Teddy Mac shivered in Otters tender. It was snowing, but even though it was winter, there were three Steam Engines and Jimmy the Diesel on the track. Today, the Drivers were using their Engines to haul trucks full of earth to the Mine Siding.  When all that earth has gone, there will make plenty of room to put our new Engine Shed there, said Station Master Rod. 

    Teddy Mac shook his fur back into place and waited for Grandad  to climb back in to Otters cab. The first Engines to go were Jimmy the Diesel and Claudine. Next it was Grandads turn. He opened the regulator and blew Otters whistle. As they set off towards the tunnel, Teddy Mac couldnt help noticing how icy the ground looked. And it was odd that he couldnt see any moles or even any mole hills anywhere.

   It wasnt long  before they arrived at the top of the hill by the Mine siding. Grandad stopped Otter behind Jimmy and Claudine. Driver Kaz, Driver Brian and Grandad climbed out of their cabs and began to shovel the earth out of the trucks. Teddy Mac was delighted that Otter was blowing steam back towards him. It kept him beautifully warm. A  moment later another Engine came up and stopped behind. This was Samastipur. He was the newest Engine to arrive in the Engine shed.  Driver Nick, climbed out to help the others. Looking down at either side of the track, Teddy Mac realised that the Engines were blowing out so much steam that the snow was melting. 

The earth underneath was began to funnel upwards. A molehill appeared and a hard yellow hat popped out. Have you come to help us? asked Humphrey. Its a good thing you brought the Engines with you today because it s absolutely FREEZING down here. The marble trucks have stopped running and even the bright red marbles are turning a shocking shade of pink. Teddy Mac thought he ought to go and have a look. He made sure no one was looking before he popped down behind Humphrey into the mole hill. 



It was so cold in the mole tunnels that it made his eyes water. Steam from the engines  started to slowly drift along the tunnels but the moles from the Marble Mine were shivering with cold and huddled together.  Marble trucks were jammed against each other without any space in-between and even the brightly coloured marbles were gradually fading. You need some heat! said Teddy Mac. Of course we do, said Humphrey  but without the engines and the sunshine it can get very cold down here. Leave it to me, said Teddy Mac. I have had an idea. Climbing back out of the molehill he crept back into Otters tender. Otter, I need some help! he said. The moles need some warmth down there. Can you blow your whistle and ask the other engines to blow off their steam to heat up the mole tunnels? 



   Now everyone knows that Engines can talk through their steam and that Railway Bears can talk to Engines, so naturally, Otter was thrilled. He blew such a huge plume of steam that Claudine decided to do the same.  Jimmy the Diesel tried his best to blow some too, but he could only blow his horn. Oh dear! said Teddy Mac, Were going to need more steam than that! He looked up to the quiet Engine behind him. Samastipur!  he whispered, Can you help? The moles must be able to keep the marble trucks running! Samastipur, who had been waiting until his firebox was really hot, suddenly blasted double the amount of steam down through his injector overflow. WHOOSH! went the steam. WOW! said Teddy Mac. It made such a noise that all the drivers stopped shovelling and looked up. My goodness! said Grandad. Whatever is the matter with those engines? Do you think the snow has anything to do with it? Humphrey popped out of the molehill again. Thats done it! Thanks Teddy Mac, he said. Now we are all beginning to warm up again and we can get back to work. Teddy Mac smiled. He looked back at Samastipur and thought how useful it was to have an even bigger Engine in the family.



Margaret Edmonds 2010


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