Tales From The Other Railway

Smokey to the Rescue

Smokey To The Rescue

The shocking truth behind where the big Diesels have been for 7 stories of Series 4 is finally revealed...

Every day Smokey has to visit a faraway place. It's an old industrial complex, filled with rubbish from the nearby dump. The air smells putrid and Smokey thinks there is no messier place to be.

One day Scrappy the Tractor was passing by the complex with a trailer of manure, just as Smokey was having a drink. Black clouds poured contently from his funnel onto the road and caused Scrappy to introduce himself to a nearby oak tree.

"COUGH COUGH! Get yer boiler fixed, ya sooty devil!" he growled, "an' what the hell's wrong with your Driver? He looks worse than Bernard on a bender!"

"I don't know," replied Smokey, "but I soon will. OI, DRIVEY! SOMETHING WRONG?"

"You could say that," replied the Driver. "I lost my contact lense while I was filling your tank. The Fireman and I dug through the rubbish to find it and what did we find buried at the bottom?"

"A new boiler?" asked Smokey hopefully.

"Rails," said the Fireman. "Big rails, and a set of smaller tracks following them!"

"An other railway!" laughed Smokey. "I heard rumours that there used to be another railway nearby! I wonder where it goes..."

Later Smokey saw Scarface and Renegade in the sheds. Smokey had an idea.

"Can you two tell me about the rails?"

"Wot rails?" asked Renegade.

"The big rails under all the rubbish at the industrial complex."

Scarface sneered. "You mean, the other railway tracks?"

"Yes! I wanted to know where they went."

Renegade snorted. "Hell if we know. The place was already bein' covered up wiv crap when we moved in 'ere. The Wee B*****d said summink about 'keeping those fat, greedy buggers away'. Probably trying to hide us from the taxmen."

"How exciting!" said Smokey. "Do you think are diesels like us at the other end?"

"Fat chance!" said Scarface. "I heard those tracks go all the way to Sodor. If that's true, then only stupid steamies can go down there and stay sane!"

Then Smokey decided, "So that's where I'll go."

"Take care!" warned Scarface.

"Yeah," added Renegade, "My Driver still wants a piece a' you fer settin' 'is 'at on fire!"

Smokey told his Driver and Fireman all about the plan and that night, they came back to the shed.

"Mr Personal's agreed to put us on dump duty tomorrow. That gives us plenty of time to explore where the tracks lead."

"Right!" said Smokey. "We'll solve this mystery, no problem!"

The next morning, Smokey went to the dump with his trucks of rubbish. After bribing the Owner with a brand new donkey, his crew left the dump and took him back to the industrial complex instead. It took them all day to clear away the rubbish and follow the other railway tracks through the enormous maze of abandoned buildings.

It was getting late. Smokey was now deep in the heart of the complex. All around him were crumbling factorties and decaying warehouses; he had no idea where he was. Darkness had fallen and the smelly wind blew all around.


"Oooh! What's that?" murmured Smokey, but it was only the sounds of the lonely freight yard he had puffed into. The old rolling stock in the surrounding sidings towered over him, silent and still.

Or were they?


"Oh, come on, Cromwell! I'm right behind you!"

"It's not my fault, Diesel! Blame Mr Bottomsly! He started it!"

"And I'll finish it if you don't be quiet, you whippersnapper!"

"I say, that's not jolly nice of you, BoZo."

"Button yer mouth, Derek, or I'll fump you one good!"

"Will you lot keep it down? Emma is trying to centre her chakras!"

"I'll find your chakras in a minute, you common hippy tarts!"

"OI, shut it! Arry needs 'is beauty sleep!"

"Yeah, an' Bert needs 'is stupid sleep!"

"Oh, great! You've woken all the moths in my cab! EEE! Get them out! Get them out!"

"Shut up!"

"Shut up!"



Silence fell and Smokey was finally able to take in the unusual sight before him; ten large diesels and one rusty steam hybrid, covered in cobwebs and sheeted with ratty tarpaulins.

"Hoorah! Help at last!" cheered Derek. "I told you they'd come, didn't it?"

"Calm down, big-nose," scoffed Diesel, "it's just one of Personal's cronies."

Smokey was very confused.

"Excuse me," he asked politely, "but did you used to work here?"

"Used to?" said Diesel. "We do work here! This is our line! Your stupid controller was worried we'd steal all the business from his tacky little tourist attraction, so he drove us through this labyrinth of a yard and syphoned all our fuel!"

"And did our loyal crews try to rescue us?" put in Cromwell. "Did they hell! They all buggered off and called it a holiday! We've been stuck here for weeks!"

"How awful!" said Smokey. "What about your own controller? Can't he help you? Where is he?"

"Detox clinic," said Old Stuck-Up. "The one time that old fart bothers to go away and wash his trousers, and we get train-napped! Oh, the ironic irony!"

"I haven't been polished in a month," moaned Bowler. "I could die any day now."

"You will if you say that one more time, ya big ponce" growled Spamcan.

"Excuse me," said Smokey, before another shouting match could begin, "but do you all like rubbish?"

"'Course!" said Spamcan. "Rubbish is lovely!"

"I don't," said Bowler, but no-one listened.

Smokey grinned. "Then you're about to see a lot of it, because I'm getting you out of here."

Smokey's Driver and Fireman worked fast. It was impossible to find any fuel trucks for the big engines, but when Smokey discovered a pair of big beer tankers outside the abandoned brewery, things began to look up. The beer was a rejected in-house recipe and had been lying flat for over two decades. It tasted like dead socks, but it was all they had.

Smokey's Fireman served the beer to as many of the big engines as he could and Diesel agreed to lead the way.

"I do have the most experience," he said smugly.

"You've also 'ad the most beer," grumbled Spamcan.

At long last everything was ready. The big engines had shaken their sheets and dust away, and were all coupled up together. With a triumphant "Peep peep!" and a chorus of toots, Smokey led the cavalcade through the winding complex. It was touch-and-go for a while, especially when Derek stalled and set four box factories on fire, until:

"We've done it!" cried Smokey. "We're out of the maze and back on the open rails! Mission accomplished!"

Everyone cheered, then quickly held their breath. Mr Bottomsly had gotten a little overexcited.

Dawn was breaking. Mr Personal paced outside the sheds, grumbling to himself.

"Where in buggering blue blazes is Smokey? Nobody's heard from him since yesterday morning!"

"Maybe he was kidnapped by enemy agents," said Dinsdale, looking nervously over his cab.

"Maybe he finally blew himself up," said Dame Edna. "I wouldn't put it past him, the little fire hazard."

"Maybe he's discovered some old railway lines and gone on a mad adventure to rescue some big, grown-up diesels," said Peter Fonda.

"Poppycock!" exclaimed Queenie. "What would make you say something that stupid?"

"Because they're sitting right next to you."

Queenie squealed. Smokey was sitting right next to her and so, on the large, rubbish-strewn tracks next to him, were the Thin Git's Engines in all their grubby glory.

Mr Personal was furious.

"You stupid old kettle! Those big b*****ds were going to take all our customers! Why did you set them free?"

"Because they don't want to steal our customers," said Smokey calmly, "These big engines hate to work as much as we do. They're more lazy and slipshod than all of us little engines put together. They want to give us their passengers, not take them away!"

"That's right!" said Diesel. "We hate passengers! They're stupid, they're noisy, they're bad-tempered, they turn on you at the first sign of inconvenience..."

"And they smell," chimed Old Stuck-Up, "don't forget about the smell!"

"The more of them we can dump onto you pipsqueaks, the better," agreed Bowler.

The Wee B*****d considered.

"Maybe I was being a wee bit overly paranoid," he said at last. "You know, you lot could've said something about this earlier on."

"You kidnapped us in our sleep and ran away before we could wake up!" growled BoZo.

"Ach, what do you expect?" snapped the Wee B*****d. "I wouldnae be running a railway if I had any common sense, would I?"

Engines big and small quietly agreed with him.

Now the Scarface Engines are as happy as can be and take all the passengers that the Thin Git's Engines don't want. Believe me when I say that's a lot of passengers. The Railway is doing well and seeing healthy profits of 3.10 a year, plus taxes.

As for the Thin Git's Engines, you can find them all back on the Main Line once again, trying their hardest to not do any work. The locals call it many names (none of which are suitable for print), so we'd better just stick with the Other Railway.

Oh, and the Thin Git punched the Author in the face for breaking his publishing contract.

Wait, what?



Tales From The Other Railway - Series 4 / Story 7
Based on Rusty To The Rescue - Written by Britt Allcroft & David Mitton