ERS 67 - Jinty the Shunting Engine

ERS 67 - Jinty The Shunting Engine - Professor Vengeance

Despite appearing only once in the entire RWS, Jinty seems to have proven rather a popular character. When he made his return as an ERS regular in Brad the American Engine, I felt it was only right he get a book of his own at last. This volume covers Jinty's early work in the Yard as Tidmouth Pilot, as well as his first clash with the trucks.

Jinty's early days in the Yard are made difficult by a speed-crazed goods van named Zippy, who berates the engines as 'slowpokes'. When Gordon needs an extra van for a Special on his Express one night, Jinty decides to give Zippy the ride of his life. The incident was inspired by the real-life use of goods vans on the end of passenger trains for Express deliveries. Their tendency to sway wildly at high speeds earned them the nickname 'swingers'. The image of a Troublesome Truck swinging behind an Express at full speed was too funny not to use here.

The silly trucks are unimpressed with Jinty's trick on Zippy and prove to be more troublesome than ever. Things boil to a head one rainy day when Jinty helps Douglas up the hill entering the Little Western and the trucks push him all the way back down. This story comes from an incident on the Lancashire and Yorkshire in Pendlebury, 1920. The engine came down the hill so fast, it spun right around when it derailed and wound up facing the way it came.

With Jinty out of action, Duck, Oliver and the Scottish Twins once more have to take turns shunting at the Big Station. This leads to several disruptions in the Yard, annoying the Big Engines and Henry in particular. "It's only shunting," he complains to Duck, "not rocket science!" He's forced to eat his words, however, when he causes a disruption of his own. Said mishap is similar to one made in Euston in 1949. An engine shunted its coaches into the wrong platform and hit the train already waiting there, damaging both carriages and the end barrier.

Jinty wants to pay the trucks out for their recent mischief and gets a prime opportunity on his return from the Works. BoCo is stuck on Gordon's Hill with a goods train and Edward's sanding gear has failed. Together they conquer the hill and, with a little acting from the Big Engines, scare the trucks straight over Jinty! Many thanks to Christopher Signore for inspiring this one. I was struggling for a decent way to wrap up the story arc when he sent me a photograph of a real-life 'Jinty' helping 'Big Bertha' bank a train up the Lickey Incline. From there, the story wrote itself.