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Rusty the Little Diesel is a fictional narrow gauge diesel locomotive in Wilbert Awdry's Railway Series books and in the accompanying television series Thomas & Friends. Rusty lives and works on the Skarloey Railway on the Island of Sodor as Engine No. 5.

Rusty the Diesel
Thomas & Friends character
Rusty 1995.jpg
Rusty's Small Scale Model
First appearanceThe Little Old Engine (1959)
Created byRev. W. Awdry
Voiced byMatt Wilkinson (UK/US)
Number5 (Narrow gauge engine)
GenderMale (Railway Series; TV Series 9 onwards)
Neutral (TV Series 4-7)


Midlander on the Talyllyn Railway

Rusty is a friendly, calm and caring diesel who was built in 1957 by Ruston and Hornsby. He is used for maintenance work and motive power in case of emergency or breakdown.[citation needed] Despite his rust-colour (black in the Railway Series),[1] Rusty's name is a portmanteau of Ruston and Hornsby. He is based on the Talyllyn Railway's "Midlander".


Commercial models of Rusty
Model range Type Color
Ertl die-cast metal Normal
Take Along/Take n Play die-cast metal Normal
Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway wood Normal
TrackMaster plastic motorized Normal
Mega Bloks plastic Normal
My First Thomas plastic Normal
Bachmann HO scale plastic Normal


  1. ^ "Rusty - Character Profile & Bio". Retrieved July 10, 2018.