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You Lucky Engine is the sixteenth short of Adventures on Rails.

You Lucky Engine
Season B, Episode 16
Air date 24 January 2021
Written by Paul Larson and Davey Moore (original)

MainLineEngines (original and adapted)

Directed by MainLineEngines
Episode guide
Best Engines Ever
Visiting Engines


Dear Friends,

The engines on the Island of Sodor all have their ups and downs. However, they always strive to do their best every day. And there is always a story to tell so I hope you enjoy reading about the every day life on Sodor.

The Author.


The various fortunes and misfortunes of the engines of the North Western Railway.

Henry, James and the Lucky Trucks

Based on Henry's Lucky Day by Paul Larson.

It was Winter on Sodor and as expected it was very cold. This made work difficult for the engines as the tracks were slippery, water columns would freeze, points would jam and the only warmth was the engines' fireboxes.

But none of that seemed to bother Henry. He was taking a goods train to Vicarstown.

"We're making excellent time, boy," called his Driver.

"I think these trucks are too cold to try any tricks," chuckled Henry.

The Fireman shovelled in some more coal and the Driver checked the train's speed.

"We're running well - for a frosty day, anyways," commented the Fireman.

The Driver murmured in agreement. "We'll stop at Crovan's Gate to take on water."

The water column at the Works never froze so it was the crews' preference to re-fill here as opposed to anywhere else.

At the station, Duncan was waiting.

"Bother! I thought you were James. Where is he? He's late!"

"So much for him getting to pull coaches," smirked Henry.

Henry's Fireman opened the water filler-cap and the Driver turned the tap to let in water. It was a couple of minutes before his tank was full and soon Henry steamed into Vicarstown.

"Well, you're right on time. Funny for a steam engine in this weather," teased Diesel.

"Trains must get through - whatever the weather," replied Henry.

It was night when Henry finished work and puffed back into Tidmouth Sheds.

". . . And then I was held up at Edward's station because of frozen points," James was complaining to the others. "There was no banker so I had to climb the hill myself. Not an easy job I'll tell you."

"Not sure what you're complaining about James," interrupted Percy, "Henry made all his journeys on time."

"Indeed," said a well familiar voice. There was the Fat Controller, wrapped up in scarves and jerseys. "You have all done a good job coping with the weather despite some delays."

James scoffed.

"Continue on like this. Our customers admire our service."

The engines were satisfied - except James.

"You were probably just lucky Henry. Perhaps it was those trucks."

"Trucks are no trouble at all," said Henry.

"Rubbish. They're all troublesome. You must've had some lucky trucks."

"Lucky trucks!" chortled Gordon. "That's even wilder than Percy's imagination!"

All the engines were amused.

"I assume you're on goods duty again tomorrow Henry?"

"Well yes, starting with the 'Flying Kipper' tonight."

"Well then. We'll see . . ."

Early in the morning, Henry puffed into the Harbour. Norman was there preparing his train.

"Here you go Henry," he called. "And 'good luck'."

"Don't be ridiculous."

"I know. That was a message from James."


Soon it was time to go. The Guard showed his green lamp and the big green engine started his long journey towards the Mainland.

The rails were clear, Henry's lamps illuminated the rails and the fire's light shown on the ground below.

"Never felt better. Never felt better," hummed Henry.

The vans ran smoothly behind him and presently, the sun began to rise.

"What a lovely scenery," thought Henry. "James is right. I am lucky - to see this sunrise."

That afternoon, Henry was pulling his goods train when he met James at the Works station.

"Late again!" fumed Duncan.

"Shut up! This weather makes it nearly impossible to do my job properly." Then he noticed Henry. "Ah, right on time with the 'Kipper', I hear."

"Of course! You couldn't expect less."

Then the Guard's whistle blew and James steamed away.

That night when Henry returned to the Shed, James was still complaining.

"Nothing has been the same since he had to take that train of pipes," whispered Douglas to Donald.

"Now all he does is complain," agreed Donald.

"He complains even more than the passengers," whispered Norman to Jessie.

"It's time we settled him down," Jessie replied.

"But how?"

"Well, we can have him do Henry's job and then see if those trucks really are lucky."

Henry parked besides Jessie and she whispered the plan.

Henry chuckled but he kept it to himself.

"You know James," Henry announced loudly. "Perhaps to settle your complaints, you should do my goods work."


"Perhaps those oh so 'lucky' trucks will help you be on time."

James pondered. "What a good idea!"

"Of course! And that includes pulling the 'Flying Kipper' in the morning."

James froze there. He hadn't had good experiences with the "Flying Kipper."

"Actually, maybe it's not such a good idea."

"Why noo," chimed in Donald. "Ye can prove aye point tae Henry."

"But, uh, the Fat Controller wouldn't approve."

"Rubbish. Tae change soonds perrfect. He'll agree," added Douglas.

"But then I, uh, have a passenger train in the morning, so I can't, you see."

"Douggie can take care oof that. Yon Jessie can take over Douggie's work."

"You don't have an excuse," said Henry.

"Fine. Besides, at least I'll be on time," said James.

The engines were more amused than ever.

The next morning, James set off early.

"You know, notifying us earlier would have been great," yawned the Fireman.

"Don't worry. This is an easy job."

"We needn't remind you about the last few times you've pulled this train, do we?"

"No thanks."

Norman was shunting the trucks.

"Here you are, twenty 'lucky' trucks for three-thousand pounds of fish bound for Barrow."

"My, that's a . . . lot of fish.

There were boxes of fish stacked on the quay as far as the eye could see. Fork-lifts loaded the heavy crates into the vans and the Harbour workers checked that all was secured.

"Do you want a helping start?" asked Norman.

"Erm, yes please," replied the Lancashire Class 28.

Everything was ready. The Guard showed his green lamp and the heavy train slowly began to move out of the Harbour.

They were nearing the Junction and just as Norman was about to stop, they heard a squealing of something rubbing against the tracks.

"What is that?" asked James.

His Driver stopped the train and got down to investigate.

"One of the truck's tyres is flat," he told James. "And the others don't look like they'll go much further."

Norman's Second Man alerted the Signalman and telephoned for the Breakdown Train.

BoCo soon arrived with Rocky.

"Good thing we're always on duty just in case of an accident," said BoCo.

Rocky lifted the truck onto a flat-truck and then BoCo moved all that out of the way.

The train was coupled up again and James was finally able to start.

When he returned to the Shed, he was exhausted.

"So . . . how was the 'Kipper?'" asked Jessie innocently.

"You know exactly how it went," replied James. "Besides," he went on, "I've still got another chance to prove it."

"Henry's evening goods, I assume? Just one thing . . ."


"How do you know which trucks he used?"

"I'll figure it out," replied James.

"Fair enough," finished Jessie.

"Now, time for a well earned rest," he thought.

When he woke up again, his crew was getting him ready. When he had steam up, he puffed over to the Station.

"I say Norman, what trucks was Henry taking the other day?"

"I don't remember exactly. I shunt hundreds of trucks each day! You can't expect me to keep track of every single one."

"Well, how about the arrangement?"

"That's a lot easier. I'll sort your train out after I take Douglas's coaches to the platform."

The train was soon arranged. James was rather anxious to start.

"Settle down," cautioned the Driver. "I know you have a 'point' to prove but you won't achieve anything if you're impatient."

Presently, it was time for James to start.

"Come along! Come along!" he called to the trucks.

The trucks just groaned in reply and reluctantly followed.

"They are running nice, aren't they?" said James.

"Keep it up," replied his Driver.

James was approaching Wellsworth.

"Time to get a good run up the Hill."

The Driver checked the train's speed.

"Puff hard and we'll be up in no time."

Edward had just steamed into Wellsworth when James passed.

They whistled to each other and James began the ascent.

"Nearly . . . there . . ." he panted.

But then - snap! The coupling broke!

"Sorry to bail early. Time for ice skating on rails!" cried some trucks.

"Bother!" cried James.

The last five trucks gathered speed down the Hill.

Edward was about to take his coaches into the Yard when he saw the trucks coming.

"Runaway trucks!" he whistled urgently.

The Signalman, almost in a blink of an eye, changed the points into the Yard.

The Guard meanwhile, skilfully applied the brakes.

"Almost got it . . ." he groaned.

"You know what, this ice skating is boring," murmured the trucks.

The train was diverted into the Yard decreasing speed and the brake van bumped its buffers against some tar wagons.

"That was a close one," sighed the Guard and wiped his face and hands.

The Signalman had stopped Douglas outside the Yard. Presently, James came backing down with the remaining trucks.

"That's torn it," inspected the Driver. "The entire coupling hook broke so we can't use this truck anymore."

"Aye. So much furr lucky trucks, eh?" called Douglas from the Station.

"Lucky trucks. What's all that about?" inquired Edward.

Douglas told him about it.

Edward chuckled. "I don't think there's such things. Sometimes life can surprise you. You'd best leave that truck here and get the rest of your delivery to Vicarstown. Would you like some help up the Hill?"

"That would be great," replied James.

The train was soon re-arranged and the two engines snorted up the Hill.

"Goodbye!" called Edward as they reach the top.

The rest of the journey was no problem and albeit he was exhausted, James was glad to have completed the job.

That night in the Sheds, he was rather quiet.

"So?" began Henry. "How was the 'Kipper?'"

"You already know," sighed James.

"Ah well, we live and learn," replied Henry. "And I think we learned that I definitely have more skill handling trucks than you James."

"I guess I was silly to think you had 'lucky' trucks."

"To be honest, what you experienced could happen to any engine," continued Henry.

"You're right," said James. "Sorry for complaining."

"So? Are you apt to pull the 'Kipper' again?" asked Duck.

"No thanks! I much prefer coaches!" laughed James.

All the engines chuckled at that. Despite having had such a foolish idea, the engines realised that he was still Really Useful.

Edward and the Mail

Based on the story by Paul Larson.

It was nearly Valentine's Day on Sodor. There were romantic gestures, gifts, and lots more post on the post train.

"Why does everyone make such a fuss about this one day?" asked Percy, as he waited while the mail was loaded.

"It's the most romantic day of the year," replied the Driver.

"We should show kindness every day of the year. Like Liza, as she washes us each day."

"That is very kind of you to say," chuckled Liza, who was loading the post. "It's still nice to have one specific day," she added.

"Fair point," replied Percy and once the post was loaded, he puffed away.

Finally, it was the fourteenth, and the postman had more parcels than ever.

"It barely fits in my van," chuckled the postman.

Liza helped the postman load the mail.

"You should really organise the mail by where they need to go," said Percy.

"Of course," replied the postman. "The first three vans are for Wellsworth. The next three are for Kellsthorpe, and finally for Vicarstown."

"Thank goodness," sighed Percy. "That'll be much easier."

When all the post was loaded, Percy set off towards Edward's station.

Edward had just finished his morning passenger train when Percy arrived.

"I see you've got more post than usual," observed Edward.

"It is Valentine's Day," replied Percy. "The only other time there's this much post is at Christmastime."

Percy had shunted the trucks to be dropped off at Edward's station, and was preparing to continue his journey when the Stationmaster came up.

"The Fat Controller needs you at Knapford Harbour."



"But I've got the post to deliver."

"David will come by later to collect it."

"But where shall I leave my post vans?"

"Don't worry, Percy," called Edward, "I'll take care of them."

"Okay then. Thank you Edward!"

Percy hurried off to the harbour.

"Where can we leave the post?" asked Edward's Driver.

Edward thought for a moment. "There's some unused sidings leading into the woods just a half-mile from here."

"That could work," replied the Driver. "Let me just make sure."

She returned a few minutes later.

"All right, we can leave the trucks there. Let's just not get lost."

"All right," said Edward, and they set off.

He left the trucks in the sidings and was back in time for his next train.

Meanwhile, at the Big Station, David was preparing to take a goods train to Vicarstown.

Jessie shunted his trucks.

"Fast goods, am I right?" asked Jessie.

"Yes," replied David. "A nice change from pick-up goods. I mean, it's nice to make some stops but in my heyday, I handled the Express with ease."

"Have a good journey then."


David's fast goods made limited stops. One of these was supposed to be at Edward's station to collect the post that Percy had left but David nor his crew had been informed of that. He was at the Junction before the Stationmaster received the news.

The Stationmaster saw Jessie and asked him about David.

"Oh, he's already left," said Jessie. "And Edward's station usually isn't on his stops."

"I better telephone the Junction then."

But it was too late.

When David reached Vicarstown, Dodger and Molly were surprised at the absence of the post vans.

"Why didn't you collect them?" asked Molly.

"Collect what?" David was confused.

"The post, of course," put in Dodger.

"Isn't that Percy's job?"

"He was called away and you were supposed to collect them."

"Was I?"

The Driver checked the work-order.

"We had scheduled stops at the Junction, Killdane, and here. No sign of Edward's station."

Then the Stationmaster came up.

"I see there's a misunderstanding regarding your fast goods," he explained. "It turns out David was never informed to stop at Edward's station."

"Well, we need to get that post up here soon," said Molly.

"Indeed," replied the Stationmaster.

"I'm taking a coal train to the Big Station. If I stop at Edward's station on the way back, I can collect the post vans."

"Sounds like a plan," agreed David, Dodger, and the Stationmaster.

When Molly passed Edward's station on the way down, she saw him depart with a stopping train.

"Thanks for bringing coal!" called Edward.

"No problem!" replied Molly.

She was on her way back and stopped at Edward's station to collect the post vans. But she didn't know Edward had shunted the vans elsewhere and neither did anyone else.

"Oh dear! How could six loaded post vans just disappear?"

"There's a reasonable answer to this," assured her Driver.

"You're right. Let's just trace back the trucks' journey," said Molly. "So, Percy left the vans here and left them to Edward. David couldn't pick them up and they're not here, so Edward should know where the post vans are!"

Edward was at Brendam when he heard the news.

"Yes, we know where they are. As a matter of fact, we'll take care of that," said Edward's Driver.

"What was all that about?" asked Edward.

"The post hasn't been collected," replied the Driver.


"Yes. So, Molly is taking over for us at Suddery and we'll deliver the mail."

"Sounds good to me."

At Suddery, Edward was uncoupled and Molly took his train home. Then, Edward collected the post and made the deliveries as quickly as he could.

Finally, Edward steamed into Vicarstown.

"Thank goodness the post is all right," said David. "Great work, Edward."

"No problem."

"Glad to see the post is here," added the Stationmaster. "It'll probably be late, but lost post would have even worse!"

"Quite so," agreed the two engines.

"And good thing you knew where the mail trucks where," put in David.

"I'm glad I could help," smiled Edward. "And now, I must get back to my Branch line."

Edward steamed away, feeling proud. He knew had been a Really Useful Engine.

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Written by MainLineEngines.

It was a rainy day on Sodor. Regardless, the trains ran as usual with the engines' lamps shining through the rain.

"I wish the sun would at least come out," James groaned to David at the Big Station.

"Well, at least you get to pull passengers nonetheless," replied the J11.

Through the rain, they heard a familiar horn.

"Ugh!" shivered Daisy. "This cold weather is bad for my swerves."

"Why does she get to complain and not me?"

"Daisy's reason is legitimate. You just want to show off," teased David.

James rolled his eyes. "At least you can rest now," he told Daisy.

"Indeed. In the warmth of the Sheds."

Passengers changed trains; from Daisy into James's coaches. It wasn't long before James set off. That train's tail-lamp was hardly out of sight when it was time for David to go too.

David battled through the rain. Visibility was limited. Stopping for a red light, he suddenly remembered something. Something that had happened a long time ago but still remained in his mind to this day.

At last, David steamed into Vicarstown. Half of his train was going to England and other half was goods for the town.

"You're all unloaded," said the Stationmaster. "Done for the day?"

"Yes," replied the Driver. "But it's a long ride home."

"I reckon there's lots of traffic," added the Fireman.

"It's past rush hour but still."

David rolled into the Sheds where both Molly and Dodger were waiting too.

"You two look bored."

"Yeah, well, the rain means no work at the Mines. I've been shunting trucks here and organising the Yard. Not my type of fun," explained Dodger.

"I've just come back from my run," said Molly.

David's crew had left and shut the door.

"Do you remember a while back when we were reminiscing the old days and I told you I had had a dream one day."

"Yes, why?"

"Well, all this rain just keeps reminding me of it."

"It sounds like its been on your mind for a very long time," began Molly. "Perhaps you should tell it to us."

"Yeah, you'll feel better that way," agreed Dodger.

"All right," sighed David. "Here goes."

(no narration from this point forwards)

"I'm not exactly sure when this happened. I was at Gorton awaiting my fate. Actually, it happened in 1963. Most of my brothers and sisters had already met the cutter's torch. I was lucky then. I still had hope . . . So, it was a rainy day like today. I was alone, wondering what awaited me. Then, through the rain, came some sunshine and slowly but surely, I could see several colours of the rainbow. And I thought, 'what lies beyond that rainbow?' Even though I knew it wasn't physically possible. I closed my eyes for a while and suddenly, I saw I was puffing along with full steam and I approached a station just before a hill. It wasn't raining then but there above the hill, I saw the rainbow. At the station, everyone was saying 'hullo' to each other, shaking hands or hugging. At other times, people could care less if they bump into one another as they make their way to their train. Then the Guard's whistle blew. As I climbed the hill, the rainbow didn't move away. When I reached the top, I saw red roses along the side of the line. The sky was clear, sun shone down and birds flew all around. The rainbow was behind me now . . . I passed a Yard full of diesels and watched them as they did the duties that we had once done before. I realised that my tender was still full and so was my water tank. 'No trouble at all', said my Driver. I could keep going on forever . . ."


"I woke up again . . . the rainbow was still there or at least three colours were. Most of time you don't actually see all seven colours. Rainbows are formed due to the reflection and refraction of light through water droplets. Yet, I'd seen a full seven colour rainbow. I thought, 'is this the end? I mean, I should have seen it coming. Having been the last member of my class withdrawn.' But what happens afterwards? What has become of my brothers and sisters? I don't know and I never will. But perhaps . . . they're over the rainbow. Where there'll be no trouble for them. 'Is it better than sitting here . . . cold and alone.' Perhaps when my day comes . . . I'll join them and leave the Modernisation Plan. They'll learn and do our jobs just as well as us. Someday . .  . I'll be over that rainbow. Then I smiled. I've proven my worth. I've done my job here. And I'm lucky enough to still have my wheels intact. Whatever awaits . . . I'll be ready."

Molly - That was abstract.

Dodger - What do you mean?

Molly - That it doesn't necessarily represent reality and goes into your subconscious.

David - Yes, it was strange. And I don't know why, but I never forgot it over all other dreams.

Molly - I think . . . it was perhaps a glimpse of hope. You obviously felt very damp and weak.

David - Worse I've ever felt.

Molly - That was to tell you that things were going to all right. No matter what happens.

Dodger - Yeah and now, you have work and run properly. You are over the rainbow.

David - Thanks you two. But you know, perhaps my brothers and sisters are also over the rainbow. In a different way . . . Well, I'm glad I solved that.

Dodger - No problem.

David - And I'm even luckier to have friends like you.

Molly - We're always here to help each other no matter what comes between us.

(The engines slowly doze off)

(Next morning: still raining, but the sun comes out forming another rainbow)

Percy's Lucky Day

Based on the story by Davey Moore.

It was a beautiful autumn morning at Ffarquhar. Percy was waiting for some stone trucks from the Quarry.

"Where's Toby?" he asked the Driver. "It's not like him to be late."

At last, Toby arrived.

"Sorry," he panted. "A car broke down near the level crossing and caused a traffic jam."

Percy was soon hurrying along to make up for lost time.

Finally, he steamed into the Harbour and quickly arranged his trucks. Then, he rushed back to Ffarquhar to collect the post train. He found that the post was already loaded.

"Sorry I'm late," panted Percy.

"Don't worry, you'll be able to make up for lost time," said Liza.

"If there aren't any delays," put in Percy.

"For now, you just have to wait for Bill and Ben to arrive."

"Sounds good."

So once Bill and Ben puffed in, Percy puffed away as soon as the signal turned green.

"Great to see you Bill and Ben but I have to go now or else I'll be late to the Junction!"

Percy raced away leaving Bill and Ben behind.

"I guess we'll talk another time," puffed Bill.

"He's in quite a hurry," remarked Ben.

Meanwhile, Percy was hurrying along the Branch. He had just passed the station by the river when he saw something on the line up ahead.

"Oh no! Pumpkins on the line!" he cried.

Percy's Driver applied the brakes, but it was no use! Percy ran over the boxes and pumpkin covered his wheels and smoke-box.

"Oh dear," he groaned. "What a mess and my wheels are all sticky now."

Now he had to wait till the mess was cleaned up.

Presently, Toby came with Henrietta.

"What's happened here?" he asked.

"Oh, I am not having a good day at all," sighed Percy. "First, you were late with your stone trucks and now a box of pumpkins fell onto the line and I ran right over it."

"We all have accidents now and then," replied Toby.

"It's two unfortunate incidents today though."

Just then, Toby's Guard blew the whistle.

"I have to go now. See you later."

Percy couldn't reply.

When the mess was cleared, he set off again trying to make up for lost time.

Presently, he reached the Junction where James was waiting to collect the post.

"Where you have you been Percy?" asked James.

"Sorry. I ran into some trouble," replied Percy.

"Are you all right?"

"Just a bit sticky, that's all. But it will take a long time to clean up."

Soon, all the post was loaded and James was ready to go. However, he saw that Percy looked upset.

"Hey Percy, what's the matter?" asked James.

"Nothing is going right today," sighed Percy.

"It's just a rough start. Just take care and you'll be fine!" said James and he puffed away.

"I sure hope so," thought Percy as he went to have his wheels cleaned. "Perhaps things will get better."

Unfortunately, it just wasn't Percy's day. His trains were delayed and although he tried to make up for lost time, he just grew more and more tired. And as the day passed, he grew unhappier. That night, he slunk into his shed, unhappy with his day.

"I hope tomorrow is better," sighed Percy, unhappily.

The next day, Percy was at the Junction, waiting for Molly's coal delivery.

She arrived and noticed Percy looking glum.

"Cheer up," she smiled. "It's a lovely day."

"Well today's better. I wasn't late though I did smash the buffers whilst re-fuelling at Ffarquhar. My wheels were still sticky from yesterday's encounter with those pumpkins."

"At least you weren't hurt or anyone else."

"I suppose," he sighed. "But I was late with every single delivery . . . It's called bad luck."

"Bad luck? You work on the Fat Controller's railway. Just by that, you're a very lucky engine. Many would like to be in our place, you know."

Percy thought about this for a moment.

"That is true," he decided.

"We all have bad days," continued Molly. "Last week, Dodger had a hot axle-box and had to go to the Works for repairs. It meant more work for me but now he's back and enjoying himself more than ever."

Just then, the signal dropped.

"Thank you Molly. This helped. I'd best be off to be on time."

Percy steamed away feeling much more cheerful.

Later, he was resting at Ffarquhar when the Stationmaster came up.

"The Fat Controller needs you to collect a party of wedding guests from the Junction and take them to the station by the river."

"Really?" asked Percy.

"Indeed. Henry will be bringing them at three, so don't be late."

Percy hurried to the Junction and was waiting when Henry arrived.

"Fancy Percy pulling wedding guests," chuckled Henry. "Consider this a royal train."

"Thank you," replied Percy.

The guests were soon on board and Percy steamed gently away.

When he arrived at the station by the river, he felt very pleased with himself and the guests complimented the nice journey.

"We'd like you to take us back from the Junction if you can," they requested.

"If the Fat Controller agrees," replied the Driver. And he did.

It was late when the guests returned and to Percy's surprise came the bride and groom.

"Thank you for giving everyone a splendid ride," said the bride.

"Three cheers for Percy," everyone cheered.

At the Junction he met James.

"Hullo Percy. You look happy. I reckon you had a good time taking the guests to the wedding," said James.

"Hullo James. I did have a good time."

"I'm glad to see you in a good mood."

"Today has been a good day," smiled Percy.

"Have a good night's rest!" said James as he puffed away.

When Percy got home, he was very content with his day.

"You just never know what life throws at you," he thought and then he went happily to sleep.




  • The Writer has confirmed the first two stories from volume three coincide with the events of this short.
  • James and the Pipes takes place before Henry, James and the Lucky Trucks and The Back of the Train takes places alongside Percy's Lucky Day. The events of the former are mentioned in story one.
  • Henry, James and the Lucky Trucks is based on the series eleven episode Henry's Lucky Day by Paul Larson. Edward and the Mail is based on the story of the same name from series eleven and also written by Larson.
  • Percy's Lucky Day is based on the series seventeen episode of the same name by Davey Moore.
  • Originally, there was no confirmed release date planned but in October 2018, it was confirmed it would be released January 2021.
  • This short was released during volume three of Adventures on Rails.