OVER THE MARK
new Inspector has started work on Sodor, but the engines don’t like him. Referring to the engines by their numbers instead
of their names, coupled with a rather brusque manner, wins him few friends. Eventually Daphne, never one to stay quiet for
long, snaps and berates him for his attitude. Delighted with her apparent victory she dismisses Winston’s claim that
she has only made things worse. Her pride soon vanishes however when poor railhead conditions see her slide through Kellsthorpe
station and come to a stand on the level crossing. Such incidents have occurred many times in history, one example being at
Wem, Shropshire, where the level crossing is closed to road traffic even when a stopping train is due, just in case.
This is one of those
‘That can’t possibly be true!’ stories, but such an incident did happen with a Driver and a Manager who
had taken a dislike to one another in the 1970’s. The set up and subsequent error were exactly as described in the story.
When the Inspector accuses Daphne of breaking a speed limit on the line between the Hoo Bridge and Henry’s Tunnel, she
and her Driver protest their innocence. Daphne is horrified when her friends doubt her innocence, and in the end it is down
to the Fat Controller to solve the mystery; travelling in the rear cab, the Inspector was taking the speed limits of the opposite
THE OLD ORDER CHANGES
fails with the Express and has to be rescued by Daphne. While waiting for a road from Barrow to the Works, Daphne recalls
her early years on the Eastern Region. From the gradual decline of steam and the original cockiness of the Deltic engines,
to the time Daphne (then known as D9010) had to be rescued following her own failure. Befriending the steam engines, in particular
an A4 Pacific by the name of Kingfisher, she came to realise that even the mightly Deltics would face the same fate one day.
When mentioning that the class referred to each other by their numbers, it reminds Gordon of the Inspector, something that
gives Daphne food for thought.
This story gave chance to look a little at D9010, whom Daphne is based upon. Such details
as mentioned in the story are true to the locomotive, including the steam engine rescue which occurred in 1964.