A Great Problem Goes West!
Old Western Engine

Episode number



Simon Martin


Simon Martin


Simon Martin
Charles Hawksworth


Simon Martin

Air date

August 17th 2007

Next episode

Veto a V2!

"A Great Problem Goes West!" is the first episode of The British Railway Series: The End of the LNER.


The episode starts with the narrator introducing us to Allen the Peppercorn A1 Pacific, Stephen the Holden B12, and Sir Ralph the A4 Pacific, who all live in a big yard together.

An engine from the Western Region is on loan, but he is very old, and is often tired out. One day, Stephen is resting in the yard, when he sees the Western engine run out of steam under the signal gantry. Stephen quickly goes to find Allen, who agrees to help the engine home if the Foreman agrees. Whilst talking about getting him back west though, Sir Ralph comes out of the shed, and tells the two engines that they shouldn't do it, as the LNER and the GWR have always been enemies. However, the Foreman quickly agrees and Allen is sent to couple up to the Western engine, and take him back to Old Oak Common sheds.

The Western engine apologises for his failure, but Allen doesn't mind. However, they are just passing a level crossing, when the Western engine suddenly derails, and Allen continues on without him or his train. He continues to travel down the line until he is stopped at a signal. When the signalman asks him where his train is if he is not travelling "light engine", and Allen realises that he has left the train behind, so he quickly reverses back up the line to find the Western engine.

Back at the level crossing, the Western engine has been re-railed by a permanent way gang, but the people waiting are complaining. Finally though, Allen returns, and he apologises for leaving the Western engine behind. He sets off again, and this time, he gets the Western engine home.

Early next morning, Allen returns to the yard to find Stephen waiting outside. Stephen tells him that he has been out there all night because of Sir Ralph ranting on about Western engines being evil. When he asks Allen if the Western engine was any trouble, he thinks of the engine's kind words, and says no.



  • This episode was originally going to be called "Tale of the Unnamed Engine", and was going to be about Allen (then unnamed) arriving at the yard in 1948. This story became the subject of the first BRWS e-book released in 2012.
  • Nigel is mentioned in the script, as he was originally intended to be in the episode. He was later introduced in Nigel, Herbert and the Cows.
  • This episode is loosely based on the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends episode and Railway Series story, "Thomas' Train".
  • On June 22, 2012, the original video reached 500,000 views.


  • Scott the A3 Pacific appears in this episode, set in 1950, in his 1960's shape, with German-style smoke deflectors, brunswick green livery and double chimney.
  • Reversed shots were used many times in the episode.
  • The controller for the trains can be seen in a few shots.
  • Throughout the episode, 1970's-style tankers appear. Simon admits that he never knew why they were there.
  • A BR Standard 4 4-6-0 appears, but they were not built until 1951, and this episode is set in 1950.
  • It is said that the Western engine's two front wheels were the only ones that were derailed, but all of his wheels are off the rails.
  • The 1970's-style tankers continually appear and disappear from the Western engine's train.
  • When Sir Ralph starts complaining about the Western engine, Allen then speaks, but Stephen is shown instead of Allen.
  • The narrator says that Sir Ralph backed into the shed before his evening train, but Sir Ralph does not appear to move,
  • Although the Western engine is shown to have failed, he is still moving past the yard continually throughout the shots where Stephen is talking to Allen.
  • Different parts of the room where the episode was filmed can be seen throughout the episode, and two of the people who made the episode can be seen (e.g., Simon Martin's finger appearing in one shot).
  • Some shots are reversed and replicated and due the round layout, background trains are seen again and again!
  • Allen's nameplates read North British and his (incorrect) number is 60161 (this is continued until Hawk Eyed!). Also, Stephen is missing British Railways on his tender. Thirdly,  Sir Ralph's model is 60007 (another error continued until Hawk Eyed), his nameplates read Dominion of Canada
  • Nigel is accidentally mentioned in this episode because he was supposed to be introduced in this episode but then it was moved to Nigel, Herbert and the Cows.
  • The narrator said that the Old Western Engine was releasing little steam and smoke but no smoke was released at all from its chimney.
  • If they were switched to a branchline, then due to Allen's heavy weight and the capacity of the tracks to buckle then Allen should have gone slower if the laws of physics were observed properly.
  • Allen had already passed the same signal before he halted. Furthermore the signal was at danger so Allen should have stopped in the first place.
  • When Allen stopped at the signal, two signals were on the line side and set at danger where there should only have been one.
  • When the signalman climbed down from his signal, the second signal disappears.
  • The power plug could be seen in one shot.
  • In the first part after the title is shown Allen does not have his face.
  • Sound quality is quite distorted in a few shots.



The British Railway Series Episode 1, Complete Episode

The British Railway Series Episode 1, Complete Episode

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