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Next Episode: Episode 61

Episode 60: The Twins' Passing Problem One part of Edward's branchline has a single track with a passing loop halfway along. The trains are usually short enough to pass each other, but this is not the case when Donald and Douglas arrive at opposite directions, each with a long train of china clay. They amaze the signalman when they think of a clever solution to get their trains through.


  • Donald and Douglas
  • Edward (mentioned)


Narrator: Edward's branchline is a single track, with a passing loop about halfway along. Trains are usually short enough to pass each other. One day however, Donald was taking the weight of empty trucks to the china clay works. He knew his train was too long for the loop, but hoped that the train that was due to pass would be a short one. Donald reached the loop first, he puffed gently to the end, and stopped. A few minutes later, Douglas appeared in the distance, coming carefully down the hill.

Donald's fireman: He's got a long one too! Now what?

Narrator: The signalman - a new one - stopped Douglas before he reached the loop. Then he, the two drivers, the two firemen, and the two engines tried to work out how the trains could pass.

Signalman: A pity you didn't leave a couple of trucks behind! There would be no problem then!

Douglas: Och! No bother! This has been very compared with some of our games here at home, eh Donald?

Donald: Aye, that's right! But Douggie doesn't have to uncouple to his train!

Signalman: {scratching his head} Well, I'm blessed if I can see the answer!

Donald: {winking at Douglas} Och, 'tis nothing! Listen, I go back and leave half my trucks clear behind the points. Then I come back into the loop and stop. Douggie runs right round the other line, and I go forward with what I got at the hill!

Douglas: Aye! Then I come back pushing my own trucks, and pulling the other half of Donal's! I leave his trucks here, and then carry on until I'm clear of these points!

Signalman: I got it! You can then get clear away through the loop, and all Donald has to do is back on to the other half of his train! My word, but they're clever these Scots!

Narrator: And he winked broadly at the two drivers and firemen. Donald backed up, uncoupled part of his train, and then ran into the loop. Douglas went on through, and stopped before Donald's trucks. Donald puffed out of the loop, Douglas pulled the other half of Donald's train into the loop, and then carried on. Donald coupled to Douglas' half, and went off as well. It was an idea the Caledonian twins would never forget!


Fun Facts

  • This episode has the least characters in it.
  • The technique went like this:
    • Donald backs up, uncouples part of his train, and then runs into the loop.
    • Douglas goes on through, stopping before Donald's trucks.
    • Donald puffs out of the loop, Douglas pulls the other half of Donald's train into the loop, and then carries on.
    • Donald couples to his half, and goes off too.

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