The final part of the New Diesel Engines saga is here! This one was meant to be an original, but it soon evolved into a series 8 rewrite.
ThomasAngryBirds' Remakes and Stories
Remake 55: Paxton Helps Out
Based on "You Can Do It, Toby!" by Paul Larson
Several days later, Norman's engine was repaired, and he was at work again shunting trucks at Crovan's Gate as his punishment. Of course, Norman wasn't lonely, for he had a few other engines to talk to, like Victor, Christopher, Den and Dart, as well as the engines of the Skarloey Railway.
As Norman arranged trucks into their sidings each day, he would often observe the workmen putting the final touches on the new diesel meant for Knapford Harbor on Thomas' branchline. His name was Paxton, after a workman's son, and like Arry, Bert and Sidney, he was an 08 diesel shunter. Paxton was friendly for a young engine, if not gullible on occasion, and he and Norman kept each other company.
"Tell me," said Paxton one day, "how did you end up working here?"
"It's like this," said Norman, "I took a ballast train and a stopping train at once to prove how useful I could be to the railway. Unfortunately, I let my attitude get the best of me, and it put too much strain on my engine, causing it to blow out on me at Gordon's hill."
"Oh my," said Paxton, "that sounded serious."
"It did," said Norman, "and the Fat Controller has been stern with me. How did your trials go?" he asked, deciding to change subject.
"They went pretty well," said Paxton, "the workmen did a grand job, they know what to do when it comes to building engines."
Just then, the manager of the Steamworks showed up.
"You'll be given a new coat of green paint with hazard stripes before you can start work, Paxton," he said, "and you will be number D9."
"Yes, sir," said Paxton, "I can't wait to start work. It gets rather boring in here, except for Norman's occasional company, of course."
"Good to hear," said the manager, "you shall be ready within a day or two."
Soon Paxton was ready for work on Thomas' branchline. Norman told the younger diesel not to make the same mistakes he did, which Paxton understood. He was taken by Belle on her goods to Tidmouth.
"So you're the new diesel that's been built at the Steamworks," said Belle.
"That's me," smiled Paxton, "they named me Paxton after a workman's son. Oh, and you are..."
"Belle's my name, hauling passengers is my game," said Belle proudly, "if you want my tip, you may want to look out for Gordon, Henry and James; they had a bit of trouble with your type in the past."
"What type?" asked Paxton, not understanding.
"As in, locomotive class," Belle explained.
"Oh..." said Paxton, "was that diesel a bad apple when he arrived?"
"He did," said Belle, "and for a young one, you do have some perception."
"Oh, thank you," said Paxton, blushing slightly.
When Paxton arrived at the sheds of Ffarquhar, Thomas, Percy, Toby, Daisy and Mavis all greeted him warmly. They gave him pointers on what to do and what not to do. As Paxton's trial runs would begin the next day, he had to rest outside the sheds because there wasn't enough space for him.
Over the next few days, the Fat Controller, considering the trial runs of Arry, Bert, Sidney, and Norman, did not have much hope for Paxton and kept expectations low.
To his surprise, Paxton performed quite well; the trucks gave him no trouble, and he ran his trains to time. He was quite pleasant to talk to and work with, and even made friends with Bertie, Harold and Terence.
"You've performed well so far," said the Fat Controller, "but I need you to help on the Wellsworth branchline for right now. BoCo's engine has failed, and I need an engine to do his work for him."
"Oh, yes, sir," said Paxton eagerly, "I'm willing to help."
"That's what I like hearing," said the Fat Controller, "you'll start first thing tomorrow."
Early the next day, Paxton oiled into Wellsworth yards. Edward was there waiting for him.
"Good morning," said Edward, "you must be Paxton. I'm Edward."
"Nice to meet you, Edward," said Paxton, "anything I should know?"
"Oh yes," chuckled Edward, "look out for Bill and Ben; they're sure to try some tricks on any new engine, as BoCo found out for himself."
"Thanks for the tip," said Paxton. His first train was to bring fish from Wellsworth to Brendam. Paxton had to wait for Henry to arrive with the Flying Kipper, and as he did so, he observed the yards to keep his mind occupied.
Then Paxton heard a whistle in the distance, and Henry the green engine pulled in with the Flying Kipper.
"Phew!" exclaimed Paxton, "What a stench!"
"I've taken this train for years, and I'm quite used to the smell," retorted Henry, "You're to take some fish down Edward's line, I assume."
"That I am," replied Paxton. Soon, Paxton was coupled to a few vans from the Kipper, ready to take them down Edward's line. Henry's guard's whistle sounded, and the big green engine pulled away. A few minutes later, the points were set for Paxton to go down Edward's branchline.
The smell was awful as Paxton rolled down the line; he could only top up fifteen to twenty miles an hour at most, and his speed meant people had to close their windows to avoid the smell of fish.
"Only two stops and we'll be done," encouraged Paxton's driver.
"Already I don't like fish," groaned Paxton, "Thomas told me about how he got fish stuck in his water tank!"
When Paxton stopped at Suddery, crates from one of the vans were unloaded onto a lorry, who took them to the town for market.
"Once I arrive at Brendam," said Paxton, "I'll be done with this job!"
And right Paxton was; upon arrival, he shunted his trucks onto a siding where they would be unloaded. Some crates were to go to the town, while others would be loaded up by Cranky and taken over seas.
Presently, Bill and Ben pulled up with a train of china clay, and they were full of mischief.
"Who's that new diesel, Ben?" asked Bill.
"It's green like BoCo, but smaller than him," remarked Ben.
"The name's Paxton," said the Class 08, "and you are Bill and Ben, correct?"
"Yes we are," chimed Bill, "ooh, what's that smell?"
"It must be Paxton," teased Ben, "he reeks of fish!"
"You must have had a fishy day today," giggled Bill.
"That's not funny!" protested Paxton, but the twins didn't hear him. Paxton felt most upset; he did not like being teased, especially by Bill and Ben. Over the next few days, Paxton hoped BoCo would return soon, but it was only wishful thinking. If that wasn't enough, Henry and James would just ignore Paxton whenever he tooted his horn or said hello. This made him feel more upset.
Several days earlier, Paxton first met up with Gordon at Tidmouth when the little diesel took some trucks from Knapford.
"Hello, there," smiled Paxton, "I'm Paxton. Who are you?"
"I'm Gordon," said the big blue engine, "you're a Class 08, I presume."
"Yes I am," replied Paxton, "what's that you're pulling?" Paxton knew to be cautious around Gordon after hearing what Belle told him, as he didn't want to bring up the topic of a certain Class 08.
"The Wild Nor'Wester," Gordon explained, "it's the North Western Railway's main express, and it takes a big engine like me to pull it."
"It sure does," agreed Paxton, "I don't think I could pull a train that heavy. Even if a diesel bigger than me could, it would take a big steam engine like you to pull such a train."
Gordon was amazed. "You've been speaking with Norman, haven't you?"
"Yes, I have."
"For a young engine, you're a quick learner," remarked Gordon, then he heard the whistle. "Oh, I better be off. See you around, young Paxton."
"It's nice of Gordon to be wise to someone like me," Paxton told himself, "I wish Henry and James would do the same for me."
"Don't feel down, Paxton," said Edward wisely. He had heard the young diesel's moping.
"Sometimes, Henry and James don't think before they speak when it comes to new comers," explained Edward, "Molly and Emily would tell you that, and it usually takes a near-accident for new comers to prove themselves."
"It does?" Paxton was amazed.
"Of course it does," said Edward kindly, "you'll get your chance one day, wait and see."
Paxton said no more, for he knew Edward was a wise engine, and hoped he would prove himself to James and Henry.
The next day, James was hauling a goods train to the other railway. He was not in the best of moods, and the truck taunting him did not improve his temper.
"Clickety-clack! Clickety-clack! An angry red engine's on our track!" they teased.
"Shut up!" snapped James, "Unless you want to end up in the scrapheap!"
But the trucks ignored him and kept on teasing. James raced through Wellsworth, and didn't notice Paxton shunting in the yards. Paxton saw James race by and sighed.
"No doubt he's heading for the hill," he said, "those trucks really are tricky."
James had several incidents with the trucks before on Gordon's hill, but he wasn't thinking about them right now. He got stuck halfway as the trucks pulled against him.
"Hold back! Hold back!" they laughed.
"Come on, you stupid things!" growled James, but it was no use. James had to back down to the bottom of the hill.
"You'll never make it to the top by yourself," said his driver, "we need another engine to help us!"
The only engine they could spare was Paxton. He had mixed feelings; anxious, hopeful, and worried about helping.
"I'm not sure if I can do it," Paxton told himself, "but then, Toby said trains must run to time, even when running late."
Paxton rolled up to the brakevan. He blasted his airhorn to tell he was ready, and James reluctantly replied with a blow of his whistle.
"Come on! Come on!" said Paxton, pushing against the trucks.
"Is that the best you can do?" snapped James, but Paxton didn't hear James; slowly and surely, Paxton moved the train slowly forwards toward the hill. In response, James pulled too.
Steam and diesel pulled and pushed their hardest up the hill. The trucks tried to hold back, but Paxton was not going to let them beat him, and neither did James. What seemed like ages, the two engines made it to the top. James found it easier and carried on down the hill.
"I... I did it..." Paxton gasped, feeling out of breath, "I pushed James and his train up the hill!"
Feeling happy with himself, Paxton rolled down back to Wellsworth.
The Fat Controller spoke to Paxton that evening.
"I heard all about it," he said, "and I am very proud of you! You're a really useful engine."
"Thank you, sir," smiled Paxton.
"BoCo has just been repaired, so you can return to your duties on Thomas' branchline."
"Oh, yes, sir. And thank you, too, Edward," said Paxton, "had it not been for you, James would've run late."
"You're quite welcome, Paxton," smiled the old engine.
"And as for James," continued the Fat Controller, "I shall speak to him and Henry later..."
Bill and Ben were also in the yards with Edward and Paxton.
"We're sorry we teased you," said Bill, "it's probably out of old habit from us.
"You really are a helpful engine," added Ben, "can you forgive us?"
"Of course I can," smiled Paxton, "you're an all right pair, after all."
When the Fat Controller caught up with Henry and James, his words were short, but not sweet.
"First Neville, then Molly, then Emily, and now Paxton," he said, "what is it with you two and new arrivals? I don't know what I should do with you..."
"We're sorry, sir," groaned James, "it's just..."
"I know your reasons, James," he said, "but that doesn't mean Paxton is a bad engine; he has proven today that he is a useful engine."
"Yes, sir," said Henry.
Paxton is one of the most hardworking diesels on the North Western Railway, always willing to help others out, even in tough situations. Hopefully after their talk with the Fat Controller, Henry and James will think twice before insulting new arrivals.
And so ends another saga. Oh! I keep forgetting to mention that you should go and check out "North Western Engines, Long Ago", and if you ask (which I hope you don't), yes, it is canon to this series. Give it a read, why don't you? I plan to do a few more episodes of NWELA, and during that time, I can do a remake of "Thomas and the Evil Diesel" and the Diesel story I planned.
I will do something special for story 100, for it is a rewrite of a Thomas special. (not saying!)