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You be thankful, Sir Handel, that we're not a mountain railway.
A mountain railway! What's that?
A railway that climbs mountains, of course.
But it can't! Its engine's wheels would slip!

—Rheneas and Sir Handel arguing about mountain railways


Mountain Engines is the ninth episode of the fourteenth season.

Plot

First, Sir Handel is grumpy and complains about the coaches' causing trouble for him. Rheneas tells him that he should be grateful that he does not work on a mountain railway. Sir Handel does not believe such a thing exists, and an argument ensues until Donald arrives with Culdee, a mountain engine. When Culdee wakes up, he tells the little engines about his line, and an adventure he had on his first day when he learned how to use his automatic brakes during a thrilling journey down a mountain.

Then, Duncan is in a bad mood because the Thin Controller says he kept a bad look out, so Skarloey and Rheneas change the subject of the conversation by asking Culdee about his coaches. The discussion soon drifts to Culdee's automatic brakes, and the story of Godred, an engine who held too much faith in his automatic brakes. Despite frequent discipline and investigation into his behaviour, Godred continued in his way. Eventually, Godred fell off the rails and was sent to the back of the shed, where he was cannibalised for spare parts. Sir Handel and Duncan are mortified and remain silent, while Skarloey and Rheneas do not mention the tale was made up.

Next, Donald brings Culdee home, where he discovers that three new engines have arrived: Alaric, Eric and Lord Harry, the latter of whom is loud and impulsive. The next day, Culdee makes fun of Lord Harry's "super-heat" and Lord Harry determines to pay him out. Instead he derails at the summit, preventing Wilfred from taking his "down" train. Lord Harry is subsequently rescued and sent to the back of the Shed in disgrace.

Finally, Lord Harry gets his name taken away, now being referred by his #6, and, after hearing Culdee's story of Godred, asks the Manager to be let out. The Manager agrees, but forbids him from pushing passenger trains, so #6 is kept taking supplies and workmen to Summit Hotel. One day, he is preparing to continue up Devil's Back, a difficult part of the line, after a message arrives about a group of injured climbers. Despite the strong wind, #6 perseveres and the leader of the climbers asks the Manager to rename #6 after a friend who helped him when he was injured. Nowadays, #6 is renamed Patrick and only takes risks when absolutely necessary.

Characters

Locations

Trivia

  • This episode is an adaptation of the Railway Series book of the same name.
  • This episode marks the first of several things:
    • The first episode to be a direct adaptation of stories from The Railway Series since the Arlesdale Adventures miniseries, and the second episode overall, with the first being Jock the New Engine
    • The first, and so far only, episode to be an adaptation of multiple Railway Series stories
    • The first appearance of Culdee, Catherine, and the Culdee Fell Railway since the Friendly Faces Around Sodor miniseries
    • The first appearance of Godred, Ernest, Wilfred, Alaric, and Patrick
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