The final book in the
'Winston' trilogy now focuses upon the future, introducing Winston's rebuild to Sudrian requirements in the spirit of Gordon's
own reconstruction as well as detailing Winston's nonstop railtour of England and revealing who else survived the dark days
of the Other Railway's Traction Plan.
A failing and morose Winston is showing more and more signs of imminent failure.
As a result he is drafted onto a slow passenger train. Meanwhile, in the Fat Controller’s Office, Mr. Yeoman, head of
the Diesel Hydraulic Advance Project outlines his master plan for Winston’s rebuild.
Elsewhere, Winston struggles
but gallantly manages to bring home his passengers in a cloud of heavy smoke. It is here that Sir Topham Hatt approves the
rebuilding of Winston in the same spirit, all those years ago, that Gordon was rebuilt to create a unique and special engine
suited to Sodor’s needs.
Not long after, Winston is escorted to the Works along with a certain stern-tempered, blue-liviered,
is here that Ivan Farrier’s ulterior purpose when built for the Small Railway is revealed – he was to
test and evaluate on a smaller scale certain technological innovations to be used in Winston’s grand rebuild!
is finally rebuilt and leaves the works, restored to his golden ochre livery, feeling like brand new. The news that he is
being sent to the Southwest of England for the summer fills him with joy – but even on his way to Bristol Winston manages
to cause commotion all round.
Once settling in Devon however, Winston confronts an old enemy...
Winston makes new friends with the resident
diesels at Bristol St Phillips Marsh -but is astonished when a haughty GWR ‘King’ class 4-6-0 arrives for a week!
Winston marks his return also to Plymouth Laira, basking alone in that palatial depot and mourning the passing of his fellows...standing
alone, so he believes. Once reassured that he will not be alone forever, he rises from his despondence to continue his duties
on the Somerset to Cornwall routes. When both the ‘King’ and a High Speed 125 Train fails however, both appeal
to Winston to save them -and Winston must make the right choice...
Parting is with such sweet sorrow, as Winston’s sojourn in the Southwest draws
to an end. Finally Winston has laid to rest the ghosts of his fallen family and leaves the region on a high, heading towards
the unlikely place of the Midland Railway Centre.
At Butterly Winston is greeted by a ‘Peak’ diesel –
revealed to be the caretaker of another lonely heritage diesel – no less than D1048, Western Lady!
and Lady share their contrasting stories of their preservation years and then along with ‘Peaker’ are able to
grant ‘Lady’s dearest wish – to run out along the railway for the first time in over twenty years. After
this happy duty, the wandering Western must again leave and head north...
Winston is due north – but travels in convoy with the second survivor that he
now knows of – no less than the great Western Champion himself. They travel to York, where Winston finds it
is at the National Railway Museum he is to stay – and finds a third member of his family in residence, Western
Fusilier. However, the museum’s shunter, an 08 named ‘Gronk’ is not quite as pleased to see Winston’s
exhibition. However, after a heartfelt exchange and a memorable audience in the Great Hall itself, Winston heads west for
Sodor – and home – taking with him the blessing of the NRM’s great and good.