"Out of Control" is the ninth episode of the tenth season.
Just like any other place on Sodor, the Blue Mountain Quarry is busy; mountains being blasted, stone being loaded, stone being crushed into gravel, and slate slabs being cut up into smaller pieces to be used for many things. At a quarry like this, you need a good amount of engines to keep things running smoothly. Paxton and Norman were sent to help, along with Sir Handel, Rusty, and Peter Sam.
“Morning everybody,” shouted Sir Handel, shunting empty trucks to Owen and taking loaded ones to the sidings.
“It’s a splendid morning indeed,” agreed Owen. “I just hope Sir Handel keeps up his positive mood,” he thought to himself.
Norman was shunting flatbeds of slate slabs to the cutting sheds when Sir Handel met up with him.
“Want to race?” he asked excitedly.
“Are you say-”
“I’m not talking about rushing around. I’m talking about seeing who can take the most loads of slate slabs to the sheds in one hour.”
“You’re on!” said Norman; he was always ready to prove that even a diesel that breaks down often can still be really useful.
Soon the one hour was up. The two engines stood before the workman.
“Norman, you shunted seventy-five flatbeds. And Sir Handel, you shunted fifty-one.”
“Good race,” said Norman politely, but Sir Handel looked a little upset. “Don’t worry; maybe we can have a rematch another time.”
That made Sir Handel give a little grin.
Early that afternoon Sir Handel was helping to take stone to the gravel crusher when-
“Oh, not again,” groaned Sir Handel, his mood worsening. If you had worked in the quarry long enough you’d know that it was the sleepy gantry crane, Merrick, taking a nap. Sir Handel puffed over;
“Wake up you foghorn!”
“Huh?” said Merrick, who spun himself a little to the right and to the left to wake up.
“Oh, Sir Handel. What can I do for you?”
“Stop snoring so loudly!”
“Now now Sir Handel, he’s doing nothing wrong,” said Owen, fearing on the inside that things might start going wrong.
Sir Handel just puffed crossly away. He worked a little more, but by now he was fed up; first he lost to a standard gauge diesel, and then he had to deal with Merrick’s snoring, even though he’d gone to him to explain his feelings.
Sir Handel started to bump trucks and flatbeds left and right. He bumped them so hard that many of their buffers were badly damaged, making them unusable. Rusty soon saw this and went to report it to the Foreman.
“Sir, we need to replace many of the trucks and flatbeds. Many of their buffers are busted up.”
“Bother; that means we’ll have to stop operations for a while.”
“I know that there’s lots of trucks and flatbeds at the Transfer Yards,” said Peter Sam, who had heard about the situation and wanted to help.
“Then you shall both go and collect them.”
Meanwhile Sir Handel saw Paxton.
“All the work is done for today,” he said kindly. “You can go home now.”
“Are you sure?” asked Paxton, but the stern look on Sir Handel’s face told him that this “was” true. “Okay then; see you tomorrow!”
Norman was shunting loaded trucks away when Paxton sped by.
“Paxton, where are you going?”
“I’m going home; work here has been completed for the day.”
“But it’s only 3:05. The quarry doesn’t close until eight!”
But Paxton had already gone.
“Great, just great! First Rusty and Peter Sam have left to get flatbeds and trucks to replace the damaged ones, next Sir Handel isn’t here, and now Paxton has decided to go home early.”
“Then I shall try to do things to keep progress going,” said Norman.
“He has a point Merrick; work still has to carry on.”
Merrick knew that Owen was right; so he decided not to argue with him.
Norman shunted trucks and flatbeds. He was doing his best, but two hours into his work;
“My engine has broken down!”
“I told you this was a bad idea,” said Merrick. “Now we can’t do any work!”
Soon Rusty and Peter Sam had returned; Paxton also returned looking ashamed. He’d been told that after today he’d be working at the Dieselworks until he was trusted again to work elsewhere. Dennis arrived to take Norman to the Dieselworks.
“But who’s going to help Paxton?”
“I’m going to of course! I might not like working, but I do know that it’s what makes an engine really useful.”
And Sir Handel was found out by Mr. Percival.
“You’re going to pull rubbish trains, and help clean up round the sheds on the line. Once you’ve done that properly and have shown that you’re sorry, I’ll then let you do the other jobs on the railway.”
Although he’d been punished, Sir Handel, for the time being could care less about what the outcome was for his wrongdoing.