ERS 164 - A Sudrian Heat Wave

ERS 164 - A Sudrian Heat Wave - Ian

Having recently moved to the Wellsworth line, Jinty’s hope of a ‘sea breeze’ are dashed when the Island suffers uncharacteristically hot weather. Despite the Fat Controller making special arrangements to aid the staff, it doesn’t stop Jinty’s Fireman falling ill with heat stroke while Jinty is mid-journey. BoCo is summoned to assist, but with the heat causing his engine to shut down, the rescue is aborted and in the end Edward is summoned from Wellsworth to help the cavalcade home. The incident of a ‘double rescue’ was inspired by problems with the Class 158 diesel units on the Cambrian mainline in May 2010, where a failed unit and it’s rescuer had to be rescued by a third unit due to problems with the motor systems.


This was my first attempt at writing for the Norramby engines, so I was pleased when Ryan informed me he’d enjoyed it; it’s always nice when a character’s creator has enjoyed what you’ve written. Atlanta, cool and comfortable with her modern motor, enjoys teasing Eagle when the big engine complains of the heat from his fire. The others suggest she apologise knowing full well how awkward Eagle can be when teased, and Atlanta reluctantly agrees. When a passenger drops a cigarette in one of her coaches it is Eagle who raises the alarm and helps avoid a nasty incident, proving that even diesels can have fire trouble. Such an incident happened on the Talyllyn during my volunteering days, although luckily not with the consequences described.


A second story inspired by mishaps with Class 158 diesel units; on this occasion the real life incident saw a prolonged stop at Wrexham on a Holyhead service. On top of that, it presented a chance to gice Annie and Clarabel a nice role in a story. When a cleaner with hay fever wakes Daisy up, she grumbles dreadfully about it. Annie and Clarabel think she s being silly, but Daisy is insistent that the situation is intolerable. Unfortunately while hard at work Daisy sucks pollen into her air intake, which blocks the filter and makes her most uncomfortable. She feels better after her Driver has cleared the blockage with a stick, but Annie, Clarabel and the other engines find her misfortune rather comic!


A steam ban sees Sigrid and Frank hauling passenger trains on the Arlesdale Railway. Mike is delighted for the chance of a rest, especially when he is put in the spare road at the station for all the visitors to admire him. Tired of his showing off and sarcastic comments, the two diesel ‘accidentally’ forget to bring him back to the shed on the night the heat wave breaks, leaving Mike to endue an uncomfortable night out in the rain! Steam bans on preserved lines do result in the increased use of diesel traction, with several lines having been so affected over the years. Steam engines being left where visitors can see them is nothing new either, although I doubt any have in fact been left in the rain in such a way; that was just my whimsy!