|Friends||Stafford, Harvey, Thomas, Percy|
The Fat Controller had a bit of a dilemma, several years ago he helped build the search and rescue centre at Norramby, and had set up a contract with the Sodor Emergency Services to claim joint ownership over Flynn and Belle, and it had worked out well, but now things were changing, the Emergency Services weren't keen on using Belle, she had automatic fire hoses attached to her side tanks which could be operated from her cab by her driver, it was a prototype the Search and Rescue Centre had designed themselves, but it was proving to be temperamental, it often used up too much water, so Belle often had to be dragged home by another engine after putting out a fire, the heat from her boiler often caused the electrics to short-circuit, and the system was making her costly to maintain, and she soon started to become unpopular with the crews
The contract with the Emergency services was due to be renewed, however this time they only wanted to claim joint ownership of Flynn, not Belle, they instead had decided to purchase some brand new fire engines from the mainland to replace her, "She and that troublesome excuse of equipment we designed is your problem now!" the chief fire officer had told the Fat Controller, so Belle was taken down to Knapford Sheds and stayed there for several days, wondering what was going to happen to her
The Fat Controller had looked over the plans for her firefighting equipment, he found several flaws, and found ways to correct them, but instead of rebuilding it for Belle, he decided to go with a different direction A few days later, Belle was taken down the Steamworks, she didn't know why she had to go, the Fat Controller just told her to go, "I'll explain to you later" he said, when she arrived her fire was dropped and she was left to cool down, a couple of hours later some workmen came and started to remove her hoses, "What's going on?" she asked, "Wait and see" they said, the men took of the hoses, and disconnected the pipes leading into her tanks, and then proceeded to remove the electronics and control console from her cab, followed by the removal of her sirens, headlamp and trademark bell Once the work was done, Belle no longer looked like a rescue engine, she just looked like any old engine, she looked over at her old equipment lying on a flatbed parked on the track next to her, a few minutes later the Fat Controller arrived, "Ah, Belle" he said "What do you think of your, err, makeover then?", "Well, I do feel a bit odd without my hoses" she replied "And by lights and bell", the Fat Controller laughed, "You'll get used to not having them once you've started work", Belle was even more confused, "What work?" she asked "What are you talking about, and why did I have my equipment removed?", "Because you won't need it" replied the Fat Controller "You see Belle, what with you not being required at the search and rescue centre anymore, I decided to have you used the way you should have been when you first arrived"
"You mean pulling coaches like my brothers and sisters on the mainland?" asked Belle, "Yes" came the reply "We are in need of an extra engine to pull the fast passenger trains on the mainline, Gordon, Henry and James can't manage on their own, I thought you'll be the ideal choice for it!", Belle smiled in delight, "Oh that will be lovely sir", she then looked over that the truck, "Don't worry about your old hoses, we are going to rebuild them from the ground up so they work properly and find another use for them, no hurry along, your coaches are waiting for you at Knapford", Belle blew her whistle and then puffed happily out of the steamworks.....
Belle is a quick-witted and fiesty engine. Though hard-working, she can occasionally be arrogant. She looks to help out any engines in trouble, and thinks before she acts.
|Killaban Joint Railway|
|Josie (85) • Belle (6120) • Archibald (5517) • Clark (NCB No.1)|
|Search and Rescue Center Co.|
|Harvey (27) • Belle (6120) • Butch • Flynn|