ERS 73 - Eventful Engines

ERS 73 - Eventful Engines - Flying Scotsman

Summaries & Introduction by Christopher


Flying Scotsman's book for the ERS is notable for the fact that it matches very nearly the same word count for the actual RWS books – and as such, with every ERS volume written, each story is all based on actual happenings in the same tradition.

An enthusiast’s train is coming to Sodor, and Henry is very pleased when he is chosen to pull it. His constant boasting gets on the other engines' nerves until he sets off with his special train on a cold, icy day. In a boisterous attempt to go as fast as Gordon, Henry's wheels slip fiercely on a sleety patch until his valve gear is tied up in knots. James takes over the train with gloating response to Henry's incident.

With Henry out of action, Pip and Emma are to be brought to Sodor to help, with much delight from the other engines. Until they arrive, Edward is to help out temporarily on the Main Line. One night, a delay on on the Other Railway makes Edward late getting back to Tidmouth. On his way home, he and his crew see what looks like a man dancing on the line. When they stop to check, they realise that it was only a moth fluttering in front of his headlamp. But they soon owe a gratitude to that little moth – as it turns out that, further up their line, Douglas had derailed with the Midnight Goods, and that their moth had saved them from a serious accident.

Bear has trouble starting on cold mornings. James and Gordon tease him about it, claiming that “steam engines never have trouble in the cold”. But later that day, while taking one of Henry's goods trains, Gordon gets stuck on his hill due to icy rails. James is brought to help push from behind – they manage all right, until one of the pipes in James's cab bursts, forcing his crew to jump clear. With no one to put his brakes on, James keeps on pushing until he runs out of steam. In the end, Bear shunts James out the way then helps Gordon over the hill. Without a doubt, it's Bear who gets the last laugh.

Pip and Emma's work on the Main Line is a great help to the other engines, and Henry's repairs are finally completed. He is left in a siding awaiting final checks, with a 'NOT TO BE MOVED' sign hung on his buffers. Eventually some fitters come to get Henry in steam – only being warned in time that another fitter is still beneath Henry, and had avoided being run over. At last, Henry returns home and listens intently to all the goings on while he was away. They are all in agreement when Bear remarks; “If it weren’t for the occasional adventure, things could get awfully boring.”