Fowler's Ghost

Episode number



Simon Martin


Simon Martin


Simon Martin


Simon Martin

Air date

October 29th, 2009

Previous episode

Great Scott!

Next episode

The Ghosts of Engines Past

"Fowler's Ghost" is the 17th episode and Halloween special of The British Railway Series: The End of the LNER.


It is all Hallows Eve night, 1961, and Tavish is telling the engines ghost stories. Herbert is frightened by them, but Allen laughs at them. Tavish is about to tell a story about the scariest ghost engine of all, Fowler's Ghost, but he shuts up when Allen bursts out laughing. Stephen enters the shed at that moment, and Herbert asks him about Fowler's Ghost. He is persuaded by the others to tell the story, and he begins it...

In 1861, John Fowler designed a locomotive that would not make smoke in tunnels for the Metropolitan Railway. Unfortunately, on both of its test runs, the engine failed miserably, and Fowler was angry. He ordered the engine to be hidden away and sheeted up, but before it is hidden down a disused tunnel, he sold some of the engine's parts for scrap. Down in the tunnel, the engine, who was angry at being blamed for the problems that had been caused by Fowler, began to plot its revenge...

A few years later, some workmen were down by the engine's tunnel, when the tunnel shaft collapsed, crushing the engine. A while afterwards, an engine was seen running down the tunnels every night for a few weeks, but it never arrived at the point where the men tried to derail it. Finally, after some people become suspicious, Fowler was forced to reveal the truth about the engine. The ghost engine was not seen for a long time after this, but on the 50th anniversary of its failed test run, it was seen again. Stephen finishes the story by saying that Fowler's Ghost has continued to haunt Britain ever since, looking for old engines to sheet up and remove from the world.

Suddenly, a loud shrill whistle is heard, and Allen jumps back in absolute fright. Everybody else begins to laugh as Sir Ralph backs down onto the shed. Soon, the other engines go to sleep, but Allen keeps a look out for any ghosts, before settling down himself.

Stephen leaves the shed for his early morning shift, but as his crew leave him, another whistle is heard, and Stephen smiles as Fowler's Ghost itself pulls up alongside. He begins to talk to the spectre, and he finds out that it is still looking for Fowler. When Stephen tells it about Fowler being dead, the engine becomes angry, but he manages to tell the ghost that it did accomplish something: it managed to make itself known to the world. The engine soon prepares to depart, and Stephen tells it that he will follow it onwards next time it comes. The ghost leaves, but Stephen is completely unaware that he will never see Fowler's Ghost again.



  • 2 models of Fowler's Ghost were used in this episode. One was simply painted white, which was then painted to resemble the engine in real life, whilst the other was a resin cast and see through.
  • This episode marks the final speaking role of Tavish.
  • This was the final episode to be made for over a year. The next episode, The Ghosts of Engines Past, would not be released until November 2010.
  • The idea of Tavish being interrupted before he can tell a story was planned to be brought up again in the episode Tale of the Tay, which is currently on hold.
  • Fowler's Ghost is one of the few engines who has his facial expressions modified using Photoshop instead of clay eyelids and effects, likely due to the size of his face and the fact that he only appears in a few scenes.