ERS 224 - High-Speed Engines

ERS 224 - High-Speed Engines  - Christopher

Ian had wanted to write a volume about Pip and Emma for sometime, but he became stuck with ideas after a time. However, the ideas he had were too good to waste, so I offered to make use of them...

Pip and Emma are doing well as the new Express service, and they are especially pleased to be a fixed-formation train. Henry remarks that that doesn’t make them very versatile to any other work. His scornful words are proved correct not long afterwards – whilst on their next journey to London, the buffet carriage on Pip and Emma’s train go wrong, and the High-Speed Diesels are forced to try and shunt the carriage by themselves, which doesn’t go well at all...

A few weeks later, the Guard finds more faults in two of Pip and Emma’s carriages. Whilst they are being serviced, the two engines are forced to use some ‘spare’ coaches for a time. However, no one realises that their special coupling isn’t engaged properly – until the following morning when the train divides suddenly whilst travelling up Gordon’s Hill. As a result, the Express service is cancelled and Pip and Emma are taken back to the Works for a thorough service.

Another High-Speed Unit is borrowed to cover the Express, but Pip and Emma are worried. And Dick’s teasing about the buffet carriage doesn’t help matters either. He feels that proper Diesels should have a cab at each end, which would make top-and-tailing much easier.
A few days later, Dick and Dilworth set off with a very long and heavy ballast train. Dilworth is helping by pushing from behind. All goes well until a broken point lock sends the rear section of the train in the wrong direction. Dilworth doesn’t realise this and carries on pushing, until all the trucks, including himself, are derailed.
No one is hurt, but it takes a long time to clear the mess. As Dick and Dilworth are dispatched to the Works, it’s now Pip and Emma’s turn for a tease – remarking how “we face different ways but always go the same direction, yet you two were going the same way, and took different ‘roads’!

It’s not long before Pip, Emma, Dick and Dilworth are mended and all back at work. Pip and Emma are keen to make up for their earlier mishaps, and they do so, too. They find that they’re finishing their journeys earlier and earlier, which pleases the Fat Controller.
Then one day, on their way home to Sodor, the Stationmaster at Barrow informs them that Robert has been called away to an emergency – and as he is unable to pull his ‘Local Train’ service, they’ll have to do it instead. So Pip and Emma have to stop at every station all the way home. They find it most irritating, but they cheer up the following morning when the Fat Controller tells them of how pleased Robert’s passengers were of the “versatility” of his high-speed train. They agree that, sometimes, going slowly can be just as useful as going fast.