Ruck the Truck

I have a grandson, aged 3 at the moment, who is absolutely besotted with Thomas the Tank Engine and friends. Recently, on our visit to the Isle of Wight Steam railway we came across a truck which carried the name Ruck – a significant name for Grandson. I wrote him a story, somewhat in the style of the Reverend Awdry who first wrote about his railway engines at about the time I was born. I wrote the words. Photographs were taken by me, my wife and the very kind guard who appears in one of the photos.

The story is 100% fictitious. No engine was ever pushed by trucks. No engine ever ended up in a bush. No trucks were ever told off or punished. I have promoted a Station Master at Wootton to the role of Controller – clearly a good and kindly one.

I hope you enjoy the story which ought to be one picture and text per page.

Ruck the Truck

This is the tale of Ruck. Ruck was a perfectly ordinary, if rather old, car truck.


I’m sorry to say he was not always as well behaved as he should have been and the Controller had to tell him off and teach him a lesson.


Ruck felt lucky. He had worked on the Island lines since he was only a lad and he liked the friendly, happy atmosphere. It was a holiday island and when Ruck was able to see the happy smiling children then he felt happy too.



Most of Ruck’s friends had been cut up when some of the railways were closed down by the bad Controller. But somehow Ruck had survived. He was useful and had the sad task of carrying scrap rails and trains away.

Eventually there was no more work and Ruck was just forgotten. He sat, quietly, on a siding, dreaming of happier times.



But then Ruck was saved by the good Controller who re-opened a length of railway so that the children could come and see what the railway used to be like.

Ruck wasn’t very important and for years he still sat in a siding awaiting his turn.

Eventually the railway had the engines and carriages it needed. Ruck and some of his friends were restored to working order. They had no real work to do but, on special days, they could remind people of what a goods train once looked like.



Ruck goes on a journey

One day Ruck was a part of a goods train. There were lots of visitors to see Ruck and he felt very happy.

Ruck and the trucks were to be pulled by a very old engine called Freshwater. Freshwater was a small engine and the trucks decided they could have some fun with him. They kept very quiet as Freshwater was coupled up.



Soon the train set off on a journey from Havenstreet to Wootton. Ruck saw the photographer and felt really proud.

‘He’s come to see me’, he chortled, as Freshwater hauled the trucks away.



Freshwater was happy, too, as he tugged the trucks away. Freshwater had always got on well with trucks and he was sure he could keep Ruck and the others under control.

‘Poop poop’, he said as he left the station and passed the yard.

‘’We’ll have you yet’, the trucks rattled in reply.



Arrival at Wootton

Freshwater worked hard and soon he arrived at the end of the line at Wootton.

It was quiet there and the trucks decided, with nobody about, they’d push hard.

Little Freshwater tried to stop the trucks but Ruck and the others kept pushing.



‘Stop, stop’, cried Freshwater.

But the trucks wouldn’t stop. They kept pushing Freshwater on.

Freshwater got worried, but nothing he could do made any difference.

‘Help, help’, he shrieked.

‘We’re going to push’, the trucks chortled in reply.

And they did.



By now the Controller knew something was wrong and came out to try to help.

But the trucks – Ruck and the others – kept pushing.



With a final effort, Freshwater just managed to stop with his front end nestling against some bushes.

‘Ooh! Er! Ouch!’ said Freshwater.

Oh how Ruck and the trucks all laughed!

The driver and fireman were all ready to jump as Freshwater screeched to a stop.



Ruck is told off

The Controller was not a happy man. He quickly established that Ruck was the ring leader. He stood over Ruck and told him he was a very troublesome truck.

‘Im s s sorry’, sobbed Ruck. ‘I felt so proud because the photographer took a photo of me. I felt I was more important than the engine or the whole railway’.



‘Well, they say pride comes before a fall’, said the Controller.’ It’s back to the sidings for you and the rest of the trucks and there you’ll stay until you have learned your lesson’.

‘Yes sir. Sorry sir’, said all the trucks, feeling very downcast.

By now Freshwater had sorted himself out and was ready to haul the trucks off to the siding.



The guard waved the ‘right away’ and Freshwater and the trucks moved off.

I don’t think the trucks will be in disgrace for long. They learn their lessons quickly and will be wiser and more careful in the future.

But for now it is time to say goodbye to Ruck and the other trucks.


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2 Responses to “Ruck the Truck”

  1. opobs Says:

    Now, if you could just see the silly grin on my face as I read through all this, you’d know I’d enjoyed the tale!

    • locksands Says:

      The trouble is that youngsters today have no idea why trucks were deemed ‘troublesome’. But hey! My grandson loves the tale and my son (uncle of grandson) has emailed a smile with regard to it today as well.

      I fancy we are of an age to understand loose coupled goods trains. I was always aware of them because my grandfather was a guard on them. When I quizzed him about why he did goods and hadn’t been ‘promoted’ onto passenger work he commented on the much more genuine job of manning a brake van on loose coupled freights.

      And how amazing to find a truck which shared grandson’s surname!

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