Thomas the Tank Engine Reminisces
It’s a long time since I was last on Sodor. Once the rails were electrified, there was no need for us steam-powered engines any more. That was it for us really. Some of us were lucky and got sold to other island railways that hadn’t been electrified yet, but most weren’t that lucky.
Edward was particularly unlucky. He was sold, along with James to the Alderney Railway. Of course, with a railway system that small there wasn’t any actual need for two engines, so James was the one that actually got to run around outside. Edward was just used for spare parts. Imagine that! An engine bought just for spare parts. They cannibalised Edward over the course of a few years. Taking him apart piece-by-piece. I can’t imagine the pain he must have been in. From what I hear all that’s left are the footplate, main boiler and face. Poor Edward. James seems to be ok though. Despite now being some sort of James-Edward hybrid. Mind you, even Alderney looks like they’ll be electrifying things soon.
Soon after Sodor electrified, Henry came out as gay. This wasn’t a shock to any of us – we’d all reckoned he was homosexual since he refused to come out of the tunnel when it was raining. What was more surprising was that Percy came out at the same time. It turns out that Henry and Percy had been lovers ever since Henry’s arrival on Sodor. Now I’m no racist, but it seems that you can’t trust green engines at all. That Duck was a bit sly too. Anyway, the world wasn’t ready for a gay engine, so neither Henry nor Percy was sold to an existing railway. Instead, they were donated to museums. Henry went to the British Transport Museum, while Percy was sent to the National Railway Museum. As far as I know, they haven’t been run in anger since. Instead, they get a run out on some disused line only every ten years or so for the benefit of some rich fan.
The one success story after Sodor’s closure was Gordon. He became the pride of the Isle of Wight’s steam railway. And you thought he was insufferably pompous while on Sodor! Now he barely deigns to pull any carriages, preferring instead to rest in his own shed while being fed lumps of coal by scantily-clad trucks. Yes; he does have his very own shed. That’ll soon end though. My sources tell me that the people in charge are getting annoyed and may sell him. To Angola!
The proliferation of trams meant that Toby was never short of firms wanting his services. He must have run on for at least five or six different tram systems by now. He’s currently working on the Santa Cruz tram system. Fancy that! Getting to carry tourists around Tenerife. Must be a nice life, the lucky bugger!
The hardest bit for me was seeing Annie and Clarabel separated. Having grown up together, they were sold separately. Annie went to Denmark, while Clarabel went to Poland. Annie’s now used as part of the Royal Train in Denmark. Sadly, Clarabel was destroyed in the Otloczyn accident in 1989.
As for me, I’ve been in this museum on Sodor for 50 years now. As part of Sodor’s transport museum I share a building with Harold, Bertie and Trevor. There were a great many visitors in the early days. We’re lucky to get ten people in a week now. Except for the school excursion parties of course. all those children making such a noise! They clamber all over you as well. Kids these days! I can’ think of anything I hate more than kids. Never mind though, they’re shutting this place down for good in a few months. Then hopefully I’ll be free.