Non-Televised Characters

The Characters who were in the books, but never made it to the TV screens...

Wilbert the Forest Engine

Wilbert the Forest Engine

Wilbert lives on the Dean Forest Railway in Gloucestershire. In the old days, he had worked as a colliery shunter in Staffordshire. Originally named 'G. B. Keeling', he was renamed "Wilbert" in honour of the Rev. W. Awdry, who was once the railway's president.

Wilbert is a strong engine and is very organised with any job given, although he finds his line too short to run. So when the Fat Controller needed a "utility" engine to help Donald and Douglas on the branch lines, he decided to borrow Wilbert in the hope that, if successful, he could find another engine like him. Wilbert was, naturally, delighted to help out.

However, Wilbert's visit wasn't without its mishaps - when Percy was taken out of action following his "porridge" incident, Wilbert was diverted to help out on Thomas's Line instead. He worked well until he accidentally took on milk instead of water at the Elsbridge Dairy...

As soon as Percy returned, Wilbert went on to Duck's Branch Line where he quickly proved his capabilities to the Fat Controller, even more by pulling a loaded ballast train with signalling wire after a coupling gear came away.

Wilbert is still in service today, following an overhaul in 2012, and has currently visited other Heritage Railways from the Weardale Rail to the Peak Rail in Derbyshire.



During his brief stay on Thomas's Branch Line, Wilbert told Thomas and Toby a story about an engine he had heard about...

Sixteen worked in a steelworks where he kept to the same routine for most of his working like, stopping in the same place each day when delivering trucks of waste to a site known as "The Tip". He thought he knew better, and often tried to pass the DANGER board without success.

However, with 'help' from the trucks, he took advantage of a damp day and slid past the warning notice...only to end up tumbling "cab over wheels" down a steep bank when the rails gave way beneath him.

Sixteen was sent to the back of the shed in disgrace, but was apparently saved following his accident and went on to live on a preserved railway in the Midlands.

Ivo Hugh

Ivo Hugh

Ivo Hugh was built by the Skarloey Railway to help out with the additional traffic that has come to the line over the years.  He was named after the Chief Engineer of the Maintenance Crew, Mr Hugh, who thought it a great honour to have an engine named after him.  Not much is known of his personality of the new engine as he only featured on the last page of the last book of the Railway Series thus far to feature the Skarloey Railway.

Neil The Box Tank


Built in the 1860s , Neil was part of the Sodor and Mainland Railway and helped to ferry Skarloey from the port of Kirkronan to his home at the Skarloey Railway terminus of Crovan's Gate.  Very little is known of the engine, or what happened to it following the amalgamation of the S&M with the other railways on Sodor to become the NWR and fell under the control of Sir Topham Hatt.  Undoubtedly the engine was most probably scrapped when deemed to be outdated or incapable of dealing with the more modern day workloads.

Albert the Furness Tank Engine

Albert the Furness Tank Engine

Albert is an engine who ran with Victoria on the now preserved Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway back in the days of the Furness Railway.  He is recalled by Victoria as being similar to Thomas in his way, generally polite and well-mannered, but with a tendancy to be boastful and cocky.  This got him into trouble when he made too much noise leaving a station, and ended up covered in snow!  Needless to say, it made him a far more humble engine!

Green Arrow

Green Arrow

A star performer on the UK Heritage scene and the sole survivor of the V2 class, Green Arrow was featured prominently among the engines from the National Collection in Thomas & The Great Railway Show.  He and Thomas double-headed an excursion train to Scarborough, only to discover trouble with the rails on the way back to York.  Green Arrow was withdrawn from service following the expiration of its boiler certificate in 2008, and owing to a technical fault with an important historical piece of its mechanics, is unlikely to be steamed again in the near future if at all. 

D199 - Spamcan


Diesel 199 came from the Other Railway, along with 7101, on a trial basis for Sodor. While 7101 did his best to keep him quiet, 199 remained arrogant, causing uproar in the sheds amongst the steam engines.

That all changed when 199 failed with an oil train, and simply wailed for his fitter as Henry performed his "Super Rescue" along with 7101. 199's nicknames varied from "Spamcan" to "Old Reliable" before being sent back to the Other Railway for good.

Bear the Hymek Diesel


Bear started out in life as an engine on the Other Railway, numbered 7101, who came to Sodor along with 199 for a loan period.  He did not approve of his companion's comments toward the engines they were staying with and duly told him so.  
During a run with the 'Limited', in which ironically both Diesels failed and had to be brought home by Henry, 7101 struck up a friendship with the big green engine and won a second chance with the Fat Controller.  
The other engines nicknamed hum "Bear" because of the way his engine growled - although this cannot be helped, Bear doesn't mind and accepts the nickname as a term of endearment.  

Although becoming a permanent member of the team as D3, Bear never received much attention throughout the subsequent Railway Series volumes.

Old Stuck Up

Old Stuck Up

This haughty visitor was very rude about the steam engines, who complained that they were “dirty, slow smoky things”.  The visitor then refused to share the shed with the engines, opting to sleep outside - which was where James christened him with his fitting nickname.

However, when he did have to use the shed's Diesel facilities, he came a cropper when he slid on the oily rails and crashed through the wall at the back of the shed.

Pip & Emma the HST

Pip and Emma the HST

Philippa (or 'Pip' for short) and Emma are an Intercity High Speed train, who were brought to stand in for Gordon when he took a special to Charlsie. Although they had suffered technical problems during their stay, the other engines took a liking to their kindness, and made their time on Sodor a pleasant one.  Following Privatisation, the Fat Controller has decided to buy Pip and Emma and use them for work on his Railway to allow for a faster service on Express trains. 

Frank the Diesel Small Engine

Frank the Small Diesel

Frank is the only Diesel engine on the Arlesdale Railway who is mentioned so far in the books (the others are listed below). He tends to be grumpy if he doesn’t get what he wants and his bad behaviour often lands him in a sticky spot - much like when he never appeared in a previous Small Railway volume, and felt left out.  But he still knows how important teamwork is on a railway, and is always on-hand to help out and do his duty regardless. 

Jock the New Small Engine

Jock The New Engine

Jock is the newest engine on the Arlesdale Railway. He was built to help run the line when Rex, Bert and Mike couldn't manage the extra work by themselves. 

Jock was built using the best design features of the three Small Engines. When the time came to name him, Douglas commented on his yellow livery (which at first served as an undercoat), and recalled that some engines in the Highlands with that colour were once called “Jocks”. The new engine liked the proposal, and agreed also to keep the yellow coat to give his name its merit. 

Jock is a much harder worker and can pull heavier trains than the others, but is careful not to let this go to his smokebox when needed in an emergency. 

The Mountain Engines

Culdee arrives at the Skarloey Railway

The Mountain Engines featured in their only Railway Series book in Book 19, aptly named Mountain Engines!  The main focus centered around three characters, being Culdee (4), Lord Harry (6) and briefly, Godred (1).

Culdee was the friendly, cheerful and charasmatic engine within the stories, always showing initiative and being careful whilst doing his duties.  He was a long stander within the railway, alongside engines such as Ernest (2) and Wilfred (3).  Recently their railway had been graced with three new engines, and were sending the older engines away to be mended in Switzerland.  Two of these new arrivals, Alaric (7) and Eric (8) had turned out to be quite nice engines and fit in well with the current standing engines.

Culdee and Catherine

However, the third, Lord Harry (6), was proving to be a bit of a handful.  He was rough with the coaches and highly reckless on his journies up the mountain.  The Manager soon made him see sense by taking away his name, only for No.6 to redeem himself later by doing a heroic rescue.  As a reward, he was given the name Patrick after the man he rescued.

Culdee with Godred

Although Patrick was fortunate enough to be given a second chance, Godred the railway's No.1, wasn't quite as lucky.  Thinking he knew everything and with misplaced faith in his automatic brakes and Driver's airbrake, he never listened to the advice of others and met with a very sad ending on the Railway's opening day.  After losing control on the way down the mountain, he was completely wrecked after de-railing.  Much like his counterpart Ladas on the Snowdon Mountain Railway in Wales, Godred was never rebuilt, becoming a source of spares for the other engines.

Praise for Patrick

You may be wondering, what about No.5?  According to The Island of Sodor, the fifth locomotive's name is Shane Dooiney.  The reason he never appeared in the book the other engines featured in was because he wasn't there!  Due to the rotation of engines being sent to the Works in Switzerland, it was his turn to go prior to when Culdee returned and when Alaric arrived, and so missed out on his opportunity to appear.  Shane Dooiney was the last engine to make the long journey across the continent, and since then, the engines have been sent to Crovan's Gate works, which is now fully equipped to deal with all manner of locomotives, as opposed to previously.

Isabel The Auto Coach

Isabel the Auto Coach

Isabel was due for scrap along with Oliver and Toad, but escaped along with them in search of a new life on Sodor.  She and Oliver worked together on his branch line previously and still do now with the addition of another coach, Dulcie whom the Fat Controller rescued for work on Duck's Branch Line, along with another two, whom he gave to Duck, being Alice and Mirabel.

Victoria the Vintage Coach

Victoria The Furness Railway Coach

Victoria once worked on the Furness Railway with another coach called Helena, and an engine called Albert.  However, when she was taken out of service, she was later made into a garden shed and found her way on to the Island of Sodor.  It was there that Thomas found her, and suggested the Fat Controller restore her to help Toby and Henrietta to transport Quarry Workers.  Victoria now runs in full Furness Railway colours and is really useful again!

Catherine The Mountain Coach

Catherine the Mountain Coach

Catherine has an important role to play on the Mountain Railway.  Since engines have to push their coaches up, it is her job to see ahead and warn of any danger.  She has a good working relationship with Culdee and the two make great companions as they take visitors to the top of Culdee Fell.

The Skarloey Railway Coaches

The Skarloey Railway Coaches

Agnes, Ruth, Jemima, Lucy and Beatrice are the stalwarts of the Skarloey Railway coaches.  They were built to carry the first passengers on the line and still see regular service on the line today.  Agnes is the first class coach, Ruth, Lucy and Jemima are all third class and Beatrice is the guard's van.
They were supplemented in the 1950s by new coaches, such as Cora, Ada, Jane, Gertuide and Millicent.  The last two have become firm favourites of Sir Handel's as they have bogie wheels, he feels they are better to pull!

Mr Peter Sam

The Thin Controller - Mr Peter Sam

As a further parallel in size to the Main Line Railway,  The Thin Controller was introduced into the Railway Series books to take care of the Skarloey Railway.  The original Thin Controller spent all of his working life with the railway before retiring in 1980, allowing his son Roger to step in and innovate the railway by introducing the first new-build steam engine since the original two in the 1860s.  (In the TV Series, the Thin Controller is referred to as Mr Percival and was introduced in 2005).

Sir Handel Brown

Sir Handel Brown

The first Sir Handel Brown kept the Skarloey Railway running with steely determination throughout his ownership, despite the difficulties he was faced with concerning the parlous state of the slate quarries and the railway itself.  Similar to the Fat Controller, he was created a Baronet for his ‘Outstanding Public Service’ as the MP for Sodor East in 1937.  Sir Handel Brown kept his promise to keep the railway running throughout his lifetime, and his son succeeded him in 1950 to build on the successes that would see the Skarloey Railway thrive once again.

Fred The Little Diesel

Very little is known about Fred's character, but he is a Hunslet 0-4-0 Diesel who arrived on the Skarloey Railway in 1989 from the National Coal Board as a secondary Diesel locomotive.  He is a hybrid of the best parts of two machines, with a maximum speed of 9MPH and used exclusively for engineering work on the Railway.  Fred made his first appearance in the book New Little Engine, but was only mentioned briefly when he wouldn't take a weedkiller train!

Sigrid of Arlesdale

The most we know of Sigrid of Arlesdale is what was put in the Island of Sodor book.  She was designed as a 2-C-2 Diesel / Hydraulic locomotive and was built in 1969 with a Ford 4 cylinder engine, replaced by a 6 cylinder Perkins later on, from plans made by the Small Controller, Ivan Farrier.  Sigrid is one of the four Diesel locomotives on the Arlesdale Railway and was named after a Sudrian heroine from the 11th Century who secured the defeat of the Norman Invasion in 1094.

Blister I & Blister II

These two engines are four wheeled tractor units which are used for maintenance and shunting duties on the Small Railway, but originally brought in for line construction.  Their nickname of "Blisters" was given to them by the staff due to the starting difficulties on cold mornings!
Like Sigrid of Arlesdale, these characters were not shown in the books, despite their counterpart, Jock, being first realised in the "Island of Sodor" and being thrust into the limelight with his own volume later on, with a new Diesel, Frank, who ironically never appeared in the Island of Sodor book, which probably explains his disgruntled mood at the beginning of the first story in Jock's book! Overlooked twice!

Stanley (No.2) of Mid Sodor

To cast aside the TV Series guise of "Smudger", Stanley, was the proper name for the Mid Sodor Railway's engine Number 2.  He was a Baldwin locomotive bought following World War one, like many of his own design sold off to private Railways, and proved not to be as useful as hoped.  With several attempts to resolve the derailment faults, he was instead turned into a pumping engine at Arlesdale Works and then moved further up to Cas-ny-hawin Mine.  He broke down in 1946 and the following year, the mine flooded, meaning the end of the Railway.  Most likely, Stanley was scrapped following his final breakdown, and very little is known past this point.

Other Mid Sodor Engines

Mine Engine, Jerry, Jim, Tim and Alfred were all supposed members of the Mid Sodor Railway, whom served alongside Duke, Falcon and Stuart in the line's heyday.  These engines were mentioned in passing in the Island of Sodor as having been in existence, but never called upon by name.  But whilst the engines were there up until 1935, when many of the line's stock was sold off, nothing is known of their existence further to that.  Pictures of these locomotives on the Mid Sodor Railway layout are available here at Martin Clutterbuck's site, as well as a detailed look at the History of the Mid Sodor Railway.

98462 & 87546

The Rev Awdry received correspondance about the two other engines in the shed in The Three Railway Engines, children were aware that the other four were Gordon, Henry, Edward and perhaps James, so Awdry often found himself conjouring up little stories to satisfy the curiosity of these children.  He explained that the two engines in the shed had no names, but only numbers, those being of course - 98462 and 87546.  He explained to the children that they were both rude and nasty to the other engines, and they were sent away accordingly by the Fat Controller, and as a further punishment, the Reverend never put them into any of his stories because of their bad behaviour.