ERS 172 - Ffarquhar Branch Line Surprises

ERS 172 - Ffarquhar Branch Line Surprises - Ryan & Christopher


Percy is proud of the extra responsibilities he has up at Ulfstead, but Thomas is tired of hearing him talk about it all the time. So when Thomas is asked to take Percy’s trucks down to Drayman’s Siding in a fast turnaround, he happily accepts, thinking it would be easy work.
But Drayman’s Siding is based near the bottom of a hill and has a different arrangement. As there are no points to run around, Percy usually backs his train down the line with the brake van leading. Instead, Thomas mistakenly takes the trucks down with himself in front, and finds it impossible to push the heavy train back up again. In the end, he has to wait for Percy to hurry along and help him to move the trucks back up the line again.

Brad teases Thomas about his silly incident at Drayman’s Siding, until he ends up in trouble himself. Rosie is sent from the Harbour one day to collect machinery parts from Elsbridge – it has been arranged for her to travel behind Brad’s passenger train. Brad takes advantage of this, and assumes that Rosie would be helping to push from behind.
But neither Brad nor his Driver know that Rosie is already tired from having hurried all the way up the goods line – and she wrongly assumes that Brad would be able to manage by himself. As a result, the two engines lose their footing up the hill. Eventually, they work together to get the train moving again, but it isn’t long before Thomas finds out...

Percy is collecting trucks of fish from the Harbour one evening – but the job is bad enough without Old Flanagan, the Yard Manager, interfering with their work. Whilst Percy is is trying to sort things out, Flanagan carries out his usual ‘inspections’ to pick out any suspicious faults. Whilst restacking some boxes in a dark corner of the van, Flanagan is accidentally shut in by the Shunter! Percy doesn’t realise as he takes the trucks up to the Junction for ‘The Flying Kipper’...where they hear Flanagan’s voice demanding to be let out! After his night in the fish van, Flanagan is far less inclined to stick his nose in where it isn’t needed.
Based on an incident with the Neath stationmaster in the early 1960s, who, thanks to his nosy nature, took an accidental trip to Bridgend on the fish train from Milford Haven to London!

The wonderful thing about the Sodor Hand-guide – Its People, History and Engines – is that there are always some interesting little facts covered by Wilbert Awdry and his his brother, George, that would make a fantastic story. Such is the case of this one...
One evening, the Ffarquhar engines learn about the ‘Carnane Bell’, which told the story of how the church bells at Elsbridge helped to guide a local shopkeeper called Peter Carnane safely home after becoming lost in thick fog. In remembrance and tradition, the bells continue to ring every evening before sunset.
A few days later, a group of Birdwatchers step off Toby’s train at the river station, with the intention of taking the last train home. But that evening, when Toby returns to the station, the Birdwatchers aren’t there. Fearing that they might be lost, or perhaps bogged down in the marshlands, Toby has the idea of convincing the Vicar to ring the church bells in the hope that it may help lead the Birdwatchers to safety – which of course it does. Thanks to Toby and the ‘Carnane Bell’, the Birdwatchers return safely to the station.