“Hairy snow! This holiday gets worse!”
―Sir Handel

The Hairy Black Run is a magazine story.


One snowy morning, Thomas takes the Fat Controller up to the mountain railway for a meeting with the narrow gauge engines. He informs them that a new ski-station has been built on the other side of the mountains and Thomas will bring skiers from the towns for the narrow gauge engines to take up to the ski-lifts. Sir Handel asks about their winter holidays, but the Fat Controller sternly tells him that they will have their winter holiday in the spring.

The next day, Sir Handel is moaning about the weather and having to work in such cold conditions. The skiers waiting for him at the station tell him that skiing is the most exciting sport there is and it beats seaside holidays.

On the way up to the ski-station, Sir Handel notices some blue markers on a snowy slope. The skiers explain that the blue flags mark out the easy slope and the red run is much tougher. Sir Handel thinks they should wait until the snow melts when it'll be a lot safer.

At the ski-station, the skiers disembark, still chattering. They hope there will be a black run as that will be very "hairy". Sir Handel thinks they are referring to the snow and thinks things cannot get any worse than hairy snow.

As Sir Handel makes his way back down the mountain, a blizzard begins. Unable to see the tracks, Sir Handel brakes hard and skids into a long, dark tunnel. When he comes back out of the other side, some low branches whip his funnel, covering the little engine with snow. Sir Handel seems to skid all the way to the bottom station where the stationmaster is amused and tells Sir Handel that he looks like a snowball. Sir Handel grins as well and says he's glad he's started doing skiing holidays.

Later in the afternoon, Sir Handel spots the skiers skiing down the red run. Sir Handel calls out to tell them that he has found the black run, but it will be too hairy for them and it's for engines only.



  • Sir Handel is said to hit the low-hanging branches after coming out of the tunnel, but the illustration shows him hitting them on his way into the tunnel.
  • Peter Sam has his old funnel.