Richard is the husband of Susan who was late getting home by both missing his last train to The Little Western and on the boat, he got caught in bad weather on the English Channel after leaving Germany which sets him back by only a few hours.
Susan was worried about her husband who was supposed to return from a cargo ship and missed his train to The Little Western. The narrator mentioned that a lot meant to her was that her husband would be home for Christmas. The sailor was sad about Susan and went into the pub for a drink of beer. Richard talked about Susan and the bad weather on the English Channel before leaving on Oliver's brake van heading for Callan. Later, Richard overheard a conversation saying that salt can make the snow melt but with the crews of both Oliver and James, the snow melted and the two trains knew they were late for the annual Christmas party. At Tidmouth Hault, Richard told the stationmaster about Susan and giving her a call to come to Callan station before he took a ride in Oliver's cab for the final part of his journey. He told Susan to meet him at the platform and were both reunited with each other. The GWR tank engine told Sir Charles Topham Hatt about Richard and the special trip that he had to make. This was mentioned in the controller's speech before his secret was revealed to the engines of the NWR.