Tales From The Other Railway

Spamcan, Get Lost!

Spamcan, Get Lost!

Spamcan's night out nearly ends in disaster when he finds he's wound up in the Other Railway's definition of Hell...

Spamcan the Bruiser Engine works closely with his associate, Diesel. They love nothing more than bumping trucks, harrassing coaches and generally being mean-spirited twits, but sometimes they get on each other's nerves.

One Halloween, the Thin Git came to see Spamcan.

"Diesel tells me you're the one who pushed him into those paperclip vans yesterday," he said, "so I want you to help Arry and Bert at the rubbish tip until your tempers die down."

"Whatever, sir," said Spamcan. "Will I be away long?"

"Just today," replied the Thin Git, "but for God's sake be careful. It's easy to get mugged up there so be back before dark."

"We will," said the Driver, like a pouting teenager. "Honestly, what's the worst that could happen?"

Spamcan soon arrived at the rubbish tip.

"Well, well, look who's 'ere to 'elp us," said Arry.

"'Oo?" asked Bert. Arry gave him a sharp shunt.

"Are those my trucks?" asked Spamcan, eager to get his work over with as quickly as possible.

"Only some of 'em. There's masses more in the sidings and they ruddy stink," replied Bert.

"The more, the merrier," groaned Spamcan.

Spamcan was really not enjoying himself. The harder he worked, the smellier he became. Arry and Bert were amused.

Later, the Foreman spoke to Spamcan's Driver. "We have a night special to take to the TV station at the end of the line. Do you want to pull the train?"

"No chance!" said the Driver. "I've got tickets to see Ghost Train II: The Shunting after my shift!"

"I can give you the pirate DVD instead," whispered the Foreman.

"Sold!" said the Driver, but he should've asked the Thin Git first. Besides, the bootlegs he imports from Russia have much better picture quality.

Night came. Spamcan had been hitched up to a long line of trucks piled high with refuse.

"Be careful, Spamcan," advised Arry. "Don't want you smellin' even worse than you now! Phwor!"

"I will, I will," snapped Spamcan, "an' thank you so very much for a dreadful day! I do 'ope I never come back again!"

"The line can be spooky," said Bert nervously. "Take care!"

"I'll tell the bogeyman you said 'ello!" snarked Spamcan. "Thanks for the warnin', ya big berk!" and with that, he growled away into the night.

Spamcan arrived at the TV station twenty minutes late and made the delivery of rubbish and litter for the Creative Department, then he set off for home.

That's when the trouble began.

The fog came down. It grew so thick that it seemed the whole railway was slowly smoldering. At first, Spamcan thought it was simply Derek passing by, but he wasn't.

"That berk was right," he thought. "Suddenly, everything does look spooky. Huh, Bert bein' right. That's a new one."

"There's a signalbox," called his Driver, "and the signal light's green. Someone must be expecting us for once."

But they hadn't. The Signalman was out stealing sweets from nearby houses and the points had been set in the wrong direction, but Spamcan didn't realise this.

"Home, 'ere we come!" he thought.

He drove, and he drove, and he drove. The journey back felt much longer than it should have. One bridge in particular felt so long, it was like crossing the ocean.

Then they approached an unknown area. The Driver made a decision.

"I'm bloody knackered!" he declared. "It's best we rest here until the fog clears and my leg wakes up!"

"What're those strange sounds?" wondered Spamcan.

Then the fog slowly lifted. Spamcan found himself surrounded by tall cranes with long hooked arms. Large ships bobbed in the water next to him, while above could be heard the irritating cries of seagulls.

"Oh bugger!" wailed Spamcan. "I remember this dump! It's Brendam Docks! We're on bloody Sodor!"

His Driver went for help (and a stiff drink). Spamcan was all alone, but not for long. Two squat tank engines approached, their livery yellow and their grins mischievious.

"Got you this time, you nasty old Diseasel!" said one. "You'll make a lovely Christmas present for some underprivileged Chinese children! Buffer 'im, Ben!"

The tank engines took him to the longest dock.

"Bye-bye, Mr Diseasel!" said the tank engines and they puffed quickly away.

Spamcan looked up. Above him was a huge crane with a surly face.

"This engine's not for shipping!" shouted Spamcan. The crane wasn't listening - he was moaning about chatterbox engines and the bad weather to no-one in particular - but just as he was about to grab hold of the diesel, he stopped.

There, next to him, stood the Thin Git.

"It's a good thing I've chosen to meet these Russian Mafia on this dock tonight!" he snapped. "Pulling you and your friends' arses out of trouble is getting to be a habit, Spamcan! For God's sake, please stop it!"

"Yes, sir," said Spamcan. "But I 'ave learned something."

"Oh, really? And what's that?"

"Your signalmen are f***in' useless!" cried Spamcan. "You should 'ave 'em all scrapped or something!"

"And that's exactly what'll happen to you now if you don't get out of here pronto!" said the Thin Git. "And remember, you didn't hear anything about Russian Mafia or bootleg movies, got that?"

"Other Railway rules OK!" proclaimed Spamcan and he sped homeward as fast as he could.

"Oi, wait for me, you great pillock!" cried his Driver.


Tales From The Other Railway - Series 2 / Story 11
Based on Stepney Gets Lost - Written by David Mitton & Britt Allcroft