“They'd rather miss my train than Alf's snacks!”

What's Cooking? is a magazine story.


Every morning, delicious smells from Alf's snack bar drift across the Main Station. The food is so delicious, James has to blow his whistle to remind the passengers to catch their train. James has now come to the conclusion that they would rather miss his train than Alf's snacks! But all too soon comes the day when Alf retired. All the passengers and engine crews are very sad when the Fat Controller presents Alf with a gold pocket watch. James enquires as to who will run the snack bar now, but the Fat Controller is unable to find a suitable replacement so it has to be closed.

One day, James delivers some trucks to a sideline in the country. On the return journey, James has to stop sharply; there is a broken rail up ahead. In due course, BoCo arrives with a new rail and engineers to fit it. As they wait for the repairs to be completed, a delicious aroma wafts from a nearby cottage. Then, a lady steps out with coffee and home-made cakes for everyone. Her name is Nelly and she used to be a school cook. Later, James tells the Fat Controller about Nelly who invites her to run the snack bar.



  • It is said that "James delivered trucks to a sideline", but the illustration shows him pulling coaches.
  • The rails do not have spikes.
  • BoCo is missing his number.


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