Tales From The Other Railway

The World's Biggest Drip

Steamie's plan finally comes undone - in true Other Railway style!

Steamie's laughter echoed through the warehouse. He couldn't remember exactly how long he'd been cackling away to himself and, frankly, he didn't care.

 

"When the Thin Git sees how you've all been melted into model trains", he bragged to the engines, "he'll realise that diesels are poo-pants and I'll stay as Head of the Yard once and for all!"

 

"How, Steamie?" said Diesel, still reeling from last week's shocking revelation (It was, wasn't it? Wasn't it!?). "How did you do this!? I'm the master of deceiving idiots to get what I want and even I fell for you!"

 

"Ah well," said Steamie, smugly, "that's the thing, you see, old chummy friend. When the Thin Git threw me off your railway again last time, I had a wonderful twinkly revelation about myself. I was waaaaaay too obvious about my lovely plans for you!"

 

"Steamie too obvious! Who'd have thought it?" snorted Bowler, before Spamcan spat sludge on his windows.

 

"I knew that if I wanted to get proper revenge on you," Steamie went on, "then I'd have to plan my revenge the way you did it to me - all sneaky-stealthy-slippy-styley! Woohoo!"

 

"Can we move this along?" asked Bert. "I have to use the little shunter's room."

 

Arry growled in Bert's general direction. Suddenly, he didn't need to go anymore.

 

"As I was saying," hissed Steamie, and composed himself once more. "I knew that if I were have proper vengeance on you, Dear Diesel Deary, I would need a little help from my friends. Which I didn't have. Because I'm crazy. Because of you. A-wibble."

 

"Trust me, Steamie, you were already crazy when I met you," said Diesel. "Who on earth would be just as mentally deficient as you to start up an actual friendship?"

 

Steamie said nothing. He just grinned malevolently at Diesel, as if to say "You're a clever boy. You figure it out."

 

Diesel pondered and pondered till his ponderer was sore. He didn't even know where his ponderer was, but it hurt like the Dickens.

 

"Of course!" he cried at last. "That's who you teamed up with! The only sort of person around these parts simple and stupid enough to fall for your pathetic mind games and cheap flattery!

 

"BRITISH RAILWAY WORKMEN!"

 

"Oooh, give the grump a cupcake! We have a winner!" laughed Steamie. "Yes, it's true, my duckies! I used my splendifferous singing voice to pursuade all the jolly workmen at the Works to help me carry out my plan. Oh, they were so happy to lend me a hand!"

 

"After you brainwashed them!" put in Pip. "That's horrible!"

 

"Yes," said Cromwell. "Wish I'd thought of it. I could make you all stop making fun of Mr Bottomsly."

 

BUUUURP!

 

"Not a good time, Mr B! Stow it!"

 

"AS I WAS SAYING," tooted Steamie impatiently. "Now then, first I waited for one of you lot to come in for squeaky-clean repairs so I could take your place."

 

"Well, that can't have taken long," scoffed Old Stuck-Up. "We can't go ten minutes without one of us being blown to bits."

 

"As soon as your worthy Sir Wyatt Fronts needed a spare engine, I had the workmen fiddle the records so that I would be the only one available. Then the real fun work could begin!

 

"Yes, My Ex-Best Friend Diesel, it was me who encouraged the trucks to make you run away in the Yard so I could play Super Hero Steamie and rescue you! (That was a fun day!)

 

"It was me who made you crash into the barrels at the fuelling depot by pretending to run away - just to see if you'd bitten my funny bait, of course!

 

"It was me who told the workmen it would be a jolly jape to fiddle your brakes and who told Private Parts to rescue you while I pretended to run away again. I knew it would take more than one brushe with Super Hero Steamie to convince you I was serious about being Bestest Best Friends and look at that, I was right!

 

"It was me who convinced you that your friends were all horrid morons who needed to smile once in a while! That was the easiest part of all.

 

"And it was you, Silly-Billy Diesel, who's unwittingly led them to their doomy-doom - yours included. WEE-HEEHEEEEEE!"

 

Steamie burst out laughing again, like a hyena with rabies and a crippling addiction to helium.

 

"Goodness me!" said Derek. "What a deeply intricate plot which neatly wraps up all of our weeks of unanswered questions about the situation at hand!"

 

"I have one!" said Emma, but Pip shushed her.

 

"And now, Diesel," said Steamie, a dim workman wiping the foam from his mouth, "if you would kindly do the honours..."

 

A gang of brainwashed workmen removed the buffers separating the diesels from the molten lead. The engines quivered and quibbled.

 

"Go on," Steamie added. "You're always saying how much you hate them and how much they don't appreciate you. Well, now here's your chance for revenge. Go on. Do it!"

 

Diesel stared at the long line of diesels before him. He felt terrible, and not just because he was staring directly down Mr Bottomsly's tender tap. He'd betrayed the only engines who ever truly tolerated him for a psychotic steam engine who spoke in nursery rhymes.

 

Diesel sighed. Steamie boiled.

 

"BUMP OFF THOSE GAS-GUZZLERS OR I'LL SHOVE YOU DOWN THAT HOLE FIRST, YOU STUPID STUPID-FACE!"

 

Diesel yelped and reluctantly began to push. He didn't want to be turned into model trains, but he didn't want his co-workers to either. Never mind losing the closest things he had to friends - the Thin Git would eat him for breakfast for demolishing his entire fleet. No joke. Nutter ate a Ford Escort once.

 

Like I could kill them even if I wanted to, Diesel thought to himself. This lot's so fat, they're barely budging!

 

This gave Diesel an idea. As he shunted the other diesels together, he whispered something to them down the line. When the word had been passed down, Diesel began to moan and groan.

 

"Ohhhhh deeeear," he trembled theatrically. "My engine is all bad and not nice! I think I've pulled a coupling rod! Ooh! Ahh! Ooh!"

 

Steamie raised a glitter-speckled eyebrow; then the diesels started to sing.

 

"Is that all you can hau-aul? BoZo's loads are longer!

Is that all you can hau-aul? BoZo must be stronger!"

 

 

"BoZo?" squeaked Steamie. "Who is BoZo?"

 

"Oh, you know," said Diesel, casually, "just BoZo, yeah? The old fart you're supposed to be replacing? What a clapped-out lump of sour grapes he is! Part-steamie, part-diesel, all rubbish! Am I right, people?"

 

The diesels rhubarbed in agreement.

 

"And even he could manage trains longer than this!" Diesel went on. "Oh, the shame! The shame! Yes, sir, BoZo really is the World's Strongest Steamie! Er, part-steamie, anyway!"

 

Steamie was cross! He was sure that Diesel was playing up, and he was sure that he was stronger than some senior citizen steamie hybrid he'd never even met. He could pull three whole trucks of balloons without breaking a sweat.

 

"So you're as weedy as you are grumpy-mumpy!" said Steamie, scowling. "Fine by me, spoilsport! I'll push you all in at the same time! What merryment!"

 

Steamie scuttled up behind Diesel and began to push. Nothing happened.

 

"Oh my fenders and firebox!" he puffed and panted. "This is jolly hard! What's the matter here?"

 

Before Steamie could think straight, the diesels scoffed and started singing again.

 

"Push us all, that's the longest!

Push us all, you'll be the strongest!"

 

 

"That's me," said Steamie, through sparkling gritted teeth, "the World's Strongest Engine! Oh, my aching axles! Ow!"

 

Steamie didn't know that Diesel had told the others to quietly slip on their brakes. They weren't going anywhere; at least not until Steamie caught on to their game, so they encouraged him to keep pushing anyway.

 

"Push! Push! Push!"

 

"Put your bunker into it!"

 

"Hurry up, you mad b*****d! I''m getting cobwebs over here!"

 

Steamie pushed, and he pushed, and he pushed, and he stopped, and he yelled at a workman, and he nearly ate him, and he pushed, and he pushed, and he pushed, but the diesels didn't move.

 

"Heave ho, heave ho!

You can push, but we won't go!"

 

 

This made Steamie very cross. And by very cross, I mean f***ing livid.

 

"ALRIGHT! THAT'S IT!" he barked. "IF I CAN'T PUSH YOU IN, I'LL JUST PULL YOU IN!"

 

And before anyone could stop him, Steamie sprinted to the front of the train and tried to pull the diesels instead. He pulled, and he pulled, and he pulled, and he pulled until the reader got tired of reading about how much he pulled.

 

Then there was trouble. Spamcan was at the head of the train. His couplings were so rusty from years of dirt and grime that when Steamie tried to pull extra super special hard on them, they crumbled to dust.

 

"HEEELP!"

 

There was a goofy hollering, a burst of fire, a squeak of "Fizzling fireboxes" and the bubbling fart of a three-chime steam whistle.

 

Steamie was sunk.

 

"What a great big drip!" sneered Diesel. Everyone agreed.

 

The workmen quickly woke up from their hypnotic stupor and chucked all the engines out of the warehouse, telling them to bugger off before they all got fired.

 

The Thin Git arrived soon after to see what all the commotion was. He looked down crossly at what was left of Steamie.

 

"And to think I thought you would be a proper Head of the Yard, but I was wrong," he said. "Ah well, first time for everything, I suppose. Can you clear out this horrid mess, BoZo?"

 

"Oh yes, sir," the newly-repaired BoZo replied happily. He backed up to the trucks of molten metal and stickers and then BoZo pulled away as easy as pie as the engines cheered. They cheered less when BoZo started coughing and covered them in sixty-year-old boiler sludge, but cheered nonetheless.

 

Steamie was sent to the local ancient Indian burial ground, where he could rest in peace until the ratings start to fall again, but Diesel had learnt a lesson.

 

"I'm sorry I didn't believe you," he said, as the other engines ganged up on him in the shed. "That tank engine turned out to be a bigger b*****d than I expected, didn't he? Can we be sort-of almost friends again, please?"

 

The other engines were delighted to agree.

 

After the three hour beatdown, of course.

 

THE END.

Tales From The Other Railway - Series 6 / Story 9
Based on Drip Tank - Written by Christopher Awdry
& The World's Strongest Engine - Written by Paul Larson / Story by David Mitton