ERS 80 - Caledonian Railway Engines

ERS 80 - Caledonian Railway Engines - MRHloco
I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Donald and Douglas, as the two most prominently Scottish characters in the series. I've also noted that they always had fond recollections of their life in Scotland (see Christopher Awdry's work for evidence). So, for my first ERS volume, I decided to try them both out in Scotland.
Knowing that they did have a surviving relative on the Strathspey Railway, I originally had a plan to combine that with the story of their past and how they came to escape to Sodor in the first place (Mid Sodor Engines had got me rather enthused, I'll admit, and I was keen to tie into the continuity of Sudrian Twin Engines).
The whole issue of their escape to Sodor, however, never really got off the ground: in a lot of ways, perhaps the idea had been covered often enough before. Fortunately, I managed to make up for that by finding some surprising, if also rather startling, events to keep the adventures in the Highlands continuing.
Here, we discover that, although they enjoy their Sudrian lifestyle, Donald and Douglas are now keen to return to Scotland one day. Touched by this and the revelation that one of their cousins is preserved at Aviemore, Winston promptly makes it his duty to persuade the Fat Controller to find a way. Surprisingly, Sir Topham himself already has the situation in hand and is ready to offer a reward for years of stirling service.

And so Donald and Douglas are delivered by rail to Aviemore, the Strathspey Railway's headquarters, and are reunited with Jumbo, who is in need of overhaul. Life quickly turns out to be a tenderload of Welsh coal for them – the only problem is how to convince the resident Class 26 diesel, 'Claidheamh', that they have their uses.

As it happens, 'Claidheamh' is the least of the twins' worries: one of the volunteers on the Strathspey turns out to heartless toward steam and a reckless driver to boot. Despite all care taken by the engines and the volunteer's Land Rover, Jay, a nasty accident occurs on Dalfaber Crossing and Jay's future is uncertain, as, it would seem, is the Fat Controller's...

Anxieties and fears are gladly shared around Aviemore as the twins await the outcome of their accident with Jay and Jumbo anticipates a future of waiting. 'Claidheamh' however has by now seen sense and the two situations are soon cleared up and a relative of the unpleasant volunteer arrives to play his part in Jumbo's overhaul!