Hand of the Fair Maid!
Hand of the Fair Maid1

Episode number



Simon Martin


Simon Martin


Simon Martin
Charles Hawksworth


Simon Martin

Air date

September 10th 2007

Previous episode

Nigel, Herbert and the Cows

Next episode

Goodbye, Stephen the Green Engine!

"Hand of the Fair Maid!" is the fifth episode of The British Railway Series: The End of the LNER.


The London and North Eastern Railway has always had a great policy of naming expresses. One day, Sir Ralph is talking to Herbert about one of these trains, the famous "Flying Scotsman". Soon, the conversation turns to speed, and Sir Ralph surprises everyone by saying nice things about City of Truro, a GWR engine. It is then that Sir Ralph claims that the A4s and City of Truro's speeds were beyond the other engines' capabilities.

Allen becomes angry with Sir Ralph, claiming that he could beat him in a race any day. Sir Ralph then offers to challenge Allen to a time trial. He says that the engine who pulls the Midday Express the fastest that week will win the hand of the Fair Maid, the new express. Allen gladly accepts the challenge, but when Sir Ralph leaves the yard, the other engines become worried. Stephen explains that since Sir Ralph's class were built for speed, he will the race. Allen becomes indignant, and tells the other engines that he will show Sir Ralph what speed really is.

Sir Ralph's trial takes place first. He does rather well on the run, and he returns to the yard feeling pleased. Allen tells him that he will easily beat him, and then proceeds to the station to begin his trial. At first, he wants to go faster, but his Driver doesn't let him. Allen then reaches a signal at danger, but just as he reaches it, it changes to show that the line is clear. Allen then continues along the line at a good pace, until he finally reaches Newcastle.

Allen returns to the yard later, and the Foreman tells the engines that the winner of the time trials was, as Stephen had predicted, Sir Ralph. However, the Foreman then says that the man who timed the trials, Mr. Cecil, had said that Allen's run was more significant, as he had managed to go 5 minutes faster than any of his class or power type had ever gone before on a run. Allen is upset because he lost, but Sir Ralph then tells him that it was clear that his run was the better of the two, and that to come within 5 minutes of himself was a great feat for any engine. He then decides to give the prize to Allen, and leaves the yard.

Allen apologises to Stephen for being rude to him and Stephen quickly accepts it, but tells Allen that they have to discuss something else: Sir Ralph's strangely nice behaviour. As everyone wonders what exactly happened to Sir Ralph while he was at the works, Allen begins his new job of pulling the Fair Maid express.



  • The original title of this episode was to be "Express Envy"


  • Once again, Scott appears in the wrong conditions for the time periods in which he appears in (1950/1951 and the 1920/1930's). Simon A.C. Martin explained that the blue model had not been fixed so this model had to do instead.
  • Allen crosses the same viaduct twice during his time trial.
  • Due to a reused shot Sir Ralph's coaches change when he crosses the viaduct during his time trial.
  • A BR Standard Class 7 passes the yard multiple times during the scenes at the yard.
  • Once again, different parts of the room where the episode is filmed can be seen throughout the episode.
  • George appears in one shot but he is not introduced until the next episode.
  • Stephen can be seen in express passenger blue at a few shots.


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