Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Railway Series

Go To

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 which can be seen here.

    open/close all folders 

    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
(Furness Railway/Sharpe Stewart Large Seagull 4-4-0)

Built: 1896

Arrived on Sodor: 1915

The 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.

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Often gets mocked for being old, usually by Gordon, James, and Henry.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Often to the younger engines like Thomas and Percy.
  • Cartoon Creature: Just barely averted. Edward being a Large Seagull was an after-the-fact decision to pick an prototype that closely and plausibly resembled Edward as drawn by the earlier, less detail-oriented artists. Edward was one of the first engines on the NWR and highly modified over the years, explaining his unique design.
  • Character Development: A subtle one, but Edward was initially a bit of an Extreme Doormat and much more thin skinned about the others' teasing him in early books, outright being reduced to tears in the first story. In most later stories he has grown to shrug off the others' rudeness. He laughs off Gordon's pomposity in Main Line Engines and is later dismissive towards him and Bill and Ben's antics, even telling the big engine he long had it coming.
  • Cool Old Guy: Especially in Old Iron and Edward's Exploit, Edward may be old, but he's easily one of the hardest workers on the North Western Railway and his age comes with great experience.
  • Determinator: Despite being an old engine, Edward has proven how useful he can be regardless of the circumstances. This is proven in "Old Iron" and "Edward's Exploit"
  • Feeling Their Age: In the first story of Edward the Blue Engine, it is stated that because Edward is getting old, his bearings are worn, causing him to clank. Keep in mind that worn bearings can be seen as the train equivalent to arthritis.
  • Flat Character: Unlike most of the other highly flawed engines, there isn't much to Edward outside being a somewhat old and polite engine.
  • It Belongs in a Museum: In Edward's Exploit, Gordon once said that Edward should be given up and preserved before it's too late, but Edward proved him wrong after bringing the passengers home despite a broken siderod.
  • The Load: He was often considered to be this due to being old. Don't let this fool you though. Edward is one of the wisest characters and gives the engines good advice when called for. The fact that he currently has his own branch line should tell you that he's not this.
  • Nice Guy: The kindest engine on Sodor.
  • Nice Mean And In Between:
    • The nice with with Gordon (Mean) and Henry (In-Between) in the first book.
    • He was kind to a bricked-up Henry when he passed by unlike Gordon who was pompous and arrogant and taunted Henry for getting bricked up in the tunnel.
  • Team Dad: To Bill and Ben. Duck states in Buzz, Buzz that Edward is the only engine to keep them in line.

Gordon the Big Engine, #4
(LNER A0 Prototype, Rebuilt to A3 4-6-2)

Built: 1922

Arrived on Sodor: 1923

Gordon'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 likable.

  • Aloof Ally: Not the kindest engine on the NWR, but is willing to help a friend when the time is right.
  • Berserk Button: Please don't make Gordon pull trucks.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In the series canon he cares dearly for his younger brother, Flying Scotsman. He used to have lots of siblings. After he learns that most of them have been already scrapped, with the exception of the Flying Scotsman, Gordon falls into deep sadness. The Fat Controller invites his famous brother over to visit to cheer up Gordon. Seeing him again pulls him out of the depression.
  • The Big Guy: Physically the biggest engine on Sodor, and technically the strongest too.
  • Break the Haughty: What happens in nearly every story centered on him. On the flip side, he manages to dish this to other engines as he gets back at Thomas for his teasing in "Thomas and Gordon".
  • British Stuffiness: He's British and very snobby.
  • Catchphrase: "Hurry, hurry, hurry!"
  • Character Development: By the time of the final book in the series, Gordon is taken off express work due to the arrival of Pip and Emma. Instead of reacting negatively, he gracefully accepts the decision due to his age catching up to him and the Intercity pair being built to do the job more productively. He's still grandiose, but he's finally learned a level of humility.
  • Fatal Flaw: His pompousness gets him into trouble very often.
  • Feeling Their Age: Particularly in Birdstrike and especially in High-Speed Engine Gordon is shown to push himself hard despite his age to attempt to prove himself against newer trains. It eventually catches up with him.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He and Thomas become this in "Down The Mine".
  • Flawed Prototype: In his backstory. He was a testbed locomotive for the A1 class sold cheap to the North Western and rebuilt into a mostly-A3 hybrid.
  • Freudian Trio: The Superego with James and Henry. Gordon is far more serious and conservative than the two.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He can be jealous of famous engines who can go faster than him (i.e., City of Truro in "Domeless Engines").
  • Heroic Bystander: Gordon's final feature story in Gordon's Fire Service shows him and his crew stopping to put out a lineside fire. He is rewarded a medal afterwards for it.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: As a "Hush-hush" LNER experiment, he wasn't allowed out much. When the Fat Controller purchased him, Gordon always wants to prove himself, feeling his importance is threatened if any other engine rivals or surpasses him. He's visibly distraught when he bursts his safety valve in Edward, Gordon and Henry and the Fat Controller (who had been earlier singing his praises to the passengers) was now ashamed of him.
  • Insulted Awake: By Thomas and then Henry.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pompous, prideful, and looks down on the other engines, but has his moments of altruism in spite of himself.
  • Karmic Trickster: To Thomas in "Thomas & Gordon" and then to Percy in "Percy and the Signal".
  • Large Ham: He's easily the biggest and fastest out of the engines; he also brags about his importance quite a lot and his whistle is the deepest.
  • Last of His Kind: In "Tenders for Henry" the Fat Controller verifies that he and Flying Scotsman are the last left of the great Doncaster A1/A3s. (In Real Life, they'd gain a new cousin, Tornado, modelled on a later Class A1 model in 2008, but since Christopher Awdry retired, we'll never get to see Gordon meet him.)
  • Nice Mean And In Between:
    • The in-between one with James and Henry, being that he can be less quick-tempered than James, but is ruder than Henry.
    • He was the mean one with Edward and Henry in the first book. He looks down on Edward and didn't thank him for helping him up the hill and was the one who taunted Henry for getting bricked up in the tunnel, telling him it served him right. Then after bursting his safety valve, he then suggests to the Fat Controller to have Henry pull the Express.
  • Not Me This Time: In Gordon the High-Speed Engine he ends up being blamed for dumping ashes on the Fat Controller, but legitimately doesn't recall any action of the sort. As this happened when he felt stuffed with ashes, many assume it was his fault and that it was deliberate, but the end of the book reveals that it was actually due to a careless steward.
  • Retired Badass: Sure Gordon never stops running but he eventually is removed from the express and begins working slower local trains which he treats as a retirement of sorts.
  • Older and Wiser: As the series goes on Gordon begins to fear for his status as the express engine, constantly pushing himself to pull his train faster to keep up with Pip and Emma. With time though he accepts his eventual replacement, and graciously accepts his retirement.
  • Older Is Better: Deconstructed. In Gordon the High Speed Engine, Gordon vindicates himself after the new diesel train, Pip and Emma's cooling system breaks down. It is made apparent this was only a circumstantial win however, and by the end of the series, they still prove consistent enough to take over Express runs, something Gordon gracefully accepts.
  • Put on a Bus: Once he was complete, his brothers were then built. But being a non-standard design, both larger and slightly slower than the A1/A3 class, the LNER directors had no further plans for him, other than to endlessly tinker with him in the works. He'd never be let out to pull trains again. Sir Nigel Gresley felt sorry for him (how could you not?), and sold him off to the Fat Controller with a discount.
  • The Rival: To Thomas at first, but after they formed an alliance with one another and Thomas moved to Ffarquahr, this position went more to Duck while he was station pilot.
  • Super Prototype: Just like Henry, he had a rebuild at Crewe. To which his brother, Flying Scotsman, remarked he had changed a lot. Gordon admitted they didn't do "a proper Doncaster job", but was pleased his new powerful shape still got the job done.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In the final book, Pip and Emma take over Express duties for productive improvement and Gordon is left pulling local trains. After he manages to stop a fire spreading across the grass banks however, he is awarded the Queen's Fire Service Medal.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Although his altruistic qualities keep him in check, there are times when he really brings misfortune on himself.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With a number of engines, but mostly with James and Henry.
  • Younger Than He Looks: Though several years younger than Thomas and Percy, he acts much older.

Henry the Green Engine, #3
Click here to see him pre-rebuild. 
(LMS "Black 5" 4-6-0)

Built: 1919

Arrived on Sodor: 1922

When 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.

  • Achilles in His Tent: Does this in "The Sad Story of Henry" to avoid the rain. The Fat Controller decides to brick him up if he wants to remain this, a prospect that Henry soon regrets.
  • The Alleged Engine: A serious example, given that he's sentient, but supplementary material reveals that Henry was a knockoff Pacific built by an unknown builder from stolen plans that had been previously rejected by Sir Nigel Gresley, Gordon's builder, for various reasons, chief among them being a tiny firebox that was much too small, and as a result, Henry was a poor steamer and occasionally just plain too ill to work. Thankfully, the Fat Controller first managed to mitigate his steaming issues by giving him Welsh Coal, and then eliminated them altogether by having him rebuilt into a Black 5.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Super Rescue, he saved the day by getting two broken-down diesels and their trains home, all while running on his reverser since he'd had a regulator failure. Even the passengers forgot to be cross and called him an "Enterprising Engine". Needless to say, he redeemed himself in the steam team's (and Flying Scotsman's) eyes after Duck fooled him over having six tenders.
  • Blessed with Suck: His "as built" form. He's an experimental design from legendary locomotive engineer Sir. Nigel Gresley (the designer of Mallard and Flying Scotsman) and the Fat Controller was able to purchase him at bargain prices during a very stressful motive power crisis to boot! Despite his incredible pedigree, it turns out Henry was built from stolen designs that Gresley hadn't fully finished and he is a poor performing locomotive until he is rebuilt.
  • Break the Haughty: Not to the extent of Gordon and James, but he gets met with this when being boastful.
  • 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 with people confusing him with Gordon in the book illustrations, when he was painted blue.
  • Character Development: He started off with a downright awful attitude to pulling trains, and even later still, was as arrogant as the other big engines. This all ended after the Flying Kipper accident, where, in addition to an Emergency Transformation, humbled him significantly. He still complains, but he's a much better worker than before. Compare him in "The Sad Story of Henry" to "Super Rescue", and the differences are staggering.
  • Dirty Coward: Was one in "The Sad Story of Henry" where he refused to leave the tunnel because he was afraid the rain would ruin his paint and didn't care about taking the passengers to their destination.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In early stories he mostly played the role of another arrogant tender engine similar to Gordon and James. Later stories established him as occasionally more pitiful and melancholic than the other two, and ultimately more of a Grumpy Old Man.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: He often gets frustrated when he doesn't get respect from others. "I suffer dreadfully and no one cares!"
  • Easily Detachable Train Parts: Although this is true with all of the locomotives, Henry in particular gets the most time in the spotlight showing his mechanical nature. His rebuild at Crewe comes to mind, but his later rebuild at Crovan's Gate is even illustrated in its final stages with Henry wearing primer paint. The same book also mentions how Henry's smokebox door opens up for cleaning.
  • The Eeyore: Of the three tender engines, he tends to be the one most prone to glumness or melancholy.
  • Emergency Transformation: His rebuild in The Flying Kipper was very much this. Beforehand, Henry was a Cartoon Creature, a failed prototype built from stolen plans. This resulted in him being a poor steamer with a small firebox. Being rebuilt with Black Five specifications significantly improved his performance.
  • Fantastic Diet Requirement: He's sickly and constantly under-performing in his duties due to his poor design and inability to burn coal properly, until he's finally given special high-grade "Welsh coal".
  • Fatal Flaw: He can be pompous and stubborn like the other tender engines.
  • Flawed Prototype: Sir Topham Hatt had originally wanted to purchase an Atlantic from the Great Central Railway, but he was swindled and ended up with Henry — a botched attempt by an unknown company at building their own LNER A1/A3 through plans stolen from Sir Nigel Gresley. He was so mad about it he would never even confess who had swindled him.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He was jealous of the Flying Scotsman for having two tenders.
  • Jaded Washout: Though technically built from a Gresley design at first, Henry was quite cynical and at the start, while he could sometimes perform as good as Gordon, he all too often fell ill too easily. Welsh Coal, and later his rebuild into a Black Five put an end to this.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Out of the trio with Gordon and James, he can be nicer-natured than the two.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: His rebuild in The Flying Kipper.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between:
    • The nice one with Gordon and James. Despite his arrogant bouts, it's not to the extent of Gordon's and he isn't hot-tempered like James.
    • He was the in-between one with Edward and Gordon in the first book. Despite his vanity and stubbornness for not wanting to leave the tunnel, he grew remorseful over his decision.
  • No Sympathy: Received this from the other engines during his illness until getting Welsh Coal. This was mainly due to his atrocious attitude that made him seem like a whiner and complainer who was getting his due.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Staying in a tunnel to avoid the rain spoiling his paint. He lampshades this in "Percy Takes the Plunge":
    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."
  • Out of Focus: After his titular book, Henry wouldn't get to lead a story again until Enterprising Engines. His primary role in stories in the time between those books was to act as one of Gordon's back-ups during arguments. He fared better in Christopher's stories, however, having more supporting roles and gaining a second spotlight book. He also holds the distinction of having made the most appearances of any character, with some small appearance in almost every single book.
  • Riddle for the Ages: According to The Island of Sodor, just how Sir Topham Hatt managed to send the flawed, unreliable Henry to Crewe and get him back as a top-of-the-line Black 5 is a mystery for the ages. It's suspected that William Stanier at Crewe owed him a big favour, possibly from their days together as students.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Gordon and James. The latter moreso in Christopher's stories.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Had a phobia about water initially.

Thomas the Tank Engine, #1
(LB&SCR E2 Billington tank engine 0-6-0T)

Built: 1915

Arrived on Sodor: 1915

Everyone's favourite 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.

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: After getting his own branch line. He tamed a bit after a few Break the Haughty moments.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Initially due to his cheekiness.
  • Attention Whore: Especially early on.
  • Berserk Button: No engine likes being made late, but Thomas who wants to please the Fat Controller especially hates it and lectures the other engines often if they are the cause of it. Even when Henry snapped back that the passengers' welfare was at stake, Thomas was still reluctant over delays.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "Thomas and the Breakdown Train", he was sent to put James back on the rails with the aforementioned breakdown train.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: How he started out.
  • Breakout Character: He did not appear in the first book of the series, but he became this largely to tie in with the show. Even before then, he was notably seen as the main cover character in annuals written after the initial run of the books.
  • Break the Haughty: Has his fair share of these in some stories when he is being cheeky and arrogant.
  • Catchphrase: "Cinders and ashes!"
  • The Chain of Harm: A more petty example. Thomas is particularly antsy about other engines making him late, dismissing any excuses as just cover ups for laziness or messing with him. In "Better Late Than Never", it is revealed he has to bring his passengers to Bertie, who in turn teases Thomas over his lateness. Following Bertie breaking down himself and being more sympathetic, Thomas in turn accepts delays more wilfully.
  • Character Development: Started as an impudent Station Pilot, he earned his own branch line and matured but became more arrogant to the other engines. After a particularly spiteful bout with Percy however, he was ashamed and became more humble and kind.
  • Fatal Flaw: The books focus on his impatience and arrogance getting him into trouble.
  • Flanderization: Quite surprisingly, Wilbert Awdry downplayed Thomas considerably after his first two books, mostly limiting him to a rude, self-important peer for the other engines on his branch line; essentially a mirror of James in many stories. This was dialled back in Christopher Awdry's books due to the character's heavier focus, albeit with one early regression in More About Thomas the Tank Engne for the purpose of a Jerk-to-Nice-Guy Plot.
  • Freudian Trio: The Ego with Percy and Toby. He is more mature than Percy, but has moments of being cheeky.
  • Greeneyed Monster: He can be initially jealous of other engines (i.e., Toby in "Thomas in Trouble") but he became good friends with them.
  • The Hero: Somewhat for several reasons. While he is ultimately a good engine at heart, he can be a bit of an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist who brings a great deal of misfortune on himself. He became a bit closer to this in Christopher's stories, but still deals with misfortune at times. The other factor is that in the overall Myth Arc of the books, especially during Wilbert's run concerning modernisation and the Mid-Sodor Railway's history, Thomas' role is fairly minimal (nonexistent even in the latter case). Again in Chris' run, he edges a bit closer to the role of the hero, as in Thomas and the Great Railway Show, he is the one chosen to represent Sodor at the National Railway Museum. Still, even with increased appearances in later books, he does not truly contribute to the overall plots of several of said books, and in terms of Sodor's adapting to the modern world, his importance is no larger than it was during Wilbert's run.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Thomas did not appear in the series til the second book. That didn't stop him from becoming the series' most iconic character, especially once the show made him the main protagonist.
  • Idiot Hero: Occasionally. Like when he thought it was a good idea to show off to Jinty in "The Fat Controller's Engines".
  • It Belongs in a Museum: The big engines often comment about how old Thomas is. Henry once joked about him staying at the Great Railway Show as a museum piece.
  • Jerkass Realization: In "Drip Tank", he becomes ashamed of his behavior towards Percy after an accident with his water tank and apologizes to him thus ending their quarrel.
  • Jerk-to-Nice-Guy Plot: While he became more responsible after the events of his first book, Thomas remained a rather insecure, rude and extremely self important engine throughout most of Wilbert Awdry's books. After some serious humbling in More About Thomas The Tank Engine he becomes more patient, good natured and can accept basic mistakes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Can be cheeky, fussy, and arrogant at times, but is fiercely loyal to his friends and proves to be kind and helpful to others in need. After the events of More About Thomas the Tank Engine, he loses most of his "jerk" qualities and becomes...
  • Just a Kid: Thomas often gets teased by bigger engines for his small size and big ambitions.
  • Miles Gloriosus: At times.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The mean one with Percy and Toby. While he and Percy are cheeky engines, Thomas has moments of being arrogant and he can be rude at times in contrast to Toby.
  • No Sympathy: He can be dismissive towards engines being late for his trains (i.e., Henry in "Thomas and the Guard").
  • Older Than He Looks: Thomas is often called "little" and "young". The truth of the matter, though, is that Thomas is actually older than most of the engines on the railway. Even Gordon, of all engines, is younger than Thomas. Of course, to a significant extent, the ages of the engines are defined by their personalities.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Nobody knows how Thomas even came to the Island! According to The Island of Sodor, he arrived in 1915, but nobody quite remembers why. His crew at the time, both bachelors, settled down and married Sodor girls. On investigation, Topham Hatt found the LB&SC had listed him as "lost on war service" and had no idea what he was doing in Cumbria either. They sold him to the NWR for a nominal sum rather than bother correcting their records and transporting him back to Sussex.
  • Serious Business: He sees running his branch line as this.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: At first, but this downplayed later on.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Becomes a humbler, more good-natured engine after the events of "More About Thomas The Tank Engine".
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: In his earlier stories. Later stories focused more on his altruistic qualities, though he can still be arrogant every now and then.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Percy, Gordon, and Bertie.

James the Red Engine, #5
(Hughes' Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Class 28 2-6-0)

Built: 1912/13

Arrived on Sodor: 1924/25

After a disastrous accident on his first day, the then-black coloured 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.

  • Attention Whore: Likes being center of attention, and doesn't take it well when the other engines pay none of it to him.
  • Berserk Button: Never, ever remind James of the time with the bootlace, or any other of his accidents. Also don't threaten to paint him blue.
  • Bigotry Exception: Before he got over it, he had a distaste for diesels except for BoCo and Bear. Justified because the two were friendly.
  • Break the Haughty: Happens to him a lot every time he boasts and brags.
  • Butt-Monkey: Though he brings it on himself most of the time. He's crashed into tar wagons, gotten stung by bees, and smashed well-wagons into signals, to name a few.
  • The Chew Toy: Constantly gets reminded of his accidents, sometimes without others knowing.
    Douglas: I heard tell aboot an engine a'd some tar wagons.
    [Gordon and Henry laugh]
    James: Shut up! It's not funny.
    Douglas: Weel weel weel. Surely James, it wasnae ye. Ye dinae say.
  • The Dandy: He loves his red paint.
  • Determinator: In "Troublesome Trucks", he didn't let the trucks stop him from going up Gordon's Hill.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: With Gordon and Henry. As the series went on, James' flaws tend more towards spitefulness and temper than the other two.
  • Earlybird Cameo:
    • Makes his first appearance in "Thomas and the Breakdown Train" in Thomas's book. In the next book, he has become an NWR locomotive and received his distinctive red livery.
    • Averted in "The Sad Story of Henry", which featured a red engine trying to push henry out of the tunnel in the revised illustrations. The plan was for him to be James, before it was remembered that James had not been painted red yet; in the end Awdry just claimed it was another engine who happened to resemble James.
  • Early Instalment Weirdness: James was painted black with Thomas' facial design in his first appearance. He also lacks any of the trademark narcissism that would define him in later stories.
  • Fantastic Racism: Expresses his distaste for diesels in James and the Diesel Engines. One of the last hold-outs in the series regarding anti-diesel Fantastic Racism, this finally changed when a works diesel rescued him.
  • Fatal Flaw: He' plenty.
    • Arrogance. James is vain through and through. While he eventually stopped harping about his paint, he still believes himself a better engine than others, which can make him a terror to work with.
    • Wrath. James has an awful temper, easily triggered by perceived insults or comebacks, which tends to blind his better judgement. He wouldn't have crashed into the tar wagons if he was focused on his train instead of figuring out a new way to insult Toby, for example.
    • Stubbornness. This became very prominent during James and the Diesel Engines. Part of the reason he still distrusted diesels was due to his stubborn nature (though in his defense, some of the visiting diesels did justify this). It ultimately took interacting with the Class 28 Works Diesel to iron some of this out.
  • Fiery Red Engine: A recurring element of James' stories is his short temper getting the better of him and landing him in trouble. Fittingly, he is painted red.
  • First Day from Hell: James is pushed down Gordon's Hill by the trucks, the friction caused by the driver's attempt to stop sets his wooden brake blocks on fire, and he ends up crashing into a pasture.
  • Freudian Trio: The Id with Gordon and Henry due to his vanity and temper.
  • Glory Seeker: Loves taking special jobs to make himself feel important.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Can get easily angered when insulted or when things don't go his way.
  • Jack of All Stats: As a mixed-traffic engine, James can pull either coaches or trucks (as much as he'd rather do the former).
  • Jerkass: At his worst. He's a rather rude fellow even on his best days and isn't easy to get along with.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He was somewhat less mean spirited early on, or at least felt bad when he realized the trouble he caused.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Possibly more than Thomas in this regard.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The mean one with Gordon and Henry. While the three are arrogant, James has more of a temper than the two big engines.
  • Older Than He Looks: Is older than Thomas, Gordon, Henry and Toby.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: The bootlace incident. Also the tar wagons.
  • The Rival: Had one with Gordon early on. During Chris' run, he and Henry played this to one another.
  • Super Prototype: With less emphasis on the "super". According to the Reverend, James was an experiment by George Hughes (his real-life class designer) to balance the engine's weight better by fitting a pony truck and larger-diameter driving wheels. The improvements were negligible, leaving James unique.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: But is kept in check with his good qualities.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With almost every engine, particularly Gordon, Edward, and Toby.

Percy the Small Engine, #6
(Avonside Industrial Saddle-Tank Engine 0-4-0ST)

Built: c.1900

Arrived on Sodor: 1926

When 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 to work alongside Thomas, primarily hauling freight. His good intentions and naiveté often get the better of him, making him extremely accident-prone, but in the end he proves himself to be Really Useful.

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: In "Percy Takes the Plunge" when he became arrogant after helping take the passengers home during a storm in "Percy's Promise". He was humbled after the trucks push him down into the sea.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: At the height of his feud with Thomas in More About Thomas the Tank Engine, he asks, plainly and simply, if Thomas counts as a "drip" if his rude behavior means that Percy has no impetus to want to patch things up. Thomas blows it off at first, but the next day suffers from a side-rod piercing his tanks that causes it to sink in.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Similarly to how Thomas started out (making him a Replacement Flat Character to an extent.)
  • Butt-Monkey: Gets into a lot of accidents throughout the series run.
  • Cartoon Creature: While most other characters are based on real locomotive classes, Percy is a heavily hybridized mix of several other steam engine designs. This isn't particularly unrealistic - engines for industrial use were often unique or heavily modified. This is even the case in-universe - The Island of Sodor notes that he was bought third-hand, so he's mostly an Avonside engine, but also features parts from Hunslet and other locomotive designers.
  • Determinator: In Percy's Promise. Despite the flood, he continued to carry the passengers home.
  • The Ditz: Can be very absentminded at times. He once thought that a bust of the Thin Clergyman meant that he was broken, not that it was simply a statue.
  • Freudian Trio: The Id with Thomas and Toby, being far cheekier than Thomas.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Generally treated as the "younger brother" figure to Thomas and Toby. (Though technically he's physically older.)
  • The Lancer: Of Thomas' branch line.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The in-between one with Thomas and Toby. He's nicer than Thomas, though he is cheeky like him, but isn't as nice as Toby.
  • Not So Similar: Percy and Thomas are a lot alike as mentioned above, but Percy is generally more approachable and humble than Thomas, and isn't as inclined to prove himself.
  • Older Than He Looks: Percy is looked down upon by many of the engines for his size. What many of them fail to realize, though, is that he's actually older than most of the engines on the railway. He's older than Thomas, Gordon, and even Toby.
  • The Prankster: He loves playing jokes on the big engines as learned in "Percy and the Signal", though he gets into trouble for this.
  • Riddle for the Ages: No one, not even the Fat Controller, knows where Percy really came from. People speculate he's an Avonside engine, but there were hundreds of examples of unique industrial engines built all over Britain.
  • Sixth Ranger: Figuratively due to being the sixth introduced character of the main cast (and thus the first new engine after Thomas' book), and literally due to his number.
  • Verbal Tic: When speaking to the Fat Controller, he says "sir" more than once: "Yes, sir, thank you, sir."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Thomas. Also with Harold.

Toby the Tram Engine, #7
(Great Eastern Railway 'Wisbech & Upwell' Steam Tram J70 0-6-0T)

Built: 1914

Arrived on Sodor: 1951

Toby started out as a tragedy of the times; though he and his coach Henrietta still could work, the 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.

  • Autobiographical Role: Sir Topham Hatt's family visit to Toby's railway is a mirror of Rev. Awdry and Christopher's footplate ride in a real J70, speculated to have been British Railways 68221. With the insinuation Toby is intended to actually be 68221, it makes him the first real life locomotive to appear in the series; with his existence on Sodor saving him from 68221's real fate which was scrap in 1951.
  • Berserk Button: Young Bridget Hatt accidentally pressed Toby's by referring him as "electric".
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Mavis and sometimes to Percy.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's very old and also wise, kind-hearted, and hard-working.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As nice as he is, he's not without his wits.
    Toby: James, why are you red?
    James: I'm a splendid engine. Ready for anything! You never see my paint dirty.
    Toby: Oh, so that's why you once needed bootlaces to be reddy, I suppose.
  • Foil: While not apparent at first, he is one for Edward. Both are old, wise engines, and generally the sane engines of the railway, but Toby has much more of a temper than Edward does, reacting very negatively to Mavis' shuffling around of his trucks, whereas Edward might not have made much of an argument. He also finds Thomas and Percy's arguments to be humorous, while Edward tends to disapprove of such things. Toby is also much more willing to stand up for himself if he's insulted, while Edward is more passive in that regard.
  • Freudian Trio: With Thomas and Percy, he's the Superego, being the wisest and mature of the trio.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Thomas and Percy.
  • Nice Guy: Like Edward, he's also one of the kinder and mild-mannered engines of Sodor. Don't think this doesn't mean he's a pushover though, he has a much sharper tongue than Edward and will put his wheel down much faster.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The nice one with Thomas and Percy. Being a wise and kind engine, he is more humble than Thomas and is less cheeky than Percy.
  • Not so Above It All: He's usually the Only Sane Man laughing at the younger engines' mistakes. He has sporadic moments of carelessness however.
    • He gets incredibly flustered around Mavis at first, due to her liberties handling the quarry trucks and calling him an "old fusspot". When this causes her trouble with a goods train, Toby sulks and refuses to help at first, only "thoughtfully" relenting when his driver reminds him that Mavis is getting held up by trucks he handed her out of annoyance for earlier, something that would look just as bad on him if the Fat Controller found out.
      • Made even funnier in the illustrations when it becomes obvious where Mavis gets stuck is within eye sight of where Toby is at. Meaning his whole reluctance to rescue Mavis is a reluctance to travel a couple yards to pick her up, and she can see him just sitting there while he is debating with his driver on if he should rescue her or not. No wonder she's furious beyond words when he finally relents.
    • In "Toby's Mega-train", he decides to pull an enormous train of slate in one turn, not anticipating he'd run out of water midway. Though he does resolve this in the end, he is mortified when his driver suggests fishing for water like Thomas once had.
  • Only Sane Man: He generally has his bell on tight, not falling into Thomas or Percy's antics and not having his head up in the clouds like Daisy or pre-Character Development Mavis.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: Toby is often more sardonic than Edward and routinely laughs at the others' misfortunes. As authorities have pointed out however, this often stems from the engines being arrogant and looking down on Toby, who has likely forgotten more about handling a railway than they'll ever learn.
  • The Smart Guy: Of Thomas' branch line, since he is wise.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Toby's later chocolate brown with blue trim on his side-plates imitates the colors the real life BR 68221 would have worn when built new as Great Eastern Railway 127. Rapido Trains has appropriately proposed an O scale model of GER 127 which serves as a Captain Ersatz Toby model.
  • Stronger Than You Look: He might have low water capacity, but his class, the J70, were actually very strong engines. At least twice in his career, Toby has managed to pull forty-eight trucks that were fully loaded, the only hinderance being his small water tank when the station's pipe was out of order.
  • Younger Than He Looks: For all of his wisdom and accusations of age, Toby is actually only a year older than Thomas, having been built in 1914.

Duck the Great Western Engine, #8
(Great Western Railway Pannier Tank 57XX Class 0-6-0PT)

Built: 1929

Arrived on Sodor: 1955

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'd 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 (perhaps even scrapped, to begin the process of Dieselization on the NWR). Diesel's plan was thwarted when the Fat Controller found it out (in fact, the Fat Controller was suspicious of Diesel from the start, and sent Duck away to give Diesel time to plot his own downfall. 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.

  • Adaptation Name Change: Is given the number 8 in the TV series but continues to wear his Great Western number 5741 in the books (he's still technically the #8 engine on the railway however).
  • All of the Other Reindeer: He got this from the other engines in his first few stories, though he really brought it on himself due to two things: 1) Immediately establishing his no-nonsense personality, and 2) his constant harping on about the inherent superiority of the Great Western Railway above all others.
  • Autobiographical Role: 5741 was a real locomotive used on the Great Western and later British Railways, which was scrapped in 1958. Like Toby, its assumed in the Railway Series universe that being brought to Sodor allowed Duck to avoid his real life fate, as shown here
  • Berserk Button:
    • Comparing his Motor Mouth to a quacking duck.
    • Do NOT insult or belittle the Great Western Railway. Just don't. Even Gordon finds this out the hard way when arguing over what London's big station is called:
    Duck: "Stupid yourself. London's Paddington! Paddington! Do you hear!?"
    Duck: "Tinpot indeed! Let me tell you!"
  • Big Brother Worship/The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Though they are not engines of the same class, he idolizes City Of Truro, a senior tender engine of the Great Western Railway.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He and his crew prevented twenty heavily-loaded breakaway trucks from causing a serious accident further down the line.
  • Break the Haughty: What Diesel pulls on him. It's worth noting that Duck started reining his attitude about the GWR a bit after this incident, since it likely contributed to the big engines believing that he would be arrogant enough to talk behind their backs.
  • Bully Hunter: He doesn't stand for any nonsense from the bullying engines as, for example, he stood up for Percy against the trio of Gordon, James, and Henry when he first arrived on Sodor. He also doesn't stand any nonsense from the troublesome trucks.
  • Bullying the Dragon:
    • For the troublesome trucks, things won't go well for them if they play tricks on Duck.
    • Duck himself makes the mistake of doing this against Diesel, trying to pull a Break the Haughty prank after getting sick of his bragging and oily demeanour. Diesel turned out to have a far more vengeful and crafty streak than he bargained for however.
  • Catchphrase: "Beg Pardon, sir..."
  • Cultural Posturing: In his debut 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He can be very witty, especially to the big engines.
  • Determinator: Duck's philosophy revolves around getting a train to its destination, even if on one cylinder. By comparison, according to him, diesels do nothing but moan for a fitter if a mechanical issue arises (though he was proved wrong in the cases of BoCo, who worked through his class' inherent issues, and Bear, who kept on working with a failed ejector thanks to Henry keeping the worst of the load off, thus enabling him to move).
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Inverted. He insists on being called Duck rather than his real name, Montague.
  • Expendable Clone: This is never mentioned directly in the series, but the Panier tank 5700 series class Duck is a part of is one of the most popular steam locomotive designs in British history with 863 built (the second most common on the GWR alone). Not to mention there are nearly a dozen other Panier variants and subclasses the GWR used, which although distinct from the 5700 share many visual similarities. As such Duck's pride of being a GWR engine is ironic considering although he is unique on Sodor, he would be unremarkable anywhere else in the UK. Outside of trivia, this is more to highlight the subtle parallels between Duck and Diesel, whose own engine type, the Class 08, also falls into this category.
  • Fantastic Racism: In "Buzz, Buzz", he disliked the presence of BoCo until he found out that he knew Edward and the two became friends. Granted, the last time Duck met a diesel...
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Duck is very proud of his heritage and this spills into his approach to work, causing him to sometimes hold the other engines to unrealistic standards, which they obviously do not appreciate.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Has some shades of this in regards to Diesel at first. He believed that Diesel's attitude came from simple arrogance, and a quick humbling might cause him to shape up and stop bragging. He had no idea that Diesel could be such a hateful and petty engine that he would resort to methods that the other engines, even with all of their bickering and bantering, would never even dream of.
  • Graceful Loser: Admits that even he couldn't top Donald's sense of humor at the end of Donald's Duck, laughing about the prank played in retaliation for slipping Dilly in Donald's tender (Placing a duck's nest under his bunker).
  • 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!
  • Karmic Trickster: Has a fondness for playing tricks on engines he finds conceited. It backfired on Diesel though, as Duck had no idea just how petty and cruel Diesel was.
  • Motor Mouth: He loves talking about his Great Western heritage much to the annoyance of the other engines. The whole plotline of "Donald's Duck" kicked off after Donald told him to zip it.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his moments of boastfulness about being Great Western, he is a mild-mannered and respectable engine, and will respect other hard workers.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Duck wouldn't be the last but he is the first engine on the North Western to keep his original railway company livery and number '5741'. Likely because he's proud to be Great Western, works hard, and the Fat Controller respects that.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His given name is 'Montague,' but most call him 'Duck,' after his (supposed) tendency to waddle on the rails. Henry, Gordon, and James have quacked at him in the past.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: Shouts "Quack yourself" to Donald who compared his Motor Mouth to a duck.
  • The Reliable One: For all his bragging about being Great Western, it's noted that he makes the railway run like clockwork.
  • 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.
  • Sixth Ranger: The core numbered cast of engines had been pretty well-cemented after Toby's introduction in the seventh book of The Railway Series, with Duck debuting as a new engine in the eleventh when he took over as Tidmouth's station pilot. He became more of a proper supporting character after his own book and eventually got his own branch line in Oliver the Western Engine.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He is very proud of his Great Western heritage and is very vocal about it.
    Duck: There are two ways of doing things: the Great Western way or the wrong way. I'm Great Western and—
    Other Engines: Don't we know it!
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: He is painted in the GWR's Brunswick green livery.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Often with the trio of Gordon, Henry, and James.
  • Workaholic. Duck makes everything go like clockwork to the point where even the passengers stop complaining, but the other engines don't like having to bustle about constantly.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In "A Close Shave", he holds back twenty runaway cars from crashing into a passenger train.
  • Younger Than He Looks: He acts more mature than Thomas and Percy even though he's younger than them.

Donald and Douglas-The Caledonian Twins, #9 and #10
Click here to see them pre-repaint. 
(Caledonian Railway 812/652 Class 0-6-0)

Built: 1909

Arrived on Sodor: 1959

As 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 while 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, repainted in NWR blue that reminds them of their Caledonian Railway heritage, the 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 NWR blue after arriving at Sodor, as it was closer to their original heritage (The Other Railway painted them in black goods livery). With three blue engines already, the TV producers wisely decided to keep their more distinctive black paint.
  • Berserk Button: Don't make fun of their whistles, as Gordon and Henry found out.
    Donald: Ye wouldn't have been making fun of us, wouldn't ye now?!
    Gordon: (Nervously) Uh, no!
    Henry: (Nervously) No, no! Certainly not!
    Douglas: That's fine. Now just mind the both of ye, and keep it that way.
  • Twin Brother Instinct: In addition to the Bully Hunter example, dialogue implies Donald had to smuggle Douglas to Sodor just to save his life. If that's not brotherly love, what is?
  • The Big Guy: As dedicated freight engines, they have more muscle than any other engine bar Gordon, Henry and maybe James (the real life inspiration for James the L&YR Class 28 has more strength than the Caledonian 812/652's Donald and Douglas are based on, but since James is modified heavily its likely he is less strong than his basis). Donald and Douglas are most often seen as "bankers" - an engine that assists a heavy freight train up a steep gradient by pushing from behind.
  • Bully Hunter: Donald who didn't like how The Spiteful Brake Van had caused trouble with Douglas' trains. Also, the twins won't let the troublesome trucks play any tricks on them.
  • Bullying the Dragon: The trucks often get this from the twins; playing tricks on them does not end well for the trucks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The twins have their share of wits.
  • Don't Split Us Up: Donald and Douglas really didn't want to part from each other. Justified since if one left, the other would be scrapped.
  • Family Business: Supplemental material reveals their footplate crews were related too, which is how they could arrange to take them to Sodor together.
  • Fantastic Racism: In the ending of "Edward's Exploit", they initially had a dislike for diesels and were the the last engines to accept BoCo.
  • Historical In-Joke: The twins' numbers, 57646 and 57647, are the next two numbers in the real 652-Class after the last real locomotive, which was 57645.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Their name plates and numbers.
  • Just Train Wrong: Shockingly for the Railway Series. The source books identify Donald and Douglas as 812-Classes, but the number Awdry gives them 57646 and 57647 belong to the 652-Class. The two classes were nearly identical in real life with only some modifications between the two so the mistake is somewhat understandable; but considering how much of a stickler Awdry was for detail, especially in his later characters such a mistake is a surprising thing indeed.
  • Nice Guy: Very friendly and get on with any work with no fuss.
  • Noble Fugitive: In their debut story, the Fat Controller is displeased at the idea of one of them (Turns out to be Douglas) playing truant. This is not because of wanting to shirk duties, but because their class was being withdrawn and scrapped, they had to make a break for Sodor.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: They were initially biased against diesels due to seeing modernization first-hand, but they both grew out of it after meeting Boco.
  • Older Than They Look: Only Edward and Percy are older than them yet you wouldn't think it.
  • Scottish English: The twins speak Scots.
    The Twins: (On the subject of their missing number plates) They maun hae slyly slippit aff, sir!
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • Donald helped smuggle Douglas across the boarders to Sodor to save his life. Later, Douglas did the same thing for Oliver, Isabel and Toad.
    • They even caused this in the other engines, who didn't know if the Fat Controller would send them away, and thus caused them to present a deputation to him. This is significant as the engines normally never try to interfere with his orders or decisions.
  • Single-Minded Twins: They have individual roles at times, but mostly retain the same personality.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: The twins requested repainting in NWR blue rather than their BR black because it reminds them of the "Caley Blue" of their old home on the Caledonian Railway.
  • Trauma Button: Do not like to talk about scrapping, having nearly fallen victim to it back home.
  • Trickster Twins: Notice that they are the almost the only characters labeled by name and number; Hatt specifically insisted on this after one too many Twin Switch gambits.
  • Twin Switch: In "The Missing Coach". They swap their numbered tenders to keep the Fat Controller from finding out about Douglas accidentally misplacing Thomas' special coach. Unfortunately for them, the Fat Controller already found out about it.
  • Violent Glaswegian: A rather kid-friendly version. While they're nice Scots, they can get temperamental when pushed.
    Donald (to the Spiteful Brake Van): "Spite Douggie, would ye? Take that!"
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Sometimes with the more arrogant engines like Gordon, Henry, and James.

Daisy, the Diesel Rail-Car, #D1
(Metro-Cammell Diesel Multiple Unit Class 101/102)

Built: 1960

Arrived on Sodor: 1960

When 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 made 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 along the Ffarquhar line.

  • Ascended Extra: Only appearing in two of Wilbert Awdry's books, she became much more prominent in Chrisopher's due to the heavier amount of focus on Thomas' branch line.
  • Berserk Button: Being referred to as "feeble".
    Daisy: Feeble! Feeble! Let me...!
  • Cartoon Creature: She's based on a real DMU class, but 101s normally come in 2- or 3-unit sets. Justified In-Universe, where she is said to be an experimental single-car unit tested for smaller branch lines (a prospect likely cut short by the Beeching Report).
  • Character Development: Becomes a more reliable engine after the events of Branch Line Engines. She maintains some airs and graces, but is generally less rude about it and can back her boasting with actual hard work.
  • The Chick: Of Thomas' Branch Line.
  • Fantastic Racism: Expresses this in "Mavis", telling the titular character that diesels are superior to steam engines. However, the narrator points out that Daisy didn't usually say those sorts of things, she was just so thrilled to have another diesel to talk to that she let that slip out.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Despite working on his branch line, Daisy has noteworthy interactions with every engine on there but Thomas himself.
  • Lazy Bum: She's so lazy that she refused to pull one single milk truck. Eventually, the Fat Controller soon calls her out for this, and she eventually grows out of it.
  • Miles Gloriosus: She’s confidently claimed that the likes of bulls and snow are a minor inconvenience to her. On both occurrences, she’s found out the hard way that this isn’t the case.
  • Spoiled Brat: She's vain, snobbish, and always wants to have her way. She grew out of that.
  • Underestimating Badassery: First to Toby in Bullseye, upon which she is soon proven wrong, and then, in a lighter example, snow.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: She's a very lightweight engine...which makes her perform terribly in heavy snowfall, as she does not have the weight needed to push aside snowdrifts, and the snow can clog her intakes.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Was very vain when she first came.

Bill and Ben, the Tank Engine Twins

(Bagnall Saddle-Tank engines 0-4-0ST)

Built: 1948

Arrived on Sodor: 1948

This 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.

  • Bratty Half Pints: As BoCo puts it, they can be maddening at times.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: They might be tricksters, but they're rather efficient at their jobs.
  • Foil: To Donald and Douglas, being more immature and cheeky, compared to how the Scottish Twins are more straightforward and no-nonsense. It's also worth pointing out that while Donald and Douglas have had individual roles in stories, Bill & Ben always appear together in the books.
  • Gossipy Hens: in "The Diseasel".
  • Jerks with a Heart of Gold: Despite their bratty and mischievous behavior, they can prove to be well-behaved at times.
  • Older Than They Look: A minor variation. They're pretty young compared to the other steam engines, but they act so immature that even the young diesels (namely, Boco) feel the need to keep them in line.
  • Put on a Bus: Their last appearance was in the book Thomas and the Twins.
  • Sibling Rivalry: They bicker with each other from time to time.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Both twins are equally mischievous.
  • Stronger Than You Look: They're rather tough engines for their small size, once managing to help tow an adrift boat that nearly ran aground.
  • Twin Switch: Not the classic switch - instead, they both pretended to be the same engine, after removing their name- and number-plates.

BoCo the Diesel, #D2
(Class 28 Metro-Vick Diesel Electric Type 2 Co-Bo)

Built: 1958

Arrived on Sodor: 1965

One day during work, Bill and Ben discovered that their trucks had been taken. An examination of a patch of oil led to the twins concluding that "a Diseasel" took them, and they 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. Formerly numbered D5702, he was renumbered Sodor's D2.

  • The Alleged Engine: All There in the Manual, but his class of engine was one of the worst performing diesels in BR's service. Similar to Henry, BoCo needed several rebuilds in order to fix this. It certainly explains why he was more humble than Diesel.
  • Fantastic Racism: Bill and Ben thought he was trouble, but Edward proves otherwise. Duck likewise had a bit of this until he got to know [BoCo, as did James and the Scottish Twins.
  • Gentle Giant: He's a large diesel who is friendly.
  • Last of His Kind: Like Gordon, BoCo only has one surviving relative. The Class 28s were withdrawn shortly after BoCo's introduction for the mechanical issues mentioned previously.
  • Nice Guy: Was so friendly that he remedied the other engines' opinions on diesels.
  • Team Dad: Along with Edward, he also keeps the mischievous Bill and Ben in line.
  • Younger than They Look: Acts more mature than Bill and Ben despite being 10 years younger than them.

Bear the Hymek Diesel, #D3
(British Rail Class 35 "Hymek" Bo-Bo)

Built: 1964

Arrived on Sodor: 1967

D7101 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 up 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 renumbered D3 and nicknamed Bear for 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.

  • Adapted Out: Bear is absent from the TV series since his debut story, "Super Rescue", was never adapted, due to budgetary restrictions disallowing new models for him and D199, and because of the push for more episodes with Thomas.
  • Demoted to Extra: Almost immediately after his debut volume. He never had another speaking role after Enterprising Engines and only physically appeared in one more story along with a handful of mentions afterwards.
  • Fantastic Racism: Averted. Unlike D199, he was nice and sensible and tried to shut him up for his remarks about the local engines. Truth in Television, as Bear's class used hydraulics instead of electrics, and had been declared non-standard by BR by the time he arrived on Sodor.
  • Good Costume Switch: Bear was painted in the same post-1965 Rail Blue livery as D199 when the two diesels first came to Sodor. After Sir Topham Hatt buys him from BR, Bear is repainted into the Hymeks' famously elaborate green livery.
  • Historical In-Joke: Again, the real Hymeks were only numbered up to D7100.
  • Meaningful Rename: He's been renamed to Bear due to him making growling noises.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: But Bear isn't complaining, he loves having a name of any kind, as it makes him really feel like he belongs there.
  • Put on a Bus: He had his last appearance in James and the Diesel Engines, though he was mentioned later on in a few books. He's certainly still part of the railway, but his worklife is significantly more mundane compared to his companions, so he doesn't get as many roles.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: The final illustration of his debut shows he was repainted to the Class 35's attractive pre-1965 colours, one of the most elaborate of any BR diesel class. Brunswick Green, with a lime green stripe on his lower body, yellow warning panels and his cab windows picked out in white.

Oliver the Western Engine, #11
(Great Western Railway 14xx Tank Engine 0-4-2T)

Built: 1934

Arrived on Sodor: 1967

Oliver 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. A chance encounter with Douglas was a turn of good fortune, since he 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 with a turntable has made him more humble.

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: In the story "Resource and Sagacity", he becomes full of himself in the smokebox after receiving high praise from Gordon, Henry and James.
  • Break the Haughty: He gets a little too prideful in "Resource and Sagacity", and ends up bunker-down in a turntable well.
  • Demoted to Extra: After his titular book. He had no further speaking roles in the series after this, and only a handful of cameos otherwise.
  • 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 Dreaded: After pulling S.C.Ruffey apart, he's this to the Troublesome Trucks.
  • Foil: To Duck. Both are Great Western tank engines, but Oliver isn't vocal about his Great Western heritage like Duck is. Also, as learned in "Resource and Sagacity", Oliver can be conceited and overconfident in contrast to Duck who is more humble than him.
  • I Have Many Names: Or numbers in this case, with 1436, 1420 and 11 all associated with Oliver.
  • Mysterious Past: It is initially implied Oliver is an Autobiographical Role like Toby and Duck sharing a real life locomotive number, Oliver wearing the number 1436. This does seem to create a continuity issue though, as 1436 was scrapped in 1959,8 years before Oliver's rescue in the books. Word of God in the reference books suggest Oliver was not originally assigned as 1436, and perhaps took up the number after the real 1436 was scrapped. How Oliver obtained the 1436 plates, and what his actual number was on British Railways is a mystery. There is the possibility, however, that Oliver took up the 1436 plates as part of his escape from British Railways, as a way to hide as a true "ghost train" and obscure his real identity.
    • The rescanned digital illustrations show that eventually 1436 is replaced with the number 1420, suggesting Oliver is actually GWR 1420 a real life preserved engine at the South Devon Railway.
  • Noble Fugitive: A refugee from the mainland escaping from scrap. In spite of being smuggled into Sodor, he proves himself as one of the family.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: He is painted in the GWR's Brunswick green livery.

Mavis the Quarry Diesel
(British Railways Class 04 Shunter 0-6-0DM)

Built: 1962

Arrived on Sodor: 1962

Mavis is a diesel in the Ffarquhar quarry line, 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.

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Happened to her when she took heed to Daisy's word about how diesels are better than steam engines.
  • The Big Guy: Of Thomas' Branch Line.
  • Character Development: Started off as completely full of herself, she became more humble after nearly causing a disastrous accident.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: After her Character Development, she gets on better with Toby.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: A downplayed and more mundane example, but she can get bored cooped up in the quarry. Even after mellowing out and learning more, she's always eager for a chance to stretch her wheels.
  • Last Episode, New Character: First introduced in "Tramway Engines", the last of the original 26 books written by the Rev. W. Awdry.
  • Mouthy Kid: Started off arrogant and refused to follow Toby's orders. She tamed after her innovations to how things worked caused serious problems.
  • Tomboy: Hangs out a lot with Toby and Percy and has a far more headstrong personality than Daisy.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: To Daisy. She primarily deals with freight work, while Daisy is a passenger engine. Mavis' Fatal Flaw in the beginning was her being headstrong, while Daisy's was laziness. Mavis is painted black and is quite clearly an industrial engine while Daisy is painted green and is more graceful in appearance.

Pip and Emma, the High-Speed Train

(BR Class 43 High Speed Train Bo-Bo)

Built: 1975

The 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.

  • Adapted Out: Neither have ever appeared in the TV series, replaced instead by the far less realistic American streamliners Connor and Caitlin.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: The Fat Controller loaned them a couple of times before finally buying them as a permanent Express train in the last book.
  • Nice Girls: They're very pleasant.
  • Punny Name: "Pip Emma" is old-fashioned English slang for PM (as in the time of day), based on the First World War-era British Army phonetic alphabet.
  • Rescue Introduction: Pip is struggling with her cooling system when they first travel on the North Western Railway, and Emma soon fails as well. James has to rescue both of them, and afterwards Douglas tows them home.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Although Thomas and His Friends replaces their InterCity 125 branding with NWR lettering, Pip and Emma's trainset continue wearing the as-delivered Rail Blue scheme, long since vanished from the Other Railway thanks to privatisation (and even before it thanks to the InterCity rebranding in the 80s).
  • Those Two Girls: Essentially seem to have the same personality.
  • Unknown Rival: Gordon was competitive hearing of their line in action, but Pip and Emma, unlike many other diesels, had no antagonistic streak about them, and even seemed to admire Gordon in their first meeting. By the time Pip and Emma finally take over the Express, their kind streak has won Gordon over and he gracefully accepts.


(LNWR 2-2-2 Bloomer Class)

Restored: 1975

Featured on Awdry's model railroads with the model preserved in the Narrow Gauge Museum in Tywyn, Wales; Bloomer is a 2-2-2 single engine from the Portpatrick and Whigtownshire Railway. Sir Topham Hatt had Bloomer restored for the 150th Anniversary celebrations of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, and since then Bloomer runs occasional excursion services on Thomas's branch. Bloomer has no appearances in the books.

  • All There in the Manual: With no mention in the books or even spin off material such as Sodor, Its People, History and Railways or Sodor, Reading Between The Lines, all public information on Bloomer comes from Awdry's private notes which the Talyllyn Railway has been gradually sharing online. Considering the timeline of Bloomer's introduction, its likely Bloomer was created after Tramway Engines, and is never mentioned in Christopher's following books.
  • Adapted Out: Not surprising, considering Bloomer's lack of appearances in the books, that the character was not shown in the TV series or featured in any merchandise. Although the TV series' Emily, a 4-2-2, does bear some resemblance to Bloomer.
  • Cool Old Guy: Being older than even Edward, Bloomer is used specifically for enthusiast excursion work.
  • Expy: Being found in an abandoned engine shed by the Fat Controller and then restored, Bloomer bears an uncanny resemblance to Duke's story in Duke the Lost Engine.
  • Flat Character: With no appearances in a story, Bloomer's character is a complete mystery.

According to Sodor, Its People, History and Railways, and Sodor, Reading Between The Lines, there are about eighty undocumented engines.

    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. Each engine has a real-life counterpart on the Talyllyn Railway, with a corresponding name - Talyllyn, Dolgoch, Sir Haydn, Edward Thomas, Midlander, Douglas, Alf, Tom Rolt and Toby. Duke is based on the Ffestiniog Railway's Prince.

Skarloey, #1

(Fletcher-Jennings 1864 Class C 0-4-2ST)

Built: 1864

Arrived on Sodor: 1865

The railway's namesake was in fact one of the engines that got it started. 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.

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Happened to him in his younger years when he gets another pair of wheels and a cab.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The coaches learned the hard way in "Old Faithful" when he severely scolded them for bumping Sir Handel off the rails. The narration describes him as such:
    "Skarloey might be old, and had dirty paint, but he was certainly an engine who would stand no nonsense."
  • Bilingual Bonus: Skarloey means "lake in the woods". "Skarloey" is actually said to be a scribe's error that stuck, going from "skogar loey" to "scacaloey" to "Skarloey". Interestingly, it mixes a Scandinavian element (skogar, "forest") with a Celtic one (Sudric loey, "lake", cognate with loch/lough/lake).
  • Catchphrase: "I'm ashamed of you." When he says this to you, you know you've messed up.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rheneas.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: The Island of Sodor book reveals that Skarloey quietly had a Kylchap exhaust injector installed sometime after his return to service in the late 1950's. Since this upgrade is inside his smokebox its never seen in the series, but it greatly improves his performance going forward.
    • Considering the real Kylchap on Talyllyn was installed in the 1960's and removed shortly afterwards, Skarloey's Kylchap is similar to Peter Sam's giesel ejector in that both were a brief experiment on the real engine that became a permanent feature on their Railway Series equivalents.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Narrow-gauge and over a century old.
  • Not so Above It All: He's got a mischievous streak. He hopes he and the other engines will have fun when the boastful Sir Handel goes up against George, and he deliberately keeps quiet about the fact that Culdee made the Godred story up.
  • Older Than They Look: Skarloey was built in 1864, making him over 150 years old.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Narrow Gauge Rails in Sodor lecture revealed Skarloey was used with a transporter wagon to haul standard gauge cars for the Crovan's Gate Mining Company to port, while the Sodor & Mainland Railway was undergoing recievership. This practice ended once the Sodor & Mainland was taken over by the North Western, and Skarloey returned to his home rails. The hard strain of being used in the transporter wagon and hauling standard gauge cars explains Skarloey's worn out condition by his first apperance in the books.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In his younger years, he was the excitable Red Oni to Rheneas' sensible Blue as learned in Very Old Engines.
  • Secret-Keeper: Skarloey and Rheneas are the only ones who know that Culdee made up the entire story about Godred's parts being cannibalized.

Rheneas, #2

(Fletcher-Jennings 1866 Class Bb 0-4-0WT)

Built: 1865

Arrived on Sodor: 1865

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. He and Skarloey primarily pull passenger trains and serve as the voices of reason to educate newcomers to the Skarloey Railway.

  • Bilingual Bonus: Rheneas means "divided waterfall". Eas is indeed "waterfall" in all three real Gaelic languages. Rhen- is a Sudric descendant from rann the common root of words meaning "divided" in the Celtic languages.
  • Determinator: In "Gallant Old Engine". Made even more impressive if you've read the background material - Rheneas was the line's only working engine for more than a decade, single-handedly keeping the line open through its lean years.
    • With almost all of the Skarloey engines being a Captain Ersatz for a counterpart on the Talyllyn Railway, it has to be noted that Dolgoch accomplished that in real life. This is credited properly in "Gallant Old Engine", as Rheneas' story has a liner note saying its an adaptation of Tom Rolt's "Railway Adventure" a book which includes the history of Dolgoch's years running the Talyllyn alone.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Skarloey.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Narrow-gauge and over a century old.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Unlike Skarloey (whose pronunciation is fairly intuitive), the many narrators of the stories have disagreed on how to pronounce Rheneas. The TV narrators used "Ren-AY-as", but according to the Awdry family, the version used by Willie Rushton in the 60s audiobooks (RHEN-eyas) was more accurate to how Wilbert said it.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In his younger years, he was the sensible Blue Oni to Skarloey's excitable Red as learned in Very Old Engines.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: In the flashback episode of "Stick-in-the-Mud", Rheneas refused to rescue Skarloey from the landslide, but soon relented when he was reminded of the workmen and Skarloey's crew.
  • Satellite Character: A variation in the earlier books by Wilbert Awdry. Since he was getting his overhaul for much of them, he was generally only discussed through flashbacks by Skarloey. Even in Very Old Engines, after Rheneas has returned, the same format is mostly in use. It is only in the Christopher Awdry instalments and TV series where he is often working with the others in present day. This is Truth in Television as Rheneas's basis Dolgoch was undergoing an extensive overhaul from 1954 to 1963 as the books were being published.
  • Secret-Keeper: Skarloey and Rheneas are the only ones who know that Culdee made up the entire story about Godred's parts being cannibalized.

Sir Handel (Formerly Falcon), #3

(Hughes Falcon 0-4-2ST)
Click here to see him as Falcon 

Built: 1904

Arrived on Sodor: 1904

When 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 him keep his blue paint job from when he worked with Duke on the Mid Sodor Railway, while in the books he was repainted in Skarloey Railway Red.
  • Berserk Button: In much the same way as Gordon, don't make him pull trucks.
  • Defictionalization: Spent most of 1985 (during the book "Great Little Engines") on the Talyllyn railway in Tywyn, as they'd actually repainted Sir Haydn into Sir Handel for the year.
  • Expy: Essentially a narrow gauge Gordon.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He has quite a temper whenever others tease or when things don't go his way.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: After a bad first run that ended with him getting left in the shed for days, Sir Handel tried to behave better and was nicer to the coaches, but they didn't buy it and continued hassling him, eventually derailing him when he accidentally bumped them. When an angry Skarloey calls them out on this however, they are repentant and they and Sir Handel are said to cooperate far least for a while.
  • I Have Many Names: His name was Falcon before joining the Skarloey Railway.
  • Jerkass: At his worst. He is arrogant, bad-tempered, and self-centered. Peter Sam claims that this stems from him missing working at the Mid-Sodor Railway.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sometimes. Mostly shows his soft side to Peter Sam or Duke.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: His "steamroller" wheels.
    • His final appearance in the books in New Little Engines shows his cab has been rebuilt and pushed back, exposing his coal bunkers (similar in apperance to Skarloey). This is a modification that was also made to his real life basis Sir Haydn.
  • The Napoleon: A small narrow-gauge engine with a big ego and a bad temper.
  • Playing Sick: He tried doing this twice, but was soon found out by the Thin Controller.
  • Punny Name: In the real world, "Sir Handel" note  is based on Talyllyn's Sir Haydnnote , keeping the classical music reference intact.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Peter Sam's Red. Heck, he was painted blue on his old railway, but they are both red now.
  • Secret-Keeper: Implied. He and Peter Sam only spoke of Duke when they were alone.
  • Selective Memory: Despite being older than Stanley, and on the Mid Sodor Railway before Stanley arrived; Falcon still acts shocked when Duke recounts the story of Stanley's demise. Especially strange given that one of the illustrations in "Duke the Lost Engine" even shows Stanley in the back of the engine shed alongside Falcon (although erroneously, seeing that Stanley wouldn't be built until World War One and that particular story was set in the early 1900's). Still, its heavily implied the two engines worked alongside each other and as such Stanley's transformation into a stationary boiler should not have been news to Falcon.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Peter Sam's Sensitive Guy.
  • Spoiled Brat: He is quite an arrogant and self-centered engine who thinks the world caters to his wants. He disparages the Skarloey Railway sheds; he verbally insults Agnes, Ruth, Lucy, Jemima and Beatrice; he tries to impress Gordon; is exposed to care more about passengers than trucks; and finally pretends to be sick in “Trucks!” to save his pathetic hide.
  • Trauma Button: Don't mention being sold to him or Peter Sam. Could also double as a Berserk Button due to him faking sick for the second time in the same book after being told that he wasn't being sold.
  • We Used to Be Friends: A more minor example than most cases, but look at Falcon and Stuart on the MSR and Sir Handel and Peter Sam now. They have become much less in sync than they were in the past.

Peter Sam (Formerly Stuart), #4

(Kerr Stuart Tattoo 0-4-2ST)
Click here to see him as Stuart 

Built: 1920

Arrived on Sodor: 1920

Though Sir Handel had a bad first day, the second engine, Peter Sam, proved to be a better behaved engine, treating the coaches more kindly 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 in an accident thanks in part to Sir Handel's lies about 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.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Same situation as Sir Handel, except green instead of blue.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: His special funnel inspired a lot of teasing from the others. "Until they learned how useful it is!"
  • I Have Many Names: His name was Stuart before joining the Skarloey Railway.
  • Informed Deformity: Although his Giesl is prominent in the series most fans treat it as a normal part of the character. Despite that, Rev. Awdry makes a snide comment on the funnel "not improving Peter Sam's looks" in the Island of Sodor book.
  • Keet: A rather bouncy and go-getter sort of engine.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: His Giesl funnel. Based on his Talyllyn counterpart Edward Thomas being fitted with one in the early 60s, it makes him stronger and reduces his coal consumption. (At the Talyllyn, Edward Thomas had his Giesl removed in 1969, after finding no significant difference in coal consumption).
  • Nice Guy: Very friendly to just about everyone he meets.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red Oni to Sir Handel's Blue. (Though ironically, they're both Skarloey Red now.)
  • Secret-Keeper: Implied. He and Sir Handel only spoke of Duke when they were alone.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Sir Handel's Manly Man.
  • Trauma Button: Don't mention being sold to him or Sir Handel. However, unlike Sir Handel, after being told he's not being sold after all, Peter Sam reverts back to his cheery self.
  • We Used to Be Friends: More minor that most. See Sir Handel's entry.
  • Workaholic: At the prospect of working the line solo, Peter Sam was very excited.

Rusty, #5

(Ruston & Hornsby Diesel 4w)

Built: 1957

Arrived on Sodor: 1957

Rusty is the first 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.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Was painted dark grey in the books, but is orange on the show.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Duncan.
  • Flat Character: He is quite friendly and helpful, and one of the hardest workers on the Skarloey Railway, but he never really gets a true Day in the Limelight or much conflict, except for his spat with Duncan.
  • Hidden Depths: A more negative example, but while he is a hard-worker, there is a job he hates: Pulling the weedkiller train due to it being one of the most tedious jobs on the railway. Having to pull it is one of the few times he'll actually grumble about his work.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Refused to help a rude Duncan to get back on the rails, but after Skarloey calls him out on it, he decides to do it anyways.
  • Token Diesel: He's the only diesel on the Skarloey Railway (until Fred arrives in 1989, anyway).

Duncan, #6

(Andrew Barclay 0-4-0WT)

Built: 1928

Arrived on Sodor: 1958

After 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.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Often forgets to behave well around others.
  • Brutal Honesty: Calls himself a "plain, blunt engine" and speaks whatever is on his mind.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Being a grumpy engine, Duncan often ends up getting treated in the wrong by the engines for holding dissenting opinions.
  • Drives Like Crazy: One story was dedicated to Duncan's "Rock n' Roll", and ends with him derailing. This was based on his Talyllyn Railway basis, Douglas being too tall to pass under the original bridges and tunnels note  and being a rough rider due to not being built for higher speeds carrying passengers.
  • Expy: In terms of rude personality, he's the narrow-gauge version of James.
  • Fantastic Racism: Blatantly bullied Rusty for being a diesel, but stopped after Rusty rescued him from a derailment.
  • Freudian Excuse: Used to work in a factory, resulting in his blunt and grumpy attitude.
  • Jerkass: At his worst. Duncan is rude, grumpy, temperamental, and cynical.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: At his best. Despite his rudeness, he has a soft spot on his boiler. This is best proven in how apologetic he was towards Rusty after he rescued him and became friends with him.
  • Never My Fault: Doesn't take responsibility for his troubles, as learned in "Home at Last".
  • Not So Similar: He and Sir Handel are very alike due to their grumpy attitudes and difficult behaviors, but there is a key difference between them. Unlike Sir Handel, Duncan doesn't fake illness to get out of work and does not lie; after all, he is a "plain speaking engine".
  • Pet the Dog: Despite Duncan's usual crass attitude, he very eagerly goes out of his way to help a Boy Scout troop get cold soda's in "Pop-Special." It's one of the few genuine acts of kindness Duncan ever does in the series.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Implied, as Peter Sam says his language is sometimes strong.
  • Spoiled Brat: Like Sir Handel, Duncan is this to some extent, but he's the worst by far and the entire length of "Passengers and Polish" presents him as a whiny and cynical engine who thinks he does not get any luxury as being polished.
  • Violent Glaswegian: When he loses his temper.

Ivo Hugh, #7


Built: 1996

Arrived on Sodor: 1996

By 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. Given the series has ended in 2011, it's unlikely he will anytime soon.

  • Adapted Out: In the TV series, Ivo Hugh's place of SKR #7 was filled by "Fearless" Freddie.
  • Flat Character: Due to his debut book being the last to feature stories about the Skarloey Railway and only being present in the final story we never get to see what his true personality really is.
  • The Quiet One: Did not say a word during what would be his only appearance.

Duke, #8

(George England and Co. 0-4-0ST+T)

Built: 1879

Arrived on Sodor: 1880

Duke was once the pride of the Mid Sodor Railway, being named after the Duke of Sodor and having served on the line since its opening in 1880. Together with two newer engines, Stuart and Falcon, he served on the railway for many years, essentially raising and teaching the younger two. Sadly, when the railway was closed in 1947, Duke was the only one not bought and was left asleep in his shed for many years, until he was rediscovered in 1969. Duke was brought back to run on the Skarloey Railway, reunited with Stuart (Peter Sam) and Falcon (Sir Handel). He spent quite a long time being restored to running order, hence his number is higher than Ivo Hugh's.

  • British Stuffiness: One of Duke's catchphrases is poshly stating "this would not suit his grace!" referencing the Duke of Sodor whom he was named after. In a trans-Atlantic rivalry sense as well, Duke's recounting of Stanley's demise takes special note of the engine being built in America and his cocky Eagleland attitude and Duke's disdain of it. Ancillary material suggests Stanley's frequent derailments were due to a poor job re-gauging him to the MSR's 2'3" gauge, making Duke's opinions on the nationality of the doomed engine potentially misplaced.
  • Bully Bulldog: Although a steam locomotive, the distinct saddle-tank on Duke gives him an almost bulldog like appearance; and the second story of his feature book is aptly titled Bulldog where he is compared to the animal due to his determination in saving Falcon.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Par excellence, especially in comparison with Skarloey and Rheneas.
  • Home Sweet Home: How Duke views the Skarloey Railway after his rescue, even commenting on how its become a home to him when Sir Handel returns from his visit to the Talyllyn Railway.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Sir Handel and Peter Sam, or Falcon and Stuart, as they were known back then.
  • Mentor Archetype: To Peter Sam and Sir Handel. They even think he's "dead" by the present day.
  • I Owe You My Life: One of Duke's few speaking lines in later books is in Sir Handel Comes Home where he instantly recognizes Sir Handel's mention of the Thin Clergyman as one of the men who saved him.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: When he tells the story of No. 2.
  • Put on a Bus: Similar to Bear, while Duke is still very much part of the Skarloey Railway, he notably never carries another story by himself. Unlike Bear, he at least has some speaking lines.
  • Rip Van Winkle: Slept for 22 years, and his shed was properly lost till an expedition up the route of the old railway found him again.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: Gets Sir Handel and Peter Sam to behave by telling them the story about the engine "Number 2" being turned into a pumping engine.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Is the only engine on the Skarloey Railway to not be repainted in SR red, instead keeping his Mid-Sodor brown.
  • Team Dad: To Sir Handel and Peter Sam on the MSR.

Fred, #9

(ex-NCB Hunslet 0-4-0DM)

Arrived on Sodor: 1989

Fred is the newest engine on the Skarloey railway, restored from two ex- National Coal Board Hunslet diesels. He is based on Talyllyn's Alf.

  • All There in the Manual: The fact that he's built from ex-NCB stock comes from one of the reference books.
  • The Ghost: Has never made an appearance in a story, but was talked about.
  • Lazy Bum: It was implied that he is so lazy that he fakes his illness to get out of work. This trait, if true, is very ironic, as his basis, Alf is the Talyllyn Railway's primary workhorse, the opposite of Fred in every way.
  • Playing Sick: It was assumed to be the case, though it's possible he legitimately does fall ill very often.

Mark V

(Petrol-driven engineer's trolley)

Built: 1953 (Mark I)

Mark V is the Skarloey Railway engineer's trolley. He was hand-built by the Skarloey Chief Mechanical Engineer Mr Ivo Hugh in 1953, who used him to survey the line, and also to travel to and from work every day. For this reason, the staff have nicknamed him "Ivo's Flying Bedstead". He's based on the Talyllyn's Toby, who is in turn named after the Railway Series' Toby. Toby has masqueraded as Mark V for Thomas events at Talyllyn.

  • All There in the Manual: He has never appeared in a story, only mentioned in People, History and Railways.
  • The Nth Doctor: Mark V is the fifth iteration of Mr Hugh's trolley. It's unclear whether it's the same vehicle being progressively upgraded however, or a new build each time, although it's probably the former, as with Toby at Tal-y-Llyn.

There's also the mysterious Ministry of Defence engine, described only as "black and beetle-like" in Sodor, Its People, History And Railways and Reading Between The Lines.

    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. It is based largely on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, and its locomotives named after local rivers, Esk, Mite and Irt, diesel engine Perkins, and Northern Rock. There are also some engines mentioned only in Sodor, It's History, People and Railways and Sodor, Reading Between The Lines - the notoriously unreliable diesels the "Blisters" 1 & 2, based on Cyril from the R&E, and "Sigrid Of Arlesdale", based on Shelagh of Eskdale.



Built: 1923

Arrived on Sodor: 1967

Rex 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.



Built: 1966

Arrived on Sodor: 1967

Mike'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.



Built: 1894

Arrived on Sodor: 1967

Bert is the oldest among the initial three small engines, and is often bossed around by Rex and Mike. Though Bert intends to be a good worker, he is temperamental if he is mistreated.



Built: 1929

Arrived on Sodor: 1967

Frank is one of the few diesels on the Arlesdale Railway. Frank is a hard worker and values teamwork, though can get grumpy if things don't go his way.

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite refusing to work out of frustration of not appearing in the Small Railway Engines book and hitting the back of the shed, nearly damaging it, he redeemed himself by helping Rex's train.
  • Token Diesel: The only diesel on the Arlesdale (that we see; Word of God says the railway owns three other diesels named Sigrid of Arlesdale, and Blisters I and II).



Built: 1976

Arrived on Sodor: 1976

Jock 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 his 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.

    Engines of the Culdee Fell Railway 

One of the best examples of one-off characters, the Culdee Fellnote  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. As with the Skarloey and Arlesdale railways, the engines all have direct counterparts on the Snowdon - Ladas for Godred, Enid for Ernest, Wyddfa for Wilfred, Snowdon for Culdee, Moel Siabod for Shane Dooiney, Ralph and Eryri for Alaric and Eric, and Padarn (formerly Sir Harmood) for Patrick (né Lord Harry)

Godred, #1


Built: c.1897

Arrived on Sodor: 1900

Scrapped: 1900

The 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 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 least according to Culdee's story anyway.

  • A Head at Each End: The CFR engines had an additional face on the back of their cabs.
  • Asshole Victim: He was arrogant and overconfident, to the point where the staff actually took him apart to find out what was wrong with him, and it gets him in trouble when his attitude causes him to tumble down the mountain. Culdee doesn't have much pity for him.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: One that came about due to restricted resources. The railway had no money to mend him, and thus he ended up being used for spare parts as a result. The concept is so ghastly, it shut up Sir Handel and Duncan.
  • Killed Off for Real: Or was he? No seriously, we have no idea, it's a Continuity Snarl. All There in the Manual confirms that yes, he was, and out-of-universe, it was so that children would not have to worry about his...rather cruel demise. It's telling that in the present-day, he's nowhere to be seen on the CFR.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Was named after King Godred Crovan, which probably contributed to his arrogant personality.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Lord Harry/Patrick. Both of them were arrogant engines, much of it stemming from their prestigious names (A Sudrian King for Godred and the owner of the CFR for Lord Harry), and caused much trouble on the railway until their behaviors caused them to have accidents. But while Lord Harry's accident was minor and ended up being a slice of Humble Pie that caused him to get his act together and earn the new name of Patrick, Godred's accident was incredibly severe and he never earned any chance of redeeming himself and was thus cannibalized for spare parts. It's even lampshaded, as No. 6 hearing of the tale legitimately worried him, despite his proclamations otherwise.

Culdee, #4


Built: 1899

Arrived on Sodor: 1900

The 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.

  • A Head at Each End: The CFR engines had an additional face on the back of their cabs.
  • Bilingual Bonus: A "culdee" is an archaic Celtic term meaning a mountain-dwelling hermit or anchorite.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Based on a conversation he has with Wilfred about Lord Harry while the aforementioned is derailed on the points.
  • Decoy Protagonist: You'd think that as the first introduced engine of the CFR he'd be the main protagonist or at least carry a full story by himself, but the first story, arguably the only one putting him in a major role, is shared with the Skarloey Engines and doesn't delve into any particular character arc about him, being more of a technical flashback showcasing how the Mountain Engines work. The next story focuses on Godred, and the final two are about Lord Harry/Patrick.
  • Nice Guy: Just a rather pleasant, friendly engine, who enjoys chatting to Skarloey and Rheneas during his layover at their sheds.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Similar to Duke, after scaring Duncan and Sir Handel straight with his story of Godred.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: The entire point of the Godred story. It scared the wheels off of Sir Handel and Duncan, and while No. 6 dismissed it at first, he did take the implications seriously.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Assuming that the part of the story about Godred's remains being used for the other Mountain Engines parts isn't true. According to the writing, Skarloey and Rheneas know that Culdee made the story up, but Word of God states that it was actually true.

Patrick (Formerly Lord Harry), #6


Built: 1962

Arrived on Sodor: 1962

One 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.

  • A Head at Each End: The CFR engines had an additional face on the back of their cabs.
  • Determinator: Fought his way through gale-force winds to reach the summit and rescue the stranded hikers in "Devil's Back".
  • Heel–Face Turn: Becomes a more humble engine in the ending.
  • Humble Pie: Got served this when stuck on the points and was relegated to maintenance work, with his name taken away to boot. Having to deal with an actually dangerous situation likewise helped rein him in.
  • Jerkass: Like Godred, he was ill mannered and arrogant. That is until he redeems himself.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Deconstructed. Part of his poor attitude came from recklessness and this ultimately bit him in the cab when it gets him in trouble. He also learns that this is a terrible attitude to have in legitimately serious situations in the last story of the book, and thus while he is willing to take risks by the end, he knows when they are needed, and when they are showing off otherwise.
  • Meaningful Rename: Twice. The first time, his name was taken away since associating the name of the owner of the railway with such a troublesome engine would be bad PR, not to mention a punishnment for his bad behavior. The second time, he is renamed Patrick after one of the saved hikers, as a sign that he has redeemed himself.
  • You Are Number 6: Literally! His name gets removed as punishment for his recklessness.

Other engines mentioned are:

  • Ernest, #2
  • Wilfred, #3
  • Shane Dooiney, #5 (by number only in Mountain Engines and by name in The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways)
  • Alaric, #7
  • Eric, #8

    Miscellaneous Engines 



A blue tender engine who visited Sodor in 1922.

  • Jerkass: It was stated that he was incredibly rude and spiteful to the point where Awdry punished him by not featuring him in any stories.
  • No Name Given: Though following the release of the infamous YouTube series Sodor: The Dark Times, he is often named Alfred.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: His only book appearance was The Three Railway Engines. It was stated that he was sent to the Other Railway due to his terrible behavior.



Another blue tender engine who visited Sodor in 1922.

  • Jerkass: Like 98462, he was terribly rude and spiteful.
  • No Name Given: Though following the release of the infamous YouTube series Sodor: The Dark Times, he is often named Cecil.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Like 98462, he was sent away to the Other Railway due to his bad behavior.

The Red Tender Engine(s)

4-6-2 (The First Red Engine)
L&YR Class 28 0-6-0 (The Second Red Engine)
First Red Engine
Second Red Engine

A unnamed red tender engine who appeared in "Edward's Day Out" and "The Sad Story of Henry".

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: It's unknown what happened to the red engine after the events of the first book.
  • Decomposite Character: In William Middleton's illustrations, the first and second red engines were originally depicted as the same character in both "Edward's Day Out" and "The Sad Story of Henry", but in C. Reginald Dalby's illustrations, the second red engine is a different character because of the different shape.
  • Jerkass: The first red engine was among the other four big engines who made fun of Edward in "Edward's Day Out".
  • No Name Given: Though in fandoms, the second red engine is often named Winston or Eagle.

The Foreign Engine

(LMS "Patriot" Class 4-6-0)

A tender engine from the London Midland and Scottish Railway. Also known as the Big City Engine.

  • Jerkass: Is rather pompous and conceited.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: He argued all evening and morning with Gordon and Duck London's central station is called 'Euston', though all were unaware London being the capital city, has more than one big station. Pulling trains there, you'd think he'd already know that.
  • No Name Given: Even the Wooden Railway Line called him the "Big City Engine" rather than by a proper name.

Jinty and Pug

(LMS 3F 0-6-0T) (Jinty), (LMS 0F Kitson 0-4-0ST) (Pug)

Built: 1924-1931 (Jinty), 1932 (Pug)
Visited Sodor: 1956
Two ex-LMS tank engines from British Railways and are old friends of Percy.

  • A Dog Named "Dog": Jinty and Pug are a Jinty and a Pug. They're simply named after the nickname for their classes.
  • Old Friend: They are old friends of Percy.
  • Those Two Guys: Appeared together and generally don't seem that different.
  • The Voiceless: Pug never talks. It's not very clear in his illustration if he has a face or not.

City of Truro

(GWR 3700 4-4-0)

Built: 1903

Visited Sodor: 1957

Real life history of City of Truro on The Other Wiki. The locomotive is currently owned by the National Railway Museum, and is on a short term lease to the Museum of the Great Western Railway.

  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Duck's claim to Gordon that City of Truro "went 100 miles an hour before you were drawn or thought of!" has been called into question in real-life railway circles, with some doubt having been expressed over the accuracy of the stopwatch timings, making Gordon's skepticism Hilarious in Hindsight.
  • Humble Hero: Never boasts about his famous run in 1904, and for good reason - The Great Western prioritized on safety and didn't want to frighten their customers their trains were running at dangerous speeds. It wasn't until years later they were begrudgingly forced to admit Truro's accomplishment. They didn't even want to preserve him in the 1930s, the LNER where Gordon and Flying Scotsman hail from wanted him.
  • Nice Guy: Fame never went to his smokebox, he's friendly and approachable to everyone, even whistling happily at Edward who remarked he was very kind.
  • The Paragon: To Duck, to whom he is the symbol of all things Great Western.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: When he visits Sodor, he's wearing his 1900s Great Western paint scheme and pre-1912 number of 3440.note 
  • Unknown Rival: Truro has no idea Gordon is very jealous of him, mocking him for having no dome while wanting to surpass his speed record, unaware of his loose dome.


(BR Class 08 0-6-0DM)
Built: 1952

Visited Sodor: 1957

When Diesel came on trial to the North Western Railway, he boasted about diesel being "revolutionary". As a result, he got into an accident with some old, rusty trucks, which made the trucks sing rude songs about him. Diesel believed that Duck had made the trucks laugh at him and decided to pay him out by spreading rumors that Duck had made names for Gordon, Henry, and James, but then got too big for his buffers and told lies about Henry, possibly as part of a plot to slowly get the steam engines sent away and replaced with diesels. Diesel was found out by The Fat Controller and sent back to the Other Railway in disgrace. That is until he was brought back to help on Thomas' Branch Line while Percy was getting repairs, much to Thomas and Toby's displeasure. After destroying some trucks, Diesel was to be sent away again, but in the meantime, he came to Thomas' rescue by putting Clarabel back on the rails. Despite returning to the Other Railway, Diesel is always welcome on Sodor.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Does...does this need any explanation? He's a diesel engine named Diesel, moving on.
  • Anti-Hero: He initially laughed upon hearing Thomas' predicament with Clarabel and only opted to rescue Thomas because the latter's train was blocking the line and preventing Diesel from going home, though he eventually realized that Good Feels Good.
  • Arc Villain: Of Duck and the Diesel Engine.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Appears to be kind (or at least polite), but later shows his prejudice towards steam engines.
  • Break the Haughty: Happened to him when tried to pull a line of trucks.
  • Dark Messiah: Is painted pitch black and preaches about diesels being "revolutionary".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Not impressed by his oily behaviour and boasting, Duck attempted to humble Diesel by leaving him to his own devices in a yard of dilapidated trucks. However after Diesel does an exceptionally bad job of things and gets mocked by the trucks (which wasn't Duck's intent), he gained a vendetta against Duck for tricking him, and attempted to spread malicious lies about him in hope of getting him thrown off the main line in disgrace.
  • Evil Counterpart: Aptly, he is one to Duck. The Class 08 was one of the most numerous diesel types in Britain just as Duck being a Great Western pannier tank was one of the most common steam types in Britain. The two pair nicely against each other for being hardly anything special in the railway world, but instead both common workhorses, yet both boast about their inherent reilability. The difference however, is that Duck can put his money where his mouth is, having a legitimately good work ethic and the ability to rise above his faults. Diesel, by contrast, has a nasty temper and spiteful nature that gets in the way of his work and buries what good exists within him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards the steam engines.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Pride in his first appearance. Diesel hated being humbled and sought to get Duck sent away all over his own failures.
    • Wrath in his second. The trucks immediately managed to get under his frames and he responded by smashing them into the buffers, which nearly got him banished from Sodor for good. Even in his debut, this could be seen with his brutal way of pulling the trucks, and his response to learning that Duck set him up was to scheme a way to get rid of him.
  • Hate Sink: He's very cruel to Duck and the other steam engines and the fact he told lies about him and Henry will surely get him underneath your skin.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: It turned out that The Fat Controller never believed Diesel and had sent Duck away to give Diesel enough room to cause his own downfall by spreading lies about Henry, which got him caught.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In Thomas and the Evil Diesel after rescuing Thomas.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Convinced himself he doesn't need to learn, as he already knows everything. Diesel gets his Humble Pie when he tried to "revolutionize the yard" by moving trucks so old and seized-up no engine worth their wheels would ever try to move.
  • Malicious Slander: How he got back at Duck, but was then found out when he tried the same on Henry.
  • Offscreen Karma: Gets sent away in "A Close Shave", but this is never shown to the reader. Not even the Annuals, which went into detail on how he got the insulting nicknames for the big engines, showed it.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Despite initially trying to be good, Diesel wasn't received warmly by Thomas and Toby when he was brought back. Not even the Fat Controller was pleased, knowing full well of the mishaps Diesel caused on his first visit. When Diesel manages to pull off a genuinely good deed however, they start to accept Diesel and he is noted as being welcome to Sodor should he ever be brought back.
    • By the time Diesel was brought back, the Class 08 was itself considered an aging (if still reliable) class; but was nowhere near cutting edge... meaning his boasts of being the upcoming tech would no longer be realistically true. It wouldn't be too long until many of the Class 08's were removed from mainline service and taken into preservation or industrial use, not unlike the steam engines they replaced.
  • Starter Villain: In terms of the Myth Arc of The Railway Series, Diesel can be considered this. He was the first diesel to be introduced to Sodor, and thus the first real representation of modernisation; as an oily, deceitful, harmful sort, but at the same time, is a lowly shunting engine. Later villainous diesels such as D711, Spamcan, and Old Stuck-Up share most of Diesel's arrogance and disdain for the steam engines, but are bigger mainline engines and thus pose a much greater threat to the ideals of steam traction.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: The trucks sing "Pop Goes The Diesel" after his mishap.
  • Visionary Villain: Seeks to see the diesels improve the railway.

Stepney the Bluebell Engine, #55

(LB&SCR A1x 0-6-0T)
Built: 1875

Visited Sodor: 1962

One of the various real engine cameos in the series, with the real Stepney preserved at the Bluebell Railway.

  • Nice Guy: He's a very courteous sort, even managing to win over Thomas (through flattery, mind you).
  • Shout-Out: Stepney lists the names of various engines preserved on the Bluebell Railway, all real life engines that exist on the line alongside Stepney.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: As a preserved engine, he still wears his LB&SCR colours, Stroudley's famous "Improved Engine Green", which wasn't really green at all, but a sort of brown-ish mustard yellow.


(BR Class 40 1Co-Co1)

Built: 1958/1962

Visited Sodor: 1962

Scrapped: 1984

During Stepney's visit, D4711 was sent to Sodor to assist the engines with goods and express work, but made snobbish insults to the other engines by saying they were out-of-date. He received his comeuppance when an inspector's bowler hat jammed in his air intake, leaving Duck and Stepney to take the Express for him.

  • Break the Haughty / Laser-Guided Karma: Gets his air intake jammed by an inspector's bowler hat. Later ends up finding himself obsolete when his class, the BR Class 40, was relegated from express workings due to their lack of electric train heating and being underpowered for their weight, quickly being replaced by Class 47 and Class 55 diesels.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards the steam engines.
  • Jerkass: He is very snobbish and arrogant towards the steam engines.
  • No Name Given: In a similar vein to Diesel, D4711 is not given a proper name, even being referred to as Diesel as well. The books rely on his number, the Wooden Railway line calls him by his TV Series number of D262, while the TV Series itself called him 'Class 40', referencing his build. Some fans have called him "Bowler", referencing the bowler hat he sucked into his air intake.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gave one to the steam engines by calling them out of date, much to their anger.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Quietly slinks away from Sodor after his air intake is cleared up and Stepney leaves. No-one misses him or cares that he left in the first place.
  • Smug Snake: "Not bad. At least you're all clean." That pretty much sums up his attitude right there, folks.

Flying Scotsman

(LNER A3 4-6-2)
Built: 1923

Visited Sodor: 1967

The real life Flying Scotsman would have been owned by Alan Pegler at the time of the locomotive's cameo in The Railway Series. The real engine currently resides at the National Railway Museum in York.

  • Humble Hero: He may be famous, but he greatly respects Gordon and Sodor for being a proper railway.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: He doesn't actually like having two tenders which briefly earned him Henry's jealously, telling Gordon the mainland is a mess, as there's hardly any water towers or coal stages around anymore and he's lucky to have a controller to knows how to run a normal railway.
  • Last of His Kind: Like Gordon, he is also the last Class A3 locomotive after the others were scrapped.

D199 (Spamcan)

(BR Class 46 "Peak" 1Co-Co1)

Built: 1963

Visited Sodor: 1967

A rude diesel engine from the Other Railway. He along with D7101 visited Sodor and made himself an enemy of the steam engines stating that "steam engines spoil our image", but was shut up by the engines and D7101. The next day, he failed with a train of oil tankers at a signal box, blocking a crossing, and Henry, who had a jammed regulator, had to pull D199 (now called "Spamcan" after being to as such by the signalmen), the oil tankers, D7101, and the passengers to the next station. The Fat Controller wasn't pleased with D199 and sent him away in disgrace, but D7101 (later named "Bear") stayed on Sodor.

  • Break the Haughty / Humiliation Conga: Perhaps in an even more insulting manner than D4711; breaking down on the mainline and proving Duck's criticisms of him correct is one thing, being rescued by a steam engine is another, but to top it off, his cherished nickname of "Old Reliable" is rebuffed thanks to the railway staff and he ends up being called "Spamcan" by even the narrator. He ends up trailing far, far behind the calvacade of himself, Henry, and D7101, is forgotten about by pretty much everyone, and is left to be pulled home in plain sight by Donald, helpless to make it on his own.
  • Fantastic Racism: Just like D4711, he is prejudiced towards steam engines.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Spamcan" and "Old Reliable", although the latter nickname is less deserved after breaking down. He even ends up being referred to as Spamcan in the narration after the former nickname is coined, though the Fat Controller still calls him by his number.
  • It's All About Me: When he broke down at a level crossing, rather than trying to move his train to a siding to get out of 7101's way, all he did was demand that a fitter fix him on the spot.
  • Jerkass: Instantly established himself by talking contemptuously of steam engines to D7101 in clear hearing range of Duck and James.
  • The Load: Despite all three engines suffering from failing systems, Henry and D7101 still tried their hardest to get all their trains through to the station. Spamcan however, just sulked.
  • Tempting Fate: He claims that nothing ever happens to diesels. The next day, he broke down at a level crossing.

Stanley (MSR No. #2)

(Baldwin class 10-12-D 4-6-0PT)

Built: 1917

Arrived on Sodor: After 1917

Scrapped: 1946

  • Adaptation Name Change: To "Smudger" in the TV series, presumably to eliminate any tasteless potty humor relating to "Number 2", along with a class change so as to save on money by reusing Rheneas' model.
    • Fridge Brilliance on the TV show's part... "Jennings" on Awdry's MSR model layout was a Fletcher Jennings 0-4-0T like the real life Dolgoch, and the fictional Rheneas and Smudger, so at least Smudger somewhat still resembles a Railway Series character on the MSR even if not Stanley himself.
  • All There in the Manual: The Sodor history books give a longer version of his story - not least his name, Stanley, but also that he rode roughly because he was badly regauged from 1' 11 5/8" to 2' 3" when he was bought by the Mid Sodor Railway, compounded by his blasé attitude towards derailments.
  • Drives Like Crazy: A rough rider due to hasty regaugeing, Stanley was prone to derailments.
  • Eagleland: Type 2. The only locomotive of an American class on Sodor, and he's arrogant, careless and drawls.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He gets converted into a pumping engine ("generator" in the TV series) and later got scrapped when the railway was closed.

Old Stuck-Up a.k.a. Diesel 40125

(BR Class 40 1Co-Co1)

Built: 1960

Visited Sodor: c.1980/81

Scrapped: 1981

Diesel 40125 was shown around the yard by BoCo, but when he saw the steam engines in the shed, he refused to go further and insulted the railway for keeping them in service, which made a furious James refer him as "Old Stuck-Up". He received his comeuppance when he crashed into the back of the sheds after slipping on cleaning fluid on the rails. He was sent away after being given a stern talking to by the Fat Controller.

  • Fantastic Racism: Towards the steam engines, perhaps to cover up the fact that his class was fast being withdrawn by the time the story was set.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Old Stuck Up", which seems to stick as a name; even the narrator calls him that.
  • Jerkass: His rude and arrogant attitude towards the steam engines earned him the nickname "Old-Stuck Up" from James.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Crashing into the back of the sheds which later gets him sent away by the Fat Controller. Bonus points for it happening because of oil stains left behind by BoCo and Bear rather than anything the steam engines had to do.
  • Post-Final Boss: Narratively speaking, he's the last holdout of the anti-steam attitudes of the modernisation period, which had already climaxed with Spamcan's humiliation and Oliver's escape in Enterprising Engines. He notably only boasts on how the mainland railways require special permission for steam engines to run, instead of boasting about taking over Sodor the way Diesel and Spamcan did, and is said to only be visiting rather than being given a trial run. His main role in James and the Diesel Engines is to provide some contextual reasoning for James' anti-diesel attitude, and after his disgrace, there are notably no more antagonistic diesels in the books whatsoever.

Green Arrow

(LNER V2 2-6-2)
Built: 1936

Iron Duke

(GWR Iron Duke Class 4-2-2)

Built: 1985


(LNER A4 4-6-2)
Built: 1938

Wilbert the Forest Engine

(Hunslet Austerity tank engine 0-6-0ST)
Built: 1953

Visited Sodor: 1993

The real preserved Wilbert is currently stored at the Dean Forest Railway.


(Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST)

Built: 1943

  • Allergic to Routine: Sixteen hated running the same route through the steelworks and wanted to disobey danger notices so something interesting would happen.
  • Composite Character: Sixteen has elements of shared history with several real life Hunslet's in British preservation.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Subverted in a sense, considering he got better than he deserved as outlined by Wilbert. Some preservation people bought him and he now resides in the Midlands. He was more lucky to gain a happy ending than legitimately earning it, as his original owner had no plans to mend him.
  • Jerkass: He was a naughty, careless, arrogant and awkward engine. He hopefully grew out of this act after falling from an embankment that was deemed unsafe.
  • Karma Houdini: A preservation society wanted him and he now works in the Midlands. Wilbert remarked he got better than he deserved considering so many well-behaved engines were scrapped during the disastrous Modernisation Plan.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Tilting over the tip and lands on his side on the ground.
  • Never My Fault: After his driver scolded him for passing the board, Sixteen pins the blame on the trucks for pulling him past it, even though he asked them to.
  • No Name Given: Just a number. In fandoms, he's commonly named Sheffield.


(FR J1 2-4-2T)
Built: 1872
Rebuilt: 1891

Other Mid Sodor Railway Engines

On the Rev.'s layout, there is a number of Mid Sodor Engines


    Rolling Stock 

The rolling stock consists of passenger coaches, trucks, vans, and tankers.

Annie and Clarabel

(LB&SCR coaches No. 100)

Built: 1896

Arrived on Sodor: 1915

Two of Thomas' faithful coaches which he was rewarded with after saving James from a nasty accident. They now are carried by Thomas on his branch line.

  • 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.
  • 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, as shown when Daisy insults them.


(GER Wisbech & Upwell passenger coach No. 7)

Built: 1884

Arrived on Sodor: 1951

Toby's faithful coach who worked with him in their old railway.

  • The Quiet One: Has only had dialogue on very rare occasions, and wasn't depicted with a face until the forty-first book, "Thomas and Victoria".

Toad The Brakevan, #53681

(GWR 16-ton brakevan)

Built: 1940

Arrived on Sodor: 1967

Oliver'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.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": "Toad" was the GWR telegraphic code for his type of brake van. So he's a Toad named "Toad".
  • Nice Guy: One of the very few trucks you could trust in a train.
  • Token Heroic Orc: As noted above, Toad is one of the very few trucks who doesn't try to cause accidents whenever possible. Possibly Lampshaded by whatever Douglas was about to ask about Toad when he rescued Oliver, before his driver interrupted.
  • Verbal Tic: Tends to address people with the pronoun "Mr." and "Miss".

Agnes, Ruth, Lucy, Jemima and Beatrice

Built: 1865

Arrived on Sodor: 1865

The oldest coaches on the Skarloey Railway, with Beatrice being the guard's van.

  • All of the Other Reindeer: All four coaches look down on Beatrice for "smelling of fish and cheese." But as the guard's van, Skarloey always takes her along.
  • Berserk Button: They don't like being called "cattle trucks" which Sir Handel called them.
  • Bullying the Dragon: During his first run with them, the coaches had no qualms bumping Skarloey for handling them roughly by accident. In his later years, they cower when he rebukes them for their bad behaviour. It seems Skarloey had proved his prowess to them within that time.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: They made it their duty to pay out Sir Handel for insulting them. Even when he tried to be nicer to them, they continued being awkward, and bumped him off the rails the moment he gave them a jolt by accident. Skarloey severely scolded them for this, leading them to have a Heel Realization.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite how rude and pushy they can be around an engine if they're rude to them first, they're can be nice if an engine treats them properly. They are also shown to be genuinely sorry if their antagonising has bad repercussions for their railway or passengers.
  • Light Is Not Good: While not villainous per se, they are among few coaches that can be vindictive and antagonise or even cause accidents for engines they don't like, behaviour that is more commonly associated with trucks.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: In Peter Sam and the Refreshment Lady, Jemima is revealed to be deaf.
  • Tomboyish Voice: Agnes is described as deep-voiced.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: After Sir Handel accidentally jolts them to stop for a sheep on the line, the coaches, already bitter with him, bumped him hard off the rails in a rage, leaving Sir Handel damaged and nearly harming their passengers. They meekly apologise afterwards to an angry Skarloey, who is now the only active engine left to push them.

Troublesome Trucks

The rolling stock who always annoy and play tricks on the engines, mostly causing their accidents.

  • Disproportionate Retribution: This is pretty much what the engines will face almost all the time. If they can find any reason to send one hurtling off the track, they'll certainly do it.
  • Enemy Mine: They helped Percy teach Bulstrode a lesson in "Special Attraction".
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: God forbid if you mistreat them.
    • They do not attempt to cause harm or serious mischief to Edward, because he treats them all with kindness and patience.
    • This goes for Peter Sam as well to a lesser degree, as he is said to never bump cars unless they misbehave, and when some trucks confuse him for Sir Handel and want to wreck him, the other trucks, who realize their error, plead with them to stop. Unfortunately, this is not enough to prevent them from causing Peter Sam's famous quarry accident, and it is not shown how the trucks feel about getting the wrong engine.
    • The trucks at Toby's quarry seem to have some respect for him, in "Percy's Predicament" they were annoyed to see Percy fetching them instead of Toby. They angrily protested: "This is Toby's place, Percy has no right to come in here and boss us around. Pay Percy out! Pay Percy out!"
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: Love laughing at the engines for having unfortunate mishaps, sometimes by singing rudely at them.
  • Hive Mind: All trucks in a yard or in a train will share each other's thoughts, feelings, and speech. The only exceptions are named trucks, such as S. C. Ruffey and Hector.
  • It Amused Us: Their reason for causing mischief.
  • Jerkasses: Trucks are never known for behaving well around the engines, especially the ballast trucks, who are said to be the worst behaved trucks on the line.
  • Karma Houdinis: They always get away with causing the accidents and The Fat Controller will blame the engines for them. Of course, it's as much "getting away with it" as they smash themselves to pieces in a rail accident in the process. Granted, it never stops them laughing about it anyway.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Sometimes, they will play tricks on other engines who are being arrogant and rude to 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.
  • Killed Off for Real: A few trucks are shown to be utterly destroyed in various episodes.
  • Lack of Empathy: The trucks will stop at nothing to enjoy playing around; they will show little to no concern for the well being of any character, whether engines or humans. There are notable exceptions however: some trucks confused Sir Handel with Peter Sam once, and wanted to wreck him. The other trucks who realized their error, pleaded with them to stop. Likewise, they weren't happy about losing some of their members to Bulstrode.
  • Runaway Train: They always cause this to happen. They either push an engine down a hill or break away from their coupling.
  • Truth in Television: During the steam era in Britain, many goods trains were ran in a "loose unfitted" style, where the couplings were slack allowing trucks to bang against each other; and there were no automatic brakes on the train meaning all the braking had to be done via the engine brakes (and if equipped its tender brakes) and the brake van. For safety these were usually limited to slower speeds, but accidents like those in the Railway Series were not uncommon as trucks could surge and push a train forward as the slack between couplings adjusted going up and down grades. British goods trains were finally outfitted with automatic brakes on each car in a process that went on after steam was retired up into the 1980's.

The Spiteful Brakevan

(BR 20-ton brakevan)

Built: 1929

Arrived on Sodor: ?

Scrapped: 1959

A brakevan who 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 didn't care any more about him after Douglas broke him up.
  • Chronic Villainy: He was severely taught to behave by Donald, but then returned to play tricks on James, which didn't go well later on...
  • Eviler than Thou: The troublesome trucks play their tricks because they're bored and want to have fun. The spiteful brakevan, however, is an asshole, who simply wants to spite everyone he comes into contact with. Subverted later when one of his pranks backfires onto him, the trucks are having far too much fun to listen to his pleas to stop.
  • Jerkass: There's a reason he's called "Spiteful".
  • Karmic Death: He was broken by Douglas as the latter pushed his hardest up on Gordon's Hill.
  • Killed Off for Real: He was the only character in the series to permanently die.
  • Smug Snake: "You can't. I'm essential."

Alice and Mirabel

(BR Hawksworth Autocoaches)

Built: 1954

Arrived on Sodor: 1967

Two Great Western autocoaches pulled by Duck on the Little Western.

  • Adapted Out: They were never adapted into the TV series, and their roles were replaced by three Red Express coaches in the season 3 episode "Bulgy". In the Season 18 episode, "Duck and the Slip Coaches", the Slip Coaches have become Duck's standard coaches.
  • Punny Name: Their names appear to be a play on "Annie and Clarabel".

Isabel and Dulcie

(BR Hawksworth Autocoaches)

Built: 1954

Arrived on Sodor: 1967

Two Great Western autocoaches pulled by Oliver on the Little Western. Isabel joined Oliver and Toad when they escaped from the Other Railway while Dulcie was later rescued by the Fat Controller to give to Oliver to help run the Little Western.

  • Adapted Out: Like Alice and Mirabel, they were never adapted in the television series and their roles as Oliver's coaches were replaced by red branch line coaches.
  • Punny Name: Isabel's name is a pun on the fact that there "is a bell" on her.

S.C. Ruffey

(7-plank mineral wagon)

Scrapped: 1967

A ballast wagon who made fun of Oliver's accident with the turntable along with the other trucks, but Oliver sought retribution later on.

  • Asshole Victim: He broke into smithereens after Oliver pulled a train with the most troublesome trucks. No one will miss him for teasing the NWR's no. 2 Great Western engine.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He told his trucks to "pull back" so Oliver would have difficulties pulling his train... only for Oliver to pull him harder.
  • Jerkass: He led a chorus of trucks that teased Oliver for falling in a turntable.
  • Karmic Death: Scruffey was pulled apart by Oliver, and when the Fat Controller revealed that it was in poor condition, he was scrapped.


Built: 1882

A former Furness Railway coach rescued by Thomas and the Fat Controller from life as a derelict summerhouse in someone's back garden. Now coupled to Toby and Henrietta.

  • Old Friend: Knew Edward when they both worked for the Furness Railway on the British mainland.

    Non-rail vehicles 

Terence the Tractor

Built: 1934

  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Received this from Thomas, but after rescuing him from the snow, he gained his respect.
    • In "Toby Takes the Road", he displays a bit of this by mocking the engines about having their rails scrapped and being more like him.

Bertie the Bus

Built: 1929/1948

  • Put on a Bus: Ironically, this applies to him. After having had a starring role in the "Thomas and Bertie" story, he only makes two further appearances in the entire Railway Series.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Thomas.

Trevor the Traction Engine

Built: 1927

  • Friend to All Children: He is fond of children and loves giving them rides.
  • Irony: For all the times the growth of road traffic was treated as a threat to the railway, Trevor was the first steam-powered engine to be explicitly threatened with scrapping.
  • Sleepy Head: He enjoys dozing off in the sun.
  • The Vicar: Trevor is bought and restored by a kindly vicar (who is also a railway enthusiast)note .
  • Younger than They Look: Trevor is usually depicted with an elderly persona, even though he is younger than engines like Gordon and Henry.

Harold the Helicopter

Built: 1949

  • Fantastic Racism: Thinks railways are slow and out of date.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Was something of an antagonist in his "Percy and Harold", but would later help Percy in "Percy's Promise", and has since been portrayed in a positive light.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though he thinks railways are not much useful, he is still friends (or a sort) with Percy.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Percy.

George the Steamroller

Built: 1920/29


Built: 1926


Built: 1960/61

  • Fantastic Racism: Towards the railways. Seemingly mixed with a slightly odd strain of Strawman Political - he talks about the coming of the Revolution that would free "us workers" from Railway Tyranny.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He tried to beat Duck in a race by taking a shortcut - which involved him trying to drive under a bridge. The bridge isn't high enough, and he gets stuck underneath.
  • 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.
  • Stealth Pun: Bulgy is an AEC Bridgemaster, specifically built to be shorter than conventional double-deckers so they wouldn't get stuck under bridges. Needless to say, that's exactly what happens to him.

    Human characters 

The Fat Controller

See Charles Topham Hatt 
See Stephen Topham Hatt 

''The Island Of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways'' reveals that the NWR has had three different controllers from the Hatt family, the first Topham Hatt (1880-1956), Charles Topham Hatt (1914-1997) and Stephen Topham Hatt (1941-). The first was awarded a baronetcy in Sodor.

  • Colonel Badass: Charles Topham Hatt joined the Royal Engineers During the War, served with distinction, and was a colonel by the end.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Stephen Topham Hatt is first seen as a child in Toby the Tram Engine.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Engines and drivers usually refer to him as the Fat Controller. Justified as it is his title and by all accounts, he is their superior.
  • Family Business: Jane Brown, the first Mrs Hatt, is the sister of Sir Handel Brown, "The Owner" of the Skarloey railway. Charles, her son and second Controller, wed Amanda Croarie, daughter of the owner of the Ffarquhar quarry company. Both Fat and Thin Controllers "went shares" to build the Arlesdale Railway, meaning almost all rail and related industries on Sodor belong to the Hatt family.
  • Identical Grandson: Guess Stephen had to get overweight to fit in his grandpa's post.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: While they do have some slight differences in behavior (and the second and third temporarily donned a mustache at one point), all three Hatts all look exactly and act almost the same as each other and unless you're told or did the research, will likely not even realize that there were even 3 Topham Hatts in the first place. It's not surprising that the TV show just decided to simplify it to only one Fat Controller.
  • Kissing Cousins: Stephen married his distant cousin Helen Margaret in 1970.
  • Legacy Character: Three so far, with a fourth generation, Richard Topham Hatt, set to inherit control of the railway after his father Stephen.
  • Pet the Dog: Engines who work hard against adversity and without complaint, always make him proud, and he's always quick to tell them how proud he is of them. For instance, after Duck and his crew prevented a serious accident in 'A Close Shave', he informed the Great Western engine he would personally go and tell City of Truro all about his bravery and heroism. Duck could only blush...
  • Punny Name: Always wears a top hat, after the custom of Edwardian railway-owning/directing gentlemen. (The first actually was an Edwardian gentleman; presumably his descendants just know good marketing when they see it.)
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: While his patience can be stretched, he (often) recognizes when mishaps were beyond the engines' control, and is always willing to give them chances to prove themselves.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Was an engineer in his own right, before becoming director of the entire North Western region. He knew Sir William Stanier and Sir Nigel Gresley, both among the most famous locomotive engineers the world had ever seen. His good standing with them ensured Gordon was purchased, and Henry was rebuilt, to give the railway the powerhouses it needed.
  • Silence, You Fool!: Whenever he is tired of the engines blurbing or whistling randomly.
  • So Proud of You: Often calls the engines very useful when they do a tremendous job.
  • Stern Controller: The Fat Controller cares for all of his engines, but he is strict and will reprimand them if they get out of line or when they cause an accident.
  • The Engineer: the first Fat Controller was not only a buisnessman, but a skilled mechanical & civil engineer having designed the Coffee-Pot locomotives that used to run on Thomas's future branchline; and the lift bridge connecting Sodor to the mainland. His son Charles Topham Hatt later served with the Royal Engineers in World War II.

The Thin Controller

Controller of the Skarloey Railway.
  • Legacy Character: Like the Fat Controller, there have been two - Mr Peter Sam and his son, Roger Sam.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Mr. Peter Sam is based on former Talyllyn Railway manager Edward Thomas. As the Talyllyn became a preserved railway, Edward stayed with the group working as the railway director to 1967, passing away a few years later.[1] Edward Thomas's family home near the railway's main Twynn station, would eventually be purchased by the railway and is preserved.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: When Sir Handel tries to play sick again to avoid partaking in a television event, the Thin Controller jokingly threatens to take him to pieces as demonstration. This made Sir Handel think twice. Of course, Sir Handel wasn't actually taken to pieces, but was still shown off at the works, to his displeasure.
  • Stern Controller: Mr. Peter Sam was very strict and reprimands his engines when they get into trouble. Mainly Sir Handel and Duncan.

The Small Controller

Real name Fergus Duncan, he runs the Arlesdale Railway.
  • Ironic Nickname: Besides running the "Small" Railway, they call him the Small Controller because he's the tallest of the three.

The Two Clergymen

The Fat Clergyman and the Thin Clergyman are two railway enthusiasts who occasionally visit the Island, because the Thin One writes children's books about the engines.
  • Creator Cameo: The Thin Clergyman is Rev. Awdry himself, while his friend the Fat Clergyman is the Rev. Teddy Boston.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: While the two are first identified as the Thin and Fat Clergymen in Small Railway Engines, the kindly Vicar of Wellsworth who rescues Trevor from the scrap heap in "Saved From Scrap" is also based on Teddy Boston and therefore may also be the Fat Clergyman. However, it is ambiguous enough that it may be a case of Decomposite Character instead.
  • Stumbling Into The Plot: The Fat Clergyman is the one who finds Duke in "Sleeping Beauty" when he takes a bad step and winds up falling through the roof of Duke's shed.

Charlie Sand and Sidney Heaver

Edward's driver and fireman.
  • Ascended Extra: Charlie and Sid are the only engine crewmembers to be given names in the series.
  • Meaningful Name: Charlie Sand is so named because one of his duties is to sand the rails when the rails get slippery so that the engine can grip the rails while Sidney Heaver is so named because it's his job to heave coal into the firebox.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: See Meaningful Name above.

Other Human Characters

British Royal Family

  • Invisible President: The Queen's hand is illustrated opening a door, but she is not physically illustrated elsewhere in the series. Prince Charles is illustrated in full, but only in a distant crowd scene.
  • The Good Queen: Queen Elizabeth II is highly complimentary of the locomotives during her visit to Sodor after her coronation in 1953. Future appearances of Prince Charles (with a brief mention of Princess Diana too) are further complimentary of them; and avoid any real life controversy or drama surrounding the royal family.
  • The High Queen: Again Elizabeth II during her appearance in the series, her appearance is treated as very regal and Sir Topham Hatt bows to her as she is exiting her train.

Alan Pegler

  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Only referred to as "The Owner" of Flying Scotsman, the distinctive mark's of Alan Pegler's ownership of the engine such as the double tenders and LNER green paint, make it obvious who Scotsman's owner is.

Stone Throwing Boys

  • Ash Face: After Henry sneezes on them (and the original text uses a certain slur to describe them implying Blackface, which has been edited out of later reprints).
  • Jerkass: Their prank of throwing stones at a passing train may seem harmless to them, but is a serious threat of injury to those onboard the train.

William Stanier

  • All There in the Manual: Only mentioned in The Island of Sodor book. It is implied that Henry's successful rebuild at Crewe into something resembling a Black 5 locomotive was Stanier owing a favor to the Fat Controller.
  • Historical Domain Character: With Stanier having passed in 1965 he was a contemporary to many of the early Railway Series books, but his first appearance in The Island of Sodor book was in 1987, 22 years after his real life death.
  • Mad Doctor: well... when it comes to locomotives at least. Stanier modified both Gordon and Henry extensively on the behalf of the North Western; somehow gutting Gordon's conjugated valve gear and replacing it with a simple two cylinder design and completely transforming Henry from his Cartoon Creature form into a more standard Black 5 design. Considering the real life rivalry between Stanier and Sir. Nigel Gresley, his extensive in-universe reworking of two Gresley designed engines can be seen as a Take That!
  • Mentor Archetype: For Charles Topham Hatt, with Stanier's friendship with his father; it was Stanier who recommended Charles for his military service during World War II. Its possible Stanier taught Charles a thing or two about steam engines as well.
  • Old Friend: Both Sir Topham Hatt and Stanier are established to be old friends who worked in an apprenticeship together at Swindon for the Great Western Railway, in The Island of Sodor book. Stanier's later career on the LMS meant he served as chief mechanical officer for the railway which interchanged with the North Western at Barrow-In-Furness.

Godred Crovan

  • All There in the Manual: The real life Godred Crovan is established as a pivotal character in Sodor history during The Island of Sodor book, with the station Crovan's Gate named after him.
  • Badass Army: Godred holds the future site of Crovan's Gate against the Norman invaders at a rocky pass with 300 men against 4000 attackers (the size of his army perhaps a reference to the Battle of Thermopylae.)
  • Historical Domain Character: Like many of the characters introduced in the reference book.

Sigrid of Arlesdale

  • Action Girl: Sigrid as the Jarl of the Arlesdale area lead an army against the invading Norman forces in 1094 AD.
  • All There in the Manual: Yet another character who is introduced in The Island of Sodor.
  • Badass Army: Just like King Godred before her, Jarl Sigrid lead a smaller military force against a large foreign force and outsmarted them using tactics and knowledge of the local terrain.
  • Battle Couple: Sigrid's husband Orm joins her against the Norman forces.
  • Church Militant: Sigrid and Orm are honored after their deaths with two carved stones which are ultimately placed in a church yard, depicting their victory against the Norman army as a religious one with an effigy of the crucified Christ carved alongside Sigrid in battle armor.
  • Legacy Character: Her name is later given to one of the diesel locomotives on the Arlesdale Railway.