A new, grumpy Stationmaster has started working on the mainline. He can't stand how noisy it all is and soon, begins to lock horns with Terry and the Twins.
A stationmaster named Mr. Flood is transferred to a station on the West Coast Main Line, after the branch line he once worked for is shut down. He find the noise to be intolerable, with passing trains whistling loudly through the station. Mr. Flood finds working on the noisy main line to be torture.
One day he meets Robin, who asks how Mr. Flood is settling in. The stationmaster complains bitterly about the noise. Robin encourages that he'll get used to it in time. Mr. Flood loses his temper over Richard's loud whistle as he passes the station, and demands that mogul leave the station quietly.
Back at the shed, Robin tells everyone the other engines about Mr. Flood. Jimmy suggests that he's simply nervous of his new surroundings, while Robin points out that he didn't seem to care when he offered his sympathy. Terry, Richard and Roger are frustrated by Mr. Flood's ignorance; they can't help making noise, and they are required by law to whistle as they approach stations for the safety of the passengers. Terry decides that he needs a wake-up-call. The twins agree.
They spend all of next day whistling loudly through the station, and making as much noise as they can. But the amusement soon ends, as Mr. Flood barges into the yard and confronts the three engines on their behavior. They ignore him, and try to explain how they are legally required to whistle when traveling nonstop through stations.
But the grumpy stationmaster declares that "engines should be seen and not heard", and promises to write complaints to their shed master and have them put on duties away from his station. He promises to continue doing so until they can be quiet. Of course, this threat falls on deaf ears, and the engines carry on making noise past his station.
But the letters do come in, and the shed master is forced to take them off passenger duties and have Babs and Vick take their place. He adds that he may have to make the change permanent if it improves the situation. Terry and the twins are very angry about this change. And the diesels are not happy either, as they are unfairly taking work away from their steam friends.
Although they are quieter than the steam engines, it is not enough for Mr. Flood, and the complaints continue. Eventually Terry and the twins are reinstated with their old jobs, but with strict instructions to travel as quietly as possible through Mr. Flood's station (much to Terry's annoyance).
Things come to a head when men start working on a switch at the end of the station. Engines are required by law to whistle to alert workmen of their approach; otherwise they may catch them unawares. Engines not restricted by Mr. Flood making a lot of noise passing through his station, increasing his fury. But then Terry comes through, and does not whistle. The workmen do not realize he is approaching, and Terry is forced to stop, much to the horror of the foreman. Then Mr. Flood comes out and scolds Terry for making so much noise.
The foreman realizes this was Mr. Flood's fault. Terry explains everything to the angry foreman. He admonishes the station master on how it is imperative for engines to whistle to work crews, and how his stubbornness could have injured or killed some of his men. Mr. Flood is overcome with remorse. Surprisingly, Terry has sympathy for him. He apologizes for his rudeness, and gently explains that the noise is part of their nature, and if he can't cope with it, he's in the wrong line of work.
Mr. Flood comes to his senses and confesses that he only took the job to adapt to the changing times after losing his beloved branch line. Eventually, he retires. But he still comes around to work on the station's flowerbed on the weekends. He is much happier in retirement, and tells Terry that he should have done do so when the branch line was shut down. And now he and his friends can make all the noise they want, which they happily do. The engines and Mr. Flood are now great friends, and Terry is his favorite engine, much to the Standard 5's delight!
- This is the first episode to utilize a 16:9 ratio.
- Coming soon.