Read all about Thomas and the
other engines who live and work on the Fat Controller's Railway
first introduced to the world in 1946 in the Reverend Awdry’s book, Thomas The Tank Engine.However, Thomas was one of the first engines to arrive on Sodor and helped to build the North Western Railway.When the job was done, he was sent to Vicarstown, the Railway’s Headquarters
to shunt coaches for the big engines in the yard.He was a cheeky and fussy little
engine, who enjoyed playing tricks on the big engines, particularly Gordon – who got his own back by taking Thomas for
a high speed journey behind his Express, leaving poor Thomas quite exhausted and embarrassed!
But Thomas was bored of shunting coaches at the Big Station – he wanted
to pull trains like the big engines and go for journeys along the line.He got
his chance when Henry took ill and Thomas had to pull his train – but silly Thomas ended up leaving the coaches behind!
Then, he swapped places with Edward and took his trucks back to Wellsworth
– but couldn’t handle them and ended up losing control.The Fat Controller
knew Thomas was trying to be ‘Really Useful’ and let him stay in Edward’s Yard to learn about trucks –
it was here that he first used the Breakdown Train and saved James after his nasty accident with trucks.The Fat Controller was proud of Thomas and as a reward, give him the Ffarquhar Branch Line, and two coaches
called Annie and Clarabel to run it.
was here that he met Terence the Tractor, who pulled him out of the snow, and Bertie the Bus, who he raced with.He was later joined by Toby, who ran the Quarry Tramway, and Percy who ran the goods service after building
the new Harbour at the end of the Branch Line.But Thomas always has ideas above
his station.His Driver once remarked that Thomas knew the Branch Line so well
that he could almost mange without him.Thomas took this literally, and ended
up running into the Station Master’s house after a careless cleaner meddled with his controls – confident all
the while that he could “stop and wheesh!” to scare Percy and Toby.(In the Railway Series, saw his front-end straightened out – the TV Series model
was left unaltered.)When Thomas came back from the Works, he began sharing
the passenger duties with Daisy.
has had numerous adventures over the years – finding the lost town of Great Waterton, saving his friend Hiro from scrap,
and re-establishing links with ‘Misty Island’ and it’s supply of Jobi Logs.He has also been a guest of honour at the National Railway Museum in York, where he was given a special plaque, making
him an honourary member of the National Collection, after helping his friend Green Arrow on a Railtour when there was damaged
track that required careful navigation.
friend to all engines, and a popular member of the Fat Controller’s Railway, Thomas is No.1 and does his best every
day to live up to that through helping his friends and those that he cares about. He lives to be a Really Useful Engine
and encourages everyone else to do the same!
Edward was the first character introduced into the Railway Series books in 1945’s The Three
Railway Engines.He had not been out for a long time, overlooked by the Driver
and Fireman in favour of bigger, stronger engines.But the Driver felt sorry
for Edward and gave him a run again to make him feel useful again.Edward first
arrived on the railway back in the early days from the Furness Railway, around the same time as Thomas, during a locomotive
crisis, and was later bought for a ‘nominal sum’.
Shortly after returning to work, Edward was moved to Wellsworth, where he has lived and worked
ever since.It was here that he helped push Gordon up the hill, and was subsequently
forgotten by the boastful big engine, but rewarded by his Driver for his kindness and hard work with a new coat of paint.He returned to the Big Station to shunt coaches for Gordon, James and Henry, who were
‘on strike’ and not willing to shunt like ‘common tank engines’.The engines were not happy that Edward was setting a precedent for the others.They called him a ‘black wheel’ and hissed rudely at him as they passed by.
But despite the other engines teasing or thinking ill of him, Edward has often shown himself to
be a hero in more ways than one.He saved Trevor the Traction Engine from scrap
by persuading the Vicar to buy him, and gave a tremendous effort when he chased a runaway James up the Main Line after silly
boys had meddled with his controls and ran away.But his proudest moment was
when against all odds, he brought a train of visitors home after one of his crank pins broke, causing his side-rod to fly
up and damage his frame and splasher.Without siderods, it was very difficult
to start the train again on the Main Line, but with a valiant effort, brave Edward brought the train home once more.
In spite of everything, boastful engines like Gordon and Spencer still don’t see Edward’s
true worth as a ‘really useful engine’. After Duck got stuck on Gordon’s
Hill with a train of troublesome trucks, Gordon stuck too when he tried to push him over the hill.But it didn’t take long for Edward to get the train back into motion and back over the hill again
– leaving Gordon feeling quite ashamed and apologetic.Spencer was also
confident that he could outrun the old engine in a race, but became so complacent that he fell asleep when he thought he was
far enough ahead to win – only to be trumped by slow and steady Edward at the last minute!
Determined and wise, Edward is a mainstay of the Fat Controller’s Railway.Always ready to go the extra mile and prove his doubters wrong, Edward is well respected where it matters
– particularly because he can keep cheeky little engines like Bill and Ben in order, which engines like Gordon can truly
Henry gave the Fat Controller no end of
problems when he first arrived on the Island.One of the most famous was when
he stopped in a tunnel to keep out of the rain, refusing to move for anyone or anything.Frustrated with his bad behaviour, the Fat Controller soon took action by bricking him up inside the tunnel as a punishment.But Henry got another chance to be ‘really useful’ when Gordon burst his
safety valve whilst pulling the Express, and with Edward’s help, he and Henry brought the train home again, and helped
Gordon home to the shed that night.As a reward, Henry was given a new coat of
blue to match his new friends.
But it soon became apparent that Henry was sorely underpowered and very unreliable.He was often ill, and often required attention from Fitters.Many
described him as a ‘cross between Gordon and a nightmare’.Henry
suffered for a number of years, until an inspection was carried out by the Fat Controller.Henry’s Fireman pointed out that Henry’s firebox was too small, and that the coal didn’t burn as
well as it did for the other engines.The solution was to use special Welsh Coal
which helped Henry perform far more efficiently.But not long after, Henry had
his accident whilst pulling the Flying Kipper, which gave the Fat Controller the opportunity to have Henry completely rebuilt
at Crewe with a new shape and a larger firebox.
Since then, Henry has become an all-round better engine.He
is stronger and far more reliable than before, and even pulls the Express when Gordon isn’t available.His new strength was put to the test when he had to help Spamcan and Bear when the two Diesels broke down.Henry was placed in the middle and managed to shift the two trains under his own steam.He also helped Old Bailey the Fogman get his station reopened, after the Fogman tried
to save him from a nasty accident – but instead, only served to spook him.
However, Henry isn’t always a ‘model’ engine – particularly when he’s
with Gordon and James.He once tricked Peter Sam into rushing back by threatening
to leave his passengers behind – the poor little engine had forgotten that Henry was a guaranteed connection!But like most engines, he gets his comeuppance!After teasing
James about looking like a ‘Fire Engine’, Henry lost his tender whilst pulling his morning train. James got the last laugh when Henry’s fire had to be thrown out and onto the track behind.
Henry still has lapses of illness occasionallyand he is still prone to folly like any other engine – such as accepting
Duck’s ‘tenders’ (which turned out to be old and dirty), thinking
he had wished Gordon into the Repair Yard and continuing to suffer accidents whilst pulling the Flying Kipper! But, despite being a bit of a grump at times, he still strives
to be a really useful engine and make the Fat Controller proud.
Gordon was the original, experimental prototype for Gresley's
A1 Pacifics in the 1920s.He was bought by the NWR along with a spare boiler
when his trials had been completed and remained the mainstay of the Main Line Expresses from then onward. For many years, he was regarded as the senior member of the Fat Controller’s locomotive fleet –
by far the most powerful, the fastest and capable locomotive at the North Western Railway’s disposal.His pride of place on the railway made him conceited, boastful and self-important – viewing himself
‘above’ the other engines.However, he has been taken down a notch
on several occasions, and knows humility well.
Over the years, Gordon has stuck on a hill, burst a safety
valve, suffered a jammed whistle, lost his dome to the wind, crashed through a station wall when his brakes failed, worn a
set of rails out completely when trying to start a train, suffered a spectacular derailment when switched to an old branch
line, been stopped by a bird flying knocking the seal of his brake pipe loose, been covered in a huge mound of snow after
an accident with a snow machine and crashed into a mound of snow, to name but a few of his biggest follies.
However, his first accident turned out to be his biggest eye-opener.When he tried to jam the turntable, (as he
had done accidentally before due to high winds), to avoid pulling a goods train, silly Gordon slid forward, off the rails
and into a muddy ditch instead!As punishment, the Fat Controller took Gordon
off Express duties and made him pull trucks instead – but in this time, he proved more useful than ever.He helped James when he couldn’t climb Gordon’s Hill due to leaves on the line, and pulled
Thomas free of a mine, despite the cheeky tank engine teasing him before.When
the Fat Controller seen how well he had behaved, Gordon’s reward was to pull the Royal Train when the Queen came to
He also had the great honour of hauling a passenger train to
London after arguing with Duck and a visitor over the name of the station in the city.Gordon argued for King’s Cross, Duck for Paddington and the visitor for Euston – Gordon was most disappointed
to end up in St Pancras!He was rather more grateful when he next left the island,
being asked to run a Rail Tour several years later in place of a failed engine. But he can be very gracious when he
needs to be - when trying to outdo Stanley on a 'race' to Great Waterton, he nearly caused an accident and had to warn the
silver tank engine. Gordon realised how silly he had been to be competitive and offered Stanley the chance to take the
very important passengers in his place.
Gordon knows how to deal with haughty and mischievous engines.When brash Spencer ignored his warning about taking on water, Gordon was the engine who hauled him on to Maron Station.And after Percy tricked both him and James, they convinced the little green engine
that the signal at the junction as a ‘backing signal’ because it’s arm moved up instead of down. But there is a caring side to Gordon – even if it has proven flawed at times.He has convinced Sir Handel and James to feign illness to get out of dirty jobs – both times with
disastrous results for the engines who took their places...
in spite of his faults and self-importance, the Fat Controller clearly cares a great deal for his long-standing Express engine
– reuniting him with his class-mate Flying Scotsman in the year when steam was abolished on the Other Railway, and more
recently allowing him to share duties with Pip and Emma who have since taken over from him on the Express services on
When James first arrived on the Island many years ago, he was actually painted black – and
had wooden brake blocks which were no good at all.After he lost control of some
silly trucks and crashed into a field, he was rescued by Thomas and the Breakdown Train.Then, he was repaired and given a new coat of red paint to make him forget his troubles.But he was so proud of his new appearance that he became too cocky – and caused all sorts of bother
for the Fat Controller, soaking his brand new top hat with steam, frightening an old lady by whistling in the station and
being so rough with the coaches that he made a leak in the train’s brake-pipe, causing the whole train to stop.It was fixed by a roll of newspaper and a reluctant passenger’s bootlaces –
much to James’s humiliation.
was punished severely by the Fat Controller and forced to stay in the shed until he could behave.But when he was given the chance to redeem himself, he made the Fat Controller proud and made the most
troublesome trucks on the railway behave themselves on a long journey along the Main Line. But
boastful Gordon and Henry wouldn’t let him hear the end of his folly with the bootlaces.The tables soon turned when Gordon lost his way with the Express and was turned back to the Big Station with a trainload
of angry passengers.The Fat Controller needed an engine to save the day and
James rose to the challenge.Until then, Gordon had been the only engine who
could pull the Express, and from that day forward, he learned new respect for James.
But some might say it did more harm than good – from
then on, James aspired to be like the bigger engines and actively tries to avoid dirty jobs.He once tricked Thomas into giving him Gordon’s Express under false pretences, when he should have been pulling
trucks instead.Gordon got his own back on James when the Fat Controller needed
a volunteer for the ‘very important job’ of moving The Queen of Sodor – which turned out to be a leaky old
barge – to the Smelter’s yard.James successfully managed to shift
it without getting dirty – until cheeky Percy decided to blow out the quarry dust in his whistle at Tidmouth Sheds!
also seems to have his prejudices.He has been known to look down on some of
the other engines, particularly older engines such as Edward and Toby – both of whom have had the last laugh when James
has teased or complained about them.He was also one of the last engines to fully
accept Diesel engines – he was wary of BoCo when he first arrived, and for quite some time took a dim view of them having
two-cabs... he later regretted his comments after an accident with some flat trucks and signal-posts.However, he soon warmed to them when he was rescued by a friendly Diesel from the Works after he broke
down with a frozen water-pipe and now concedes that not all Diesels are bad.
Despite his vanity and arrogance, James remains popular among the engines and remains as determined to please
the Fat Controller and be a Really Useful Engine as any other.
After Thomas left to run the Ffarquhar Branch Line, the Fat Controller moved operations from Vicarstown
to Tidmouth.However, the move meant that the big engines were left without a
shunting engine, and had to do the work for themselves – they didn’t like it, and after a few embarrassing incidents,
Gordon, Henry and James went on strike to spite the Fat Controller.Edward did
his best to help, but the message was defiant and steadfast – “Tender Engines Don’t Shunt”.The big engines wanted a new tank engine.So the Fat Controller
brought Percy to the yard to shunt coaches for them.
Percy has always been cheeky, naive and full of tricks – and it has been these qualities
that have made him both an endearing character. Throughout his time at the Big Station, he was always cheeky
to Gordon, James and Henry - on one occasion, tricking both Gordon and James on the same day. They soon paid him
out when Percy made his first trip along the line to the Junction, fooling him into believing that there were such things
as 'backing signals'...! From there on, the big engines thought it more fun to order Percy around and keep him in his
place. All that changed when Duck came to take over the shunting operations at the yard and urged Percy to stand up
for himself against the three unruly big engines.
As time went on, the work at the Big Station became too heavy for Percy to handle, and he was moved
to Thomas’s Branch Line to become the principal goods engine, and help move trucks to the new Harbour.It was here that he met Harold the Helicopter for the first time, and began a long and happy friendship,
which has seen races and rescues as well as a lot of argumentative but friendly banter. The two have often argued over
who will deliver the mail around Sodor. On one occasion, a broken signal meant Percy had to give up the train to Harold,
who became so heavily overloaded, he ended up crash-landing in a haystack! Thankfully, Percy was on hand to help out
and managed to get Harold free with some help.
But despite being a Really Useful Engine, Percy has also been habitually accident-prone.Over the years, he’s found himself covered in jam, passenger’s clothes, fruit, coal dust, quarry
dust, treacle, hay, chocolate, lime, flour, bunting and porridge oats to name but a few, and found himself wheel-deep in water
when he asked some silly trucks to push him past a warning board at the Harbour!This
has often been down to clumsiness, lack of forethought, accidental occurances or purely the bad behaviour of naughty trucks!
Over the years, Percy has built up strong friendships with all the Branch Line engines, but Percy’s
friendship with Thomas has always been the best known.However, even these two
have been known to have their disputes... and played tricks on one another.After
hitting a cartload of lime, Percy got his own back on Thomas for calling him a “silly little engine” by pretending
he was a ghost – but Thomas later got his own back when he passed Percy on a dark night with a brightly lit Chinese
Dragon!For a time, he also worked closely with Duck at the Harbour, prior to
Oliver arriving on the Island.
But despite his numerous accidents and faults, Percy has also been a hero on many occasions.He valiantly braved a storm to bring children home for Thomas after a flood, helped
Thomas to save Old Slow Coach from scrap, prepared a good luck package for Mrs Kyndley’s daughter’s wedding and
saved a yard from a set of runaway coal trucks.But nowadays, Percy is most content
when he is pulling his Mail trucks and being a really useful engine!
Toby the Tram Engine has had a varied life.When he
was first built, he was sent to work at a Harbour with several of his brothers, before being moved to work on his own line
which served several farms, factories and villages before connecting with the Main Line.However, as time went on, Toby’s workload was eaten away by the roads.Buses took his passengers and lorries took his goods traffic, and his trains ran near-empty.
But one day, a Stout Gentleman and his family who were holidaying in the area happened upon the tramway, and took
a shine to Toby... after the Stout Gentleman’s granddaughter, Bridget, offended Toby by asking if he was ‘electric!’For two weeks, they became regular passengers until their holiday came to an end.As the months progressed, Tobys tramway carried less passengers and fewer goods
trains. Eventually, it was decided that the tramway would have to close down, and after a final farewell celebration
for people who lived along the line, he was tucked away in his shed thinking no-one wanted him.
But what Toby didn’t realise was that the ‘Stout
Gentleman’ was actually our very own Fat Controller – and he would soon need Toby’s help.
overzealous policeman was appointed to work near the Branch Line, he was quick to remind Thomas that running on the Quarry
Tramway without cowcatchers was against the law.All seemed lost, and then the
Fat Controller remembered Toby and his difficulties.He quickly organised for
Toby to come to Sodor to help Thomas run the Branch Line. At first Thomas was
jealous of how well Toby made the trucks behave, but he was so pleased when Toby rang his bell and frightened the Policeman,
they have been firm friends ever since.
However, not everyone was accepting of the newcomer, and he has always had a particularly difficult
relationship with James.When he first arrived on the Island, James called him
and Henrietta ‘Dirty Objects’ – but Toby had the last laugh when James ran into some tar wagons.And when Toby ran out of water on the Main Line, whilst puffing to the Works for overhaul, James had to
push Toby to the Works as well as pull the Express.When the two arrived together,
the waiting passengers assumed that James couldn’t manage and that Toby had had to help him.That didn’t
please James one bit!
Despite this, Toby has always proven his worth on the Branch Line and been a mentor to many of the
new recruits brought in to help run the line, such as Daisy and Mavis.The Fat
Controller has praised him on many an occasion, saying that “What Toby doesn’t
know about Branch Line running isn’t worth knowing – our Toby is an ‘experienced engine’.”Toby’s resourcefulness has been well-known over the years – when he derailed
on the Quarry Tramway and ended up on the road, his Driver reversed him back along the ruts his wheels had made, after which
he was able to make his way up to the Quarry once again.
Over the years, Toby has also shown he can be very kind hearted and brave as well.He helped Trevor and Terence to replant the trees in Henry’s Forest, was brave enough to go up the
old Branch Line to help a vet reach Farmer McColl’s lambs, helped bring Bertram the ‘Old Warrior’ back into
service again, as well as help a Miller put his Windmill back to work with help the wood from an old fallen tree.
Duck the Great Western Engine (Also known as Montague) was brought to take over from Percy as the Station Pilot at Tidmouth, as the workload
there became too heavy for the little green engine to handle.Whilst Percy was
showing him around the yard, Gordon, Henry and James thought they could take advantage of Duck and order him about.Duck wasn’t prepared to be bullied by them, and so he and Percy stood on the points outside the shed,
refusing to let the Big Engines in.The trouble was only diffused when the Fat
Controller came to stop the noise and put all five engines firmly in their place.But
from there on, Gordon, Henry and James knew Duck would stand no nonsense.
Fiercely proud of his Great Western heritage, he worked for many years at Paddington as a Station
Pilot, and was exceptionally proud when City of Truro came to visit the yard with an enthusiast’s special.He always tries his best to instil the qualities of Great Western efficiency to the other engines in the
yard – often to their great annoyance.But Duck’s no nonsense approach
didn’t bode well with one engine in particular.Diesel thought he knew
it all, and Duck was determined to show him otherwise.When Diesel shunted the
wrong trucks in the yard, he was so angry with Duck that he told lies about him to have him removed from his position and
Gordon, Henry and James were furious at the stories that ‘Duck’ had told the trucks,
and the Fat Controller sent him to Edward’s Station for a while.It was
here that Duck had a great triumph and saved the day when some of Edward’s trucks broke away.After a frantic chase down the line, he prevented a very nasty accident with James’s passenger train
when he finally brought the trucks under control. But it was not enough –
he hurtled through the yard and into a Barbershop, frightening the customers.The
Barber lathered Duck’s face with shaving foam as punishment for the accident.But when the Fat Controller arrived and explained that Duck had been very brave, he was far more forgiving.And so were the other engines – Diesel had been found out, and Duck was given a hero’s welcome
when he returned to the yard a few days later.But he never let the experience
taint him completely – and became one of the first engines to accept BoCo to the fleet when he first arrived.
After that, Duck went on to become a great member of the railway’s team.On occasion, he would work at the Harbour with Percy, where he helped take an injured man to hospital following
an accident at the Regatta – and where he was confronted with Diesel again... only to see him undone this time by his
own stupidity.But Duck’s resource and hard work shone through, and having
run ballast trains from there for several years, the Fat Controller gave him
the Arlesburgh Branch Line to run with help from Donald, Douglas and Oliver.From
then on, it was known as the ‘Little Western’.
Duck took Oliver under his wing when he first arrived on the Branch Line, and helped him overcome
trouble after his initial embarrassing follies.He also helped Donald and Douglas
heal their friendship when they fell out with one another, and supported Percy when Thomas was teasing him for being scared
in the Smelter’s Shed.He even tried to help Bill and Ben to accept Derek
the Diesel when he first arrived on the Island, when the twins were expecting the worst out of the newcomer, who turned out
to be quite nice.
But Duck isn’t above the odd practical joke though – when he and Donald were arguing
about Duck chattering all night, “Quacking like a Duck!”, Duck’s crew slipped a baby duckling into his tender’s
water tank.On another notable occasion, he had Peter Sam fretting that the ‘Duke’
of Sodor had been scrapped... when in fact he meant Dukes as in Great Western Engines!
In all, Duck is a hard working, responsible and really useful engine who is a credit to the Fat
Controller’s Railway and always keen to help his fellow engines when he is needed.
At a time when the Fat Controller’s railway was becoming ever more busy, he decided to order
a goods engine from Scotland to help ease the strain.However, much to his surprise,
two engines arrived instead!He had ordered 57646, however, it’s twin,
57647, also accompanied him on the trip to Sodor.The twins had conveniently
lost their numbers on the way, and ‘couldn’t recall them’.This
made things very difficult for the Fat Controller – he would need to send one of the engines home, but he didn’t
know which one!
This decision became all the more difficult when the two of them started work in the yard.They were able performers, but as always on Sodor, trouble would be lurking around
the corner.Douglas became worried that the Fat Controller would find out it
was him that was playing truant, and send him back to Scotland, where he might be withdrawn from service and scrapped.He became so preoccupied that whilst shunting coaches for Duck, he misplaced one of
them in a siding which had been meant for a special service on Thomas’s Branch Line.In order to avoid trouble, he swapped tenders with Donald and took his train instead to avoid the Fat Controller’s
wrath.But the Fat Controller saw right through the charade and scolded both
After this, a spiteful brake van decided to target Douglas.He made things very difficult when he had to take it on his trains – and Douglas got the blame.Donald put him firmly in his place, which saw better behaviour for a while... until Donald had an accident
himself and crashed into a signal box!James had to take over the goods work
whilst Donald’s tender was mended, and ended up on the receiving end of the spiteful brake van’s trickery.He was so exhausted that he needed Douglas’s help to see him up Gordon’s
Hill, where the weight of the trucks and the powerful effort from Douglas caused the rotten old brake van to fold up like
an accordion and smash to pieces.
The Fat Controller was in a real quandary.Both twins
had performed as well as each other, and both had accidents which had tarnished their good names.But when winter came, they showed their true worth and kept the lines running, clearing snow drifts all
along the Main Line.After all their hard work, the other engines wanted them
to stay too. When Percy sought his advice on the situation, Edward suggested
a ‘deputation’ to tell the Fat Controller something was wrong.Gordon
duly appointed Percy with the ‘honour’ of the position – much to poor Percy’s frustration!Thankfully, Percy managed to persuade the Fat Controller to change his mind over the twins and they were
granted a reprieve and allowed to stay.
From there on, Donald and Douglas became the mainstays of goods traffic on the Main Line and a
lot of the Branch Lines on Sodor. However, their views on Diesels were particularly
tainted by the experiences they had suffered through. Before BoCo arrived on the island, neither was prepared
to trust or accept the friendship of the newcomers. But the experience had a more positive effect on Douglas, who never forgot the risk that Donald
took for him, and repaid the favour by performing an act of heroism himself when he helped Oliver to Sodor as he tried to
escape from scrap.As a reward for his bravery, he was granted Toad the brake
van to run on all his goods trains.
But despite their strong bond and good intentions, the twins can be very headstrong.They had a particularly
big falling out when Donald hit a cart of hay and derailed whilst they were double-heading a train.Neither was willing to accept the blame, and Donald goes to work with Duck instead.But an unfortunate accident in the yard forces the two engines back together, when Douglas is the only
engine strong enough to pull Donald back onto the rails again.
And although they are well known for being hard workers, the two are as equally well known for
playing jokes on other engines.They particularly enjoy teasing Percy with scary
stories about ‘naughty gnomes’ and ‘monsters’ in Castle Loch – a joke which came back to haunt
them when they became trapped by a landslide, and mistook Harvey and the breakdown train’s mysterious shape crossing
the causeway for something more sinister!
Unlike the other engines, Oliver had never been expected on the Island of Sodor.His Driver and Fireman had taken the chance to save him from scrap, along with Isabel the Auto Coach and
Toad the Brake Van.They worked out an escape route and with the help of sympathetic
signalman, and some measure of luck, they made their way along various ‘goods only’ routes under cover of darkness
in the hopes of reaching the Fat Controller’s Railway.However, they had
some near-misses and on one occasion, had to hole up in a Quarry branch line for several days, out of the way of preying Diesels,
when ‘Control’ got word of a ‘mystery train’.
Oliver’s luck nearly ran out completely when he and his crew ran out of coal and had no more
steam to go on.Douglas has just delivered the Midnight Goods when he heard Oliver
hissing to attract his attention.Douglas, having been in a similar position
several years before, knew he had to help, and he and his crew helped prepare Oliver for the journey to Sodor – making
it look as if he was delivering Oliver for scrap.But a Diesel was wise to their
plan and alerted the Foreman, who stopped Douglas in his tracks.Thanks to good
preparation and quick thinking, Douglas and Oliver were able to carry on all the way to the Works, where Oliver was hidden
out of the way by the Night Foreman.
The Fat Controller was very proud of Douglas for his heroism and bought Oliver to help out on Duck’s
Branch Line – which was aptly renamed ‘The Little Western’ –
much to the pride of the two engines.Oliver’s courage and determination
was praised by the big engines.James and Gordon said he had ‘resource’
and ‘sagacity’, which made Oliver very puffed up in the smokebox.But
when it came his turn to take the ballast trucks on his own for the very first time, he wouldn’t listen to the advice
of Duck, Donald or Douglas.The silly trucks took advantage of the situation
and pushed him into the turntable well – damaging the turntable in the process!
From there on, Oliver learned he wasn’t so special after all.The trucks, led by S.C. Ruffey, a private owner’s wagon, began singing rude songs about him, and no-one could
stop the spirit of nasty disrespect that was brewing in the yard.But Toad the
Brake Van knew exactly what to do and encouraged Oliver to take charge of the situation.They arranged a long line of trucks, with S.C. Ruffey at the front, who was encouraging the other trucks to “hold
back!” – little did he realise this would have disastrous consequences for himself as Oliver pulled very hard
and ripped poor S.C.Ruffey apart!The trucks learned a lesson from there on in,
and showed Oliver a fair bit more respect in future.
However, trucks will be trucks, and they didn’t stop being rude to Oliver either.On one occasion, he became so riled with them that he forced them into the turntable well – which
saw Oliver put on the Night Mail run to “cool his smokebox”.It was
here that Oliver was switched down the wrong line and ended up finding an old house at the end of an old Branch Line, after
going missing and crashing into an old shed!He also came a cropper on some icy
rails when pulling trucks as well – sliding along a siding and straight into the children’s snowman.After a cold night buried in the snowman’s stomach, the children made the most of it and made Oliver
their ‘Snow Engine’.But even he
thought his cold and uncomfortable night out had been worth it to put a smile on their faces!
Bill and Ben are a pair of mischievous tank engine twins who work at the China Clay Works
at the end of Edward’s Branch Line. Built in 1948 to a design similar to that
of Alfred and Judy of Port of Par in Cornwall, who were built for the same purpose of moving China Clay. Although the twins work hard, they love
playing tricks on the other engines who visit the Branch Line, and the workmen in the Quarry.Frequently, poor Edward and BoCo are left with the arduous task of keeping both of them in line.
When BoCo first arrived, the twins teased BoCo by pretending to be one engine –
making him giddy; they then turned on Gordon when he came down the Branch Line by accident, and threatened to either take
him to the scrap yard or dump him in the sea.BoCo soon stopped their nonsense
by threatening to take away the trucks he had brought for the twins.Gordon was
grateful, but BoCo knew that the twins meant no real harm to him.
However, there have been times when the twins have faced difficulties of their own.They were once invited down to Wellsworth yard to help shunt, and as a special treat
for doing such a good job, they were allowed a turn on the turntable.However,
when Bill was placed onto the wrong track as he finished his turn, he ran directly into Ben’s path – and both
thought the other should back up.The twins complained bitterly about each other
to BoCo, and it eventually came to the point where he and Edward needed to hatch a plan to quell the bitterness.BoCo left his regular heavy goods train for the twins, and the Fat Controller asked them to pull it together.Ben refused and decided to do it alone – but when he found he couldn’t,
Bill stepped in and helped his twin haul the train with his help.It was good
to be friends again.
There was also the time when they let silly trucks get the better of them when shunting
in the Harbour Yard.The twins didn’t know the siding arrangements, and
they let the trucks ‘show them around’ – which only made things much worse!But the twins were soon able to redeem themselves when there was a rockfall in the Quarry – they mounted an emergency
rescue and got everyone out safely.The Fat Controller and Edward were both proud
of them and called them Heroes.
But even so, they sometimes need help with situations.When a section of their line called ‘The Drain’ flooded, and put Ben’s fire out, Thomas had to go
and haul him free from the water.Before this, the twins had been teasing Thomas
about an accident he’d had with some eggs, but they soon learned new respect for him and thought it would be very ungrateful
to tease Thomas again.
But this doesn’t mean they cannot still be troublesome.When Fergus came to work with them, the twins grew tired of his orders and decided to pay him out by doing
the opposite of what he said.This led to a dangerous situation when they were
moving a rock-crusher machine.The rumble of the machine caused a landslide,
and Fergus had to shunt the two engines out of the way to avoid a landslide – causing himself to be buried instead.The twins worked hard to free him though, and for the rest of his stay, Fergus made
sure they all ‘did it right’ together.
to Sodor on a rough patch. Before giving a demonstration to earn his place on the railway, he was hurt by the other engines'
unkind comments about his strange boiler crane arm. But when
Percy had a derailment, Harvey made quick work in clearing
up the wreckage and making a good enough impression to stay on Sodor.
He is a kind, tough engine used for smaller
jobs that his arm is best suited for and makes short work of any task he is given.
Arthur is the largest tank
engine on Sodor, bought from the LMS to shunt trucks and haul freight. He was famous for his “Spotless Record”
for not having been in trouble or made a mess. This made Thomas jealous and forced him to play a disasterous trick resulting in Arthur having an accident and spoiling his record.
But he soon left
his past behind and continues to work hard in a no-nonsense manner. He is now in charge of the Fishing Route by a coastal
village, where the glorious smell of fish hangs in the air for him
Fergus has been working on the Island
of Sodor for some time but has never really been noticed from having
spent many of his years at the Cement Works. He is known to be a strict engine, knowing every rule and regulation by heart,
and is constantly nagging the other engines to “Do It Right!” if they ever did wrong. But he is a kind engine
as well, and prefers working with sensible engines who complete their jobs without fuss.
When Emily first arrived on the railway, she caused all sorts of confusion.On her trial run, she took Annie and Clarabel by mistake and made Thomas very cross.But she made up for it when Oliver broke down on the crossroads, just as Thomas was approaching with some heavy coal
trucks behind him.The Fat Controller rewarded Emily with a set of new green
coaches, and Thomas and Oliver gave her a big welcome as a ‘thank you’.
Emily likes to help her new friends, and always keeps an eye out for when an engine is in trouble.She defended Salty when Thomas and Percy were teasing him, and helped Henry to the Docks when he had leaky
tubes – after Thomas and Percy left him to haul a load of heavy coal trucks all on his own.But sometimes, despite having the best of intentions to do the job right, she can be a bit of a handful
when she wants to be.Emily likes to think that she knows everything there is
to know about everything from flowers to football!
When Emily was given the responsibility of pulling the Express in Gordon’s place, she was so impatient
that she left the brake coach behind at Knapford, never waited for Bertie’s passengers and never took on water for the
long journey – which left the passengers stranded and made the Fat Controller cross.Instead, she was put on the slow goods train to learn patience, and through this, she was able to learn about consideration
for the other engines as well.She also learned an important lesson in manners
from Elizabeth when she was hurrying to deliver wood to Farmer McColl to mend his barn after a treacherous storm.
But this hasn’t stopped Emily from being a bossy boiler and thinking that she knows better than anyone
else.When Trevor the Traction engine was needed to clear the runway at the Sodor
Airport, Emily chose not to take Murdoch’s advice by going along the Wellsworth track – thinking that she knew
better.It was only when she sank into the mud on the way to Farmer McColl’s
farm that she realised her mistake, and luckily, Murdoch was there to help get her out.
Deep down, Emily just wants to make her friends and the Fat Controller proud.She once ‘decorated’ the Quarry with flowers for Mavis, but later found that her efforts had only caused
accidents – which made Mavis sad.She also found a novel way of getting
the Sodor United Football team’s kit dry as she brought their newly cleaned washing back to the Town Hall station in
time for the match.
Murdoch is one of the largest engines on Sodor, and
was brought to the Island to pull heavy goods trains for long distances. Despite
his size, he’s actually a gentle giant and much prefers some Peace and Quiet outwith the hustle and bustle
of the yards - and there is no better place for him than a run through the countryside.. However, he has learned
from previous experience that being in the company of chatterbox engines can often be far better than the baa-ing of sheep,
which he once found to be too much for him to bear!
Molly is a yellow steam engine
who has been brought by the Fat Controller to pull empty trucks to the coaling plant. Some of the other engines teased
her about that, she didn't feel her job was important enough, and this made her sad. Thomas tried to cheer
her up by making everyone think that she had an important train to pull, but at the last minute everything went wrong. In the end, Molly realised how important her job really was, and she knows
now that pulling empty trucks can be just as important as pulling full ones.
Poor old Neville fell victim
to a series of "Chinese Whispers" which were spread among the engines, resulting in Emily thinking he was going to
bump all the steam engines. He looks a lot like a Diesel, when he is in fact a steam engine, and a lot of the other
engines didn't like him at first. But once Neville's true personality was allowed to shine through in spite of
the rumours, the others knew he was a really useful and kind engine
Rosie is a friendly little tank engine who is described as being
a bit of a “tomboy”. When she first came to the Island of Sodor, she began idolising Thomas to the point of irritation
– although she proved her worth by coming to the rescue when Thomas ran into a landslide one stormy day.
Other than that, Rosie is plucky and determined to do the jobs that the bigger engines think she cannot. Whilst trying to
help Emily with the Fun Fair Special, she ended up taking half of the train and losing the trucks when she strained the couplings.
But she knows the importance of being really useful and is willing to learn from her mistakes.
In fact, all her years of doing so have finally paid off. After
her hard work on the branch lines and in the shunting yards, the Fat Controller has rewarded Rosie with a new red livery and
a new position as Vicarstown’s dedicated shunting engine – both of which she is very proud of indeed!
Whiff is a kind hearted, but nevertheless niave little engine
who often takes on some of the dirtier jobs on the Island, which commonly involves taking the Island's refuse to the
dump. When Whiff first arrived on Sodor, some of the other engines thought his untidy and grubby appearance
to be a great joke, but Whiff more than proved to them that looking splendid is no substitute for being a really useful
and hard working engine! Nowadays, Whiff can be found shunting trucks at the new Sodor Recycling Plant with his friend
Billy is an impetuous little tank engine, who thinks that
he knows better than the other more experienced engines on the Island. When Billy first arrived on the Island, he wouldn't
listen to a thing that Thomas advised him to do; he thought that he knew it all and Thomas was being a very bossy engine.
However, Billy soon learnt his lesson when he ran out of coal and water, and realised that he didn't know as much as he first
thought. He knows now to listen to the advice of his elders, and not to do things his own way!
Stanley was brought to the Island to help
during the construction of Great Waterton, and soon became very popular among the engines of Tidmouth Sheds in Thomas's absence.
At first, Thomas was jealous, but he soon found that Stanley is a hard working,
friendly, determined and resourceful engine who will do his utmost to help his friends out of jams and tricky situations,
and that's what makes him so likable.
Whilst sidelined in the newer episodes of the TV Series,
Stanley has won a lot of worldwide attention by being the first toy train to reach the dizzying heights of space!The project was the subject of a short film by Ron Fugelseth, inspired by his son Jayden’s love for
his little toy train.Since the video first went live on YouTube, it has attracted
millions of views and both Ron and Jayden have become minor celebrities through the venture.This playlist shows Stanley’s journey and the attention that Ron and Jayden have received since.
Victor is a small Hispanic engine from Cuba, who
was brought to Sodor by the Fat Controller to help run his Steamworks. Victor is kind, friendly and always willing to
provide advice, guidance and help to the other engines whenever he feels they require it. He keeps a particularly
watchful eye over Kevin the Crane, as the young crane tries to find his way around, while muddling through his mistakes and
mishaps. But although Victor is friendly, he takes work very
seriously and stands no nonsense whatsoever from troublemakers, particularly the naughty Diesels! Victor is the only
narrow gauge engine in the Fat Controller's engine fleet.
Hank is a big, bold blue engine from the United States
of America, and is easily one of the biggest engines ever to tread wheel on the Island of Sodor. Hank means well in
his manner and is always willing to help the smaller engines with their duties, as shown when he first arrived and had
to help Thomas out when the plucky little tank engine took on more than he could handle.
Flora is a cheerful and attentive little steam
tram who has been brought to help work on the new Great Waterton Tramway, working alongside Toby as Sodor's other steam tram.
When Flora first arrived on Sodor, she helped Toby lead the first annual Great Waterton parade with the other Steam Team Engines,
and received her very own special green Tram Car to perform her passenger duties.
Charlie is well known on the Mainland for being the most fun engine ever, and is the favourite
engine of the Mainland Controller.He came to Sodor to help the Fat Controller,
and had heard that Thomas was even more fun than he was.But after his first
day on Sodor, Thomas and the other engines taught Charlie that work has to come before play if you want to be a Really Useful
Engine.So while Charlie is still a fun loving scamp eager for play, he knows
also that working hard is more important than ‘playing’ hard.
Scruff the Scruncher is a dirty little boxy shunting engine who works at Whiff’s Waste Dump. When Thomas first met Scruff, he thought he could do with a good clean, and in good faith, tried to arrange
one for him.Poor Scruff had never seen soap and brushes before, and ran in fear.Thomas soon realised that Scruff may not have wanted to be clean, but he did want
to be really useful in the best way that he knew how – ‘scrunching’ trucks at Whiff’s Waste Dump.Now Scruff is as happy as can be, he works alongside Whiff and loves nothing more
than working with trucks full of rubbish at the Waste Dump.
Belle is a big, bold and brassy tank engine brought to the Fat Controller’s Railway to work at the Sodor
Search and Rescue Centre.Belle has been specially fitted with water cannons
to help fight fires. During her time on Sodor, Belle has been involved in many
a daring rescue, but she knows that she cannot do it alone, and asked the Fat Controller to bring her good friend, Flynn the
Fire Engine, to Sodor to help her.However, despite being a hero, she has been
known to cause trouble herself unknowingly whilst acting with the best intentions.Like
the time she tried to encourage Toby to be friends with her, without asking what he wanted to do to make their day together
special.Thankfully, Belle soon saw sense and she and Toby became good friends
as a result.
Porter is a friendly and hard-working tank engine who was brought to Sodor
by the Fat Controller to work at Brendam. He has three domes on top of his boiler, which make him stand out amongst most of
the other engines on Sodor and have encouraged teasing from some, but Porter embraces his differences and uses them to his
advantage. This was best demonstrated when he prevented an oily-wheeled Salty from a nasty accident, and then used his domes
to spread sand onto the line ahead of him, giving him grip on the rails. Since then, the two have been good friends and work
together happily at the Docks.
Timothy is a little oil-burning tank engine who works
at the China Clay Works with Bill, Ben and Marion. He enjoys his work at the Clay Pits but frequently finds himself as the
butt of the twin’s pranks.
Timothy is able to turn the other cheek and laugh them off, but on occasions Bill and Ben’s teasing can get to him,
like the time when the twins made fun of him for being boring and for burning oil. Thankfully, however, Timothy managed to
get one over the twins when their joking around meant that the Clay Works’ supply of coal ran out. As the only engine
able to move, Timothy went to collect some more coal from the docks. Upon his return the duo apologised, and even they have
to admit that being the only oil-burning steam engine on Sodor is rather special indeed!
is a bubbly and enthusiastic steam shovel who works at the Sodor China Clay Pits. She loves her job of digging, and never
tires of telling the others all about the things she has dug up over the years, although sadly for her not all of the engines
are interested in Marion's tales! A quirky sort, Marion is rather eccentric and enjoys playing little games with other engines
- especially her favourite, "Guess What's In My Shovel".
Marion is widely regarded as the mother figure of the Clay Works, and frequently tries to keep Bill and Ben in order.
But sometimes, Marion can be somewhat silly herself, such as when she hit a waterpipe whilst repairing an embankment and decided
it best to cover the pipe with mud. However, she has learnt from her error and now is a very useful steam shovel indeed.
the very early days of the railway, a number of queer-looking engines used to run the Ffarquhar branch line (then known
as the Tidmouth, Knapford & Elsbridge Railway). Designed by Mr. Topham Hatt as extra motive power, they went by the
name of ‘Coffee Pots’ because of their vertical boilers, and how they would cough out dirty water whilst travelling
along. Their major flaw were their brakes, which were inefficient at handling heavy loads on the steep line.
By the time Thomas was given the branch line for himself, all but one of the Coffee Pots had been scrapped. The last of these
Thomas found in an overgrown siding at Ffarquhar station – this was ‘Glynn’, the original Number 1 of the
railway. However, he was moved from siding to siding until he was eventually forgot about. And for many years he has stood
alone while trees and bushes grew all around him...
one day close to Christmas, Glynn was rediscovered by Marion, who was clearing the site near his siding for a new warehouse.
After Thomas and Percy investigate the siding properly, they become worried that Glynn really would be scrapped – until
they decide to introduce him to Sir Robert Norramby. Delighted by this find, both the Earl and the Fat Controller agree to
have Glynn fully restored. Now the old engine lives happily at Ulfstead Castle along with Stephen and Millie.
Until Glynn’s introduction in Season 20, the ‘Coffee Pots’ were one of the most elusive engines on Sodor.
Despite being mentioned in the Sodor: Its History, People and Engines guidebook and The Railway Series: Surprise
Packet, none of them had been written or mentioned in any of the Railway Series books.
The Fat Controller brought Ryan to Sodor to look after the goods work on
the new Hawick branch line. When he arrived during its construction, Ryan began by temporarily helping out on Thomas’
Branch Line – unintentionally causing some friction between he and Thomas at first. After proving himself Really Useful,
Ryan was then sent to help finish the new line, which he now runs alongside Daisy.
Thomas did not like Ryan to begin with, believing that he had come to replace him on his own branch line. But overtime, Ryan
proved that was anything but a threat – he did all he could to make friends with Thomas, and was especially handy at
thwarting Sailor John’s robbery of the treasure.
Ryan is sincere and confident, but will go out of his way to help others when possible. He is perhaps considered too
kind-hearted, especially when engines like Daisy try to take advantage of his generosity!
Bash and Dash are the mischievous Logging Loco Twins, who know each other so well that they often finish
one another’s sentences.They were sent to Misty Island along with Ferdinand
for not behaving and being really useful whilst working on the Mainland, and because the engines have no rules to abide by
on Misty Island, they live for fun and play. Very little work was done until
Thomas landed there, and taught the twins that being really useful can be fun too.Now,
they all work very hard with Ferdinand to please the Fat Controller.
Ferdinand is the biggest and most senior member of the Misty Island Logging Locos.He’s a gentle giant with a big heart, who can make special tweeting noises with his whistle.But despite being the oldest and the biggest of the Logging Locos, he will quite often
let the younger and more boisterous Bash and Dash take the lead in most situations.A quiet old engine, he doesn’t say much, and quite often will be heard saying “That’s right!”