ERS 222 - Fundraising Engines

ERS 222 - Fundraising Engines - Christopher



After taking over the Skarloey Railway from Richard Hatt (formally ‘The Tall Controller’), Alexander Sam (the new ‘Thin’ Controller) begins to make plans to build up renewed interest in the railway and to help raise funds for Duncan’s overhaul. One of these is a staged Gravity Train event, not unlike those that have been seen on the Ffestiniog Railway.
But Fred remembers what happened with the last Gravity Train service from old, and is worried about history repeating itself. Come the day of the event, the worst that does happen is that the Gravity Train runs short of the bottom station, and Fred is sent to help pull the train the rest of the way. He doesn’t worry about the Gravity Train events now!


The Thin Controller continues his fundraising events, this time taking a leaf out of the Talyllyn Railway’s book where runners can ‘race’ a special passenger train up the line. Ivo Hugh thinks it all nonsense until he hears that the event will be televised. In a bid to make a good impression for the cameras, Ivo Hugh takes the race too seriously and tries to outrun all of the runners, whilst double-heading with Peter Sam. But in doing so the foolish young engine breaks a spring, and is towed back to the yards in disgrace...whilst the TV cameras are still filming.
This story was based from two real-life events – a majority of it was inspired from ITV’s coverage of the Talyllyn’s Race The Train in 2011, and the other half was when Tom Rolt broke a leaf spring in June of the same year.


The next fundraising event is much simpler, a friendly ‘Carriage Push’ contest between the elder railway staff and the volunteers, from the bottom station and up to the lake. The two coaches selected are Penny for ‘Team Young’ and Jemima for ‘Team Old Guard’. But like Ivo Hugh, Penny takes the competition too seriously, and continually urges her team to push as hard and as fast as they can all through the journey. In spite of her “friendly encouragement”, Jemima’s team still managed to go quicker than she did – finishing half an hour earlier.


All the fundraising events have gone splendidly, which have raised more than enough to start on Duncan’s repairs. The final event for the Summer is a ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’. The engine think it rather sweet – except for Scott. He thinks the “family event” is rather childish and wants no part in it. This gives Rheneas an idea for a cheeky joke...
That evening, after the passengers have gone home, Scott sets off with the workmen to tidy up the area used for the ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’. But he gets the shock of his life when a giant teddy bear appears suddenly and scolds him for “not playing nice”. However, it’s quickly revealed that the “teddy bear” is just one of the volunteers in a bear costume. Despite his embarrassment, Scott eventually finds the funny side of it.