More and more people were being forced to travel on the Thin Git's Railway.
More and more ships came to the Harbours, bringing naive holidaymakers, immigrants and surplus children from Sodor. Everyone
had to work very hard indeed,
The trucks complained bitterly; but then they're trucks. What on earth were you expecting,
The coaches complained too. No sooner had they arrived late with one train, than they had to go out again
with grubby passengers as another.
"We don't know whether we're coming or going," they protested. "We wish we knew.
Nobody tells us anything!"
"No-one can say," grumbled Pip, "that we're afraid of hard work, but..."
the line at goods trains," finished Emma. "We've told the Thin Git time and again we're High-Speed Trains but he just
"Dirty trucks, dirty sidings...Urgh!" shivered Bowler, flashing back to the dreaded Sh*t Train incident.
are you all blubberin' about?" asked Spamcan. "Diesel and I are the ones who 'ave to put up with all those shriekin' trucks
day in, day out! The Yard's getting busier every day!"
"Not to mention messier!" scoffed Old Stuck-Up. "I swear
you two galavant in those sidings all day long, while we proper engines have to do everything ourselves! I can't remember
the last time Diesel fetched our coaches for us like a proper little shunter!"
"Maybe if Derek the Detonator
didn't blow up in the middle of every train he pulled, I'd have time to ignore you!" growled Diesel.
cried Derek, letting off a cloud of black smoke. "Let me tell you..."
"SHUT IT!" ordered a well-known voice. The engines
froze as the Thin Git approached. "Let me tell you that I am looking into purchasing a new engine to help with the
The news was received with calls of "About bloody time!"
Several days later, the Thin Git had been called to the Yard. His search for a new engine had not been going well. All
the workshops he had visited thus far were either too expensive, out of stock or had engines which were only half-built. He
tried ordering his workmen to build a new engine themselves, but the casualty rate had become too depressing.
had better be important," the Thin Git said to the Yard Manager. "I haven't had my midday pint yet."
"I'm sorry about
this, sir," said the Yard Manager, "but the new engines appear to have arrived."
"New engines? What new-"
Thin Git stared. Standing before him were two identical diesel shunters he had never seen before. They were short and square
with six wheels, like Diesel. Their paint - black and yellow with hazard stripes on the front - was shabby and weather-worn.
Lettering on their sides appeared to have been scribbled out with felt pen. Their miserable, stubbly faces eyed him hopefully.
what's all this then?" he demanded.
"Um," said one diesel.
"Er," said the other.
"Don't get clever with
me!" snapped the Thin Git. "What are you doing in my yard?"
"Forgive me, sir, but aren't these the new engines you
ordered?" said the Yard Manager, who was most confused.
"I haven't ordered any ruddy engines yet, you cloth-eared cock!"
snapped the Thin Git. "We barely have enough money for one engine! Why would I order two?"
"Buy one, get one
free?" chimed the twins at once.
The Thin Git eyed them suspiciously. "What workshop are you from?" The twins exchanged
"Um," said one, "we're from, erm...Fakey's! Yeah, that's it! Fakey and, erm..."
in the second. "Yeah, that'll do."
"Fakey and Madeup!" they proclaimed together.
"Do you take me for an idiot?"
snarled the Thin Git. "Fakey and Madeup told me their stock was empty yesterday!"
"Well, um, y'see, the thing is, er...Happy
Birthday!" said the first diesel.
The Thin Git looked at their hopeful faces. He turned away. He was trying to hide
the wicked grin growing on his own. He could tell the twins were lying through their teeth, but truthfully he didn't really
care. All he knew was that he had two eager, free diesel shunters, seemingly desperate for any kind of work.
swung round again. "What are your names?"
"Arry an' Bert, sir."
"Good!" he said. "Manager, get these engines
fueled up and set them to work! I've got a tankard of Guinness with my name on it!"
He ran thirstily away.
Arry and Bert were soon bustling about the Yard. They didn't mind what they did. They tackled goods trains and coaches
with ease; for once the twins had shunted them, coaches and trucks were too shell-shocked to try any tricks.
engines were glad of the help, even if the twins did seem like a couple of thugs. Pip and Emma no longer had to pull goods
trains, Bowler and Old Stuck-Up didn't have to fetch their own coaches, Diesel and Spamcan had more help in the Yard and Derek's
breakdowns caused fewer delays. For the first time in a long time, things were starting to go right on the Other Railway,
or at least going towards right.
One morning, though, things started to go wrong. Bert was helping Diesel in
the Yard while Arry was rescuing Derek at the other end of the line. As Diesel was busy fighting with some trucks, Bert offered
to take Pip, who was having trouble starting, to the Big Fat Station for him.
Bert was enjoying himself, when an awful
thought struck him. "I 'ope the Fat Controller doesn't find out we're 'ere. I couldn't bare goin' back."
so much over this that he forgot about Pip. He pushed her into a busy siding, then trundled along to join Arry at the fuel
pump. After a few pints of oil, Emma came fussing.
"Pip?" asked Arry. "Y'mean the slightly less
annoyin' version o' you?"
"Yes, Pip!" squeaked Emma. "She's gone! No-one knows where she is! Oh, I must find her!"
bustled away, just as Spamcan rumbled past with the Sewage Train. Stuck in the middle of the tankers, desperately trying to
hold her breath, was Pip.
"Oh bugger!" said Bert. "I must've shunted her into the Sewage Train!"
idiot, Bert!" snapped Arry. "We 'ad a good thing going 'ere and you've gone an' mucked it all up!"
"It's not that
bad, is it?" asked Bert, the less intelligent of the two.
"It is that bad!" said Arry. "When everyone finds
out what 'appened, the Thin Git'll send us away, the Fat Git'll hunt us down and then it's back to the Magical Land Where
Dreams Come True for us!"
"Shut up and look at this!" said Arry's Driver. A mob of angry passengers erupted from the
siding with pitchforks and torches. Pip and Emma's Express was the only reliable service on the whole railway and the delay
had infuriated them.
"They'll be complaining to the Thin Git," said Bert's Driver. "He'll be coming here next."
not going back to that sugary hellhole!" proclaimed Arry, starting to feel a little intoxicated. "Once again, Bert, it's my
job to save us from certain doom! Now listen up..."
The Thin Git and three especially burly passengers stormed across the Yard; but Arry and Bert were nowhere to be seen.
Diesel and his Driver waited with innocent expressions.
"Ah!" said the Thin Git. "Diesel, and what're you doing here?"
t-tryin' t'find Pip, sir," said Diesel in an unusually deep voice. "I offered to shunt 'er for Bert 'cos 'ee was being an
idiot as usual and I, er, sorta lost 'er some'ow. Dunno 'ow that 'appened." His Driver struggled to keep smiling.
see, some mental defect no doubt. Tell me, did your crew shave you this morning?"
"Um, n-no, sir," said Diesel, his
Driver running in front of his stubbled chin. "'Ad a late night last night with that incredibly brilliant an' 'andsome Arry
"Hm," said the Thin Git.
He turned to the passengers. "Here, gentlemob, are the facts. Diesel here's
been shunting the Yard after a night on the tiles. Pip disappears. We investigate. Diesel confesses and-er-doesn't have a
clue where she is. You figure it out. We'll look into the matter straight away. Now bugger off."
Diesel beamed as the
passengers started to walk away. It was working, it was really working...
Then there was trouble.
were alerted by a loud tooting. Spamcan suddenly roared into the Yard with the Sewage Train. In the middle of the tankers
was a terrified Pip and stuck at the front, pushing back against the train, was a panicked Bert.
"Stop, for God's sake!"
he cried. "It's Pip!"
"MOVE!" cried Spamcan. "I can't see wher-"
Too late. The Sewage Train ploughed through
a siding and rocketed off the rails. Filthy water flew all over the Yard. Bert, Pip and Spamcan lay dazed, confused and smelly.
Worst of all, the sewage splashed over Diesel and washed off his paint, revealed a very embarrassed Arry underneath.
Thin Git's shoulders twitched; he wiped his brow. Arry wondered if he would explode.
"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL WAS THAT!?"