ERS 137 - Engines & Animals

ERS 137 - Engines & Animals - Ryan

Summaries by Kyle



A new zoo has been opened at the end of the Miniature Railway, and Roger has taken a dim view on animals being locked up in cages. However Hunter explains how they provide a safe place to live for many animals that may be at risk in the wild, especially if they were hunted, and recalls the times he used to see the locals ‘hunts’ out in search of foxes. He describes to the Miniature engines the time during one ‘hunt’ when he saw a group of foxes being pursued by the men and their dogs, and pleaded with his crew to save them. By coasting down the hill towards the chase Hunter built up enough pressure to let off steam and startle the dogs as the foxes jumped across the line, giving them time to escape. Hunter then saw the foxes again a few days later, making Roger realise that a zoo allows animals to survive into the future - much like preservation does for engines!


Nellie the circus elephant has retired and been purchased by the new zoo, and Squaddie is arranged to transport her the harbour near the Big Station. Robert warns Squaddie to be careful, mentioning that Nellie is known for her mischievous ways, but Squaddie assures him that everything will be fine. However, as the journey progresses Squaddie finds himself going through much more water than usual, causing a great deal of concern and confusion for both himself and his crew, due to a lack of any obvious leak. All remain perplexed until they arrive at the junction when Eagle spots the culprit, and everyone looks back to see Nellie drinking straight out of Squaddie’s tender! The news of the incident spreads down the line and all find it a great joke – although it takes Squaddie a little longer than the others to see the funny side! Inspired by an incident in 1917 in Texas, U.S.A. when a group of circus elephants drained an engines’ tender dry discovered by Troublesome Truck


The large size of some of the zoo animals makes Louise nervous, but Nero’s advice of scaring them away with their sounds is not welcomed by Atlanta. Nero later complains about having to wait by the “smelly” zoo stop rather than the cool sea-front of the beach halt, claiming it was a bad idea to extend the line. His crew tire of his fussing, and decide to place him in a shaded siding further from the sounds and smells of the zoo, much to his delight. But when it comes time to leave Nero finds his line blocked by a peacock, so he decides to take his own advice and try to scare it away by getting close and blowing steam at it. The peacock stands its’ ground, and screeches right back at Nero, causing him to jump back in alarm! Atlanta and Louise find it all very funny, and tease Nero about “animals being more scared of engines” – especially after seeing the video.



Chester the performing chimpanzee enjoys visiting the Miniature engines at the zoo station, and Louise loves when he comes to see her. Although she would like to give him a trip along the line, she agrees with Chester’s handler that it wouldn’t be the best of ideas. One day Chester, after completing his show, runs away to the station to see the engines, but when his handler arrives from the chase he is nowhere to be found. Louise and her train depart as the staff continue to look for Chester, but are quickly alerted to a fare-evader, and when her driver and guard go to inspect find the cheeky chimp grinning in the rear coach. Safely found, Chester’s handler agrees to let him on a round trip on the line, and is returned to the zoo station, the chimp none-the-worse for his adventure. Chester is still allowed to visit the engines, but a much more careful eye is kept on him now when he does!