Tales From The Other Railway

An Awful View Of Stuck Up

An Awful View of Stuck Up

Our favourite upper-class twit gets his wish for a panoramic view - and the Thin Git turns destruction to advantage...!

Old Stuck-Up was feeling particularly pretentious. The Dining Club, the country's premiere gentlemen's club for upper-class twits, was holding a recruitment drive, and Stuck-Up was eager to make a good impression. Unfortunately, this meant acting twice as snooty as usual. This was driving Spamcan up the wall.

"Why are you so bloody condescendin' all the time?" he asked.

"Because I'm a big bluenoser and I know everything," replied Stuck-Up, smugly, "I shall lord it over you plebs whenever I want. You're just a grubby goods engine who's utterly beneath me."

"No, 'e isn't," said Bert, "is you blind or summink?"

"He isn't what?"

"Beneath you. See? 'E's' as big as you are!"

"At least I'm not as stupid as you are," laughed Spamcan.

But Stuck-Up was still smug.

"One day, when I have that shiny gold membership card, I'll show you all just what a big, rich engine can really do."

"So, wot can big, rich engines really do?" asked Bert.

"Not speak to brain-dead little shunting engines for a start," replied Stuck-Up and he grumbled away to make his cunning plan.

A few days later, the Thin Git came to see him.

"Stuck-Up, you'll be making one stop today with an empty Express to test a new private station some fancy bugger's gone and built on the hill overlooking the banking district. You can make up excuses not to afterwards."

"Can't Bowler come with me, or Cromwell? They liked being publicly made to look inferior to me in stations."

"Bloody go!" came the blunt reply.

So, Stuck-Up did, but he was still conceited, and he grew even smugger too.

"I just can't wait to show them up," he beamed.

"It's time for your visit to the Works. Your head is inflating," said the Driver.

At last, they approached the new station, which was no ordinary station. To impress the Dining Club, Stuck-Up had talked his Driver into taking out a massive loan under the Thin Git's name and commissioning his own personal station as a gaudy shrine to himself. If such a selfish act didn't prove he was Dining Club material, nothing would.

Stuck-Up was apprehensive, but his mood soon changed when he reached the new station. In front of him was a beautiful marble palace, plastered from wall to wall with golden statues and extravagant portraits of himself. Stuck-Up hummed pleasantly as he approached the diamond-encrusted buffers and looked through the windows. He could look down on all the bankers from up here.

"What a wonderful view!" he boasted. "Important and incredibly sexy engines like me deserve a panoramic view, where I can see all the plebs and all the plebs can see me!"

And he purred contently.

Stuck-Up was cross when it was time to leave. Diesel had to be called to physically drag him away.

"Now you can get back to work, as long as your ego will let you," said his Driver.

But Stuck-Up began to feel more and more proud, and soon, he slowed to a complete stop.

"What's happened?" exclaimed Diesel. "He feels even fatter than usual!"

His Driver examined him.

"Something's blown up inside of you, Stuck-Up," he said, "your brain, to be exact. Your head's grown too big and it's weighing you down! Now you really will have to go to the Works."

Stuck-Up was still big-headed when Spamcan arrived to collect his coaches.

"Well, well, well, so much for knowin' 'bout everything! You got too stuck-up even for you, so it serves you right!"

Stuck-Up, still thinking of that wonderful golden membership card, said nothing at all.

When Stuck-Up returned from the Works a few days later, head deflated back to normal, he was still being insufferable.

"I am the grandest engine on the Other Railway," he proclaimed, "probably the most stupidly grand in the world!"

"'Most stupid' is right, at least," Diesel grumbled. The other engines quietly agreed as the Thin Git arrived in his grotty old tuxedo.

"Come on, Stuck-Up," he said, "we're going to the official opening of the new station. Maybe now I'll see what all the fuss is about. I mean, it’s a station, for God’s sake, not the bloody State Opening of Parliament.”

The Thin Git climbed into his cab and Old Stuck-Up trundled proudly to the new station. Once the Dining Club saw how excessive and opulent it was, they'd be begging him to join up.

Then there was trouble.

As Stuck-Up approached the new station, neither the Driver or the Thin Git noticed until too late that his head had started swelling up again. The amount of smugness coursing through his brain had inflated it as big as a blimp.

The Driver tried to stop him before he knocked the whole station down, but Stuck-Up was in too much of a hurry to greet the Dining Club members.


Stuck-Up screamed as his glorious shrine collapsed around him. The Dining Club members ran for shelter in a nearby bus stop, which they then bought and sold to make way for an overpriced coffee shop.

When the dust finally settled, the Thin Git stumbled from Stuck-Up's cab, shaken and stern.

"Well, Stuck-Up," said the Thin Git, "I always knew you had a big head, but this is not the way to prove me right!"

"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir," mumbled Stuck-Up.

"And speaking of proof,” the Thin Git went on, “just how was it you were able to pay for this temple of doom all by yourself, anyway, hmm?"

Stuck-Up gulped. For the first time in his life, his head felt completely empty.

When Stuck-Up's head was deflated again, he took the Thin Git to the new station for its second official opening. This time, he arrived safely, and everyone laughed and jeered as he pulled in.

Stuck-Up was horrified. His beautiful station was now filled with loud, working-class families and sneering chavs. The enormous portraits of himself had been replaced with crude graffiti art and embarrassing photographs from past Christmas parties, while glass cases filled with his rusty old engine parts covered the floor. Then he saw the sign above the entrance, written in bold, red letters:


The Thin Git spoke to him, grinning from ear to ear.

"Your little 'shrine' is here to stay," he said, "though we've made a few, erm, alterations in the rebuild. I trust you won't mind pulling a few special tourist trains here every day for the next twenty years until we've paid that loan off."

Old Stuck-Up, disheartened, grumpily agreed.


Tales From The Other Railway - Series 5 / Story 3
Based on A Better View For Gordon - Written by Britt Allcroft & David Mitton