Iron Hero
Iron Hero
Season Four, Episode Nine
Vital statistics
Air date Saturday 1st December, 2012
Written by WildNorWester
Directed by WildNorWester
Episode guide
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Iron Hero is the ninth episode of Season 4, and the forty-fifth episode overall.


Henry brings the express to Barrow-in-Furness and meets Patrick there. Henry tells Patrick about Gordon's collapsed suspension spring, and Patrick replies that it's lucky he is available to pull the express. Henry tells Patrick that he used to have trouble building up steam, and one of the engines that pulled trains during this time, Winston, helped out. Winston is described as a red engine with no number, and James' design was based on his after his accident on his first day. Patrick tells Henry about a memorial to the engine at Norbridge. Bewildered by this, Henry is uncoupled from the express and leaves Patrick to take it on to London.

Henry returns to Tidmouth Sheds to find both Edward and Thomas there, due to a job swap with Diesel and Bear. Then, The Fat Controller arrives with a visitor called Colin Stiles, a former porter at Norbridge station during the war. Colin begins his story in 1944, a week before D-Day and military trains operated frequently through Norbridge. Colin befriended Winston and another engine, Mary, who took troop trains. One day, Mary's injector fails and Winston has to push her and her train to Norbridge. When another engine helps Mary, Winston returns with his munitions train.

Colin notices fire coming from the first van. The stationmaster evacuates the station and Winston's fireman uncouples the van from the rest of the train. Winston and his driver manage to clear the station before the bomb detonates and both are killed instantly. The engines, Colin and The Fat Controller all agree that if it hadn't been for Winston, a much greater tragedy would have occurred.



  • This episode is based on a true story, that occurred at Soham on June 2, 1944.
  • Railway Series references include; Thomas and the Breakdown Train and The Flying Kipper.
  • There are also references to Rough Engines and Super Rescue.
  • James Clarke's surname came from the guard, Herbert Clarke who survived the explosion although badly injured in the real-life incident.
  • This is so far the only episode to use a special effect - the fire on the trucks.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Mary.
  • This episode marks the last time WildNorWester voices Patrick. Eugene Yu takes over the role from Season 5 onwards.


  • The fire on the burning goods van has moved to the left side of the van rather than being in the middle.
  • ANB is not listed in the credits for playing both Mary and Alice.
  • There is sunlight on Winston's face nearly losing his mouth and chuffing at speed with the burning van.
  • Edward's sad face is tilted to the left when the engines are sad about Winston's death.
  • The tribute shown at the end shows James Gimbert as the train driver behind the Soham incident. In reality, it was Benjamin Gimbert.
  • When the narrator said "Patrick frowned" Patrick is shown to be smiling.

Voice Cast

  • WildNorWester as Narrator, Colin Stiles, Thomas, Edward, Winston, James, James Clarke, Gordon, Patrick, Henry, Stephen Topham Hatt and the Norbridge stationmaster
  • ANB as Alice and Mary