Winds of Change
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Season , Episode
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Air date Saturday the 11th of January, 2014
Written by WildNorWester
Directed by WildNorWester
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Winds of Change is the first special of Sodor: The Modern Years, and the second special overall (after Bad Apple). It is set in 2009.


Sir Stephen Topham Hatt retires unexpectedly due to health issues, and travels round to each of the sheds to explain this to the engines. He puts Norman Spencer in charge as acting director of the railway, until a new permanent one is appointed on the Friday. However, Norman Spencer has his own ideas about the future of the North-West Railway, and wastes no time in bringing in a new class 67 diesel named Shane. Shane first meets Oliver and Gordon and rudely remarks about their age. This ends with Gordon challenging him with a time trial. Gordon thunders along the line, determined to win the trail. But just after East Knapford Station, he spots a stalled lorry across the line. He can't stop, and slams into the lorry, causing significant damage to him and the lorry. He is sent to the steam works, but is left outside for some reason.

Bear notices about this, and explains to Emily Helen Hatt the situation. Emily then confronts Norman Spencer, who says that instead of restoring Gordon, he will be sent to the National Railway Museum instead. Spencer tells her than modernisation will be occurring and all of the Sudrian engines will be transferred to heritage railways or museums. The future of the North West Railway is thrown into doubt, with the engines not knowing what will happen to them. Shane does not understand this, until after a signal failure, he realizes that the steam engines on Sodor aren't as bad as he thought. Emily manages to sort out the running of the NWR, despite there being no signals to work with. Shane reaches Barrow-in-Furness, where he has a conversation with Henry and Sheffield. Slowly, Shane realizes his mistake about judging the engines on Sodor. He becomes friends with them, and soon he learns how they work and run the NWR. Emily also speaks to her dad, and on the final day of Spencer's week as controller, all three speak to Shane about how he feels about the railway. Shane surprises everybody saying that he feels it is right to have steam engines running the railway, and not to have it modernized. Spencer is furious, and after a conversation with Sir Stephen, he decides to give up his job. The engines wonder who the next "Fat Controller" is going to be, and are all delighted when Emily Helen Hatt herself is appointed. They all know that with her running the railway, they would all be safe.



  • This marks the first appearances of Ivo Hugh, Shane and Peter, although Peter appeared in the book Locomotives and Legends.
  • The voice actors who play Sir Stephen Topham Hatt and Emily Helen Hatt are, ironically, father and daughter.
  • Originally, this special was to be an expanded version of the Darkest Hour/Desperate Times plot. This is now on TobyandMavisForever's Deviantart page as a story and sprites pictures.
  • Railway Series references include Edward's Exploit, Henry Sees Red and Percy's Promise.
  • Gordon is still undergoing repairs when the story ends. This was deliberately done, and will feed into the early episodes of Sodor the Modern Years, Season 1.
  • This is the first time there is a different voice actor for a stationmaster.
  • This will be Donald9andDouglas10's last voice acting in any of WildNorWester's videos for a while.
  • This is the last time Sodor Island 3D's TV Series models are used for Thomas, Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Percy, Toby, and Duck. As of Season 1 of STMY, locomotives 1-8, as well as Bill and Ben, were replaced by new Railway Series-accurate models made by WildNorWester. Sheffield also received a new livery, Oliver a new livery and more detail.
  • This special marks the first appearance of Diesel's RWS model.
  • This special features an opening sequence that doesn't appear anywhere else. This is due to the model changes for Season 1 STMY meaning a new one was made.
  • Generations113, David Moyle, MrCSisley, and AFB make their first appearances as part of the voice cast. Generations113 takes over the role of Gordon.
  • This is the last time WildNorWester voices Donald and Thomas1Edward2Henry3 voices BoCo.


  • Some of Henry's lines have audio problems according to WildNorWester. He had to amplify them a little bit for TheScotsmanReturns.
  • When Shane leaves the sheds to return home the narrator says "Shane departed leaving two relieved steam engines", although there are actually three, Peter, James and Alice. Peter was originally meant to depart when the other characters were talking, but this was dropped during the editing process.
  • During one shot at Barrow Sheds, a British Rail DMU can be seen in the background. The special, though, takes place in 2009, twelve years after BR went defunct following privatization. WildNorWester also confirmed the series does not take place in an alternate universe where BR was never privatized.

Voice Actors