ERS 187 - The Electric Six

ERS 187 - The Electric Six - Ian

This volume picks up where ERSN #2 left off, and with most of the Peel Godred backstory featured in the novel, this became only the second volume in the standard library following on from #127 ‘The Electric Engines’. For most of the volume railway incidents give way to character-driven stories, a move most intentional on my part to help readers get used to the personalities of the various characters.



The newly overhauled and almost-legendary King Orry settles into life on the branch once more and discovers Kirk has taken a disliking to him. Kirk’s reason, it has to be said, is partially understandable - Orry’s rebuild has been facilitated by reusing many components from a scrapped class 87 electric. Orry takes it upon himself to win the young engine round with a charm offensive, but it backfires spectacularly as Kirk lets the praise go straight to his head.


Dane recalls his jaunt onto the Other Railway, a storyline from the Peel Godred novel. A real life character is introduced in the form of celebrity class 86 ‘Les Ross’, with whom Dane works for a time. Inspired by a true life event when a rail tour was hauled by a class 90 in place of the booked ‘heritage’ 86, Dane takes a train for Les Ross, although Les Ross is soon well enough to take on the return leg of the tour later that day.


It has long been my intention to write a story for the ERS where the central character doesn’t actually move, and here it is Maude - also known as "Miserable Maude" - who drives the action forward. Increasingly bored of being a ‘spare engine’ with nothing to do, Maude is inspired by James to start offering advice- thereby missing the point James was actually making! When her ‘help’ - which is better described as interference - annoys the main line engines, they begin to stop listening to her. Ironically, it is James who soon regrets this!


Shen is at the Works, so Kirk is asked to help Maude with the passenger works. Still incredibly stuck-up following Orry’s failed charm offensive, Kirk brags that he alone keeps the line running, and even tells Gordon that they’ll have wires to the Other Railway before long as the steam and even the diesel fleets are getting on! Naturally pride comes before a fall, and Kirk’s comes when he fails to spot he is being wrong-routed at Killdane station until far too late. He runs beyond the end of the wires, pulling a stanchion down atop him - much to Gordon’s great amusement.