ERS 173 - Memories of the Midland Engines

ERS 173 – Memories of the Midland Engines - Kyle

Simon is away ill, and Alex and Gwen are trying their best to cope. To try and streamline the traffic Alex is hauling mixed trains, whilst Gwen is working between the docks and the goods yard at Kirk Ronan.As Alex is waiting to depart Gwen arrives with some trucks from the docks and the two trade remarks before a vicious argument breaks out. Bear, who has come down the line with a goods train, breaks up the fight, before asking if they can even remember what even started it all. Gwen darkly recalls how an accident Alex caused down at the docks got her into trouble.

Squaddie and Henry have both come down the Kirk Ronan branch and are spending the night in the shed there. Squaddie notes thankfully that Alex wasn’t too hostile towards him when they first met, and Henry and Simon both comment that Alex was much more placid earlier in his career on Sodor. Squaddie inquisitively asks why Alex is so suspicious of new engines. Alex eventually reveals his history during the 1960s, and how his initial meeting with Douglas changed his perspective on life, making him the engine his is today.

Henry and Simon comment that they enjoy sharing a shed again, and that there haven’t been many times since Simon left the Main Line in the 1970s. Squaddie becomes intrigued at how Simon did end up on the branch, and Simon explains how a dwindling number of secondary goods trains, combined with a failure on Gordon’s Hill, resulted in him being removed from the Main Line. Although he would have plenty of work while assisting the redevelopment of the Kirk Ronan docklands, it would mean he would have to work with Alex…

Alex proceeds to go into further detail of when Simon first arrived, and how the ex-Main Line engines’ presence (combined with the good relationship he established with Gwen) sparked his paranoid thoughts. However, when Simon comes to his rescue after Alex fails, mentioning that “Midland Engines must stick together”, he realises the newcomer may actually be helpful on the line.