Drama Friendship Fiction

    Douglas Sutton arrived home, a nice house outside of Fortworth, but the stress was already infecting his brain, he just got off a meeting of The Ruined Castle Branch Company, well, a defunct company. Mr. Sutton requested a donation appeal for Roger since he was now out of service and needed a major overhaul, but the company wanted to use a modern steam locomotive, or at least, commission a brand new steam locomotive.

That didn’t go so well, and after a very heated argument with name-calling in both Roger and Mr. Sutton, the company owner, a good friend of Mr. Sutton, decided to close the company, Now the railway has no owner, or anything, or anybody, Mr. Sutton went home, the shop staff at the meeting said that Roger would need new frames, a new boiler, and new wheels, which wouldn’t be cheap.

It was stressful when he got home, and when he walked in the door, he noticed Alan Lewis, who’s the general manager of the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway. Roger has been to the railway in 1977 and 1986, so he was glad that a friend was visiting him.

“Hello Douglas,” He told his old friend, “How are you doing?”

Alan knows of the difficult situation for his friend, but Douglas just nodded, he didn’t want to talk about it, it was tough, and Mr. Sutton wanted this problem to be solved, now Alan spoke again to his friend.

“I was talking to your wife about purchasing the railway.” He told Douglas honestly.

His eyebrows went very high when he heard that.

“You mean, ownership?” He asks Alan.

“Yes,” He said to his shocked friend, “But you’ll keep most of the shareholder, and the revenue, after seeing Roger in 1977 and 1986, I think that Roger deserves to have a good owner who knows about the railway and steam locomotives.”

Mr. Sutton just got home, and now his friend is telling him that he wanted the Leighton Buzzard, now the question is processing in his brain, would it be a good idea? Would it be worth it for Roger? How would it relate to Roger’s overhaul? Many questions are going through like a roller coaster, so he sat down and rubbed his temples like he got a migraine.

“This Is too much to process,” He told Alan, “I just got off of a meeting and the original company just left, I don’t know what they’re going to do now, but it’s a big problem now, right now, we’re just using Clair for the passenger service till Roger overhaul is completed.”

His wife didn’t say much, but she’s a volunteer at the railway as a coach cleaner, so she decided to raise her hand to speak.

“How bad is Roger’s condition?” She asks, she likes the little Avonside and enjoys being in the cab sometimes

“Let’s say he limped home,” Mr. Sutton told his wife honestly, he didn’t tell her about Roger’s incident.

She was about to grab her purse, but Alan put his hand up, he had two ideas that would help in both Roger’s overhaul and getting that donation.

“I suggest that we have the Talyllyn Railway Pendre works to overhaul Roger?” He suggests to Douglas.

Before Mr. Sutton could say anything, he put his hand up again to stop.

“I know your volunteers and staff help rebuilt some of their coaches, and with the original people who help build the line were volunteers at Talyllyn,” He reminded his friend of the beginnings, “So I would have contracted the railway for the overhaul, and I knew some people that could help make Roger better than before.”

Goosebumps were forming on his arm, he didn't know what to do, he was very scared for not only his railway but Roger.

“I don’t know how I feel about this,” He told Alan honestly, his eyes were very tired, “This Is too much.”

Alan put both his hands on Mr. Sutton, and look at him straight in the eyes. His wife also squats down and puts both her hands on both his hand and his thigh.

“I’ll help you,” He told him, “The Talyllyn Railway would help you, I got a friend who works at Snowdon Mountain Railway, this will work, it’ll take long, but it’ll work.”

Douglas looked both at his friend and his wife, the decision is tough, but he knew it’ll take years for Roger to be back in steam, and the Talyllyn Railway has skilled people, with huge experiences in steam locomotive work, more than his crew, the idea still would be tough, meaning Roger would have to truck into Twyn, Wales, and pray to god that the overhaul would be successful.

He took a deep breath and process what just happen, Alan bid goodbye and tell Douglas to think about it, before making his big decision, Mr. Sutton took a nap and thought of what his friend had said, it would take the whole day, it was tough, but after hours of thinking, he finally made his decision.

He woke up, and went to his office which is next to the master bedroom, and called Alan and told him about his idea, and he’ll do it. For 8 hours, with Douglas’s wife joining in, they thought out of the ideal plan to help, they’ll truck Roger to Twyn, and he’ll be overhauled at the Talyllyn, and the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway will purchase The Ruined Castle Branch. Alan is willing to purchase the railway for 15k British pounds since that money goes to the overhaul. Alan requested that using television can help the railway for the donations, everything was just set, only now is to send Roger to Wales.

Then, he told Roger about the good news about the railway and his overhaul, he also told the news to the shop staff, which they’re pretty happy as well. The little Avonside was very happy to have a major overhaul, and now with the railway owned by Leighton buzzard, the process of beginning for transport of the little Avonside.

Two days later, after checking all over Roger, he was ready for his travel to Wales, Clair shunted him to ‘Castle’, where he was lifted on Lillia flatbed, for Wales, which he’s very nervous, and a little bit scared.

“Hope your overhaul does very well,” He told the little Avonside, “I don't know how long it’s going to take, but the railway will wait for you.” 

“I hope the railway does well without me.” He said with a bit of uncertainty.

Lillia blew her whistle and Mr. Sutton watches his favorite steam locomotive disappearing into the distance, he was now nervous at first, but it’ll be a challenge not to miss the little Avonside. He went back to his car, took a deep breath, realizing that a new chapter of The Ruined Castle Branch has started.

May 21, 2021 19:26

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