ERS 66 - Evan & The Lake Railway

ERS 66 - Evan & The Lake Railway - Ryan

Originally, Evan wished to write this book himself as a means of developing the character of ‘Evan the Private Engine’.  However, progress on the first book was very, very slow and the chances of a sequel occurring under Evan’s authorship anytime soon were slim to none.  So with his blessing, I took the opportunity to craft Evan’s Lake Railway adventures myself.  This was a particularly difficult book to write as the Bala Lake and Llanberis Lake Railways in Wales offer very little in the way of story material by comparison with the other Welsh lines.  So, some creative license came into effect, and this was the result.



This first story was adapted from one which we had in mind previously, called Evan Out Of Puff, which would have been featured in ERS V1 if new material could have been created toward the end of its life.  However, it was essential to show that Evan wasn’t able to match up to the strength of the other Skarloey engines and needed to be moved elsewhere.  This other place was ‘The Lake Railway’, which we agreed would be better off as an ambiguous location.  The story itself is based off an incident on the Campbeltown and Machrihanish Railway, where the engine was not fitted with the proper braking equipment and let its train go adrift... the story sees Evan losing a coach, whose vacuum brake cannot be connected to his air brakes, meaning the job of stopping the train would be more difficult.  The coach ‘chases’ Evan down the line, before being stopped on a gradient, where it can be picked up safely.



This was a rather random story which I cobbled together to create something ‘new’.  A lot of heritage railways find the issue of fly-tipping to be a real bother, with people throwing things down embankments without a second thought for the safety of others.  This story sees Evan and Mr Butcher, the Lake Railway’s Chief Engineer, clearing the line of rubbish.  Some of it is taken by a local artist who uses it for her art exhibition, which gives Evan an idea to spruce up the station.  With the use of an old bath tub as a ‘pond’, some old paint-cans as flower-pots and an old wheelbarrow as a flower-bed, they create a brand new Station Garden for everyone to enjoy.



This one is a little bit closer to home because it happened to three of the SiF members on the 2009 trip to Wales on Llanberis Lake...!  The story sees Evan helping the boat hire people when their motorboat breaks down, and three people end up drifting too far out into the lake.  Evan’s line provides a view of the lake and allows the people in charge to find the missing people and tow them back in again with the use of another boat moored nearer to their location.  The same incident happened to members of our group, when they drifted too far out into the lake, and had to be towed back to shore again.  However, the railway getting involved with our party didn’t happen... sadly!



This brought about our overall goal to take Evan to the Mid Sodor Heritage Railway, where he’d be based from then on.  It made sense to have an engine like Evan providing a steam service, whilst allowing Buzz to work on the upcoming extensions that the railway would be going along with.  Evan’s time with the Lake Railway comes to an end with that railway finally getting their own locomotive to run the line, and Evan’s boiler ticket running out, meaning he has to undergo overhaul on the Skarloey Railway again.  However, he is still not suitable for their line, and measures have to be taken to provide him with work – enter the Mid-Sodor Heritage Railway, who require a steam locomotive to provide an added attraction to run their Museum Line.