List of characters in The Railway Series

  (Redirected from BoCo (The Railway Series))

This article is about the characters that have appeared in the books of The Railway Series by the Rev. Wilbert Awdry and Christopher Awdry.

North Western RailwayEdit

These are the main rolling stock of the North Western Railway (NWR), commonly referred to as the Fat Controller's railway:

Steam enginesEdit

Thomas (Number 1)Edit

Thomas the Tank Engine (No. 1) is a 0-6-0T ex-London, Brighton and South Coast Railway E2 class locomotive. Built in June 1915, he arrived on Sodor three months later, details of which remain obscure; he was sold to the North Western in 1920 to avoid complications. In 1925 he was put in charge of the branch line from Knapford to Ffarquhar, which he runs to this day. He is inclined to get uppish but he has heart and dogged determination. He is painted in NWR blue with red lining, a distinction he shares with Edward, Gordon and the Scottish Twins. Thomas is also the primary character in the eponymous television series, Thomas and Friends.

Edward (Number 2)Edit

Edward the Blue Engine (No. 2) is a 4-4-0 ex-Furness Railway K2 class locomotive. He is the first character to appear in The Railway Series. He is painted blue with red stripes. He was built in 1896 and arrived on Sodor in 1915 on loan with other engines to assist in the Railway's construction. As a 'shy steamer', he was not required back when the construction work was finished, and was formally sold to the NWR in 1921.

Edward is one of the oldest engines on Sodor, and very kind, always tries to help, and considers himself a friend to everyone. He likes working with trucks, which he is very knowledgeable about. However, the bigger engines sometimes look down on him, once claiming to him that "' Tender Engines don't shunt'", and that he is old fashioned, but the Fat Controller still knows he's a Useful Engine at heart despite his age. Careful maintenance and rebuilding has made Edward a reliable performer, though these days he prefers a more relaxed lifestyle; he has charge of his own branch line which runs from Wellsworth to Brendam.

Henry (Number 3)Edit

Henry the Green Engine (No. 3) was originally a 4-6-2 built purportedly to stolen drawings for a GNR A1 prototype designed by Sir Nigel Gresley. He was built in 1919 and arrived on Sodor in 1922.[1] There have been two Railway Series books devoted to him, namely Henry the Green Engine and Henry and the Express.

Awdry had wanted to write Henry out of the series, because Clarence R. 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 sixth book, Henry the Green Engine, Henry is damaged in an accident and rebuilt at Crewe Works to the design of the Stanier "Black Five".[2] Henry is painted green with red stripes.

Henry was the central character in a controversial Railway Series story. In '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.[3]

Gordon (Number 4)Edit

Gordon the Big Engine (No. 4) is a 4-6-2 ('Pacific') ex-London and North Eastern Railway Gresley Class A1 locomotive. He is the prototype example of his class, although this is not directly revealed in Awdry's books. He was built at Doncaster Works in October 1921, tested on the Great Northern Railway (Great Britain) during 1922, was sold to the NWR and arrived on Sodor in March 1923, and rebuilt at Crewe in 1939. He is the biggest and fastest engine on the railway and usually pulls the Express service named The Wild 'nor Wester. He is very boastful and proud, but good at heart, though he does not appreciate being regarded with disrespect or doing work that is indifferent to where he feels his priorities lie. This has led him to get ideas above himself on occasion.

James (Number 5)Edit

James the Red Engine (No. 5) is a 2-6-0 ('Mogul') ex-Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Class 28 mixed-traffic locomotive. Built in 1912-13, he was sold to the NWR still painted in L&Y black livery by the London Midland & Scottish Railway in 1924, presumably as a spare engine in light of Henry's tribulations. Following James's early crash, he was fully-overhauled and painted red with black (later blue) and gold stripes. This triggered his cocky side and made him reckless, but he settled down into a milder character after taking over Gordon's Express at short notice. 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 (though considering the book was published in 1948, the Author's Note is likely referencing current events at the time of publication.

Percy (Number 6)Edit

Percy the Small Engine (No. 6) is an 0-4-0ST of indeterminate origins, although most fans have fairly compared him to the GWR No. 1340 Trojan. He is painted light green with red stripes, and arrived in the 1920s to relieve Thomas in the yard at Tidmouth. When the work became more for Percy to handle after WW2, in 1955 he was transferred to the Ffarquhar branch line, primarily to help with the development of the harbour at Knapford, and thereafter to help Thomas and Toby with goods trains. He is still based on the branch line to this day, as charming and perky as ever.

Toby (Number 7)Edit

Toby the Tram Engine (No. 7) is an 0-6-0 tram engine, of the Great Eastern Railway's class C53. He was built in 1914 and arrived on Sodor in 1951 when he was withdrawn under British Railways ownership following the closure of his tram line, which was a branch of the Wisbech & Upwell Tramway. Toby's arrival closely coincided with a difficult run-in with the Law for Thomas. He was painted chocolate-brown and blue shortly after his arrival.

Toby is a wise, experienced engine who knows all there is to know about running a branch line properly, and often levels the peace between Thomas and Percy. His cowcatchers and sideplates (that cover his wheels) mean he is ideal for taking stone trucks to and from the quarry at Ffarquhar, as the railway runs close to the road. Toby has for years worked with his own coach, Henrietta, who is painted chocolate brown.

Duck (Number 8/5741)Edit

Duck the Great Western Engine (real name Montague; No. 8, but displays his ex-GWR number, 5741) is an 0-6-0PT ex-Great Western Railway 5700 Class locomotive. He is painted in Great Western green and is officially numbered 8, although he carries a cast GWR number plate on his cab sides (5741). He currently runs his own branch line, The Little Western. He is a loyal hard worker who believes that "there are only two ways to do things: the Great Western way, and the wrong way." He was built in 1929 and arrived on Sodor in 1955. Prior to his arrival on Sodor, he was one of the engines of his class that worked on station pilot duties at Paddington. This was revealed in the story "Gordon goes Foreign".

Donald and Douglas (Numbers 9 and 10)Edit

Donald and Douglas the Scottish Twin Engines (Numbers 9 and 10 respectively) are identical 0-6-0 ex-Caledonian Railway locomotives of the 812 Class who arrived on Sodor from Glasgow, Scotland in 1959. Not wanting to be separated, and 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 and intended to send the other back to Scotland, he changed his mind after hearing how they performed in the snow and decided to keep both engines in his fleet.

The 'Twin Engines', as they became known, were painted in typified BR secondary engine black livery when they arrived on the Island, but the Fat Controller duly repainted them blue with red stripes in a nod to their roots. Donald & Douglas were given the numbers 9 and 10 respectively, as well as nameplates. They are practical, cheeky and no-nonsense engines who can be relied upon for any task.

Oliver (Number 11/1436)Edit

Oliver the Great Western Engine (No. 11, but displays his ex-GWR number, 1436) is an 0-4-2T ex-Great Western Railway 1400 Class locomotive, who 'escaped' from the Other Railway where he was due to be scrapped. The GWR 1400 class engines were fitted with a mechanical system allowing the driver to control the locomotive remotely from the cab of an 'autocoach', such as Isabel.

He first appears in the book Enterprising Engines, where he was caught in a tough spot so close to reaching Sodor and he was rescued by Douglas. His escape made him popular with the other engines. He was built in 1934 and arrived on Sodor in 1967 where he was restored, painted GWR green. He was allocated number 11 on the North Western Railway, but was allowed to keep his GWR number '1436'. He was assigned to work with on Duck's branch line.

Diesel enginesEdit

Daisy (Number D1)Edit

Daisy the Diesel Railcar (No. D1) is a diesel railcar based on the British Rail Class 101 in a unique single car configuration, painted green with yellow lining (similar to the livery of British Railways' DMUs in the 1960s). She was built in 1960 and arrived on Sodor specially for use on the Ffarquhar branch line (Thomas' branch line). She was highly opinionated about her functions when she arrived, but after being humiliated by a stray bull, she made more effort to settle into her routine. She first appeared in the book Branch Line Engines.[4]

BoCo (Number D2/D5702)Edit

BoCo the Big Friendly Diesel (No. D2) is a Co-Bo mixed traffic diesel locomotive, who works mainly on Edward's Branch Line (the Brendam branch line, but can also be seen working on The Main Line. BoCo is a Metropolitan-Vickers Type 2 Class 28 diesel-electric locomotive, named after its wheel arrangement, which is known as "Co-Bo". In the Railway Series, BoCo carries his North Western Railway number 'D2', whereas in the television series he carries the number D5702. He is painted in a shade of green (light green in the television series) used by British Railways in the 1960s. He first appeared in the book Main Line Engines. He was built in 1958 and arrived on Sodor in 1965.

BoCo was received with some hostility by Bill and Ben, who called him a "Diseasel" due to a misunderstanding (the word "Diseasel" is also a portmanteau word combining the words "Disease" and "Diesel" and characters are heard commenting that "Coughs and sneezles spread diseasels"), and by James, who called him a "buzzbox". Edward accepted him right away, and soon the others were won over by his affectionate sense-of-humor; he was bought outright by the NWR in result. He is as much an expert in keeping Bill and Ben in line as Edward is.

Bear (Number D3) / D7101Edit

Bear (No.D3) was originally known as D7101 and is based on the British Rail Class 35. He first arrived on the Island of Sodor on a trial for The Fat Controller. He was accompanied by another diesel engine, D199, who talked about taking over the railway, which D7101 didn't like. Later in the same story, D7101 suffered from a failed ejector and had to be rescued by Henry. He befriended his rescuer, and The Fat Controller decided to give him a second chance. D7101 was given a new name, "Bear", a new number, D3, and a new coat of paint, and D199 was sent away in disgrace. Bear backs up Gordon on his Express duties, and works local passenger trains turnabout with Henry and James.

Pip and EmmaEdit

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

They appeared three times, in Gordon the High-Speed Engine, Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines and Thomas and His Friends. Following Privatisation, the Fat Controller decided to purchase them in order to run a faster service to London.[5]

Other rolling stockEdit

Annie and Clarabel are Thomas' 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 also has a compartment for luggage and the guard, and a cabin on her rear end for Thomas's driver to operate him from the rear of the train. Thomas sometimes sings them little songs to keep a good rhythm, and they love to sing back.

Henrietta is Toby's four-wheeled Great Eastern Railway coach.

Isabel, Dulcie, Alice and Mirabel are Great Western Railway autocoaches who work with Oliver (Isabel and Dulcie) and Duck (Alice and Mirabel), on The Little Western.

Toad is Oliver and Douglas' brake van that was saved when Douglas helped Oliver and Isabel escape from the Other Railway.

Skarloey RailwayEdit

Skarloey Railway locomotives all have real-life equivalents; numbers 1-7 and number 9 are all "twins" of locomotives on the Talyllyn Railway (with the same numbers); Number 8 (Duke) is based on Prince on the Ffestiniog Railway. The railway's executives are Sir Handel Brown (The Owner) and Mr. Peter Sam (The Thin Controller).

Skarloey (Number 1)Edit

Skarloey (No. 1) is named after Skarloey Lake, the northernmost point for passengers on the Skarloey Railway. He's an 0-4-2ST (originally an 0-4-0ST). Skarloey's equivalent engine on the Talyllyn Railway is Talyllyn. He was built in 1864. He first appeared in Four Little Engines. The story of his early years was told in Very Old Engines, where it was revealed he was overly excitable and eager to make an impression prior to settling into a more humble but committed engine. He has a fair sense of humor as demonstrated notably in Steamroller.

Rheneas (Number 2)Edit

Rheneas (No. 2) is named after Rheneas 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 his lifelong partner Skarloey. They are the oldest working engines on the Island of Sodor. Rheneas, who is more relaxed and astute than Skarloey, is known as the "Gallant Old Engine" because he saved the railway by getting a train home after a breakdown. His equivalent engine on the Talyllyn Railway is Dolgoch. In Four Little Engines, he was sent away to be overhauled and did not return until seven books later, in Gallant Old Engine.

Sir Handel (Number 3)Edit

Sir Handel (No. 3) is named after Sir Handel Brown, the owner of the Skarloey Railway. He is an 0-4-2ST (originally an 0-4-0ST, like Skarloey), who originally worked on the Mid Sodor Railway under the name Falcon. Stubborn and pernickety, he thinks pulling trucks is beneath him, and will do anything to get out of jobs he does not feel entitled to do; despite this he respects the concept of being part of a team. His equivalent engine on the Talyllyn Railway is Sir Haydn.

He was, according to his builders' plates, built in 1904 at the Falcon Works in Loughborough, and arrived on the Mid Sodor Railway in the same year,[citation needed] when he was painted blue and given the name 'Falcon' (after the works he was built in). After that line closed in 1947, he was sold to the Sodor Aluminium Company and then to the Skarloey Railway, which at the time was desperately short of locomotives. Sir Handel did not cope well with the neglected track on his new railway, and would often derail - sometimes deliberately. He was given special wheels with broad tyres to cure this problem, which were soon known as "steamroller wheels" by the other engines.

In the 1980s, he was invited to the Talyllyn Railway. This story actually runs parallel with fact, as the Talyllyn Railway had paid tribute to The Railway Series by repainting their locomotive Sir Haydn (whom Sir Handel was based on) to resemble Sir Handel. Sir Handel first appeared in Four Little Engines.

In the recent TV series, Sir Handel has inconsistently been shown to have a kind and wise personality like Skarloey, Rheneas, and Duke.

Peter Sam (Number 4)Edit

Peter Sam (No. 4) is named after Mr. Peter Sam (better known as The Thin Controller), the manager of the Skarloey Railway. He is an 0-4-2ST, and is a polite though occasionally-vulnerable engine, popular with passengers and coaches alike. Even the trucks do not play tricks on him because he treats them sensitively. His equivalent engine on the Talyllyn Railway is 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, he was later sold to the Sodor Aluminium Company and then to the Skarloey Railway. Following an accident with some slate trucks (set before the arrival of Duncan), he soon lost his funnel and was fitted with a Giesl ejector which made steaming far easier (set before Sir Handel got new wheels).

In the 1990s he was sent to the Talyllyn Railway. As with Sir Handel, this was based upon the Talyllyn Railway creating a "lookalike" engine, in this case by repainting the locomotive Edward Thomas.

He first appeared in Four Little Engines.

Rusty (Number 5)Edit

Rusty (No. 5) is named after his builders, Ruston & Hornsby. He is a black 4wDM, acquired direct from the manufacturers in 1957.[6] His equivalent engine on the Talyllyn Railway is Midlander.

He is a reliable, practical and friendly little engine who mainly works on maintenance duties, although he can also pull passenger or goods trains if the need arises. He does worry constantly about the upkeep of the line and not being there for it when pulled out for other duty, but is always respectful of others.

He arrived in the book The Little Old Engine.

Duncan (Number 6)Edit

Duncan (No. 6) is an 0-4-0WT, built by Andrew Barclay in Kilmarnock in 1918, and arrived on Sodor in 1958.[6] He arrived on the railway second-hand, as a replacement when Peter Sam had his accident at the quarry. He was rough and bad-mannered, and believed himself to be overworked. He would often sway and lurch along the track – what the Thin Controller referred to as "rock 'n' roll". He had a number of accidents as a result. Despite the fact that he can still get bad-mannered, cheeky, and cynical, his behavior has greatly improved and he became a calmer more respectable engine. His exact origins are unknown, but he did once work in a factory, according to Peter Sam. His equivalent engine on the Talyllyn Railway is Douglas.

He arrived in the book The Little Old Engine.

Ivo Hugh (Number 7)Edit

Ivo Hugh (No. 7) is named after Ivo Hugh, the Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Skarloey Railway and Rusty's driver. He is an 0-4-2T, and is the Skarloey Railway's newest engine, built in 1996. His equivalent engine on the Talyllyn Railway is Tom Rolt.

He was built in 1996 in the Skarloey Railway's workshops, at Crovan's Gate. Although never touched upon in the books, Ivo Hugh was rather highly-strung at first when he entered service, and felt vulnerable in the eyes of Sir Handel and Duncan; Duke however took him under his wing, and he has matured since into a responsible and passionate engine.

He first appeared in New Little Engine.

Duke (Number 8)Edit

Duke (No. 8) is named after The Duke of Sodor. He is an 0-4-0STT, who originally worked on the Mid Sodor Railway under the same name. His equivalent engine on the Ffestiniog Railway is Prince, one of the four engines in the Ffestiniog Railway's 'Small England class'.

He was built in 1879 for the opening of the Mid Sodor Railway. He was named 'The Duke', after the Duke of Sodor. This name was later shortened to simply "Duke". He has a grandfatherly air about him and a high respect from those who know him well; he upholds this with sincere dignity and a touch of heart. When his old railway closed, he didn't make a sale and was left in his old shed, which ended up being buried in a landslide; he sat there for over twenty years until he was finally recovered and ultimately restored for service on the Skarloey Railway.

He first appeared in Duke the Lost Engine.

Fred (Number 9)Edit

Fred (No. 9) is the railway's second diesel engine. His equivalent engine on the Talyllyn Railway is Alf. Very little is said about him in the books, apart from that Rusty once pulled a weedkiller train for him. This was because Fred actually had some mechanical issues due to being a rebuild of two engines; Fred is not a coward, having been hardened by his preceding experience working in underground tunnels, and he actually does get a good run up the line on occasion.

He got a mention in New Little Engine. He entered service in 1989.

Arlesdale RailwayEdit

The Arlesdale Railway is Sodor's smallest railway. It is based on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway in Cumbria. It is run by Mr. Fergus Duncan (The Small Controller). Five engines appear in the books. Three more are mentioned in the companion books.


Mike The Miniature Engine is a 2-8-2 Mikado type who lived and worked on an unnamed railway on the mainland with Rex and Bert until it closed. He is based on the Ravenglass & Eskdale's River Mite. Whilst River Mite was built in 1966, Mike had been in service for almost as long as Rex prior to arriving on Sodor in 1967, which further explains the love-hate dynamic between the two. He first appeared in Small Railway Engines along with Rex and Bert. He is painted red and has an uneasy temper, frequently expressing issues about the state of improper matters. Despite this he prefers hauling ballast wagons over passengers, mainly due to the quiet easy run he usually gets with them.


Rex The Miniature Engine is a 2-8-2 Mikado type who lived and worked on an unnamed railway on the mainland with Mike and Bert until it closed. He has a charismatic personality and is inclined to boast freely about how easy his duties are; he however has traction problems which sometimes hinder his performance. His Ravenglass & Eskdale equivalent is River Esk. He was built by Davey Paxman in 1923. He is painted green and went into mishaps including colliding with a truck carrying wool and blowing his valve gears, although the latter was never revealed in the books.


Bert The Miniature Engine is a 0-8-2 River Irt type who lived and worked on an unnamed railway on the mainland with Mike and Rex until it closed. He is a neurotic engine who has traction problems and was once scolded for getting two Clergymen wet after he got covered in mud. His equivalent is River Irt. He is painted blue and inclined to be easily-ruffled when not approached with respect. According to Mike and Rex, he's a "youngster", which means that unlike his counterpart, he was built later than his regular colleagues from old parts. He once pulled a train with glue used to fixe his tender coupling after it broke, making him quite pleased despite having doubted it before.


Jock The New Miniature Engine is a 2-6-2 Prairie type who was built by the Arlesdale Railway in 1976 due to a shortage of power. He went through trials when still unnamed. The Small Controller tried coming up with names for him but he gave up. Douglas came and found the engine's paint scheme to be similar to the Highland Railway engines. He suggested the name Jock in reference to the Highland engines. To Mike's annoyance in particular Jock boasted endlessly about his customer reception, and attempted to break even with him during a doubleheader run, resulting in Mike failing his water-injector. Jock helped Mike home and in the process realized that he was primarily built to relieve pressure on the other engines, resulting in him respecting the value of teamwork. He is painted yellow and first appeared in Jock The New Engine. He is based on Northern Rock.


Frank The Miniature Diesel is a 0-4-4 diesel hydraulic engine who lives and works on the Arlesdale Railway. He is a grumpy engine who can lose his temper when led to believe he isn't appreciated. He once complained when he didn't appear in a book he pushed into a buffer and crashed to the back of the shed. The Small Controller scolded Frank for his ineptitude and sent him out. He later rescued Rex when his valve gears blew. He is painted gray and has only appeared once in Jock The New Engine. He is based on Perkins.

Privately ownedEdit

Stepney (Bluebell Railway, ex-London, Brighton and South Coast Railway No. 55)Edit

Stepney is a real-life LB&SCR A1X class 0-6-0 tank engine who was featured in the book Stepney the Bluebell Engine. He was the first preserved engine of the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex, where he lives to this day. Interpreted as an eager knowledgeable chap in the books, he visited Sodor shortly after being sold to the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society for a visit to promote his home line, arriving on a railtour via the Other Railway in 1962.

Bill and Ben (Sodor China Clay company numbers 1 & 2)Edit

Bill (No.1) and Ben (No.2) are twin 0-4-0ST engines who work for the Sodor China Clay Co.. They are painted dark orange with red lining, and both have Saddle tanks which cover their smokeboxes, but not their Fireboxes. They have 'SCC' painted in yellow on their Saddle tanks, and underneath are their names on brown nameplates; their numbers are painted on their smokeboxes, under 'Brendam Bay'. Apart from their nameplates and numbers, they are absolutely identical from the outset — which can be confusing to engines who don't know them well, although Ben takes concepts more hesitantly than Bill. They are smaller than the other engines due to their private railway having to pass under a narrow road bridge on the approach to the China Clay Pits. They were built in 1948 and arrived on Sodor the same year although did not feature in a book until 1966.

Bill & 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. Alfred and Judy are both preserved at the Bodmin and Wenford Railway.

Bill & Ben first appeared in the book Main Line Engines and played a major role in Thomas and the Twins.

The Coffee-Pot Engines (Tidmouth, Knapford & Elsbridge Railway)Edit

The Coffee-Pot Engines are 0-4-0 vertical boiler Coffee Pot engines who lived and worked on the Tidmouth Knapford & Elsbridge Railway. They all had vertical boilers and were designed for work on the line that would evolve to Thomas's Branch Line. These engines were never seen in The Railway Series, only mentioned in The Island of Sodor, Its People, Places, and Railways. The TV Series character Glynn is based upon these engines.

Mavis (Ffarquhar Quarry company number 1)Edit

Mavis the Quarry Diesel is a 6wDM shunting engine. She belongs to the Ffarquhar Quarry Co., and works mainly shunting stone trucks in their quarry.[citation needed] She sometimes brings Toby's trucks down the line when he is busy. She is painted black, with yellow-and-black "hazard" stripes on her radiator and cab back. Mavis is based on a BR Class 04, some of which were fitted with the sideplates and cow-catcher for use on the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway, the same line that Toby came from. She was built by the Drewry Car Company [7] and arrived on Sodor in 1962.

When she was young, she was praised by the quarrymen and convinced by this that she knew it all, and that Toby with his worn-in rules and methods was a "fusspot". Blatantly ignoring Toby's advice on truck-management-skills brought Mavis to a literal standstill at a level crossing near Ffarquhar where iced rails allowed the trucks to turn the tables on her. To Mavis' indignation, rescue came in the form of 'fusspot' Toby. However the two became friends when she rescued him from a collapsing bridge. She is now allowed to come down the line from time to time, realizing that advice is important when most needed, and is a useful addition to the branch line.

She first appeared in the book Tramway Engines. She was named after the Rev W. Awdry's neighbour in Rodborough, Stroud.

Non-rail vehicle charactersEdit


Terence is a tractor who was first seen in 'Thomas, Terence and the Snow' in the book Tank Engine Thomas Again (1949). He can go "anywhere" thanks to his caterpillar tracks and once famously helped Thomas out of a snowdrift. He was built in 1934. He is based on a Caterpillar Model 70.


Bertie is a friendly competitive bus that first appears in the story in which he rescues Thomas' passengers whilst in a snow drift, and has his most famous adventure when he challenges Thomas to a race. He often talks to Thomas and takes his passengers to their homes at the end of the day. He is based on the Leyland Tiger.


Trevor is a traction engine who was rescued in the story 'Saved from Scrap' and spends most of his time working in the orchard alongside Edward's branch line. He is used for all sorts of odd jobs. Edward often stops to talk to him on his journey. Trevor's favorite thing to do is to take children for rides in the orchard. He is based on the William Foster & Co. Traction Engine No. 14593 '


Harold is a friendly helicopter to The Railway Series characters, although they share a friendly rivalry. He is best known for the famous race between him and Percy. He is owned by the Island's coastguard and lives at Dryaw Airfield. He is white and has red stripes. He was built in 1949 and appears in 1956. He is based on the Sikorsky S-55.


George is a spiteful steamroller who despises railways and what they stand for. This character first appeared in 'Steam Roller' in the book Gallant Old Engine He tried to flatten rails and turn them into roads. He once raced Sir Handel who had wide wheels. He also challenged Daisy to a race. He is based on an Aveling Barford R class steamroller.


Caroline is a car who appears in the story 'Train Stops Play'. She spends most of her time transporting cricket players to and from the fields. She lives on the Elsbridge Cricket Fields. She went after Stepney after a cricket ball fell in one of his trucks. She is based on a Morris Oxford Bluenose Saloon.


Bulgy is a rude bus. He is a member of the Anti Rail League. He tries to steal passengers from Duck's train. He famously gets wedged under a low clearance bridge when Duck celebrates his defeat. He later gets turned into a chicken coop. He is based on the AEC Regent III, famous for serving London's bus routes in the 1940s and 1950s.

Human charactersEdit

The Fat ControllerEdit

Sir Topham Hatt (better known as The Fat Controller or The Fat Director), is the head of the main rail company on Sodor. He is a firm but fair leader for whom the engines have the greatest respect. It is revealed in The Island of Sodor, Its People, Places, and Railways that over the course of the series, Sir Topham Hatt's son Charles Topham Hatt II had succeeded him in 1954, and his grandson Stephen Topham Hatt III became the Fat Controller in 1984. In Sodor: Reading Between the Lines, it is stated Sir Topham Hatt I's great-grandson Richard Topham Hatt IV will become acting controller upon Stephen Topham Hatt III's retirement, but it is unknown when this occurred.

The OwnerEdit

Sir Handel Brown (better known as The Owner) is the head of the Skarloey Railway. He is the namesake of the railway's #3 engine. He has other businesses to attend to and is rarely seen in person. So Mr. Peter Sam (The Thin Controller) runs the railway.

The Thin ControllerEdit

Mr. Peter Sam (better known as The Thin Controller) is the vice president of the Skarloey Railway. He is the namesake of the railway's #4 engine. He is well respected by the engines.

The Small ControllerEdit

Mr. Fergus Duncan (better 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 & Thin ClergymenEdit

The Fat and Thin Clergymen are two clergymen with a strong interest in the railways of the Island of Sodor. The Thin Clergyman is an author, strongly hinted to be the Rev. Wilbert Awdry, and the Fat Clergyman records moving pictures, 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. p. 129. ISBN 9780434927623.
  2. ^ "W. Awdry Dies". The Washington Post. The Washington Post. 23 March 1997. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  3. ^ Sibley, Brian (1995). The Thomas the Tank Engine Man. London: Heinemann. pp. 272–5. ISBN 0-434-96909-5.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Awdry, Christopher (2005). Sodor, Reading Between the Lines. Sodor Enterprises. p. 9. ISBN 0-9549665-1-1.
  6. ^ a b Awdry, Christopher (2005). Sodor: Reading Between the Lines. Sodor Enterprises. p. 13. ISBN 0-9549665-1-1.
  7. ^ "The Wisbech and Upwell Tramway: Toby and Mavis". LNER. Retrieved November 5, 2017.

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