ERS 57 - Wartime Engines

ERS 57 - Wartime Engines - Simon & Christopher

The V1 of this volume took place at St. Pancras, however, given infeasibility of that under modern conditions (Steam engines are no longer allowed in this station), the decision was taken creatively by Simon to move the setting to York instead.

 

OFF TO YORK
A special event is being held at the National Railway Museum in York, and one of the Fat Controller's engines is being sent to “fly the flag”. The choice of engine to send (being James) and the destination to York, gave a different twist on the visiting engine formula. Henry, originally chosen, suffers a touch of nerves after a low flying Spitfire buzzes him! James sorts the train out, and heads to York thereafter. Many wartime themed events on preserved railways include flypasts, and this was alluded to in this first story.

RADIO JAMES
By choosing York as the centre at which all the events happen, the sheer variety of engines and rolling stock, and different events possible unfolded. In this case, James meets Defiant, Winston Churchill (the Bulleid Pacific), and Princess Elizabeth (“Lizzie”), engines chosen to represent their railway companies during the war. Green Arrow returns as another representative.
James, however, is infuriated by the attention Defiant receives at York station, and blows his whistle loudly to attract attention of his own...disrupting the sound waves of the radio station and causing a stir that makes the papers the next day!

BLACKOUT!
Several events during the Second World War are covered in this story, the most vital of all being the blackout, where all lights in the town are switched off to avoid being sighted by the enemy.
As part of the events, a special “blackout” session is being staged at York Station – but James, who is sent to handle some last-minute shunting during this time, reckons he could manoeuvre just as easily in the dark, but gets a shock when he slips on oily rails and crashes into the wrong warehouse...

TROOP TRAINS
In the last few days of the Memorial Event, the other Wartime Engines argue over which British Railway truly “won the war”. Green Arrow wins the argument when he recalls the tale of an engine he knew from the London and North Eastern Railway, who handled a twenty-six coach troop train by use of a clever starting tactic to get the heavy train moving. Afterward, James heads home to Sodor, wondering rather wistfully why his railway doesn't have a memorial engine of its own.