Thomas Dibden


Thomas Dibden


Thomas Dibden


Thomas Dibden

Air date

June 12th, 2011

Next episode

The Party

Pilots is the pilot episode of the first series of The Dark Railway Series.


We are introduced to the Dark Railway, where Dave and Raymond are at Galen Junction discussing their latest dates and other topics, such as the design of diesels and, specifically, Bulleid Pacifics. Conveniently, a Bulleid Pacific by the name of Sir Eustace Missenden arrives at the shed and immediately starts intimidating Raymond.

Dave heads off to pull a goods train, whilst Eustace and Raymond argue over who will pull the management special that night. A yard manager comes over and informs both engines that they are to double head, much to their annoyance.

Eustace insists on being the train engine, allowing Raymond to pilot him to the other end of the line. They begin arguing again as they descend into Axley, passing Dave in the process, who comments on their relationship as they continue their journey.

Shortly, they reach Upway Bank, where Eustace begins to slip, asking Raymond for help, who refuses. However, Raymond is forced to assist the train to the top of the hill, and onwards to the end of the line at Merecombe. Raymond jokes about the superioty of Diesels, offending Eustace.

Eustace returns to the junction the next morning, and ends up having a conversation with Dave about Diesels and their own futures as working engines.


Trivia Edit

  • This is the very first episode of "The Dark Railway Series".
  • Despite the episode being listed on the Youtube channel as airing on the 12th June 2011, the episode actually aired on the 17th May 2011, but was reuploaded to the channel on the 12th June alongside episodes 2, 3 and 4.
  • This is the very first appearance of Dave, Raymond and Sir Eustace Missenden.
  • This is the first time we see Galen Junction, Axley and Upway Bank. Manston Fore and Merecombe are mentioned, but not seen.
  • It is currently the most watched episode of the series.
  • This episode has a different introduction to the rest of the episodes in the first series.
  • There is a lot of innuendo at the beginning of the episode, showing that this is intended to be an adult series.
  • Eustace's surname is mispronounced from this point until Series 3.
  • A rendering error causes part of the episode to become blacked out, with audio only. This also omits the scene introducing Merecombe Station at the end of the engine's journey.
  • Near the end of the episode, Dave and Eustace comment on the rise of diesel traction, the end of steam, and preservation, forshadowing the events that will take place later in the series.


  • Halfway through the episode, Raymond and Eustace's voices change tone and construction, and remain so until the end.
  • Raymond's number from this episode to several episodes onwards is technically paradoxical, as TOPS numbers were not introduced until the 1970's.
  • Eustace is technically in an incorrect livery for this entire season. He is presented in an early British Railways Livery, with ex-SR Malachite Green and painted wheels. At this point (1960), the locomotive would have been painted in standard BR Brunswick/Bronze Green with orange and black lining.
  • Dave and Eustace should both be wearing the later style of British Railways crest, which was introduced in 1956, with the older logo being faded out.

Remake Edit

See article: Pilots (remake)


Episode Edit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.