Derek has been fixed at Crovan's Gate and the Fat Controller tells him that despite his malfunctions, he was very pleased with Derek's work effort. The Fat Controller then informs Derek to head to Edward's branch line, however halfway in the journey he approaches Gordon's hill but climbs it with ease and soon gets to work. Derek arrives at the China Clay works and delivers China clay throughout the island.
The engines are very fond of him, except Gordon, who although doesn't dislike him, doesn't like how loud and smoky he is. One day Gordon shouts at Derek for getting to close to his paint but Henry tells Derek to ignore Gordon and comforts Derek by telling him that he also had flaws when he was first built.
Later that same day after Derek had brought some trucks and is waiting for Gordon to pass by with the express at Wellsworth before going home. He meets Edward who explains that Gordon will pull a non-stop Express from Knapford to Vicarstown, and Edward explains to Derek what a non-stop service is and Gordon takes once daily. When Gordon rushes by, Edward realizes that Gordon didn't have a brake coach, Derek thinks that he may have forgotten one but the Fat Controller explains sternly by saying that all Express trains must have a brake coach and not having one is against railway regulations. However before he can continue Edward interrupts and the three of them are shocked to see that the last two coaches have somehow detached from Gordon's train, luckily the guard brakes them to a stop at Wellsworth, suggesting the coupling must have broken. As Edward is busy with a stopping train The Fat Controller asks Derek if he could quickly give them to Gordon, Derek agrees and is quickly coupled up and pushes the coaches. Gordon meanwhile had stopped at Cronk, the passengers are angry at being late and Gordon is just about to go all the way back to retrieve the coaches when Derek bustles in pushing the last two coaches. The coaches are hitched back to Gordon's train, the passengers reboard and Gordon quickly hurries away. That evening, Gordon apologizes for being so sharp with Derek and Derek accepts Gordon as a new friend but is mainly happy to be part of the Fat Controller's Railway.
- Sir Topham Hatt
- Rusty (cameo)
- Duncan (cameo)
- Rheneas (cameo)
- Sir Handel (cameo)
- Douglas (cameo)
- Bill and Ben (cameo)
- Boco (cameo)
- Daisy (cameo)
- Terence (cameo)
- Thomas (appears in flashback, cameo)
- Annie and Clarabel (appear in flashback, cameo)
- Patrick (cameo)
- Catherine (possible cameo)
- Alaric (cameo)
- Shane Dooiney (cameo)
- Crovan's Gate
- Gordon's Hill
- China Clay Works
- Terence's Farm
- Elsbridge (appears in flashback)
- Kirk Machan
- The original title was just simply Derek. It was changed to avoid confusion with an episode of the same name in NWR1991's popular series NWR Tales.
- This is the only story in the book where BoCo does not have a speaking role.
- This marks the first appearance of the Jonateers models of the Culdee Fell Engines.
- Events from Thomas and the Guard/Thomas and the Conductor are shown in a flashback.