Sidney's Commitment is the 11th episode of the eighth season.
Crosby is a small town on the Main Line. There isn’t enough room for all the residents that live here. Toby had heard about this issue from passengers going to and from the branch line to main line trains. So he decided to get help. Within no time, he had gotten the job of helping Miss Jenny and her team build new homes for residents. But Toby couldn’t do the work alone, so two other engines, Murdoch and Sidney were sent to help. Toby arrived with the workmen early one morning. Murdoch had already shunted his trucks into place and the diggers were loading his trucks with rubble. “Sidney should have moved those trucks for you,” said Toby sternly. “I can shunt trucks too you know,” said Murdoch kindly. “I know, but it worries me that Sidney hasn’t arrived yet.” “Either way, it’s no surprise. We’ll soon have the job done.”
Sidney had shown up to work, and had collected some of the machines. He took the wrong routes. “Hurry up! We’re late for work!” grumbled Byron. “Oh sorry, I’ll ask the signalman at the nearest signalbox where to go.” Sidney did so, and eventually they arrived, four hours later! Miss Jenny sighed as her machines left for work. “Sidney, you’re late. Please be on time tomorrow!” “Yes Ma’am.” “Now please, take some rubble trucks to the Dump.” Sidney listened and didn’t get lost this time or any other time. That night Toby spoke with Murdoch and Sidney. “Will you both be able to work more on the project tomorrow?” “Yes,” said the two engines in unison. The next morning brought bad news with it. Just like yesterday Murdoch had shunted his trucks into place. “It looks like we’ll have to do the job without him,” said Miss Jenny.
When Sidney heard the news, he felt hurt. “I thought I did a fine job,” he said sadly. “Good job…” This reminded him of Miss Jenny scolding him yesterday. “But how can I do a good job?” That night he went to see Murdoch. He told him about his feelings. “You need to be committed.” “Committed? What’s that?” “It’s when you follow through with what you said. For example, if you weren’t late and kept your commitment to help out today, you would still be helping with the project.” “I see…So if I’m committed, I’ll be able to get my work done?” thought Sidney aloud. Murdoch grinned as if to say “yes”.
The next day Sidney spoke with the Yard Manager, who called Miss Jenny. “She says you can have a second chance, but no more lateness, understand?” “Yes Sir!” said Sidney cheerfully. Sidney arrived at the site. He took trucks to the Dump, and shunted empty ones into place for the diggers. He even delivered the materials on time too, but then he ran out of fuel. Toby had to shunt him back to the yard at Crosby to be refilled. “Sorry Toby. I wanted to be committed, and change my ways.” “We all could see that Sidney, but change happens over time.” Sidney and Toby spent the rest of the journey talking about goals and change. Sidney understood everything Toby told him.
A few weeks later the houses were built, and people could start moving in. Sidney is still a bit forgetful and is working on being really useful by keeping his word, which has helped him to be a really useful engine.
- Knapford Sheds