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You two should be ashamed of yourselves! To be so inconsiderate as to say those things about our friends. It's disgraceful!

Duck scolding Marie and Rose


The Substitute Controller is the eighth episode of the ninth season.

Plot

It was a sunny summer day on the Island of Sodor. All the engines were busy pulling goods and passengers up and down the line. Richard Hatt had called Jacob and Sierra to his office at Knapford Station.

“You wanted to see us, Sir?” Said Jacob.

“Yes, have a seat,” Richard replied.

So Jacob and Sierra sat down.

“Starting tomorrow,” Richard continued, “My whole family and I are going to Scotland on holiday. I need you two to take care of the railway in my absence.”

“Us, Sir?” said Jacob . “But shouldn't an adult take care of the railway?” Sierra asked.

“I suppose, but you two are a lot more, well competent than most of the adults on Sodor.”

“Since you put it that way,” Jacob said thoughtfully, “We'll do it.”

“We will?”

“Splendid!” Richard exclaimed, “We'll only be gone for a week. Contact me if you need anything I'll hold a meeting in the shunting yard later so I can tell the engines.”

“Yes, Sir,” said Jacob, and he and Sierra left Richard’s office.

“I can't believe you said that we'd do that!” Sierra exclaimed.

“And I can't believe that you didn't,” Jacob retorted.

“What were you thinking?! We can't take care of a whole railway! We're just kids!”

“I was thinking that this could be our chance to show everyone that we can be responsible!”

“But we can't be!”

“Yes we can! I know we can! And besides, I know this railway like the back of my hand. This'll be easy.”

“If you say so,” Sierra replied skeptically.

Later that day, Mr. Hatt did hold a meeting for the engines at the shunting yards. Engines from all over the Island came to hear Mr. Hatt's special announcement.

“I hope I'm not in trouble,” Madison whispered to Rosie.

“Why would Mr. Hatt call all of us here if you were in trouble?” Marie sniffed snootily.

“Maybe we're all in trouble,” Madison retorted, “Did you ever think of that smarty-buffers?”

“QUIET!” Mr. Hatt shouted.

“Starting tomorrow, my entire family and I will be going on holiday to Scotland. Jacob and Sierra will be in charge of the railway while I'm gone.”

Most of the engines thought Richard Hatt leaving Jacob and Sierra was a good idea. Marie, however, thought otherwise.

“I don't think it's very wise of Mr. Hatt to leave those two immature children in charge of us,” she sniffed.

“Why?” her brother questioned, “Because it means they'll have less time to pay attention to you?”

“Don't be stupid,” Marie replied, “I don't think it's a good idea because being in charge of an entire railway is a lot of pressure to put on the shoulders of two children.”

“They're not children anymore, Marie,” said Rosie, “They're 16 now.”

“And anyway,” added Madison, “They've been on Sodor, taking care of themselves for like 3 years now. I think if they can take care of themselves for that long, then they can certainly take care of all of us for a week.”

“They're still young,” Marie protested, “And they surely aren't responsible enough to take care of a railway as big as this one.”

“I hate to admit it,” put in Rose, “But, Marie’s right. This railway should not be left in the hand of two incompetent and irresponsible children.”

This made the other engines cross. Jacob and Sierra were their friends. They didn't like Rose and Marie saying those things about them.

“I can not believe those two are rude enough to say those things about Jacob and Sierra,” Edward whispered crossly to James, Gordon, and Henry.

“I know!” agreed Henry, “It's so inconsiderate.”

“It is indeed,” said James, “Someone should say something. I think it should be Gor-”

“I'll do it,” Duck interrupted, “Jacob is my best friend, after all.”

Then, Duck turned his attention to Marie and Rose.

“You two should be ashamed of yourselves!” he scolded, “To be so inconsiderate as to say those things. It's disgraceful!”

“Oh, shut up, Duck,” said Marie, “No one asked you for your opinion.”

Everyone was shocked to hear Marie talk to Duck like that.

“QUIET!” Mr. Hatt shouted again, “Now everyone, back to work.”

And all the engines left.

The next morning, Jacob and Sierra went to Brendam Docks to see the Hatts off.

“Goodbye, you two,” said Richard, “If you need anything, just call.”

“Yes, Sir,” said Jacob.

“We will, Sir,” added Sierra.

“Bye, guys,” said Kira.

“Bye, Kira,” said Sierra.

“Have fun,” said Jacob.

And with that, the Hatts boarded the boat to take them to Scotland.

After the boat left, Jacob and Sierra went back to Knapford. Everything was running smoothly.

“Ah,” Jacob sighed happily as he watched the trains go by, “Everything is running like clockwork. No confusion, no delay.”

“Actually,” Sierra said.

“I spoke too soon, didn't I?”

“I'm afraid so.”

“Alright,” Jacob sighed, “What's happened?”

“Meg just texted me and said that her and Molly are going to be late,” Sierra replied. “Why?” Jacob asked.

“She said Marie had an accident at the bottom of Gordon’s Hill and they're stuck behind it,” Sierra answered.

“I'll go check it out,” Jacob said, and hopped in Winston, the track inspection vehicle, “You call the Search and Rescue Centre and send for Rocky.”

“Right,” Sierra replied.

When Jacob and Winston arrived at the scene of the accident, they saw that Marie, along with some of her freight cars, had come off the rails while puffing around a bend.

“Marie, what has happened?!” Jacob asked.

“I was going too fast down the hill and when I went around the bend I derailed,” Marie replied sadly.

Just then, Murdoch arrived shunting Rocky.

“Ah, Murdoch, perfect timing,” said Jacob, “Now after Rocky lifts your sister back onto the rails, I want you to shunt her to the Steamworks.”

“Yes, Sir, “ said Murdoch.

And in no time at all, Rocky had lifted Marie back onto the rails.

"Thank you, Rocky," said Jacob.

"Happy to help, Jacob," said Rocky.

After the line was cleared, Meg and Molly started to puff away, but stopped next to Jacob.

“You’re doing a great job as controller,” said Meg.

“Thanks, Meg,” Jacob replied, “Now, you two better get back to work.”

“Yes, Sir,” Meg and Molly said together.

And they puffed away.

No sooner were Meg and Molly it of sight when Jacob’s cell phone rang. It was Sierra.

“What is it, Si?”

“There's trouble at Ffarquar Quarry. Some Troublesome Trucks pushed Jackie under the hopper and she got covered in stone.”

“Okay, I'll be right there,” said Jacob, “If you could, send Rosie and Madison there, too. I've got an idea for how to do this.”

“Will do,” Sierra replied.

“Thanks, Si,” Jacob said and hung up his phone. Then, he turned to Winston.

“Come on, Winston. We're needed at the quarry.”

“What's happened there, Sir?” Winston asked.

“Jackie got pushed under the hopper by some Troublesome Trucks,” said Jacob.

“Oh dear,” said Winston, “I hope she's alright.”

“I do too,” Jacob replied.

When they got to Ffarquhar Quarry, Mavis was shunting empty cars under the hopper and Jennifer was putting the loaded ones in a siding. Jackie had been shunted to the engine sheds. She was covered in quarry dust. She had rocks down her funnel and a hole in her boiler. Just then, Rosie and Madison arrived.

“Madison, I need you to take Jackie to the Steamworks,” said Jacob, “Rosie, I need you to stay here and fill in for Jackie while she's being repaired.”

“Yes, Sir,” Madison and Rosie said and set to work.

After Rosie and Jackie left, Jacob hopped back in Winston.

“I think we can go back to Knapford now,” he said.

“Oh good,” Winston replied.

By the time they got back to Knapford, everything was running smoothly again.

“Good,” Jacob said to Sierra, “As long as there's no more accidents, running this railway for the week should be easy.”

Characters

Locations

Quotes

I don't think it's very wise of Mr. Hatt to leave those two immature children in charge of us."
"They're not children anymore, Marie. They're 16 now."
"And anyway, they've been on Sodor, taking care of themselves for like 3 years now. I think if they can take care of themselves for that long, then they can certainly take care of all of us for a week."
"They're still young, and they surely aren't responsible enough to take care of a railway as big as this one."
"I hate to admit it but, Marie’s right. This railway should not be left in the hand of two incompetent and irresponsible children.

Marie, Rosie, Madison, and Rose

I can not believe those two are rude enough to say those things about Jacob and Sierra."
"I know! It's so inconsiderate!"
"It is indeed! Someone should say something. I think it should be Gor-"
"I'll do it. Jacob is my best friend, after all.

Edward, Henry, James, and Duck

Trivia