Rough Start
Season One STMY, Episode Seven
Vital statistics
Air date Saturday 1st of November, 2014
Written by WildNorWester
Directed by WildNorWester
Episode guide
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Rough Start is the seventh episode of Season 1 of Sodor: The Modern Years. It is the seventy-first episode overall.


One morning, Frank returns to the main Arlesdale Railway yards at Arlesburgh. He's not feeling too well. However, his mind is taken off this when he sees Douglas shunting a new steam tank engine for their railway, Olivia. Frank deduces, correctly, that she was built recently, due to her welded construction. Olivia explains she was built for an estate railway, which closed down recently.

Once Olivia is unloaded, the Small Controller asks her to double-head a passenger train to Peel Godred with Mike. Mike is a bit puzzled by Olivia, as she doesn't know about timetable running or signals. The red engine soon finds this annoying, and he makes this known. However, they reach Peel Godred without incident.

Meanwhile, Frank is taking a works train to repair some points that have failed, at a ballast mine up in the mountains. However, he breaks down before he can get there. His driver sends word to Control by radio.

At Peel Godred, Olivia and Mike have turned around. When news of Frank's breakdown comes in, Olivia volunteers to rescue Frank. When Mike points out that she's supposed to be learning the line, Olivia replies by telling him she knows when she's not wanted. She departs, leaving a confused Mike behind.

Olivia soon reaches Frank. After moving his train to a siding to let Mike pass with his passengers, Olivia helps Frank back to Arlesburgh. On the way, they have to stop for a signal at Marthwaite. While there, the old steam mill starts speaking to them. Olivia panics. With this 'talking building' on top of everything else, it's just too much for her to take in. Frank and the Old Mill calm her, by explaining she's talking to the engine who once drove the milling equipment within the building, not the building itself. As they depart, Frank explains that the mill was turned into a museum after it closed in 1964.

After reaching Arlesburgh, the Small Controller asks Olivia to look after Frank's work trains for the rest of the day. Olivia is relieved by this, as she used to look after these trains all the time on Sir Walter's estate. For the rest of the day, she works hard.

In the evening, as she's returning to Arlesburgh, Olivia meets Bertie at Ffarquhar Road. After introducing himself, Bertie explains that he runs bus tours these days, and assures Olivia that the Arlesdale engines are good friends to have.

Olivia then returns to Arlesburgh. As she passes, Mike shoots her a concerned >look. Picking up on this, Rex asks him if anything's wrong. While they and Frank are discussing Olivia and her former owner, Olivia comes alongside the shed. She sadly informs them that it wasn't Sir Walter's fault he couldn't teach her those things, as he died. The other engines are sympathetic, and are shocked to learn that Sir Walter's children sold her and Jake within a fortnight of Sir Walter's passing. Olivia is clearly resentful of this.

Over the next few days, Olivia gets used to life on the Arlesdale Railway.



  • For the background in the end credits, a colored picture of Olivia is used when the credits go up.
  • Sean's new model makes a brief appearance.
  • Terrier55Stepney, Luke Ryan and TheBlueE2 join the voice cast.

Voice Cast



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