ERS 192 - The Roads of Sodor

ERS 192 - The Roads of Sodor  - 01Salty

This volume takes a rare look at the lives of a number of characters that inhabit the Island's roadways. It was written to give some of the lesser-seen road characters some time in the spotlight, as well as a chance to find out what some of them have been up to since we last saw them.


Roland the Rolls Royce is delighted to find out he is going to a Church fete at Elsbridge as part of a display. He's incredibly eager to get there as soon as possible to receive some "much-deserved" attention, and ignores his owner's concerns about how much fuel he has. They soon regret this, when Roland runs out of fuel right in the middle of the bridge just north of the town, causing delay and commotion. The owner manages to get some fuel in a container, and soon enough they arrive at the fete. Roland then becomes the centre of attention - but for all the wrong reasons! 

Based on an incident that happened to my own father in Bega, Australia. His ran out of fuel in the middle of a long bridge, and it ended up on the local radio as a result!



Dennis the Diesel Roller is longing for work, so is delighted when a job comes up with fixing a road near Elsbridge. But not far into the work he comes across a rude, impatient car - Berthold. Berthold abuses Dennis, before rushing away as soon as possible. The next day, Berthold passes and upsets Dennis again. When the road works are finished Dennis has to travel up to Ulfstead, and that night he runs in with Berthold again at an intersection - this time a speeding Berthold narrowly misses Dennis and they both crash, with Dennis rolling over onto his side. Both them and their drivers are rescued, and Dennis receives a new coat of paint for his troubles. Dennis' accident was inspired by a similar real-life event that happened in Patna, India in 2012.



Rocky the Skip Lorry is enjoying some banter with Percy when he hears about his next job - collecting a skip of muck dredged out of the nearby river - and he is more than a little dismayed! When he arrives he sees the skip full of waste, with a rather putrid smell everywhere. Rocky reluctantly moves into place, but then has a devious idea. He feigns weakness when he tries to lift the skip, and after a few attempts one of his hydraulic arms fails. Rocky is pleased, but then learns he can't leave until the arm is fixed. He immediately regrets his actions, and remains by the river until his arm is repaired - leaving with an inescapable smell! This story was inspired after seeing a photograph of a slip lorry trying to lift a skip of dredged muck along the river Thames.



Possibly the most unusual story of all, which was inspired by an even more unusual accident that happened in Northern Ireland in 2012! Terence is travelling to a neighbour's farm to do some ploughing, and not far into it he briefly meets Rod the Road Crane, who is passing on a lorry. Terence's owner expresses concern over the usage of the small winding country road by large lorries, and his suspicion is proven when, later on that day, a big lorry carrying fish tries to navigate the road and ends up losing control. It tumbles onto its side, and fish is split everywhere. Terence and Rod help clear the mess, and they both agree that surprising things can happen even in the quiet countryside.