"They'd rather miss my train than Alf's snacks!"
— James

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 came the day when Alf retired. All the passengers and engine crews were very sad when the Fat Controller presented Alf with a gold pocket watch. James enquires as to who will run the snack bar now, but the Fat Controller was unable to find a suitable replacement so it had to be closed.

One day, James delivered some trucks to a sideline in the country. On the return journey, James had to stop sharply; there was a broken rail up ahead. In due course, BoCo arrived with a new rail and engineers to fit it. As they waited for the repairs to be completed, a delicious aroma wafted from a nearby cottage. Then, a lady stepped out with coffee and home-made cakes for everyone. Her name was Nelly and she used to be a school cook. Later, James told the Fat Controller about Nelly who invited 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.


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