ERS 197 - Jock the Big Engine

ERS 197 - Jock the Big Engine - Ian

With the Arlesdale engines not having had a book to themselves since #146, I decided it was time to bring them back to the fore with their own trilogy of volumes - something quite new for the ERS. Loosely based on events of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in 2013, the story continued in volumes #199 and #201 respectively.

The R&ER built 'Northern Rock' in house during the mid 1970s and this was followed by similar engines for use overseas. This provided the inspiration for the opening chapter here as the engines discuss a new build engine just like Jock. Jock's fears that he is to be replaced are soon swept away, but he upsets his friends when he suggests the new arrival might be to replace them instead! The truth is uncovered by the damage to Jock's friendships has been done.


An under the weather Rex struggles on in order to haul the Christmas Eve train, a highlight of the year for the engines. Jock continues to cause upset with his insensitivity by suggesting he should run the train instead, and when Rex's radio fails it is Jock who comes to the rescue much to the annoyance of Bert and Mike. The cab radios used for contacting the Controller on the Arlesdale Railway is based on the set set up used on the R&ER.


A Gala is announced and the guest engine causes upset to Jock when he discovers how much bigger she is and, therefore, how much stronger and faster. He is hostile in the wake of her taking much of the attention, although the other engines warm to her. Unfortunately she is too long for the turntables at each end of the line and has to be split from her tender each time to run round - the same happened when the locomotive 'Samson' visited Cumbria from it's home line, the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.


In 2013 a fire caused considerable damage to the Workshop at Ravenglass. 3 locomotives were inside at the time - River Mite, River Esk and River Irt. This situation is directly transferred here as Jock continues to cause upset on the line leading to an almighty falling out with his friends Mike and Bert. The two engines are moved to the Workshop and Jock and Delilah are left to watch helplessly as a fire breaks out across the yard...