyed pulling passengers.
"OK! Stop", I cried. "Just go and load my trucks."
"Right away", they said, and took my trucks.
They returned, and started arranging them into a line. But they were sometimes silly, and got a truck each, and charged towards eachother.
They said it was, "An easier way to shunt trucks."
I laughed when they said that
But, quite soon, they did have the trucks arranged.
"Have a safe trip", shouted Ben.
"He probably won't", said Bill.
"Yes he will."
"Shut up. He will."
I laughed as they started arguing whether I would have a safe trip back to Tidmouth or not.
Later, in the sheds, BoCo and Edward were explaining the twins to me.
"They're little rascals", said BoCo. "They nearly popped my eyes out when I first met them."
"But don't worry. I'll settle them if they misbehave. Did they?", Edward told me.
"No, they only argued if I enjoyed pulling passengers and if I would have a safe trip", I replied. "It was funny."
"Sometimes, their arguements do get funny", Edward and BoCo agreed.
1979- The New Diesel
Goods arrive night and day at the Docks, so sometimes the workload is too heavy for Edward, BoCo, and I to handel, which leaves the Docks crowded with trucks. The Fat Controller made arrangements for an engine to help, which we found out one night.
I was having my wheels oiled.
"My wheels ache. We need an engine to help. I've been taking about five trucks beyond my maxium limit."
"I understand. I had to take a goods train, and it was heavy. At least I didn't have any hills to climb.
Just then, the Fat Controller arrived.
"Now then, I know that you three have been working real hard, so I have found it necessary to get an engine to shunt at Brendam. He will arrive tomorrow."
The next day, we heard a horn.
"What?" I was confused. "Edward, that was a horn, not a whistle."
"Let's go outside and meet it", suggusted BoCo.
So we did. The Fat Controller was waiting for us.
Really, I gasped and was speechless because I was uneasy on diesels, but I knew I had to pretend that I was amazed by its look, and colour.
"I'm glad you like it", the Fat Controller said to me. "This is Salty, a BR Class 07, who worked at Southampton Docks."
"Hullo, me hartes", Salty greeted.
"Hullo", replied Edward and BoCo.
I managed to flash a smile.
Later, I was to collect some China Clay. Edward and I were talking about Salty at Suddery.
"Were you really amazed by Salty?", Edward asked me.
"No. I was uneasy. Maybe, by luck I can avoid Salty when I go to Brendam."
"Not sure. You may avoid him a couple times, but you'll go there hundreds of times. What's the chance of avoiding him every one of those hundreds of times. Besides, from Bill and Ben, they say he's fun. He has plenty of stories, and dealts the trucks well."
"I guess so."
"Don't be nervous David", Edward told me as he left, but I was.
As soon as I got to Brendam Docks, I shunted my trucks into place, and hurried to the Coal Hopper and Water Tower.
"I'm safe", I thought, until I saw the Diesel Fuel Tanker.
"Oh no! Surely, with my luck, Salty needs refueling... now!"
I was right unfortunely. Salty came, with his two beep horn.
"Hey there, matey", Salty said to me.
"Oh, um, erm. Hi", I managed to say.
"Bill and Ben tell me you too are a master at trucks too. Arr. Keep up the good work", he told.
I had a mixture of flatterness, and nervousness, but I manager to call out a nervous, "Thanks!", before he left.
I came back to my trucks, just in time to see Ben shunt some extra trucks onto the train.
"Wait! What are you doing?", I cried.
"Manager told us to shunt some extra trucks. Vicarstown needs some china clay", explained Ben.
"Alright. I was going there anyway."
I knew I might not be able to handle the load, and I pulled hard as I left the Docks.
I passed Wellsworth, and onto Gordon's Hill. But the train was heavy, and I was stuck.
"We'll need a banker", said my Fireman.
"I'll call Control for one", my Driver replied.
I heard the familiar two-beep horn.
"Oh no!", I thought.
"Don't worry, me hartey. We'll be up the this hill soon enough", Salty told me.
So, Salty and I pulled and pushed, and soon I was at the top of the hill. As I left, I managed to blow a loud confident whistle to Salty.
Later, I was telling the other engines about it.
"I guess he's not bad at all."
"I told you", Edward said, smiling.
My fear of diesels had been cured. I would often talk to Salty, or even listen to a story of his. Edward, BoCo, Bill, Ben, and I are proud to have him as part of the Wellsworth-Brendam Branch Line fleet.
1980 The Extension-Year 1
Sodor was explanding, and the 1980s were just the beginning. Brendam Docks is always packed with goods that need to be taken out. Goods arrived night and day, and with the new crane Cranky, things ran fast. Too fast perhaps.
"Look, I can't take both goods trains", I complained to Cranky one day.
"Your a J11 aren't you?", Cranky asked me.
"Then, I'm sure you can take both trains easily! Really Useful Engines, don't complain."
Salty came along.
"Ignor, and puff away", he whispered. And I did.
The Dock Manager told me, "You will take the china clay train, and your local goods."
"Dang it", I thought. "I surely can't manage both trains."
I was right. I was tired when I reached Suddery.
"Well", my Driver began. "We definently can't make it to Wellsworth at this rate."
"Then, what are we going to do?", I asked.
"We'll uncouple the Chine clay trucks, take those up, come down here, collect the rest of the trucks, and we'll be done. And look, there's a brake van", my Fireman explained.
So, we coupled up the brake van, the Guard got in, and we pulled out. It was a relief to have less weight on my coupling. BoCo was waiting for me.
"Right on time", he told me.
"But that's just half."
I came down to Suddery, collect the remaining trucks, and shunted them at Wellsworth.
I was tired when I got into the shed. Later, Edward, BoCo, and I were discussing this problem.
"I just can't take two goods trains at a time. Sure, I'm a J11, one of the most popular goods engines, but I just can't."
"I agree", Edward and BoCo put in.
We discussed this until we fell asleep.
The next day, the Fat Controller arrived with a map of Sodor, the North Western Railway, the Wellsworth-Brendam Branch Line, and a piece from Knapford to Brendam.
"What's all that about?", asked BoCo.
"This is my plan", began the Fat Controller.
"Plan to what?", I asked.
"I know that you have been working very hard to keep Brendam Docks in order", the Fat Controller continued. "So, I have made plans for an extention."
"Extention?", Edward asked.
"Yes. It will allow Main Line Engines to collect trucks, and take them back up to Knapford. Your workload will be reduced."
When he left, we started making our thoughts.
"Well, if it means to help with trucks", I said. "Its a pretty good idea."
Of course, the line needed contruction, so we had to 'make-do' for the meantime. But we knew, it would be worth it. At last, the day came. All the engines were at Knapford, whistling to be chosen.
Everything grew silent.
"OK. Now, let me see.... OK. David, you will test the line, since the line was opened to help you."
"Thank you, Sir", I replied.
I took a load of lead from the Knapford Lead Mines, and went along the extention. It ran by the coast, and it was marvelous. I liked the see breeze in my face, and it was a lovely site.
I didn't know this. There were two lines. One was complete, and the other half-way. The points weren't yet connected to a signalbox, and the line I was on, was set to unfinished line.
(Slides off the rails)
"Blasted!", I cried.
All of my six driving wheels were off.
"Surely I won't be able to get back on the rails", I called to my crew.
"You will. But, it'll have to be done carefully", my Fireman called back.
I sighed. Slowly, my Driver eased my rear wheel onto the rails, which helped the centre wheel, and helped the front wheel. At last, I had all six wheels on firm rails again.
"Better", I said. "Now let's go."
We arrived on time. Edward, Bill, Ben, BoCo, and Salty were waiting for me.
"Hullo. Did you have any mishaps?", Bill and Ben asked me excidetly.
"One little mishap. But, between us, it'll be a secret."
All the engines agreed.
1981 The Extention- Year 2
With the sucess of the Brendam extention to Knapford, the Fat Controller was planning something bigger. The following year, he once more came to see us.
"As you know", the Fat Controller began, "The Brendam extention to Knapford is a sucess. So, I will extend it futher to Tidmouth. That way, engines won't have to go to Knapford, and can go directly to Brendam."
"I don't know, Sir", Edward stuttered.
"Don't worry Edward, the ground will hold."
I was puzzled.
"Why won't the ground hold?", I asked.
"Look, we have no idea were Knapford Lead Mines finish and start. The ground there isn't stable enough to hold out weight. Thomas once did it, and he payed the price. So you see, I'm worried."
That night, I was taking a goods train back to Tidmouth, so I went to sleep at Tidmouth Sheds. Obviously, the engines had already heard of the extention plan, because they were talking about it.
"It'll be a total coast run", Duck was telling Oliver. "Then, maybe the Little Western can be extended.
After what Edward had told me, I wasn't sure about this. One thing was certain. I wasn't going to risk myself to fall down.
Three weeks passed, and the extention was about three-fourths done. That same day, Duck was having runaway.
"Help! Help! Help~", he cried, as he thundered pass Tidmouth.
He was accidently switched onto the extention!
He went all the way non-stop, derailed, and the ground, suddenly caved in on him!
He was stuck!
The Fat Controller ordered the extention to Tidmouth to be closed, and was considered a failure. The ground had caved in, and there was no way of putting dirt in there.
Duck was deeply sadded, though, and I know why.
Ballast is collect from the Arlesdale Railway, brought to Arlesburgh loaded into the ballast chute, and loaded into trucks. Donald and Douglas usually do it.
One day, Donald woke up feeling ill. His injector was blocked.
"Och. Com' on Donal'. Ya no we hav' a wee ballast trrain to pul'", Douglas told Donald.
"Sorra Dougie, I jus' can't", Donald replied.
"Well, this is going to take while", Edward said.
Just then, I woke up.
"For now, David should bring the ballast train."
"What?!", I said, waking up completely.
"We're going to bring ballast from the Tidmouth-Arlesburgh Branch Line", my Driver explained.
"Am I light enough to go there?", I asked.
"You just make", my Fireman assured. "It's Thomas' Branch Line we can't go on."
"Ballast", I thought. "Should be about the same as Chine Clay. Probably, except without the covers."
I passed Tidmouth, and soon arrived at tracks, smaller than mine, and a gray diesel up above saying, "Shut up Mike! I'm trying to concentrate."
"You are concentrating. Besides, I'm bored. Having a broken funnel isn't funny", the red engine replied.
"You'll have to wait after Jock's overhaul", the diesel replied.
"Broken funnel, eh. That's the day", a green engine said approaching.
"Oh, hi.", the green engine said to me. "I'm Rex. You just met Frank, and Mike. And we'll have you trucks loaded in no time."
"You mean, I'll have his trucks loaded in no time. I woke up early to get this ballast, I deserve credt."
"Just hurry along you moron. Your taking up space and time", Mike called from the shed.
"Shut up!", Frank roared. "I need to concentrate."
"Now", Frank said soothingly. "Move you trucks, back. Stop, there, perfect."
Then, the bottom of the trucks collasped, and ballast went down to my trucks.
"Perfect. Now let me get some more.
Soon, we were done.
"Thank you", I said. "I hope to meet Jock, after he comes back."
"Oh, we'll tell Douglas to send you updates whenever we can."
They called as I left.
1983- Rainy Days and Weak Ballast
February was a rainy season on the Island of Sodor. The rain seemed everlasting. It'd stop raining, and just a couple hours later, a report came that another storm was coming.
The line between Tidmouth and Knapford is always very busy. The Wild Nor' Western goes along there, ballast trains run through there, and even I bring some goods trains between those two stations.
One day, I was taking china clay up there.
I felt the rails go loose about half-way through.
"Woah!", I cried. "The rails are loose."
"That can't be good", my Driver said.
"It isn't. Gordon's Express is departing in an hour. His weight surely will collapse the ballast", my Fireman observed. "We must warn him."
So, they put a red flag and lamp, and puffed away.
By the time I arrived at Tidmouth, it had stopped raining. It was cloudy though.
"Darn it. If it's not raining no one will believe me", I thought, and I puffed away to Tidmouth Sheds.
Gordon, Delete, and Dodger were there. Gordon was feeling ill.
"I feel sick", he groaned.
"He always does", whispered Dodger to Delete and I.
"Well then", the Fat Controller said. "You can't pull the Express. Delete, you must take it."
"Thank you Sir!", Delete said excidetly.
"Sir", I called to the Fat Controller, but he was already away.
"Delete", I started.
"I must go prepare the train", he said aand puffed away.
"Oh no. The ballast between Tidmouth and Knapford is not sturdy enough to hold his weight", I told Dodger.
"Is a B1 heavier than an A3 'Pacific'?", Dodger asked.
"It might matter, but it still surely wouldn't hold his weight."
"Don't forget the heavy coaches"
"Yes. And he's my friend, so I will warn him!"
With that, my Driver turned on the regulator, and I puffed out to Tidmouth.
"Delete", I called.
"Delete already left with the Express", said James.
Suddenly, we heard the alarm! I knew what that meant. I couldn't bear to hear the incident. I knew what had happened. I sadly went to fetch the breakdown train and Rocky.
Delete was on his side and leaking steam.
"Ouch", he groaned.
I felt terrible. It was miserable. The rain pelted down, and at last we got him on the rails, and I pushed him to Crovan's Gate.
"I knew you were going to tell me somthing", Delete apoligized. "I was just too excited."
"That's alright", I replied.
1984- Another Passenger Train
I was a bright spring morning in 1984. I was reasting at Tidmouth. It had been a lovely day. Everything had run smoothly, and I had been on time.
Meanwhile, Henry was shunting his coaches for his stopping passenger train along the Main Line. He was grumpy.
"Hurry up! Hurry up!", he grumbled to the coaches.
He pushed three into postion, and went for two more. He shunted them into position, and started to pull.
"Come on, you silly coaches", he growled.
Until. His tender snaped.
The statiomaster told the Fat Controller what had happened.
"What engines are available?", asked the Fat Controller.
"Only... David", the stationmaster replied.
"Then,... I guess, he'll have to take the train."
I was going to start my way to Wellsworth, when the stationmaster stopped us.
"You need to pull Henry's stopping train."
"But I have a goods train to pull!", I retorted.
"He is after all, only a goods engine", my Driver added.
"I'm sorry, but you'll have to do it."
"Alright, fine", I sighed.
"You know, twenty years ago, you had to pull a Passenger Train", my Fireman said, as we puffed to Tidmouth.
"Well. Take care of those coaches", said Henry. The workmen were trying to mend the coupling and plug.
I puffed away. It was hard. I had to stop, at every single station I saw.
I eventually, and at last reached Vicarstown, where Delete was waiting for me.
"Hullo", he called. "Why coaches?"
"I had to", I replied.
After I was uncoupled, got a drink and some coal, I spoke to Delete.
"I think, that this is the last I'm pulling coaches."
Signalboxes are important to any railway. They control points, which control where an engine goes, thus making an engine like myself, very useful.
One day, I brought a train of China Clay, and Percy was ready to shunt it.
I rolled into the siding, where a signalbox stood. I put on my brakes. Nothing happened! My Driver tried again, still nothing happened!
"Horrors!", I cried.
My tender had in the signalbox.
"Idiot!", called the signalman. "My nice new painted signalbox, crashed by such engine."
My Driver started to pull me out.
"No! You can stay there to prop my signalbox up!"
I felt ashamed. Not as much as the Fat Controller.
"It wasn't your fault David. Your brakes failed. When you get ot Crovan's Gate, you'll get new brakes, and your tender will be fixed", he soothed.
Three days later, I had new brakes, and my tender refurbished. The signal box was also fixed, with new white and red paint. TIDMOUTH, hung proudly on the upper balcony.
A week after my incident, I took the daily Chine Clay train, and went to back into that siding. Unfortunely, I didn't know that some oil had spilt, and the rails were slippery. So, when I tried to stop, I couldn't! My brakes worked, but I had no grip! Once more, I crashed into the signalbox.
"Stupid engine! Idiot Fireman! Reckless Driver!", roared the signalman. "Within a week, you come and smash it again! I'm calling the Fat Controller! And the police!"
I didn't dare to think what was going to happen.
The police, and the Fat Controller arrived in record time.
"What's happened here?", asked the Fat Controller and the Police in unison.
"That engine right there", the signalman roared, pointing at me, "And his crew, have crashed into my Really Useful Signalbox, twice now! What will become of this railway if you don't have a signalbox?"
"Hmm", one of the policeman said. "That rails seemed to be oiled, not sanded. Let's talk about this."
My Driver and Fireman, the three poilcemen, the signalman, and the Fat Controller went inside to talk.
A while later, some men with strong poles came, proped the signalbox up, and I was carefully moved out, and sent to Crovan's Gate for repairs.
Another week later, the signalman came to see me.
"I'm sorry I acussed you so much for damaging my signalbox. It's just that, I don't want to lose my job."
"Neither do I. I'm the last J11 in the world."
He is now good friends with my Driver and Fireman, espicially when they found out they liked Football, and constantly talked about recent matches.
1986- Really Useful Engine, the Hard Way
It was a busy day for me. I was working hard on Edward's Branch Line, and the Main Line. I had taken my morning goods to Vicarstown, then some other goods to Brendam, and china clay back up to Tidmouth. I now had to take ballast to Brendam again, and bring China Clay to Knapford.
"These trucks are heavy", I groaned as I made my way.
"Don't worry old boy. You can do it", said my Driver. "Do you think he can, Max?"
"I dunno. He's been Really Useful the hard way alot of times. There's just something that seems wrong."
I too was starting to feel weak.
"Why, am I tiring easily?"
I reached Crosby, where my crew decided to take look at me.
"We'll patch it up at Brendam", they said.
Later, when I as to take the Chine Clay to Knapford, a important package for the Wellsoworth Statiomaster came. I knew what it was. We had recently won, the most Beautiful Station Competition. The trophy had arrived.
"Wow, Ben, look at that. Do you think we get to deliver it?"
"Not we, me."
"Ah, me hearties, we all deserve to deliver it", said Salty.
"Very true", added Edward. "We all helped the statiomaster win."
"David, you are to take this", the Dock Manager told me. "It is very precious, so be very careful."
"I would never ruin something like that", I replied.
That night, I was doing a late goods run.
"Finally home", I sighed, but as I puffed into the shed, I heard a car turn on.
"Wierd. No one comes at this time", I said.
"Yes", my Driver added. "I think it's a thief."
"We have to go after them or him", my Fireman said. And so, I puffed carefully out.
My headlamped was dimmed down, so the theif of thiefs wouldn't see me. I was actually very close to them. The road crossed between Wellsworth and Crosby.
I saw what they had.
"The statiomaster's trophy!", I gasped. "How could they?"
Then, the stationmaster called, "I've been robbed!"
"We have them", my Fireman soothed.
I had an idea.
"Call the police. Police station isn't to far from here. Tell them to go to Knapford, and we'll chase them."
So, I pumped my pistons, and puffed after them. It was the ride of my life! Suddenly, I felt a hiss of steam, and stopped half way between the road.
The thiefs were injured, but the trophy had been in a box, and was safe. They were caught, and arrested.
The Fat Controller came to see me.
"David, that was a great deed of yours. You are a Really Useful Engine, the hard way."
The Wellsworth Statiomaster came up to us.
"As a reward of saving my trophy. I am honoured, to give it to you."
My Driver carefully grabbed the trophy.
"You will be mended, and hopefully in good condition", the Fat Controller added.
1987- China Clay Disaster
China Clay is important to the Island of Sodor. I has many uses, including, paint, and pottery. China Clay trucks, are rectangular, and need to be covered. They are loaded at the China Clay Works, then Bill and Ben bring them down to Brendam, were Salty organizes, and Edward, BoCo, and I take in turns to collect it, and bring it to Tidmouth. I usually get the 1 'o' clock route.
I was waiting for Bill and Ben to bring my trucks one day.
Suddenly, I was bumped!
"Hey, watch it! Easy. Don't hurt yourself", I told Bill.
I started to back out, when Ben suddenly appeared.
I stopped, but Ben didn't.
"Watch out!", cried Bill.
There was an explosion of China Clay. It fell over Bill, Ben, and I.
"Awsome!", said Ben. "Should we do another round?", asked Ben.
"No", I replied. "For today, I've had enough. Maybe tomorrow."
"OK", replied Ben.
"So, what should we fix?", asked Bill.
This truely was a China Clat Disaster.
1988- Thomas' Visit
Thomas the Tank Engine arrived one day at Brendam Docks. I was there, picking up some china clay. Edward was taking the local stopping train, Salty was shunting, and Bill and Ben were also shunting.
"Hullo, Thomas", Edward and I called cheerfully.
"Hi, Thomas", called Salty.
"Oh no", groaned Bill and Ben. "Another blue engine. First Edward, the Donald, and Douglas."
"Don't forget Gordon", reminded Ben. "He once came down here by mistake."
"Shut up", groaned Thomas. "Your colour is silly too."
"Come on", said Edward. "You take my passenger train."
Later, Edward and I had to comfront Thomas.
"Bill and Ben are always like that. They mean well", I coaxed.
"That's what you say", muttered Thomas.
A couple days later, Thomas was taking a goods train to Brendam. When he arrived, he was covered in yellow yolk of eggs.
"Look", cried Bill. "It's Thomas."
"But I thought Thomas didn't like yellow."
"He is now."
"What happened?", I asked.
"I puffing along the line when I saw a butcher's van. I couldn't stop, and the eggs' yolk stuck onto me", explained Thomas.
"You go get cleaned, and I'll settle them", I told him.
1989- The Photographer
One day, the Fat Controller came to see, Edward, BoCo, Bill, Ben, Salty, and I.
"In three days, a photographer is coming to Brendam Docks. He wants to take photos of you, by the keyside. I want you to look you best, and be Really Useful."
And he left us thinking and talking about the big day.
The photographer came, and was pleased with the weather. It was a lovely afternoon when he started to take photgraphs of us.
Meanwhile, Bill was having trouble pull a boat into shore, so Ben went to help.
The photographer was taking photo after photo of me.
"Photographing the last J11 in the world, what an honour!", he said.
Then, Bill's Driver called, "We need help here."
"Right on it", my Driver replied.
As I wheeshed steam, the photo shot. but there was no engine to see. I didn't see his fist behing a cloud of steam.
"Don't worry", I said. "We'll do it."
Bill, Ben, and I tugged until at last the boat was at safety, and I puffed away.
"Hey", I called. "What's that?"
My Fireman picked it up, and laughed. "Its supposedly of you, but it has only steam."
1990- Engines of the North Western Railway
The Fat Controller gathered as many of us, as he could.
"Remember last year when a photographer came to photograph Brendam Docks. Well, despite one 'steamy' picture, he told another photographer how worthy this railway was to recieve its own book."
We whistled in delight.
"Now!", the Fat Controller thundered. "All of you will be photographed. Garenteed. You will each have you own two pages, containing a fun fact about you, your history, and photos of you. It will be called Engines on the North Western Railway, and be published for the whole country."
We whistled and hooted excidetly.
"The photographer will be here for a week, and will arrive in three days. So be Really Useful Engines."
"I can't wait for this photographer", I said.
I was sure I would be photographer. Being the last in my kind would help me. I was even surer, when I emerged from Crovan's Gate, with North Western Railway's latest black, with the Great Central Railway logo, and Great Central in GCR red on my tender.
I was backing down to my train at Brendam, when Bill and Ben shouted, "There's the photographer!"
Bill, Ben, and I blew our whistles, and Salty honked his horn.
I felt nervous around the photographer for some reason.
A week passed, and it had been great.
I was taking some loaded ballast wagons to Brendam via the Extention, when the Photographer called, "Wait, stop! I need help!"
I stopped and asked, "What's wrong?"
"My boat is leaving soon, and I need a ride."
"Hop on", my Driver said.
I was so busy concentrating on getting him to his boat on time, I didn't notice him flash pictures.
"Oh, thank you. Would you please just stay there and smile?"
He flashed a photo, and went to catch his boat.
A couple months later, the Fat Controller unvealed the first copy of the book.
"These engines, in this book, are the Engines of the North Western Railway."
"Your engines are very special", said the photographer.
"This copy is to be given to David's Crew. The Maxes", the Fat Controller announced.
"We are honoured to have this book", said my Driver.
"All the engines are special in their own way", my Fireman added.
After that speech, I couldn't be prouder to be an Engine of the North Western Railway.
The Coal Mines near Vicarstown, are is the most dangerous part on the North Western Railway. Dodger the Gresley J50, works here. I was here one day.
"Hmm", I thought, "Were is Dodger?"
Suddenly' two trucks rolled towards me.
"Ha, ha, ha!", laughed a familiar voice. "Gotcha."
"You really did play it well", I had to admit.
"Ever since I went to North Western Railway's black, I have been able to play more jokes that ever", he told me.
"Well, NWR and 68899 are practically gone, and I and covered in soot, like the trucks. Camelflouging, I think it's called."
"Well, let's get to work. Trucks don't shunt themselfs."
"Of course we don't!", a couple trucks shouted at me.
We went to work. The process is simple. Take empty trucks, to an open shaft, and technology takes them in. Then, Dodger and I took in turns to take trucks wherever they were needed.
Later, I was having trouble with some trucks. I up against a coal hill.
"Why won't you stupid trucks move?"
"Leave it to me."
He gave them a bump, and they behaved.
"Simple as that."
At about noon, we took a break, got coal and water, and rested. The shed is higher than the rest of the mines, and is far from the exit. We had just started to relax when... alarms blew!
"Oh no", trembled Dodger. "Those alarms mean. A... Av..."
"Avalanche", I finished.
"Yes!", screamed Dodger, and he raced out of the shed as quickly as possible.
I puffed after him, not because of the avalanche, but because I wanted to know what Dodger was talking about.
"Come back here!"
"Are you paying attention?"
I stopped, and saw... a slide of coal coming towards me! My Driver put on the regulator, and puffed as fast as I could! It was now or never
"Wake up", said a voice.
I woke to find myself just an inch away from the coal slide.
"I, I pulled you out. You blacked out a bit."
"Thanks, but why were you so scared about that avalanche?", I asked.
Dodger sighed. Tears forming in his eyes. His whole image changed at that moment.
"In 1950, I was bought by the Fat Controller to do the intended Gresley J50 work. Coal workings, shunting, and banker duties, though quarry working was added. I worked in the quarry for 1950 at least."
"And what happened?"
"It wasn't there. In February 1951, I was moved here. But just the March of 1951, and avalanche came. I couldn't escape in time, but I helped Donald."
"You must've been terrified."
"I was. That's why I had to be rebuilt. Avalanches are my only fear."
I was astonished at that story.
"Does anyone know this story", I asked him.
"Well, they do, but they don't know I'm afraid of avalanches. They're scary", he replied.
"Don't worry, I won't tell anybody, I'll probably forget."
"Thanks", he replied.
We slowly puffed home.
1992-David and the Diesels Year 1
I had just arrived at Tidmouth Sheds when Dodger burst in!
"Have you heard the news?"
"Now, before we get into an arguement", James began.
"It is not an arguement. They are facts."
"What facts?", I asked.
"Well, I was at the station delivering my coal train, when I heard the stationmaster tell the shunter, Have you heard about the two new diesels to run the Vicarstown Dieselworks? I astonished, and I came here."
"The Dieselworks. That old dump. I thought it was scrapped a long time ago", James said.
"Well, if they restored it, maybe Salty can get fix", I muttered quietly. "They could just be joking Dodger, I'll find out later."
I saw a grey and yellow figure in the evening as I approached Vicarstown.
Once I had turned around, I went to talk to the new diesels.
"Hullo, who are you?"
"I'm, um, well", said the grey Diesel.
"What he means is, is that he's Den, and I'm Dart", said the yellow and red Diesels.
"Why are you here?"
"Well, we only just arrived", said Den.
"And why do you have to run the Dieselworks?"
"Dizzy Diesels. We Diesels also need a place for repairs and sleep. Like your Steamworks at Crovan's Gate", Dart replied.
"Someone just wanted to know", I said quickly. "Do you need help getting there?"
"We're Diesels, we know the line", said Dart.
I went off, and they followed.
"Wait", called Den. "Um, we, um, do need help."
"Just take this track, and turn left, there's a sign saying the direction too", I explained, and puffed away.
1993- David and the Diesels Year 2
Tidmouth is a very busy place. Filled with activity, ships, cargo, and passengers. Duck and Percy did not always have the time to shunt, so the Fat Controller made quick arrangements for two new Diesels. I met them at Brendam Docks.
"Hullo. You must be the new Diesels."
"Yes", said the red Diesel. "I'm Norm, or Norman as some people call me. I'm a Bulleid Diesel, a replica of the original No. 11001. I was built by a teaming of Crovan's Gate Steamworks, and Vicarstown Dieselworks.
"I'm Paxton", said the dark red Diesel.
"He's actually Pax", Norman inturrupted.
"I'm a BR Class 08, but I'm faster than other BR Class 08. Slight modification of a BR Class 09. But, I consider myself a BR Class 08, considering I only have more speed."
"Well, I'm David the J11. How 'bout I collect my train and you help me with it to Tidmouth", I offered.
"Splendid", Paxton and Norman replied, and puffed away to collect the trucks.
Whilst I collected the trucks, they turned around via the turntable at the sheds.
I realized I was going to need help, so I called out, "Paxton, Norman, could you help me? Please. Thank you."
"Don't go, Pax", Norman said to Paxton.
"But, he needs help", Paxton retorted.
"He's a sill steamie, only to use you, so you can overheat, and be sent away. They did that to my twin", Norman explained.
"Oh, my!", exclaimed Paxton.
"Don't you want to be Really Useful Engines?", I called, and that got them BOTH going.
Along the way, Norman kept bumping the trucks, and me.
"Stop!", cried the trucks, and they bumped him back.
"Hey, you trucks. Stop bumping back there!", I yelled.
We arrived at Tidmouth, and I showed them around.
"Now, right over there's the Harbour. You'll most likely be working there. Here's the newly installed Diesel OIl Refueler. This is the Main Station, Tidmouth."
"What's back there?", asked Paxton.
"The Little Western. A branch line in general. You can't go back there without permission, though."
Permission, stuck in my head.
"I'll show you to Tidmouth Sheds."
The next day, I was preparing my morning goods train. Norman was to take a ballast train five minutes before I set off.
However, Norman was too concentrated on making good First Impressions.
"Watch this", he told Paxton.
He bumped the trucks, and smoke bellowed everywhere!
"That didn't work out so well", Norman said.
I puffed over.
"Well Paxton. I guess that leaves you to take the ballast train. I'm sure the Stationmaster will agree."
He did, but unfortunely for me, I was in for a big surprise. Norman, having been built on the North Western Railway, had a Radio that contacted Control or the nearest station detected, but Paxton didn't. So, Paxton couldn't call when all ten of his trucks broke away and were heading straight for me!
They rounded the bend.
"Oh no. Trucks, stop! This instant!", I ordered them, but it was no use.
Paxton however, was gaining ground. With a mighty effort, he crossed the points, and landed in the coal pit, with smoke bellowing everywhere!
"Now, we're both going", said Norman, and Paxton was sadened.
Later, I brought Rocky to the scene, and I took away the trucks. Bill and Ben had had to add China Clay later, so it didn't matter what time the ballast trucks where brought.
"I'm sorry for your accident Paxton. You saved my life", I apoligized.
The poor Diesel couldn't answer. He closed his eyes, and that was that.
The next day, the Fat Controller was talking to me.
"What's you opinion on Paxton and Norman?", he asked me.
"I think. That Paxton can be fixed at his preservation place. I also believe that Norman has a failure in what makes his wheels go. They are great Diesels, and shouldn't be disposed of", I replied.
"Paxton can only be disposed via his preservation place. Norman can be disposed here, though."
"I think then, that you should have Paxton be fixed here, and buy him. Norman, I'm sure can be fixed here."
And that's exactly what he did. In a couple months, I saw them working at Tidmouth. Paxton, was sent to work at the Blue Mountain Quarry, and Norman handled shunting and local goods. Both were a credit to out railway.
1994- David and Sidney
The Little Western was in need of some help. One day, I was waiting for Duck for a ballast train. He was five minuted late when he arrived. That meant I was five minutes late.
"Where've you been? You're late?"
"I left the ballast trucks, and got my passenger train, thinking it was two hours later, but it turned out, it was now. So, I had to take Alice, Mirabel, and the trucks", he explained.
"Well, let's not waste anymore time", I said, and quickly went to couple to the trucks. "They're really in need of some help with the ballast load", I thought as I left Tidmouth.
I made up for lost time, and went to get a drink, coal, and a rest.
"I was thinking, Driver. That Duck and Oliver need another engine to help on their Branch Line. Donald and Douglas don't like to work apart, so that means two extra, or two down."
"I get what you mean", my Driver told me.
A couple days later, I had taken the local goods to Brendam, when I saw a blue Diesel with orange stripes. It looked like a BR Class 08.
"What? That can't be right", I thought as I approached. But I decided to welcome him to Sodor.
"Oh, um, uh. Hi. I'm well, I don't know", the Diesel replied.
"Oh well, I'll shunt my trucks, whilst you remember."
"So, what the? Where am I? I'm Sidney", the blue diesel replied, and I decided to carry on with my shuntin.
News soon spread around Sodor.
"I think it's short-term memory loss", I said to Duck and Oliver.
"Oh well. We must deal with him for now. I'm sure he'll be useful", Duck replied, and I sighed.
1995- The Golden Jubilee
One day, the Fat Controller gathered us at Tidmouth.
"Now then, you all recall that in 1945, stories about us started being written."
"Yes", the engines murmured, but I was confused.
"Well, can you believe it's been 50 years since that first began?"
The engines whistled.
"So, the Royal Personage is coming. We only have a couple days for the celebration."
"What did the Fat Controller mean by, stories about us?", I asked Edward the next day.
"Well, in 1945, a man started to write stories. And now, we are celebrating", Edward told me.
And we started talking about Gordon's birdstrike.
Later, Edwrad had to take a passenger train, but James was late.
"Edward needs help", the Wellsworth Stationmaster told me.
"What happened?", asked my Driver.
"His front right leading wheel came off, Max."
We went off.
"Are you alright?", I asked Edward backing down to him.
"Yes, just, I'm missing a wheel."
"Worry no. I'll have you at Brendam in no time."
The next day, I took him to the Steamworks.
The Fat Controller was waiting for us with his wheel.
"Found it?", asked Edward.
"Yes. The Farmer found it in his cabbage field. He said if you ever want cabbages, you can go and ask."
"Yes, Sir", replied Edward.
A couple days later, Edward's wheels were fixed, The Fat Controller came to see us.
"Now. You two will have to clear the line."
"Yes, Sir", we replied.
"Surely, Henry is wrong about the Golden Jubilee", I told Edward.
"Yes, nothing is going wrong as far as I can tell."
But, a cob web short circuited the signalbox.
"Blasted. A train's due. Alright!", the signalman called to Thomas, Edward, Percy, Toby, Mavis, and I. "The signalbox has short circuited. So, we need to puff carefully."
First, Edward, then the Branch Line engines, and then I puffed out of Knapford and onto Tidmouth.
Henry, James, and Gordon were there and had chosen spots where they could see whatever was going to be.
Then, came out whistles, followed by Pip and Emma.
The Royal Personage gave a speech and said, "You are all a credit to the Fat Controller."
1996- Vicarstown Sheds Installation
Vicarstown, is the end of the line for the North Western Railway. The Express terminates here, and Pip and Emma take it to Barrow-in-Furness. The sheds there are five berthed, and have no turntable, but recently, they had been knocked down, so new sheds could be installed.
I was kept busy, delivering supplies from Brendam to Vicarstown.
"Now that the outer frames are built", the Fat Controller told me. "We can start adding berths and rails. So today, you are to deliver some long poles."
The poles were really long.
"Those are some tall poles", I said,
The Dock Manager told me, "Just take it to the sidings, were workmen will cut them."
Soon, they were four shorter poles, and I puffed away.
Percy was working there when I arrived. I saw a big hole right outside the Sheds.
"What's that for?", I asked Percy, referring to the hole.
"That's for the new turntable they're installing. Rocky's right in the siding."
"Turntable. That's clever. Gordon said he hates going backwards or having to loop around", I said puffing to get Rocky.
Soon, the sheds were finished. Well, almost.
"The only thing we need is to install some rails on the turntable", the Fat Controller said. "So this is the last delivery before they are done."
Soon, I was steaming along. There is a junction that seperates the Main Line to the sheds. It then crosses a siding to the Dieselworks, and arrives at the sheds. I passed right by it.
"Wait, that isn't right. I'm supposed to be on the other track."
"Let's go ahead and see what's the problem", my Fireman said.
"Is something wrong? We can't get to the line that leads to the sheds", my Driver told the stationmaster.
"Let me check."
He came back quite soon.
"The lever that changes that switch is jammed. Workmen are repairing it. You can still get there, via that line."
I turned around. Back down onto the brake van and went off. The trucks however, had goten bored and pushed me.
"Stop", I called.
I was heading toward no ground!
Luckily, the Turntable Operator saw me and quickly change the direction, but I still couldn't grip the rails! As, I passed the turntable, he changed the direction, and I puffed right onto the tracks again! I crashed into the buffers and came to a stop.
"I'm glad that's over", I sighed, backing out. "Thank you."
1997- The Trouble with Cranky
Cranky was a crane who had been brought for unloading at Brendam Docks in 1990. He was grumpy and didn't seem to enjoy out company.
"Where are the poles? The Fat Controller said the poles should be ready to go by the time I got my china clay train. I just see empty flatbeds."
"Shut up, you silly steamie. Really Useful Engines wait, not complain", Cranky retorted.
"Rude", I said to myself.
When the poles did arrived, Cranky was going slowly.
"Hurry up! I haven't all day."
And he banged the poles down at me, making a dent in my valance.
"That's what you get."
When I finally arrived at Tidmouth, it was late.
"Your late", James snapped at me. "The Fat Controller will be cross."
"It's not my fault. It's Cranky's fault."
The next day, Cranky, was in no better mood.
"Hurry up", cried Bill.
"You made David late yesterday", added Ben.
"And what do I care! He got what I deserved."
Salty and I had just puffed into Brendam Docks, when he dropped some crates, not onto the flatbeds, but onto some shed supports!
"Great! We're trapped!"
Bill, Ben, and Cranky started arguing.
"So, the engines have no way out, are you sure?", asked the Fat Controller meanwhile.
"Yes. The extention is beyond the small shed, and only high bay is beyond the main loading dock."
"Well, let me drive there and tell them what they're going to do."
The twins and Cranky when the Fat Controller walked up.
"Silence! Now due to (stammers) some unnessicary mishaps, David, Salty, Bill, and Ben, you must stay the night here until we can get help. I'm sure, you can manage that."
"Wait, no. I can't!", called Cranky, but the Fat Controller ignored him.
"Well, to pass the time. Would you like to hear a story me hearties?", asked Salty.
"Oh yes. Please Salty!", Bill, Ben, and I exclaimed.
"Well, this begins with a small little ship that needed to bring important cargo to Southampton Docks. It traveled many sees, and braved many waves. On approaching Southampton Docks, it lost control. I was waiting to unload it, and it came so close, it nearly touched my buffers!"
Salty told stories, until the stars were up.
The next morning, workmen attached a rope to Cranky, and he pulled it, 'till he could easily lift it.
"Thank you, OK now you engines, get to work!"
He was very pleased to see us go, and remained polite until,
"Hurry up!", I called.
And I knew, that he was still cranky.
1998- A Day at the Blue Mountain Quarry
Beyond Crovan's Gate, a line thinner than mines, runs all the way up thought rivers and mountains to the Blue Mountain Quarry. Paxton, or Thomas usually work there, bringing trucks of slate to Brendam everyday. But Thomas, is usually on his Branch Line, leaving Paxton to handle it by himself. I was taking my pick-up goods, when I saw Paxton slowy approaching the junction.
"Are you alright Paxton?"
He coughed, and answered, "No."
"We need a Diesel at the junction to the Vicarstown Dieselworks, and an engine to deliver Paxton's trucks of slate", my Driver told Control. "Diesel shall be at the junction to collect Paxton, and Toby will take the trucks to Brendam", Control replied.
I collected my portion of the trucks and pushing Paxton, puffed away.
"Don't worry, Den and Dart will fix you", I conforted.
"Thanks", he replied.
"That's what you get for working with steamies", said Diesel when we arrived.
"Don't listen to him", I whispered.
I puffed to Vicarstown, dropped my goods, and prepared to take a coal train back to Tidmouth. It was night when I set off. When I puffed into Tidmouth Sheds, the engines were talking about Paxton.
"I wonder who's going to take his place for the meantime", said Henry.
"It'll probably be me", Thomas said confident.
"You. You work there too much", retorted Percy. "I need a change for once in my life."
"You've had many changes in jobs and you don't enjoy it!", exclaimed Gordon.
Then, they got arguing over Percy and the jobs he had had.
The next morning, the Fat Controller came to give out jobs.
"David, you will work at the Blue Mountain Quarry. I know, you will do a good job. When you get there, the first thing you'll do is find a small red engine."
"Yes, Sir!", I said as I left.
I got some coal and water, and went on my way. The moment I entered the quarry, I started scanning for a red engine. I found him on a dual-guage turntable.
I had accidently gone on the turntable.
"Gather round", called the red engine. "I'm Skarloey."
"I'm Rheneas", called a brown engine.
"Peter Sam", said a green engine.
"Rusty", said a orange diesel.
"Sir Handel", a blue engine said.
"And I'm Luke", another green engine said, puffing up to me.
"Now then. collect some trucks, and I'll show you what to do", Skarloey told me.
"Take those trucks, and put them here."
"Load me up Rusty!", called an incline traction engine.
"Slate coming down!", called a red crane.
"Ready and waiting, Merrick", called Peter Sam.
"Slate shall be down in a jiffy", called Luke.
"Wait for the slate to come down", Sir Handel told me.
It was afternoon when I left Blue Mountain Quarry. I whistled as I left.
1999- David's Poor Condition
Ever since my work at Blue Mountain Quarry, I had felt weaker. I was constantly out of breath, or a lack of steam. One day, I was at Crovan's Gate, with my 3 o clock pick up goods.
Whilst Paxton was shunting my trucks, I asked my Driver and Fireman, "What do you think my problem is?"
"I don't know", my Fireman replied. "It must be somewhere in the tubes, though."
"We'll inspect you when we get to Vicarstown. You think you can handle it old boy?"
"Yes, Driver, Fireman."
And wheezing, and bellowing steam everywhere, I puffed away.
We got to Ballahoo, where Dodger was shunting some coal trucks.
"You feeling alright, David? Your wheeshing steam everywhere. Oh, (cough)", Dodger told me.
"I, I'm fine", I replied. Really, I wasn't.
I arrived at Vicarstown, where a Diesel was waiting to take the trucks to Barrow-in-Furness. I puffed onto the siding next to the coal hopper and water tower.
"Hmm", my Fireman observed. "One of your tubes seems to be cracked."
"Probably that work at Blue Mountain Quarry caused that. It's a bit rough there", my Driver said.
"When can you patch it up?", I asked.
"Wellsworth is the only place where patching and minor repairs can be done. Crovan's Gate Steamworks usually does not do that", my Fireman said.
With that, my Driver changed my headlamp to my middle lamp iron, meaning I was 'light' engine.
Light engine wasn't bad, but that was only because I had no train. I saw Delete up ahead with some trucks and coaches.
"What happened here?"
"Well. I was to take a stopping passenger train, and come back for some coal trucks, because Dodger had to organize at Vicarstown. But, the trucks appeared when I had to take my passenger train. I can't do it alone, will you help me?", Delete explained.
I knew I was not in my best condition, but I answered, "Alright."
"Are you sure you can do this?", asked my Driver.
"It is only as far as Tidmouth", I assured.
When I was coupled, I heaved as hard as I could until I got the train moving.
Luckily, once the train was moving, I got the trucks to cooperate, and Delete could help me.
We passed Knapford, when Delete shouted, "My injector is down!"
"That leaves it up to me, then!", I shouted back.
Delete was rather worried and uncertain about that, though.
I puffed with all my might, until when I arrived at Tidmouth, there was a 'crack' and steam burst from me in all directions. My lamp went off, and there was silence.
The Fat Controller soon arrived with some workmen, and inspectors.
The workmen tapped my rods, felt my boiler, observed my tender. The inspector looked around. Meanwhile, some workmen were inspecting Delete's injector.
"So, what do you think?", asked the Fat Controller.
"The J11 needs some new tubes. The B1's injector can be replaced at Crovan's Gate", the inspector told him.
"David, I am proud of you. Despite your broken cylinder, and tubes, you deserve an overhaul. Delete, your injector shall be replaced soon."
"Thank you, Sir", we replied.
The next day, Dodger, Percy, and Thomas took us to Crovan's Gate Steamworks for repairs. Although, Delete was fixed fast, I had to remain for several months. It was mid-December by the time I had been fixed. I felt almost as new. Puffing out of the Steamworks, reminded me, of when I puffed out of Beyer, Peacock, and Company.
1999/2000- New Century, New Problems
A new year was approaching Sodor. Not just a new year, but a new century. All the engines were excited. At the New Year's Party, there would be more fireworks, more chatter, more fun and celebration.
We were gathered by the Fat Controller one day at Tidmouth
"Silence! I know you are all excited. You will each be given a job. David, you will collect the fireworks vans. You've only recently come back from the works, so I'm sure that'll give you a good run. They will arrive at Vicarstown in the morning, and Dodger will have shunted them."
I was excited. Collecting the fireworks was a very special job. All the engines were happy with the jobs they had, except Diesel, who I heard grumbling about that to 'Arry and Bert at Wellsworth.
"I only have to shunt trucks. That's not fair. I want a better job."
"And what are you going to do about it?", asked 'Arry.
"Surely, there is nothing to do about it", Bert added.
I was coupled up to the trucks, the Guard blew the whistle and I puffed away.
(a diesel moved fireworks vans)
As I approached Vicarstown, I saw the vans weren't there, so I asked Dodger, "Where are the fireworks vans?"
"Well, I shunted them onto your line, but then, some black boxed shaped figure, took them away. I don't know where, but you could try the Dieselworks."
"Yes. Thank you Dodger. I will."
"Diesel 10, where are the fireworks vans?", I asked him.
"I don't know. Now get out of here!"
I raced as fast as I could, looking for the vans.
I searched the whole North Western Railway. I searched sidings, stations, sheds, tunnels, behing coaches, and behind trucks. I only stopped to get coal and water. I finally, reached Vicarstown again.
"Hullo, David. Found the vans yet?"
"No, I haven't. I need to try the Dieselworks again."
When I was appraoching the Dieselworks, I saw Diesel moving the vans.
He moved quickly, but I was gaining ground!
Black smoke bellowed from his radiator.
"You idiot!", shouted Diesel 10.
"Thank you very much", and quickly I took the trucks.
"Come on Dodger, we need to get these to Wellsworth."
With Dodger helping me, we got to Wellsworth in no time. Workmen quickly started to set the fireworks up.
Soon, night fell, and the clock read 11.57.
"Almost time", the engines said.
"Now for the thirty second countdown. 30, 29, 28... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1."
"Happy New Year!"
The party began. The first firework lauched with the flag of our country. There was laughter, and lights. We talked about what was to come in the 21st century.
2001- Spencer's Visit
It was night time, when my Driver woke me up.
"David, we have to take some trucks."
"Alright", I yawned.
Gordon was there, and so was James.
"This is disgraceful, James", Gordon was telling James.
"And disgusting", put in James.
The Dock Manager said to us, "You will split the trucks in three and take them up to Tidmouth."
James set off first, followed by Gordon, and then I was to follow.
I was about to puff off when, "Stop!"
"What's happened?", I asked.
"Gordon is off the line, just near the junction connecting to Tidmouth. James is already fetching the breakdown train, so be quick now."
I soon arrived. I shunted my trucks away quickly and took Gordon's trucks away.
"Don't worry Gordon. You'll soon be on the tracks again", I told him.
Gordon just groaned. He was put in a siding, and James and I went to Tidmouth Sheds.
The next day, Henry took Gordon to the Steamworks with the Wild Nor Western.
"Now that Gordon is off service, surely Henry, James, and Delete won't be able to handle it on there own", I told Edward that afternoon at Wellsworth.
"I heard the Fat Controller talking about getting, some sort of a 'Pacific'. But, that would mean the Flying Scotsman, a preserved A4, or a Peppercorn A2", he told me.
We were distracted as the Guard blew the whistle.
"We'll see then."
The next morning, I was at Tidmouth, ready to take my morning goods, when a loud whistle sounded.
A blue A4 'Pacific' rushed towards me!
It wasn't later till I met him.
"Who are you?", I asked.
"How come nobody knows me?", the A4 said. "I'm Spencer an A4 'Pacific'. Among the most popular, fastest, and famous engines of the world. Heck, I'm so popular, I'm getting a repaint tomorrow."
I puffed away quickly.
"Popular", I muttured to my Fireman and Driver. "My class was popular too. With both people and railway men. I switched crew everytime I moved."
"Well, the A4 'Pacific', No. 4468 'Mallard' reached the top speed 126mph in 1938", my Fireman explained. "So he is right about fastest."
"But famous and popular, I'm not sure", my Driver told me.
Later, I entered the Steamworks to talk to Gordon.
"How are you getting along?", I asked.
"I'm fine. At this rate, I'll be fixed in a couple of days. Who did they bring to take my place?"
"Well, they brought a single chiminey A4 'Pacific' named Spencer."
"The A4 'Pacifics'", Gordon said crossly. "Huh, I hate that class. They think they're popular, fast, and famous. But I assure you, that my brother the Flying Scotsman is more famous. He even went to the USA!"
I left as Gordon started complaining about A4 'Pacifics'.
Spencer's visit did not last long.
He was showing off whilst pulling the Wild Nor Western, and was heading for trouble.
There is an unused line between Tidmouth and Knapford, and is a quick but unsafe way to Knapford.
Spencer was showing off that day. He was taking tourists on a special train with special coaches, whilst Gordon took the Wild Nor Western. I was to depart with my pick up goods later.
News spread up the line.
"The Fenland Track has caved in on Spencer, and he is stuck. Rescue the coaches and leave Spencer there", the Tidmouth stationmaster.
"What about my goods train?", I asked.
"I'll do it", Delete said.
I found him with his crew waving a red flag.
"The whole track's bound to collapse", they said.
"We must be quick then."
I was coupled up, and I pulled the coaches away. Meanwhile Dodger had arrived with some men, and they anchored Spencer to strong rocks.
"We'll take care of the rest!", Dodger shouted.
I pulled the passengers to safety and decided to join Dodger in the rescue. By this time, Gordon was there.
"I didn't want to miss the chance to pull the class I hate out of the mud", he told me.
"These shall lead him onto the tracks or firm ground", Dodger said, whilst workmen placed strong brown tracks with wood underneath
Gordon pulled until Spencer was moving. A coupling broke, which turned out to be Spencer's tender.
"Your tender shall be rescued later", Dodger snapped at him. "Rocky, load this idiot onto a flatbed."
"Way ahead of you", Rocky replied.
"Gordon, would you like the honour of taking a filthy A4 'Pacific', that is supposedly the fastest, most popular, and famous locomotive to Crovan's Gate Steamworks?", I asked.
"Of course I would", he replied, and puffed away.
Dodger and I anchored the tender to rocks and went home.
The next day, we brought the tender between two trucks on a flatbed to the Steamworks.
"Well, after yesterday's incident with you, I decided that you will no longer be needed here on Sodor", the Fat Controller was telling Spencer.
"But, Sir! People like me."
"That doesn't matter. I want Really Useful Engines. You only cared about beating Gordon to Knapford. The Fenland Track collapsed because of you."
And that was that.
2002- David's New Driver
My current crew had been with me since 1985 at least, nearly twenty years now. They had started out as young adults, and now were grown men.
One day, I was taking my pick-up goods. I was just decending Gordon's Hill, when, "Stop! Diesel has broken down and is blocking the track!"
My Driver put on my brakes. I hit the brake van with a jerk.
"Is everyone alright?", asked the Guard and Maron stationmaster.
"Ow! Oh. Everything except my leg", my Driver groaned.
"Don't worry", my Fireman said. "The ambulance shall be here in four minutes."
Paxton took my goods and my Fireman drove me to Wellsworth, 'light' engine.
"Hullo David. What are you doing here so early?", asked Edward.
"My Driver injured his leg when I bumped into Diesel's train", I explained.
That night, the Fat Controller came to see me.
"Your Driver is going to be out a couple weeks. But for the meantime, I have arranged for a temporarily Driver to fill in."
"Yes, Sir", I replied, but I wasn't sure.
The next day, my new Driver arrived just at the time I was due to leave.
"Sorry I'm late", he said. "My stupid alarm didn't ring and I forgot I was subsituting a Driver."
"That's OK. Hop on", my Fireman said.
He did so, and we made out way to Tidmout.
(brakes and stops inch before trucks)
"Stupid trucks!", my new Driver called to the them.
"Hey! Watch it", they grumbled.
"That's alright. Don't worry", I said trying to soothe the trucks.
When we arrived at Brendam Docks, Cranky got ready to load the crates, but...
"Stop trying to steal my load!", my Driver shouted.
Cranky grabbed my coupling instead!
"Hey! Give that back!", I said to him.
"Fine! But I'm suppose to load the crates to that ship, and it ships to.... other islands."
Everyday, my new Driver made Cranky at a lost for words.
Soon, my old Driver returned.
"It's nice to see you're back", my old Driver said.
"And it is nice to be back with you David and Max."
"So how was the other Driver?"
And we told him all about it.
2003- Double Header
"Stop! Stop! Help!"
"Runaway engine!", I cried as James thundered right towards me.
James was diverted into a siding. Later, I arrived with Rocky and the Breakdown Train.
"Are you alright?", I asked.
"My shiny red coat of paint", James groaned.
That was all he talked about whilst we cleaned up the mess.
"I don't know about you, but I'm out of here", Percy said and left.
I took James back to Tidmouth Sheds.
"Well", the Fat Controller observed. "You will need a new boiler."
"And coat of paint?"
"Yes. You will double head David's morning goods."
"I once double headed a passenger train with James, and it was nearly a disaster", Delete whispered to me.
It wasn't a disaster, but James didn't even help. I was exhuasted by the time I reached Crovan's Gate.
"Look", said some boys. "David, the only J11 in the world had ot help a dirty engine."
"Are you sure the dirty engines is meant to be shiny?", asked one of the boys.
"Maybe that's why David had to help the dirty engine."
"Because he was filthy!"
They laughed and left as James blew steam in anger.
2004- David's 100th Anniversary
I was busy with many goods trains, that I didn't even realize a very special event was coming 30th of April.
"David", called Edward.
"At 3, go to Tidmouth", he said.
"But just come to Wellsworth light engine."
I wasn't sure what this was about, but I agreed.
Thomas was at Tidmouth.
"Put on you goods train headcode."
"Alright. What's this about?", I asked.
"You'll see when you get to Wellsworth."
I puffed to Wellsworth. When I arrived,
"Happy 100th Anniversary!", the engines shouted.
"I totally forgot all about this!", I exclaimed.
"Now, David", said the Fat Controller. "Here is a filmer of BBC. They want to talk about you."
"Here we are now, with David, the only surviving J11. He was built at Beyer, Peacock, and Company in 1904. He has lived now, 100 years. David, tell us about memorable moments."
(everything transits from first person to third person here)
"That is my life", David finished.
"Very well. Would you like to say anything else?"
"I would like to thank everyone. All the engines I've met, and the engines here on Sodor."
"You heard it from David the J11. The only J11 left in the world!"
Whatever happened to David after his 100th Anniversary?
He continued service on the North Western Railway. The next day, his biography was aired on TV. In 2005, his biography was released on DVD. In addition, model makers came to make a model of him. They also used him to make other J11s. In 2006, his biography was printed into a book. From 2006 to 2007, he went to the National Railway Muesum in York. He was a great attraction and was repainted to his BR livery. In 2008, he had an annual inspection, and was given a larger tender, new boiler, hand rails and steps refurbished or replaced. In 2011, he celebrated the Rev. W. Awdry's centenary. He is still there in 2012 and will always be remembered as the only J11 left in the world.