Gordon was built by Sir Nigel Gresley at Doncaster Works in April 1922 as a prototype for the A1 with a GNR eight-wheeled tender and green livery on the Great Northern Railway. He was the one of his special "class", the A0. The NWR later copied his design and produced two new A0's. He was serviced to the LNER in 1923, and befriended a GER Claud Hamilton known as Molly.
The range of LNER A4's were designed in 1935, as advanced forms of the A3's. Gordon's brother, Great Northern, was rebuilt by Edward Thompson in 1945.
Gordon arrived on Sodor in 1948, along with seven other engines - Henry, Toby, Duck, Donald, Douglas, Oliver and Emily. In 2002, he met up with a foe from the LNER - Silver Link, or Spencer. The two LNER Pacifics made up in the end. In 2006, Gordon wanted a second tender, but it didn't turn out well.
Gordon's important position as the engine who usually pulls the Express has made him proud and strong, with good reason, too; he is the strongest engine on Sodor after all.
Despite this, Gordon is kind hearted, strong, intelligent, and fast. He doesn't mind pulling trucks, but won't pull dirty coal trucks or oil tankers.
Gordon is based on a rebuilt LNER Gresley Class A3 4-6-2 with LMS Stanier components and Fowler tender. He was originally based on LNER Class A0.
Gordon is painted NWR blue with red stripes, and the number 4 in yellow with red border painted on both sides of his tender. He was originally painted LNER apple green with with the number 1469 on his cab and the initials GNR on his tender.