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Locomotives & Legends

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Locomotives & Legends
Locomotives&LegendsCover
The Locomotives & Legends book
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Author WildNorWester
Illustrator WildNorWester
Published on Deviantart
Published by WildNorWester
Publication order
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Locomotives & Legends is a Railway-Series Style volume written by WildNorWester, and published on Deviantart (http://wildnorwester.deviantart.com/gallery/45901533).  It takes place in 1996, two years after the final season of Sodor the Early Years, and sees a new character, Peter the Heavy Goods Engine, join the North-West Railway.

Plot

Part 1: Hints of a Legend

Henry is puzzled when he sees what appears to be a TV crew filming near the tunnel where he was once bricked up.  He learns from Thomas they're a crew from a documentary show about conspiracy theories and urban legends.  Oliver then explains the TV crew is investigating the legend of the British 'Strategic Steam Reserve'.  Henry can't understand why they're on Sodor.  However, events lead him to suspect there may be an engine hidden in the tunnel on the old Ballahoo cutoff.

He tells Emily Helen Hatt about these suspicions, and she investigates the tunnel with her brother, Charles Nicholas Hatt.  After entering the tunnel, they find themselves face-to-face with an old, neglected Stanier 8F steam engine.

Part 2: Smoke & Dagger

The steam engine introduces himself as Peter, but says he can't say any more until the sixteenth (eight days away).  Emily and Charles promise to return, then they leave.

Meanwhile, the Fat Controller is having problems of his own.  A new goods engine is needed to help Patrick with the fast goods trains.  The newly-appointed board of directors (following the railway's privatisation) are insisting that he buys a new diesel.  However, the Fat Controller would prefer a more experienced engine, as there is no time for getting a brand new engine up to speed.

A phone call from Emily informs the Fat Controller about Peter, and he calls his father, Sir Charles Topham Hatt.  Sir Charles says he can't say anything at the moment.

Following this, Peter is visited by Sir Charles and Brigadier Stewart, who was one of the officers in charge of placing Peter in the tunnel.  They ask Peter if he would like to be restored and put into service, to which he replies 'yes'.

At the works, Sir Charles meets with the Fat Controller, Emily and Charles.  While Peter is recovered from the tunnel and brought to the works by the military, Sir Charles explains that the Ballahoo tunnel was the pilot site for the UK's Strategic Steam Reserve, however the project was cancelled due to the ongoing maintenance requirements.

Part 3: Shaky Start

Peter has now been fully restored, and is brought to Knapford Station, where he's introduced to the railway's board of directors.  One of the directors, Norman Spencer, objects, saying that he was under the impression the new engine would be a diesel.  One of the other directors tells him to wait and see, and Peter heads off to collect his first train.  After getting his trucks from Diesel in the yard, he departs.

A short while later, James arrives, and tells Diesel off for shunting too many trucks in his train.  The two engines realise that Peter has taken James' train, and so James has to take Peter's.  Unfortunately, this causes a delay on Gordon's Hill, and he has to split the train to get it over.

Later that night, James tells Peter off, before Bear realises what happened was due to miscommunication.  The Fat Controller arrives to talk to James, but Peter takes responsibility.  The Fat Controller is not pleased.

Part 4: Pulling Through

A couple of days after the mix-up with James' train, Bear approaches Peter at Barrow-in-Furness.  He's noticed that the heavy goods engine has been rather pensive, and Peter confesses he's worried about what the Fat Controller and Norman Spencer will say.  Bear reassures the other engine, then goes to pick up the Limited.  A moment later, the yardmaster tells Peter that Bear's diesel fuel has accidentally had petrol mixed into it.

Bear is unable to pull the Limited, and Peter volunteers to take it along with his trucks.  He leaves some of his less-urgent trucks behind, and pulls the combined trains to Wellsworth, where Henry is waiting to take over.  As the two engines are talking, one of the railway's directors comes up to them.  He was aboard the Limited, and was impressed by Peter's performance.  He says he will tell the Fat Controller and the other directors about it.

With that, Peter's place on the railway is assured.

Characters

Trivia

  • Peter the Heavy Goods Engine will be a regular character in Sodor: The Modern Years.
  • With Locomotives & Legends and Sodor: The Early Years combined, this is the last appearance of Sir Charles Topham Hatt.
  • Norman Spencer appears in the special, Winds of Change.
  • This volume was originally conceived as a writing exercise, to see if a Railway Series version of 'Hero of the Rails' could work.
  • Owen and Evan and Edwin are mentioned for the first time.
  • Owen is said to be a class 25, but after this was written, Owen was changed to a class 56.
  • Brigadier Stewart's name is a nod to the character of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart from the TV Series 'Doctor Who'.

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