The Missing Engine
Season One STMY, Episode Four
Vital statistics
Air date Saturday 11th of October, 2014
Written by WildNorWester
Directed by WildNorWester
Episode guide
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Ode to George Carlin Fame and Misfortune

The Missing Engine is the fourth episode of Season 1 of Sodor: The Modern Years. It is the sixty-eighth episode overall.


One morning, Thomas arrives at the Knapford Sheds, to find that Bear and James are having their photos taken, for profiles on the railway's website. Bear explains that the profiles are for facts and information about the engines that didn't make it into the Thin Clergyman's books, or the TV series based off said books.

This gets Thomas thinking, and at Knapford he asks the Fat Controller if they'll be putting information about Lily on the website. The Fat Controller says they do have a history section. Edward overhears the conversation, and reveals to Thomas that he never saw Lily at Crock's Scrapyard. This gets both Thomas and the Fat Controller thinking.

A couple of days later, the Ffarquhar Branch engines are being photographed for their profile pictures. Percy is annoyed by how the photographer needs to keep adjusting the angle of the photo. Adam Tyler, the railway's director of Client & Public Relations, arrives. He explains that the Fat Controller asked him to look into Lily's disappearance, and he explains that the scrapyard's records show that Lily was bought off the scrapyard by her crew. He also advises that he checked Sodor out on Google Earth, and that the Ballahoo Tunnel was the only real place she could have been hidden.

Thomas then goes to Peter, and the latter confirms that the tunnel was empty when he was put into it in 1966. He tells Thomas that he may be better off asking the engines who were there at the time. However, all inquiries turn up naught.

Word reaches Gordon in the Steam works, who is still undergoing repairs after his accident with the lorry. He realizes that on a stormy night in 1934, he heard what he thought was an engine disappearing down the closed Kirk Ronan Branch Line. He suggests to Geoff that Brian may know what happened, as he was in the shed at the Kirk Ronan Docks at the time. Geoff says he'll ask him about it later.

That evening, an annoyed Sheffield talks to Thomas at Tidmouth, telling him that Brian has been "moping all day" about what Geoff told him. Brian reveals that Lily was sent to Kirk Ronan, and rolled into the harbor by gravity, down the hill from Rolf's Castle. She was loaded aboard a ship called the Errant Venture, which was sunk in the storm. The crew made it to the Isle of Man, but the ship and the cargo (including Lily) were lost at sea.

A couple of days later, the Fat Controller visits Thomas at Elsbridge. The tank engine is still depressed, and the Fat Controller reveals they've put Lily's story on the website, on the same day that Sheffield and Brian told Thomas about it. Thomas then realizes that the locomotive crew would have been hard pressed to come by the sort of money needed to buy Lily from the scrapyard. The Fat Controller explains that her great-grandfather, Topham Hatt, kept a diary. Apparently, the board of directors back in the day weren't pleased with him saving Neil, as the railway needed to present a 'modern image' (a sentiment echoed more recently by Norman Spencer). He arranged for Lily to be secretly sent to Kirk Ronan, from where she would be shipped up to the same factory as Neil.

Thomas leaves. As the Fat Controller heads for her car, she gets an email. After reading it twice, she says to herself that it's 'interesting', then drives off.



  • The Errant Venture is the name of a Star Destroyer in the Star Wars: X-Wing series of novels. WildNorWester enjoyed reading these, and used to own all of them.
  • This episode ends on a cliff-hanger that was resolved in Homecoming.
  • Originally, the Arlesdale Engines were to have made a cameo appearance, after Thomas takes his inquiries to Duck. This was cut due to time constraints.
  • This episode features flashbacks to the events of Little Western Legacy. Given that the character models had been changed over, these shots were re-created using the RWS-style Thomas.

Voice Cast



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