The Wellsworth Branch - Engines & Rolling Stock


One of the oldest locomotives on the North Western Railway (and indeed, Sodor) Edward has proved his value to the railway time and time again through the years. Kind, forgiving and forever the peacemaker, Edward’s wisdom comes from having learnt lessons in his early years, and remembering such experiences. Always happy to help younger or troubled engines, other engines occasionally consider Edward too old or soft. Old he may be, but the railway would be a much sorrier place without dear old Edward…

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: Furness Railway
LOCO TYPE: FR K2 ‘Larger Seagull’
The Three Railway Engines
CURRENT LIVERY: NWR Blue with Red Lining
CREATOR: Rev. W. Awdry

About the Character

Edward spent his first few years in service for the Furness Railway, hauling trains around the Barrow-in-Furness area and along the Cumbrian coastline to Carlisle and to other destinations in the region. A shy steamer from the outset, attempts to cure this problem met with little success, and when Edward found himself working over Sudrian metals in 1915 to cover for a locomotive crisis, the FR were in no great hurry to have him back. Indeed, when asked by the newly formed NWR if they could purchase the engine, they agreed.

Originally assisting with freight and passenger duties on the Main line across the Island, Edward was gradually superseded by larger, more powerful engines, most notably No.3 Henry and No.4 Gordon. This led to some periods out of traffic, although with the railway becoming busy after the war years Edward was used more and more on the line linking Wellsworth to the harbour town of Brendam, where his smaller size became an asset as the line had only been built as a branch, with weaker bridges. By 1950, the line had had become known as ‘Edward’s Branch Line’, with Wellsworth earning the moniker ‘Edward’s Station’.

Despite his rebuild shortly after arrival on Sodor, Edward was in need of further extensive repairs by 1950, as many of his original parts were becoming increasingly worn. Following a chase along the Main line in 1954, when No.5 James ran away, Edward was promised an Overhaul at Crovan’s Gate, during which time many further improvements were made and a new boiler fitted.

Following this the engine performed without fault for many years, only needing occasional maintenance. A sheared crank-pin caused damage to his frames during one notable incident in 1966, although with care and excellent handling Edward and his crew managed to keep the train moving. During his repairs, NWR D2 BoCo deputised on the branch, and has remained there helping Edward ever since. In subsequent years the workmen have kept a closer eye on their aging engine to keep him in regular traffic. His last overhaul was in the early part of 2007.

Although best known for running his branch line to perfection, Edward has also been sent to carry out rescues along the Main Line over the years. Another duty, that of assisting heavy trains climbing Gordon’s Hill, has been relinquished in recent years following the arrival of Emmeleia, the resident banking engine. Edward also spent a year on secondment to the Ffarquhar line, when a stronger engine was required to help with the goods traffic for the Ulfstead extension and the construction of the new viaduct on the route.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

Although extensively rebuilt after his arrival on Sodor in 1915, Edward started life as a member of the Furness Railway’s K2 class, which were known as the ‘Larger Seagulls’ (the K1’s were known as ‘Seagulls’). Only eight of these were built, in 1896, and all were withdrawn by the 1930’s. In 1913 two locomotives had been fitted with super heaters in their smoke boxes in an attempt to improve steaming, although did not make sufficient improvement and they were removed the following year. It is unconfirmed whether Edward was one of these engines, although he was noted as a particularly shy steamer before his Crovan’s Gate rebuild.


Having arrived on Sodor in 1965, BoCo has proven himself not only ‘versatile’ but reliable and a good friend to many. Good natured and friendly, he was viewed with great suspicion in his first few weeks on the railway, notably by Bill, Ben, James and the Scottish Twins. Happy with his quiet life on Edward’s line, he is more than happy to dash to the rescue of a friend when needed, and has in the past deputised on Express services when things have gone awry!

Important Information

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways
LOCO TYPE: Class 28, Metropolitan Vickers (Metrovick) Diesel Electric Type 2
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: RWS #21 – Main Line Engines
RA: 8
CREATOR: Rev. W. Awdry

About the Character

The Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2 Diesel Electrics, of which 20 were introduced in 1958/9, were not one of the great success stories of the dieselisation era. Although blessed with a relatively high tractive effort for a Type 2 diesel, their unusual wheel arrangement of Co-Bo (6 wheels at the front and 4 at the rear) meant that the class was severely restricted on which routes they could use. Maintenance was also a complicated issue, and the class had such unreliability that with a matter of years the fleet was returned to the manufacturer for repairs. Another unusual problem with the class was the cab windows, which had the unfortunate tendency to fall out while the train was in motion! Having started life working on Express freight on the WCML, they were quickly transferred to the quieter life of Barrow-in-Furness, a sure sign that the British Railways Management hasd endured enough trouble with the problematic class. With so much against them it was perhaps little wonder the class, known as the Class 28 under TOPS, was withdrawn a meagre ten years after introduction.

With the class based at Barrow, it is no surprise that one of the class should find themselves working on Sudrian metals, as BoCo himself did in 1965 while working trains to and from Brendam yards. Here he encountered Bill and Ben for the first time and despite their trickery BoCo has proven himself to be one of the few engines who can control them.

The Fat Controller enquired over keeping the locomotive for trials, and this request was accepted, possibly as British Railways were already planning to lose the class from the ranks anyway. Following successful trials, BoCo was officially purchased, and the workmen at Crovan’s Gate set about trying to rectify some of the failings of the class that led to the withdrawal of the fleet. Fortunately for BoCo these modifications have been a success and he has suffered little trouble during his Sodor career.

To aid with his ‘settling in’ following his run in with both Bill and Ben and later James, he was given a Sodor number, D2. Acting as deputy on the Brendam Line, BoCo is left in charge whenever Edward is away for repairs. He was also left in charge of the line for a year when Edward was seconded to assist with the Ffarquhar to Ulfstead line construction. With BoCo often performing rescues in the vicinity of Gordon’s Hill, a brake tender was especially constructed at Crovan’s Gate in 2003 to assist him with the braking of heavy trains when working over the hill, a vehicle that has provided faultless service to this day.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

D5702 was scrapped in November 1969, having been built in October 1958 and withdrawn almost ten years to the month later in September 1968. Only one of class survives, D5705, which is currently being overhauled at the East Lancashire Railway in with assistance of members of the ‘Class 15 Preservation Society’.



Jinty is a cheerful, cheeky chappy and a former station pilot for Tidmouth Station.  Industrious and hard working, Jinty is now based on Edward's Branch Line, where he takes primary responsibility for passenger services between Wellsworth and Brendam, as well as supplementing Edward and BoCo with goods duties when required to do so.

Important Info

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: London, Midland & Scottish Railway 


RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: RWS #12 - The Eight Famous Engines


BR NUMBER: 47675
CURRENT LIVERY: BR Black / Unlined
CREATOR: Rev. W. Awdry

About the Character

Jinty was a well known face to the Fat Controller’s engines for many years, being one of the two Jinty tank engine locomotives based in Barrow shed.  His first trip to the Island of Sodor came in 1957 when he and some of the other engines from The Other Railway came to provide relief for the Fat Controller’s engines who were going on an expedition to England.  However, Jinty was no stranger to fleeting celebrity himself, having been used in the 1949 film, ‘Train of Events’ alongside classmate 47327. 


A versatile performer, Jinty and his classmates were often responsible for suburban passenger services and worked extensively on Branch Lines across the LMS network.  By 1965, Jinty and his sister, Audrey (47614), were in a poor state and among the last of the British Railway engines left in the yard at Barrow.  Both were eventually withdrawn and awaited scrap.  There was slight interest from Sir Topham Hatt II in acquiring them for work on Sodor, which came to nothing.


However, both were eventually saved for work by a fledging Heritage group in the North West of England, backed by Sir Topham Hatt II’s new Hatt Steam Trust, who had designs upon restoring them to working order to run on their line.  After some years of toil and difficulty, Jinty was restored to full health and became one of the mainstays of the railway for the first two decades.


By 1995, he had been laid to one side yet again by the Heritage Railway and was left at the back of the overhaul queue along with fellow Hatt Steam Trust locomotive, Brad the American Engine.  This led to moves by Sir Topham Hatt III to restore the locomotives himself, and reacquire one of them for his own railway’s usage following the expiry of their leasing periods.


With increasing traffic levels at Tidmouth station following privatisation of the North Western Railway, the Little Western locomotives were no longer adequate to running Branch Line trains and shunting for the main body of locomotives for the Main Line.  When his restoration was completed in 1997, Jinty was designated as the station pilot and was retained indefinitely.  An accident when acting as a banker at Wellsworth in 2000 saw him return to Crovan’s Gate for repairs, and later return to Tidmouth full time.


Whilst a popular and reliable shunter, the Fat Controller considered moving Jinty following his 10-year boiler examination in 2007.  Traffic was increasing on the Wellsworth branch, and an additional locomotive for suburban passenger services was desirable.  These plans were held off until early 2009, when the Ffarquhar Quarry company was beginning to feel the full effects of the economic recession, with decreased production and output.  It was arranged that Ted would take over from Jinty at Tidmouth, and he would move to Wellsworth instead.


Jinty now works a mixed-traffic role on Edward’s Branch Line, ferrying passengers and goods along the branch line to be shunted at Wellsworth prior to continuing on the Main Line.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

‘Jinty’ is one of 422 3F tank engines built between 1924 and 1930 for the London Midland and Scottish Railway, with Jinty’s class being among the last group completed in 1931.  The specific locomotive he is based upon is 47675, who was based at Barrow sheds in 1965, and sadly did not survive into the preservation era.  However, the locomotive did have a claim to fame in the 1949 film, ‘Train of Events’, distributed by Ealing Studios.  Of the Jinty class, ten survived into preservation, with the final five being among the last tank engines to run for British Railways in 1967, with a further 47445 becoming property of the National Coal Board.

Bill and Ben

Bill & Ben

Cheeky, cheerful and always ready to tease any engine, the twins often find themselves in trouble for their pranks! Well known to all engines, only Edward and BoCo seem able to control them, with the threat of not bringing them any trucks to play with!

Important Info

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: Port of Par Railway, English China Clays
BUILDER: W.G.Bagnall, Stafford
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: RWS #21 – Main Line Engines
RA: 1
CURRENT LIVERY: SSC Yellow, Red lining
CREATOR: Rev. W. Awdry

About the Character

The Sodor China Clay Company was formed in 1948 when the clay beds were discovered, and a line constructed to assist with construction and the movement of materials. A new harbour replaced the original at Brendam to accommodate larger ships.

The route between harbour and the quarry involved passing under low bridges, and a solution to this problem was discovered at the Port of Par Harbour in Cornwall. A tank engine with a low-cut cab had been produced for the line at the works of W.G.Bagnall of Stafford, and two similar engines were purchased by the SCC. Bill and Ben arrived that same year. Although arriving to Sodor ex-Works, they did not debut in the Railway Series until 1965.

Although not part of the Fat Controller’s fleet of engines, Bill and Ben have on occasion ventured beyond their home and onto NWR metals to assist as and when required with shunting duties, with Bill being partnered with Douglas to work on the Little Western branch in the early 2000s for a brief period.

Over the years various engines have encountered Bill and Ben’s teasing. Donald and Douglas, Eagle and Blandford are just a few of the engines who have found themselves at the mercy of the terrible two. However, in all these cases the visitors have managed to turn the tables and play tricks on the unsuspecting twins instead! The twins have also had the honour of a photo charter at Brendam yard alongside celebrity engine City of Truro.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

Bill and Ben are based on the Port of Par saddle tank locomotives to be found on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway in Cornwall. Judy, constructed in 1937, was so named as the railway already owned an engine by the name of Punch. In 1953 a second locomotive (almost identical to Judy but with some minor differences) arrived, and was named Alfred after the harbour manager of the time.

Having both been restored into original Port of Par Green, the two locomotives are only steamed for special events on the B&WR due to their size and unsuitability for heavy passenger trains, but can sometimes be found visiting other railways across the country.

The most dedicated and brash banker Gordon’s Hill’s ever had, Emmeleia is seen as one of Sodor’s most unique engines still in service. Not shy of speaking her mind and always giving her work her all, she always takes great enjoyment in assisting engines over the hill, even though she finds it easier than many - “One wonders why I am even needed!

Important Info

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways

LOCO TYPE: Fowler 0-10-10 Lickey Banker

RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #152 - Scrapyard Engines



CURRENT LIVERY: Black with Green / White lining
CREATOR: Simon Martin

About the Character

In 1956, the Lickey banking locomotive, known as ‘Bertha’ or ‘Big Emma’ to her crews, was withdrawn from her duties on the incline. Specifically designed as a banking engine, she was withdrawn when her boiler required significant rebuilding, and with none spare, the locomotive was destined for a scrap yard. One member of her crew managed to secure funds for her purchase, and the locomotive was to be towed to a site in the North East for preservation. 

At some point, the train in which she was coupled was diverted, and ended up at the Crovan's Gate works. With the workers unsure of what to do with her, she was shunted into a siding, pending an investigation into why exactly, she was there. She remained there for several months, until a worker, taking pity on her, covered the engine up, and she was left “out of use” and unrestored, until 2009, when the locomotive Parker had a mishap, and rediscovered her (ERS #152). 

Rebuilt using the cylinder block which had been removed for display at Wellsworth, Emmeleia – as she was named on Sodor - took up the traditional duties of the Gordon's Hill banker. The same day she was given her new position, her previous owners arrived on the scene, demanding that Emmeleia return into their possession. The Fat Controller managed to come to a compromise, with her previous owners given the offer of facilities and the newly proposed Vicarstown Rail Museum to restore old locomotives for their own. 

Emmeleia was soon at work on Gordon’s Hill since, sharing the position with Edward on a daily basis, banking the very heaviest of trains up the fearsome gradient. She since has had several misadventures of her own, including coming up to Sammie when the 9F took over banking on the hill while Emmeleia was in for repairs, eerily reminding her of her unfortunate fate on BR (ERS #159).

Real Life Locomotive Basis

No 2290 was built at the Derby Works of the Midland Railway in 1919 and was in use up to the year 1956 by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and British Railways (BR). She was numbered 2290 and kept this number through most of her LMS life, but was renumbered to 22290 in 1947 to make room for the numbering of a Fairburn 2-6-4T. Only a year later she was renumbered to 58100 by British Railways since adding 40000 to her number (as was done with the majority of LMS engines) would have put her in the 6XXXX ex-LNER series. 

The engine was withdrawn in 1956 and scrapped later that year. The main banking turns were taken by British Railways Standard 9F locomotives, and the other banking turns on the Lickey were operated by Midland Railway 2441 Class and LMS Fowler Class 3F 0-6-0Ts. These were often used in pairs, operation being controlled by a complicated system of whistle codes.

As experienced by Duck first-hand, Jebediah proudly holds the title as the reisident “Grumpy Old Man” of Wellsworth. While he’s often sarcastic and irritable in his old age, deep down he does have a caring side, which isn’t seen very often. He can often be heard in “loud discussions” with Emmeleia, the Banking Engine; constantly arguing but firm friends, many people assume that they enjoy grumbling at one another!

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #98 - Duck the Great Western Engine
CURRENT LIVERY: BR Maintenance Red
CREATOR: Christopher

Jebediah was one of many steam cranes built for work on British Railways, manufactured in the late 1920’s for the Permanent Way. He started out for the LNER area and performed well for the first 20 years of his life – so well, in fact, that he was transferred to the Eastleigh area to tide over a crisis when one of their local steam cranes was taken out of action, and had spent the rest of his days at Eastleigh Sheds, often making frequent trips from Shawford to Botley to Romsey to assistance with various accidents. The Eastleigh crew admitted, for his age, Jebediah performed better than any of their current stock since he rarely needed as much maintenance – hence why they were reluctant to send him further afield!

Overtime, Eastleigh became part of the Nine Elms District and as steam services dwindled, many of Jebediah’s “cousins” were either scrapped, preserved or converted to Diesel as part of the Modernisation plan. Somehow, he managed to escape such fates where he was soon transferred to another yard following Eastleigh’s closure in 1968. Unfortunately, he started to show his age when lack of proper maintenance from inexperienced crew members caused problems, and he was sent to Dorchester West Railway Station where he was withdrawn from service in 1977 and left dormant on the sidings.

When renovation work began there in the 1980’s, Jebediah was rediscovered, still under his tarpaulin and forgotten in the sidings. Unsure of what to do with him, he was put up for sale and, in late 1997, was seemingly sold for scrap...however he was lucky to have been purchased by Sir Topham Hatt, who decided to give Jebediah a fresh start on his railway. Hence how a Mainland journey to Crock’s Scrap Yard soon became a trip to Crovan’s Gate Works where, in early 2000, Jebediah was completely restored and returned to service.

The original plan was to have him perform display workings for visitors, but the workmen had mended him so well he has now reinstated his position back on the Permanent Way. He now lives at Edward’s Station as their current Breakdown Train, and is used for maintenance work along the Branch Line, as well as on the Main Line on occasion.

Jebediah is based on the iconic LNER 45-ton Steam Crane, one such example can be seen on the Bluebell Railway.