|The Return of Sir Eustace Missenden|
July 12th, 2012
After a somewhat disappointing Christmas, the Dark Railway engines are preparing for their New Years Eve party, and they learn that Mr. Dark has arranged a surprise for them all. Dave volunteers to collect the train of alcohol from the Junction that evening, hoping to take some while no one is looking.
That evening, Dave and Raymond are waiting at the Junction. They start reminiscing about the early days on the railway, and Dave's thoughts suddenly drift to an old friend: Sir Eustace Missenden, the pompous Bulleid Pacific. Lost in the thoughts about Eustace's time on the DR, Dave doesn't notice Raymond leaving the sheds. A while later, the tankers arrive, though they are late and this annoys Dave. Trying to make up for lost time, Dave races along the line, when a pain suddenly starts building up in his firebox, finally climaxing on Walschurch viaduct. He learns that his fusible plugs have melted, and he argues with his crew about who was to blame.
Fortunately, another engine has arrived on the line and agrees to push them to Merecombe. The engine's whistle sounds vaguely familiar to Dave, but he doesn't see it. Once Dave is returned to the sheds, Mr. Dark steps forward. He announces that he recently learned that a former resident of the railway was going to be withdrawn and scrapped, but he managed to purchase him at the final hour. The engine suddenly backs down into the sheds, as Mr. Dark officially welcomes Sir Eustace Missenden back to the Dark Railway. The others are awestruck by the sight of him, as he has been rebuilt during his time away. Delighted at meeting his old friends again, Eustace is introduced to the new engines on the line, and eventually tells them the story behind his rebuild: he was taking an express up Parkstone Bank when he suddenly slipped violently, destroying his valve gear, and BR chose to have him rebuilt.
At midnight, the engines count down the seconds to the New Year, and start celebrating as the year of 1964 officially begins.
- Theo and Otto
- Sir Eustace Missenden
- The Class 24
- Mr. Dark
- The U Class (does not speak)
- Sir Edgar Woolwinder (mentioned)
- Leanne (mentioned)
- The events of Pilots, The Party, Something's In the Air, The Betrayal, and The Rebuilding of Sir Eustace Missenden are referenced.
- It is said that there had been no snow at all during this winter, but the ground is covered in snow throughout the episode.