ERS 115 - Adventures of the Ffarquhar Fleet

ERS 115 - Adventures of the Ffarquhar Fleet - Ian

A reworking of my first ever ERS volume, although following the ERS Overhaul, it is now fourth in my list! It now forms half of a pair along with Christopher’s ‘Tremendous Tank Engines’, which sees Brad working on the Little Western. This volume charts the adventures on the Ffarquahar line while he is away.


This story looks at the dangers of winds and storms for a railway, and although falling trees are nothing new to the series, I cannot recall one ever having fallen onto a train. During high winds a falling acorn breaks one of Daisy’s cab windows, an incident Thomas finds rather amusing. Toby eventually tells Thomas to stop his teasing, but the next morning Toby and his trucks discover to their peril that the high winds have left even greater dangers in the woods. Daisy’s incident is based on a real life mishap too.

With Brad away, poor Percy is feeling rushed with his extra duties. When Daisy and Thomas start teasing him, his pride kicks in and he rejects Toby’s offer of help. But with too much work and feeling over-tired, Percy makes a mistake and derails himself on a set of points. The issue of fatigue is becoming more and more important for railway workers, and although indirect this chapter does look at that issue. Engines derailing on points is nothing new of course.


When Mavis is requested to help during Brad and Percy’s absence, she recalls her first trip along Thomas’ line with a line of trucks. Full of pride and not having listened to Toby’s instructions, she doesn’t realise that Bear has bought empties for two trains and attempts to haul the entire train home in one go. The trucks are delighted, but Mavis isn’t when she has to be rescued by Percy.


The true story behind this one I’m fairly sure was from the 1940’s, but I’ve since lost the details. However, it does give chance to introduce another obnoxious character to the series, this time in the form of Roland, the gleaming white Rolls Royce motor car. Although rude to all engines, Rosie takes it to heart and doesn’t miss the chance for a race with him. Unfortunately, Roland then breaks down, while on his way to a wedding. Brad, returning home from the Little Western, finds the stranded bride by the line side, and hurries her to the wedding in a brake van!