List of Thomas & Friends narrow-gauge engines

In Thomas (the Tank Engine) & Friends, the Island of Sodor is home to the narrow-gauge Skarloey Railway which runs up into the hills. These lines and the engines that work on them are some of the oldest on the island. The narrow-gauge railway has some contact with The Fat Controller's standard-gauge engines (mostly at Crovan's Gate), however the location of the railway often leaves the narrow-gauge engines in relative isolation.[1]

The prominent narrow gauge characters: Duncan (yellow), Skarloey (red), Sir Handel (blue), Peter Sam (green), Duke (brown) and Rheneas (orange). This screenshot was taken from the season 4 episode "Steam Roller".

Skarloey RailwayEdit

SkarloeyEdit

Skarloey /skɑːrˈl/ is one of the oldest engines on the Island of Sodor. Skarloey lives and works on the Skarloey Railway as Engine No.1. He speaks with a Welsh accent. He is painted red (formerly crimson) with white and gold lining. Skarloey has a friend named Rheneas.

When Skarloey first appeared in Season 4, he had not worked in some time, but soon proved his worth once more. He is a dedicated worker and very wise.

Skarloey first appeared in season 4, and has appeared in every season since, except seasons 8, 13, 14, 15 and 19.

Voice actors

RheneasEdit

Rheneas /rɛnˈəs/[citation needed] is one of the oldest engines on the Island of Sodor, along with Skarloey and Duke. Rheneas lives and works on the Skarloey Railway as Engine No. 2, and is known as "The Gallant Little Engine" because he saved the railway from closure. Rheneas is painted vermilion (formerly red) with gold and black stripes. He was Skarloey's twin brother in The Railway Series, but in the television series, they are just referred to as friends.

Rheneas was first featured in the 4 season, in which Skarloey told of how Rheneas' dedication saved the railway despite considerable obstacles. This dedication earned Rheneas extensive repairs, and he was touted as a hero on his return. Since returning, Rheneas has worked diligently on the narrow-gauge railway on Sodor. Rheneas is based on Dolgoch, a locomotive found on the Talyllyn Railway.

Rheneas first appeared in season 4 and has appeared in seasons 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 20, and 21.

Voice actors

Sir HandelEdit

Sir Handel lives and works on the Skarloey Railway on the Island of Sodor as Engine No. 3. Sir Handel is named after the owner of the Skarloey Railway, Sir Handel Brown. Sir Handel is painted blue (formerly dark blue) with red stripes.

He was originally called Falcon when he lived on the Mid Sodor Railway with Duke and Stuart (now known as Peter Sam). When the railway closed, he and Stuart were sold to the Sodor Aluminium Company, and then later to the Skarloey Railway, where he was renamed Sir Handel and given a red coat of paint. He had problems with staying on the track, so he was fitted with a set of wheels with wide tyres, nicknamed "steamroller wheels" by the other engines. He was taken to pieces for a television programme when he pretended to be ill. Later, he was sent to the Talyllyn Railway in Wales when one of their engines needed repairs. Most recently, he caused trouble for the Thin Controller by deliberately damaging his firebox.

In The Railway Series, Sir Handel was given the Skarloey Railway's red livery, although he was always painted blue (excluding the tenth-twelfth series) in the TV series. Sir Handel is based on Sir Haydn, a locomotive found on the Talyllyn Railway.

Sir Handel first appeared in season 4 and has appeared in seasons 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23 and 24.

Voice actors

Peter SamEdit

Peter Sam, based on Talyllyn Railway No. 4 Edward Thomas began his life as Stuart, working on the Mid-Sodor railway with Duke and Falcon (Falcon now known as Sir Handel). He has green paint (formerly dark green) with red stripes, red nameplates, and the number 4. Peter Sam was bought by an aluminium company after Mid-Sodor shut down, then later was sold to the Skarloey Railway with Sir Handel, and often ended up apologising for his old friend's behaviour. Coaches and slate cars alike found him polite and easy to get along with, so he quickly became a useful addition to the railway.

Following an accident with some slate cars, Peter Sam's funnel was knocked off by an icicle hanging in a tunnel, so Peter Sam had to use a drainpipe for a funnel instead. However, the replacement funnel was square and strange-looking. The other engines made fun of the new funnel until they discovered how well Peter Sam worked because of it.

Unlike the Skarloey Railway of the books, where all the locomotives are painted red, in the TV series each is painted a different colour: Peter Sam retains his original green colour from The Mid-Sodor Railway.

Peter Sam first appeared in season 4, and has appeared every season since, except seasons 8, 13, 14, and 19. He along with Duke and Sir Handel were illustrated in concept art for season 15's Kevin the Steamie but don't appear in the final cut.

Voice actors

RustyEdit

Rusty the Diesel is responsible for hauling maintenance trains for gangers to repair the track. He also occasionally pulls trucks and, when the railway is very busy, passenger trains. He is one of the kinder diesels on the Island, and he is always trying to make his friends happier. Rusty is painted orange, with his number painted on both sides in white, but in The Railway Series, he is painted black. He is No. 5 on the Skarloey Railway. He speaks with a West Country accent.

Rusty came to the railway to help maintain the line, pulling trains of workmen and equipment around the railway. Rusty is fearless, practical, and friendly and he quickly becoming friends with the other engines. Although Duncan can be rude to him, he always apologises after Rusty has helped him out.

He was one of many engines to make the transition from The Railway Series to the TV Series in Season 4. When he was painted black in The Railway Series, he had a similar nameplate to the steam engines.

Rusty is based on Midlander, a diesel locomotive found on the Talyllyn Railway.

Rusty first appeared in Season 4, and has appeared in every season since until season 12, except season 8. He briefly returned from seasons 16 to 18. He has been seen again in season 24.

Voice actors

DuncanEdit

Duncan is a tank engine who lives and works on the Skarloey Railway on the Island of Sodor as Engine No. 6. Despite the fact that Duncan is prone to grumble and complain about being overworked, Peter Sam refers to Duncan as "keeping busy and meaning well". He tends to have a mind of his own which makes him obstinate and hot-tempered on occasions. He is also known for swaying on the track dangerously, which his driver calls "Rock 'n' Roll", and is often portrayed with a Scottish accent. Despite his rough ways, Duncan is a good-hearted, well-meaning, and hard-working steam train with a big heart.

He was painted red in The Railway Series. In the TV Series, he is painted yellow with gold and black lining.

Duncan is based on Douglas, a locomotive found on the Talyllyn Railway. For a period after 2010, the real version of the engine carries a character face, name and color.

Duncan first appeared in Season 4, and has appeared in seasons 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18, 20, 22, 23 and 24. He was mentioned in one episode of Season 16, "Don't Bother Victor!"

During the production of Blue Mountain Mystery, Nitrogen Studios went to the Talyllyn Railway to take photographs and measurements of the engines to use as reference for the CGI models of the Skarloey characters. Unfortunately, Duncan's basis, Douglas, was being overhauled and couldn't be measured. This explains why Duncan never returned until the eighteenth series.

Voice actors

  • Tom Stourton (UK/US, Season 18 onwards)
  • Ryōichi Tanaka (Japan, Season 4-7)
  • Chikara Osaka (Japan, Season 9 onwards; excluding Season 20)
  • Nobuaki Kanemitsu (Japan, Season 20 only)

DukeEdit

The Duke of Sodor, also known as Duke, is considered a hero among most of the engines on the Island of Sodor. He is colored brown, with his name displayed on both sides. He was named after his grace, the Duke of Sodor, and whenever anything went wrong he would exclaim, "That would never suit his Grace!"[2]

Duke lived and worked on a now-closed railway with Stuart and Falcon (Sir Handel and Peter Sam). He was the oldest engine on the line, and liked everything to be "just so". This prompted Falcon and Stuart to give him the nickname "Granpuff". When the railway closed in 1947, Stuart and Falcon found new homes, but Duke was left behind in his shed. 22 years later in 1969, a group of enthusiasts excavated Duke's shed, and promised to reunite him with Stuart and Falcon. All three were very happy to meet each other again.

The story of Duke was based upon a true story about an engine called Coronel Church abandoned in the Brazilian rain forest.

Duke would be the first narrow-gauge engine in the series to have a tender, even though he was also the first engine introduced on Sodor to not have buffers.

Duke himself is based on the engine Prince, a Festiniog Railway 0-4-0TT engine on the Ffestiniog Railway at Porthmadog, North Wales.

He only physically appeared in Series 4 with him having speaking in four of the episodes of that season and then had some non-speaking appearances later. However, his painting appeared in a signal box throughout series 5, and he also made a stock footage cameo in the Series 7 episode "Harold and the Flying Horse".

Due to production costs, in the fifth season, Duke's model was repainted dark brown and turned into Bertram, who also wore Smudger's face.

Voice actors

Ivo HughEdit

Ivo Hugh is the Skarloey Railway's No.7, built in New Little Engine at Crovan's Gate Works.

He was named after the line's Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME), who was one half of the two-man train crew in the final days of two-engine operation, alongside The Thin Controller. He became Rusty's driver, upon the diesel locomotive's arrival.

Hugh had retired by the time of New Little Engine and had the honour of having the railway's new No. 7 named after him.

Ivo Hugh is based on Talyllyn Railway's No. 7 Tom Rolt.

His son succeeded him as the new CME.

BertramEdit

Bertram is an old dark brown engine who worked near an isolated mine on Sodor. He is known as the 'Old Warrior' because of his bravery. He remained at the mine until it was rediscovered years later. Toby thought he was a ghost at first, but the two were later introduced and became friends. Bertram now works at the restored mines, taking passengers to the fairground at the site.

Bertram only appeared in Series 5. His body was just Duke's model repainted a darker brown colour with red lining and his face was taken from Smudger. According to Britt Allcroft, Bertram was intended to be a tank engine.

As a result of him reusing Duke's model, Bertram is based upon the Festiniog Railway 0-4-0TT.

Mighty MacEdit

Mighty Mac are a double-ended Fairlie locomotive, and the newest addition to the Skarloey Railway. Despite the opposing personalities of the two ends, they are technically one engine - one that is painted royal blue with yellow and red stripes. Mighty is the "older" half distinguished by a small flick of hair and Mac is the "younger" and he is distinguished by his youthful features, round nose, and freckled cheeks.

Prior to their adoption into the Skarloey Railway family, Mighty Mac has had only ever worked in the shunting yards for a long time. Their conflicting personality placed themselves and their passengers in danger while running an important errand. But with Thomas' advice in mind, they were able to complete their task and realise the value of working together.

Mighty Mac is based on a Double Fairlie locomotive from the Ffestiniog Railway.

Mighty Mac made their debut in Season 9 of Thomas & Friends, in an episode of the same name. They later appeared in seasons 10, 11, and 12, and also in The Great Discovery.

Voice actors

  • Taketoshi Kawano (Japan, Season 9 onwards)

Fearless FreddieEdit

Fearless Freddie is an old warhorse engine who returned to the narrow-gauge lines after many years. He carries the Number 7, and is painted gray with black, gold and red livery. He and Sir Handel were close friends when they were younger.

Upon returning home, Freddie was challenged by Rheneas and Skarloey to a series of races up and down the mountain. When he realised he wasn't as strong or fast as he once was, Freddie used his knowledge of the mountain routes and short-cuts to secure victories. However, when his cheating placed Rheneas in danger, Freddie was forced to put his knowledge to better use and help Rheneas.

Freddie is based on Russell, a locomotive found on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in North Wales.[3]

Freddie first appeared in season 10 and also appeared in seasons 11 and 12. He also appeared in the special The Great Discovery.

Voice actors

LukeEdit

Luke is a little green narrow-gauge tank engine who came to the Island of Sodor at the same time as Victor.

Luke has had many adventures, like befriending a deer and sending it to the Estate (Ulfstead Castle) and switching jobs with Millie. During his visit to the castle, he couldn't find the Groundskeeper's lodge, and he went so fast he bumped his carriage and passengers, but soon he learned to be patient and calm.

Luke appears to be based on a Kerr Stuart Wren locomotive with an enclosed cab with doors added and added buffers. He carries the number 22 on his sides.

Luke was introduced in Blue Mountain Mystery, and has appeared in every season since, except season 19. He also had a supporting role in King of the Railway and cameoed in Journey Beyond Sodor.

Voice actors

North Western RailwayEdit

VictorEdit

Victor is a dark red Hispanic tank engine in charge of the Sodor Steamworks. He supervises all the engines who journey in and out of the workshops, as well as Kevin, the clumsy yard crane. Victor always has a helpful, constructive disposition and is good-humored with everyone he meets.[4] He speaks with a Cuban accent and spoke Spanish when he first came to Sodor.

Victor was introduced in the feature-length special Hero of the Rails. The show's staff were researching real-life engine workshops as inspiration for the Steamworks when they learned that one had a self-contained narrow-gauge line, used to transport parts internally. The staff decided they wanted an engine with a cab, and chose as a prototype ALCo's #1173, which was specially built for a sugar plantation line in Cuba.[4] Some artistic licence was taken, as the original #1173 is a standard-gauge locomotive.[5]

In Blue Mountain Mystery, it is revealed that Victor originally came to Sodor with Luke. Back then, he was painted bright yellow. Because Victor did not speak the same language as Luke or the crew on the ship, they could not understand him. While at sea, the chains holding Victor down to the deck of the ship snapped, causing him to roll freely along the short stretch of track that he was on. When the ship arrived at the docks, Luke asked to be taken up first. Victor tried to tell the crew about his chains, but they still could not understand him, so they did not pay attention. When Luke was lifted off the ship, he accidentally bumped Victor, which sent him rolling backwards along the deck and into the sea. Luckily, Victor was saved by a jetty. It was a long time before he was lifted out, but instead of being sent to the Smelter's Yard, as Luke had thought, he was repaired. To communicate with the workmen, Victor learned their language, his first word being "red" because it was the color he wanted to be for his new life on Sodor.

Victor was introduced in Hero of the Rails and has appeared in every season of the show and in most feature-length specials since, except Tale of the Brave, The Adventure Begins and Big World! Big Adventures!. He also has major supporting roles in Misty Island Rescue, Day of the Diesels, Blue Mountain Mystery, King of the Railway, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, The Great Race and Journey Beyond Sodor.

Voice actors

Estate RailwayEdit

MillieEdit

Millie is Sir Robert Norramby's private French narrow-gauge tank engine. She made her debut in the 2013 movie, King of the Railway, she also debuted in the season 17 episode, The Switch.

Millie is a youthful, fun-loving, French narrow-gauge engine who runs on Sir Robert Norramby's (the Earl of Sodor) Estate Railway which includes Ulfstead Castle. In the season 17 episode, The Switch, she learned to work in the Blue Mountain Quarry, that she actually liked tunnels, and she found out that she was stronger than she thought.

Millie is based on a Decauville 0-4-0 well tank engine.[citation needed]

She is the first female narrow-gauge engine to be introduced in the television series while the Sigrid of Arlesdale is the first female minimum-gauge engine to be in The Railway Series.

Millie is painted blue with white lining, with a golden running board, boiler bands and wheel spokes and Sir Robert Norramby's crest on the sides of her cab.

Millie first appeared in King of the Railway, and has appeared in every season since, except seasons 19 and 22.

Voice actors

Culdee Fell RailwayEdit

GodredEdit

The story of Godred (Number 1) is based on the real history of the Snowdon Mountain Railway's locomotive No. 1 L.A.D.A.S. which was destroyed after it derailed on the line's opening day. Similarly, in the story "Bad Look-Out" the engine Culdee tells the tale of Godred, who falls over the mountain about a month after the railway's opening and was subsequently sent to the back of the shed, and eventually dismantled for spare parts. Despite the fact that it was mentioned at the end of the story that Culdee had made it up, the books "The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways" and "Sodor: Reading Between the Lines" reveal that Godred did exist and met his demise when he fell down the mountain.

According to Culdee, Godred was self-centered and held too much faith in his automatic brakes. Culdee, Godred's crew and the manager all tried to rectify this, but he never paid attention and paid the price.

The Rev. W Awdry wanted the story to be as close to what really happened as much as possible, but did not want to distress the readers so he added that he had made up the story.

ErnestEdit

Ernest (number 2) appears in the story "Danger Points" talking to Culdee and Wilfred.

WilfredEdit

Wilfred (number 3) first appears telling Culdee of the engines who arrived during his absence, and is later delayed after Lord Harry derails at the summit. He is also seen lecturing Lord Harry about the importance of goods work.

CuldeeEdit

Culdee (number 4) is named after Culdee Fell, the mountain his railway climbs. He is a friendly engine, and has plenty of advice to give to the other engines. He was one of the first engines on the line, being built in 1896, and was used in early test runs on the line. He was also one of the last mountain engines on Sodor to travel to Switzerland for an overhaul.

Shane DooineyEdit

Shane Dooiney (number 5) is an engine on this railway who does not actually appear in The Railway Series, although he is mentioned in "The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways" where he is described as being overhauled in Switzerland during the events of the book Mountain Engines. He is the last engine to be overhauled away from Sodor, all subsequent locomotive maintenance taking place on the island, at the Crovan's Gate Works.

Lord Harry/PatrickEdit

Lord Harry (number 6) (also called "No. 6" and "Patrick") was known as a rude and ignorant trouble-maker on the Culdee Fell Railway. The fact that he was named after Lord Harry Barrane (the chairman of the Mountain Railway Board) and his ultra-modern superheated design made him conceited and led to a habit of unnecessary risk-taking. He even went far as to call Culdee a "patched-up old ruin". After scaring his coach and derailing at the summit station, blocking both platforms, he was sent to the sheds in disgrace by the manager, Walter Richards. He was stripped of his name and was known only by his number. Passengers refused to trust him and he was reduced to the level of goods engine, transporting hotel supplies and ferrying railway gangers to and from work. After rescuing an injured climber at the mountain summit by pushing the Truck up "Devil's Back" in a severe gale, he was regarded as a hero and renamed Patrick after the injured climber.

AlaricEdit

Alaric (number 7) is mentioned in a conversation between Culdee, Wilfred and Ernest in "Danger Points". He is built to a "super-heat" design, and has designated passenger coach.

He is mentioned for being particularly quite and polite to the other engines.

EricEdit

Eric (number 8) is mentioned in a conversation between Culdee, Wilfred and Ernest in "Danger Points". He is built to a "super-heat" design.

Like Alaric, he is also rather polite and quiet. He also has his own coach.

Minor charactersEdit

SmudgerEdit

Smudger was a reckless British tank engine who worked on Duke's old railway. Although his real name is "Stanley", he is known by the nickname "Smudger".[citation needed] He liked to show off, usually when riding roughly and derailing. Smudger scoffed at Duke's warnings, which prompted the Manager to turn him into a generator behind the engine shed. Nothing is recorded about what happened to Smudger when The Mid Sodor Railway closed in 1947, so that means it is unknown as to whether he has remained there or been scrapped.

Smudger was only seen in the series 4 episode "Granpuff," substituting a red Baldwin called "Number 2" from the original story in the Railway Series.

Smudger's reused Rheneas' model, but with him being repainted dark green with black stripes. As Smudger reused Rheneas' model, he is based on the Talyllyn Railway No. 2 Dolgoch. Following the fiming of Granpuff, his model was later repainted back into Rheneas and one of his faces was reused for Bertram in series 5.

Voice actors

  • Nobuhiko Kazama (Japan, Series 4)

StanleyEdit

In the book, Stanley had a tendency to ride roughly on the rails. He is depicted as arrogant and careless, believing that it did not matter if he came off the track occasionally. However, this attitude resulted in his being converted into a pumping engine. He last worked at the Cas-ny-Hawin mine until he broke down in December 1946 and the mine became flooded. With no reason to stay open, the Mid Sodor Railway closed down the next month and Stanley was scrapped.

He appeared in one illustration of "Duke the Lost Engine", as a pumping engine at the back of the engine shed. The engine is only known as "No. 2" in that book; his name was not revealed until the publication of "The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways".

Stanley is based on a Baldwin Class 10-12-D 4-6-0 pannier tank locomotive. 495 of these locomotives were built by Baldwin and ALCo from 1916 - 1917 to run on the War Department Light Railways trench lines.

Stanley's role is taken by Smudger in the television series, who is more akin to Rheneas (indeed, Smudger's model was Rheneas' repainted).

AlbertEdit

Albert was a narrow gauge saddle tank engine. He was built in 1904 by Henry Hughes and Company in the Falcon Works, Loughbrough, as an 0-4-0ST. Trailing wheels were later added to improve stability, making the loco an 0-4-2ST. Model railway layout only.

ProteusEdit

Proteus is a legendary yellow British tank engine who wore a magic lamp upon his funnel. Legend said that anyone who found the lamp would have their wishes granted. As Skarloey told this story to the other Skarloey Railway engines, the clues to finding the magic lamp are a rush of wind, a creaking noise, and a flickering light, the source of the flickering being the magic lamp itself. Peter Sam almost thought he discovered the lamp himself after hearing the story.

The other engines have kept him in their minds, and a bronze statue of him has been set up by the railway.

Proteus made his first and only physical appearance in the Series 9 episode "The Magic Lamp", in which his shape was similar to Sir Handel's. He then appeared in the 12th series episode Mountain Marvel as a statue.

The name Proteus occurs in Greek Mythology: Proteus was a water-god known as the "Old Man of the Sea".

Rusty's Ghost EngineEdit

Rusty's Ghost Engine was a narrow-gauge engine who supposedly worked on the Skarloey Railway. According to Rusty, the engine was returning home one misty full moon night when he lost control on the old iron bridge and fell into a ravine. Men searched in the water, but could not find him, he was never found again, but workmen claim to have seen him trying to get home, only to fail. Rusty told Duncan his story after he teased Peter Sam for allowing his trucks to derail in the ravine. Duncan disbelieved the story, but the next day Duncan's crew arranged things so that Duncan believed the engine was trying to cross the bridge at the same time as him when one misty moonlit night he was taking some slate trucks from the slate incline quarry, and quickly ran back.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20180814203906/http://www.sodor-island.net/railwayseries/skarloey.htm
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20180814163406/http://www.sodor-island.net/railwayseries/duke.htm
  3. ^ "Russell". whr.co.uk. 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Victor". thomasandfriends.com. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  5. ^ "Surviving Steam Locomotives in Cuba". Steam Locomotive dot com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.