Tales From The Other Railway



One of the few appearances of the Sodor Engine Fleet making it across the bridge and onto the Thin Git's Region... only to scare the life out of Diesel and associates!

Every few days, the Island of Sodor delivers a peace offering of assorted goods and rowdy runaway children to the Other Railway. It is known imaginatively as the Midnight Goods and is usually pulled by Douglas, a powerful Scottish steam engine. He hates the job enormously. Diesel and Spamcan are always insulting him and making his work difficult. But today's delivery was worse than ever; for today was Halloween.

"And evey yearrr, on the date o' the accident, it rrruns again as a warrrning tae others! Plungin' intae th' gap! Shrrriekin' like a lost soul!"

"Oh, what're you on about now, ya great Scotch pillock?"

"The Ghost Train! Driver saw it last night."

"Where?" asked Diesel and Spamcan.

"He didnae say. Och! It makes mah porridge wobble tae think a' it!"

"Huh!" snorted Diesel. "It's always the same! Every year, you try and feed us some cock-and-bull story to try and scare us, but we always have you wetting your firebox by daybreak!"

"Silly little steamie!" guffawed Spamcan and the two oiled away to prepare tonight's trick.

Douglas fumed. "Here, you!" he called to his driver. "Some story! Them two didnae believe in yer ghost at a'!"

His driver laughed. "Neither do I, ya dozy b*****d! It's the plot tae that daft horror remake they're showin' the noo, y'mind? Ah'm tellin' ye, Jessica Alba can not pull aff a convincin' fireman's daughter!"

"Got that right!" added the fireman. "If ah could produce a lassie like her, ah wouldnae be jammin' you fulla coal fer a livin', mah boy!"

Douglas was disappointed. He wanted so badly to get back at those stupid diesels, but he didn't know how. But, as luck and the script would have it, the answer would come to him soon enough.

After shunting the trucks into their proper places, he left the yard for home. Douglas knew where he was, even in the dark. The occasional carrot flung in his firebox did wonders for his eyesight.

"Compost Farm Crossin'! Aye, we're nearly at the bridge hame, lads!"

Douglas liked running at night. The rails hummed and the signal lights shone green. The fact he was passing by the nuclear plant was pure coincidence.

Trouble lay ahead, however, in the form of a broken-down car full of cocaine! Sam the Spliff , the local drug dealer, had just gone for help. Shame he stopped for a quick snort of confidence, though, or he might've just prevented the...


Douglas broke the car to smithereens. Cocaine flew everywhere. Miraculously staying on the rails, he didn't stop puffing until they reached the next signalbox. Derek was waiting on the other line, wearing a novelty parrot's beak for the occasion. He gave a start when he saw Douglas.

"Squawk! I mean, goodness!" he exclaimed. "Whatever happened to you?" Douglas's crew explained what had happened.

"I'll see to it," said the signalman after a quick cash incentive, "but you'd better clean Douglas or people will think he's a ghost. They're idiots round these parts."

Douglas chuckled. "Och, let's really pretend ah'm a ghost an' scare them two, eh? That'll teach 'em tae mess aboot wi' a Glesga' engine!"

Derek promised to help ("They said my costume was bird-brained! And not in a complimentary way!") and went on ahead to the sheds. Diesel and Spamcan were being prepared for this year's Halloween prank there. Their crew were splashing them with buckets of red paint, while workmen carefully fitted them with false teeth.

"Douglas has had an accident!" cried Derek.

"Really?" sneered Diesel. "Hah! The big cluumsy steamie! Hehe...wait a minute. That means we can't trick him! Oh buggeration!"

"And no doubt 'e'll be blockin' the way t' the smelters Halloween party!" grumbled Spamcan.

"They've cleared the line for you," went on Derek, "but there's something worse!"

"Worse than nearly missin' a smelters piss-up?" spluttered Spamcan. "Out with it, ya unreliable lump a' scrap! We don't got all evenin'!"

"I've just seen something!" said the beaked engine. "It looked like Douglas' ghost! It said it wa-was coming here t-to warn us!"

Diesel rolled his eyes. "Oh, I'm guessing the toxins from that joke nose of yours have gone to your engine. Don't be frightened, dimwit. It's just your frail imagination."

The workmen finished decorating the goods diesels and left for their own drunken parties. The three engines remained shut in the sheds while their crews went to get their own costumes. They sat in silence, all alone.

But not for long.

"Peeeep! Peeeep! Pip pip pip peeeep! Let me in! Let me in!" wailed a Scotch voice.

"Nono!" wailed Derek. "Not by the rust on my tinny-tin-tin!" Diesel and Spamcan were very confused and more than a little worried.

"Then, I'll chuff - an' ah'll puff - an' a'll break yer door in!"


A ghostly white steam engine burst through Derek's shed door, eyes rolling and whistle blasting.

"AAAAAA!" screamed the engines. Diesel and Spamcan were terrified, but Derek was finding it hard not to laugh

"C'MERE! AH'M GONNAE EAT YE!" roared Douglas and blew a large cloud of steam in Diesel and Spamcan's direction. Cocaine sprayed all over their faces and was quickly sucked through their air intakes. The Ghost Train was now spouting fire, flicking out a serpant's tongue and bombarding them with oil-sucking bats. At least in their eyes.

"RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!" cried the drugged-up diesels and crashed through their respective shed doors as fast as their wheels could carry them, screaming into the dark night.

It was morning when Diesel and Spamcan were found. Derek was preparing to take the morning goods train when he found cowering in the yard, surrounded by walls of trucks.

"Where have you two been?" smiled Derek. "Did you enjoy the party?"

"Ah, well," quivered Diesel. "We, ah, we figured you'd be a bit, um, upset about Douglas, so we, ah, figured we wouldn't go. Being respectful and, ah, and all that."

"Y-yeah, yeah!" stuttered Spamcan. "W-w-we slept 'ere. Y-y'know, get some nice f-fresh air about us, and, ah..."

A long low whistle echoed around the yard.


"Can't stop!" yelped Diesel. "Got to see some pills about a doctor!" And they roared away, sending trucks flying everywhere.

Douglas was none the worse for his adventure. The workmen had cleaned him overnight and he was just puffing through on his way home. He had heard everything.

"Weell, weell, weell, what dae ye think aboot that?"

"Anyone would think," chuckled Derek, "that those two had just seen a ghost." Douglas laughed too.

"There's just wan thing," he said. "What're they gonnae do wi' all that coke they scraped aff me?"

Derek sighed. "I think I've got a pretty good idea," he said.

Let's just say you won't be seeing much of the Thin Git for a little while.

Tales From The Other Railway - Series 1 / Story 11
Based on Ghost Train - Written by the Rev. W. Awdry