List of characters in The Railway Series

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The Railway Series (1945-2011) is a series of books by the Rev. Wilbert Awdry (Books 1-26) and Christopher Awdry (Books 27-42).

Unless otherwise stated on this page, the technical notes come from actual notes laid out by Wilbert Awdry when he was developing the characters and setting for his stories; these notes are cited in his publication The Island of Sodor: Its People, History, and Railways.[1]

North Western Railway[edit]

The North Western Railway (NWR) is the main standard gauge rail network on the Island of Sodor. The railway's motto is "Nil Unquam Simile", which is Latin for "There's nothing quite like it". From nationalisation on January 1, 1948 until it privatised, the railway was the North Western Region of British Railways (BR). From 1925 onwards, it is managed by three Fat Controllers.

“Please tell everyone that whatever happens elsewhere, Steam will still be at work here. We shall be glad to welcome all who want to see and travel behind, real engines.”

― Sir Charles Topham Hatt II/The Fat Controller, Enterprising Engines

Steam engines[edit]

Thomas (NWR 1)[edit]

Thomas is a blue 0-6-0T ex-London, Brighton and South Coast Railway E2 class locomotive. He is the fourth character to appear in The Railway Series and is the railway's #1 engine. When Thomas first arrived on Sodor, he worked as the station pilot at Vicarstown. After helping to rescue James from a nasty accident, Thomas was permanently assigned to the Ffarquhar Branch Line, with two faithful coaches, Annie and Clarabel, much to his delight. In the book Tank Engine Thomas Again, Thomas is very proud of his own branch line and had many adventures during his first days on the line, where he forgets his guard by mistake, goes fishing, gets stuck in the snow, and meets two new friends, Terence and Bertie.

Edward (NWR 2)[edit]

Edward is a blue 4-4-0 ex-Furness Railway K2 class mixed-traffic locomotive and is the first character to be created by the Rev. W. Awdry. He is the railway's #2 engine. With BoCo, Edward runs the Brendam Branch Line which travels from Wellsworth to Brendam. Sometimes, the bigger engines would tease Edward of being old-fashioned and slow. In the story Edward's Exploit, during one rainy night, Edward was taking a passenger train full of enthusiasts home to Tidmouth, his crack-pin snapped, forcing his driver and fireman to remove his side rods. However, Edward was able to pull his heavy train back very late, but with triumph.

Henry (NWR 3)[edit]

Henry was originally a 4-6-2 designed by Sir Nigel Gresley. He was built circa 1919 and arrived on Sodor in 1922 when Sir Topham Hatt was swindled into buying him.[2] There have been two Railway Series books devoted to him: Henry the Green Engine and Henry and the Express.

Awdry originally planned to write Henry out of the series, because C. Reginald Dalby's drawings made him look too similar to Gordon. After getting various letters from children about the character, Awdry changed his mind and in the book Henry the Green Engine, Henry is damaged in an accident and rebuilt offsite at Crewe Works to the design of the Stanier "Black Five".[3] Henry is painted green with red stripes, and can sometimes come across as arrogant and rude, but he does work hard and has even been called an "enterprising engine".

Henry was the central character in a controversial Railway Series story. In the story Henry's Sneeze, the character blasts some troublemaking schoolboys with soot and they "ran away as black as niggers". In 1972, articles in the British press raised this as an example of racism. Awdry claimed that it was a case of oversensitivity on the part of the race relations board, but he apologized and changed the offending sentence to "as black as soot", which has been used in subsequent editions of the book.[4]

Gordon (NWR 4)[edit]

Gordon is a big blue 4-6-2 ('Pacific') ex-London and North Eastern Railway Gresley Class A1 locomotive and is the railway's #4 engine. He works on the Main Line and originally pulled the Wild Nor' Wester from London to Sodor, until being superseded by Pip and Emma in 2011. As of 1967, Gordon is Flying Scotsman's only surviving brother.

James (NWR 5)[edit]

James is a modified red 2-6-0 ('Mogul') ex-Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Class 28 mixed-traffic locomotive. Built in 1912 to 1913, he was sold to the North Western Railway still painted in L&YR black livery by the London Midland & Scottish Railway in 1925. Following James' crash on his first day, he was repaired at the works at Crovan's Gate and painted red with black (later blue) and gold stripes. James is the railway's #5 engine.

In the Author's Note of James the Red Engine (where James first appeared properly), it states that the nationalisation of British Railways has just happened.

Percy (NWR 6)[edit]

Percy is a small green 0-4-0ST engine and is Thomas' best friend.[5] He was first brought to the North Western Railway to help out the work while Henry, Gordon and James went on strike and later became station pilot at Tidmouth. Following the construction of Knapford Harbour in 1955, Percy was moved permanently to the Ffarquhar Branch Line, where he works as a general goods engine. Percy is the railway's #6 engine.

Toby (NWR 7/BR 68221/LNER 8221/7127)[edit]

Toby is a square 0-6-0 tram engine of the Great Eastern Railway's Class C53. Originally duller brown, Toby was repainted chocolate brown with blue side-plates.[6] He originally lived/worked at a harbour and worked on a tramway in East Anglia with his old coach Henrietta, delivering goods from the farms to the junction and other stations. In 1951, Toby and Henrietta were brought to the North Western Railway to run the line to Ffarquhar Quarry after the tramway closed down as it was found to be illegal for Thomas to go on the Quarry Tramroad without side-plates and cowcatchers. Toby is the railway's #7 engine.

Duck (NWR 8/GWR/BR 5741)[edit]

Duck (real name Montague) is a green 0-6-0PT ex-Great Western Railway 5700 Class locomotive. He thinks that there are two ways of doing things: the Great Western way and the wrong way. He works on the Little Western with Oliver and his two autocoaches, Alice and Mirabel. Duck was allocated #8 on the North Western Railway, but was allowed to keep his GWR/BR number '5741'.

Donald and Douglas (NWR 9 and 10/BR 57646 and 57647)[edit]

Donald and Douglas are blue 0-6-0 ex-Caledonian Railway locomotives of the 652 Class (originally painted in BR black; whereas in the television series, they remained that color, and known by their old numbers 57646 and 57647) and has arrived on Sodor from Glasgow, Scotland in 1959. In the book The Twin Engines, knowing that one of them would have been scrapped if left behind, they made quiet arrangements with their crews to travel together minus visible numbers and hope for the best. Although the Fat Controller had only purchased one engine from British Railways and intended to send the other back, he changed his mind after hearing how hard they worked clearing lines of heavy snow, and decided to purchase them both. Donald and Douglas are the railway's #9 and #10 engines, respectively.

Oliver (NWR 11/GWR/BR 1436)[edit]

Oliver is a dark green 0-4-2T ex-Great Western Railway 1400 class locomotive and has 'escaped' from the Other Railway, where he was due to be scrapped. The 1400 Class engines were fitted with a connector system, allowing the driver to control the locomotive remotely from the cab of an 'autocoach', such as Isabel.

In the book Enterprising Engines, Oliver, Isabel and Toad were escaping to the North Western Railway, but unfortunately, Oliver ran out of coal in the goods yard at Barrow-in-Furness. Shortly afterwards, Douglas helped save the group from the expectation of scrap and took them to Crovan's Gate Works to be fixed. Oliver's daring escape made him popular with the other engines. He was allocated #11 on the North Western Railway, but was allowed to keep his GWR/BR number '1436'. Oliver was assigned to work with Duck on the Little Western, and has been happily based there ever since despite his initial trouble with ballast trucks.

Diesel engines[edit]

Daisy (NWR D1)[edit]

Daisy is a green diesel railcar based on the British Rail Class 101 in a unique single car configuration. She was built in 1960 and arrived on Sodor specially for use on the Ffarquhar Branch Line, after Thomas crashed into the Ffarquhar stationmaster's house. Daisy was highly opinionated about her functions at first, but after her humiliation from a stray bull, she made more effort to settle in. Daisy first appeared in the book Branch Line Engines.[7]

BoCo (NWR D2/BR D5702)[edit]

BoCo is a green Co-Bo mixed-traffic diesel-electric locomotive, who primarily works on the Brendam Branch Line, but can also be seen working on the Main Line. BoCo is manufactured by Metropolitan-Vickers, named after its wheel arrangement, which is known as "Co-Bo". In The Railway Series, BoCo carries his NWR number 'D2' (whereas in the television series, he carries the number D5702). He first appeared in the book Main Line Engines, was built in 1958 and arrived on Sodor in 1965.

Bear (NWR D3/BR D7101)[edit]

Bear (originally known as D7101) is based on the British Rail Class 35. He first came to Sodor on trial for the Fat Controller in 1967, and was accompanied by another diesel engine, D199, who talked about taking over the railway, which 7101 didn't like. After 7101 suffered from a leaked brake ejector and was helped by Henry along with 199 and their trains, he befriended him. After 199 was sent back home, the Fat Controller decided to give 7101 another chance to stay and work on the North Western Railway. 7101 was given a new name "Bear", a new number 'D3', and a new coat of paint. Nowadays, Bear pulls the 'Limited', the semi-fast passenger train, and the Wild Nor' Wester when Henry, Gordon and James are busy elsewhere or unavailable.

Pip and Emma[edit]

Pip (short for Philippa) and Emma are two Class 43 power cars which makes up an InterCity 125 trainset. They had experienced problems with their cooling system and came to the railway when Gordon was deputizing for an excursion train on the Other Railway.

Pip and Emma only appeared in the books Gordon the High-Speed Engine, Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines and Thomas and his Friends. In 2011, following Privatization, the Fat Controller decided to purchase them in order to run a faster service to London,[8] when time was being wasted exchanging engines at Barrow.

Rolling stock[edit]

Annie and Clarabel[edit]

Annie and Clarabel are Thomas' faithful regular coaches who work with him as a push-pull train on his branch line, enabling Thomas to stay at one end for his return journeys from Knapford. Annie only takes passengers, while Clarabel has a composite layout in which she has a compartment for luggage and the guard, and a drivers' cabin at her rear end. Thomas sometimes sing them songs to keep up a good rhythm as he travels along with them and they love to sing back. Annie and Clarabel are the first official female characters created by the Rev. W. Awdry.


Henrietta is Toby's faithful four-wheeled tram coach. In Toby the Tram Engine, Henrietta was depressed when lorries and buses replaced her work. When the tramway closed down in 1951, Toby and Henrietta were transferred to the North Western Railway because Toby couldn't bear to leave his coach behind. Henrietta is often used to transport workmen to and from Ffarquhar Quarry. In Thomas and Victoria, some workmen had to ride on Henrietta's balcony, but it was a by-law forbidding passengers to ride on balconies of coaches. Until then, the Fat Controller restored an old Furness Railway (FR) coach named Victoria to help Toby and Henrietta. Together, they formed "Toby's Vintage Train".

Isabel, Dulcie, Alice and Mirabel[edit]

Isabel, Dulcie, Alice and Mirabel are four Great Western autocoaches who are paired with Oliver (Isabel and Dulcie) and Duck (Alice and Mirabel) on the Little Western.


Toad is Oliver's brake van who was once saved when Douglas helped him, Oliver and Isabel escape from scrap on the Other Railway. Toad requested to be Douglas' brake van in deep gratitude for the latter's actions, which he felt greatly humbled by.

Troublesome Trucks[edit]

The Troublesome Trucks are open wagons which they carry goods and materials on the North Western Railway. They are nicknamed because they can be very troublesome and play tricks on the engines.


Victoria is a vintage four-wheeled coach originating from the Furness Railway. She was built in 1882 and worked on the Lakeside branch line with Albert and Helena. After being out of service, Victoria was moved to Sodor and was turned into a summerhouse in a garden close to Elsbridge. In Thomas and Victoria, after being discovered, it was a decision Victoria could be restored and used on the line to Ffarquhar Quarry to help Toby and Henrietta.

Skarloey Railway[edit]

The Skarloey Railway (SR) is a narrow gauge railway which runs from the North Western Railway's station at Crovan's Gate to Skarloey. The railway is owned by Sir Handel Brown, who serves as its chairman and is run by Mr. Roger Sam, son of the previous controller, Mr. Peter Sam.

Skarloey (SR 1)[edit]

Skarloey is named after Skarloey Lake, the northernmost point for passengers on the Skarloey Railway. He is an 0-4-2ST (originally an 0-4-0ST). Skarloey's equivalent on the Talyllyn Railway is Talyllyn. He was built in 1864 and arrived on Sodor the following year. He first appeared in Four Little Engines. The story of Skarloey's early years was told in Very Old Engines, where it was revealed he was overly excitable and eager to make an impression before becoming a humbler and dedicated engine. Skarloey was laid to one side in 1943 when he was worn out, but was hastily reinstated during the events of Old Faithful. Between 1955 and 1957, Skarloey was overhauled in England and he returned to regular service in 1958.

Rheneas (SR 2)[edit]

Rheneas is named after the station on the Skarloey Railway. He is an 0-4-0WT (but also has a back tank). He was built in 1865 by Fletcher, Jennings & Co. of Whitehaven, the same company that built Skarloey. They are the oldest working engines on the Island of Sodor. Rheneas is more cautious than Skarloey, and is known as the "Gallant Old Engine", as he kept the railway running during the turbulent period when Skarloey was in poor mechanical shape. Rheneas' equivalent on the Talyllyn Railway is Dolgoch. In Four Little Engines, he was sent away to be overhauled, and did not return until Gallant Old Engine.

Sir Handel (SR 3)[edit]

Sir Handel (originally Falcon) is named after Sir Handel Brown, the owner of the Skarloey Railway. He is an 0-4-2ST (originally an 0-4-0ST), who worked on the Mid Sodor Railway. Sir Handel is based on the Talyllyn Railway locomotive, Sir Haydn. In the 1980s, he was invited to the Talyllyn Railway. The real Talyllyn Railway had paid tribute to The Railway Series by repainting their locomotive Sir Haydn to resemble his counterpart. Sir Handel first appeared in Four Little Engines.

Peter Sam (SR 4)[edit]

Peter Sam (originally Stuart) is named after the manager of the Skarloey Railway and is an 0-4-2ST. Peter Sam is based on the Talyllyn Railway locomotive Edward Thomas. He was built in 1920 by Kerr Stuart and Co. in Stoke-on-Trent, for the Mid Sodor Railway and was given the name Stuart and painted green. Like Sir Handel, Peter Sam was later sold to the Sodor Aluminium Company, and then in 1951 to the Skarloey Railway. Following an accident with some slate trucks, he lost his funnel and was fitted with a Giesl ejector. In the 1990s, Peter Sam was sent to the Talyllyn Railway. As with Sir Handel, this was based on real life events when the Talyllyn Railway repainted Edward Thomas as his counterpart. Peter Sam first appeared in Four Little Engines.

Rusty (SR 5)[edit]

Rusty is named after his builders, Ruston & Hornsby. He is a black 4wDM, acquired direct from the manufacturers in 1957.[9] Rusty is based on the Talyllyn Railway locomotive Midlander. He first appeared in the book The Little Old Engine.

Duncan (SR 6)[edit]

Duncan is an 0-4-0WT, built by Andrew Barclay in Kilmarnock, who entered service on Sodor in 1958.[9] He was purchased second-hand, as a spare engine when Peter Sam had an accident at the Skarloey Slate Quarry. Duncan is based on the Talyllyn Railway locomotive Douglas, and first appeared in the book The Little Old Engine.

Ivo Hugh (SR 7)[edit]

Ivo Hugh is named after the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Skarloey Railway and Rusty's driver. He is an 0-4-2T, the Skarloey Railway's newest engine and based on the Talyllyn Railway locomotive Tom Rolt. Ivo Hugh was built in the mid-1990s at Crovan's Gate Works. He first appeared in the book New Little Engine.

Duke (SR 8)[edit]

Duke is named after the Duke of Sodor. He is an 0-4-0ST+T, who originally worked on the Mid Sodor Railway as the #1 engine. He is based on the Ffestiniog Railway locomotive Prince, one of the four engines in the Ffestiniog Railway's 'Small England class'. Duke was built in 1879 for the opening of the Mid Sodor Railway the following year. When the railway closed in 1947, Duke was left in the abandoned sheds for 22 years before being found and restored in 1969, and was moved to work on the Skarloey Railway.

Fred (SR 9)[edit]

Fred is the railway's second diesel locomotive. He is based on the Talyllyn Railway locomotive Alf. He is mentioned in the book New Little Engine. According to Sodor: Reading Between the Lines, Fred entered service in 1989, having been acquired from the National Coal Board.

Culdee Fell Railway[edit]

The Culdee Fell Railway (CFR) climbs to the top of Sodor's highest mountain, which shares the railway's name. It is based on the Snowdon Mountain Railway in North Wales, was opened in 1900, and for many years was operated under the direction of Mr. Walter Richards, the General Manager. The railway only appears in the book, Mountain Engines. The locomotives on the line are all 0-4-2RTs.

Godred (CFM 1)[edit]

Godred was the original engine on the railway, and is named after one of Sodor's historical rulers.

Culdee tells a made up story about Godred in Mountain Engines:[10] Shortly after the railway opened, he lost contact with the rack rail at a loosened rail-joint and plunged over a cliff. Godred was so badly damaged that he was scrapped, with his parts being used to repair the other engines. This incident is based directly upon the Snowdon Mountain Railway's opening day accident when their No. 1 L.A.D.A.S suffered a similar accident.

Culdee (CFM 4)[edit]

Culdee is the principal engine on the Mountain Railway. He is based on No. 4 Snowdon. When introduced in Mountain Engine, he had been overhauled in Switzerland in 1962-63 and was on the last stage of his journey home. Culdee mainly works with his own coach, Catherine.

Lord Harry/Patrick (CFM 6)[edit]

Lord Harry/Patrick arrived in 1962 and was named after the manager. He is based on No. 6 Padarn.

Other locomotives[edit]

No. 2 Ernest, No. 3 Wilfred and No. 5 Shane Dooiney arrived alongside Godred and Culdee for the railway's opening. No. 7 Alaric and No. 8 Eric arrived with Lord Harry in 1962-63.

Arlesdale Railway[edit]

The Arlesdale Railway is Sodor's smallest railway. It is based on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway in Cumbria. The railway is run by Fergus Duncan (The Small Controller). Five engines appear in the books. Three diesel locomotives are mentioned in the companion books: Sigrid of Arlesdale, Blister I and Blister II.


Rex is a green 2-8-2 tender engine who is based on Ravenglass & Eskdale's River Esk and was built in 1923. He enjoys nothing more than teasing Mike. Rex is a hard-working engine, but can sometimes has problems with traction.


Mike is a grumpy red 2-8-2 tender engine who prefers goods trains to passengers. Once in the story Mike's Whistle, when a stray cow steps onto the line, Mike crossly tries to “shoo” her away by whistling so hard, which causes his whistle cap to blow off completely and land in an adjacent field by the side of the line, and nobody can look for it anywhere. So they have to make whistling sounds for Mike as well.


Bert is a blue 0-8-2 tender engine. He is based on the Ravenglass & Eskdale's River Irt. In the story Tit for Tat, Bert is splashed by some photographing visitors to the Arlesdale Railway and is determined to get back at them.


Jock is a yellow 2-6-2 built by the Arlesdale Railway in 1976 to cover a shortage of power. He first appeared in Jock the New Engine. He is based on the Ravenglass & Eskdale's Northern Rock. Jock was built in the workshops at Ravenglass in 1976, then to the design of chief engineer, Ian Smith.


Frank is a 0-4-4DH who appeared in Jock The New Engine. He is based on Perkins.

Privately owned/Other Sudrian railways[edit]

Neil (S&M 2)[edit]

Neil is a dark green 0-4-0 box tank locomotive with a heavy Scottish accent, originating from the Sodor and Mainland Railway (S&M). He first appears in the book Very Old Engines and is close friends with Skarloey. It is mentioned by Christopher Awdry in Sodor: Reading Between the Lines that Neil is still around but is not known where.[8]

Bill and Ben (SCC 1 and 2)[edit]

Bill and Ben are orange 0-4-0ST locomotives who works for the Sodor China Clay Co (SCC). They both have saddle tanks which cover their smokeboxes, but not their fireboxes. They have the intitals 'SCC' painted in yellow on their saddle tanks, and underneath are their names on brown nameplates; their numbers 1 and 2 are painted on their smokeboxes under the words 'Brendam Bay'. Apart from their numbers and nameplates, they are absolutely identical from the outset — which can be confusing for other engines. Bill and Ben are based on Alfred and Judy, two engines built by Bagnall's of Stafford who worked at Par, Cornwall. They are unusually low, allowing them to fit under a narrow rail bridge that taller engines could not access without being heavily cut down in size. Bill and Ben first appeared in the book Main Line Engines and played a major role in Thomas and the Twins.

Mavis (FQC 1)[edit]

Mavis is a 0-6-0DM shunting locomotive who work for the Ffarquhar Quarry Co (FQC).[11] She sometimes brings Toby's trucks down the line when he is busy. Mavis is based on a British Rail Class 04, some of which were fitted with sideplates and cowcatchers for use on the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway. She was built by the Drewry Car Company [12] and arrived on Sodor in 1962. Mavis first appeared in the book Tramway Engines and was named after the Rev. W. Awdry's neighbor in Rodborough, Stroud.[citation needed]

British Railways/Visitors[edit]

Various engines from British Railways (BR) (also known as 'the Other Railway'), or some from preserved/private railways and museums have visited the North Western Railway, both on regular trains to-and-from the Mainland, or for special events.

The 'Other Railway' Engines[edit]

The Big City Engine[edit]

The Big City Engine is a 4-6-0 ex-London, Midland and Scottish Railway "Patriot" Class who visited Sodor sometime in 1956. Once, he had gotten into an argument with Gordon and Duck about what name of the station at London was: King's Cross, Euston, Paddington and St. Pancras.

Jinty and Pug[edit]

Jinty, an LMS Fowler Class 3F, and Pug, an LMS Kitson 0-4-0ST, visited Sodor on loan to relieve Thomas and Percy on the North Western Railway in the book The Eight Famous Engines. They were best friends of Percy as well.


Diesel is a black British Rail Class 08 diesel shunter who was on trial for a short time in spring 1957. He first appeared in the book Duck and the Diesel Engine and played a non-speaking role in Thomas and the Great Railway Show. Diesel is the first known standard gauge diesel engine to ever visit Sodor, and also, the first diesel locomotive to be created by the Rev. W. Awdry.

City of Truro (GWR 3440)

The City of Truro is a famous tender engine from the Great Western Railway. He also visited Sodor in 1957 on a rail-tour from the Mainland and stayed for one night. City of Truro befriended Duck, as the two were both Great Western engines and talked all night. Much to Gordon's annoyance, Gordon tried to beat City of Truro's speed record, but only to have his dome blown off on the Viaduct.

Stepney (LBSCR 55)[edit]

Stepney is a real-life 0-6-0T LB&SCR A1X class locomotive, who was featured in the book Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine. He was the first preserved engine of the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex. Stepney and his controller visited Sodor in 1962, when he was on loan. During his visit, Stepney caught a cricket ball in one of his trucks, helped Caroline, and double-headed the Wild Nor' Wester with Duck after Class 40 failed.

Class 40 (BR D4711)[edit]

Class 40 is a green and yellow British Rail Class 40 who also visited Sodor in 1962. He insulted the other engines and bragged about his modernity. Class 40 got his comeuppance when an inspector's bowler hat got sucked into his air intake, causing him to break down and leaving Stepney and Duck to pull the Wild Nor' Wester for him. Afterwards, Class 40 was sent away in disgrace while everyone was saying farewell to Stepney and his controller.

Flying Scotsman (LNER 4472/BR 60103)[edit]

The Flying Scotsman is the world's most famous steam locomotive, for holding the record of being the first steam engine to officially run at over 100 mph. Flying Scotsman visited Sodor in mid-1967 to cheer up his only surviving brother, Gordon, when he was in the ownership of Alan Pegler. His two tenders (one for coal and the other for water) were a key feature of the plot of "Tenders for Henry".

Diesel 199/Spamcan (BR D199)[edit]

Diesel 199 is a blue British Rail Class 46 who came on trial to Sodor with D7101. He soon made himself an enemy of the steam engines. The next day, 199 failed while pulling a train of fuel and oil tankers at a signal box at Kellsthorpe Road. After Henry came to help, the signalman called 199 "Spamcan" as an insult. After 7101 fails with the Limited, Henry helps both diesels and their trains to the next station. The Fat Controller wasn't admired with 199 and soon sent him back home for offending the steam engines on the North Western Railway.

Wilbert (DFR 3806)[edit]

Wilbert (originally named "G.B. Keeling") is a real-life Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST from the Dean Forest Railway. He is named after the Rev. W. Awdry, who was once a president of the heritage railway. In Wilbert the Forest Engine, the Fat Controller arranged for Wilbert to come help on his railway. During his visit, Wilbert tells Thomas and Toby the story of his brother, Sixteen, accidentally filled up with milk instead of water, and used a coil of wire to couple it up to his damaged ballast truck.


Albert is a red J1 engine who originally worked on the Furness Railway with his two coaches, Victoria and Helena. Albert was once buried at a tunnel by an avalanche when he lets off too much steam starting from the station.

Non-rail vehicles[edit]

  • Terence is an orange caterpillar tractor first seen in Tank Engine Thomas Again. When Thomas first met Terence, he insulted him for having caterpillar tracks, but later regretted it and befriended Terence after he pulled him out of a snowdrift. He is based on a Caterpillar Model 70.
  • Bertie is a little red bus introduced in Thomas and Bertie. In the story, Bertie once had a race with Thomas to Ffarquhar after he teased Thomas about being slow. He is based on the Leyland Tiger.
  • Trevor is a traction engine who was introduced and rescued by Edward in Saved from Scrap. He is based on the William Foster & Co. Traction Engine No. 14593.
  • Harold is a white and red helicopter first shown in Percy and Harold. He is based on the Sikorsky S-55.
  • George is a grumpy green steamroller who only appeared in Steamroller and Thomas Comes Home. He is based on an Aveling-Barford R class steamroller.
  • Caroline is an elderly car who appears in the story Train Stops Play. In 1962, the cricketers give chase in Caroline all the way to Ffarquhar. Caroline is exhausted, so Stepney helps her and the cricketers back to Elsbridge and he and his crew watch the match.
  • Bulgy is a bad-tempered double-decker bus first shown in Bulgy. He is based on the AEC Regent III that served many of London's bus routes in the 1940s and 1950s.
  • Bulstrode is a self-propelled barge appearing in Bulstrode. He is based on a 1920s self-propelled coastal barge.


Sir Topham Hatt[edit]

Sir Topham Hatt, better known as The Fat Controller, is the manager of the North Western Railway on Sodor. His son Charles Topham Hatt II succeeded him in 1954, and his grandson Stephen Topham Hatt III became the Fat Controller in 1984. His son Richard will be the next Fat Controller.

Sir Handel Brown[edit]

Sir Handel Brown is the former owner of the Skarloey Railway. He often had other business to attend to, and was never seen in the books.

Peter Sam[edit]

Peter Sam, known as The Thin Controller, is the vice president of the Skarloey Railway. He succeeded his father, Mr. Robert Sam in 1951, and was hired by the new owner, Sir Handel Lloyd Brown. Like his father, he spent his entire working life on the Skarloey Railway.

Fergus Duncan[edit]

Fergus Duncan, known as The Small Controller, is the owner of the Arlesdale Railway. Despite being known as the Small Controller, he is taller than both the Fat Controller and the Thin Controller.

The Fat and Thin Clergymen[edit]

The Fat and Thin Clergymen are two clergymen with a strong interest in the railways on the Island of Sodor. The Thin Clergyman is an author and is strongly hinted to be the Rev. W. Awdry. The Fat Clergyman, who records moving pictures, is implied to be the Rev. Wilbert Awdry's real-life friend, the Rev. Teddy Boston.


  1. ^ Awdry, Wilbert (1987). The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways. Kaye & Ward. ISBN 9780434927623.
  2. ^ Awdry, Wilbert (1987). The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways. Kaye & Ward. p. 129. ISBN 9780434927623.
  3. ^ "W. Awdry Dies". The Washington Post. The Washington Post. 23 March 1997. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  4. ^ Sibley, Brian (1995). The Thomas the Tank Engine Man. London: Heinemann. pp. 272–5. ISBN 0-434-96909-5.
  5. ^ "Percy - Character Profile & Bio". Thomas & Friends - official website. HIT Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  6. ^ Awdry, Wilbert (1982). Toby The Tram Engine (1st ed.). London: Heinemann. p. 46. ISBN 0434927848.
  7. ^ The Rev. W. Awdry; G Awdry (1987). The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways. Kaye & Ward. p. 126. ISBN 0-434-92762-7.
  8. ^ a b Awdry, Christopher (2005). Sodor, Reading Between the Lines. Sodor Enterprises. p. 9. ISBN 0-9549665-1-1.
  9. ^ a b Awdry, Christopher (2005). Sodor: Reading Between the Lines. Sodor Enterprises. p. 13. ISBN 0-9549665-1-1.
  10. ^ Awdry, Wilbert (1982). Mountain Engines. The Railway Series No. 19. Kaye & Ward Ltd. p. 28. ISBN 0718200187.
  11. ^ Awdry, Wilbert (1995). Tramway engines. Great Britain: Walter Heinemann Limited. p. 30. ISBN 0-434-92803-8.
  12. ^ "The Wisbech and Upwell Tramway: Toby and Mavis". LNER. Retrieved November 5, 2017.