Visiting Engines is the seventeenth short in Adventures on Rails and was released on 20 June 2021 as part of the tenth anniversary of the series.
|Season B, Episode 17|
|Air date||20 June 2021|
You Lucky Engine
The engines on the Island of Sodor are very well known and I thoroughly enjoy sharing all the interesting stories that come from the many parts of Sodor. As a result, there are many visitors but not just people even some engines have visited. For example, since his return to steam Flying Scotsman has made some journeys to Sodor. In one of them he caught up with Gordon, James, and Henry.
It was one evening when Henry, Gordon, and James were resting at the sheds. It had been a busy day and they were all looking forward to a rest.
"There have been so many visitors," said James. "Not that I mind. It just proves how famous I am."
"Stuff and nonsense James," said Henry. "You're not the only famous one."
"Yeah," said Gordon. "Besides, only Henry and I made an appearance in the first book along with Edward."
"Speaking of famous, look who's coming," said James.
There, backing towards them was Flying Scotsman.
"Hullo James, Henry, and Gordon."
"Brother, what brings you here?" asked Gordon.
"I'm glad to see you too," chuckled Flying Scotsman. "Well, it seems like your Controller has arranged for me to come. So, I brought a train of enthusiasts here."
"How long are you staying?" asked Henry.
"Perhaps a week."
"Well, I guess that's another visiting engine added to the list," continued Henry.
"It's becoming rather common now," laughed James.
"You mean that you've had several visitors?" asked Flying Scotsman.
"Definitely," said Henry.
"We had the visit of an A4 Pacific," said Gordon.
"Really? Was it Mallard?" asked Flying Scotsman.
"That would've been great," said James, "but it was, erm, Sir Nigel! Sir Nigel Gresley. That's your designer, isn't it?"
"Yes," said Gordon. "The A4 named after him came to Sodor."
"Then we also had Evening Star," added Henry. "The last steam engine ever built."
"And let's not forget the Mountain Engine," said James.
"That engine actually came from Switzerland," said Henry.
"Well I hope all the engines enjoyed their time here," said Flying Scotsman. "I know I enjoy coming to your railway."
"I'm sure they did," said Gordon.
The visitors certainly enjoyed themselves and I hope you enjoy reading about their visits to Sodor.
Several preserved steam engines visit Sodor to meet the Fat Controller's famous engines.
One evening, some of the engines were gathered at the Big Station. The Fat Controller was going to make an announcement.
None of the engines knew what it was.
"Perhaps the rolling stock will finally be updated and make brake vans redundant," said Percy.
"Don't be silly Percy," said James. "You need brake vans more than anyone else. It's for your safety."
"Fine," sighed Percy.
"I think we're finally switching coal suppliers," said Dodger.
"Yeah, this last lot has not been so good," said Molly. "We need a reliable and dependable supplier."
"I think that topic is more reserved for you two," said Henry.
"I just want you big engines to stop venting whenever I'm helping you up the hill," said Jenna. "You should just focus on your work."
"But the hill is the perfect place to get all your thoughts out," protested James.
"Not anymore," said Jenna.
"After a while, you get used to it," chuckled Edward.
Then the Fat Controller came out of his office.
"There he is everyone!" called Edward.
All the engines went silent.
"Good evening everyone," said the Fat Controller. "The railway is especially busy during the summer and this year, we are going to have lots of visitors." He paused dramatically. "Among the visitors, I am also pleased to announce that several engines will also be coming to Sodor."
All the engines were intrigued. They all wondered who would be coming.
"Silence!" boomed the Fat Controller. Then he continued. "I just want all of you to make the visiting engines feel welcome and no matter what happens, you are still my engines and you must be really useful."
Then he walked away.
The next day, Dodger and Molly told the other engines at Vicarstown about the news.
"More engines? We already have so many," joked Diesel.
"I think it will be nice to have some visitors," said Emily.
"We don't know who they are yet," said Dodger.
"Regardless, it will be nice like Emily said. Besides, it's not like we're not famous. It will be nice to have company," said David.
The others agreed.
The following week, David was waiting at the station with a goods train. Suddenly, he heard a shrill whistle, and a streamlined engine puffed into the station. The engine was painted in garter blue and on his smoke-box, his name-plaque read "Sir Nigel Gresley".
"Hullo there," called David. "I'm David. You must be visiting the Island of Sodor. Welcome to our railway."
"Thanks David," replied the A4. "You can call me Nigel. I am very pleased to be visiting your railway. I have heard a lot about you Sodor engines."
"We are well known," murmured David. "I think you'll enjoy meeting Gordon. He's also from Doncaster."
"Ah yes. Flying Scotsman has told me about him."
"But of course we have several LNER engines including myself though I'm from Leicester," continued David. "My friend Dodger the J50 is also from Doncaster."
"I'm quite familiar with J50s," chuckled Nigel. "The rough sort of tank engines, that's for sure but very versatile too."
"He never lets us forget that!" chuckled David. "Oh, and I could never forget Ryan the large tank engine who works on the Harwick line with Daisy."
"I look forward to meeting them," said Nigel.
Just then, the Guard's whistle blew.
"Enjoy your journey!" whistled David.
Nigel whistled in reply and he headed towards the Big Station at the end of the line.
By now, news of the A4's arrival had reached Tidmouth.
"News travels so fast nowadays," said Paxton to Norman.
"I've heard it's 'cause of technology or something like that," replied Norman.
"I hear it's Sir Nigel Gresley or more properly, the A4 named after him," said Duck.
"Now tell me something Gordon," said Bear. "Is it true that your brothers have some sort of rivalry with the A4s."
"I would say it's more of a friendly competition," replied Gordon. "Well, it does get fierce sometimes but in the end, we are all LNER engines and we're proud of that."
"Besides, both A3s and A4s are among the best express engines in all of England," said Paxton.
"Thank you Paxton," said Gordon. "Honestly, I look forward to meeting him."
"If anything, you have a lot in common," said BoCo.
Then Gordon puffed away.
At the Junction, he saw Toby and Henrietta.
"I hear the first visitor has arrived," said Toby.
"And it's an A4," said Henrietta.
"Yes. I'm looking forward to meeting him," said Gordon.
"I thought you had a rivalry of sorts with the A4s," teased Toby.
"There is some competition," laughed Gordon, "but honestly, Flying Scotsman gets along well with them, so I should too."
Just then, Sir Nigel Gresley raced past the station. He whistled to Gordon and Toby and they whistled in reply.
"I have not seen an A4 in a very long time," said Henrietta. "I forgot how fast they are."
That evening, Gordon returned to the sheds and found that Nigel was already there with the other engines.
Even Ryan was there.
"I have to thank Duck for covering my work up at Harwick," said Ryan. "I'm glad to meet you Nigel."
"It's great to meet you too Ryan. After all, you are a Doncaster engine just like me."
All the engines were enjoying his company.
"Now if I'm not mistaken, you hold the record for the fastest post-war speed for steam engines," said James.
"I do," beamed Nigel. "I even have a special plaque for that."
"Why do you seem to know a lot about A4s?" asked Henry.
"I know about everything," joked James.
Then Nigel noticed Gordon coming in.
"Gordon! It's nice to meet you at last," said Nigel.
"Hullo Nigel. I hope you are enjoying yourself," replied Gordon.
"I've had a nice welcome."
Then Nigel told everyone a few stories.
"I got to pull a special train in honour of the Olympics," he said. "And very soon there's going to be a special gathering of all the remaining A4s at the National Railway Museum in York."
To the surprise of some engines, Gordon got on well with Nigel.
They talked late into the night.
"I've never heard so much talk about express trains," said James.
"Well at least Gordon got on well with the visitor this time," said Henry.
On Nigel's last day, Gordon ran a special train to Vicarstown where there was a big send off.
"Take care and say 'hullo' to your brothers for me," said Gordon.
Then Nigel puffed away.
After Sir Nigel Gresley's visit, the engines were expecting another visitor.
One afternoon, Emily was at Vicarstown when a very large steam engine with ten driving wheels steamed.
"That must be another visitor," said Emily. "Hullo!"
"Hullo," said the engine, kindly. "I'm Evening Star, and I am pleased to visit your railway."
"I'm Emily and it's great to have you here. You're the largest engine I've ever seen."
"I am very big," chuckled Evening Star. "As well as the last steam engine ever built for British Railways."
"I suppose that's why you're painted green."
"I was the only one of my kind painted in green. I mainly handled passenger trains even though most of my brothers and sisters pulled goods in the short time they were run."
"I usually just pull passenger trains," said Emily.
"You run your own line, don't you."
"I do. The Norramby Branch which runs through Ballahoo and to the lovely seaside town of Norramby."
"Sounds splendid. I very much looking forward to know your Main Line."
Then the Guard's whistle blew.
"I better go now," said Evening Star, and she puffed away.
Soon, she was making good time. She rumbled over the viaduct and by now, she had picked up speed.
She reached the Big Station right on time. As the passengers disembarked, some of them complained to the Stationmaster. The Stationmaster talked to her Driver.
"What was all that about?" she asked.
"Apparently some passengers complained about our speed," said the Driver.
"Sometimes I forget that I go really fast."
Then Jessie came to take her coaches away.
"I'm Jessie, and you must be the visitor."
"I'm Evening Star. It's very nice to meet you."
"I can take your coaches away. I'm sure you want to rest."
After the coaches were taken away, Evening Star puffed into the shed.
That night, everyone wanted to know more about Evening Star.
She told the engines how she was built and immediately preserved.
"I was very young at the time," she said. "I didn't realise or fully understand the whole concept. It's only until later that I realised how lucky I was. I'm the only engine to have been preserved since I was built. I appreciate that now."
"Dinna fash yersel," said Donald. "You were young then. I mean, Douggie knew that was little hope for him too."
"Besides, ye proved yerself useful tae," said Douglas.
"You know, I've heard a lot about you Sodor engines, and I'm really glad to meet all of you."
"And we are pleased tae have yere company," said Donald.
The next morning, all the engines were getting ready for work. The sun was beginning to rise.
"It's a new day," yawned James, "which means it's time for work."
"All of you are lucky to have work every day," said Evening Star.
"We always have to do our best," said Duck.
"I'll do my best too. To be really . . . useful. Right?"
"Exactly," said Henry.
Then, as the sun continued to rise, Evening Star went to work.
She enjoyed her visit and the engines gave her a great send off on her last day.
One morning, Donald steamed into Vicarstown. He had to collect a special load.
"I wonder what it is," he thought to himself.
Then the Works Diesel rolled in. He was pushing an engine with a rather unusual shape. Donald recognised the shape.
"Is that my special load?" asked Donald.
"Yes it is," said the Works Diesel. "He's travelled all the way from Switzerland to the Snowdon Mountain Railway and now here."
"That's quite a journey," said Donald.
"I have other work to do, so you're taking him to the Works so he can be looked over before going up to Kirk Machan."
"I'll get 'im to yon wurrks right away."
With that, Donald was coupled up to the flat-truck and puffed away.
At the Works, Victor and the workmen were waiting for Donald. By now, the engine had woken up and was getting used to the new surroundings.
"We'll soon have you ready for work," said Victor.
"Thank you," said the engine.
He soon found that Wilfred was there too, being overhauled.
"Your Manager arranged for me to come here," explained the engine.
"You'll have fun. Say 'hullo' the others for me," said Wilfred.
Meanwhile, Donald was back at the Big Station. He saw Douglas.
"Hey Donal', I'm heading up tae yon wurrks to collect an engine," said Douglas.
"Ye muist be collectin' the same engine I took there earlier," replied Donald. "He's a mountain engine," he added.
"Ye didnae say!" exclaimed Douglas.
"What's all this about a mountain engine?" interrupted James.
"Huh, I never expected another mountain engine to visit," said James.
"Neither did I," said Douglas.
"Mountain railways are very common in Switzerland," said Donald.
"Well, I hope he enjoys his visit," said James.
Later, Douglas was at the Works where the engine was ready. Douglas gently buffered up to the flat-truck.
"Hullo again Donald," said the engine.
"Nae. I'm Douglas!" laughed Douglas. "Donal' is my twin."
"Then, nice to meet you Douglas. My name is Brienz by the way, after the village where my railway starts to climb."
Then Douglas took Brienz up to Kirk Machan were he was unloaded by crane onto the Culdee Fell Railway. All the engines were excited to see Brienz. As his fire was being lit, they all introduced each other.
"This is the only rack railway on Sodor," said Ernest. "But I heard there are plenty of rack railways in your country."
"Yes indeed," said Brienz. "My line is also distinctive in being operated by steam locomotives."
"There's a good mix of steam and diesel engines here on Sodor," said Culdee.
The engines talked for a while before Brienz had his first passenger train.
There were plenty of visitors. Everyone wanted to see Brienz.
"There's so many passengers nowadays," said Patrick. "Sometimes it makes me glad to be on maintenance or rescue duties. I do like to attend to emergencies. Not that it happens every day."
"I quite like the hustle and bustle of passenger trains," said Brienz.
"In that case, you should get going," said Patrick.
With that, Brienz began the climb up the mountain to the summit.
Brienz enjoyed the climb. He could see climbers and hikers alongside the track. The wind was calm and his wheels gripped splendidly. The passengers were enjoying themselves too.
Brienz had just passed Devil's Back when they heard some shouting.
"Where is that coming from?" asked Brienz.
"It sounds rather urgent," said his Driver.
"I agree," said Brienz. "We must get to the summit right away."
Brienz puffed and pushed with all his might and he was soon resting at summit station. His Driver told the Stationmaster what had happened and the Stationmaster returned with some news.
"A girl suffered an asthma attack and she needs medical help quickly," said the Stationmaster. "Patrick is coming up with a rescue team. You must get to Devil's Back and then take the girl and her family down to an ambulance."
So, Brienz made his way to Devil's Back where he saw Patrick was waiting.
"Good thing you're here. Now I can go up and rescue the girl," he said.
Slowly but surely, Patrick began to climb. The wind was blowing harder now. He closed his eyes and pressed on.
Finally, they came to a stop and the rescue team went off to find the girl and her family. They returned quickly and then Patrick backed down to Devil's Back, and the girl was transferred to Brienz's train. Then, Brienz made the journey safely down to Kirk Machan where the girl was helped by the medics.
Later, the Manager came to the shed.
"Well done," he said to Patrick and Brienz. "Thanks to your brave and quick actions, the girl is doing well now."
"You see," said Patrick. "This is why I like attending to emergencies. Though I couldn't have done it without you!"
Brienz laughed. "It does feel nice to save the day. And this is just the beginning of my visit."
Brienz stayed on the railway for about a month. When he went home, there was a big send off for Brienz. Everyone knew that a visit like this was unlikely to happen again.
"I really enjoyed my visit. I'll be sure to tell everyone back on my railway what a lovely railway this is," said Brienz.
Then, Brienz was loaded onto Douglas's flat-truck and Douglas puffed away.
"So those are the visitors we've had," said James.
"There really is no such thing as an ordinary day, is there," said Flying Scotsman. "There's always something going on."
"I guess you could argue that's why we're so well know," said Henry.
"There's so much to see here on Sodor," said Gordon.
"Well I'm glad for all of you. As I've said before, you are very fortunate engine," said Flying Scotsman.
"Thanks," said James and Henry.
"And I enjoy your visits too," said Gordon.
"It's always a pleasure to visit your railway and to see all of you. I just want all of you to keep up the good work," said Flying Scotsman.
"We will," said James.
"We always have to do our best to be really useful," said Henry.
"That way, we'll keep running for years to come," finished Gordon.
- Donald and Douglas
- Flying Scotsman
- Sir Nigel Gresley (locomotive)
- Evening Star
- The Works Diesel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Mister Walter Richards
- Daisy (mentioned)
- Diana, No. 828 (dropped)
- Tornado (dropped)
- The Viaduct
- Crovan's Gate
- Snowdon Mountain Railway (mentioned)
- Brienz Rothorn Railway (mentioned)
- National Railway Museum (mentioned)
Behind the Scenes
Here are some details about the making of this particular short. Now, despite the fact that this short was written rather late, there really was no shortage of ideas. The original plan was to format the short just like the typical Railway Series book. So, four stories would make up the entire short. However, this was shelved as time went on. I really wanted to include Flying Scotsman, although he would not be counted as one of the visitors. I had already plan to include LNER A4 No. 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley, BR Standard Class 9F No. 92220 Evening Star, and last but not least, Brienz Rothorn Railway's No. 2. I also had read about an incident from the Snowdon Mountain Railway that I wanted to use for the Mountain Engines and that served as the basis for Rescue Team.
The other engine I wanted to include was Tornado, the new Peppercorn A1. I also had plans to include Donald and Douglas's sister who first appears in Home Coming and later in The Escape Plan. When I revised the latter, I managed to include Diana, and so, that ended being her visit to Sodor. Still, I had four engines for the stories. So, why was this short delayed? I had thought of it back in 2018 along with Work and Play, Best Engines Ever, and You Lucky Engine. Production for those two moved smoothly. The latter short was practically completed over a year before I released it. This one really stalled. Part of it was procrastination. Another factor was the return of single-stories. Then, as the planned release date drew closer, I began to consider other ideas. One of these was abandoning the four-story format and either split it in two parts or just one continuous story like some of my earlier shorts. In the end, I did change the format and that meant that I didn't use Tornado, but that idea is still on the table. I finally got to writing the short and Rescue Team was written fairly quickly. I knew what I wanted to do, and I just had to put the puzzle together basically. The other two engines were a bit more difficult. One overall concern I had is that I did not want exclude the main Sodor engines. That's the cast I'm familiar with and I'm sure you are. The visitors are nice and all but I still wanted to give spotlight to the engines. I think the reason I managed to finish is that I just had the visiting engines interact with the Suddrian engines. The stories just came together after that, and I just managed to finish this short on 20 June.
So that's an overview into the production of the short. The truth is I shouldn't I have waited till the eleventh hour but there were ideas and I just had to choose the best ones. That being said, I hope you enjoyed especially since it was released right on the day I first released a story on this wikia. I've come a long way since then, and I'm proud to keep writing. I'm also grateful that writing has actually helped me in my life and in school. I've a lot to be thankful for, and I hope this short and every story I write reflects that.
- The Writer has confirmed that the Introduction and ending take place shortly after Very Famous Engines. The other stories actually place between 2012 and 2013. This is because Sir Nigel Gresley has been on overhaul since 2015, and he mentions the special gathering at the National Railway Museum which took place in 2013.
- This is the first appearance of the Works Diesel in the series.