"Oliver's Token" is the 25th episode of season 11.


Arlesburgh Branchline: Morning

(Oliver is pulling a line of 13 ballast trucks, with Toad at the end of the train. He is on a single line. He is nearing a singalbox. He begins to slow down)

Oliver: (crossily): Come on, come on! I can’t be late to deliver these ballast trucks to the yard!

Oliver’s Driver: (kindly): Even though it took Frank a long time to help unload the ballast into our trucks, we’re running on time.

(The signalman is standing outside the signalbox on the ledge. The driver throws a small leather pouch with a ring on it up to him. The signalman catches it on his arm via the ring, and then throws a leather pouch with a ring on it to the driver, who also catches it on his arm with the ring. Oliver then starts to pick up speed again.)

Narrator: On a single-track line like the Little Western, tokens must be used. These are in small leather pouches that the driver and signalman exchange to allow engines, such as Oliver, into the section of the line.

Tidmouth Sheds: Mid Morning

(Oliver arrives and has to stop behind James. Gordon is moving slowly on the turntable. On another line leading to the turntable, Emily, Arthur and Molly are waiting. There is only one clear line for Gordon to go on.)

Narrator: Oliver delivered his trucks to the yard on time, and by then realized that he wasn’t late. But when he arrived at the sheds, he went back to feeling cross all over again.

Oliver: (impatiently): Please hurry up Gordon. I don’t want to keep others waiting.

Gordon: (matter-of-factly): The only thing that’s keeping others waiting is this stupid turntable! If there were more entrances and exits to the sheds, we wouldn’t have this sort of problem in the first place!

(Gordon moves off the turntable. The table is spun to the line James and Oliver are on. James puffs onto the turntable and is slowly moved to an empty berth. We look at the back of the berth and get a close-up of James’ buffers.)

(We are then looking at the back of an engines’ buffers. The camera moves upwards to see that it’s a tank engine. Moving along the left hand side towards the face of the engine, we realize it’s Oliver.)

Narrator: Oliver was finally in a berth. He was cheerfully resting when his afternoon crew arrived.

Oliver: (grumbling): Now we’ll definitely be late with this turntable nonsense!

Arlesburgh Branchline: Mid-Afternoon

(Oliver is thundering down the Little Western Branchline with 11 coal trucks, and Toad.)

Toad: (sternly): I know we’re already 25 minutes late due to the turntable issue and having to wait so long at the yard, but that doesn’t mean you can go as fast as you like. There’s still a speed limit to follow!

Oliver: (worriedly): Sorry Toad. It’s just that I hate being late, you know that. I just want to make up for lost time.

Narrator: All the same, Oliver slowed down a little in order to satisfy Toad.

(They round a bend, and in the near distance, there’s a signalbox.)

Oliver’s Afternoon Driver: (sternly): Slow down Oliver! If we can’t exchange tokens properly it’ll only add to our lateness!

(Oliver slows down a tad, but is still going a little too fast to time the exchange of tokens. His driver throws the leather pouch with the ring to the signalman, who catches it, and sees Oliver nearly out of throwing distance. He runs into the signalbox, leans out an open window, and throws the leather pouch with the ring. The leather pouch lands on Oliver’s boiler, with the ring caught on his dome.)

Oliver’s Afternoon Driver: (laughing): I suppose there’s another way to get the token. Just let the engine catch it!

(Oliver’s Afternoon crew are laughing as they continue thundering along the line. Oliver is looking very embarrassed.)

Tidmouth Sheds: Night

(Oliver, Emily, Arthur and James are at the sheds.)

James: (laughing): So much for worrying, eh Oliver?!

Emily: (kindly): I often worry about being late, and all sorts of things have happened, such as leaving without the dining coach, and having to reverse back into the station to get it.

Oliver: (cheering up a bit): Thanks Emily. It’s nice to know I”m not alone in worrying about being late.

(The Fat Controller comes up in his car. He gets out and walks over to the sheds.)

The Fat Controller: (apologetically): I’d like to apologize for causing some of the stress of being late. It’s about time I make it up to all of you by installing a turntable with two tracks. That way, entering and exiting can be done much faster.

(Oliver, Emily, Arthur and James all whistle in delight. The Fat Controller is seen smiling as he walks back to his car and drives away.)

Tidmouth Sheds: Morning

(We see the turntable is bigger, and has two tracks on it. We see Oliver puffing onto the turntable and Gordon getting off the turntable)

Narrator: The engines still have their own worries about being late, but thanks to the Fat Controller, the worry about getting in and out of the sheds is no longer one of the reasons.


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