ERS 167 - Spartan The Diesel Engine

ERS 167 - Spartan The Diesel Engine - Simon

Summaries by Ian



Since his failure on Gordon’s Hill, D16 has been stored out of use once more. Elsewhere, Spartan is also suffering with engine trouble, and Winston notes his problems have only arisen since the menacing D16 returned to traffic. Spartan regales Winston and Bear with the story of his kind, how the class were divided between companies, and how D16, formally John, was used to haul unwanted diesels to the scrap yards. Having expressed his intention to keep his class alive, Winston and Bear finally begin to discover the twisted logic that has led the disgraced engine to his recent actions… and are soon wondering what the future may have in store.


With Spartan removed to the Works, Winston questions Wakefield over his feelings of D16, getting an interesting response through Wakefield’s lack of words. Next day at the Works, Wakefield is stunned to see Procor, newly painted in matching blue livery and preparing for his test run. Procor issues his instructions, Wakefield agreeing in the vain hope Procor will leave him be after that. When Spartan reaches the yard, he stands his ground against Procor, who decides the time has come to see the follower who betrayed him gone for good. Forcing a flatbed into his fellow engine, Procor watches as Spartan is knocked clean off the rails, into the wall of the repair shop…


Wendell and the workmen free Spartan, finding less damage than expected. When Spartan informs the Fat Controller he no longer wishes to hold the ‘Procor’ nameplates, it is agreed that they will be left off him. In an attempt to show his solidarity with the resident engines, Spartan explains to Gordon that, by blowing smoke, steam and ash at Procor, his cooling system will fail. The engines take great delight in extracting revenge on Squaddie’s behalf, but when Edward learns of it he is less than impressed, correctly guessing the ploy will do more harm than good.


The engines, now realizing their foolishness, find themselves anxious over what action Procor will take next. Edward is more sympathetic and when Procor fails with further cooling troubles, manages to engage the troublesome diesel in conversation. Explaining how he his the last of his kind and of how things are, he departs having made a significant impact on the blue diesel. Next morning, Wakefield passes through Wellsworth with an oil train. As a wagon derails and a tanker alights, Edward finds himself in terrible danger. Only Procor is able to offer any assistance, doing so by shunting the burning tankers away over Gordon’s Hill, before a terrible explosion rocks the yard to the core.


Daphne, Wakefield, Spartan and the workmen set about the long, arduous task of clearing the lines following the explosion. Procor is recovered from the line side where he fell, badly damaged but otherwise intact. He is removed to the Works where Edward, badly blistered and fire damaged, greets him warmly and reminds him that he can have a future on Sodor, should he so choose.
Some time later, the Fat Controller arrives and unravels the mysteries surrounding the three engines and the recent spate of ‘accidents’. Despite the trouble they have caused, the Fat Controller reveals he wishes all three to remain on Sodor, with D16 being fitted with one of his old ’John Logie Baird’ nameplates. As a look of genuine friendship passes between the three engines, it seems that finally the sinister intentions of Procor have been vanquished for good.