Teddy Mac flattened himself against the tunnel wall. “Watch it!” said Humphrey, “There’s another marble truck coming past!” Teddy Mac waited until the second marble truck whizzed past and waved to the mole who was hanging on at the back.
“Goodness me!” said Humphrey, “Those new moles are making the trucks go faster than ever! I do hope they are going to be careful when they are digging out the new mole hills near the tunnel!” 

“New mole hills?” said Teddy Mac. “Why do we want more?” Humphrey started to walk towards his pump trolley. “It’s the marbles,” he replied. “There are more of them than ever and we need extra moles hills so that the marbles can find their way underground faster. 
Teddy Mac heard Claudine blowing through her steam “I’ll have to go now,” he said, but I’ll keep a look out for the new moles.. 
When Teddy Mac arrived at the Engine Shed he heard the drivers talking.. “We’re going to try a new set of carriages today” said Driver Brian. Teddy Mac pricked up his ears. Turning around he saw the brand new carriages being joined up to Claudine. 
It was time to go. As there weren’t any passengers, Driver Brian sat in the last carriage and stretched out his legs. Grandad moved the regulator, Station Master 
Rod waved the green flag while Claudine blew a huge plume of smoke into the sky.

Teddy Mac beamed. It was different travelling around the track without passengers because it meant that Grandad could stop and start when he wanted.
They set off towards White Falls Halt and trundled towards the tunnel. It was a lovely sunny day so Teddy Mac closed his eyes so he could enjoy the movement of the train. Claudine’s whistle blew as they entered the tunnel. 
There was a scraping sound coming from underneath the rails and as he looked up he saw that Claudine was bumping and tipping sideways. “Whoops!” she screamed.

Holding on tightly, Teddy Mac felt the tender start to tip and behind him the first of the carriages began to sway too. 
“Hold on!” shouted Grandad. Driver Brian jumped out of the rear carriage as soon as the train stopped moving.
Teddy Mac slid out of the tender to make sure that Grandad was all right, but he was already standing beside Claudine staring at the track. “I don’t know what happened there!” he said. “We’ll have to lever Claudine back on the track to see if the rails are damaged.
Teddy Mac peered underneath the carriage. In front of him was a hard yellow hat and the mole underneath wasn’t Humphrey. “Oops!” said the mole as he disappeared down the molehill. 
While Grandad and Driver Brian set about separating the carriages from Claudine, Teddy Mac trotted back to the nearest mole hill and jumped down into the mole tunnels.

Humphrey had two small moles standing in front of him. “You decided to dig a molehill WHERE?” he shouted. The two moles looked at each other and then back at Teddy Mac. “Well,” said Humphrey. “We’ll just have to go and fill it in or the engines will be stuck in the tunnel all night.”
Before Teddy Mac could say anything, the two moles popped into a marble truck and set off towards the Tunnel. Humphrey trotted along behind with Teddy Mac. “I’m sure they didn’t mean it,” said Teddy Mac. “I don’t suppose they did, but they must be more careful!” said Humphrey. “These youngsters think that they can dig molehills where they like!”

Grandad and Driver Brian managed to lever Claudine back on the track and push her back so they could look at the rails. “There’s nothing there!” said Grandad. “I don’t know, I thought that at least there would be a bent rail.” He looked more closely at the ballast. “Anyone would think that this ballast had only just been put down.” The two drivers shook their heads and Grandad climbed back into Claudine’s cab.
He looked back at the tender. “And what’s more, that bear has fallen over again! It must have been the de-railing.”
Teddy Mac smiled and leaning back in the tender enjoyed the ride back to Much Natter Station.

Margaret Edmonds © 2012



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