The North Western Railway is the main railway company featured in The Railway Series books by the Rev. W. Awdry and the TV series Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends. Although the company's name has never been specifically stated in either the books or on television it was mentioned as such in tie-in books such as "Island of Sodor, Its History, People and Railways" by the Rev. Awdry and also on some maps that were drawn to accompany the Railway Series.
The railway's motto is "Nil Unquam Simile", which is Latin for "There's nothing quite like it"!
NWR railway lines
The Main Line
This runs from Barrow to Tidmouth. It is run by the Fat Controller's biggest engines. The most important train is the Express (called the Wild Nor' Wester), usually pulled by Gordon, Alice, Sodor Castle, Hiro, Patrick. and Daphne, all of whom pull the express as far as Barrow-in-Furness; Phillipa (Pip & Emma) run triweekly overnight express services to London St. Pancras. Henry, James, Peter, and Bear handle mixed-traffic, and Diesel and Stanley handle the shunting work at Tidmouth. Donald & Douglas, Neville, Dennis, Arthur, and Sheffield are utility engines, working various trains along the mainline, and are also light enough to work on the branchlines. Others like Murdoch and the NW Freight locomotives can be seen pulling long heavy goods trains. It connects with the Skarloey Railway at Crovan's Gate, where the Crovan's Gate Works are located.
During Sectorisation in the 1980s, all stopping and limited-stop trains operated under the Provincial (later Regional) Railways branding, with limited-stop trains upgraded to Alphaline trains in the 1990s. The Wild nor' Wester was an InterCity Executive train, and coaches continued showing InterCity branding until 2001, when the Mark 2/3 coaches that had been used were replaced by the classic, 1922-era coaches. Regional branding left the local trains in 1999, and Alphaline branding was removed in 2004.
Passenger services along the line are Express (only stops at Crovan's Gate and Barrow-in-Furness), Limited Stop (only stops at junctions) and Suburban (stops at all stations).
Traffic includes passengers, general goods, gold ore, anhydrite, cheese, butter, agriculture, plasterboard, limestone, granite, cattle, logs, lumber, coal, fish, and intermodal traffic.
Along the line, in addition to the passenger stations, there are also the limestone works between Knapford and Crosby, and the anhydrite mines near Kellsthorpe Road.
Normal weekday traffic patterns include four express roundtrips, sixteen Limited Stop roundtrips, 28 Suburban roundtrips, and anywhere from five to twenty goods trains. Weekend traffic patterns include two express roundtrips, no Limited Stop trains, 14 Suburban roundtrips, and up to four goods trains.
Notable locations on this line include the main engine sheds at Tidmouth, Gordon's Hill and the Ballahoo tunnel in which Henry was bricked up. The Ballahoo Ridge Cut-Off was closed in 1966 for use as a storage tunnel to test the feasibility of a strategic steam fleet for use in the event of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union (in which case, EMP would knock out diesel and electric locomotives). After the sole locomotive in the tunnel, now NWR #15 Peter, was extracted and restored, the tunnel and its line were reopened as a through line for use by express passenger trains and through goods trains, so that express trains wouldn't have to slow for Norramby on the adjacent line.
Thomas' Branch Line
This runs from Knapford to Ffarquhar. It was originally part of the Tidmouth, Knapford & Elsbridge Railway. When the Fat Controller took over, the original locomotives were replaced and the line was extended to serve the quarry at Ffarqhuar. A further extension a few miles further east to Ulfstead was opened in 2010. Thomas the Tank Engine was put in charge, with his coaches Annie and Clarabel (who were later joined by Becky, a third coach, and Drew, an ex-LBSCR luggage van, in 2009) and for many years ran the line single-handedly. Toby the Tram Engine was later brought to help on the quarry line after Thomas was ticketed by an overzealous police officer who was enforcing outdated Ministry of Transportation regulations, and after the rebuilding of Knapford Harbour Percy the Small Engine took charge of general goods traffic. A diesel railcar named Daisy assists with passenger services. The Ffarquhar Quarry Company owns a diesel shunter called Mavis, who sometimes comes down the branch line. Most passenger services run between Knapford and Ffarquhar but some commence and finish at Tidmouth. In 2003, a Stirling Single named Emily was built at Crovan's Gate Works and added to the Ffarquhar Branchline to further assist growing passenger traffic. Another locomotive named Brad was brought in in 1997 to help with increasing freight traffic, the expansion of Knapford Harbor and the Ulfstead extension. One of Brad's sisters, Rosie, was added in 2006 to serve double-duty as a station pilot at Tidmouth and work auxillery passenger services on the the Ffarquhar Branch, primarily passenger trains between Toryeck and Knapford Harbor to make the connection with NWR-owned ferries (ex-SeaLink). After Ted took over station-pilot duties in 2009, Rosie was shifted to full-time mixed-traffic services. Later in 2009 saw the addition of Lily, an ex-W&S tank engine recovered from a ship wreck off the coast of Kirk Ronan.
During Sectorisation in the 1980s, Annie and Clarabel were briefly replaced with a pair of BR Mark 1 coaches painted in Provincial Railways colors, but this only lasted three months when the TV series started; the NWR put Annie and Clarabel back into service against the wishes of BR. As a result, the Ffarquhar Branch was the first to be "de-branded" upon Regional Railways' dissolution on March 31, 1997.
The main branchline passenger service, run by Thomas, was officially named the Ffarquhar Central in 2009 when a third coach named Becky and luggage van named Drew were added; as a result, the train became jokingly known as Thomas' ABC, The Alphabet Train, and the Sesame Street Express.
Traffic includes passengers, gold ore, general goods, milk, agriculture, and uranium. The line formerly carried stone and lead before the deposits were depleted. In the past, there may have also been slate operations according to a few employee's log entries from 1882, but there is no conclusive evidence aside from several remnants of old roadbeds, a few stretches of which still have ballast; the narrowness of the roadbed suggests this railway may have been narrow gauge, and a previously-unknown branchline of the Mid-Sodor Railway.
Normal weekday traffic patterns include eight roundtrips, four off-peak roundtrips, four quarryman's trains, a daily pickup goods, and up to twenty-five loaded gold ore trains, depending on a given day's ore output (trains for empties are run as extras). Weekend traffic patterns include six roundtrips, no off-peak trains, two quarryman's trains, and up to eight loaded gold ore trains, though more may be run depending on a day's ore output.
As well as the quarry at Anopha and the harbour at Knapford, notable locations on or near this line include the dairy at Toryeck, the bridge where Thomas went fishing near Elsbridge, Mrs Kyndley's house near Hackenbeck, Croarie Sidings (the exchange sidings for the Anopha Tramway), and the old lead mine (which has been reopened as a uranium mine) just off the goods line near the harbor.
Edward's Branch Line
This goes from Wellsworth to the harbour at Brendam. It also links the china clay pits at Brendam with the main line. Edward the Blue Engine is in charge here, assisted by BoCo the diesel and Jinty. Donald and Douglas help out. Sodor China Clay owns three small tank engines, Bill and Ben and Timothy, as well as a Marion steam shovel quite fittingly named Marion, who work at the clay pits and the docks; Timothy is unique in that he is one of only two oil-burning steam locomotives on the island, the other being Victor. At peak times passenger services also run along the main line to and from Tidmouth.
Traffic includes passengers, carfloat traffic from Misty Island, China Clay, agriculture, scrap metal, general goods, and cement.
Normal weekday traffic patterns include twelve roundtrips, four commuter trains (two up in the morning, two back in the evening; trains only run with passengers in one direction, with the return trip run empty), and up to twenty-four goods trains. Weekend traffic patterns include eight roundtrips, no commuter trains, and up to ten goods trains.
Upon Sectorisation in the 1980s, all passenger trains on the route were operated under Provincial/Regional Railways branding, and later Network NorthWest. The Mark 1 stock wearing Regional Railways livery were not withdrawn for repainting to Maroon coloring until 2010, while a pair of DMUs wearing Regional branding were converted into coaching stock in 2000.
Some locations on this line featured in the stories include the Vicarage (where Trevor the Traction Engine lives) and the scrap yard.
Misty Island is an island off the coast of Brendam, accessible by the NWR via carfloats. The main industry on Misty Island is timber, with an expansive logging operation. Misty Island also plays host to three company towns and a museum about logging railroads around the world, plus a tourist service. The Misty Island operation has three locomotives: a pair of L&YR Class 23s named Bash and Dash, and an LMS Fowler 4F named Ferdinand. All cars used on excursion trains are converted bogie flats.
In recent years, Misty Island has gained notoriety for its depiction in the TV series. Whereas the real Misty Island has various stringent safety regulations, the Misty Island in the TV series has been described by NWR officials as a deathtrap with zero safety standards, no personnel, a wobbly trestle that should have collapsed years ago, and a crane that flings logs at will. It has also been criticized for using a fictional wood type (Jobi wood), when Misty Island actually has Redwood (not unlike in California). Not only that, but Bash, Dash, and Ferdinand are depicted in a very unflattering light: Bash and Dash are Gypsie-gear locomotives, while Ferdinand is a Class C Climax, and all three are depicted as offensive American redneck stereotypes who see themselves as above the law, do whatever they want, whenever they want, and see the island as a big playground. The railway as a whole decried these depictions of the island and its motive power, and accused HiT Entertainment of misrepresenting Misty Island and its residents for merchandising profits. Railway employees on Misty Island, their families, and the real Bash, Dash, and Ferdinand were so offended by the depiction, that when Andrew Brenner came onboard as head writer, he removed almost all references to Misty Island, aside from Ferdinand making a small cameo in the eighteenth season, and the Misty Island Tunnel (which does not exist in real-life and has also been scoffed at by NWR officials for being allowed to have steam locomotives inside without ample ventilation) was reportedly boarded up, but this rumor was debunked.
The Little Western
This is the newest branch line on the NWR, having been reopened to regular services again in 1968, and is also known as Duck's branch line. It runs along the coast from Tidmouth to Arlesburgh West, where it connects with the Arlesdale Railway. It is used for transporting ballast, and is also very popular with tourists. Duck and Oliver are in charge, and the whole line is decorated in the style of the Great Western Railway. When the line was first opened in the 1920s it connected with the Mid Sodor Railway and intended to go further up the Sudrian western coast to Harwick but this extension was never built. This changed after gold ore was found in Harwick, and an extension to Harwick opened in September 2015. When the Mid Sodor closed in the late 1940s the Arlesburgh branch became used only very rarely. In 2014, slip coach service was inaugurated, the first use of slip coaches in the UK since 1936.
Passenger services on the Little Western were not subject to Sectorisation in the 1980s, unlike the other branchlines on the railway, though a Regional Railways DMU was used on the line during off-peak times until 2006.
Passenger trains run hourly, with a twice-daily through service to Barrow-in-Furness run by Donald and Douglas using ex-GWR Clerestory coaches. A twice-daily commuter train, the Gold Digger Limited, is run for workers at the Harwick gold mines and is run by Ryan out of Tidmouth. Up to ten ballast and twenty gold ore trains run daily.
Traffic includes passengers, ballast, and gold ore. There are plans for a transload facility in the future.
Peel Godred Branch
This branch runs from Kildane to the aluminium works at Peel Godred connecting with the Culdee Fell Railway at Kirk Machan. Although the line has never featured prominently in the Railway Series books or the TV series, according to the Rev. Awdry, the line uses electric locomotives powered from the power station at Peel Godred. Christopher Awdry says in the book Sodor: Reading Between the Lines that goods traffic is hauled by Class 87 electric locomotives. Passenger trains consist of Class 308 EMUs, with occassional appearances by locomotive-hauled trains (mainly diesels due to the dangers of having steam locomotives under live catenary).
The construction of this branch was largely responsible for the closure of the Mid Sodor Railway, and for years, MSR No. 6, Jim, held a grudge against the NWR.
The Peel Godred branch was seen in one illustration in the book Mountain Engines but without any indication that it was an electric railway. However in Henry and the Express an electrified line is visible.
Passenger trains ran under Regional Railways branding from 1990 until Privatisation in 1996, though both multiple units continued wearing Regional branding until 2003.
Passenger trains run every 15 minutes due to the quick turnaround of the EMUs, and their starting and stopping power. Goods trains are run as needed.
Traffic includes passengers, grains, goods, coal, steel, and gold ore.
Other branch lines
On the maps of Sodor are shown three other branch lines that run from Vicarstown to Norramby via Ballahoo, Ballahoo to Crovan's Gate and Kellsthorpe Road to Kirkronan. Parts of these branches were first built by the Sodor & Mainland Railway. Apart from a brief glimpse of Kirkronan in the 1860s and the prominent appearance of Kirkronan Station in Series 5 of the TV series, none of these lines have featured in either the books or TV series, and nothing is known of the locomotives that worked them. With the advent of the internet and increasing tourism, it is now known the Kirk Ronan Branch is run by an ex-LNER V3 named Eric and the Norramby Branch is run by Eagle (James' brother) and Hunter (a 51xx Pacific still in BR Green colors). The "Ballahoo Branch" is actually a secondary line used by stopping and limited-stop passenger trains, plus slower goods trains, with faster trains using the Ballahoo Ridge Cut-Off. The Kirkronan and Norramby branchlines were closed under the Beeching Axe in 1965, with the Kirkronan branch reopened in 1981, and the Norramby branch in 1996.
It is known that the Kirk Ronan Branch's traffic includes passengers, goods, and fish, and the Norramby Branch's traffic includes passengers, cattle, agriculture, and gold ore, plus any parts needed for the Norramby Minature Railway.
Both lines were subject to Sectorisation, both carrying Provincial/Regional Railways branding. This branding remained on rolling stock until 1998 on the Kirk Ronan branchline, and 2013 on the Norramby branch, the last holdout.
According to "research" by the Rev. Awdry the railway company was formed in 1914 from a government-sponsored merger of the two standard gauge rail companies that existed on Sodor. These were:
- The Sodor & Mainland Railway (S&M)
- The Tidmouth, Wellsworth & Suddery Railway (TW&S). This Railway had been formed in 1912 from a merger of the Tidmouth, Knapford & Elsbridge Railway (TK&E) and the Wellsworth & Suddery Railway.
The three railways were extended and brought into one system as a means of coastal defence against German forces during World War I. The railway was connected to the British mainland by a Shertzer Lift Rolling Bridge designed by Topham Hatt and built in 1925. The bridge runs from Vicarstown to Barrow-in-Furness.
A little-known fact is that the NWR was part of the "Big Four" grouping, unofficially under the name "Big Five", alongside the LNER, LMS, GWR, and SR. It was not recognized in most history books, however, since the railway's size and non-standardized locomotive roster made up of second-hand locomotives meant that, by government definitions, the NWR was a light railway.
The company first had its headquarters at Vicarstown but were moved along with the main engine sheds to Tidmouth in 1926. The original glass-roofed terminal in Vicarstown was destroyed in an accident involving a visiting Southern Railway engine named Sandra crashing into the station while hauling a train of explosives during World War II.
The main repair works for the railway are at Crovan's Gate close to the interchange station with the independently owned Skarloey Railway. Connections to Sodor's other railway companies are at Kirk Machan for the Culdee Fell Railway and Arlesburgh West for the Arlesdale or 'Small' Railway.
The North Western Railway has had running rights into Barrow Central since the agreement with the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1925. Until the construction of the Jubilee Road Bridge in 1977, the NWR had rights of car-ferry and worked an intensive and profitable service. British Rail had running powers over the Bridge to operate the joint NWR/BR suburban service from Barrow to Norramby.
On through or express trains engines from the NWR are detached at Barrow and "Other Railway" engines take over. This practice has mostly been abandoned after the advent of diesel multiple units (DMUs), and now, all NWR mainline passenger trains turn around at Barrow. Only the Sudrian Flyer, a Tidmouth-London St. Pancras overnight train run by Pip and Emma, continues on from Barrow. Since 1925 the NWR has also had its own loco shed, turntable and servicing facility here. There is also a joint goods yard for exchange traffic.
When the railways in the United Kingdom were nationalised Sodor was affected too with the North Western Railway becoming the North Western Region of British Railways however the railway was allowed to keep a large degree of independence from the rest of the network. When the Beeching Report was released in 1962, the following passage was found towards the end of the report:
Whilst looking over the BR network, one region stood out to us: the North Western Region. Famous for being prominently featured in the Rev. W. Awdry's Railway Series books, the commission has found that the region is the most profitable of the BR network. All of the branchlines are still profitable, and the low amount of locomotives in the region has allowed the region's controller, Sir Charles Topham Hatt II, to control maintenance costs. As a result of being allowed to maintain its operational independence, the railway still uses several obsolete locomotive types and has yet to adopt the BR Black scheme for its entire fleet. To our knowledge, only a pair of Caledonian 812 0-6-0 locomotives numbered 9 and 10 under the region's numbering scheme have been painted in BR Black. The region also only has a single diesel: an experimental single carriage Class 101 in standard BR Green; a Class 08 was trialed in 1958, but was sent back for being troublesome and stirring up dissent amongst the engines of the mainline. Due to the railway's continued profitability with branchlines and steam traction, the commission has decided that the North Western Region will be exempt from the Modernisation Plan of 1955 and this report.
The other railways on the island were not affected by the nationalisation.
The railway was affected by Sectorisation in the 1980s. All local and limited-stop trains came under the Provincial (later Regional) Railways brand, the Wild nor' Wester became an InterCity Executive train (though the practice of locomotive swaps at Barrow was quickly becoming time-consuming and expensive; BR carried out a trial program in 1988 to have passengers transfer to another train, but a passenger survey revealed that this was way too inconvenient, and baggage transfers were also time-consuming; BR attempted to rectify the problem by having a baggage coach at the rear of the train that would be switched on using a shunter, but this caused delays with goods trains; BR admitted defeat and continued the locomotive-swapping practice), the mail trains now carried the Rail Express Systems branding, and goods trains were divided between Trainload Freight and Speedlink. Works Department duties were delegated back to the NWR. After Privatisation, a complex legal process saw branding remain on many trains across all lines. The last carriage set carrying Network NorthWest branding was not withdrawn until 2013, when a set of Mark 1 carriages was withdrawn from the Norramby branch for repainting into maroon coloring. Some Regional Railways and InterCity signage is still visible at several stations, including Suddery, Cronk, Abbey, Kellsthorpe, Norramby, and Kirk Ronan. Pre-recorded station announcements at Knapford, Maron, Brendam, Kirk Machan, Rolf's Castle, Ballahoo, and Toryreck also still mention Regional trains, though these are scheduled to be replaced in early 2016 by new announcements voiced by John Hurt.
Since privatisation the railway has again become the North Western Railway Company and unlike most post-privatisation train companies is responsible for the running of the freight and passenger operations and for the maintenance of the track and infrastructure of the railway. It is also the only railway in the UK that still has traditional goods trains, locomotive-hauled passenger trains, and of course steam traction. The NWR is considered a traditional railway, rather than a train operating company, as all tracks are owned by the railway, rather than Network Rail (National Rail, though, still handles ticketing, though with a very different look than on the mainland featuring illustrations from The Railway Series). Many enthusiasts call the NWR a "railway frozen in time", due to its infrastructure mostly being 1950s vintage, with several pieces of infrastructure dating back to at least the 1880s.
Many infrastructure improvements have taken place over the years, including:
- Replacement of all jointed rail with continuous-welded rail
- Centralized Train Control on the entire system and Block Signals on the Peel Godred Branch
- Installation of Wi-Fi on all passenger cars starting in 2009
- Replacing Tidmouth Sheds with a roundhouse built in 1985; the old sheds are still maintained as a wagon repair shop
- Construction of new distribution and transload facilities at Tidmouth, Elsbridge, Arlesburgh, and Barrow-in-Furness
- Expansion of the Ffarquhar Branch to Ulfstead
In 2005, in order to more efficiently compete with road transport, especially the S1 motorway, the NWR established NW Freight, a freight distribution service very similar to Freightliner and the EWS. The service operates on the mainland with a Class 37, three Class 60s, two Class 66s, and a Standard 9F (the 9F was later transferred to normal mainline services on Sodor after Network Rail barred her from use on the Mainland due to lack of safety equipment; Sudrian rail regulations are very, very different from those in the other constituents of the United Kingdom).
While at the forefront of railway pop culture for years, the NWR made international headlines when massive deposits of gold ore were discovered around the island in 2013, including:
- Underneath all of the depleted stone deposits at Anopha Quarry
- Toryeck Mines
- North of Arlesburgh
- Just west of the Peel Godred Steel Works
- South of Norramby
- In and around Harwick
The gold strike was called by many the "Sudrian Lode", while many in the United States called it the "Second Comstock Lode", due to how the mining resembled the Comstock Lode of Nevada in the 1870s, with the NWR filling the role of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. The discovery of gold in Harwick spurred an extension that had been part of the origianl plans for the NWR. Geologists and metallurgists estimate there is much, much more gold than at the current mining sites, and hypothesize that the NWR may expand even more just to serve the sites. After the strike, Parliament put a ban on open-pit mining.
In 1996, a massive deposit of oil initially estimated at 50 million barrels but found to be much bigger in 2004 was discovered off the coast of Brendam. A new company known as SodOil was founded shortly after the discovery of the oil, and a refinery was built along the Sodor China Clay Co.'s private line. A new train called the Oil Can was inaugurated in 1997 to haul the oil on a dedicated unit train.
In 2005, Sodor's first airport opened on a large plot of vacant land near Knapford. The NWR (especially the engines) were highly concerned that people would start travelling by air instead of the rails. It got to the point that construction efforts for the airport were obstructed by NWR personnel, helped along by an intense Modernisation Plan-related fight between the steam and diesel locomotives. The airport was eventually completed, with a clause banning domestic flights. Trans-Atlantic and International flights were still allowed, bringing with them a boom in the tourist trade. The airport is served by the NWR, operating passenger shuttles (using a pair of ex-BR Class 142 DMUs named Evan and Edwin) and trains with goods and fuel refined at the SodOil refinery.
On some promotional items to tie-in with the Railway Series books dating from the 1970s the NWR is called Sodor Rail and uses a logo similar to the famous British Rail one now used by the organisation National Rail. This, of course, is viewed as a major embellishment by the NWR, as most merchandise usually is, even though a merger of all Sudrian railways under the name was considered in order to gain complete independence from BR and avoid an increasingly-hostile Conservative government.
|No.||North Western locomotive||Prototypes||Notes|
|1||Thomas the Tank Engine||LB&SCR E2 class 0-6-0 tank engine||Built for the LB&SCR by Brighton Works in 1914 as part of the initial production run, Thomas was written off as a "war loss" in 1915 and sold to the fledgeling NWR. Upon arrival, he was given extended side tanks to improve his range and was made the station pilot of Vicarstown. After rescuing James after the latter wrecked in 1923 shortly after his arrival, he was given charge of the Ffarquhar Branchline. He now works the primary passenger service on the Ffarquhar Branchline.|
|2||Edward the Blue Engine||Furness Railway K2 4-4-0 tender engine||Built in 1896 by Sharp, Stewart and Co. for the Furness Railway, Edward was sold to the NWR in 1915 upon start-up. Initially used to finish construction of the NWR, Edward was eventually mothballed, but a sharp increase in traffic saw him put back into traffic in 1922. Today, he works the primary services of the Wellsworth Branch. Edward is among the oldest locomotives in regular service in the world.|
|3||Henry the Green Engine||LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 tender engine||Built using plans stolen from Sir Nigel Gresley, Henry was a hybrid of a GNR Ivatt C1 and a Gresley LNER A1/A3. He had many construction defects when he first arrived in 1922. In 1935, an incident with the Flying Kipper during the Freeze of '35 involving (and according to some accounts, set up by) a visiting C1 named Klondike saw Henry sent to Crewe to be rebuilt by Sir William Stanier into a Black 5. Today, Henry runs mixed-traffic services on the Main Line.|
|4||Gordon the Big Engine||LNER Gresley Class A3 4-6-2 tender engine||Gordon was built as an experimental A0 by Sir Nigel Gresley in 1922, and was acquired from the LNER in 1923 for express service. However, when the need arises, Gordon has also been seen on Limited-Stop and Suburban trains. During motive power crises, he can even be found on goods trains, a job he bitterly complains about endlessly. In 1988, Gordon was rebuilt with a second-hand A3 boiler acquired from Woodham Brothers Scrap Yard in 1983.|
|5||James the Red Engine||L&YR Class 28 2-6-0 tender engine||Built in 1912 or 1913 (builder's records have been lost since 1916) by Horwich Works for the Lancanshire and Yorkshire Railway, James was sold to the NWR in 1923. After an accident shortly after his arrival, James was given NWR Red (before then, Blue and Green had been the standard colors) and this made him vain and selfish, though it may be to hide his scared inner child who fears conformity. James can now be found in mixed traffic service on the Main Line, though he much prefers passengers over freight, and indeed, is found more and more on passenger trains, not due to the NWR bowing to pressure, but simply because the longer, heavier goods trains that became commonplace on the NWR in 2013 have taken their toll on his running gear.|
|6||Percy the Small Engine||GWR No.1340 Trojan 0-4-0 saddle tank engine||It is unknown what year Percy was built, but he was likely built at Avonside Works. He was given to a used tank engine workshop where he was bought second-hand by the NWR in 1932 to act as the Station Pilot at Tidmouth after Gordon, Henry, and James went on strike due to their belief that "tender engines don't shunt". After Duck was acquired in 1955, Percy was transferred to the Ffarquhar Branchline to help with the Knapford Harbor Revitalization Project, before settling in to work the line's goods trains, as well as serve as backup power for the primary passenger services should Thomas be unable to do so. He also runs auxillery passenger services and works the Permanent-of-Way trains.|
|7||Toby the Tram Engine||GER Class C53 0-6-0 steam tram||Built in 1914 by Stratford Works for the Great Eastern Railway, Toby was eventually transferred to the East Anglia Tramway (which became part of BR upon Nationalization in 1948). The tramway was closed in a conspiracy concocted by the local lorry and bus companies. But luck was on Toby's side, and he was bought by the NWR in 1951 after Thomas was ticketed by an overzealous officer enforcing outdated Ministry of Transportation regulations. Today, Toby runs the Anopha Tramway, bringing workmen to and from Anopha Quarry and bringing trucks loaded with gold ore to Ffarquhar for Percy to take away. Toby is the only steam tram left in regular service in the world.|
|8||Duck the Great Western Engine||GWR 5700 Class 0-6-0 pannier tank engine||Built in 1929 by the North British Locomotive Company at Yorkshire Works (for many years he believed he was a Swindon product, and only found out in 2013) for the Great Western Railway, Duck was originally named "Montague" but was given the derogatory nickname "Duck" due to claims that he waddled due to a mishapen wheel assembly, but never actually waddled; it was uneven tracks. Duck worked for years as the Paddington station pilot before being sold to the NWR in 1955 to serve as Station Pilot of Tidmouth. Strangely, even after Nationalization in 1948, Duck was never repainted to BR Green or BR Black, retaining his GWR coloring and lettering. In 1968, Duck was transferred to the Arlesburgh Branchline, more commonly known as the Little Western Branchline. He runs passenger services alongside a pair of ex-GWR Autocoaches named Alice and Mirabel. Of the two, Mirabel has cab controls installed in 1984 to permit push-pull operations and eliminate runaround tracks at Arlesburgh. Around the same time, Duck was auto-fitted.|
|13208||Diesel||British Rail Class 08||It is not really known where or when Diesel was built, but it is known he came to the NWR on trial in June 1957. He was sent back to the NWR with prejudice a few weeks later after sowing dissent amongst the engines of the Main Line and causing them to turn on Duck, but was caught by Sir Topham Hatt before he could get Henry in trouble as well. Diesel returned in 1991 during a motive power shortage, and was once again sent back with prejudice after a series of accidents at Tidmouth Harbor caused thousands of dollars in revenue losses. In 2002, he was brought back AGAIN, and despite an incident in which he tried to prove he was strong, he stayed due to growing traffic. Eventually, Diesel's soft side was found, and he dropped his anti-steam rhetoric once he learned the Class 08s were being withdrawn and scrapped. He can now be found shunting in Tidmouth Yard, a wiser and kinder engine.|
|9 and 10||Donald and Douglas||Caledonian Railway 812 Class 0-6-0 tender engines||Built in 1909 as Caledonia Railway Nos. 662 and 663, they made a daring plan to escape to the NWR in 1959 to escape their inevitable scrapping. Sir Charles Topham Hatt II, in fact, had only requested ONE locomotive, but Douglas snuck away, and their equally cunning crews removed their numbers. After a series of mishaps and proving themselves capable performers, especially in snow, the twins were allowed to stay and were painted NWR Blue since it reminds them of their Caledonian colors. Today, they are considered "jack-of-all-trade" locomotives, working on all of the lines as needed, but are mainly found, and stationed on, the Little Western Branch.|
|D1||Daisy the Diesel Railcar||British Rail Class 101||After Thomas had a mishap in 1961 in which a careless cleaner had meddled with his controls (to make it look like he had cleaned the cab) while he was under steam and crashed into the Ffarquhar stationamaster's house (according to the Awdry books, Thomas was blamed after he boasted about being able to operate under his own will, but the reality was that Thomas never boasted at all and was never blamed), Sir Charles Topham Hatt II leased an experimental single-car BR Class 101 until Thomas was repaired (repairs that allowed issues with his front valence to be rectified). Unfortunately, Daisy proved to be rather problematic, refusing to sleep in the engine shed and also refusing to pull ANYTHING. She had a bad encounter with a bull, and was about to be sent back before helping Percy after he had a runaway on the hill down from Anopha Quarry (the book said Percy was blamed for not being careful with the trucks, but in reality, it was the workmen's fault for overloading the trucks). Daisy now works secondary passenger services on the Ffarquhar Branchline, operating during off-hours.|
|SCC1 and SCC2||Bill and Ben||Bagnall 0-4-0ST "Alfred" and "Judy"||Built in 1948 by W.F. Bagnall for the Sodor China Clay Works. Bill and Ben were not known to the general public until 1966, when Main Line Engines was released. Though they work and are lettered for the Sodor China Clay Works, they are still considered NWR locomotives. They mainly work at the China Clay Works in the hills above Brendam, but make regular trips to Brendam. Occasionally, they also make trips to Anopha Quarry and other gold ore mining sites.|
|D2||BoCo the Branchline Diesel||British Rail Class 28||Built in 1965 by Bowesfield Works, BoCo initially worked in the Western Region in 1966 in another attempt to force diesel traction on Sir Topham Hatt. Unlike Diesel and D261, BoCo was found to be rather friendly to all steam locomotives, and as such, was the first mainline diesel locomotive to be permanently added to the NWR roster. Today, BoCo works on the Brendam Branchline as the secondary passenger locomotive, as well as the primary goods locomotive.|
|D3||Bear the Main Line Diesel||British Rail Class 35||Built in 1964 by Beyer Peacock for British Rail, Bear (originally 7101) was the last Class 35 built, and initially worked in the Western Region. In 1968, he was sent on trial to the North Western Region with a Class 46 numbered D199 and known as "Spamcan". While "Spamcan" was sent back in disgrace after failing, not to mention his strong pro-Beeching opinions inflaming the North Western steam fleet, D7101 was found to be like BoCo and was kept. The growling sounds made by his hydraulic engine led engines to jokingly call him "Bear". The name eventually stuck. Today, Bear works the mainline on both passenger and goods trains. He is also light enough to work the branchlines as needed.|
|11||Oliver the Western Engine||GWR 1400 Class 0-4-2 tank engine||Built at Swindon in 1939 for the Great Western Railway, Oliver mainly worked a branchline in the Western Region until 1968 when the news came that Oliver was due to be withdrawn and scrapped as per the Modernization Plan of 1955. Oliver, his crew, his autocoach Isabel, and his GWR 20t brakevan Toad made a daring escape. His crew had an arrest warrant put out, and all BR crews were given the order to "destroy on sight" should they ever see the fugitive train. Eventually, Oliver made it to Barrow-in-Furness, but ran out of coal. Fortunately, Douglas managed to bring Oliver the rest of the way, and Oliver, Isabel, and Toad were restored to their GWR liveries. BR dropped all charges after the clause regarding "minimal intervention in the North Western Region" was invoked. Oliver now works the Little Western Branchline alongside Duck, mainly on passenger services, but can occassionally be found on ballast trains.|
|FQC 1||Mavis the Quarry Diesel||British Rail Class 04||Built in 1957 by Drewry Car Co. for BR, Mavis was purchased by the Ffarquhar Quarry Company in 1962. Despite this, her existence was not made public until 1972 with the release of Tramway Engines. Mavis still works at Anopha Quarry, and also makes regular trips to Ffarquhar to the exchange sidings.|
|D7 and D8||Pip and Emma||British Rail Class 43 (HST) InterCity 125||An InterCity 125 trainset built in 1978 by BREL at Crewe and Derby Litchurch Lane, for the East Coast Main Line, Pip and Emma (or Philippa as they are collectively known as in official company records) were first leased in 1987, and then again in 1996. Following Privatization, Pip and Emma worked for InterCity East Coast. In 2011, they were sold to the NWR, still in the original BR InterCity 125 livery, for use on an overnight Tidmouth-London express service known as the Sudrian Flyer. They are the only power cars to still have the original Paxman Valenta engines.|
|D13||Derek||British Rail Class 17||Built in 1963 by Clayton Equipment Company and Beyer, Peacock & Co., Derek was still on the scrap lines in 1971 when he was acquired by the North Western Region. He was, like all of the other Class 17 locomotives, very prone to overheating, a problem that was miraculously rectified. By 1985, he was in regular service, powering the heavy goods trains on the Brendam Branch. In 2013, with the discovery of the gold ore deposits, Derek now sees service on all of the branchlines as well as the mainline.|
|D6 and D9||'Arry and Bert||British Rail Class 08||Both built in 1954 at Derby, 'Arry and Bert developed highly pro-Modernisation opiniond, which continued into their Sodor days when they were purchased by the North Western Railway to work the Steel Mill at the end of the Peel Godred Branch in 1998. As of 2012, they are in long-term storage after an Aspinall tank engine was built by the Steamworks for the steel mill and the two were considered "surplus to requirements" (it was actually their extremist activities towards steam locomotives, one of which almost saw Stepney scrapped). NWR administration is currently exploring options for the two, including sale, conversion into generators or brakevans, use as a source of spare parts for the other Class 08s, or outright scrapping. Either way, Sir Stephen Hatt has given very strict instructions that they never be used as locomotives ever again for "crimes against the railway".|
|2991||Salty the Dockyard Diesel||British Rail Class 07||Built in 1962 by Ruston and Hornsby for the Southampton Docks to replace the SR American tanks (of which Brad and Rosie are). Salty was put into long-term storage in 1977, until he was purchased by the NWR in 2002 to work as the main shunter at Brendam Docks (a major problem since the harbor's opening in 1936 was the lack of a permanent shunter). When he first arrived, Salty was mistakingly sent to Anopha Quarry, but was eventually transferred to Brendam Docks. Salty loves singing sea shanties and telling tall tales, and is also among the pro-steam diesels.|
|27||Harvey the Crane Engine||Shelton Iron & Steel Works No. 4101||Built in 1901 by Dubs & Co. for the Shelton Iron & Steel Works in Glasgow. Harvey was stored on the Steel Works' grounds and kept in working order in the event EMP from a nuclear attack knocked out diesels from 1968 until 2002 when he was purchased by the NWR for the Works Department.|
|12||Emily the Beautiful Engine||GNR Stirling 4-2-2 tender engine||Built in 2003 by the Crovan's Gate Works, Emily is a replica built to help cope with rising passenger traffic on the Ffarquhar Branchline. She gained major media attention for being the first widely-known female steam locomotive on the NWR, and gained further attention when she and Thomas became the world's first locomotive couple, a relationship that still endures today, though has its critics due to the massive age gap.|
|None||Fergus the Railway Traction Engine||Aveling & Porter 2-2-0WT "Blue Circle"||Built in 1926 by Aveling & Porter. Fergus was purchased in 2003 to work at the China Clay Works. He was damaged in an avalanche and is still sitting on the hold track at Crovan's Gate Works, awaiting resources for repairs. Due to the amount of time that has passed between the avalanche and today, it is doubtful Fergus will be repaired at all, especially after Timothy's acquisition made him surplus. Rumors have circulated that he will be sold to the Vicarstown Railway Museum.|
|25||Arthur the Big Tank Engine||LMS Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T||Built at Crewe in the early 1930s for the LMS. Arthur was at the Severne Valley Railway awaiting overhaul until 2003 when he was purchased by the NWR to work secondary mainline services.|
|45||Murdoch the Mighty Engine||BR Standard Class 9F||Built in 1960 at Crewe, Murdoch was the second-to-last steam locomotive built for British Railways (the last being his brother Evening Star). As such, his chances for preservation were pretty good, and indeed, he was preserved by the Bluebell Railway. He was purchased by the NWR in 2003 in response to rapidly-increasing goods traffic generated by the Port of Tidmouth Revitalization Project. Murdoch mostly works heavy goods trains, though occassionally also pulls the express.|
|2509||Spencer the Streamliner||LNER Class A4||Built in 1936 at Doncaster for the LNER. Spencer is not actually a member of the NWR, being owned by the Duke and Duchess of Boxford, Suffolk, yet he visits the NWR frequently enough to warrant showing up in NWR roster since 2004. It is unknown why the Duke and Duchess use him.|
|D10||Diesel 10||British Rail Class 42||Diesel 10 has never, nor will he ever, be a member of the NWR, but still appears on the roster anyway for posterity. He is a rogue diesel who escaped scrapping, was given an illegal claw modification by Neo-Nazis, and began a crusade to carry out Dr. Richard Beeching's will (completely unaware that Beeching's plans never got anywhere and were abandoned). When he arrived on Sodor in 2000, he was finally apprehended and made a generator at Crovan's Gate Works, while his claw was taken into military possession for studies.|
|None||Lady the Magical Engine||LOTR Lively Polly||Not a real member of the NWR, but an embellished character made for the movie. Strangely, she still shows up on NWR records from 2000 onward, sparking rumors of a government cover-up regarding experiments with teleportation to quickly move troops to Middle Eastern railways in the event of a large-scale conflict with Iran or Syria.|
|23||Molly the Yellow Engine||GER 'Claud Hamilton'||Built in 1904 at Stratford Works for the Great Eastern Railway. Molly was transferred to the North Western Region in 1955. Her existence was not widely known until 2005 when she was featured in the TV series. Molly works the mainline on stopping passenger trains, though she also occassionally pulls the express.|
|33010||Neville the Black Engine||SR Q1 class||Built in the late 1920s at Brighton Works for the Southern Railway, Neville was built based on one of Oliver Bulleid's experimantal designs. He was purchased by the NWR in 1949 as part of a pilot program to test Bulleid designs. Neville was the most successful of the designs tested, and was retained as a mainline mixed-traffic locomotive, but also works on the branchlines thanks to his light weight.|
|11001||Dennis the Lazy Diesel||British Rail 11001||Built in 1949 at Ashford Works, Dennis was another Bulleid design. Initially lazy and rude, Dennis changed under threat of being sent away. He now works on the mainline on the lighter goods trains.|
|18||Rosie the Dock Tank Engine||SR USA Class||Built in 1942 by H.K. Porter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the war effort. Rosie was among the SR USA tanks that replaced the LB&SCR E2s (Thomas' brothers and sisters). It was because of this fact that, when Rosie was transferred to the North Western Region in 1964, Thomas held great resentment towards her, but eventually, they became friends when Rosie confessed that her class was being replaced at Southampton by the Class 07 diesels. This cycle of hatred continued in 2002 when Rosie showed resentment towards Salty. Rosie works at the Port of Tidmouth. She did not appear in the TV series until 2006, where she was depicted as stalker towards Thomas.|
|66||Whiff the Garbage Engine||NER 66 Aerolite||Built in 1869 by Wilson Worsdell for the North Eastern Railway. Whiff was retired in 1934 alongside his sister Aerolite, and eventually found his way to the East Somerset Railway in 1981. He was purchased by the NWR in 2007 to serve as a refuse collection locomotive on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he shunts at the Sodor Recycling Center on Edward's Branchline near Suddery, and on weekends, he is at Crovan's Gate Works to be looked over. Whiff is the second-oldest standard gauge locomotive in service on Sodor.|
|29||Zoey||LB&SCR E4 class 0-6-2 tank engine||Built in 1914 at Brighton Works as an extra for the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway. Zoey met Belle before the latter was sent to the NWR to fill in on Express trains while Gordon was at an exhibition in London with the other locomotives. Eventually, Zoey was transferred to the North Western Region full-time, and reunited with her "brother" Thomas. Zoey now works mixed-traffic duties on the Wellsworth Branchline.|
|18||Stanley||Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST||Built in 1924 by Hudswell Clarke, Stanley was acquired in 2008 as the lead shunter in Tidmouth Yard, and can also occassionally be found on the Ffarquhar Branchline.|
|19||Flora||Moseley Road Tramway steam tram||Built in 1904 by Falcon Railway Plant Works for the Mosley Road Tramway in Ireland. Built to a narrower gauge, Flora was eventually converted to standard gauge. She was purchased by the NWR in 2008 as a locomotive to be used during special events. Otherwise, she is on display at the Vicarstown Railway Museum.|
|51||Hiro the Japanese Engine||JNR Class D51 steam locomotive||Built in 1936 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company for Japanese National Railways, Hiro was shipped to the North Western Railway in 1945 as war reparation, where he was converted to standard gauge at Crovan's Gate Works. Without a stable supply of parts, Hiro quickly fell into disrepair and was put on a siding near Maron. He was rediscovered in 2009 and restored to working order. He now works passenger and goods trains on the mainline, making frequent appearances on the express. The TV series, upon his debut, proclaimed he was the oldest engine on Sodor, a statement that HiT was forced to retract after the NWR threatened to revoke the licensing for Hiro over such a bold-faced lie, especially when even Thomas is older than Hiro.|
|None||Victor||Baldwin No. 1173||Built in 1915 by Baldwin Locomotive Works. Victor spent many years working on sugar plantations in Cuba. He arrived in 1957 while the NWR engines were away at an exhibition in London. He works as the shop switcher of Crovan's Gate Works|
|14||Charlie||Manning Wardle L Class 0-6-0ST||A locomotive that arrived at the same time as Billy (and thus was built at the same time as Billy), Charlie was found to be much more reliable. He works as a shunter at Arlesburgh. During his off-time, Charlie likes to tell jokes, which tends to get on everyone's nerves, even Sir Topham Hatt's.|
|None||Bash and Dash||Bear Harbor Lumber Company's locomotive #1 0-4-0||In real life, Bash and Dash are Aspinall 0-6-0 tank engines. They are also not stereotypical American rednecks. They do, however, work on Misty Island, which in real-life has more stringent safety regulations.|
|None||Ferdinand||Climax Class C logging locomotive B-B-B||In real-life, Ferdinand is a Fowler 4F 0-6-0.|
|None||Scruff the Scruncher||Sentinel 100 HP 'Be Type'||Built in 1946 by Sentinel Waggon Works. Scruff works as the shunter at the Sodor Recycling Center near Suddery.|
|6120||Belle the Fire Engine||BR 4MT Class 2-6-4T||One of the locomotives who came to the North Western Region in 1957 while the main eight locomotives went to an exhibition in London, Belle was named after her original driver's wife. Belle works on the main line exclusively on passenger trains. She was the first locomotive built specifically for the North Western Region, rather than being acquired secondhand or via mergers. Her existence was not common knowledge until she was featured in th TV series in 2011, in which she was exaggerated into a firefighting locomotive with water cannons. NWR officials do not endorse the TV series' depiction, and even threatened to revoke the licensing for Belle before HiT counter-threatened with legal action.|
|None||Flynn the Fire Engine||1964 Osh-Kosh W800 4X4 aircraft rescue fire engine||Not a member of the NWR, but frequently uses NWR trackage enough to be on the roster.|
|None||Den||Rolls Royce Sentinel Diesel-Hydraulic 0-4-0||Built by Rolls Royce Sentinel in 1964. Den was acquired by the NWR in 2011 to be used as a shop switcher at the Vicarstown Dieselworks.|
|None||Dart||Bagnall Diesel-Hydraulic 0-4-0||It is unknown when Dart was built. Dart was acquired in 2011 for use as a shop switcher at Vicarstown Dieselworks.|
|11002||Norman||British Rail 11001||Built using Bulleid's original blueprints in 2011, Norman works on the Little Western Branchline.|
|None||Paxton the Young Diesel||British Rail Class 08||A replica built by Crovan's Gate Works in 1996 for the Ffarquhar Branchline.|
|None||Sidney the Forgetful Diesel||British Rail Class 08||Works in Tidmouth Yard as a shunter. Most often shunts ballast trucks for the Little Western.|
|1917||Stafford the Electric Engine||NSR battery-electric No. 1||A battery-electric shunting engine who works in Tidmouth Yard acquired in 2012.|
|None||Winston the Inspection Car||Wickham Type 4B Trolley||Sir Stephen Hatts track inspection vehicle acquired in 2012.|
|None||Porter||H.K Porter 0-6-0ST||Built in 1928 by H.K Porter in Pittsburgh. Porter was acquired in 2013 to work at Brendam Docks in response to rapidly increasing goods traffic.|
|56||Brad the American Engine||SR USA Class||Built around the same time as Rosie for the war effort. Brad was purchased from the Longmoor Military Railway by Sir Charles Topham Hatt in 1965 and was sent to the Bluebell Railway. After 30 years, Brad was considered surplus and was brought to the NWR in 1997 to work on the Ffarquhar Branchline. Brad assisted in the expansion of Knapford Harbor and the extension of the branch to Ulfestead. Brad still works on heavy freights and secondary passenger services on the Ffarquhar Branchline.|
|55||Jinty||LMS Jinty 3F||Built in 1927 for the LMS. Jinty is no stranger to the NWR, having first come in 1957 as one of the eight locomotives that filled in for the North Western Region locomotives while they went to an exhibition in London. Jinty was well-acquainted with Percy, as they were both in the used tank engine workshop that Percy was bought from. After many years of being on a heritage railway, Jinty found himself back on Sodor in 1995 and became Tidmouth Station Pilot in 1997. In 2009, a Class 14 named Iris was transferred from Anopha Quarry to the Station Pilot position, and Jinty was transferred to the Brendam Branchline powering commuter trains.|
|D14||Iris||BR Class 14||Built in 1964 at Swindon, Iris was sold to the National Coal Board in 1968. She was acquired by the NWR in 1997 to work at Anopha Quarry. With the Great Recession being felt by Sodor, the demand for stone died down and eventually, the stone deposits were depleted (what was found underneath, though, was unbelievable). As a result, Iris was shifted to Tidmouth as Station Pilot.|
|15||Peter||LMS Stanier Class 8F||Built in 1940 at Crewe for the LMS. Peter was brought to Sodor in 1968 as part of a pilot program to test the feasibility of a steam reserve fleet to be used in the event of a nuclear attack (in which event EMP would knock out diesels and electrics), using the recently abandoned Ballahoo Tunnel. It was eventually determined that the fleet would put a massive strain on resources to maintain it. Peter was rediscovered in 1996 by Sir Stephen Hatt's children Emily and Charlie. He was extracted and put back into service as a mixed-traffic engine on the mainline.|
|14||Sheffield||Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST||Built 1943 by Hunslet for the War Department. Sheffield was once known as "Sixteen", who, while working at a steel mill in Sheffield, went "cab over wheels", and was sold off to a heritage railway. The North Western Region acquired him in 1994, following Wilbert's visit and officials being satisfied with his performance enough to want an Austerity of their own, and after a rough adjustment period, proved himself to be a reliable worker. Sheffield now works passenger and freight services all over the railway alongside Brian, a former Wellsworth & Suddery Railway brakevan discovered in a shed at Kirk Ronan Harbor.|
|D15||Patrick||BR Class 40||Built in 1961 by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry. Patrick frequently met the North Western Region locomotives at Barrow-in-Furness before being transferred to the region in 1985. He is now part of the Express Fleet, mainly working trains using stock that still uses steam-heating.|
|66||Sodor Castle||GWR Castle Class||Built in 1948 as the last GWR Castle Class locomotive to exit Swindon. First visiting Sodor in the late 1950's, after a troubled time with BR, Sodor Castle was sold to a museum. In 1996, he was sold to the newly-privatized North Western Railway and placed on express duties while Gordon was down for overhaul until 1998. Sodor Castle is still in express service, and remains a favorite among passengers.|
|73||Squaddie||BR Battle of Britain Class||Originally built in 1948 using Bulleid designs. The locomotive was among the hundreds of locomotives found at Woodham Brothers Scrapyard in Barry. After being stored at the Mid-Hants Railway for over a decade, the locomotive was purchased as a kit of parts and put back into service on Armistice Day 2005, given the name 679 Squadron, often shortened to Squaddie. After a rough test-and-adjust period involving drivers inexperienced with working with Bulleid Southerns, a new class of drivers was trained and hired. Squaddie works passenger services on the mainline, though he mainly works The Sodor Explorer, a Kirk Ronan-Tidmouth boat train.|
|D16||Daphne||BR Class 55 Deltic||Built in 1962 by English Electric at Vulcan Foundry. Daphne worked express services on the East Coast Main Line from her inception until the introduction of the InterCity 125 in 1978. Daphne was then put on secondary passenger duties until she was withdrawn in 1981. After a topsy-turvy period, she was purchased by the Earl of Sodor, who died in 2006. In his will, he bequeathed the locomotive to the NWR, who restored her and put her into express service, where she has earned her keep and the admiration of Deltic enthusiasts. She was named after the Earl's widow.|
|18||Eric||LNER V3 Class||Built in 1939 at Doncaster for the LNER. Eric was acquired by the North Western Region from Woodham Brothers in 1984 for the Kirk Ronan Branchline. He works both passenger and freight services.|
|30||Eagle||L&YR Class 28||Built at the same time as James, Eagle arrived on Sodor first in 1922. He is not very well-known, only appearing twice in the Awdry books. He does, however, maintain a devoted internet and local following. Eagle works on the Norramby Branchline services between Barrow-in-Furness and Norramby via Ballahoo.|
|67||Hunter||GWR Class 51xx Large Prairie||Built in 1933 at Swindon for the GWR. Withdrawn from BR service in 1965, Hunter was acquired by a consortium that loaned him out to various heritage railways. By 2000, he found himself on Sodor, working on the Norramby Branchline.|
|E1-4||Andy, Jeffery, Sean, and Steve||BR Class 87||Built in 1976 at Crewe. These four locomotives were built specifically for the North Western Region's Peel Godred Branchline to replace the aging Edwardian Electric Motors that were on their way to the Vicarstown Railway Museum. All four work goods trains. They are four of the five remaining 87s left in operation, and the only ones still used in regular service.|
|E5-6||Jarvis and Paul||BR Class 308/2||Built in 1960 at York. These two sets were transferred to the North Western Region in 1987 when growing traffic from the Peel Godred Steel Mill necessitated locomotives E1-4 being put on goods full-time. The two sets are the only operating 308s left in service.|
|65||Samarkand||BR Standard Class 9F||Built in 1958 at Crewe, she is notable for being the last Crewe-built steam locomotive. In 1966, she was transferred to the North Western Region at Sir Charles Topham Hatt's request. Samarkand, or Sammie as she is better known, has settled in nicely on Sodor, and reunited with her brother Murdoch in 2003. She is now a part of NW Freight, the NWR's freight distribution service.|
|D17 & D18||Dick and Dilworth||BR Class 66||Built by the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors (EMD, now Electro-Motive Diesel) in London, Ontario in 1998 for the England, Wales, and Scotland Railway. The two were purchased by the NWR in 2007 for NW Freight. They often work on the Mainland, but make frequent trips to the Tidmouth Distribution Center.|
|288||Alice||GNR C1 Class (large boiler)/LNER Class C1||Built in 1910 at Docaster for the Great Northern Railway. After being withdrawn in 1950, Alice was in the possession of the struggling Great Northern Railway Preservation Society, which was within days of shutting down and being forced to sell Alice (potentially for scrap). A rescue mission carried out by Gordon brought Alice to Sudrian metals in 1983. Since then, Alice has been a valuable member of the NWR's Express Fleet.|
|16||Lily||LSWR O2 class 0-4-4T||Built in 1893 at the LSWR Nine Elm Works, Lily arrived on Sodor in 1901 as Wellsworth & Suddery #2. She worked on the Arlesburgh Branch (now Little Western) and mentored Thomas on running a branchline shortly before the latter took charge of what was then the Elsbridge Branch. She was sold for scrap in 1932 due to the Great Depression, but records at the Wellsworth Scrapyard state she was never delivered for scrapping. Investigations in 2009 revealed she was sent by ship to the Isle of Man, but the ship (the SS Errant Venture) sank in a storm, and Lily was presumed lost. Several months later, an expedition led by none other than Robert Ballard (who found the RMS Titanic in 1985) revealed that Lily was still underwater with the wreck and still in surprisingly good condition. She was recovered, brought back to Crovan's Gate Works, and restored, meeting up with Thomas after the latter went in for repairs following a level crossing accident. She now works on the Ffarquhar Branchline in mixed traffic service.|
|M1 & M2||Evan and Edwin||BR Class 142||Built in 1985 by BREL Derby and Leyland Bus, the twins operated as a married pair in Regional Railways service on the Cotswold Line. They remained in service through Privatization, when they were sold to the North Western Railway. Initially used on the through service from Barrow Central to Norramby, they were transferred to the Airport Shuttle service between Sodor Airport and Tidmouth in 2005, where they have remained since.|
|1040||Ryan||GNR Class N2 0-6-2T||Built in 1921 at Doncaster Works for the Great Northern Railway, Ryan went on to serve the LNER and BR, until being withdrawn in 1964. He was purchased by the Nene Valley Railway, where he remained stored until being acquired in 2008. He entered traffic on the NWR in 2015, coinciding with the opening of the Harwick Extension of the Little Western branchline. Ryan is used solely for passenger work, running the Gold Digger Limited, a twice-daily commuter train from Harwick to Tidmouth catering to workers of the gold mines in Harwick; between those times, he runs suburban trains on the mainline.|
|68||Philip||PRR Class A6||Built in 1930 by Altoona Works, Philip is an enigma. No record of his shipment from America to the UK exist, just like Hank. Nevertheless, Philip was acquired in 2016 by the NWR for use on short-distance mine runs in and around Harwick.|
Not all of the locomotives who have been in service on the NWR have stuck around. In the early days, until 1922, seven locomotives were leased from the Midland Railway. Several other locomotives have either been destroyed (whether by accident, enemy action, or their own hubris) or sent back to the mainland in disgrace.
|No.||North Western locomotive||Prototypes||Notes|
|98462||Alfred||GER Class S69/LNER Class B12||Built in 1917 at Stratford Works for the Great Eastern Railway, Alfred arrived on Sodor at the same time as Henry and Cecil. Initially numbered 3, he was stripped of his name and painted NWR Blue after multiple incidents of misbehavior. After Gordon arrived, his behavior deteriorated until Sir Topham Hatt realized his mistake in buying him, and planned to send him back. Slipping into insanity, he took leave of senses and, under his own control (to this day, it remains unknown how he was able to drive himself, but extreme willpower is suspected; some superstitous NWR officials, though, are convinced he was possessed by Satan, and Alfred was heard by residents and station staff saying that "Lucifer" was an important passenger), tried to kill Gordon and Henry at Wellsworth with a line of loaded fuel tankers with vans to act as a buffer against the explosion. Unfortunately, a signalman diverted him into the yard, sending him crashing into a siding and flying into the fuel tankers, which detonated, killing him (fortunately, no human lives were lost). To this day, it is said the ghost of Alfred still haunts the NWR, seeking to destroy Gordon for "replacing him". This ghost was the subject of a documentarymade in 2016 detailing a mysterious crash outside Wellsworth involving Gordon and Henry alleged to have been caused by Alfred (the found footage, though, was confirmed fake, as the guard stated he was never jumpscared).|
|87546||Cecil||NER Class S3/LNER Class B16||Built in 1920 at Darington for the Great Eastern Railway. Cecil was sent back after going off without a crew to prove that the bridge over River Hoo. The fireman, guard, and three passengers were killed, and Cecil was sent back in disgrace. After returning to the GER, Cecil was scrapped as punishment.|
|Unknown||Kirk||GER Class S69/LNER Class B12||Built around the same time as Alfred. Kirk was destroyed along with an LMS 4F Fowler named Harriett at Vicarstown Sheds in 1945 when a German bomber crashed into the shed while on a bombing mission to Crovan's Gate. Kirk was unsalvageable, and considered dead since his face had become a smokebox door. The tenders of both locomotives became stationary coal bunkers at Crovan's Gate. Kirk's tender was eventually made railworthy again and sent to the North Norfolk Railway for their B12, the only one preserved.|
|W&S 1||Colin||Avonside 0-4-0ST||Not many records exist of Colin, other than that he was #1 of the Wellsworth & Suddery. He was one of the locomotives carried over post-merger, but was never repainted. He was sold for scrap in 1932 due to the Great Depression.|
|W&S 3||Adam||LSWR 415 class "Adams Radial Tank"||Adams was built on March 31, 1885 by Robert Stephenson & Co. for the London & South Western Railway. Adam's history is much clearer than the other Wellsworth & Suddery locomotives. After being sold for scrap in 1932 during the Great Depression, Adam was purchased by the Southern Railway. He eventualy found himself withdrawn by British Railways on July 31st, 1961, only to be bought be the Bluebell Railway since he was the last Adams Radial Tank who still had the original boiler pattern. He now goes by the name Adams and is awaiting a new boiler barrel, but it is comforting to the North Western engines who knew Adam that he is preserved, after hearing about it from Stepney.|
|Unknown||Klondike||GNR Class C1 (small boiler)/LNER Class C2||Built in 1900 at Doncaster for the Great Eastern Railway. Klondike was sent the North Western Railway in 1934 in the event all hope on Henry was given up. Klondike was sent back to the LNER in disgrace after it was discovered he had orchestrated Henry's now-famous wreck with the Flying Kipper that resulted in his rebuild in a nefarious scheme to replace him. Klondike was withdrawn and scrapped by the LNER in 1940.|
|251||Lucas||GNR Class C1 (large boiler)/LNER Class C1||Built in 1902 at Doncaster, Lucas was the first C1 built. He was leased by the NWR in 1936 while Gordon was undergoing an overhaul, and was subject to initial scrutiny after Percy came under the false impression that Sir Topham Hatt was planning to scrap Gordon (as it turns out, Percy hadn't heard the whole conversation), not to mention previous bad experiences with Klondike. After everything was cleared up, Lucas was sent back after Gordon's rebuild at Crewe. Lucas is one of the only two preserved C1 locomotives (the other being the NWR's own #288 Alice), and is part of the National Collection. He is currently at Barrow Hill Engine Sheds, and is kept in operable condition to alleviate motive power shortages on the NWR at a moment's notice.|
|36||William||SR Leader class||Built in 1949 at Brighton Works. 36 was one of several experimental designs made by Oliver Bulleid. 36 was prone to failure and was extremely fuel-inefficient, but was, for a time, the most powerful locomotive on Sudrian metals. After his brief trial period, he was withdrawn, and the incomplete Leader locomotives were scrapped. 36, however, was sold to the upstart Vicarstown Railway Museum. He is still a part of the collection, on static display in the rebuilt Vicarstown Sheds. He was recently given a cosmetic restoration in 2013.|
|None||Billy||Manning Wardle L Class 0-6-0ST||It is not known when Billy was built, but he was built by Manning Wardle. Billy was acquired in 2007 as the Arlesburgh shunter. Just three weeks after being put into service, though, his axles failed, and it was considered uneconomical to repair him, especially when another L Class named Charlie had already proven reliable. He was donated to the Vicarstown Railway Museum.|
|57606||Zombie||BR Class 57 "Thunderbird"||Built in 1965 at Crewe by Brush Traction for BR. Named so for her shell being stripped, rewired, and re-engined. Zombie was an extremely anti-steam diesel, especially when she was spot-hired from Direct Rail Services by the North Western Railway in 1998. After a brakes failure outside Tidmouth, Zombie plowed into the Tidmouth signal box. Leaking hydrochloric acid caused the death of the signalman, and Zombie was sent back a broken engine. Shortly after returning, she was scrapped as punishment, with parts sold to the North Western Railway as consolation.|
|None||Hank the American Engine||PRR K4||Built in 1930 by the legendary Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Pennsylvania Railroad. It is quite a mystery as to how Hank found his way across the Atlantic, but he did. Hank was put into service in 2008, but was pulled from service several minutes later when he was found to be too tall for the British loading gauge, in an incident that sheared off his smokestack and nearly tore his boiler apart. He was officially retired and has been shipped back to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA for operation on the nearby Strasburg Rail Road.|
|None||Preston||LB&SCR A1 Terrier||Built in 1877 at Brighton for the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway. Preston was originally brought to the Sodor & Mainland on long-term lease as a shunter. He was sent back to the LB&SCR when E2 #104 (Thomas' LB&SCR number) was acquired. Sadly, Preston was scrapped in 1925.|
|S&M 6||Johnson||L&SWR T9||Built in 1900 at Nine Elms Works for the London & South Western Railway. Johnson was rude and impatient, traits that led to his downfall in 1915, a year after the merger of Sodor's railways. The accident involved Johnson starting on his own and colliding with another locomotive, Heather. Fires caused by gas lamps inside the wooden coaches killed twelve people, most of whom burned to death. Johnson was scrapped at Crovan's Gate shortly after the wreck.|
|1621||Heather||NER Class M1||Built in 1892 at Gateshead for the North Eastern Railway. She was acquired by the Sodor & Mainland in 1901, and made it to the merger, tentatively renumbered 4. She was involved in a collison with a runaway Johnson in 1915. Unlike Johnson, Heather was repaired and put back into service, before being sold back to the NER in 1919. Today, Heather is part of the National Collection as the last preserved M1.|
|TK&E 1-5||Tex, Avery, Chuck, Jones, and Glynn||None (original design)||Built in 1897 by a young Sir Topham Hatt when he was an engineer for the Tidmouth, Knapford, and Elsbridge Railway, these five locomotives came under North Western Railway ownership in 1914, along with the locomotives of the other railways of Sodor. They remained in service on what was now the Elsbridge branch line up until 1951, when Tex, Avery, Chuck, and Jones were withdrawn and scrapped due to Toby's arrival making them surplus. The fifth engine, Glynn, disappeared without a trace before being rediscovered in 2016. He is currently at the Vicarstown Railway Museum undergoing restoration to operating condition, at which point he will join Neil in demonstration train services.|
|TK&E 6||Wallace||Unknown||Wallace's history is rather hard to track. He was built in 1900 by the Tidmouth, Knapford, and Elsbridge Railway at the Tidmouth Shops (demolished in 1925) as a heavy tank engine. Accounts of his appearance vary, as he was never photographed (to our knowledge), though the most common description was that he closely resembled Percy. By the time of the merger with the W&S in 1910, Wallace was outmoded, but remained in service for light goods services and shunting duties. He was mothballed in 1926 and sold to an industrial line on the mainland in 1932. Today, Wallace is preserved at the Vicarstown Railway Museum.|
|S&M 1-3||Clive, Neil, and Matthew||Neilson 0-4-0T box tanks||These three locomotives were the first standard gauge locomotives on the island, built in 1865. For many years, Neil was the only widely-known of the trio, having appeared in the Railway Series and having toys of him in the Wooden Railway and Ertl ranges. All three remained in service after the NWR merger, not leaving service until 1932 during the Great Depression. Clive and Matthew were sent for scrap alongside Colin, Lily, and Adam. Neil, meanwhile, was sold to a steel mill in Glasgow, and eventually ended up in the hands of the Vicarstown Railway Museum in 1985. His arrival was highly anticipated, and he was given an overhaul in 1994 to working condition. Neil remains in operation at the Vicarstown Railway Museum, and often ventures onto the NWR during special events. Clive and Matthew, meanwhile, also still survive: Clive was sold to a steam locomotive connoisseur, whose grandson still owns him as part of a small but robust collection at Harwick that is now connected to the NWR after the extension, and Matthew, after serving as a stationary boiler at the scrapyard, was acquired by the Kirk Ronan Historical Railway Society and is housed in a small museum at the harbor in operable condition. All three S&M Neilson tanks reunited at a gala in 2015, and pulled a triple-header from Vicarstown to Kirk Ronan.|
When the NWR was first formed in 1914, the coaching stock comprised of stock from the Tidmouth, Wellsworth & Suddery Railway and Sodor & Mainland Railway. Most of the carriages were four-wheel carriages, though the TW&S owned six-wheel carriages from the W&S. By 1922, new bogie stock had replaced the S&M carriages, three of which were set aside for preservation. Two of the 1922 bogie coaches are Annie and Clarabel. Another batch of coaches with a more modernized design was built in 1977-78. The TW&S stock remained in service until 1986, when the final three were withdrawn from service and set aside for use on the Vintage Train during galas. A bogie coach built to 1922 specifications was built in 2009 for the Ffarquhar Branchline and named "Becky" after the daughter of Percy's fireman. The 1922 and 1977 bogie stock remain in service alongside ex-British Railways Mark 1/2/3 coaches, LNER Gresley Corridor coaches, and GWR Clerestory coaches. In 2015, the 1922 carriage stock was withdrawn for overhaul (sans Annie and Clarabel), leaving the 1977 stock and Mark 1/2/3 coaches to handle the bulk of mainline and branchline service trains. The only branchlines not using Mark 1/2/3 stock are the Ffarquhar and Little Western branchlines, as they have their own unique carriage sets.
Interesting to note is that the Mark 1 stock was modified to meet safety standards. This included a stronger frame to be able to withstand crashes, and a central door-locking mechanism so a steward doesn't have to be stationed in each car. This means that Mark 1 stock can operate without being bracketed by Mark 2 stock.
In addition, the railway owns an ex-Wisbech & Upwell 4-wheel carriage (Henrietta), an ex-Furness Railway 4-wheel carriage (Victoria), a luggage van of unknown origin (Elsie), a pair of ex-LNER 6-wheel carriages (Martha and Jennifer), an ex-LBSC 8t luggage van (Drew), four ex-GWR Autocoaches (Isabel, Dulcie, Alice, and Mirabel), and three ex-GWR Slip Coaches (affectionately known by Duck and railfans as "Slippies").
The railway owns very little in the way of goods stock. Most goods wagons (the Troublesome Trucks) are owned by the Sodor Freight Commission, and are strictly used only on Sodor due to the smaller two-axle wagons being eliminated by British Rail in the mid-1970s. Larger, more modern goods stock, mainly owned by DB Schenker and Freightliner (with occassional appearances by stock from SNCF, RENFE, and DB by way of the Channel Tunnel), is interchanged with the national network. All publicly-owned wagons are brought to transfer facilities at TIdmouth to be transferred over to the larger equipment. The only equipment not brought to Tidmouth are container trains, as these run from Brendam to the mainland on express freights.
What goods stock is owned by the NWR includes brakevans (of LB&SCR, SR, and BR vintage, with a single GWR 20t "Toad" brakevan, appropriately named Toad, and an ex-Wellsworth & Suddery brakevan found in the mid-1990s by Sheffield named Brian), mail vans (formerly vans built at Crovan's Gate Works, but later replaced by ex-BR GUV vans in 1994; two of the original mail vans are at the Vicarstown Railway Museum), and over 80 goods wagons used on demonstration trains for galas.
The Works Department owns many pieces of rolling stock, including a pair of cranes and accompanying flatbeds, three work coaches from the TW&S, a steam crane named Rocky, several ballast hoppers, and utility vans repurposed from BR 12t Fitted Vans.