ERS 96 - Coaches, Trucks & Engines

ERS 96 - Coaches, Trucks & Engines - Ian

This book started life as a collection of different story ideas that hadn’t worked as part of other volumes. Although each story is independent, the general theme of coaches and trucks ties them nicely together.

BoCo, while performing a rescue, has a close call with some trucks on Gordon’s Hill. When Bear remembers brake tenders from his old railway one is specially constructed at the Crovan’s Gate Works. BoCo, recovering from his earlier scare, isn’t overly keen to try out the new vehicle, but when he is sent to rescue Donald and his train, an opportunity presents itself. Although not based on a particular story, brake tenders were often used when diesel engines, lighter than their steam counterparts, were called upon to haul heavy trains. The use of BoCo here may seem a little out of character, but if anything it was intended to give him more character. All engines have their weaknesses, and this is what I hoped to portray with this story.


This story started life in a completely different format, whereby Gordon is given a Slip-Coach for his Express which he drops off at Wellsworth. The story didn’t work, but after turning it into a flashback piece made more sense. After Gordon complains about an unscheduled stop at Killdane, Duck suggests he ask for a Slip Coach, an object his was familiar with during his Paddington days. Occasionally the couplings on such coaches did fail, although whether one was ever shunted along in the manner described I couldn’t say.

Another story based on a real life Talyllyn incident, although the manner of how the main accident occurs is slightly different; the real story can be read in the book ‘The Chronicles of Pendre Siding’ by John L H Bate. Ivo Hugh is rough with the old coaches. Skarloey is cross with him and tells him to treat them with some respect. It’s Ivo Hugh who gets the last laugh when Skarloey has trouble with his brakes and runs into the buffers at the end of the station, causing damage to Lucy and Beatrice.


Queen Mary came to life following a visit to the Dean Forest Railway, where an ex Southern Railway ‘Queen Mary’ brake was on view in the yards. The storyline came about a year later during a visit to the town of Par, and seeing some of the industry around the port. Edward is lumbered with Queen Mary, a most troublesome of brake vans. When she is later rude to Bill and Ben, the little twins hatch a plan, and with Mary’s assistance ‘accidentally on purpose’ run her into the low bridge on the line to the harbour. Mary is rebuilt, but is kept at Brendam yard where she is only used for brake van rides to the Clay Workings.