Hector the Ballast Hopper
Season 3, Episode 21
Vital statistics
Air date August 18th, 2013
Written by DonaldDouglasandToby6
Directed by DonaldDouglasandToby6
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Hector the Ballast Hopper is the twenty-first episode of the third season.


Hector has always carried coal ever since Thomas had shown him how. He has never carried anything else. One day, Duck was to collect him and take him to the Little Western. Duck groaned when he saw Hector; he had heard about him from Thomas and Rosie and knew that he was trouble. He was so distracted by his thoughts that he accidently bumped Hector a little. "Sorry!" called Duck, "I don't like it when I have to take ballast trucks. They make me tired!" Hector was annoyed, but shook it off soon after Duck pulled him out of the yard. On the way, Duck decided to tell Hector that he was going to have to carry ballast. "I'm sorry Hector, but you're going to have to carry ballast for a while!" he said. Hector was cross. "I'm a coal hopper, not a ballast hopper!" "Ballast helps keep weeds away!" cried Duck, but try as he might. Duck couldn't convince Hector to carry ballast.

Rex was pushing some ballast trucks onto the shoot, where the ballast falls through the holes into the big engines' trucks. Duck pulled Hector under the shoot. "Come on," he said, "You might like it! It's just like coal, only white." but Hector still wasn't convinced. Instead, he wanted to play a trick on Duck. "On! On!" yelled Hector to the trucks and pushed Duck too far, and the ballast went straight to the ground. "Oh, no! Why did you do that, Hector?", cried Duck, "Thomas told me you are a nice truck now!" Hector snorted, "Pah! I only lied so I can stay and terrorize you silly engines! Everybody knows rolling stock rules!" Rex was indignant. "We engines pull and push the trucks, and without us, you trucks would be useless!" Hector knew that Rex was right, but didn't want to admit out loud. Soon, the workmen arrived to clear up the mess and load up the trucks, including Hector. "No!" shouted Hector, but the workmen didn't take any notice. "Just ignore him." they would say.`Duck groaned. "I have a feeling this is all my fault!" he sighed to his driver. "Don't worry, Duck! This wasn't your fault. It was just those stupid trucks again." said the driver.

The word soon spread of the incident, and by the time Duck got to the sheds that night, all of the engines had heard about it. "Och, ye have no luck with trucks, eh Duck?" teased Donald. Duck sighed, "You wouldn't be laughing if it had happened to you!" "Well, the trucks have gained my respect." boasted Oliver, "so I'm sure I can take Hector tomorrow." "That means that I have your passengers." added Duck. "Deal!" "Oh no, I can tell already where this is goin'" groaned Douglas

The next day, Oliver puffed into Tidmouth Yards, looking for Hector. "Ah, there you are!" he grinned as he saw a familiar shape in the distance. "Let's get to work, shall we?" "Whatever." huffed Hector. Everything ran smoothly at first, but then Oliver could hear the trucks whispering amost themselves. "Oh, no you don't!" he shouted, but the trucks had their own ideas. They started singing a song that Oliver had tried hard to forget. "Oliver's no use at all, thinks he's very clever! Says that he can manage us, that's the best joke ever! When he orders us about, with the greatest follie, we'll just push him down the well! Pop goes old Ollie! Ha, ha, ha!" cheered the trucks, including Hector. "That does it!" cried Oliver and stopped right in the middle of the line. He didn't move, no matter how severe his driver was to him. "I won't move until those stupid trucks apologize!"

That gave the trucks the chance they wanted and they started to push Oliver down the line. His crew couldn't get in the cab in time, so Oliver had no crew. The guard tried to put on the brakes, but the trucks were going too fast too stop them, so the guard jumped clear. "Help! Help!" he wailed as he raced down the tracks towards a turntable well at Tidmouth. Duck was there in a siding, watching. "Oh, no. Here we go again with the turntable!" Oliver landed funnel-first into the turntable well. "Ouch!" he exclaimed, surprised. "I thought you could handle trucks, Oliver." chuckled Duck as he puffed away to get the breakdown cranes. Hector felt very pleased with himself until he saw the Hatts' blue car pull up. "Oliver, you clumsy great engine! This is the third time you've messed up a turntable! Now, Hank will miss his turntable and will have to pull his next train backwards, and you know how dangerous that is!" "Yes, sir. Sorry, sir." said Oliver weakly. Deep down, Hector felf guilty about what he had done, and decided to speak up. "It wasn't his fault, sir. Ir was mine. I kept on singing rude songs to him, and now this happened. I'm sorry!" he said. "Well, then. You will only be used as a ballast hopper until you learn to behave." said the Fat Controller. "Yes, sir." said Hector sadly as the Fat Controller drove away. Oliver was surprised; he didn't expect Hector to speak up for him. "Thanks, Hector!" Oliver said. "No problem, Oliver! I'll try to improve myself from now on!" The trucks groaned. "Oh, great. The nice Hector's back! Ugh!"



  • A reference to the eleventh season episode, Hector the Horrid!, is made.