Bully Hunter: Often harshly disciplines any engine that is mocking or belittling another.
Catch Phrase: "Reeeeally Useful Engine." and "You have caused Confusion and Delay." (This one however, has had several variations in Season 17)
"Early Days yet" towards his new Railway Inspection Vehicle, Winston. Which comes up when you find out he's a terrible driver.
Characterization Marches On: Awdry originally created the Fat Controller as a nod to "pompous railway officials who gave out plenty of orders but never actually did anything", with some engines actually acting rather impudent towards at times. He also had a tendency for Cool And Unusual Punishments for disobedient engines. The books, and by extension the show, altered him into a stern but fair Father To His Men with insurmountable knowledge of the railway (and many other goings on in Sodor), which almost no engine would even think of upsetting. Of course, it helps that the books, the original Fat Controller retired and was replaced by his son, who was subsequently replaced by his son, explaining the change in character.
Friend to All Living Things: Generally anything that is remotely sentient on Sodor is respectful and obedient to him. Whenever an engine (often the conniving Diesels) believes they have been rejected by him, it is pointed out he cares about all of his engines.
Never My Fault: There are times that he reprimands his engines for accidents they aren't responsible for, at least sometimes, not completely.
Subverted in "Wayward Winston". When he scolds Winston for rolling away, Winston politely but firmly points out that the Fat Controller didn't put the brake on, and the Controller admits that he's partially to blame.
Stern Controller: When his engines are out of line or caused any accidents, he'll resort to this.
Surrounded by Idiots: He keeps giving Thomas and Percy important jobs, regardless of how much he yells at them for screwing up. As of now, it's not like he has another choice.
Tranquil Fury: The master of this trope. No matter what level of destruction the engines cause, his reaction rarely excels past a stern, snarky lecture. Nevertheless, none of the engines want to be on his bad side.
Thomas the Tank Engine
"Hello Everybody, welcome to the island of Sodor!"
Voiced by: Martin Sherman (US), Ben Small (UK), Edward Glen (Magic Railroad)
A tank engine, the main character and namesake of the series, and the first engine to be purchased for the Fat Controller's railway. Thomas spent his time shunting coaches for bigger engines, and he longed to see the world. After helping to rescue James after an accident, he was dubbed a "Really Useful Engine" and was given his own branch line, along with two coaches, Annie and Clarabel. Thomas is occasionally cheeky and over excitable, but always intends to help the Fat Controller and his many friends.
Aesop Amnesia: He suffers this a lot at the beginning of season 8. His impatience is recurrent as well as his dislike for wearing his snowplough.
Attention Whore: In the first few episodes until he was given his own branch line. This became a big plot point in The Great Discovery. Played for laughs in Flash, Bang, Wallop!.
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Annie and Clarabel may complain about Thomas going too fast and he may tease them incessantly, but the three absolutely adore each other, hating to be separated from each other; Thomas has even chased down other engines that have taken them.
Berserk Button: Woe betide any engine that he sees pulling Annie and Clarabel without his consent.
Thomas: Those are my coaches! Give them back!
Big Brother Instinct: Though it's sometimes hidden beneath his egotism or childishness, Thomas is shown to look out for younger engines a lot, particularly Percy. This is particularly evident in later episodes, where he is more experienced so often charged with helping newer engines out.
Breakout Character: In the original books, Thomas wasn't as heavily focused on; Awdry had plenty of other parts of Sodor to write about. However, Thomas connected with the younger audience, and when the television series was launched, he was cast as the main star. Expands into both the show and the books since the release of the former led for publishers to insist for more Thomas-centric stories from the latter to tie in.
Bring It: Claims Gordon can't go faster than him in "Old Reliable Edward". The next day, he proves it...but not quite how you'd think.
Bully Hunter: In later episodes. Hector found out the hard way not to pick on Rosie. He can also be very sharp with James and Gordon for mocking the weaker engines.
Took a Level in Kindness: While Thomas' childish and accident prone personality returned, his nicer more altrustic qualities were kept for the most part, and he is far less arrogant and rude than he was in the stories from the original books.
Character Focus: Just how nominal a lead character Thomas is varies from season to season. In Seasons One or Thirteen for example he ranges from leading to key supporting character in nearly every episode, while in Seasons Three or Seventeen he has only a marginal amount of spotlight over the other engines, with many episodes he is limited to cameos or doesn't appear at all.
Cheerful Child: He is the second-youngest engine out of the Steam Team.
Cloudcuckoolander: Leans as this in later episodes. He often causes problems due to his excitable and easily distracted tendencies, however he just as often solves problems devising a rather eccentric plan, and has frequent moments of insight that prove very helpful to the other engines.
Composite Character: A subtle method of sneaking Thomas into earlier episodes adapted from The Railway Series was to give him the role of a generic or unadapted engine from the original story.
Honor Before Reason: Usually loyal and hard working, but will sometimes abandon his work or disobey the Fat Controller when he believes he must help someone else. He is often rebuked for this, though the Fat Controller sometimes overlooks it if it is for the better rather than "causing confusion and delay".
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He seems to suffer this trait a lot in the later series due to his eagerness in doing jobs. In Calling All Engines where he unintentionally moved the trucks off the rails knocking off the water tower. Also when in The Great Discovery where he gives Stanley too much trucks that this resulted in the trucks crashing to the newly-built Great Waterton tower.
No Sympathy: In the earlier seasons, he was dismissive of other engines' reasons for being late for his trains (i.e., Henry in "Thomas and the Guard" and Percy in "Woolly Bear")
Older and Wiser: The first original stories for the show made Thomas more mature and gentle. He slowly became childish again (if not more so) in later seasons, though still occasionally acts as a competent Big Brother Mentor.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ironically, Thomas is usually a Red Oni, though there are exceptions. He is usually a Blue Oni to James and Gordon. Also Decontructed with Toby, where he is still usually the Red Oni, but sometimes more relaxed as a contrast to Blue Oni Toby's dithering.
Vocal Evolution: Ben Small's voice for Thomas has gotten somewhat more nasal and helium pitched in later UK episodes.
Edward The Blue Engine
"I will do it, I will do it,"
Voiced by: Kerry Shale (US), Keith Wickham (UK)
The oldest engine on the Fat Controller's railway, and the first character developed by the Rev. W. Awdry. Edward is a mixed-traffic engine with his own branch line. He's kind but firm, serving as a mentor for younger engines, though he is often teased about his age.
All-Loving Hero: Edward is usually infallibly kind and patient to others. The later seasons give him more arrogant moments, though these are still rare.
Compressed Vice: Started falling victim to these so to work into later seasons' Aesop structure (most infamously his Fantastic Racism towards Rocky in "Edward Strikes Out"). Later episodes seem to settle for making him self-conscious.
Cool Old Guy: In season 2, especially in Old Iron and Edward's Exploit. Returns on odd occasions, such as "Edward The Hero".
Demoted to Extra: In seasons 4-6. Given a bit more screentime later on, at the cost of his classic personality.
Fatal Flaw: The Hit seasons tried to define one for Edward, but couldn't keep a consistent grasp on him. The CGI episodes settle for making him self conscious and somewhat too good natured.
Flat Character: Unlike most of the other highly flawed engines, there isn't much to Edward outside being a somewhat old and polite engine. The Hit seasons attempt to remedy this by giving him a more flawed personality, with mixed results.
Not So Above It All: Aside from his various out-of-character portrayals in Sharon Miller's tenure as head writer, Edward has shown he still isn't above a bit of taunting and sarcasm. As proven in "Old Reliable Edward."
Out of Focus: The writers obviously don't find him very interesting.
Vitriolic Best Buds: With James, especially in the HIT seasons. Also with Gordon, especially in the earlier seasons.
Henry The Green Engine
"I suffer dreadfully and no one cares!"
Voiced by: Kerry Shale (US), Keith Wickham (UK), Kevin Frank (Magic Railroad)
A much larger mixed traffic engine, Henry started off as a poorly built engine bought by the Fat Controller when he was desperate for engines. He was once infamously stranded himself in a tunnel and was bricked up, until Gordon's express failed, when he came out and showed his worth. He required special Welsh coal to steam properly until his Flying Kipper accident, where he was completely rebuilt into a much more reliable (if still occasionally neurotic) engine.
Adorkable: In episodes involving nature or special coal.
Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: In the books, 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 made him more sensitive and neurotic, while adding Hidden Depths such as his love of nature.
Dirty Coward: He was one in "The Sad Story of Henry" where he refused to leave the tunnel because he was afraid the rain will ruin his paint and doesn't care about taking the passengers to their destination.
Henry: "No one will ever let me forget the time I wouldn't come out of the tunnel in case the rain spoiled my paint."
No Sympathy: In regarding to his illness where the other engines (most evidently with Thomas chewing him out for making him late and James berating him for not working hard enough). As soon he was better, he soon got the last laugh at the others. On later occasions, when he was sick, the engines now showed him genuine concern.
Repeated in "What's The Matter With Henry" when Henry feels ill again, the other engines (par Emily) scoff at this and even give him their own work load as a prank. They are remorseful when he breaks down as a result, explaining they thought he was just being melodramatic again.
Voiced by: Kerry Shale (US), Keith Wickham (UK), Neil Crone (Magic Railroad)
A big, powerful express engine whose main job is to pull the railway's express. He thinks very highly of himself and is quick to criticize others, though his delusions of grandeur are often what land him into trouble.
Vitriolic Best Buds: With James and Henry. Also with the other engines he mostly looks down on like Edward and Percy.
James The Red Engine
"I'm a really splendid engine."
Voiced by: Kerry Shale (US), Keith Wickham (UK), Susan Roman (Magic Railroad)
A mixed traffic engine, James was riddled with issues when he first arrived, but later proved to be Really Useful by pulling the Express when Gordon failed. James can be called upon to perform virtually any duty, though he prefers coaches. Like Gordon's ego, James's vanity and admiration for his red paintwork often gets him in trouble.
Aesop Amnesia: Almost all of his spotlight episodes revolve around his vanity in some way. No matter how often he's humbled, he's back the next episode, pompous as ever.
Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: In the final climax of Tale of the Brave, he goes through the clay pit cliffs, calling out for the monster. The moment he sees it (it's actually a dinosaur skeleton) he goes into a panic and runs the other way, screaming and whistling like crazy.
Divergent Character Evolution: James seems to have gradually become more mischievous and cheerful than curmudgeonly Henry and Gordon as the show branched from the books.
Era-Specific Personality: In his first book (and the episodes that adapted it) James was more a troubled temperamental, but well meaning character. After that he quickly became a Small Name, Big Ego. Miller's era toned James down into a Mr. Vice Guy, being vain but otherwise friendly and rational. Afterwards Brenner's era turned James into a sly, obnoxious prankster.
Vocal Evolution: Keith Wickham emphasizes James' cockney accent a lot more in the later UK episodes.
Percy The Small Engine
"Yes sir, thank you sir."
Voiced by: Martin Sherman (US), Keith Wickham (UK), Linda Ballantyne (Magic Railroad)
A small, cheeky green engine purchased by the Fat Controller while Gordon, James and Henry were on strike. Nobody knows where he really came from or who built him. Percy currently works on Thomas's branch line. Considered as a junior member of the Steam Team, Percy enjoys being given important jobs and is earnest and sincere, if also somewhat naive.
Idiot Ball: Ignoring what happened in Sharon Miller's tenure, he tries so hard to forget about Gator in "Missing Gator" that he does some extremely brainless things towards the end, right down to saying he needs to keep busy so he won't think about anything. ANYTHING.
Took a Level in Dumbass: Following Hit's takeover, Percy's childlike attitude was exaggerated heavily. Seems to be getting downplayed as of recently however (or at least isn't much worse than the other engines).
Unwitting Pawn: To the diesels in Day of the Diesels who wanted to befriend him while Thomas was ignoring him, only for them to take over the Steamworks.
"This gentlemen, is a gentlemen who knows how to speak to engine."
Voiced by: William Hope (US), Ben Small (UK), Colm Feore (Magic Railroad)
An elderly tram engine, Toby is unusual as his body's made of wood and he barely resembles a typical steam engine. He once worked on his own railway with his faithful coach Henrietta, until the line was closed down. Thankfully, the Fat Controller, who had visited the railway, brought him to his railway. Since then, Toby's old branch line has seemingly been reopen, where he is often seen working. Toby is wise and experienced, if somewhat easily unnerved.
Adorkable: As the show branched away from the books, Toby gained more flawed, meeker side to his personality. This was taken Up to Eleven during the Hit Entertainment seasons.
Badass Grandpa: Pushing the express up Gordon's Hill in "You Can Do It, Toby!", which Gordon was even impressed. He is also portrayed as being rather competent during his turn as rescue engine in "James To The Rescue".
In "Toby Feels Left Out", he works himself into such a panic trying to impress Sir Topham that he ends up doing nearly all eight engines' workload.
Berserk Button: In his first appearance, he was quite offended when he was referred "electric" by The Fat Controller's two grandchildren.
The Ditherer: Has a tendency for this in later episodes, shying from daunting tasks and prone to panicking under pressure. A partial reason no one trusts him around Knapford Junction in "Signals Crossed", though in that case he is proven correct.
The Eeyore: In the later Hit seasons. He has occasional somber moments early on, but is usually more positive. Reversed as of Season 17.
Flanderization: His meekness started off a subtle extra depth in the Mitton seasons, before he became increasingly superstitious and fearful of everything in the Hit seasons, to the point his intellect became an Informed Attribute. The Brenner episodes seem to be toning the trait back down.
Fatal Flaw: The later seasons try to give him the vice of timidness and low self esteem.
Lovable Coward: Season 8-16 episodes make him rather fearful and insecure about his older build, leading to a self esteem Aesop.
A minor, but understandable case in Signals Crossed, where he's shown to be very cautious and nervous around Knapford junction due to how busy it is and how confused he is over the signal gantries. Once Thomas clears up which signals correspond to his tracks, he gets over it.
Younger Than They Look: If we go by the build dates of Toby's real-life counterpart, the J70 tram, he is YOUNGER than Thomas, James and Percy (three engines who are described to be younger than him in the TV show).
Emily The Beautiful Engine
"I bet it won't last."
Voiced by: Jules de Jongh (US), Teresa Gallagher (UK)
A Stirling Single engine, and the only female of the Steam Team. When she first arrived on Sodor she mistakenly took Thomas's coaches, to the shock of the other Sodor engines. However, after Emily saved Thomas and Oliver from an accident and apologized, they became close friends, and she was given her own coaches. Emily sports a very enthusiastic, though occasionally haughty personality.
Jerkass Ball: As of season 8, she has her mean moments, especially in episodes such as "Don't Tell Thomas" where she rudely told Thomas to figure out his surprise and in "Emily's Adventure" where she has to learn to be nice to the other engines.
Nice Girl: If the writers are up to writing her as such, she's this trope.
Sixth Ranger: While the rest of the Steam Team was introduced in season 1, Emily's first appearance wasn't until season 7. Additionally, Emily is the only member of the Steam Team not to have been adapted from the Railway Series.
Small Name, Big Ego: She's more self righteous and well-intentioned than pompous, but she clearly has a high opinion of herself at times.
Snap Back: Returned to her Nice Girl personality in Season 13 (albeit retaining a bit of her haughty, more childlike nature).
Women Are Wiser: Her original persona, before her bossiness became more emphasized. She still frequently holds the Sanity Ball however.
"Your worthy Sir Topham Hatt thinks I need to learn. He is mistaken. We Diesels don't need to learn, we know everything. We come to a yard and improve it. We are revolutionary!"
Voiced by: Michael Brandon (US Seasons 13-16), Martin Sherman (US), Kerry Shale (UK)
The first diesel to visit the Island of Sodor, Diesel believes that diesels are better than steam engines, and wanted to "revolutionize" Sodor. He left and came back several times before becoming a permanent part of the railway.
Ascended Extra: He appeared in one novel of The Railway Series and a standalone story by Christopher Awdry. In the show (especially in later HIT seasons), he makes regular appearances and is a key antagonist.
Establishing Character Moment: In his introductory episode, in which after smoothly flattering all the other engines, he says the above quote to Duck about how diesels "don't need to learn" and are "revolutionary".
Flanderization: Diesel saw diesels as revolutionary originally, but it was not his main vendetta against the steam engines, and he rather shrewd and manipulative in his antics. Shortly into the TV made episodes however, Diesel became a more outspoken bully and exaggeratedly racist towards steamies. The current episodes seem to be toning him back down, even if he is still a much more obnoxious heckler than initially.
The Heckler: Sure to be found making fun of whatever the spotlighted engine is doing, often triggering their insecurities.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The newer series has played with this in "Diesel's Special Delivery". Christopher Awdry's stand alone novel "Thomas And The Evil Diesel" also gave him a redeeming moment helping a derailed Clarabel. It's implied in "Disappearing Diesels" that he simply doesn't know how to be nice, even if he tries.
Even before the CGI series, there was what ended up happening in Emily & The Special Coaches. See for yourself.
Since HIT's takeover over the show, Diesel tends to get a Pet the Dog moment roughly Once a Season. His antagonism towards the other engines is also more petty and he will occasionally admit a begrudged respect for steamies such as Thomas.
Karma Houdini: Though this is soundlyaverted whenever he does something bad, the fact that he's still allowed on Sodor despite his terrible track record (and having been sent away multiple times) is probably a downplayed version of this. He is sometimes shown getting away with minor heckling as well, especially if the engine he victimizes isn't acting saintly either.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Sometimes Diesel's heckling is directed towards haughty engines or even ones that bite first. Fantastic Racism is a prominent issue among many steamies and diesels, Diesel's just one of the worst cases.
Manipulative Bastard: Renowned for this, most infamously in his debut, he tells jokes about the big engines to the trucks, and tells them that Duck shared them with him. Once the trucks starts laughing at the other engines, they're convinced Duck had been spreading nasty jokes about them. Despite being found out and punished, he still somehow manages to smooth talk engines into trusting him (eg. convincing a lonely Percy into helping the Dieselworks in "Day Of The Diesels", or sweet talking Mavis into doing odd jobs in "Thomas The Quarry Engine").
Obviously Evil: In the Mitton directed seasons anyway. While the books left it more imagination, the show version's demonic smile, sinister Leitmotif and shady voice over from the narrator leave little doubt from the first time he's shown that he probably isn't a Nice Guy.
Offscreen Karma: In "A Close Shave" where the Fat Controller found out about his lies about Duck telling names about the other engines and sent him away to the other railway. Averted in "Diesel Does It Again" and the later episodes where Diesel is seen being reprimanded by The Fat Controller for causing trouble again.
Out-of-Character Moment: "Diesel's Special Delivery", in which Diesel broods over not getting clapped and cheered by children as much as James does.
Lazy Bum: Until The Fat Controller calls her out on it.
Quickly Demoted Woman: The last episode dedicated to her was back in season 4, and she made a brief non-speaking role in season 8.
Subverted in the books, while she did disappear for the tenure the show adapted, she later reappeared with plenty of stories in the modern novels revolved around her. She also made more frequent appearances in the magazine series.
Younger Than They Look: Compared to her later Team Mom persona. Especially noticeable in the Japanese dub, where she has a rather high pitched and childlike voice.
'Arry and Bert
"Got you this time, Stepney. You'll make very fine scrap indeed. Buffer 'im Bert
Voiced by: Kerry Shale ('Arry), William Hope (Bert)
Also known as the Smelter Twins, 'Arry and Bert work at the scrapyards and are bullies to all steam engines. Multiple times they have threatened and shown desire to smelting down the steam engines for good.
Affably Evil: Over the years they've become less evil, but remain bullies toward the steam engines.
I can whatever I want! I'll get him too! With Pinchy!
Voiced by: Neil Crone (Magic Railroad), Matt Wilkinson
The major antagonist of Thomas and the Magic Railroad. A large warship diesel with a mechanical claw on his roof, he was out to destroy Lady and Mr. Conductor, but was defeated thanks to Thomas. He has returned several times in the show's run as a permanent part of the railway.
Cartoon Creature: While he's based on a real locomotive type, his claw is purely a fantasy creation with little to no practical use.
Devil in Plain Sight: The steam engines all can tell he's clearly evil, but the Fat Controller keeps him around.
Disney Villain Death: Not a death per se, but his demise is brought around by falling off a viaduct.
Establishing Character Moment: In The Movie, he roars through as station, kicking up dust shouting "Get outta my way! I've unfinished business here I wanna finish it FAST!" He also leaves Gordon, of all engines, shaking in fear.
Evil Brit: In the US dub of the television series, due to keeping his voice from the UK series.
The Nicknamer: He calls Splatter and Dodge collectively "Splodge", because he "ain't got time to say both names". He calls his claw "Pinchy", Thomas "Puffball", Toby "Teapot", the rest of the steam engines "tin kettle", and Mr. Conductor and Sidney "Twinkle Toes".
Silence, You Fool!: When his entourage are bickering in Day of the Diesels, he shouts them quiet. Also prominent in Thomas and The Magic Railroad.
Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Compared to the actual series, where most of the bad guys were easily controlled by the Fat Controller, Diesel 10 in The Movie with his plans of destroying all steam engines is much more dangerous. Dialed back in later televised appearances, where he's more just a trouble making bully.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Essentially the motivation for his actions in the CGI Series, he just wants the diesels to receive more attention since they always appear to be neglected, and he seems to apologize if he's made a mistake (i.e. giving the Steam Engines their own decorations since he ruined theirs thinking that the Dieselworks wouldn't have any decorations).
"Reminds me of a story."
Voiced by: Keith Wickham
A friendly dockyard diesel that works at Brendham Docks. Salty has lived through a lot in his life and has plenty of stories of his life at sea.
Establishing Character Moment: In his introduction episode "Salty's Secret", he singlehandedly organizes an entire quarry while singing pirate songs to the trucks.
Big Damn Heroes: In Blue Mountain Mystery, just as Diesel rats out Luke to the Fat Controller, Paxton arrives with Victor, who clears up everything.
Characterization Marches On: In his earliest appearances, Paxton was a background associate of the other diesels and often joined in heckling or tormenting other engines. "Blue Mountain Mystery" onward, his meek kindly persona is established.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Usually spacey, though he has occasional moments of clarity. He tries to warn Gordon to have his leaking boiler checked in "Gordon Runs Dry" for example.
Extreme Doormat: Though he will often ultimately draw the line when pushed into callous acts.
Polar Opposite Twins: Dennis and Norman. Norman wants to be Really Useful, but breaks down often. Meanwhile, Dennis works fine but is incredibly lazy. Dennis also has two eyebrows, while Norman has only one.
Put on a Bus: Dennis, who has not been in an episode since season 9, is mentioned to be Norman's twin. Also Sidney, having not been seen in any episodes between "Day of the Diesels" and "The Missing Christmas Decorations", spending two whole years unable to move because he lacked wheels.
Long Bus Trip: Derek, who first appeared in season 5 (and wasn't even named), and was last seen in a brief cameo in Calling All Engines.
Shown Their Work: Derek's basis is the BR Class 17, which was notorious for its poor cooling system.
A Cuban narrow gauge engine, Victor transports parts all through the Steamworks, as well as giving orders and helping diagnose problems with engines who come in. As the only narrow gauge engine owned by the Fat Controller, Victor can sometimes leave the Steamworks to help the Skarloey Railway engines.
Belated Backstory: His past history isn't explored until Blue Mountain Mystery, a few years after he was introduced.
Cartoon Creature: He's based on a standard gauge engine, but re-scaled and modified to the same narrow gauge as the Skarloey Railway engines.
Dark and Troubled Past: While being sent to Sodor with Luke, the chains holding him to the ship came lose. As he didn't speak English at the time, nobody could understand him when he tried to warn them. So when Luke was being lifted off the ship, Victor was knocked into the sea.
Awesome but Impractical: The water cannons on her tanks. Her appearance in Day of the Diesels even emphasizes this: she uses them to put out a fire, and has no water left to move under her own power. In real life, they wouldn't be allowed at all, as they would give her issues with steaming properly.
Cartoon Creature: While her basis is a real engine, and there have been engines fitted with water cannons before, Belle's additional modifications and bright paintwork make her look cartoonish compared to the rest of the cast.
Women Are Wiser: Belle doesn't let her emotions or fears get to her in terms of her fire-fighting duties, while Flynn's far more emotionally vulnerable.
"Ready for action!"
Voiced by: Glenn Wrage (US), Matt Wilkinson (UK)
A big, strong breakdown truck. Before joining the rescue team, he did odd jobs around the Island.
Ascended Extra: He was originally meant to be a major character in season 5, but due to poor planning, he ended up only as a background extra. In season 15 he finally got an episode, Stuck on You, and has made several minor appearances since.
The Blank: Ironically, the only time he was named before Series 15, his model had no face.
Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Prior to his debut episode, he has been seen doing countless other jobs, including rebuilding Great Waterton and Tidmouth Sheds, delivering engine and windmill parts, pulling the Chinese Dragon, clearing rubble, rescuing stranded vehicles, lowering boats into the sea...
"Full speed ahead!"
Voiced by: Keith Wickham
A life boat who came to Sodor during the construction of the rescue center.
Miles Gloriosus: His own insecurities have prevented him from doing his job properly on at least two occasions. Diesel has even called him out on not doing much rescuing.
Diesel: You're never busy. You just stand around looking fancy!
Flynn: ...I'm...I'm...waiting to be busy!
Harold the Helicopter
"I think railways are slow. Their not much use and quite out of date."
Voiced by: Kerry Shale (US), Keith Wickham (UK), Kevin Frank (Magic Railroad)
Harold is owned by the coastguard on Sodor and lived at Dryaw airfield by Thomas' Branch Line before becoming part of the rescue team. When Harold first met Percy he stated that railways were "slow and out-of-date", but was proven wrong when Percy later beat him in a race.
Heel-Face Turn: Was something of an antagonist in his first episode, but would later help rescue Thomas in The Runaway and helped Percy in Percy's Promise, and has since been portrayed in a positive light.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: At first glance, Harold can come across as very blunt and vain. He always goes out of his way to help the engines however.
Cutting the Knot: In Marion and the Pipe, she had to move a boulder off Gordon's line before he hit it, but the boulder would slip out of her bucket. She eventually resorts to striking it like a golf ball.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's does show it in a few episodes. In "Emily's Rubbish" as he was impressed with Whiff proving his worth in helping Emily move the rubbish trucks, and then in "Spencer's VIP", he even asks for the privilege to take the deputy minister home because he's learned from his mistake in showing off and asks if he could give him second chance.
Light Is Not Good: Although when compared to diesels, the steam engines are portrayed as friendly and reliable, Spencer is always portrayed in a negative light; a big-headed showoff that likes making the Sodor engines miserable. He outright reached villain status in Hero of the Rails, when he not only pestered and annoyed the Sodor engines, but also attempted to send Hiro to the smelter's yard, with no solid reason except to make Thomas miserable.
Shadow Archetype: To the other pompous tender engines, particularly Gordon. He's just as prideful and arrogant, but while the others have gained experience and made friends on Sodor, Spencer is an unpopular fool that looks his nose down on the others. Downplayed as his character softened slightly in later episodes.
An old, wise engine who came from Japan many years ago. He debuted in Hero of the Rails, where Thomas found him hidden away in an old forest and had his friends help repair him. He has since made several minor appearances.
The Ace: He's not called the "Master of the Railway" for nothing.
Broken Ace: In Hiro Helps Out, he tries telling other engines what to do when The Fat Controller is busy, only to cause more confusion and delay.
Voiced by: Jonathan Forbes (Connor), Rebecca O'Mara (Caitlin)
A pair of streamlined engines from the Mainland. Introduced in King of the Railway, they run the main express train between the two islands.
Establishing Character Moment: In King of the Railway, they have a friendly race during their Sodor route time trials. They both speed past Gordon and Spencer (who are already racing each other) with little effort.
All of the Other Reindeer: The other engines are initially shocked by his appearance. It's not as intense as other examples in the series, as the other engines quickly warm up to him, but Gator still gets frustrated over it.
Backstory of the Day: His backstory he shares with Percy at the docks represents the overarching theme of Tale of the Brave.
Berserk Button: His malfunctioning lamp, being bossed around, and being mistaken for a monster.
Beware the Nice Ones: As nice as he is, if he's pushed enough, he will retaliate. In Toad's Bright Idea, he gets fed up with Toad's pestering to the point where he abandons Toad in the middle of the line and tries to complete his journey without him.
Determinator: As proven by his backstory. However, this trait makes his trip with Toad in "Toad's Bright Idea" a bit rocky—while Gator is all about getting the job done quickly and simply endure the risks, Toad wants to get the job done safely.
Percussive Maintenance: The only way to get his lamp working properly is for the driver to knock it, though later this stops working.
Duck The Great Western Engine
"Beg pardon, sir..."
Voiced by: Steven Kynman
An ex-Great Western Railway tank engine, Duck came to Sodor to help out Percy at the Big Station. He demands order and discipline, and doesn't let bigger engines bully him. He eventually gets a branch line of his own, shared with Oliver.
Karmic Trickster: Has a fondness for playing tricks on engines he finds conceited.
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.
Nice Guy: Despite his moments of boastfulness of being Great Western, he is a mild-mannered and respectable engine.
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.
Rightly Self-Righteous: Duck boasts about his Great Western heritage, much to the annoyance of the rude and arrogant engines like Gordon, Henry, and James. However, as Duck puts it, "The Great Western Way" implies that he's a reliable engine who works hard and gets the job done without any complaints. Deconstructed in "The Thomas Way" when his stubbornness causes an accident and he has to compromise with Thomas.
"There's merre comin' should yer misbehave" - Donald
"Don't mention scrap! it makes mah wheerls wobble!" - Douglas
A pair of mixed-good twins, Donald and Douglas came from Scotland when the Fat Controller needed a goods engine. He planned to send one of them away, but after they proved how useful a team they make, he decided to keep both.
All There in the Manual: The Fat Controller only purchased engine #57646; as the twins arrived without numbers, he never knew which engine carried it. According to the Railway Series, It was Donald. Douglas was 57647, and if Donald had left him behind, he would've been scrapped. It was hinted at in several stories in the books though.
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.
In "Toad's Adventure", this seems to have returned with a vengeance, to the point where Toad is utterly fed up with hearing about his arrival on Sodor.
Break the Haughty: He gets a little too prideful in Oliver Owns Up, and end up bunker-down in a turntable well.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Like Duck, he was absent from the 8th season until the 12th, where he managed to get two speaking roles before vanishing again. However, a trailer for the latest special, Tale of the Brave, shows that he will be finally returning to the show.
Does Not Know His Own Strength: The Fat Controller asks him if he suffers this after he pulls S.C.Ruffey apart. Subverted in that the train was too heavy for Oliver to pull in the first place, the trucks were holding back, and S.C.Ruffey's wood and frame were already rotten and rusted.
The West Country: Like Duck, Oliver also gains a Cornish accent in the CGI series.
Whiff and Scruff
"Hello, Toby. Why are you looking at old tin cans." - Whiff
"I'd rather be a really useful engine than a really shiny engine any day!" - Scruff
US voices: William Hope (Whiff), Kerry Shale (Scruff)
UK voices: Keith Wickham (Whiff), Matt Wilkinson (Scruff)
A pair of engines who work at Sodor's waste dump. Whiff (introduced in season 11) is a bespectacled, large green tank engine, while Scruff (introduced in season 14) is a small, boxy tank engine. They're both regularly filthy, but don't mind and enjoy their jobs.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: One of the few characters to stand up to The Fat Controller. He forgets to put on Winston's brake, causing Winston to roll away unmanned. The Fat Controller scolds him after, but Winston calls him out on it.
Drives Like Crazy: Though it's not his fault. The Fat Controller simply can't handle him properly. When one of his assistants drives him in Happy Birthday, Sir!, he drives perfectly fine.
On the other hand in said episode, he tends to leave said driver in a bind by constantly heading back and forth searching for a present for The Fat Controller (eventually biffing into Thomas).
"Out of the way! Empty trucks coming through!"
A power bright-yellow tender engine. After being teased by Emily on pulling empty trucks, she feels less important, but with the help of Thomas, she realizes that pulling empties is important than she thought.
The Hedonist: Is described as 'the most fun engine' and seeking fun and games from the other engines in the form of racing, jokes, and shirking their responsibilities. This was averted in Season 17, where Charlie mainly tells his jokes during the off periods in between his and his fellow engines' work instead of doing it whenever he pleases.
Adaptation Dye-Job: In the Railway Series books, all of the engines shared the same uniform livery. In the television series, they instead each got their own distinct colors.
Skarloey's blue stripes were changed to white.
Rheneas is a much more vermilion color than he is in The Railway Series. In Blue Mountain Mystery, he is briefly painted yellow with blue stripes.
Sir Handel and Peter Sam were originally blue and green, respectively, while working on the Mid Sodor Railway. While they're repainted in the books, they keep their colors in the TV series.
Rusty is dark grey in the books, but is orange on the show.
Duncan is red in the books, but yellow in the show.
Older Than They Look: The main six engines are all based on real preserved engines on the Talyllyn Railway. Rusty is the youngest, built in 1957. Skarloey is the oldest, built in 1864, making him 150 years old.
"I'm ashamed of you!"
Voiced by: Keith Wickham
The first and oldest engine on the Skarloey Railway, named after a lake at one end of the line.
Badass Baritone: Noticeably has a deep voice when voiced by Keith Wickham in the CGI episodes.
Depending on the Writer: Is he young or old? Brave or timid? It varies, although it's worth mentioning that he started as an old engine and was depicted as young later. As of season 16 onward, he's reverted back to his older persona.
She's a Man in Japan: In season 9, Rusty was accidentally referred to as a girl. To be fair, in The Railway Series books, his gender was only mentioned once, and was never mentioned prior in the television series. An article in the New York Times from when season 4 was new revealed that Rusty was originally intended to be androgynous!
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Was this seasons 5 through 7, and early in season 9. This was reprimanded with the return of Sir Handel and the introduction of Freddie the following season.
What aboot me? A'm a plain speekin' engine and I beleeve in plain speekin'! Speek up!
Voiced by: Tom Stourton
An engine who came as a "spare" after Peter Sam's accident in the slate quarry. Duncan spends most of his time finding things to complain about. He used to bully Rusty for being a diesel, but they've since become good friends.
Put on a Bus: He was the last of the "core" narrow gauge engines to return following the switch to CGI animation. Greg Tiernan's team visited Talyllyn to inform the Narrow Gauge character models, but Duncan's basis, "Douglas", was being overhauled. He returned in Season 18.
The Scrooge: According to a Season 18 episode synopsis, he is this.
An old, wise engine who was Peter Sam and Sir Handel's mentor on the Mid-Sodor Railway. When it was shut down, he was locked away in a shed. Decades later, his shed was discovered and he was brought to the Skarloey Railway.
Badass Grandpa: In "Bulldog", he manages to keep Sir Handle from rolling off the side of a mountain.
Demoted to Extra: In season 4, he was a major focus of the first four episodes. For the rest of the season, he was relegated to the background. In addition, he didn't have a single role at all from that season onwards. Even now, he still hasn't made an appearance.
What Happened to the Mouse?: He's last seen as a steam generator. Afterwards, the railway gets shut down, Stuart and Falcon leave, Duke is locked in his shed, and the railway becomes overgrown with a forest...and Smudger's fate is never mentioned.
Oddly, Japanese promotional material depicts him having been moved to the Skarloey Railway, still as a generator.
An engine found locked away at an abandoned mine that was later converted to a fairground.
Intergenerational Friendship: He's portrayed as having one with Sir Handel, but ironically, Sir Handel is two years older than Freddie's real-life counterpart.
Old Master: Portrayed as this when his debut. Subverted, as his age has caught up with him and he's nowhere near as skilled as he once was.
Remember the New Guy: Was stated to have worked with Sir Handel and Peter Sam in the past. A bit of a downplayed example though, as it was mentioned back in Season 4 that several other engines had come and gone working on the Mid-Sodor, so one can assume that Freddie was one of them.
Body Horror: Well, as close as you'll get with a children's show about talking trains. Being an articulated Fairlie-type locomotive, both of them share the same body with each having a face at either end. They seem fine with it, though.
Demoted to Extra: After their episode, they were quickly relegated to the background with only a few minor speaking roles.
Identical Twin ID Tag: For their faces, Mighty's hair curl and triangular nose and Mac's freckles and rounded nose acts as this. On their paintwork, Mighty has yellow tank caps and windows, while Mac's are red.
Dark and Troubled Past: When he was getting lifted out of the ship that delivered him to Sodor, Victor fell off into the sea. Thinking it's his fault and that he killed another engine, he went into hiding at the Blue Mountain Quarry before Thomas and Victor eventually discovered and cleared his name.
Dark Secret: He killed another engine. Or so he thinks.
Friend to All Living Things: He's the most sincere and innocent of the narrow gauge engines, and even manages to befriend a deer that wanders into the quarry.
Does Not Know Her Own Strength: When she spends a day working at the Blue Mountain Quarry, she finds out she can handle much heavier loads than she realized.
Remember the New Guy: She explains that the Earl kept her locked in her shed while he was away, but she's been living on Sodor for years. Lampshaded by the other engines, who are surprised when they hear about her and say they've never met her before.
Demoted to Extra: After a brief appearance in the fifth season, she was relegated to the background for the rest of the model era.
Southern Belle: Given a Dixie accent in the American dub and is very polite to her driver.
"Bah! enjoyment is all you engines live for. One day railways will be ripped up!"
A double-decker bus who believed railways needed to be ripped up and replaced with roads. Ended up getting wedged under a bridge after stealing Duck's passengers and was left in a field to rot as a henhouse.
Manipulative Bastard: He gets a fake "Railway Bus" banner to steal Duck's passengers and doesn't accept their return tickets. His plan was to make the passengers think railway services were no good, but they quickly catch on.
A harbor crane who rarely gets any sleep and has a nasty attitude. He bullied Thomas and Percy when he first arrived, but after an accident involving a ship knocking him over, his attitude has (relatively) improved.
Badass: Tale of the Brave, hoo boy. Thomas thought Percy was on a departing ship and begged Cranky to stop it. Despite not knowing what was going on, Cranky caught it with his hook, and even though he nearly got pulled off, he still tried to hold it in place.
Jerkass: A bit downplayed. She's can come across as rude, cranky, and critical, especially in the way she advised Thomas to be careful with his siderods.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even with her condescending front, she is a loyal and hard worker, and reacts appropriately to good manners. Her treatment of Thomas also softens when he and Terence help her out of the snow following a crash.
A snub-nosed truck that works in the mountains near the Skarloey Railroad. She acts very motherly to the narrow gauge engines, even at the risk of her own well-being.
Drives Like Crazy: Done deliberately in Cool Truckings, when Duncan complains her drives are slow and boring.
Team Mom: To the narrow gauge engines, despite the fact she's younger than many of them.
Owen and Merrick
"Next stop - you're too heavy!" -Owen
"I think it's my nap time..." -Merrick
Voiced by: Ben Small (Owen), Matt Wilkinson (Merrick)
A pair of machines working at the Blue Mountain Quarry. Merrick is a crane with a set of rails, letting him move back and forth. Owen is a steam-powered incline, raising and lowering trucks up and down his platform. They debuted in Blue Mountain Mystery.
Catch Phrase: Owen's is "Next stop," followed by a location.
Sleepy Head: Merrick tends to nod off if he's not busy with something.
"I'm Jack the front loader! I can load, and unload, and carry lots of things!" - Jack
"More help means more dirt; more dirt means more fun!" - Alfie
"Can't you take a joke?!" - Max
"Mind my paint!" - Isobella
"We're a crackin' crew!" - Kelly
"Look at that. A work of art!" - Byron
"I must be careful, I must be careful, I must be careful." - Ned
"My Beautiful concrete." - Patrick
"Vroom, Vroom." - Buster
A team of construction vehicles owned by Miss Jenny Packard. They are in charge of construction projects on Sodor. Members include Nelson the ballast tractor, Jack the front loader, Alfie and Oliver the excavators, Max and Monty the dump trucks, Kelly the crane, Byron the bulldozer, Ned the steam shovel, Isobella the steam lorry, Patrick the cement mixer, and Buster the steamroller.
Ascended Extra: In a sense. Annie and Clarabel hardly spoke in the later seasons, becoming mere props for Thomas to pull around. However, Brenner's era has given them many more speaking roles and even a few limelight episodes.
Trigger: Hate being separated from Thomas for a long time. Also high-speeds.
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.
"It's not fair at all!"
Voiced by: Maggie Ollerenshaw (US)
Toby's faithful coach who worked with him in their old railway.
The Quiet One: In the entire show's run, she has only spoken in one episode. Between seasons 1 and 3, her emotions were at least expressed to the viewer. In season 18, she gains a face and speaks freely.
Women Are Wiser: Often has to talk Toby through jobs and situations he's not comfortable with.
Toad the Brake Van
"I'll always look foward to the future. Busy Going backwards."
Voiced by: Joe Mills
Oliver's trusty brake van who escaped scrap with him. A very gentlemanly brake van (always referring to the engines as Mr. and Miss), he keeps Oliver's trucks in order, but can sometimes have spells of over-imagination.
A Day in the Limelight: "Busy Going Backwards" in season 5, as well as "Toad's Adventure" and "Toad's Bright Idea" in Season 18.
Bully Hunter: Helped Oliver put the trucks in their place after they wouldn't stop teasing him.
Chekhov's Skill: In "Toad's Adventure", he tells James that his brakes are very strong. This became useful when James' train got uncoupled and Toad saved himself and the runaway train from crashing into Thomas and Percy.
Asshole Victims: Trucks are very often collateral damage for mishaps or mistakes the engines make, being knocked off the rails or even broken to pieces. Given how much trouble they cause themselves, they rarely earn pity.
Berserk Button: While most trucks play tricks on engines unprovoked, they don't like it when engines order them around or being pushed.
Bully Hunter: While they don't care much for engines bullying other engines, they don't let engines bully them.
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". Either way, it doesn't matter which engine they play tricks on as long as they enjoy it.
Lack of Empathy: The trucks will stop at nothing to enjoy playing around that they will show little to no concern for the well being of any character, whether engines or humans. One example is when they knocked the guard off of the brake van in "A Close Shave", and didn't care one bit.
Miles Gloriosus: For all their sociopathic trouble making, they are shown to have a limit. They tend to fear engines who (seemingly) prove willing to destroy them. One runaway incident also led them to get trapped in a mine, upon which they find themselves to be scared of the dark and beg Percy to pull them out.
OOC Is Serious Business: Displayed this in "Missing Gator". After the trucks excitedly rolled down the hill and then into the old mine, they were glad that Percy arrived and even asked him to help them because they didn't like being alone inside.
Perpetual Expression: The trucks in the pre-cgi era are painted with random expressions such as a laughing face, angry face, or shocked face, and that's when they're causing mischief.
Runaway Train: They always cause this to happen. They either push an engine down a hill or break away from their coupling.
Dashing Hispanic: He is given a Spanish accent in the US narration of "James Works It Out" (where he spends the majority of the episode as James' Hyper Competent Sidekick). Oddly, this is a completely different voice from what Brandon gave him the season before.
Lady Hatt: "Well, thank you, my dear. I knew this was my special birthday party, but I didn't know it was fancy dress!"
Poor Communication Kills: One day, she tasks Percy to give out the day's assignments after the Fat Controller falls ill and loses his voice. She likes to "flourish" her speech, which confuses Percy into handing out the wrong assignments.
Jerkass: Where do we begin? First he complains about Thomas whistling him a good morning, then calls him "dangerous to the public" and "regular law breaker" because he doesn't have cowcatchers or sideplates even though Thomas had been on the quarry route many times without a single fatality.
"And helping each other brings to life the magic in all of us."
Voiced by: Britt Allcroft
A purple and gold tank engine who only appears in Thomas and the Magic Railroad and in a dream sequence in Calling All Engines. She runs the Magic Railroad that connects Shining Time to Sodor, and is the source of the Gold Dust required to keep Mr. Conductor and Sodor alive.
Cartoon Creature: She was designed by Britt Allcroft. While there IS a real-life engine that bears a close resemblance to her, it's really more coincidence than anything else.
A 20-centimeter tall man who lives in the signal house on the mural at Shining Time Station. He uses gold dust to travel between Shining Time and Sodor, and when his supply starts to run low, he needs to find the source of the magic.
Amnesia Danger: When his magic runs out, he gradually becomes more forgetful. He can't remember the way to the windmill, and later forgets the secret it had.
Remembered Too Late: He forgets the word "lady" from the windmill's secret, and only remembers it and its significance after Diesel 10 finds Lady and Thomas.
Sizeshifter: He can change his size between normal size and tiny, but only when travelling between Shining Time and Sodor.
"I just... don't seem to understand... about magic anymore."
Played by: Peter Fonda
An old man who lives on Muffle Mountain and had the ownership of Lady passed down onto him. After Diesel 10 destroyed lady and his wife Tasha passed away, he lived in solitude, trying to make Lady steam again.
The original antagonist of the film, who was cut after test screenings. He was Burnette's childhood rival, and was responsible for crashing Lady in the first place. He returns many years later, intending on getting rid of her for good.
Evil Is Petty: One cut scene had him respond to Billy Twofeathers not giving him answers by punching a flower basket that Mr. Conductor had watered earlier in the film. Another one had him harass a newspaper delivery boy because he was trying to find information on Burnett. On another level, he could be seen as this in general, as he intended to ruin the man who had stolen his love interest by destroying an engine he owned instead of going after the man himself.