Originally, Evan wished to write this book himself as a means of developing the character of
‘Evan the Private Engine’. However, progress on the first book was
very, very slow and the chances of a sequel occurring under Evan’s authorship anytime soon were slim to none. So with his blessing, I took the opportunity to craft Evan’s Lake Railway adventures myself. This was a particularly difficult book to write as the Bala Lake and Llanberis Lake
Railways in Wales offer very little in the way of story material by comparison with the other Welsh lines. So, some creative license came into effect, and this was the result.
AIRS & GRACES
This first story was adapted from one which we had in mind previously, called Evan Out Of Puff,
which would have been featured in ERS V1 if new material could have been created toward the end of its life. However, it was essential to show that Evan wasn’t able to match up to the strength of the other
Skarloey engines and needed to be moved elsewhere. This other place was ‘The
Lake Railway’, which we agreed would be better off as an ambiguous location. The
story itself is based off an incident on the Campbeltown and Machrihanish Railway, where the engine was not fitted with the proper braking equipment and let its train go adrift...
the story sees Evan losing a coach, whose vacuum brake cannot be connected to his air brakes, meaning the job of
stopping the train would be more difficult. The coach ‘chases’ Evan
down the line, before being stopped on a gradient, where it can be picked up safely.
ONE MAN’S RUBBISH...
This was a rather random story which I
cobbled together to create something ‘new’. A lot of heritage railways
find the issue of fly-tipping to be a real bother, with people throwing things down embankments without a second thought for
the safety of others. This story sees Evan and Mr Butcher, the Lake Railway’s Chief Engineer, clearing the line of rubbish.
Some of it is taken by a local artist who uses it for her art exhibition, which gives Evan an idea to spruce up the
station. With the use of an old bath tub as a ‘pond’, some old paint-cans
as flower-pots and an old wheelbarrow as a flower-bed, they create a brand new Station Garden for everyone to enjoy.
SEARCH & RESCUE
This one is a little bit closer to home because it happened to three of the SiF members on the 2009 trip to
Wales on Llanberis Lake...! The story sees Evan helping the boat hire people
when their motorboat breaks down, and three people end up drifting too far out into the lake.
Evan’s line provides a view of the lake and allows the people in charge to find the missing people and tow them
back in again with the use of another boat moored nearer to their location. The
same incident happened to members of our group, when they drifted too far out into the lake, and had to be towed back to shore
again. However, the railway getting involved with our party didn’t happen...
HOME & AWAY