Diesel, Electric and Other Engines

Awdry's Engines

Devious Diesel

Devious Diesel


Diesel with Duck in the yards

When Diesel first arrived in the yard, he was convinced that he knew everything.  He thought that his presence would improve the yard, because he and his kind were “revolutionary!”  Despite the attempts at flattery, which had won over the three big engines, Duck found Diesel to be somewhat ‘false’, and so put him to the test.  He asked Diesel to arrange some trucks for him, whilst he did other work.  Diesel was delighted to show off and relished the opportunity.  But in the process of arranging the trucks, he mistakenly tried to shift some very old and very decrepit trucks which hadn’t been used in some time... this made for a terrible mess, which the trucks found very amusing.  Soon, the whole yard was singing ‘Pop Goes The Diesel’, and making the newcomer feel very cross.

Diesel thinks he's won

Diesel pinned the blame firmly on Duck.  At first, Gordon, Henry and James defended him, but Diesel was determined to get his own back, and decided to tell lies about Duck so that he would be sent away in disgrace.  Diesel told the trucks that Duck had told him ‘jokes’ about the three big engines, and the word soon spread throughout the yard, right back to Gordon, Henry and James who were furious with Duck.  The Fat Controller tried to settle the situation, but knew the best thing to do would be to send Duck to work with Edward for a while.  Diesel thought he had won the day – and then went on to tell lies about Henry instead.  This time, he was caught out and the Fat Controller sent him packing instead.

Diesel's own stupidity sinks him again!

But Diesel has returned many times since.  When there was a need for an additional engine at the Harbour yard, he was called upon to help out, much to Duck and Percy’s horror.  Diesel made a complete nuisance of himself throughout his stay, and the two engines needed firm coaxing from the Fat Controller to even bring themselves to think of working with him.  Thankfully though, his own stupidity got the better of him when he shunted some china clay trucks off the end of the pier and straight in to the sea!  The Fat Controller sent Diesel back home again in disgrace, much to the delight of Duck and Percy.  When he returned again, Diesel’s stupidity was alive and well.  And the trucks were ready to take advantage of it!  They urged him to shunt twenty trucks together so that he could move them all at the same time.  Unknown to Diesel, their brakes were all locked on!  So when he tried to pull them, he strained the coupling so much that he shot forward off the quayside and into a barge! 

Diesel decieves poor little Fergus

Diesel’s devious streak was still strong as ever when he was sent to work at the Cement works with Fergus, and deceived him too. Diesel told the little railway traction engine that he was to take over work at the Cement Works, whilst Fergus was sent to work at the Smelters. This upset Fergus and caused a lot of trouble – until the Fat Controller found out and punished Diesel for his trickery.

Diesel also tried to trick Thomas into believing the legend of the ‘Curse of the Cliffs’ when he had to deliver items to the new seaside station. Thomas feared he might disappear into the fog!

He also made a concerted effort to make Percy feel even more isolated when Thomas began spending more time with Belle and Flynn than he did with him...simply to lure him into Diesel 10’s influence.

When the Fat Controller was choosing engines to take to The Great Railway Show, Diesel wanted to prove himself worthy of the Strongest Engine contest – so he encouraged Den, Dart and Paxton to hide in giant empty crates to make the Fat Controller believe that Diesel was pulling a very heavy train all by himself. But his trick backfired when Thomas tried to move the “trucks” instead, and got quite a shock when they propelled him past a red signal and into Norman. Diesel paid the price when he himself became trapped inside a crate soon after! 

Diesel with Clarabel after saving Thomas's train

However, there have been times when Diesel shows his good side. When Percy was ill, Diesel came to work on Thomas’s Branch Line while he was away. But he caused an awful accident with some trucks and was sent away again. Before he left, Daisy suffered an oil leak, which sprayed onto the track and caused Thomas, Annie and Clarabel to slip down the hill into a runaway siding. Thomas couldn’t grip, and it was up to Diesel to haul the train back to safety. For once, Diesel was hailed a hero!

Another time that Diesel proved to be a hero was during the ‘Big Freeze’. When heavy snow prevented the coal deliveries getting through, the Fat Controller ordered all the steam engines to stay in their sheds whilst the Diesel engines did their work for them. Diesel had the most important job of all when he made an overnight journey to the Mainland and returned to Sodor with the long-waited coal delivery!

Diesel and Paxton

Deep down, like all engines, Diesel just wants to be liked and accepted. But because he is not used to kindness, he shows his “friendship” in very odd ways. Once, he made Paxton believe that all the other Diesels had disappeared, and he tried to carry on the joke even after Paxton began chasing after him. But when Diesel ran out of fuel, Paxton was still kind enough to shunt him to the next station to refill his tank. Diesel was surprised by this, but he didn’t have the heart to say “thank you” afterwards...

Diesel visiting Daisy at the Dieselworks

Another example was his tendency of bumping into other engines as his way of saying “hello”. But after bumping Daisy, he caused one of her springs to give way, and the Engineers didn’t have the required parts to mend her. When rumours began to spread that Daisy may have to be scrapped, Diesel felt very guilty, and one night he visited her at the Dieselworks to apologise for his behaviour. When Daisy was mended at last, she told Diesel that if he wants to make friends, he’ll have to change his ways.

Diesel is doing his best to become a better engine...but even so, his urge to pay devious tricks is too strong a habit to break!

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

Daisy the Diesel Rail Car

Daisy the Diesel Rail Car


Daisy is settled - but the others are upset!

Daisy was brought to the Branch Line to run the passenger services whilst Thomas was at the Works, following his accident with the Station Master’s house.  Daisy took great pride in how modern and up to date she was by comparison with the other engines and from the very beginning, she caused a lot of disruption to the Branch Line – upsetting Percy, Toby, Annie, Clarabel and Henrietta.  On her first run along the Branch Line, she refused to take the milk to the Dairy, telling everyone that her Fitter told her that she should “never, never pull” as it was “bad for her swerves”.  Daisy had of course made the whole story up and thought it was a good excuse to do whatever work she chose and no more.

Daisy fails to 'shoo' Champion

However, an incident with Champion the Bull soon made her realise that she didn’t know as much as she’d previously thought.  Silly Daisy thought she could “shoo” him off the line by looking him in the eye and tooting... but she soon found it was going to take a lot more than that, and it was only through Toby’s intervention that she and her passengers were able to carry on safely.  But Daisy did eventually learn respect for Toby following Percy’s accident.  She helped clear away the trucks with him and Toby put in a good word for her with the Fat Controller, in spite of her previous bad behaviour.

Daisy 'advises' Mavis

In spite of this, Daisy remained full of her own ideas, and went against Toby when he was instructing Mavis in the Quarry.  The two had clashed over the shunting arrangements and Mavis vented to Daisy that “Toby thought only steam engines know how to manage trucks.”  Daisy, who knew nothing about trucks herself, wrongly supported Mavis’ view and made the suggestion that “anything that steam engines can do, Diesels can do better.”  This led Mavis to defy Toby further, and she came to trouble when moving trucks down to Ffarquhar yards from the Quarry, getting stuck in the sloping lane between two level crossings.

Daisy is stuck in the snow

When Thomas was away at the National Railway Museum, she ran his ‘fast train’ which connected with Gordon’s Express at the junction.  But on one of these occasions, it began to snow.  Daisy’s Driver was concerned, but Daisy thought the snow was pretty... she soon realised how troublesome it could be when she ran into a deep drift.  The snow blocked her air-intake and she could go no further.  Harold the Helicopter had to rescue the passengers, whilst Daisy was left freezing and alone for days!

Eels break out in front of Daisy

Another time, she teased Percy for being scared of grass snakes, thinking it ridiculous how he could be scared of some harmless wriggly things.  However, when a crate of eels was sent flying onto the track in front of her, she was rather taken aback.  She was so startled and frightened that she blew a fuse and couldn’t take her train home again.  Percy and Toby thought it a great joke and told each other ‘wriggly jokes’ all night whilst Daisy was within earshot.  Needless to say, she did not find their sense of humour to be very funny!

Daisy helps Toby collect workmen

But she has proven she can be an invaluable member of the team as well.  When the Sodor Airport was being built, and Tidmouth Sheds were being rebuilt, she was on the side of the Diesels – who had fallen out with the steam engines.  But knowing that the work was important, she teamed up with Toby to take the workmen to where they needed to be to complete the construction work.

Ryan and Daisy

In recent years, following her return in the Television Series for Season 20, Daisy has moved up in the world. As a reward for her hard work, the Fat Controller has put her in charge of carrying passengers on the new Harwick branch line. She now runs it alongside Ryan, who looks after the goods work. Although Daisy still strives to be a useful engine, she will occasionally slip into her old, haughty habits from time to time – like avoiding certain jobs which she considers “bad for her swerves”…!

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

Boco the Diseasal

Boco the Diseasal


BoCo with Duck

When BoCo first arrived on Sodor, he made the grave mistake of taking Bill and Ben’s trucks without asking.  When he refused to give them back, the twins set about teaching him a lesson he wouldn’t forget.  Edward soon cleared up the confusion – telling the twins that BoCo was not a “Diseasel” as they had previously thought, but a new engine who was still learning his way around the yard, and did not realise about the trucks.  From that day forward, he and Edward became firm friends.

BoCo in the yard

Although some engines such as James were initially wary of him at first, BoCo made friends among the Sodor steam engines, proving to them all that Diesel engines aren’t the ogres that often visited the railway.  Gordon particularly thought he was wonderful when he 'saved' him from Bill and Ben!  BoCo won a place on Edward’s Branch Line, and ever since has been a great companion and voice of reason for the engines.  He helps to keep Bill and Ben in good order, and occasionally helps out on the Main Line if and when required.  The Fat Controller has called both him and Bear ‘versatile’ engines and is proud to have them on his fleet.

BoCo and Edward at Wellsworth

A kind natured Diesel with a sense of humour, BoCo is one of two examples of his kind left in existence.  All his other classmates were scrapped, bar one, who is subject to a long-term restoration project at the East Lancashire Railway in North West England.

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

Mavis The Quarry Diesel

Mavis The Quarry Diesel


Mavis in the Quarry

Mavis was bought by the Ffarquhar Quarry Company to shunt trucks in their sidings at the Anopha Quarry to make life a little easier for Toby.  However, quite the opposite happened!  Mavis was so full of her own ideas, that she didn’t follow the instructions that Toby and the Quarry Manager had laid down for her.  Every time poor Toby would arrive to collect his trucks, they’d be in different places from where he needed them to be.  This made for trouble between the two engines and caused further disruption for the Quarry Manager and the Fat Controller.

Toby comes to save Mavis

When Toby complained, Mavis thought Toby was an old fusspot, she believed that she knew better.  Daisy supported her in this view and she carried on in the same old way until Toby lost patience with her, and told her to take the trucks herself.  This gave her a wake-up call she didn’t soon forget, becoming stuck in the sloping lane between two level crossings.  Thankfully, Toby was on hand to help push her and her train back to safety once again.  Mavis was scolded by the Quarry Manager and ordered to work harder for Toby in future.

Mavis rescues Toby from the bridge

Mavis soon became cocky and wanted to venture down Toby’s line again.  She asked the trucks to give her a bump when they came to the first level crossing – making the journey seem like an accident.  However, when Toby decided to shunt the yard in her place, the trucks took advantage and caught him unawares – sending him hurtling down the line toward the perilous river bridge which had been badly affected by the thaw.  Mavis came rushing to Toby’s rescue and hauled him back from the bridge just in time.  As a thank you, the Fat Controller allowed Mavis to come down the line with trucks to help Toby – she is now a welcome visitor at Ffarquhar sheds.

Mavis knocks over a lorry

But despite all she has learned, Mavis can occasionally make mistakes, and came to bother on one occasion when she met a lorry on the way down the Quarry tramway with some trucks.  The lorry driver was new to the Island and hadn’t seen Mavis coming.  As a result, he cut across her path, causing her to bump into him and tip the lorry over.  Toby had to cover Mavis’s work in the Quarry in her absence, but she made up for it when Thomas was in York, when Toby filled in for Percy on the goods duty – leaving her in charge of delivering the stone trucks to Ffarquhar.

Mavis takes Spencer to task

Over the years, Mavis has matured a great deal. She became another positive role model to Bill and Ben (when they worked together for a short time at the quarry), and is someone who many of the younger engines will turn to in times of need. She helped Thomas to heal the rift between the Steam Engines and the Diesels whilst the Sodor Airport was being built; she put Spencer firmly in his place whilst he was trying to cause trouble for Thomas and Hiro; and she kept Dart’s spirits up when was left on his own at the Dieselworks without Den.

Mavis and Salty

But sometimes, Mavis does get bored working at the quarry all the time. Diesel decided to have some fun one day when he convinced Mavis to help take his load of stone to Brendam Docks, leaving Thomas to look after her work at the quarry. But Diesel persuaded Mavis to help him with his other jobs, leading her further and further from the quarry. When Thomas couldn’t wait any longer, he tried to bring down the next stone train himself, and ended up having an accident when the heavy trucks got away with him.
Mavis was sorry at once, but the Fat Controller knows that she is still a useful engine, and occasionally he allows her to deliver stone to the Docks from time to time so she can stretch her wheels properly.

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

TV Series Engines

Derek the Diesel

Derek the Paxman Diesel

The Fat Controller had decided to bring in another diesel to help Bill, Ben and BoCo at the China Clay quarry. However he didn’t bargain for Derek!  Derek is a kind, jolly sort of chap, but his locomotive type has a design flaw, causing him to suffer dearly from teething troubles and constant breakdowns, and spends many a day at the Works. Despite their dislike for most diesels, Bill and Ben eventually felt sorry for him for trying to help out.

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

'Arry and Bert

Arry & Bert

‘Arry and Bert are as devious and spiteful as Diesel himself. They work in the Sodor Iron Works, bringing scrap metal from the scrapyards to be melted down and used again at the Smelter’s Yard, but they also help Mavis up at Ffarquhar Quarry when there is too much work for her to manage.
‘Arry and Bert believe that all steam engines are useless and should be scrapped. But as they can’t get away with that under the Fat Controller's watchful eye, they just have to put up with teasing them instead!

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

Salty the Dockyard Diesel


Salty is an old Dockside diesel who loves telling stories and singing songs about the sea. When he first arrived on Sodor, he was disappointed when his first job was up at the quarry with Mavis, far from the coast, where he helped to fill an important order of stone. Salty missed working by the sea very much, but he showed Bill and Ben a special way of keeping the trucks in order by working to a musical rhythm, which the trucks enjoy also. When the job was complete, the Fat Controller was so impressed that he relocated Salty to work at Brendam Docks where he has remained ever since.

Salty helps to keep the Docks in order with his cheerful, hard-working attitude. He has a big heart and comes to the aid of any engine, as well as keeping everyone amused with his stories about the sea. Not everyone likes his tales, though, particularly Cranky the Crane, who has to put up with them day and night! Occasionally, his stories tend to scare the engines – whether it’s about the ‘Monster of Brendam’, the ‘Flatbeds of Fear’, or the ‘Lost Pirate of Sodor’.

Salty and Porter

In fact, Salty gets so carried away he ends up believing half of the stories he tells. When a railway over on the Mainland needed to borrow an engine for a while, the Fat Controller decided to offer them Salty. But Salty was afraid to go there by ship, thinking of the giant sea monsters waiting to gobble him up...however, he got over his fear after Thomas reminded him of the other stories he had told over the years, and he realised that there are no sea monsters after all!

In spite of his friendly nature, Salty does have a vulnerable side as with most engines. He felt hurt when he overheard Thomas and Percy imitating him, but later realised that they were only copying him because they thought he was grand. And when Salty developed engine problems, he was reluctant to go to the Dieselworks for repairs, fearing that the Fat Controller would send him back to the quarry and replace him with another engine at the Docks. His fears increased when a new engine called Porter arrived to do his work – but later on, the Fat Controller explained that he and Salty will be working together. And so they have ever since, with Porter looking after Salty’s work whenever he is ill or away.

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

Dennis the Lazy Diesel


Dennis is a very lazy diesel who tries to take advantage of others and depend on them to do his work.  When we first meet Dennis, he tries to trick Thomas into giving up his afternoon off to help the lazy Diesel.  Dennis will always create excuses to get out of work, but usually gets caught in his lies, and is always very sorry...until he finds another oppurtunity to get out of work again!

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

Fiery Flynn the Fire Engine


Flynn is a very special Fire Engine who can run on both the roads and the rails. He was brought to the Fat Controller’s Railway on Belle’s advice to help her fight fires.

Flynn is always ready to help, but has been known to give into peer pressure – like the time he tried to prove the Railway Inspectors that the rescue centre did need two fire-fighting engines. But a flat tyre and delays on the railway hindered Flynn’s hopes at first, until one night he was called to an emergency at Brendam Docks when Belle was busy on guard at the Ulfstead Castle Bonfire.

Overall, Flynn has proven himself to be really useful time and again when working with Belle to put fires out across the railway.


Winston is the Fat Controller’s Track Inspection Vehicle, brought to the island to allow the Fat Controller a way and means of navigating his way around the railway without inconveniencing the engines whilst they were working.  Despite the Fat Controller’s terrible driving skills, Winston is very patient and tolerant of him, and cares about him a great deal – so much so that he went out of his way to look for an old railway carriage which the Fat Controller used to ride in on his birthday each year to make him happy.  Their association continues to go from strength to strength, but Winston is always keen to remind him whenever something goes wrong – “It’s still early days!”

Click Here For The Real Lives Of Thomas Profile


Stafford is a rather unique addition to the Fat Controller’s Railway – he’s neither a Steam Engine nor a Diesel, he’s an ‘Electric Battery Engine’.  But unlike the Steam Engines and Diesels, Stafford’s battery is prone to running out and needs frequent recharging to make sure that he can be really useful.  When he first arrived on Sodor, Spencer tried to show Stafford around the Island, but Stafford’s battery kept running out without Spencer knowing, and he simply steamed on ahead.  But Stafford was patient, kind and amiable about the situation, he just kept calm and got recharged – and in the end, he helped Spencer to Knapford Station when Spencer ran out of coal!

Being the only Electric Engine on Sodor, Stafford can sometimes feel a little bit left out.  Once, he decided to adopt the steamie sounds of Thomas and Percy to make himself sound different, which made him feel good about himself - but ended up scaring Farmer McColl's sheep who he was sent to transport.  Stafford learned and appreciated that being a quiet little Electric Engine was just fine and appears to be quiet content as Quiet Stafford!

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

Phillip is a bright bubbly little Diesel Box-Cab who works in the yard at Knapford Station, helping to shunt coaches and trucks for the other engines.  But despite being confined to the Big Station and the shunting yards, Phillip is fiercely competitive and always keen to show off what he can do, or rather what he thinks he can do!


Sometimes his enthusiasm can lead to trouble, such as the time James decided to show him how many trucks he could pull, which led to him losing control and coming off the line.  Thankfully, Phillip was there to rescue him, and the time that he upset Vinnie the American Engine at the Great Railway show.  Thanfully Thomas and Ashima were there to rescue Phillip!  But overall, Phillip is friendly and loveable and just wants to be the best at everything.



Vicarstown Dieselworks Diesels

Den the Dieselworks Diesel


Den is the ‘boss’ at the Vicarstown Dieselworks, and is responsible for repairing the Diesel engines on the Fat Controller’s railway. Den has a tendency to speak very slowly, and will often be heard saying, “What I mean to say is...” before Dart interrupts and does his talking for him.

The one time Den had to think for himself was when he was sent to cover Mavis’ work at the quarry while she was being mended. Poor Den felt overwhelmed working on his own, and the Troublesome Trucks made things worse. However, Toby and Henrietta encouraged Den to stand up for himself, and eventually he gained enough confidence to show the trucks who was boss and managed to keep the quarry in good order until Mavis returned.

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile

Dart the Dieselworks Assistant


Dart is Den’s assistant at the Vicarstown Dieselworks.  Unlike Den, he is far ‘quicker’, and knows what his ‘boss’ is thinking so well that he quite often does the talking before Den get the words out of his own mouth.  However, Dart is a valuable member of the Dieselworks team, and is an able helper to Den, but like a lot of the other Diesels, he can be cheeky and rude to some of the other engines...

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile


Paxton is the junior member of the Vicarstown Diesel Engines. He isn’t a bad Diesel, but he is very young and naive, and very easily led into situations, which can get him and others into trouble. He likes everyone though, Steam or Diesel, and works well delivering stone from the Blue Mountain Quarry with the narrow gauge engines.

But poor Paxton can be intimidated by the other Diesel engines. When we first met Paxton, he followed Diesel 10 and the other naughty Diesels to take over the Steamworks when Diesel 10 tricked Percy. And when he overhead Luke telling Thomas the story of what happened when he first arrived on Sodor, Paxton told Diesel who tried to cause trouble at the quarry. Thankfully, Paxton knew what to do and brought Victor to help clear Luke’s name.

Overall, Paxton is a friendly engine with a big heart, and wants to be everyone’s friend – including unsociable engines like Diesel! But he is still prone to silliness due to his na´vety. When Paxton urged Thomas to have some fun on a bumpy stretch of track, he felt guilty when Thomas got carried away and bumped into Toby at the water tower, causing the water from the hose to put out his fire. And when he heard that Thomas had ‘lost his puff’, he went off in search for it until Toby eventually explained what he meant by that remark...!

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile


Sidney’s first on-screen appearance was very brief indeed, consisting of a three second cameo during the movie ‘Day of the Diesels’ and then completely forgotten about – until Season 17 helped to develop him properly.

Sidney had spent two years in the Dieselworks, waiting for a new set of wheels to be delivered. But he remained cheerful all the same up on his hoist, chatting to his friends to help pass the time. When Percy found out about Sidney, he spoke to the Fat Controller, who saw to it that Sidney’s wheels were delivered on time as a Christmas present.

Now Sidney strives to be a Really Useful Engine. The trouble is that he is rather forgetful...like the time he tried to return the favour to Percy when he needed new wheels himself. To help him remember his special job, Thomas suggested that Sidney should make up a special song. But as Sidney met other engines, his song kept changing; taking him from the Waste Dump, to the Animal Park, to Knapford, and then finally to the Docks where Percy’s new wheels have been waiting all day to be collected...!

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile


Norman wants to be Really Useful and does his best to help all engines, Steam or Diesel, by following any orders he is given – such as the time Diesel 10 lead the great takeover of the Steamworks. But Norman has a tendency of breaking down, which makes it very difficult for him to prove himself. 

Several merchandise sources claim that Norman and Dennis are twins...which may cause some confusion as only one engine from the prototype they are both based from was ever built…!

Click Here For Real Lives Of Thomas Profile