When I first wrote
‘More Diesel Engines’ (ERS #138), Growler proved to be quite popular with readers. So much so I decided
to write him in as part of the ERS, who would later be developed by Ian for further work on the Peel Godred Branch Line...
The Main Line Diesels are pleased when they learn that Growler is to become part
of the NW Freight Link. Only Dick is annoyed by this; he feels he can manage without the Fat Controller bringing in more engines.
Then one day, whilst running a Permanent Way Train, Dick becomes too impatient for the Signalman and starts away before the
line ahead is clear. He comes off the rails by the catch-points and damages his axle. As a result, Dick is taken to the Works
by lorry where he meets Growler again, who assures him that he’ll be sure to look after Dick’s work the next time
he’s being mended...
Dick’s accident was based on an incident that occurred near Exeter Central.
I must confess, I have to thank Ryan for giving me the
idea for the story title! It was just the thing after reading about when the ‘Gronk’ shunter, on loan at the Bluebell
Railway, was pressed into taking the afternoon passenger service after No. 592 failed in 2010.
Growler’s presence on the railway inspires the younger Diesels, especially Ted. When Edward is unable to take his evening
passenger train, Growler encourages Ted to try. For his first passenger train, Ted does superbly well, but admits that “it
takes one ‘superhero’ to inspire another.”
Growler continues to inspire the younger Diesels with stories from his many years of
working on the Mainland. One such story involved how he got one over a pompous Class 56 Diesel engine that ran away with a
goods train and ran into a load of lime used as a buffer-stop. But the lime makes the Diesel too heavy to lift out with cranes,
so Growler is brought in to pull it back on the rails instead.
This story was inspired by another real-life incident that I read in the small but popular ‘Trains in Trouble’
series – the accident in question occurred at Chinley in 1978.
DILWORTH'S FINEST HOUR
Because Dilworth hadn’t had many stories to himself for a time, I
thought it best to rectify that – and the idea for this story came after watching a remarkable video online of an oil
train catching fire in Cheltenham in 2010.
Whilst running an oil train to the Mainland, one of the tankers’ brakes along Dilworth’s train catches fire. In
spite of the dangerous situation, Dilworth does his best to keep the tanker wagons from panicking – and he and his Crew
are able to keep the situation under control until the Fire Brigade arrive at the station to put things right. Dilworth is
very late with his delivery, but all the same, the Fat Controller and the other Diesels are very proud of him.