ERS 159 - British Railway Engines

ERS 159 - British Railway Engines - Christopher & Simon

Story Summaries by Ian


The role of  banking engines is one much documented, and here we see Sodor’s resident engine showing what hard work the job could be. Emmeleia is enjoying her new lease of life on Sodor, but expresses to Edward her displeasure at the lack of thanks she receives. Edward tries to point out that steam engines need to conserve their energies, but Emmeleia doesn’t understand. Her next assignment, assisting the sullen Diesel Sixteen, proves a challenge, with the diesel hardly trying and the train slipping to a stand. Emmeleia is furious, especially when Daphne rumbles by making sarcastic comments, but with sand on the rails and a last brave effort, the big engine forces the train over the hill and away.


The background to this story is explained in the chapter itself; the dedicated, non-standard banking engines on the Main Land were removed from service by the 9F locomotives, and with history repeating itself the same thing happens, albeit temporarily, on Sodor. Emmeleia and her crew discover damage to her valve gear following the incident with Diesel Sixteen. When the Stationmaster explains that ‘Sam’ will cover her duties, Emmeleia wonders just who the mysterious engine may be. She’s far from happy with Sammy’s arrival, and bickering soon ensues.


When Sammy expresses her dislike for Emmeleia in the shed, Daphne is quick to agree; much to Squaddie’s chagrin! But Daphne sees a way to show how ridiculous the idea of a banking engine is, and next day pretends to stall on the hill, racing away just as Big Em arrives to help her! The other engines are furious, although Sammy thinks it a wonderful joke. But Daphne isn’t laughing the following day when she burns out a traction motor and really does need help!
Deltic locomotives such as Daphne can indeed run on the one engine, but troubles such as described here were not unknown over the years.


The animosity between the three big engines continues, with Edward and Jebediah pointing out to Emmeleia that all three engines are very alike in many ways. When Sammy stalls on the hill with a hot-axle box Daphne, following light engine, is dispatched to assist. When the heavy train proves too much for both engines, Emmeleia wastes no time in coming to their rescue. With no rude remarks, instead explaining carefully how best to get the cavalcade moving, Big Em soon gets the job done. With all three engines realizing they have all been to blame in the recent feud, they are pleased to make amends that evening in the shed.