Hello everyone. Here, you can see this was the first in my anthology of Thomas rewrites and stories. Looking back on it, I've decided to rewrite this from scratch, as many changes have come since. The original is available to read on Sodor Island Forums and Sodor Island 3D Forums as well.
Now, it's time to enjoy the redux version of my rewrite of...
ThomasAngryBirds' Remakes and Stories
Remake 1: Thomas, Percy and Old Slowcoach
Based on the same story
The spring of 1996 was very busy for the engines on the North Western Railway. On all the branchlines and the mainline, engines worked left and right to bring passengers and goods to and from their destinations.
Even the little engines on the Skarloey, Arlesdale and Culdee Fell Railways were working hard too. In fact, it had gotten so busy that Peter Sam was brought back from the Talyllyn Railway for the rush.
One morning, Thomas, Percy and Toby were at Ffarquhar Sheds looking up at the morning sky.
"I think everybody on Sodor is happy when summer arrives," said Toby.
"Probably not the Fat Controller," said Thomas, "we're working ourselves to the metal, and passenger rush has rapidly increased. It's as if we need more coaches for the branchline or something."
"Probably not, since almost every coach is being used at the moment," said Toby.
"The Fat Controller wants us to be ready for the summer rush," said Percy, "salty air does make me feel cheerful in my smokebox."
"If you ask James, the countryside gets him fired up," said Thomas.
The engines fell quiet as the Fat Controller walked up to the sheds.
"Good morning, engines," he said, "now Thomas and Percy, Rosie can't do all her work by herself, so I'm assigning you two to help her out for the time being."
"Yes, sir," said Percy, "but who's going to do our work? Toby, Daisy and Paxton can't manage it alone."
"Indeed they can't," agreed the Fat Controller, "I'll be assigning Duck to do Percy's work, and Oliver to do Thomas'. Donald and Douglas will do their work on the Little Western branchline."
"That's a relief," said Thomas.
"You three will be taking some trucks of scrap to Vicarstown," said the Fat Controller, "it's a long journey, so take care you two."
"We will, sir," said Thomas. The Fat Controller was about to walk away, when he remembered.
"Oh, and Thomas, first things first," he said, "you'll be taking Annie and Clarabel on the first run to Knapford Junction. Oliver will take over on the run back to Ffarquhar. Percy, you don't have any other jobs for the day, so you'll join Thomas, then both of you will help Rosie bring trucks of scrap to Vicarstown."
"Yes, sir," said Thomas, "you can rely on us."
"Glad to hear," said the Fat Controller, "the rest of you have your usual jobs, so carry on."
"Right, sir," said the engines, and the Fat Controller left.
"The scrapyards?" asked Percy nervously, "They're-"
"Scary, I know," said Thomas, "but useful engines don't argue." Percy knew Thomas was right.
Percy and Thomas arrived at Knapford Junction with Annie and Clarabel. Duck and Oliver were there waiting.
"Morning, you two," said Oliver, "I'll take over for the next run."
"The Fat Controller's giving us a change of scenery for the day," said Duck.
"Well, Annie and Clarabel aren't like autocoaches," said Thomas, "so you'll have to run around them, Oliver."
"Thanks for the tip," said Oliver, "but don't worry; I've worked with normal coaches before, so I know what to do."
Just then, Rosie pulled in hauling flatbeds and wagons filled with scrap.
"Hey guys," she called, "you ready to go to Vicarstown?"
"We were built ready," smiled Thomas, "right, Percy?"
"Erm, yes," said Percy, a bit unsure. He and Thomas were uncoupled from the coaches and they buffered up behind the brakevan. Duck set off for Knapford Junction and Oliver coupled to Annie and Clarabel.
Thomas, Percy and Rosie puffed along the mainline to Vicarstown. It was a long journey even for three tank engines, as they frequently needed to stop for water, but they soon arrived safely.
As Rosie was assigned to shunting the trucks into place, Percy noticed an old coach in an open sided shed.
Percy looked at the coach. "Do you see what I see?"
"Yes," said Thomas, then he asked the coach, "what are you doing here?"
"Are you Thomas?" the coach asked.
"Yes, I am," gasped Thomas, "how do you know my name?"
"I've seen you shunt some of my friends back in the days at Vicarstown," she explained.
"How did you get there?" asked Percy, "And who are you?"
"They call me Old Slowcoach," she explained, "years ago, me and several of my sisters were bought by the North Western Railway from the Great Western back during the turn of the century. I was younger and fine looking back then, and we worked on stopping passenger trains and sometimes on the express runs. But then came the time we weren't useful anymore..."
"Why?" asked Thomas.
"In 1930," said Old Slowcoach, "we were withdrawn from service, as we were to be replaced by more modern coaches. I've been here for years while my sisters were scrapped. I've gathered rust from disuse and some exposure to the elements. The only company I have is the workmen and the mice who ride in me."
"You may be rusty and dirty," said Percy, "but you look in perfect shape."
"I'm sure she might be restored," said Thomas to Percy, "look what happened to Oliver, Trevor, and Emily."
Presently, the yard manager showed up with a work order.
"Come along, Thomas and Percy," he said, "I have trucks for you to take away."
"Excuse my interruption, sir," said Percy's driver, "but what is this coach doing here?"
"You mean Old Slowcoach?" asked the yard manager, "She's been here for over sixty years. We'll have her broken up when we find the time."
A small tear appeared in Old Slowcoach's eye; Thomas and Percy were most dismayed.
"We promise to help you, Old Slowcoach," said Thomas, but he didn't know how...
Meanwhile, James was taking trucks of haybales to Kildane.
"This is the life!" he chuckled to himself as he puffed over Gordon's hill. Unfortunately, sparks from his funnel had escaped and suddenly, they landed on the haybales, and then they caught fire!
"What's that smell?" asked James' driver.
The fireman looked back and gasped. "The haybales have caught fire!"
James had heard and gasped in horror!
"Oh, help!" he cried, "My trucks are on fire!"
James' crew stopped their engine outside of Maron station, uncoupled the red engine from the burning trucks, and ran him onto a siding out of the way.
"Raise the alarm!" James' driver told the stationmaster, "Haybales are on fire!"
The stationmaster quickly acted and dialed for the fire department.
"999, what service do you require?"
"The fire service!"
At the Sodor Search and Rescue Center at Tidmouth, bells rang and the fire chief got the call.
"Now who needs the fire service?" He ripped a piece of paper from a small machine and read what it said.
"Haybale fire near Maron station!" he said through the intercom.
Two firefighters slid down a pole and joined the fire chief aboard Flynn the road-rail fire truck.
"All present and correct, sir!" said one firefighter
"Right! Let's go!" said the chief.
With a wail of his siren and a blow of his horn, Flynn rolled away to Maron.
"Out of the way!" he called, "There's an emergency ahead!" Trains were halted or put onto sidings to let Flynn pass.
Meanwhile, Thomas, Percy and Rosie came into view pulling their trucks meant for Tidmouth. They saw the smoke, and James' guard waving a red flag. This meant "DANGER".
"What's going on?" asked Rosie.
"Sparks from James' funnel have set the haybales alight," the guard explained, "Flynn's got it under control, but it'll be quite a mess."
"Well, James," teased Percy, "you did say the countryside would fire you up, but did you mean it that way?"
"Shut up, Percy!" snapped James, "It was the stupid trucks' fault, not mine!"
It took some time, but the fires were soon put out. Some trucks were intact, but the rest were destroyed. Flynn rolled onto a siding to refill on fuel.
"The fires have now been put out," said the fire chief, "carry on, you three."
"Right away," said Thomas, and he, Percy and Rosie puffed away, leaving behind a sulking James.
Trains continued as normal, and the passengers couldn't be cross; they knew it couldn't have been helped.
Thomas, Percy and Rosie filled up with water at Tidmouth after delivering the trucks. Belle was preparing to leave with a stopping train to Barrow-in-Furness. Unknown to her, some smoke was slowly building up in one of the coaches.
The guard's whistle sounded and Belle was just leaving when all of a sudden...
Belle came to a stop, and looked back; one of the coaches had caught fire!
"Uncouple the coach!" said the driver, "We can't have the whole station go up in flames!"
Quickly, the fireman uncoupled the coaches behind the burning coach and Belle moved forward a little bit. Then the burning coach was uncoupled and Belle moved away from it. The passengers had been evacuated and stood a distance away.
Thomas, Percy and Rosie, having just returned from their water queue, overheard the commotion and looked over in shock. There was the coach, burning away.
"Cinders and ashes!" cried Thomas.
"How did this happen?" gasped Percy.
The stationmaster ran up to the smaller tank engines.
"We've called for Flynn to arrive urgently," he panted, "and it'll take some time for him to arrive."
"We just refilled our water tanks," said Thomas, "why not use our water?"
"Good thinking!" said his driver. Thomas' and Percy's filler caps were opened and hoses were attached. Rosie stood by in case they ran dry.
Water sprayed from their tanks and onto the burning coach.
"You're clever engines," their drivers chuckled.
By the time Flynn returned, the fires had been put out, but the coach was burned beyond repair.
"Good thing you two had filled up," said Flynn, "because James' haybale fire had used up most of my water. You've saved us the bother."
"Indeed they have," said the Fat Controller, "Thomas, Percy, your quick thinking have prevented what could've been a worse disaster. You're both really useful engines."
"Thank you, sir," said the tank engines.
"But now, one of our coach stock has been destroyed," continued the Fat Controller, "and couple that with James' haybale fire, it's caused a lot of trouble for the railway in a single day."
"We've found the source of the problem, sir," said a firefighter, "one of the passengers has been smoking while on the bog and threw a match in the bin!"
The firefighter was holding onto the man responsible for the fire by the scuff on his neck. The Fat Controller spoke crossly to him.
"You should know that smoking is bad for your health," he said sternly, "and doing so in an enclosed space is even more hazardous for other peoples' health safety! Your crime is a very serious offense! We'll make sure the police have a word with you."
The man said nothing and just sulked.
"Moving on from that," said the Fat Controller, "we're down one coach which will have to be used for spares."
"Excuse me, sir," said Percy, "but earlier, Thomas and I found a coach at Vicarstown. I think she will be useful to the railway."
"Exactly," said Thomas, "not to mention she's an important part of the North Western's history."
"Grand idea, Percy," said the Fat Controller, "Rosie, take Thomas and Percy to be refilled, then bring me to Vicarstown. Belle, shunt what's left of the coach onto a siding out of the way, then continue with your train. Stationmaster, make changes to the timetable due to delays. Thomas and Percy... carry on."
"Yes, sir," they all said.
After shunting Thomas and Percy back to the water tower, Rosie brought the Fat Controller all the way to Vicarstown. Old Slowcoach was still in her shed when she saw Rosie puff up.
"I wonder what's up," she said to herself. Then the Fat Controller looked all over her with interest.
"Some rusted metals, bodywork looks fine, a few windows smashed... yes, she'll be a useful asset."
He then got out and spoke to Old Slowcoach.
"Thomas and Percy tell me you've been here for a long time," he said, "so I felt that you should be restored to become part of our North Western Railway coach fleet."
Old Slowcoach looked at him with wide eyes. "Does it mean...?"
"Yes, you're going to our Steamworks at Crovan's Gate to be restored!"
Old Slowcoach smiled big for the first time in years. "Oh, thank you, sir!" she exclaimed happily.
After the Fat Controller spoke to the scrapyard manager, and they got rid of the mice in her, Old Slowcoach was taken to the Steamworks by Rosie, ready for restoration.
Several weeks later, Thomas and Percy arrived at the Steamworks to pick up a "special". To their surprise, they found a Victorian-era coach painted in Great Western chocolate and cream.
"I can't thank you two enough," said Old Slowcoach, "I feel splendid once again."
"You're very welcome," said Thomas, then he and Percy buffered up to her, ready to bring the restored coach to Tidmouth.
"We can't always call you 'Old Slowcoach'," said Thomas, "did you ever have a name?"
"Before the scrapyards, no," said Old Slowcoach, "none of my sisters ever had names, saying coaches shouldn't be named."
"Rubbish!" laughed Thomas, "Everyone, even trucks, need to have a name. I named my coaches Annie and Clarabel; it shows they really belong."
Old Slowcoach was quiet for a moment or two, then spoke again. "To be honest," she said, "I've always liked the name 'Minerva'."
"Why 'Minerva'?" asked Percy.
"It's a very unique name to me," said Old Slowcoach, "I though other female names like 'Elizabeth' or 'Victoria' were too common, and I heard some young passengers one day discussing gods of Greek mythology, and the name 'Minerva' popped up, 'goddess of wisdom', from what I heard."
"So you'd like that to be your name?" asked Thomas.
"Then 'Minerva' it shall be," said Percy, and with that, "Minerva" gave a big smile.
Minerva is now glad to be in full service once again. Whenever she isn't on passenger duty, she often works with Douglas and Toad, or if passenger demand on the branchline was heavy, she'll help Thomas or Toby, and has become great friends with Annie, Clarabel, Henrietta, and Elsie, even Daisy liked her.
From that day to this, Minerva is always grateful for her best friends Thomas and Percy, and will be a really useful coach for years to come. The Fat Controller saw the need to have other coaches built similar to her and to have some more Great Western engines on his fleet, but that's another story.
As for the man who caused the fire, he wasn't arrested; he had been sentenced to five years community service to recoup the damages caused. I bet he wishes he hadn't been so reckless.
And that's the reboot of the rewrite done with. Hope you liked it better than the original.