The Ghosts of Engines Past

Episode number



Simon Martin


Simon Martin


Simon Martin


Simon Martin

Air date

November 10th 2010

Previous episode

Fowler's Ghost

Next episode

The Last Run

"The Ghosts of Engines Past" is a special episode of The British Railway Series: The End of the LNER which continues the events of the previous episode.

Plot Edit

On the morning following the previous episode, the engines are all teasing Allen about being frightened of Sir Ralph's whistle. As everyone gets ready for work, Allen notices a new tank engine standing outside the shed. Sir Ralph introduces the engine as Wensley, who is helping with the shunting work as Geoffrey has failed. At first, Wensley tries to pass himself off as one of the North Eastern Railway-built J72's, but he is accused of being a British Railways "copy", and so he reveals that he was indeed built in 1951 at Darlington Works.

Their discussion soon turns to diesels, and Wensley begins to tell the engines about the first preserved steam engine: Alf the J52 tank engine. He tells them about how Alf is now running railtours all over the country and is well looked after. The engines are amazed, and Allen quietly says that it sounds like heaven.

Meanwhile, at Norwich Thorpe, Stephen learns that he now really is the last of his kind as he looks out at the withdrawn engines still on the sidings. He closes his eyes and thinks back to 1957, when he had been talking to his brother, Harry, about the fate of the engines. At first, Harry appeared to be in denial about it, but he then revealed to Stephen that he had been ready for the end ever since the end of the war. He told Stephen to remember him from that day onwards, before telling him to leave him in peace.

As evening approaches at Copley Hill, Wensley prepares to leave the yard. The engines thank him for his work, and he departs. Soon afterwards, Sir Ralph and Nigel leave, and Allen is left alone in the shed. He suddenly hears a shrill whistle, but when he calls out through the mist, no one answers him. He closes his eyes, as the ghost of Gadwall appears next to the sheds...



  • This episode was made for the winners of The British Railway Series Character Competition. Alf (created by Chris Eden-Green), Harry (created by Jamie Goddard) and Wensley (created by Tom Foster) came in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the competition.
  • This marks the only speaking roles of Charlotte, Wensley, and Harry.


  • Alf's model is numbered 1226, but actually his number was 1247.
  • The narrator says that the engine shed was empty after Stephen had left, but Allen, Sir Ralph, Herbert and Nigel are still seen in the sheds.


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