"You had to fight for survival all that time!"
Fight for Survival

David C.G.


David C.G.


David C.G.

Air date

September 11, 2012

Previous episode

Made To Be Twins

Fight For Survival is the fourth episode of David C.G's Thomas and Friends series. The episode was launched on September 11, 2012.


Everyone knows the stories of how Donald & Douglas were saved by the Fat Controller and how Oliver escaped to the island. But no one has ever heard Emily's story before. Emily resisted at first but the engines pleaded until at last she gave in.

Long ago before the LNER took the line east of the UK, the Great Northern Railway took an order if engines specially made for express passenger work. Designed by Patrick Stirling, the class was named Eight-Footer (because of their large driving wheels), bu the engines preferred to be called "Stirling Single" (because of their designer and their single pair of large drive wheels). Emily was the last to be built and was part of the 1894 series. Coaches back then were smaller (like Annie and Clarabel) and Emily had no trouble departing London to York at high speeds.

But by 1899 withdrawals began and by 1916, Emily was hiding from scrap in a carriage shed. The foreman promised Emily that she would be sfe. as the years passed, more powerful engines took over the line. The foreman decided to name Emily after her wife so she will have a name instead of a number.

But the London and North eastern Railway became suspicious, thinking that a Stirling single had escaped the cutter's torch. indeed one had, the first of the class (no.1) had been preserved. But the LNER had written proofs in their books that Emily had not been scrapped. Emily became frightened after hearing that, but the foreman was not convinced. he sent her tender to an engine shed where it will be used as snowplows or an ash disposal bunker. It was to throw the LNER out of their path into believing Emily still exists. But for safety, the foreman had Emily hidden behind some coaches.

Emily suffered numerous close calls. Once, an inspector came to investigate the shed but just as he entered he was called back by the foreman who threw his plans off. After that, the LNER soon came to the conclusion that Emily had been scrapped and said human-era was to blame.

The Second World War had arose and Emily was worried of being blasted to bits. However she was miraculous and was protected over the years. While the war was on, she was kept in safe hands with some workmen and a few inspectors who were all instructed to keep her a secret.

As the Second World War ended, the foreman was beginning to get tired. He was at the right age to retire but couldn't leave Emily unguarded. He had no choice but to inform his colleagues and replacement, who vowed to help Emily and keep her safe.

As the railways were nationalized, word had gotten around that the foreman had died. Emily promised to survive and not let the foreman down.

Despite the promise of Emily's new guardians, more close-calls were experienced. Once a B12 came into the shed and the workmen had to tell the secret. But the B12 was kind and told he would not say a word to anyone. Emily was grateful. The B12 would then visit Emily was often and tell her the news. But all to soon it came to an end when he was reallocated to another shed.

By 1960, news spread that two Caledonian engines (Donald and Douglas) has escaped to the North Western Railway. The workmen had been informed that Sir Topham Hatt had no plans to abolish steam engines on his network, and said that this could be Emily's chance to survive. They wrote a letter to Sir Topham Hatt hoping he would be able to save Emily.

Plans were soon in motion, and The Fat Controller arranged a top secret visit to see Emily. Emily was excited as this was to moment she was waiting for. Unknown by British Railways, Sir Topham Hatt realized that there would be a lot of work to restore her. Forty-Four years being stored in a carriage shed had taken its toll. worst of all Emily's tender had been scrapped, and a replacement was extremely rare to find. Sir Topham Hatt said he will save her but in good time. Financially he is not capable of buying and restoring her at the present time, as he has taken ownership rather unexpectedly of two Caledonian engines. When Sir Topham Hatt left, Emily was disappointed but fully understood what Sir Topham Hatt's reasons.

Years went by and the stem engines were replaced by diesels. Emily began to worry, as it had been years until she had seen Sir Topham Hatt and thought he had forgotten about her. But Sir Topham Hatt had not forgotten, he had recently rescued Oliver and toad from scrap and now safe on his railway, their restoration came in first. Emily's situation progressed from bad to worse, the carriage shed was to be demolished and the coaches which were stored beside her were to be replaced by diesels until the building was demolished. The workmen couldn't protect Emily any longer, time was running out.

One day a DNU arrived and were shocked to see Emily there. The workmen were once again forced to tell the engine and its crew about the secret. Emily thought the DNU would reveal all but she didn't. Bluebell promised to look after her and Emily was once again grateful for the company. Bluebell was very kind and fend off any diesels who came too close.

One evening, a Class 47 drew into the shed and coupled up to Emily. The Stirling Single screamed for help. Emily's wheels groaned as she was pulled out of the shed for the first time in 55 years. Emily's distress call came and went until she was brought face to face with Sir Topham Hatt. Sir Topham Hatt said that she was no longer in danger and officially a North Western Railway engine. It was revealed that British Railways had to be informed about her secret and saw her escape as a remarkable achievement and couldn't agree for her to survive. Bluebell was sad to see Emily go, but was glad she was safe.

Emily was taken to Crewe works, where it took years to restore her in working order. a new tender had to be built from scratch and the blueprint was borrowed from the National Railway Museum at York. Stirling No. 1 was to be reunited with her in the near future. When Emily returned to steam, she performed well and did any job with ease.

The engines were all impressed with her story of survival. Donald and Douglas thought it was nothing compared to their past. All the engines found a deep respect for Emily the Stirling Single.



  • It is very unlikely that no engines could see Emily in the shed.

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