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
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.
THE ROOT OF THE
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.
MAIN LINE ENGINE NO MORE
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…
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.