Episode XXVI: Jim's Tale was uploaded on April 29, 2017, and is the second episode of the fourth season.
As a result of Toby's loud squeaking, Sir Topham Hatt has sent him to the works to be oiled up. As he puffs in, he sees James talking to a small green engine he's never seen before. The engine, Jim, asks Toby if he's a tram engine, and Toby asks Jim if he's seen one before, and Jim says he hasn't and obviously hasn't seen any engine for over 50 years until now. Toby is confused and asks Jim what he means by this, and James introduces Jim to Toby, and tells him he used to work at the Old Aluminum Works at Peel Godred. James says he remembers seeing Jim at the Old Transfer Yards at the same location before it closed. Toby then remembers at Jim is the engine Henry, Jack, Alfie and Oliver underground in the previous November. Toby asks Jim to tell him and James how he ended up there. Jim jokingly says that it probably won't be the last time he does so but he enjoys telling stories.
Jim recalls that he used to work on the Mid Sodor Railway with Stuart, Falcon, Duke, Albert, Crimson, and many others. In 1947, the railway closed, and Stuart, Falcon, and Jim were bought by The Peel Godred Aluminium Company, and they helped construct an Aluminium Quarry. The work was fun but quite dangerous, as it used lots of dynamite to carve the foundations. As Stuart and Falcon weren't trusted with the explosives, so Jim always had to take the trains. The explosives were very loud, which made Jim's hearing decline. In present day, they are working on Jim's hearings.
Though Jim, Falcon, and Stuart were happy, they missed Duke very much. Every day, Stuart and Falcon would ask if there was any news about him, until the quarry was completed in 1951. As they could an afford one locomotive there, the company sold Stuart and Falcon to the Skarloey Railway, and Jim was kept as he was apparently the most well-behaved.
In present-day, Toby asks Jim if he was lonely, Jim says so, he did miss Stuart and Falcon's company, but Jim always enjoyed his work regardless. The company occasionally rented a locomotive, but Jim was quite happy on his own. Some standard gauge engines would chat with Jim on occasions, such as James, who Jim remembers seeing some times. The trucks did play tricks on Jim at first, but overtime, they started to become friendly to him, and made him laugh with their jokes, and they worked well as a team. James in present-day wishes it was the same for them.
Though Jim did miss the long runs from Arlesbourgh to the mountains, he was busy most of the time, so he didn't mind, until the Aluminium Works began to decline. There were many reasons: One, economic reasons, as the company wasn't good at managing their money. They bought the new machinery and equipment and expanded too fast, bringing them into a lot of debt. It got worse when the Aluminium supplies declined in the mid-60s. Jim's line of trucks decreased from seven to three. Workers found much more in the current site today by the Peel Godred line. Being in such a terrible financial state, they couldn't afford to just simply move the industry; Second, and perhaps the biggest one was a poor safety record, which was why it was difficult to get funding.
No one was killed, but the line had many accidents ranging from improper uses of machinery to incidents with dynamite. Jim recalls one incident when he was puffing along and passed a box which exploded. Apparently, a piece of dynamite had fallen out of the boxes and it set off when Jim puffed by it. This also set a chain reaction to the other dynamite in the boxes. No one had been hurt, but everyone found it funny.
At this time, Jim himself started to deteriorate, as he was old and in desperate need of an overhaul. However, the manager was unable to afford it. The quarry then fell into a terrible state. The aluminium had all been dug up. The railway board decided to build another Aluminium works, right on the Peel Godred line. In the flashback, Jim asks the manger why they couldn't use him in the new plant. The manager says that first, Jim is in very bad shape and the company wouldn't want to bother with an overhaul; Second, it wouldn't need engines to take slate to the transfer yards; Third, they could use lorries instead of engines, even if it could. By this point, Jim has become uneconomical. The manager knew that Jim hated being told he wasn't useful, and tried very hard to sell Jim to another railway, but they didn't want to go through the trouble of giving Jim an overhaul. The manager still did not want Jim to be scrapped, even until the last day came. The manager tells Jim they would likely bulldoze the transfer yards and rip up the rails, so Jim couldn't be in his shed. The manager tells Jim there was an old military bunker that hadn't been used in years, where Jim would be put, so if anyone would decide to buy Jim, they could just pull him out.
Later, Jim was lifted off the rails and lifted onto a truck and went to the bunker. The inside of the bunker was so dark and eerie, but also felt like a place of oak, which Jim doesn't know why, but he knew his story wasn't over just yet. Jim and his manager say their goodbyes, the manager saying he's worked so hard through the tough times and was an incredible engine. The manager then reminded Jim that if he couldn't find on owner, he would be sure that Jim would find one regardless. Jim's manager then had to move to England to find another job.
In present day Toby asks Jim how it was being in the dark military bunker for over 50 years, though it didn't feel like 50 years, much shorter than that. Before Jim knew it, a big brown excavator dropped through the roof!
In present day, James remarks that Jim and Duke now have a lot in common, boasting about who had the better scenario of being locked up in a shed for years. Jim looks forward to meeting Duke again, along with Stuart and Falcon.
A few weeks later, Duke, after joking about Jim being late, reunite. Jim asks Duke where Stuart and Falcon are, who are now Peter Sam and Sir Handel. Duke tells Jim that they are going to surprise them.
- Oliver (The Pack, stock footage, not named)
- Peter Sam (does not speak)
- Sir Handel (does not speak)
- Crimson (does not speak)
- Albert (does not speak)
- Henry (does not speak)
- Kevin (cameo)
- Spencer (cameo)
- Edward (cameo)
- Thumper (cameo)
- Jack (cameo)
- Rocky (cameo)
- Percy (cameo)
An orange "Baby Saints" engine appears when Jim mentions that some engines came on loan to the quarry. This engine was made by 24ngtrainz.
- Stock footage from A Breakthrough Discovery is used.
- Most of this episode is flashbacks. The parts in current day take place sometime during A Breakthrough Discovery, whilst Jim was still being repaired. Therefore, this is the first Engines of Sodor episode to take place during another.
- This episode was uploaded exactly a week after The Great Railway Heist, making it the shortest time between episodes. This is partially due to both scripts being completed before filming of mentioned episode started.