Non-Rail Character Profiles

Non Rail Characters

Now read about Thomas's friends on the roads, in the air and on the water!


Terence the tractor is slow but adaptable; he can go anywhere thanks to his caterpillar treads. When we first met Terence, Thomas was quick to criticise them – but he soon realised their worth when Terence was able to pull him free of a snowdrift.

When he’s not busy ploughing fields, he has proven himself most helpful in rescuing stranded vehicles from snow or mud, or being used for regular clearance work. Once, when Percy was called to an emergency at the Harbour, Terence even looked after his shunting at Ffarquhar station!

Terence Breaks The Ice!

But of course, Terence can be over-confident in his abilities so far as being “adaptable” is concerned. One winter, whilst collecting a Christmas Tree for the Ulfstead Castle Christmas Party, Terence decided to take a short cut across a frozen lake, confident that his caterpillar tracks could take him anywhere...but on his way back, the ice suddenly cracked under his weight, leaving his trailer hanging precariously over the water! Luckily, Thomas was near enough to be chained to Terence and pull him clear of the danger. After that, Terence has always been quick to remember his own advice – “You have to be sensible if you want to stay safe!

Bertie the Bus

Bertie first met Thomas when he got stuck in a snowdrift and Bertie had been sent to rescue his passengers - afterward, he got to know Thomas a little better following a race to prove which of them was the fastest. 

Although he sometimes boasts that roads are best, Bertie is always happy to help Thomas and the other engines collecting and delivering passengers where their rails can't reach - such as the time when Thomas's Branch Line was put out of service for a time, and Bertie took care of the passengers.

However, things don't always go smoothly for Bertie, like the occasional breakdown or getting stuck in mud and snow, but he struggles on no matter what - like the time when he kindly offered to look after Thomas's passengers, and wound up chasing after Edward to ensure they didn't miss the train!


When Edward first met Trevor, he was still in good condition but was due for scrap because his master thought him to be old-fashioned. But with the help of the blue engine and Trevor's old driver Jem Cole, they saved him from scrap when they convinced the Vicar of Wellsworth to buy him. He now lives in the Vicarage Orchard where there is plenty of work for him to do, from sawing logs to ploughing fields. But his favourite event is the Vicarage Fête where he enjoys giving rides to children around the Orchard, just like the old days.


Bulgy is a double-decker bus, once coined by Oliver as a “mean scarlet deceiver”. When Duck first met him during a Bank Holiday Weekend, Bulgy proved to be very rude and grumpy, insisting that passengers should take the roads instead of railways. In fact, he went so far as to try and steal Duck’s passengers by pretending to be a Railway Bus. However, he ended up in a tight spot when he crashed into a low railway bridge, and had to stay there until it was mended.

But Bulgy never learnt sense after that. He told so many “whoppers” that nobody would travel in him, and he was eventually turned into a henhouse in a field beside the railway.

Years later, however, he was taken out of “retirement” to aid the Fat Controller during a busy summer period when Thomas and Emily were unavailable for work. Bulgy was delighted, until he had a run-in with his old friends the hens, who stowed away in his luggage racks and caused a terrible mess when they woke up...!

Luckily, Bulgy got better than he deserved when he was later converted into a mobile vegetable stand, and was much happier since...until at some unknown point, he was put back into regular service to carry passengers again as a proper Railway Bus – only this time, the Fat Controller and the Bus Manager are keeping a very close eye on him to avoid any more nonsense!

George the Steamroller

George is a grumpy steamroller.  He is part of the “Anti-Rail” league, always rebelling that “Railways are no good" and that they should be "turned into roads!”  George has had several run-ins with the railway - firstly with Sir Handel, and then causing trouble for Duck, Gordon and Thomas, where he had his roller removed for a whole week as punishment! 

However, George proved his worth when there was trouble at the new Sodor Airport.  After Thomas caused an accident prior the first aeroplane that was due to land, he was brought over to flatten the new tarmac.  Not all bad then, eh?

Caroline the Car

Caroline the Car

Although she can be temperamental at times, Caroline is really a dear old soul, who enjoys calm, country runs - which certainly wasn't what she got on the day she had to chase after Stepney the Bluebell Engine when the cricketers' ball landed in one of his trucks!  However, she was very grateful to him following her chase when Stepney graciously took her back to the cricket field on a flat-truck.

The Horrid Lorries

Horrid Lorries

Lorries 1, 2 and 3 were brought to tide over a backlog of work for the engines, but they immediately proved to be very unpopular. They were rude and spiteful, threatening to take over the engines' work - particularly Toby's, whose old railway had fallen victim to buses and lorries once before.

However, the Horrid Lorries soon came a cropper, each suffering individual mishaps: Lorry 2 crashed down a cliff, Lorry 3 broke down due to overloading and Lorry 1 fell into the harbour. And they were christened The Brothers Grim - "Smashed, Broken and Sunk!” They were eventually repaired but were sent away soon afterward and have not returned to poach work from the engines since.

Butch the Breakdown Lorry

Butch - as seen in Season 5

From Series 5 in 1998, Butch the Breakdown Truck had been introduced in a minor role when he rescued one of the "Horrid Lorries" (albeit without a face). Yet since then, for reasons completely unknown, he featured only as a background character in a variety of locals across Sodor - the quarry, Dryaw Airfield, Brendam Docks, the Shunting Yards - as well as various construction or rescue scenes. But very little was known of his purpose or character apart from what fans knew from the official Thomas Site, in that "he was built out of parts from a diesel, a lorry, and a crane."  

Butch in CGI

However, after 13 years in the wilderness, Butch's existence was fully noted when he became part of the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre from Series 13 in 2011, and also gained a voice by Rupert Degas (later to be replaced by Matt Wilkinson). Now Butch strives to be Really Useful alongside Harold, Rocky, Flynn and Captain with his special magnet on hand to rescue road vehicles in need.

Thumper the Mining Machine


When the Fat Controller decided to build a new quarry high in the mountains, Thumper was built especially by the Sodor Mining Co, his sole purpose was to dig rock from the cliffside faster.  But he proved much too powerful when he caused a huge boulder to be shaken loose from the mountain, which caused chaos down the line. Since then, Thumper has only been used for slate mining instead!

Elizabeth the Vintage Lorry


Elizabeth is an old steam lorry with an interesting history, being the first lorry driven by the Fat Controller many years ago before he became controller of the railway. For a time, she was thought to have been lost - supposedly stolen or put out of service - locked away in an old shed for years. But she was rediscovered and restored in her former glory when she was brought out to help Thomas.

She can be very proud and stubborn at times, but can move great loads in nimble timing, and has proven to be a great friend of the engines on the Fat Controller's railway - as well as the Thin Controller's railway too, where she makes frequent trips to the slate mines.

Madge the Snub-Nosed Lorry


Madge works in the hills of Sodor for the Narrow Gauge Railway, doing jobs that the railway can't reach.  She is of sorts a motherly figure to the narrow gauge engines and always puts the wants and needs of others before her own, which can sometimes lead to trouble for herself - whether it be her getting covered in mud after making sure Skarloey and Rheneas are clean and shiny, or teetering over the edge of a cliff when she goes fast when delivering Duncan to the Transfer Yards!  All the same, a loveable and warm character who is a friend to all the narrow gauge engines!



Cranky the Crane has worked at Brendam Docks all his life, loading and unloading cargo from the many ships and trucks there. Because the Docks are so busy he hardly gets any rest and becomes irritable – hence his supposed name!

When he first started work there, he was very rude to Thomas and Percy, calling them “useless little bugs”. But that all changed when a fierce storm toppled him over, and the two engines came to his rescue.

In addition to his bad temper, Cranky is sometimes rough with the cargo. He paid the price for it one day when he dropped a load of pipes, which knocked over a small shed. trapping Bill, Ben and Salty overnight at his dock.

Poor Cranky had even less sleep with Salty telling stories all night to Bill and Ben. Some good came out of it, though – he has since strived to be more careful with handling cargo!

Cranky was also a big help in helping to clear Luke’s name when Thomas tried to find out more about the “Yellow Engine” that was knocked into the sea when he first arrived on Sodor many yars before.


Admittedly, Cranky may have been part of the blame when he bumped Luke into Victor, who hadn’t been chained down onto the ship...but he definitely seemed reluctant to say any more about it!

However, in spite of his grumpiness, Cranky does have a caring side to him, looking out for the engines on occasion and making sure that everything at his dock runs smoothly.


When Kevin was temporarily loaned out to help clear a backlog at the Docks, Cranky was very rude to the little crane, continually telling him that he didn’t need any help. But as Cranky’s carelessness caused more trouble, Kevin was at hand to help put things right – and eventually won over Cranky by the end of the day.

After many years of working on the Dock, Cranky was beginning to show his age and one too many creaks and groans led the Fat Controller to bring a “big fancy new crane” to Brendam.  At first Cranky thought he was being replaced, but then, Carly arrived and proved to be quite the powerhouse!  Eventually, the pair learned to work together and became good friends.


Although he can still live up to his name from time to time, Cranky has mellowed a lot in his old age and will often be found dispensing advice and guidance to the overly enthusiastic engines!


Colin the Crane


Colin the Wharf Crane works with the narrow gauge engines unloading barges for them to take into the high hills of Sodor from the canal.  Colin is fixed in place, and sometimes as a consequence of this, he feels lonely and left out of important or special events that are taking place away from the busy, bustling Wharf.  However, his good friends on the Narrow Gauge Railway always do their best to make sure Colin is included, and one Christmas, Freddie even managed to persuade the Thin Controller to hold the Christmas Party at the Wharf so that Colin could be there.

Kevin The Steamworks Crane

Kevin The Crane

Kevin is a young, enthusiastic crane who works at the Sodor Steamworks with Victor.  Kevin is often seen rushing around the Steamworks, very keen to give a helping hook to all the engines who pay a visit for repairs.  However, his haste and speed can often cause mishaps, and Kevin is well known for dropping things on the floor of the Steamworks by accident.  But Kevin means well, and under the watchful eye of kind 'boss' Victor, he is learning to be a really useful crane and become a real credit to the Steamworks.

Merrick is the Quarry Crane at the Blue Mountain Quarry, helping to load heavy blocks of slate so they can over the Blondin to the cutting sheds.  Like Owen, the engines are very fond of Merrick, however, he can often be found fast asleep whilst the Quarry is bustling with busy engines!  He was even fast asleep whilst Thomas was being rescued by Luke on the upper terrace of the Quarry and missed the whole event.


But he works hard when he needs to and always wakes up at appropriate times – particularly when he needs to do something!


Reg is a rail-mounted crane who works at the Wellsworth Scrap Yards along Edward’s Branch Line. He leads a rather solitary life, loading and unloading scrap metal from trucks to be broken down and delivered to the Smelter’s Yard. But his Cockney attitude means that he’s hardly down in the dumps for long, and is always happy to crack a joke with someone. 

In fact, Reg’s life isn’t all that lonely either – often, Percy and Scruff would deliver some lovely scrap for Reg to “scrunch ‘n’ munch” up with his grappling claw. One Christmas, Percy tried to make the scrapyards a little more cheerful for Reg, until he realised that Reg is able to celebrate Christmas in his own way – by creating Christmas decorations from the scrap iron.

Before coming to Brendam, Big Mickey used to work in a big city far away.  He is one of the longest serving Shore Cranes in Brendam Docks – predating Cranky the Crane.  He’s been loading and unloading ships and barges for many years, and been moved frequently around the Harbour to suit the needs of the Docks.  A hard worker, Big Mickey prefers to get on with the job quietly and efficiently, undertaking the biggest tasks with relative ease – unlike Cranky who will frequently complain and only serve to cause upset.


It wasn’t until Carly arrived at the Docks that he finally chose to speak up and make friends with her and Cranky.  Personally we think he prefers talking to the boats!

When the Fat Controller felt that the workload at Brendam Docks was becoming a little too much for Cranky to handle on his own, he brought in what Salty referred to as a “Big New, Fancy Crane!”


Carly is bright, bubbly, enthusiastic and very chatty, and loves her work at Brendam Docks.  Unlike Cranky and Big Mickey, she has a set of rails beneath her which allow her to move up and down the dockside to load and unload the ships with relative ease.


When she first arrived, she and Cranky were slightly competitive, Cranky wanting to prove he was still useful, and Carly wanting to show how useful she could be.  When this caused a tangle of their hooks, they learned that working together and communicating effectively would be the best way forward – and have formed a formidable partnership with Big Mickey to be really useful cranes!


Bulstrode the Barge


Bulstrode was a miserable old barge. Nothing was ever right for him and was forever having a moan about something to someone. However, this disagreeable fellow was firmly put in his place when Percy came to tide over some emergency shunting down at the harbour. Some of the trucks broke away and crashed into Bulstrode, damaging his hull.

To this day he is a “special attraction” on Knapford beach. Children play in him all day long, and despite still moaning no-one really listens anymore - they don't have to!

Captain the Lifeboat


Captain is the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre’s resident lifeboat, ready to take to the seas to help people in trouble and bring them back to safety.  He is enthusiastic and always raring to go, calling out “Full Steam Ahead!” as he races to the rescue.  When Thomas went missing on Misty Island, the Fat Controller used Captain to look for Thomas out at sea, but while they came up with nothing – Captain kept a positive outlook for the Fat Controller’s benefit.


For many years, Skiff had been Sailor John’s personal boat, sailing along the coastlines on the search for the lost treasure of Sodor. With his positive, eager-to-please nature, Skiff tries to see the best in everyone as he had once done with Sailor John – even when his “captain” wasn’t very nice to him.

It takes little to dampen Skiff’s spirits. He was more than happy to be converted as a railboat, to search for the treasure on land, as he isn’t fond of putting his face in the water. After foiling Sailor John’s attempts to escape with the treasure, Skiff has started a new life on land, giving visitors Railboat Tours around Arlesburgh Harbour, under the care of Joe the Lighthouse Keeper.

Harold the Helicopter


Harold once thought railways were “slow and out of date” when he first came to Sodor, but had to eat his own words when he lost a race against Percy. The two became firm friends, especially since Harold has proven to the engines more than once that he is, in his own way, Really Useful - having rescued Percy from a flood, brought an Inspector ahead to stop a runaway Thomas and saved Toby from being washed away by floodwaters.

All in all, Harold has made a name for himself as a rescue helicopter, patrolling the skies of Sodor on the look-out for anyone in trouble - on land and sea - and is always the first to report urgent news or make special journeys, such as dropping off supplies to hill farmers. The Fat Controller finds him especially useful when he has to travel across long distances quicker.

Harold had originally been based ay Dryaw Airfield, but prior to its construction he was moved to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre where he became part of the rescue team.

Tigermoth the Bi-Plane


Tiger Moth, according to Harold, was a rude Bi-Plane, who had a tendency of showing off and flying dangerously low above unsuspecting passers-by. But he paid the price when he eventually crash-landed in a haystack, and having been grounded as punishment he has since become an "easy flyer!"

Jeremy the Jet Plane


Jeremy lives at the Sodor Airport, and is considered one of the most modern aircraft the Island has to offer.  When Jeremy first met Thomas, he was very boastful about being able to fly, which made Thomas feel sad and left out.  But when they worked together to save the children's picnic from a summer storm, both Jeremy and Thomas realised that no matter how you're able to travel, you can still be really useful!


Owen is the incline engine at the Blue Mountain Quarry.  It’s his job to lift empty trucks up and transport full ones down for loading and unloading, and he loves to make announcements as he works the incline such as “Next stop, right to the bottom!”


Owen is well liked among the engines in the Quarry, he works hard to keep everything running as it should and from his position high above the Quarry floor, he keeps an eye on the little engines as they puff and chuff around.

JACK AND THE SODOR CONSTRUCTION CREW were developed by Phil Fherle in 2002 as part of 2 episodes of Series 6, and a later spin-off series of thirteen episodes, which was cancelled when HiT Entertainment took over Gullane Productions.  These episodes were the first to be directed by Steve Asquith prior to his appointment as full Thomas Director in 2004.  Jack and his team have however made comebacks in 2007/8 being responsible for helping to rebuild Great Waterton in The Great Discovery, and building a new bandstand there also.

Jack the Front Loader

Jack the Front Loader

Jack is a front loader and the newest addition of the Pack.  He’s very active and enjoys hard work.  He learned all about the importance of “Safety First” on his first day when he had an accident whilst trying to do the work of a bigger and more capable machine.  Despite that, he's a keen and enthusiastic worker and a good friend to Thomas and the other Pack members.  Jack also helped to lead The Pack during the construction of Great Waterton, rallying the others to do a good job for Thomas and Stanley.

Alfie the Small Excavator


 Alfie, like Oliver, is an excavator and lives to the motto -  “More Work means more Dirt!  More Dirt means more Fun!”

Alfie is the smallest member of The Pack, but despite his diminutive size, he still manages to get the work done without fuss; and in the past has even shown the bigger machines that his smaller size can be a big asset to the group and the work they do.  Alfie is particularly good friends with both Jack and Percy, and like them, enjoys being really useful.

Kelly the Crane


Kelly the crane is large and strong and can lift just about anything; he is also a good friend with Isabella - especially when he’s the only one who can keep her in her place!  Kelly is the oldest member of the Pack, having been the first machine that Miss Jenny's father ever bought to work on his team, and uses his experience to guide the others and help them when they're all working together on jobs.

Oliver the Big Excavator


Oliver is a brown excavator, and one of the “Elders”. He is an excavator of considerable size, power and precision capability of moving and digging tons of earth in a single day. Despite his size and wieght, he is incredibally graceful and his manners are impecable. Oliver can always be relied apon by Miss Jenny as the team leader when Kelly is not available.

Byron the Bulldozer


Bryon is a mighty bulldozer. He’s one of the oldest machines on the site and likes nothing better than showing the other machines how to do a good job, whether it be moving rock or leveling site foundations for the important building work to begin.  But while Byron takes a great deal of pride in his own work, he bears in mind that he's part of a team, and works hard for Miss Jenny alongside the other Pack members.

Isabella The Steam Lorry


Isabella is a tough little steam lorry, who takes a great deal of pride in her appearance and goes to great lengths to preserve her paintwork's gleam.  Isabella is the only female member of The Pack, and is used for transporting materials to and from the sites to be used for construction work, as well as being used for other sorts of removals beyond the work The Pack is involved in.

Ned the Steam Shovel


Ned is a large, old steam shovel, and one of the biggest machines in Miss Jenny's team.  He’s sometimes known to be absent-minded and clumsy, and is always liable to cause accidents around the sites because of these attributes.  But the other members of The Pack don’t mind too much about his mishaps, because they know he’s really a kind soul with a heart as big as his bucket.

Max and Monty the Dump Truck Twins

Max and Monty

Max and Monty are the devious and troublesome Dump Truck twins. They're known to cause trouble for the Pack Members and also the engines; but are sternly scolded by Miss Jenny when found out! Despite being unruly at times with dangerous stunts, they have a good side in them - somewhere! - and still do the work like everyone else.

Patrick the Cement Mixer


Patrick was found to be quite a boastful soul in his first apperance.  He knows all there is to know about cement and thinks it's one of the essential means of keeping the building site running!  Patrick is older than a lot of the other machines and has a lot of experience in construction, he means well despite his pride and boastfulness, and likes to help the younger less experienced machines.

Buster the Steamroller


Buster is an eager and cheerful little steamroller who is always keen to do a wheel's turn of work for Miss Jenny.  Like Alfie and Jack, Buster is one of the younger machines in The Pack and delights in having fun when going about his duties on the construction site.  He also has a rather vivid imagination also - winning races against Max and Monty when mending the racing track, and comparing the mole ridden football pitch to "A giant fruit bun...only green!"

Nelson the Transporter


Nelson is an intellegent transporter whose job is to haul heavy machinery to and from the Construction sites.  As the bearer of such weighty loads, he often feels overworked, but will never complain.  However, Nelson's dreams of being carried himself did come true one day when he had to haul Thomas to the repair yard, and he himself managed to get a lift back to Miss Jenny's yard on Percy's flatbed.