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Tenders and Turntables is the fifteenth episode of the first series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Troublesome Engines.


Plot

Life has been harder at the yard since Thomas left to run his branch line. With no tank engine to shunt or fetch coaches for them, Henry, James, and Gordon must shunt in the sidings and fetch their own coaches which soon makes them very cross, causing the Fat Controller a great deal of trouble. In addition, while Thomas, being a tank engine, does not need a turntable, the larger tender engines do, as it is dangerous for them to go fast backwards.

One windy afternoon after lamenting to Thomas about the recent work, Gordon arrives at the other end of the line with his train and heads for the turntable. The turntable is by the sea, so the wind is very strong and unless an engine is perfectly balanced on the turntable, it becomes difficult to turn. Gordon is in a bad mood and is unable to get perfectly balanced, and neither his driver nor fireman can get him to cooperate. After several attempts, they give up and he is forced to pull his next train tender first.

When Gordon arrives at the junction, a group of boys joke around and taunt him by calling him a tank engine. Thomas, who is waiting at the junction, laughs and suggests that Gordon should scrap his tender and get a nice bunker. James flies by with his train and laughs as well. Gordon warns James that he may also stick on the turntable, but James claims that will not happen because he is not so fat as him.

When James gets to the sheds; he carefully lines up on the turntable, allowing it to move very easily. But the strong wind has other ideas and begins to spin James around like a top. Gordon arrives just in time to see the whole thing. When the turntable finally stops spinning, James backs into the shed felling rather dizzy and humiliated.

That night, Gordon, James, and Henry hold an indignation meeting. They decide it would be best, after the day's events, to go on strike.

Characters

  • Thomas
  • Gordon
  • James
  • Henry
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