ERS 128 - The Greatest Of Western Engines

ERS 128 - The Greatest Of Western Engines - Ian


It had long been an ambition of mine to return City of Truro to the series, and to develop the City of Truro/Gordon story that the Reverend started many years ago. When the volume was chosen to appear in the ERS V2, it went through quite a lot of updating to bring it to standard. Gordon isn’t happy about the impending visit as everyone keeps mentioning ‘dome less engines’. When Skippy, City of Truro’s support diesel, fails en route to Sodor, Gordon is the nearest engine and makes his way to the rescue. He’s quite taken aback when he receives praise and a friendly welcome, and quickly forgets his earlier animosity! The introduction of Skippy, the class 67 diesel, was required as CoT is not currently Main Line certified, but with luck the character will be able to return.


City of Truro discusses his life and fame with Hunter and Eagle while staying in Barrow shed. He discusses the many railways he has visited, including his ‘home’, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. Later he meets Bear, and discusses his legendary record breaking run, before running light to Norramby for a special welcome party. This chapter replaced one that simply didn’t work in ERS V2, but does give chance to further develop the personality of City of Truro which was never touched upon in book 13 ‘D&TDE’. Name dropping the G-WR was a mini tribute to the Awdry style for visiting engines, such as Stepney.


Another that was heavily reworked from the original volume, in part because the storyline didn’t quite fit the tone of the book. During a photographic charter at Brendam, City of Truro and his crew attempt to deal with trespassers on the line. Some days later, during a special trip on Thomas’s line a group of photographers stood below the Els Bridge warn the train of danger ahead, which turns out to be the same two trespassers. The crisis averted City of Truro puts on a magnificent show for those photographers who are in the right place. Like a couple of my other stories in previous volumes, this is another take on the dangers of railways, including the trespass issue.


Skippy the support diesel is still out of action and City of Truro is due to return to the NRM at York. The Fat Controller however has a plan. Following a double headed Express with Sodor Castle, which is piloted from Tidmouth by Bear and banked by Duck on Gordon’s Hill, it is Winston who hauls the visitors home from Barrow the next day. The use of Winston, who didn’t appear in the original version of the book, seemed obvious when I reread the very title of the book, and all ends happily.