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"The Great Western Way" is the sixteenth episode of the twelfth season.


Tidmouth Sheds: Early Morning: Sunrise

(Duck is wearing a white headcode disc on his smokebox lamp iron. He is at the coaling stage, getting his bunker filled with coal. Gordon is behind him.)

Gordon: (grumpily): Come on Duck! The Wild Nor Wester can’t be delayed!

Duck: (firmly): And my branchline passenger services can’t be delayed either. Hence why I’m taking so long. I’m making sure I have plenty of coal.

Gordon: (grumpily): As if you need a lot of coal. You only run a very short branchline, and you don’t have to run-round Alice and Mirabel because they’re autocoaches.

Duck: (kindly): I know Gordon. But all the same, there are two ways of doing things. The Great Western Way or the Wrong Way. I’m Great Western, so-

Gordon: (annoyed): Don’t we all know it! You don’t have to remind us on a regular basis that you like things done to perfection.

(We see that Duck’s bunker is now filled to the brim with coal. He puffs slowly away.)

(Fade Out)

Tidmouth Station: Early Morning: Sunrise

(Fade In)

(Duck is backing down to be coupled up to Alice. While his fireman couples Duck to Alice, we see the passengers getting into Alice and Mirabel.)

(The Guard blows his whistle, waves his green flag, and climbs into Mirabel. We see Duck’s Driver in a compartment, near the end of Mirabel, where her face is located. He pulls the whistle cord, producing one long blast on Duck’s whistle, and opens the regulator in the compartment.)

(Back outside, we see Duck moving slowly backwards.)

(Cut To)

Arlesburgh Branchline: Level Crossing: Early Morning: The sun’s starting to move a little higher up into the sky

(We see Duck, Alice, and Mirabel going backwards down the line.)

(Inside the compartment in Mirabel, Duck’s Driver steps on a foot-pedal. The gong on Alice is rung three times in succession. Duck’s brakes are applied and he comes to a stop, inches away from a level crossing.)

(The level crossing gates are against Duck. Duck’s Driver walks out of Mirabel and goes over to the Gate Keeper.)

Duck’s Driver: (calmly): What happened?

The Gate Keeper: (sadly): The lorry has broken down right on the crossing. Butch is on his way as we speak.

(We are finally shown the lorry, which is indeed stuck on the level crossing.)

Duck: (crossily): Bother! And we were going so nicely too!

(Fade Out)

Arlesburgh West Station: Morning: Sunny

(Mirabel, Alice, and Duck arrive at Arlesburgh West Station, where Bert is waiting with 6 coaches.)

Narrator: Duck arrived 48 minutes late at Arlesburgh West. This led to him being in a bad mood.

Bert: (teasingly): The Great Western Way must be the Wrong Way now!

Duck: (angrily): If that lorry driver had checked his lorry over before he went out onto the road, then none of this would have happened.

(Bert’s Guard blows his whistle, waves his green flag, and climbs into the second coach. Bert gives two short blasts on his whistle.)

Bert: (teasingly): See you later, Late Western!

(Cut To)

Arlesburgh WestYard: Morning: Sunny

(Duck shunts Alice and Mirabel into a carriage shed. He is uncoupled from Alice and starts to slowly move out of the shed. Close by, Donald is getting ballast trucks loaded at the ballast chute. As the truck gets loaded, Donald moves slowly forward to get the next empty truck filled. Duck watches this.)

Duck: (sternly): Oi, Donald! Try not to bump the ballast trucks. You know that they’re the worst of the troublesome trucks.

Donald: (defensively): I didn’t bump them. It was simply a little push.

Duck: (sternly): Bump or not, just make sure you’re not giving them ideas that they may use on another engine.

(Donald glares at Duck as Duck puffs slowly away)

(Fade Out)

Arlesburgh Harbour: Mid-Morning: Sunny

(Duck arrives at the harbour. He backs down onto a line of 13 coal trucks, and a brakevan. Once coupled to the first truck of the train, Duck slowly leaves.)

(Cut To)

Arlesburgh West Yard: Mid-Morning: Sunny

(Duck arrives with his 13 coal trucks and brakevan. He shunts them into an empty siding.)

Narrator: Duck soon returned to the yard with the morning delivery of coal from the harbour. By now, the ballast trucks that Donald had been loading before he had left were now filled, and ready to be taken down to Tidmouth.

(We see Duck being coupled up the line of 15 ballast trucks and brakevan.)

(Fade Out)

Arlesburgh Branchline: Mid-Morning: Sunny

(Fade In)

(Duck is going at 35 mph down the branchline with the 15 ballast trucks and brakevan.)

Duck: (thinking worriedly to himself): I must get the ballast to the yard on time.

(He goes a little faster.)

Duck’s Driver: (surprised): Whoa Duck! We’re not in any hurry.

Duck: (thinking crossily to himself): We are then.

(Cut To)

Arlesburgh Branchline: Level Crossing: Mid-Morning: Sunny

(The level crossing gates are against Duck once again. The Gate Keeper is about to open them, when he sees Duck coming too fast towards him.)

(Duck’s brakes are applied. He slides down the line. The Gate Keeper runs from the gates. Seconds later, Duck crashes into the gates, breaking one of the them completely. The gate flew off, bounce off a car, and landed on the road.)

(Fade Out)

Tidmouth Sheds: Night: Clear Sky

(Fade In)

(Emily, Duck, James and Gordon at at the sheds. The Fat Controller stands in front of Duck.)

The Fat Controller: (sternly): I never thought I’d see the day when you would cause an accident instead of being involved. I’d like to know why it happened.

Duck: (worriedly): Beg pardon Sir, but I didn’t want to arrive late with the ballast. I was focused on going at a fast, but safe, speed to arrive on time. I just wanted to please you Sir. Hence why I try to do things the Great Western way, to perfection.

The Fat Controller: (sternly): There is no such thing as perfection. Second of all, I’d rather have my engines work hard because they want to work hard, not to please me.

Duck: (gloomily): Yes Sir. Sorry Sir.

The Fat Controller: (sternly): You shall work in the yard until you’ve learned to accept the fact that perfectionism doesn’t exist.

(The Fat Controller walks over to his car, goes inside it, and drives away.)

James: (cheerfully): Now we don’t have to listen to his annoying motto.

Gordon: (cheerfully): Or wait for all hours for him to do useless things, such as taking on a full lot of coal when he really doesn’t need it.

Emily: (kindly): Don’t listen to them Duck. I know that you were trying to be really useful.

(Fade Out)

Tidmouth Yard: Early Morning: Dark Clear Sky

(We see Duck shunting 10 stone trucks into a siding. He is looking determined)

Duck: (thinking firmly to himself): I will change my ways! I will change my ways!

(Duck reverses out of the siding. He moves over to a line that has 17 vans and 36 tankers. He is coupled up to the brakevan, and starts to pull the first 8 vans from the brakevan away.)

Duck: (cheerfully): I’ve got this. I know to move slowly about.

(There are a set of points several yards away behind Duck, shunting 5 branchline coaches. Duck is coming closer and closer to the points. Douglas gives three short blasts on his whistle. Duck comes to a stop, inches from the set of points.)

Douglas: (sternly): You nearly caused an accident.

Duck: (embarrassed): Sorry. I must still be overthinking.

Douglas: (kindly): All ye got to do is go slowly and keep ye eyes peeled for other movements all round ye.

(Douglas moves slowly over the set of points with 5 branchline coaches.)

(Duck then moves onwards with the brakevan and 8 vans.)

(Cut To)

Tidmouth Yard: Early Morning: Sunrise

(Duck is shunting 9 express coaches into a carriage shed.)

Duck: (thinking confidently): I know where the buffers are. Just a little further.

(The express coaches are getting closer to the buffers.)

Duck: (doubtfully thinking): Oh, I should have known that I don’t know where the buffers are.

(They are extremely close to the buffers.)

Express Coaches: (urgently): You’re going to push us through the buffers!

Narrator: Duck heard the coaches, and slowed down. But the first coach did crash through the buffers and derailed.

(We see the first coach smash through the buffers and derail, with the remaining 8 coaches on the rails.)

(Fade Out)

Tidmouth Sheds: Morning: Partly Cloudy

(Emily and Duck are at the sheds. Emily is wearing white headcodes on her left and right lamp irons.)

Duck: (gloomily): I might as well never get my branchline back! I’m so stuck in my ways. I want to make the Fat Controller proud; I overthink about every move I make; and no matter how hard I try, nothing works. I might as well get used to working in the yard.

Emily: (kindly): I still struggle with my own issues.

Duck: (surprised): You do?

Emily: (kindly): Certainly. I’m still working on talking about my feelings much more than I usually do with engines that I trust.

Duck: (thoughtfully): So I’ll still be struggling with perfectionism forever?

Emily: (kindly): Yes. But it won’t be as difficult as it is now. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced.

Duck: (confused): What about pleasing others?

Emily: (thoughtfully): You got to take care of yourself. You don’t know what the Fat Controller thinks about your work.

(Emily moves slowly out of the sheds.)

Duck: (pondering to himself): Hmm...taking care of myself first…

Narrator: A couple of hours later, his crew returned.

Duck: (politely): Please make sure my wheels and side-rods are oiled and greased. I want to make sure I can easily move about.

Duck’s Driver: (kindly): We’ll do that after we look you over.

(Duck’s Fireman goes off and returns with an oil can and some grease. He joins t he driver in looking Duck over. Duck’s Driver is inspecting his wheels, while the fireman is on top of the boiler.)

(Duck’s fireman climbs down.)

Duck’s Fireman: (cheerfully): All is in good order.

(Duck’s Driver and Fireman grab the oil can and grease and start working on Duck’s wheels and side-rods.)

(Fade Out)

Tidmouth Yard: Early Afternoon: Partly Cloudy

(We see Duck shunting 5 coal trucks, plus a brakevan, to a line of trucks already set up. The line of trucks there consist of: 6 cornflats, 29 tankers, 11 vans, and now, the five coal trucks and brakevan.)

Duck: (surprised): I wonder who’s going to be pulling this goods train.

(We hear two short blasts of Murdoch’s whistle. He is wearing headcode discs on his left and right lamp iron.)

(Duck puffs slowly away)

(Cut To)

(Duck is pushing 9 express coaches into a carriage shed.)

Duck: (thinking worriedly to himself): Be careful now. You don’t want to cause another accident.

Duck: (thinking angrily to himself): I know what I’m doing, thank you!

(The express coaches come to a gentle stop in front of the buffers.)

(Duck moves slowly out of the carriage shed.)

Duck: (proudly, but a little tired): Phew! I’m glad I was able to do that job without causing an accident, even though I was starting to overthink what I was doing.

(Fade Out)

Arlesburgh Branchline: Evening: Sunset

(We see Duck cheerfully pulling Alice and Mirabel, who are full of passengers. Duck has white headcode disc on his smokebox lamp iron.)

Narrator: A week later, Duck was back at running the Arlesburgh Branchline. He still overthinks things, and will get a little annoyed with himself. But he knows now that no one’s perfect, and he also knows that it’s important to impress himself instead of the Fat Controller. He only aims at pleasing him by being on time and being really useful.