ERS 79 - Skarloey Railway Engines

ERS 79 - Skarloey Railway Engines - Ryan

The original book was ripped to pieces and the only remaining original story from the V1 submission is the second one, Old and Ivo Hugh, which has been drastically updated for the V2 library.  Three out of the four stories are based on real life events.



On a Talyllyn Railway DVD by Graham Whistler, there’s a short anecdote about slate trucks breaking away at Pendre and hurtling down through Tywyn Wharf, spilling their slates all over the Cambrian Main Line.  There have been numerous incidents like this on gravity run slate trains on the Ffestiniog, and I thought it would be fun to use one of these on the Skarloey Railway.  In this story, Skarloey explains to Fred why the railway doesn’t run gravity trains any longer, with these real life events used as reference for the adaptation.



As the ERS is now around the right time frame, Ivo Hugh now features, and as such is a little bit cocky given his superior size and strength over the other engines.  He ridicules Rheneas for being late, and puts it down to his old age.  However, with age comes experience, and when Ivo Hugh cannot grip the rails properly on a wet day, it’s Rheneas who has to come and take over his train.  This story was based on one from a Ffestiniog Railway VHS where Linda was struggling with a train in wet weather and had to be bailed out by Mountaineer.



This was to expel the idea of the old slate quarry still being in use, and bringing in the Ministry of Defence base now occupying that area.  Edwin Richard, a former Military Engine is keen to make friends there, but is continually denied entry.  However, he is offered a chance to take part in a special Army Weekend held by the MOD.  But whilst there, he suffers an indignity that harks back to his World War One days – and lands right off the track in spectacular style, having to be re-railed by the soldiers.



This was based on another real life event that took place on the Talyllyn Railway.  Rumour has it that a ‘Ghost Train’ haunts the line – and a few abseilers had seen the mysterious machine fly past them on Dolgoch Viaduct.  The ‘ghost’ actually turned out to be a man who lived in the hills who would use a small motorised trolley to ferry himself down the line to one of the local taverns and back again after dark.  The same idea was used here, with Fred believing the line is haunted, but it actually turns out to be Mr Hugh testing his old motorised trolley, the Mark V, for the Mid Sodor Heritage Railway!