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
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!
locomotives such as Daphne can indeed run on the one engine, but troubles such as described here were not unknown over the
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.