Since its inception in 1945, the Railway Series has given birth to a multitude of characters, both engine and human alike. This page will strictly stay within the continuity of the books, entirely separate from the television show.
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Engines of the North Western Railway
The primary railway featured in the Railway Series. The NWR features a multitude of lines, run and worked by a multitude of engines.Edward the Blue Engine, #2 Engine type: Furness Railway/Sharpe Stewart Large SeagullThe first character introduced in the series, Edward was at first neglected and shafted for being smaller than the other engines, but eventually got his chance to run again after pity from his driver. Despite his old age and trial after trial of proving he still got it, he was recognized for being Really Useful and was repaired. Edward now spends his time at the Brendam Bay branch line, his very own.
Gordon the Big Engine, #4 Engine type: LNER A3 PacificGordon's primary duty is pulling the Express, called the "Wild Nor Wester", from one end of the railway to the other, and sometimes all the way to the Mainland and London. His importance, size and seniority over other engines has made Gordon a boastful braggart, though he has gone through lessons of humility that make him likeable.
Henry the Green Engine, #3 Engine type: LMS Black 5When Henry first started out, he was nothing but trouble. First was when he got himself locked in the Ballahoo tunnel for wanting to keep his paint clean, second was when he went on strike with the other big engines, and third was when his faultiness prompted the purchasing of special Welsh Coal. His crash with the Flying Kipper gave Henry a new lease on life after he was finally rebuilt with a new shape, and now works alongside Gordon on the main line, sometimes pulling the express or hauling freight.
Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: He was originally green until he got a blue coat of paint after staying in a tunnel for awhile. The reason he got his old color back is because the Rev Awdry was fed up of people confusing him with Gordon in the book illustrations, when he was painted blue.
Divergent Character Evolution: In early stories he mostly played the role of another arrogant tender engine similar to Gordon and James. Later stories gave him more pitiful qualities, while the show added Hidden Depths such as his love of nature.
Thomas the Tank Engine, #1 Engine type: LB&SCR E2 Billington Tank EngineEveryone's favorite Tank Engine was introduced in the second book, but was one of the first engines to work on the NWR, originally as a station pilot at Vicarstown, shunting coaches for the big engines. An incident where he almost crashed because of some troublesome trucks has allowed him to prove himself and eventually become Really Useful. Thomas now works at his own Branch, the Ffarquhar line, with his two coaches Annie and Clarabel. Other incidents have caused Thomas to mellow out from his cheeky personality, though he still maintains a small hint of it.
James the Red Engine, #5 Engine type: Hughes' Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway 'Class 28'After a disastrous accident on his first day, the then-black colored James was rescued by Thomas and was repaired to run again, with proper brake blocks and red paint. Despite his good intentions, James once again got ahead of himself and was benched in the shed until he was able to prove himself to The Fat Controller. After helping Gordon with the express, he became a good friend, though at the price of James becoming just as conceited and self-important as Gordon and Henry. Though he has learned lessons in humility, he maintains a small sense of vanity and arrogance, not the least because he's the only red engine in the NWR.
Percy the Small Engine, #6 Engine type: Avonside Industrial Saddle-Tank EngineWhen Gordon, Henry and James went on strike, and Edward was rushed off his feet with work and abuse from the big engines, the Fat Controller needed another engine to be station pilot at Tidmouth. His answer was in the form of Percy, a small green Saddle-Tank who quickly went to work and put the big engines in their place. His success has made him forever cheeky, naive and tricky, and made him the butt-monkey of jokes among the big engines after one of his tricks backfired. Eventually, the work became heavier on the main line and Percy couldn't cope, so the Fat Controller moved Percy to the Ffarquhar line and work alongside Thomas, primarily hauling freight. His good intentions and naivete often get the better of him, making him extremely accident-prone, but in the end he proves himself to be Really Useful.
Toby the Tram Engine, #7 Engine type: Great Eastern Railway 'Wisbech' Steam Tram J70Toby started out as a tragedy of the times; though he and his coach Henrietta still could work, majority of it was eaten up by the buses and lorries of the roads on his old railway. His new lease on life came when the Fat Controller, whom he previously encountered while on holiday, requested his presence when Thomas was in trouble with the law for running on the Ffarquhar quarry lines without cow catchers. Since then, Toby has been maintained as an invaluable member of the Ffarquhar line, with his experience and kindheartedness.
Badass Grandpa: Had to carry a total of 48 trucks in "Toby's Megatrain".
Duck the Great Western Engine, #8 Engine type: Great Western Railway Pannier Tank 57XX Class
There are two ways of doing things: the Great Western way, or the wrong way.
By the mid 1950's, traffic and work on the NWR was increasing dramatically. Percy could not cope with the work at Tidmouth, so when the Fat Controller transferred him to the Ffarquhar line, another engine was brought in as station pilot; Montague, usually known as Duck, from the Great Western Railway. Despite hassling from the big engines, Duck made it clear he'll stand no shenanigans from them. Perhaps Duck's greatest trial came in the form of a visiting Diesel, who took Duck's manner the wrong way and was determined to get him sacked. Diesel's plan was thwarted when the Fat Controller found it out. Duck's hard work eventually had him promoted to the Arlesburgh line, his own branch. Proud of his Great Western heritage, he is a dependable, hard working engine.
Humiliation Conga: As if the trucks forcing him to crash into a barber shop wasn't enough, the angry owner decided to shave and lather him!
Misplaced Nationalism: Or at least something very like it. In his debut episode he's fond of claiming that there are two ways of doing things, "the Great Western way or the wrong way". Fortunately he got over it quite quickly.
Motor Mouth: The whole plotline of "Donald's Duck" kicked off after Donald told him to zip it.
Only Known by Their Nickname: His given name is 'Montague,' but most call him 'Duck,' after his tendency to waddle on the rails. Henry, Gordon, and James have quacked at him in the past.
Donald and Douglas-The Scottish Twins, #9 and #10 Engine type: Caledonian 812 ClassAs work on the NWR continued to get heavier, the Fat Controller decided to order a goods engine from Scotland...only to end up having two. He set them to work anyway, deciding which one to send back, but both were determined to stay. Though both had their successes, it was marred by the worries of Douglas being sent back and scrapped which resulted him in misplacing an important coach, Donald crashing into a signal-box, and Douglas destroying a spiteful brakevan. Things finally came to a head in the winter season where the decision was made, but the committee of engines, combined with the hard work of the twins keeping the lines clear in the snow, has convinced the Fat Controller to keep both of them. From then on, the the blue-painted Scottish twins do a variety of work, running on both the main line and the various branch lines on the NWR.
Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books, they were painted blue after arriving at Sodor. With three blue engines already, the TV producers wisely decided to keep their more distinctive black paint.
Daisy, the Diesel Rail-Car Engine type: Metro-Cammell Diesel Multiple Unit Class 101/102When Thomas suffered an accident involving a lack of a driver, a careless cleaner, a station-master's house, a garden bush, and breakfast, Daisy was brought in to handle passenger duties. Her pride in being an up-to-date diesel thought her superior and arrogant, neglecting various duties that "were bad for her swerves". Further incidents involving a bull did not help her reputation, but after Percy himself got into an accident, she was determined to work hard, and thanks to Toby's good word, was kept on as a passenger train across the Ffarquhar line.
Lazy Bum: The Fat Controller soon calls her out for this.
Bill and Ben, the Tank Engine Twins Engine type: Bagnall Saddle-Tank EngineThis pair of twins works primarily at the China Clay Works and Brendam Bay along the Brendam Bay Line, hauling freight for engines on the main line to take. Though hard working, they are extremely mischievous and love playing tricks on newcomers to the line, an example being Gordon when he was forced to detour onto here. Edward is one of the few that keep them line.
Twin Switch: They didn't switch, just pretending that they are one engine instead of two. All they have to do is remove their names and numbers.
BoCo the Diesel Engine type: Class 28 Metro-Vick Diesel Electric Type 2One day during work, Bill and Ben discovered that their trucks were taken. An examination of a patch of oil has led to the twins concluding that "a Diseasel" took them, and went to Wellsworth to find BoCo had taken them by accident. Edward reassured BoCo that they meant no harm, and BoCo is one of the few that can keep Bill and Ben in line, like when he "threatened" to take their trucks if they continued teasing Gordon when he was forced to detour. BoCo primarily works on the Brendam Bay line alongside Edward, and sometimes helps on the main line if needed, as one of the most versatile of the Fat Controller's engines.
Dark Is Not Evil: Bill and Ben thought he was trouble, but Edward proves otherwise.
Bear the Hymek Diesel Engine type: British Rail Class 35 HymekD7101 came to the NWR on loan at a time when non-NWR diesels were treated with great hostility. Though 7101 maintained his manners, his companion 199 did not share his sentiments. During a trial run, both 7101 and 199 failed in pulling their trains, and had to be helped by Henry. 7101 was the only one that helped Henry and was able to strike a conversation with him afterward, admiring him for the monumental achievement of pulling two dead diesels and both their trains while malfunctioning. His kindness paid off; 199 was sent away and 7101 stayed, now nicknamed Bear for his the tendency of his engine to growl, which the diesel took in stride. Bear works on the main line, accepted as a friend by big engines, especially Henry, James and the Scottish Twins.
Oliver the Western Engine, #11 Engine type: Great Western Railway 14xx Tank EngineOliver was perhaps the only engine to come to the NWR unexpectedly. At a time when steam engines were being persecuted and scrapped in favor of Diesels, Oliver was instead rescued by his driver and fireman to escape. A chance encounter with Douglas was a turn of good fortune, who aided in Oliver's escape. Oliver was welcomed by the Fat Controller to work on the Arlesburgh line alongside Duck and the Scottish Twins. His heroism and escape has gone to his head, and an accident at a turntable has made him more humble.
Mavis the Quarry Diesel Engine type: British Railways Class 04 ShunterMavis is a diesel in the Ffarquhar line quarry tasked with shunting and arranging trucks for Toby. Arguably the youngest engine in the entire NWR fleet, she often had her own ideas about doing things and applied them contrary to Toby's advice. Things came to a head when advice from a boastful Daisy led her to get stuck and disrupt traffic along the line, leading her to be rescued by Toby. When she repaid the favor later on though, she was redeemed, and was allowed to be friends with the others and venture outside the quarry.Pip and Emma, the High-Speed Train Engine type: British Rail Class 48 High Speed TrainThe newest and most modern additions to the NWR, Pip and Emma are first introduced as a high-speed train that become acquaintances to Gordon when they visited from the mainland. Their ability has convinced The Fat Controller to purchase them for himself to work on the main line, and now are tasked alongside Gordon to take passengers on another express, as well as make incredibly long journeys from Sodor to London.
Engines of the Skarloey Railway
First introduced in the 10th book "Four Little Engines", this Narrow Gauge railway operates independently from the NWR, though Main Line NWR engines have interacted with them in conversation.Skarloey, #1 Engine type: Fletcher-Jennings Class C (1864)The railway's namesake was in fact one of the engines that got it started off the ground. Skarloey is introduced as an old, patient and wise engine who has seen better days after decades upon decades of service. After running a train back and forth on the line as an emergency engine, Skarloey proved he still had what it took and was repaired to run better than ever.
Rheneas, #2 Engine Type: Fletcher-Jennings Class Bb (1866)During the early years of the Skarloey railway, Rheneas was the engine who was more mature and reliable, compared to the excitable, jumpy Skarloey. After a couple of escapades, the duo became firm friends who watched each other's back. Rheneas himself would not make an official appearance until the 17th Book "Gallant Old Engine", as in-between the 10th and 17th books he was away for a massive repair and overhaul. Together with Skarloey, they primarily pull passenger trains and serve as the voice of reasons to educate newcomers to the Skarloey Railway.
Sir Handel, #3 Engine Type: Hughes FalconWhen Rheneas was away to be repaired, and Skarloey was benched for emergencies only, Sir Handel was one of the engines brought in. Much like Gordon though, he prides himself for only pulling the best of the best, being disdainful to coaches that aren't "real" and loathing the thought of pulling Trucks. His behavior doesn't help when Gordon himself gives bad advice to shirk his duties. Incidents like this improved his behavior immensely and now Sir Handel is a wiser engine, though with a small sense of stubbornness.
Adaptation Dye-Job: The show had keep his blue paint job from when he worked with Duke, while in the books he was repainted red to match Skarloey and Rheneas.
Peter Sam, #4 Engine Type: Kerr Stuart TatooThough Sir Handel had a bad first day, the second engine, Peter Sam, proved to be a better behaved engine, treating the coaches kinder and being very eager to please. As the youngest of the Thin Controller's engines, Peter Sam had an air of cockiness and naivete about him that led him to get into trouble on more than one occasion; whether it was fooling himself in front of Henry, or ending up into an accident thanks in part to Sir Handel's lies of shirking his duties. The accident however was a blessing in disguise, as his funnel was soon replaced with an entirely new one, making him one of the most powerful engines on the Skarloey Railway.
Rusty, #5 Engine Type: Ruston-Hornby DieselRusty is the only Diesel on the Skarloey Railway, and one of the few (at the time he was introduced) that is genuinely nice towards steam engines. Rusty arrived while Skarloey was away being repaired and returned to find an almost completely different railway thanks to the little Diesel, instantly taking a liking to Rusty. Rusty primarily hauls freight and does repair work on the Skarloey Railway's lines.
Duncan, #6 Engine Type: Andrew BarclayAfter Peter Sam's accident, another engine was brought in as a spare. Duncan, while hardworking, was rude, bouncy and short-tempered. He seemed to have one accident after another because of his tendency to "rock and roll", but he saw fault in everyone but himself for all his troubles. He did not get along with Rusty in particular (Especially after a boastful James gave him ideas), but an accident where he was saved by him and another incident where he gave passengers a hard time has knocked him off his high horse. Though Duncan occasionally relapses back into rudeness, he means well and works very hard.
Adaptation Dye-Job: Was painted red in the books, but became yellow in the television series.
Drives Like Crazy: One story was dedicated to Duncan's "Rock n' Roll", and ends with him derailing.
Duke Engine Type: George EnglandDuke was once part of one of the old railways on Sodor in the late 1800's. Being named after the then-Duke of Sodor and bar none the longest engine to serve on that railway. Together with two other engines, Stuart and Falcon, they served on the railway for many years, giving the two younger engines lessons on their personality. Sadly, when the railway was closed, Duke was the only one not bought and was left in his shed for many many years until he was rediscovered. Duke was brought back to run on the Skarloey Railway, reunited with Stuart (Peter Sam) and Falcon (Sir Handel).
Ivo Hugh, #7By the mid 1990's, the Skarloey Railway's traffic and popularity was at an all time high. In response, this engine was built, and this most recent addition to the Skarloey Railway was named after the Chief Engineer of the Maintenance Crew, much to his surprise and honor. Ivo Hugh has yet to have any stories with him, for as of 2012, there haven't been any additional books on the Skarloey Railway.
Engines of the Arlesdale Railway
The Arlesdale Railway is a small railway that runs from the end of the Arlesburgh line to hills and quarries which supply Ballast for the NWR. Duck, Oliver, Donald and Douglas frequently interact with them.RexRex is similar to Percy in that he's cheeky and a big know-it-all who can accomplish anything. He is the first small engine to be introduced, and the first one that Duck meets.
MikeMike's personality is best described as a cross between Gordon and James; he is red and is conceited and haughty, believing himself to be the most important engine in the Railway. Mike is one of the few engines to prefer hauling freight as opposed to passengers. Understandable as these Trucks, unlike those on the NWR and Skarloey Railways, are more behaved and tame.
JockJock is the most recent addition to the Arlesdale Railway and one of the few Yellow-colored engines in the series. The yellow is what inspired is name, as Douglas was reminded of similar engines back in Scotland. Being the most powerful Arlesdale engine, Jock thought nothing of teamwork, but quickly learned the value of it, and is eager to help when the workload of the other engines gets too stressful.
The Ace: Jock is by far the strongest of the Small Railway engines, and people often come to the railway just to see him.
Engines of the Culdee Fell Railway
One of the best examples of one-off characters, the Culdee Fell Railway runs from down the Skarloey Railway up to the mountains, making it a Mountain Railway. Because of its setting and stringent rules compared with the NWR, Skarloey and Arlesdale, the CFR thus far has only been featured in one book. Though at least 8 engines are said to run on the CFR, only 3 got a story in the CFR's one-off volume.Godred, #1The former #1 of the Culdee Fell, he was named after a king, which made him extremely conceited, arrogant and overestimated his abilities as a Mountain Engine. On opening day of the CFR, Godred crashed...off the mountain. Godred was completely wrecked, and as the CFR couldn't afford to repair him, he was kept in the back of the shed until all of his parts were used and he was gone...at least according to Culdee's story anyway.
Culdee, #4The first Mountain Engine to be introduced, Culdee gave exposition to the Skarloey Railway's engines about how his experiences on the CFR made him the engine he was then, which Sir Handel and Duncan quickly took to heart. Culdee shows initiative and massive promise in his work, but also knows when to take things carefully on the CFR.
Unreliable Narrator: Assuming that the part of the story about Godred's remains being used for the other Mountain Engines parts isn't true
Patrick (Formerly Lord Harry), #6One of three recent arrivals to the CFR, Lord Harry was the only one among the batch that had troubles; much like Godred, he was reckless and rough with the coaches, which led him to be severely scolded by the CFR's manager and his name taken. #6 however redeemed himself immensely after saving hikers and braving a severe storm along the mountains, leading him to be renamed Patrick, after one of the saved hikers.
Shane Dooiney, #5 (by number only in Mountain Engines and by name in The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways)
North Western Railway Rolling Stock
The rolling stock consists of passenger coaches, trucks, vans, or tankers.Annie and Clarabel, Class: LBSCR coaches No. 100Two of Thomas' faithful coaches which he was rewarded with after saving James from a nasty accident. They now are carried by Thomas on his branchline.
Single-Minded Twins: For the large part. Interestingly most merchandise tries to remedy this by giving Annie a timid expression and Clarabel a cocky smile.
Trigger: Hate being separated from Thomas for a long time.
Women Are Wiser: Often have to keep the more rambunctious Thomas in line. They are fussy little coaches however and sometimes share his cheeky, excitable streak. He and Percy also spend a lot of time having to soothe their hurt feelings.
Henrietta, Class: GER Wisbech and Upwell passenger coach No. 7Toby's faithful coach who worked with him in their old railway
Toad The Brakevan, #53681, Class: GWR 20-ton brakevanOliver's trusty brakevan who escaped scrap with him. A very gentlemanly brakevan (always referring to the engines as Mr. and Miss), he keeps Oliver's trucks in order, but can sometimes have spells of over-imagination.
Bully Hunter: Helped Oliver put the trucks in their place after they wouldn't stop teasing him.
Troublesome TrucksThe rolling stocks who always annoys and plays tricks on the engines, mostly causing their accidents.
Berserk Button: While most trucks play tricks on engines unprovoked, they don't like it when engines order them around or being pushed.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Sometimes, they would play tricks on other engines who were being arrogant and rude towards the other engines, much like James in "Dirty Objects" and Diesel in "Pop Goes The Diesel".
The Spiteful Brakevan, Class: BR 20-ton brakevanA brakevan who had caused trouble with Donald and Douglas when they first arrived on The Island of Sodor. He was then broken by Douglas up on Gordon's Hill.
Asshole Victim: The Fat Controller couldn't care any more about him after Douglas broke him up.