Episode VIII: Great Western End is the eighth episode of NWR Origins and was uploaded on January 20, 2016.
Before British Railways was established in 1948 Britain consisted of four major railways, These were the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), the Southern Railway (SR) and of course the Great Western Railway (GWR). From 1932-1946 76 GWR 14xx Locomotives were built painted in GWR Green, three of them were sent to work on a branch-line on the lower south-east of England. Their names were Clarence, Paul and Oliver and they worked alongside a GWR 61xx called William. In 1949 the three 14xx's were painted in the horrid BR Green which none of the engines approved of, but eventually they got used to it.
One day in 1956 Oliver is just organizing a Goods Train when nearby a GWR 20 Ton "Toad" Brakevan greets him but mistakes him with his brother's names. Oliver then introduces himself and asks the Brakevan about his name but the latter responds sadly stating how rolling stocks are too low to be given a name, but Oliver kindly insists stating everyone deserves a name instead of the troublesome trucks. On hitched up and on their way Oliver is surprised at how well the Brakevan kept the trucks in order during their journey and stood no nonsense despite his timid nature, so much so that they complete their journey ahead of schedule. Oliver is very impressed so decides to give the Brakevan a name and concludes the name Toad which the Brakevan admires. Most of the Brakevans on the Branch-Line are lazy but Toad was such a hard working brake-van that most of the engines would often fight over who had the right to take him on their trains.
The GWR was very obsessed about time efficiency for passengers and this showed in their passenger service. Their were lots of coaches on the GWR especially the Auto-Coach which was special due to them having controls in the cab so when attached to the engine and the train had to reverse, the driver could simply drive the train from the coach. Many of these coaches had names such as Mary, Shirley, Connie and Tabitha, but Oliver's favourite was a coach called Isabel. This was due to the fact that when the train was reversing and the driver was in her cab Isabel would keep a good look out on the line and ring her bell if anything were to be wrong. The GWR also had Slip Coaches, Coaches which could be uncoupled when the train was approaching the station platform and while the rest of train would continue on the journey, the guard could break the coach in the platform allowing passengers travelling to their platform, to disembark.
However then came the invasion of the Diesels, Diesels weren't uncommon as Class 08s had started by shunting in 1957, due to them being easier to start than steam engines but in 1958 Mainline diesels started to arrive and take over. One day, Oliver and his brothers are resting in the shed a rude Class 40 Diesel named Darby (who is persumed to be D199 from Super Rescue), due to being built in the city with the same name, has arrived, taking over heavy goods and passenger services, and speaks rudely to the three 14xx's stating that steam can go to hell as they are no longer efficient, resulting in Clarence telling Darby to go to hell, resulting in the latter stating he will join them in hell. Paul tells Clarence to ignore Darby but Oliver worriedly states how there are fewer and fewer Steam Engines running the branch-line, resulting Paul agreeing but stating that they'd always have a usage on the railway. Oliver despite hoping his brother is right, has a feeling that he could be wrong.
Oliver's theory is seen to be correct as during the 1960s the steam engine numbers decrease rapidly and on average Oliver and his brothers only had two trains per day. In 1964 things turn worse when the GWR Auto-coaches are withdrawn from service and are replaced with large BR MK1 Coaches, which had nice interiors but weren't the same. Then in 1964, Clarence was withdrawn and sent away and the following year so was Paul, leaving Oliver and William the only steam engines on the line. Then came 1967 and one sunny day, Oliver sees a delighted William approaching him who reveals to Oliver that he has been bought for preservation. Oliver although happy for William wishes that he too could be preserved to which William states that due to him being the last 14xx on the branch-line. Oliver however wishes that he could go to a railway where steam engines thrive, to which William responds by stating that he's heard of a place called the Island of Sodor where the controller is dedicated to preserving steam engines, despite a few diesels being there steam will always have a home on Sodor, as back in 1955 he met a Great Western Pannier Tank called Montague, but had a nickname, who was to go to the Island of Sodor. Oliver seems very impressed but states that more realistically being the last steam engine on his region, he will most likely be preserved.
But a few days later, Oliver's theory turns out to be wrong as the yard manager sadly reveals to him that he has been withdrawn from service, due to the manager not being bothered to operate steam anymore and sadly reveals that most likely he will be scrapped as the branch line is falling behind on service. Oliver's last train although being full of people with sorry faces, in reality the people are glad to see the end of Steam, his driver and firemen too are sad as they are only inclined to drive steam engines. Once the coaches had been shunted away, Oliver passes a siding where Isabel and Toad were waiting and the latter guesses that Oliver is being scrapped and Oliver guesses that they too are being scrapped, and concludes that all three of them have finally reached their Great Western End. Oliver finally puffs into the old sheds where he had once spent with his brothers one last time, knowing that it too will be demolished and he will join his brothers. As the breeze blows gently through the sheds Oliver sadly and slowly falls asleep knowing his life is over.
Suddenly Oliver is awoken by his driver and firemen and when he questions what their doing, they state that they're going to get him off the branch line, to which Oliver questions where they will go to which his driver responds by stating that they are going to Sodor much to Oliver's Delight. Then Oliver remembers that Toad and Isabel will also be scrapped and tells his driver to take him to the sidings where they are and when he arrives they question him and are delighted when he reveals that he is saving them from scrap. The driver reveals that the journey is 300 miles (482.7 km) but they will have to travel at night if they're not to be spotted between the hours of 01:00 and 05:30. Isabel cheers loudly and eventually with enough steam built up, Oliver departs from the Branch-Line. Hours later, the firemen realizes that there is a station nearby and they can find shelter there. In the morning while diesels growling up and down the line, while Toad and Isabel wait in a siding, Oliver hides in the shed nearby realizing that this will be an on-going process until they reach Sodor.
*This story is narrated by Oliver in the present day speaking to a Reporter.
- Isabel and Dulcie (Dulcie cameo)
- Oliver's Siblings (Clarence and Paul appear, others such as Bob, Jerry, George, Chris, and Tim are mentioned only)
- Duck (appears in flashback, does not speak)
- Jock (cameo)
- Sigrid of Arlesdale (cameo)
- Bert (cameo)
- Rex (cameo)
- Mike (cameo)
- Sir Topham Hatt (mentioned)
- Great Western Manager (mentioned, presumably evil)
- Shirley, Connie, Tabitha, and Mary (Don't speak)
- The Slip Coaches (mentioned)
A BR Class 17 using Derek's model is seen, although it is not intended to be Derek. The same goes for some BR Class 08 diesels using Arry, Bert, Sidney, and Paxton's models. Several other diesels make appearances in the background.
- The Peel Godred Branch: Oliver
- Donald9Douglas10: Toad
- 22Tesla: William
- Thomas1Edward2Henry3: Everyone Else
- The events of this episode take place in 2015, before and during 1949, 1956, and the 1960s (from 1960 to 1967).
- Music from the movie Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the TV show Doctor Who is used.
- A memorial to British singer David Bowie and British actor Alan Rickman is placed at the very beginning.
- It's Unknown if Darby is intended to be D199/Spamcan. It's possible that his is D199 and his name was presumably withdrawn before the events in Super Rescue.
- The route used for Oliver's Branch Line is actually a route of the Rev. W. Awdry's model railway layout by NWR3D.
- A clear reference to Toad the Lucky Brake Van is used when the reporter talks about that Toad made headlines.
- Mike can be seen derailing and falling off the chute when the Reporter question about Isabel. The reasons for this was because T1E2H3 had a bit too much to drink and wanted to do something funny for the episode.
- In both two-part episodes of NWR Origins, it features the main characters speaking to a Reporter, though it is likely that a different reporter is speaking to Oliver than the one who spoke to Gordon.
- This is also the second and last time in the series for an steam engine character to have a part-two episode.
- In the scene where Oliver describes the autocoaches, there is a picture within one that is an illustration from the Railway Series book New Little Engine story "Speedkiller".
- William is mistakenly referred to as a 67xx rather than a 61xx.
- In the beginning, when Oliver describes the four railway companies, he leaves out the Southern Railway.