"Duncan's Race" is a story written by Loco123456.


George the steamroller was being unloaded at the Transfer Yards from a flatbed on the standard gauge line onto Madge. "I can't wait for the Railway Engine Race," said Madge as she drove away. "I'm not! Repairing the paths for the runners; they should just drive in their cars, then the Railway will see that roads are better!" "Railways are useful too," reminded Madge, "we work alongside them." George just ignored this. He was glad when he'd been unloaded. "At least the path is all ripped up; I just have to flatten the tar and that's that."

Besides the paths being repaired, the Railway itself was getting ready too; Rusty and the platelayers were repairing the line between Crovan's Gate to Glennock; the engines were all being inspected and repairs being made, for the Thin Controller would chose three of his engines to race against the runners. Duncan was very keen to make a good impression so he could take part. He delivered tar tankers to George. "I'll definitely be in the race," he boasted, "I've got more tar for you, and you've only used a third of the load I delivered this morning!" "Roads take a long time to repair," grumbled George, "but you wouldn't know that." "You wouldn't know speed!" After the first part of the path was made Madge moved George to the next section. "Duncan thinks I'm slow; I'll show him!" "Never mind George, I bet the others are being treated a similar way too."

Madge was right; Duncan bragged about being fast with getting his work done either early or on time. It was soon a few days before the race. The Thin Controller went round selecting his engines. "Please Sir, may Duncan take my place in the race?" asked Skarloey. "I think he deserves it." "That's very kind of you Skarloey," he agreed. The day of the race arrived; Skarloye brought the passengers and the two runners. Freddie, Peter Sam, and Duncan lined up with the runners in the yard at Crovan's Gate. "All of you will be left in the dust!" said Duncan rudely. "We'll sh-" began Peter Sam. "Let him say what he wants," said Freddie kindly, "he soon see it's not worth it to talk that way." "Alright everyone, remember, this is a race. No shortcuts, and no avoiding lines," said the Thin Controller. "Ready...set...PEEEEP!" Everyone took off at once.

Freddie was in the lead, with a young woman named Meindl coming close behind him. Then came Peter Sam, and then a young man named Caleb and finally Duncan. "Call yourself a fast engine?" called Caleb. "Skarloey could go faster than you!" "He's just an old out-of-date engine." "Actually, you're the old engine that may need retiring after this!" While Duncan and Caleb talked rudely about each other, Meindl and Freddie were enjoying themselves. "I bet you're getting a little tired," she teased. "No, but I think you may need a rest and a drink of water!" called Freddie.

Duncan, who saw everyone getting farer and farer away from him decided to make a plan. As he neared Valley Junction, he blew his whistle to get the signalman to put him on an avoiding line to Glennock. An avoiding line helps to shorten journeys, and Duncan knew that the line rejoining the main line near the yard, where everyone else could see him. "What a clever plan, what a clever plan," he sung happily as he sped down the line. As he had predicted, the line rejoined at a near-by junction. "DUNCAN?" said Freddie, going wide-eyed. "How...I didn't even see you?!" Duncan came in first, while Meindl came in second, Freddie third, Peter Sam fourth, and Caleb fifth. The reporters of many of the towns' newspapers on the railway took pictures of the racers and spoke to Duncan, who lied here and there about how he'd beaten everyone else. As all this went on, Freddie spoke to the Thin Controller. After the reporters and the two runners went home, the Thin Controller sent Freddie and Peter Sam back to work, leaving him alone with Duncan. "Did you cheat?" pressed the Thin Controller. "Yes Sir." "Duncan, you shall work at Bluebell Valley Goods Yard until you've learned how to work alongside others that are a little better than you and treat them with respect."

Madge was called upon to take Duncan to Bluebell Valley Goods Yard. On the way they passed a fork in the road. The path they took went by the other way, which George had started to repair. "Look George," called Madge, "I'm delivering the slowest engine to Bluebell Valley!" "Want to have a race Duncan before I head home for Suddery?" Duncan just went red in the face as Madge and George had a good laugh about what had happened.

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