The Railways of Crotoonia Wiki
The Railways of Crotoonia Wiki

Tillie's Tricky Travels is the pilot episode of Railside Tales.

It was first released to DVD and VHS as a direct-to-video episode, before debuting on YouTube as a feature of Crotoonia's Railside Weekend.


Tillie is asked by Mrs. C. Ella to take an important freight train to take to Gridinia Bay Junction; there's a shipment of parts from the Kahlville Works to be shipped to the mainland and a load of goods waiting at the depot for Pinewood Island. Tillie excitedly takes on the job, hurrying off to the Kahlville Sheds.

Shortly after turning around, Farnsworth teases her about hauling "a real engine's train", but is shut up once reminded by Jason of his accident with Gordon and how it resulted in her taking Montana's train due to the accident. However, as she backs down on the wagons, a clanking sound is heard by the Troublesome Trucks carrying the spare parts. After collecting the cars at the depot (by this point, the noise being so bad that the workmen can hear it), she sets off for Gridinia Bay.

However, at the cuttings near Greendale Halt, her left glide jams up. Despite this affecting her traction, she continues on to the junction, worrying that Mrs. Ella will scold her for being late. The Greendale Rocket, however, hears a suspicious hissing sound from Tillie while taking on water.

At the junction, she quickly charges up the hill (quickly taking caution of Henry's passing warning of sea salt making the tracks a bit slippery), but her mechanical condition worsens. As James hurries up with a delivery of vegetables from Fausten, a bolt shoots out from her piston and the hissing has become screeching and creaking metal. At the top of the hill, a massive "BANG!" is hear from her boiler, and she stops instantly. Stationmaster Scatterbrain and Tillie's Conductor quickly inspect her, with them (and a workman) finding not only the jammed glide, but also a dry boiler; they theorize the explosion was from a boiler tube.

Later at the works, Mrs. Ella visits Tillie as her pistons and boiler tubing is mended. Tillie is worried about how she feels about having ruined the delivery, but Mrs. Ella shows much more concern towards Tillie's health. Tillie admits to her why she carried on, while Mrs. Ella tells her it would have been safer to let someone know about her health issues. Tillie promises to be more careful in future, as Mrs. Ella heads off with Rusty giving one last order for Tillie: Getting a good night's sleep.



  • This was the first episode conceptualized for the Railside Tales project.
  • The episode is set right after Tillie to the Rescue, which is alluded to a few times; Tillie is shown and mentioned to have more work outside Kahlville now, and Jason mentions the derailment.
  • This marks the first short to use only one voice actor.
  • The episode was first released through the Adventures on the Rail-Road limited edition DVD and VHS as a DVD premiere.