ERS 99 - Branch Line Extension Engines

ERS 99 - Branch Line Extension Engines - Ryan

The original Book 99 was utterly shambolic, and after a vain attempt to try and pump some validity and credibility into it, it was decided to drop it completely and use it as a means of beefing up the Ulfstead Extension arc in preparation for Book 100.

 

PERCY GETS PRANGED

Whilst Thomas was in America, Edward has been brought to the Branch Line to help with the final push toward finishing the Ulfstead extension.  The heavier phase of work is due to begin at the Ulfstead end of the Branch Line, meaning that Percy will need to go there and help the workmen.  However, whilst being transported on the back of the lorry to the new station, he passes under a low bridge, which rips his funnel right off!  This was based on an incident from 2003, when a 'Thomas' replica was being transported to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, striking a bridge, and knocking the funnel off of the locomotive!

 

ROD’S MERRY GO ROUND

Written by The Old Bean & Old Square Wheels
Edits for V2 Library by Ryan

This was originally the first story of the original Book 100, where we had three characters, Rod the Caterpillar Crane, Trevor the Traction Engine and Terence the Tractor beginning to lay the foundations for the new viaduct.  However, Rod becomes complacent and self-important, thinking over engines who have had things  named after them – like Gordon’s Hill, Henry’s Tunnel or Edward’s Station.  Rod suggests that something somewhere should be named after him.  He gets his wish when he finds himself stuck in a boggy marshland – and has to be dragged out by Trevor and Terence.  However, it provides a worrying development for the construction team as it highlights the instability of the ground – which may not carry the viaduct after all.

 

TOBY BOILS OVER

Storyline by Ryan, Loey Machan & Chris The Xelent

In a bid to help Percy complete the work at the Ulfstead end of the line, Toby is sent there to assist.  However, as the weather grows hotter, Toby begins to encounter trouble with his water supply.  One day in particular, his injectors fail completely and he and his crew need to rely upon the water-pump to keep water flowing to his boiler.  In the end, Toby has to give up and allow Percy to take him home to Ulfstead to get more water.

 

THE CASSANDRA CATASTROPHE

Storyline by Sean & Ryan

At the other end of the line, supplies of stone from the Quarry are being supplied to help with the construction of the viaduct.  By this point, Ciremi had heavily influenced the way I wanted Brad to be portrayed from here on in.  Cool, affable and calm.  However, Sean pointed out a major flaw in the USA Dock Tanks were their poor brakes – and thus, the idea for the story sprang up.  Brad’s brakes are giving cause for concern, but rather than get them checked out, he prefers to keep on going – knowing that the Fat Controller cannot afford to have an engine out of service.  However, when the brakes fail completely whilst he’s pulling a goods train toward the unfinished viaduct, Brad has to use every ounce of his tact and uses his reverser to slow the train to a stop just in time.

 

A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER

Storyline by Loey Machan

The final push toward Ulfstead is being made, and the completion of St Finan’s Viaduct will see the two ends of the line connected at last.  However, when the crane brought in to help lay the spans in place fails, it’s up to the engines to complete the job.  Thomas and Edward stand on one side of the bridge, with Percy and Toby on the other, trying to lower the span into place in the face of a storm, which could scupper plans at the last minute.  With much effort, suspense and drama, the span is lowered into place and the new extension is linked to the rest of the Branch Line at last.