Neville's New Coaches

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Molly, Neville, Eagle, and Marty were pleased to work on the newly-restored Norramby branch line.

Dennis: Am I going to be a member?

Dennis is a diesel engine, and he inclines to be grumpy. Sir Topham Hatt shook his head.

Sir Topham Hatt: I'm sorry. You weren't around when the line was being restored, so you probably didn't know about it.

Dennis was cross. When his driver came to start him the next day, he refused to go.

Dennis: It's not fair! Why can't I run a branchline like the others?

Dennis' driver: Cheer up! It's only a line!

Dennis: It has engines, doesn't it? I'm not one of them either, I suppose!

Dennis' driver: Come on, Dennis! It's teamwork that counts on a railway, not lines! {He presses the starter button again.}

Dennis: Don't care!

Dennis started suddenly. He jerked forward, before his driver could stop him, Dennis hit the wall in the back of the shed! {Dennis crashes into a support.} Dennis was unhurt, but one of the shed supports was cracked! He was sorry at once, and even sorrier when he realized that Sir Topham Hatt had just come to the sheds. Sir Topham Hatt was cross, and ordered Dennis out while he made sure that the shed was safe.

Soon Dennis was shunting trucks with Thomas and Percy, but he still felt sorry.

Dennis: I didn't mean to hit the shed support!

Thomas: Sure you did! You said that you couldn't work on a branchline.

Dennis just growled angrily. Soon, he was shunting coaches for the other engines, when he heard a small voice.

Dennis: What's that?

The voice spoke up.

Coach #1: Are you one of Sir Topham Hatt's engines?

Dennis: Yes, I am!

Coach #1: Thank goodness. We've been waiting for an engine to pick us up because our engine was scrapped years ago.

Dennis was surprised, but he promised to get help. He went back to shunting, but couldn't help thinking about the coaches. Molly, Neville, and Eagle were taking more passengers than they could manage, and were starting to feel faint.

Molly: I'm overworked! My wheels could break off any second! Back on the London and North Eastern Railway, I was quite a young engine, and Gordon and I had no trouble.

Eagle: I'm too old for this.

Neville: I'm so tired I could break a coupling or a side rod! If only we had more coaches...

Just then, Dennis arrived, excited.

Dennis: While I was shunting, I found three old carriages! They're old, and kind, and...

Dennis' driver: {interrupting} She's got no wheels and her roof leaks live a sieve. Don't even think about it.

But Dennis did, and the other three were happy. Soon, Sir Topham Hatt and Herbert Jarrow (Norramby line controller) made arrangements. The coaches were sent to Sodor Steamworks for an overhaul, and when they came back, they were painted up in blood and custard. Dennis was arranged to take them to Neville straight away. At the junction, they found Homestar Jr. with bad news.

Homestar Jr.: Terrence is in trouble! I'll ride in your cab, Dennis, but go slowly to what has happened.

A little way along the line, Terrence's driver was building a farm. There was a road beside the tunnel, and it went over it. Terrence was pulling a trailer filled with stone for the farm, when a boulder fell onto the lane. Terrence swerved to the edge of the cutting to avoid the boulder. Unfortunately, the trailer tipped over, and the rocks fell onto the tracks! Luckily, a large bush stopped the trailer, and it balanced dangerously.

Terrence: Dennis' train is due!

His owner ran to telephone the station about the danger ahead. The call was just in time! With Homestar Jr. in his cab, Dennis moved cautiously along the line. By the time they arrived, the trailer had fallen off, next to the rocks! However, it didn't get near the tracks.

Homestar Jr.: The stones hadn't damaged the rails seriously, so we must proceed slowly. When we get to the next signal box, I tell the signalman what's happened.

They reached Crovan's Gate safely. Neville and Thomas with Annie and Clarabel were waiting for them. Neville named his coaches Jamie, Kathy, and Lucy, and the three of them became friends with Annie and Clarabel.

Mr. Jarrow: There can't be many railways that have a train consisting of an engine from one region, and coaches from another, but Neville, Jamie, Kathy, and Lucy are valuable members of mine and Sir Topham Hatt's crew. Dennis was able to find those coaches, and he'll be an official member of the Norramby engines.

Dennis was thrilled!

Mr. Jarrow: Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you three cheers to our first Southern and Great Western train!

Crowd: Hip, hip, hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Now Neville's as happy as can be. He and his coaches take passengers along the branch line, and you will Molly taking his coaches when Neville's busy. He knows he is very lucky, and so do his coaches.

Jamie: This is much better than being a summerhouse in an orchard.

Kathy: Yes, it's good to be useful again.

I think we can be sure, can't we, that Jamie, Kathy, and Lucy will be really useful for years to come.


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