Birds of a Feather!
Birds of a Feather1

Episode number



Simon Martin


Simon Martin


Simon Martin
Charles Hawksworth
Jason Deene
Fiona Grey-staff


Simon Martin

Air date

April 6th 2008

Previous episode

Scott and the Herring Gull

Next episode

The Legacy of Gadwall

"Birds of a Feather!" is the ninth episode of The British Railway Series: The End of the LNER.


After a good send-off from the the other engines, George leaves the yard to return to the Midland Region as a light engine move. Sir Ralph is boasting about how express engines have their special type of headcode to show how important they are one day afterwards, when Scott enters the yard in a very bad mood. He tells the others that as one of his lamps wasn't fitted properly, it fell off on his run, and as a result was diverted onto the slow line as his headcode told the signalman that his train was "empty coaching stock". When Stephen points out that it was better to be safe than sorry, Sir Ralph stuns everyone by agreeing with him.

Allen and Stephen both wonder why Sir Ralph agreed, but they are interrupted by Scott and Sir Ralph now arguing about headcodes. Halfway through the argument, Sir Ralph mentions the name Gadwall, but stops abruptly afterwards. He then quietly leaves the yard, followed by a thoughtful Stephen. When Allen asks Scott if something is wrong, he reveals that Sir Ralph was originally one of the A4s named after birds.

Later, Scott backs down onto his train at the station, but he is not concentrating on his work, and therefore forgets to correct his headcode, and therefore it still reads "empty coaching stock". Meanwhile, Sir Ralph has also forgotten to change his headcode, and therefore has been diverted onto the wrong line. As another engine takes his train for him, Sir Ralph notices Scott backing down into the yard. After joining him at the sheds, Sir Ralph claims that whilst they may be different in some ways, they always try to do the same jobs well, and Scott then says that they are "birds of a feather". It is then that Scott reveals that old friends of his used to say that, worrying Sir Ralph greatly.

As the others return to the yard, the two engines sit in silence, but soon, Scott begins to talk to all of the engines, saying that he can't stay at the yard whilst a plot goes on. He then bursts out a horrible accusation: the A4 Pacific that stands before them is an impostor who stole his friend's identity, and that he is not, and never has been, Sir Ralph Wedgwood, and all the engines were shocked including Sir Ralph.



  • The music used at the end of the episode was used in the cliff-hanger ending to the Season 3 finale of "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1".
  • This episode is part 2 of the "Sir Ralph Wedgwood Trilogy".
  • This is the final episode for Sir Ralph to have his double chimney, incorrect number, and nameplate.


  • Once again, different parts of the room where the episode was filmed can be seen.
  • The headcodes on the engines constantly change, and at one point, Sir Ralph is actually wearing his correct stopping train headcode, and Scott is wearing his correct express passenger headcode.
  • The guard should blow his whistle only once but the narrator said that the guard had to blow his whistle 3 times before Scott could start.
  • Allen and Herbert were not present when Scott started his outrage but the narrator said all the engines were there.
  • When Scott backs down into the shed after the second incident with the headcodes, Allen is seen in the yard, but when Sir Ralph enters the yard, Allen has disappeared.
  • In the scene where the narrator said that one by one the engines returned to the sheds If you went back to the scene where Sir Ralph enters the shed, all of the engines except Allen and Herbert are already present.
  • When Scott arrived at Leeds Central he has the right headcodes which were 2 headlamps on the left and right lamp irons are for express trains, but in the next scene he has the wrong headcodes which was 1 headlamp on the right lamp iron are for local goods trains.


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