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Going Off the Rails was a short story featured in Doctor Who Files 8: The Cybermen. It was written by Justin Richards.


Young Sam (a girl) and Harry are mates at school. Both their dads bought train sets about the same time, but while Sam's dad completed an impressive layout, Harry's dad hasn't really started his. Sam and Harry decide to build one themselves in the garage.

The train set is in bits in the garage. While they are rummaging around in the boxes of spare parts — some salvaged from a factory explosion where Harry's dad worked — they uncover enough parts to build a complete robot man; which they sit in a chair to watch them work. Once the head is put into place however, the robot man comes to life. It identifies itself as a Cyberman with the intention of upgrading Harry and Sam — to make them into machines like itself, with their brains electrified and resistance and emotion burnt out.

Harry and Sam are trapped by the Cyberman in the garage. Sam, who knows a bit about electronics, is made to follow instructions that will build a Cyber-conversion unit. As a very frightened Sam reluctantly completes the Cyberman's machine, she tries to push the Cyberman into the exposed wires. However, she is not strong enough.

Harry has been working on a plan. He sends one of the heaviest trains round the incomplete track at a great speed. The train flies off the end, catches the Cyberman off-guard and makes it stagger back onto the wires. The equipment is broken and explodes, destroying the Cyberman — just as Harry's mum calls him and Sam in for tea.



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