ERS 54 - Duck, Oliver & The Little Western

ERS 54 - Duck, Oliver & The Little Western - Christopher

Loosely inspired by the Ealing Comedy movie, The Titfield Thunderbolt, this gave an expansive backstory as to how life at Tidmouth had been like since Duck went off to run his then new Branch Line, famously known as the “Little Western”.

Duck and Oliver are very grateful with Jinty's hard work at the Big Station, recalling how difficult life had been at the Big Station long before. With more work building up, and the Big Engines refusing to shunt again, Duck, Oliver, Donald and Douglas had to share out the shunting duties between them. This, however, puts them behind work on the Little Western. One evening, an impatient Oliver, heading to the Big Station, passes a DANGER signal and is derailed by trap points, severely damaging himself.

With Oliver away for repairs, Duck has to run the Branch Line alone, and is thoroughly overworked. To make matters worse, George the Steamroller is seeing to road works close to the railway and annoys the engines ceaselessly. He strikes a chord to Duck when he spreads a rumour about the Bus Station expanding their services and how they could soon take away their passengers just as Bulgy had nearly done once before...

Oliver returns to work but he and Duck still worry about losing their Branch Line and passengers to the buses. Things take a turn for the worse when a bad coastal storm causes erosion on the Little Western, forcing all trains to stop. Duck and Oliver fear the worse...

Thankfully, it turns out all right in the end. The Branch Line is repaired, the rumours proved false and the Fat Controller promises Duck and Oliver to find a full-time station shunter to work at the Big Station, leaving them more free time to tend to their line. George received his comeuppance, too, when he accidentally runs into two cars in a farm lane and is “banned” from the roads! I read about a similar incident from Tunstall, Suffolk 2008 when a tractor rammed into a pair of parked cars early one morning – it was just the ticket to teach the steamroller a lesson!