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Skarloey is a fictional narrow gauge tank locomotive from The Railway Series by the Reverend W. Awdry. He is one of the oldest engines on the Island of Sodor. Skarloey lives and works on the Skarloey Railway as Engine No.1.

Thomas & Friends character
Skarloey 1994.jpg
First appearanceFour Little Engines (1955)
Created byRev. W. Awdry
Voiced byKeith Wickham (UK/US)
Number1 (Narrow-gauge engine)


Railway Series historyEdit

Skarloey came to the Island in 1865. When he arrived, there was some difficulty in getting him off of the boat that he had been brought upon. He was helped by an old tank engine by the name of Neil. At first he was badly behaved and refused to pull trucks. He also had a habit of "bucking", which was cured by adding an extra pair of wheels. At the same time, he received a cab, which made him more conceited. But after his brother Rheneas rescued him following an accident, he learnt the error of his ways.

Since then he has become a hard worker – at one point he worked so hard that he became quite ill, leaving Rheneas with the responsibility of running the line on his own until Sir Handel and Peter Sam arrived. When he was repaired, he went straight back to work. He mainly pulls coaches, and he is the engine usually put in charge of special trains, and is affectionately nicknamed "the Little Old Engine". He was also once the subject of a television programme, along with Rheneas and the other engines of the Skarloey Railway.

Skarloey in the TV seriesEdit

Skarloey was introduced in the fourth season of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. The season placed a great focus on him and the other Narrow Gauge characters, with a number of tales from the original books televised.

As the series progressed, Skarloey's character waxed and waned, especially under the influence of HIT Entertainment. The Narrow Gauge engines took a full absence in 2004, but returned the following year alongside Rheneas, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Rusty, Duncan and new arrivals, Mighty Mac (introduced 2005) and Fearless Freddie (introduced 2006). However, his character was altered to a more teenage personality. In recent episodes, he has tried to impress the other engines by bravely but foolishly going up the Incline with the coal trucks, and he was also carried across the Island on Thomas' flatbed in the Season 10 finale. In the CGI series, his classic personality has returned. Skarloey is now the respected leader of the Blue Mountain Quarry.

Skarloey's small gauge model (originally used in Season 4) was the second to return in the new era of Thomas and Friends (The first was Rusty in Calling All Engines). It is also used for the ghost engine that fell off an old iron bridge into a ravine in the Season 5 episode Duncan Gets Spooked.

In the Japanese version of Seasons 4–7, Skarloey was voiced by Tomohisa Aso. His new voice actor in Season 9 is Hideyuki Umezu.

From Spring 2012 onwards, Skarloey is now currently voiced by Keith Wickham (UK/US) in the CGI version of the series on both sides of the Atlantic, respectively.

Skarloey appeared in the specials The Great Discovery, Blue Mountain Mystery, King of the Railway, and The Great Race.


Skarloey has been released in a number of model ranges, including:

  • The Ertl Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends line (released in 1997)
  • The Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway (released in 1996)
  • The Take-Along Thomas & Friends line (released in 2005)
  • The Take-n-Play range (released in 2010)
  • The Tomica/TrackMaster Motorized range (released in 2006)
  • The Tomy wind-up range (released in 2006)
  • The Bachmann Thomas & Friends narrow-gauge line (released in 2015)
  • The Minis range (released in 2015) with different versions: Classic, Chillin', DC Super Friends (as Arsenal), Sweets and SpongeBob SquarePants (as Mr. Krabs).


Talyllyn in 2009
Talyllyn in 1904

Skarloey is based on the locomotive Talyllyn who works at the Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn, Wales. Like the fictional character, Talyllyn was built in 1864, and has worked on his original railway since 1865.