My first volume as an ERS Staff Writer. I wanted to give some focus on one of the lesser explored
stations on the Main Line (which is the only one you can actually visit) by telling the stories of four different engines
who once called Barrow-in-Furness their home.
Samarkand's recent reassignment to the main line has left her feeling nostalgic for her time on the Other Railway,
and wondering what further changes are in store. Edward sympathizes with her worries, and reveals his part in the opening
of the Walney Channel Lift Bridge to Vicarstown.
No. 22, as Edward was once known on the Furness Railway, aids Mr. Topham Hatt in giving him a lift to the opening ceremony
at Vicarstown. Inadvertently, No. 22 beats the Director's Train, pulled by Parker, due to a mix up in scheduling, and thus
becomes the first engine to cross the bridge into Sodor. As a special thank you, Mr. Hatt awards No. 22 with the name Edward,
thus beginning his new life on the North Western Railway.
Further curiosity about Barrow's
past has Edward discussing the War Years on Sodor, when he ran scrap trains to Barrow's Steelworks to aid the shipbuilding
efforts there. One of Edward's Furness friends, Old Coppernob, stands on a plinth close to the platform, and, despite the
overall tension, maintains a cheerful attitude. The night brings an air raid to the town, and, though the station is destroyed,
Coppernob survives the destruction. Though taken away to safer storage until the war is over, Coppernob imparts upon Edward
the lesson of perseverance, which the old engine takes to heart during his darkest hour.
Pug, and Audrey all used to work together at Barrow, and, during that time, made friends with Percy, whose tales of Sodor
give Jinty the desire to head out and see the island. Jinty's chance comes when he is asked to take over a suburban service
to Norramby. However, a misread signal at Ballahoo causes him to derail on the points, delaying trains until Percy can come
to the rescue. Long afterwards, Jinty remembers that it's best to look before you leap!
The 1960s see an increase
in diesel visitors to the North Western Railway. One of these, D5702, doesn't feel like he belongs anywhere, so it's quite
surprising for him to receive a warm welcome from Edward, who bonds with the visitor from Barrow. When Edward is called away
to bank Henry's goods train, D5702 kindly volunteers to collect his train of china clay at Brendam. What follows, we quickly
realize, is BoCo's perspective of Main Line Engines, which is capped off by a surprise visit from a stout gentleman in a top
hat, asking to see the diesel who rescued his stranded express.