Visiting Engines

MANUFACTURER: Great Western Railway, Swindon Works
DESIGNER: George Jackson Churchward
LOCO TYPE: 3700 'City' Class
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: RWS #13 – Duck and the Diesel Engine
CURRENT STATUS: Static as of 2013
CURRENT LIVERY: GWR Green as No.3717
CREATOR: Rev.W.Awdry

City of Truro first visited Sodor in 1958, having bought a special rail tour for The Railway Society. Duck, in awe of his famous Swindon cousin, was honoured and delighted to meet the famous engine who showed himself to be very down to earth and friendly. His visit, albeit only an over night stay, made a lasting impression on Duck. He returned many years later to take part in the celebrations of the 50th Railway Series volume being published, alongside Flying Scotsman, Wilbert and Stepney.

Upon returning to traffic in 2004 after overhaul, the Fat Controller set about making plans for the famous engine to visit Sodor again, although it wasn’t until 2006 that these plans came to fruition. Following a stint on the Strathspey Railway in Scotland, City of Truro was to spend just under a fortnight on Sodor before returning to the National Railway Museum in York. Unable to run on the Mainline due to a lack of modern safety equipment, he was to be hauled by a ‘Support Diesel’, in this case a Class 67 by the name of Skippy. Things got off to a bad start when Skippy failed just a mile clear of Barrow, but as luck had it No.4 Gordon was on hand to come to the rescue.
During the visit, City of Truro ran special trains across most of the Island’s branch lines, and took part in an evening photographic special at Brendam. Upon his return to York, he and Skippy were hauled by D6 Winston.

During his visit, City of Truro showed himself to be a very calm and sensible engine, and revealed he is very much aware of how lucky he was to have been part of the famous run that bought him his celebrity status, and ensured his survival.

Built in 1903 No.3440 City of Truro, the 2000th locomotive to be built at Swindon Works, was one of an eventual 20 ‘City’ class locomotives. The first batch of ten (Truro included) were new builds, the rest being rebuilds of William Dean’s Atbara Class of 1900 (themselves based on the earlier Badminton class of 1897). The class were designed for express passenger services, although did work express freight and mail trains too.

On the night of 9th May 1904, No.3440 was hauling an express mail train, known as the ‘Ocean Mails’, from Plymouth to Paddington. On the decent from Whiteball Summit on Wellington Bank, between Exeter and Taunton, the train is reputed to have reached a top speed of 102.3mph, a record for a steam locomotive. Concerned that the travelling public would be frightened of talk of such speeds, the news wasn’t revealed immediately. The speed was published in 1905 with no details of the company, engine or location; the full account wasn’t given until 1908, and the GWR finally confirmed it in 1922 when the idea of high speeds was becoming more acceptable. However, there has been much debate and discussion over this ‘record’ in the years since as there was no definitive proof of the speed being attained.
In 1912 the GWR renumbered many of its locomotives, with City of Truro becoming 3717. It was fitted with a superheater and longer smoke box in 1915, and from 1922 onwards (when the GWR had begun talk of its record 100mph run) the locomotive became a celebrity thanks to GWR posters and advertising. This no doubt helped to save the locomotive from the cutters torch, for the other 19 members of the class were all replaced and scrapped between 1927 and 1931.

After withdrawal in 1931 the locomotive was donated to the LNER for their York museum, the management of the GWR not seeing fit to preserve their potentially record breaking engine. During the war years she was ‘evacuated’ to Sprouston near Kelso so as to be safe from enemy bombing raids.
First returned to service in 1957 for excursions and service trains on the Western Region, she was withdrawn just 4 years later, and spent the next 22 years in Swindon’s GWR Museum. Restored again in 1984 in time for the GWR 150th celebrations of 1985, and then again in 2004 for the 100th anniversary of the famous run.

Now owned by the NRM but with a ‘second home’ being the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway, City of Truro often visited preserved railways across the country. A lack of modern safety equipment required for running on the national network means City of Truro was no longer permitted for rail tour duties, prior to her retirement in 2013.

OWNER: Angel Trains, hired out to DB Schenker
LOCO TYPE: Class 67 Diesel-Electric
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #128 – The Greatest of Western Engines
RA: 8
BR NUMBER: 67008

Although unnamed officially, the nickname ‘Skippy’ was devised by ex-LNER No.4472 Flying Scotsman, when the famous engine learnt that his support diesel hadn’t a name. With the Class 67’s being nicknamed ‘Skips’ because of their shape, and the fact that the engine was a bouncy, jovial character, the name seemed to fit and remains to this day.

Skippy, who is currently based at Toton, Nottinghamshire, belongs to the company Angel Trains, who hire out locomotives to various TOCs and FOCs. DBS hire the class for various duties, both passenger and freight.

A cheerful, friendly diesel who enjoys all manner of work, Skippy is a reliable engine and always happy to help out. Having started life hauling express mail trains across the country, when this work dried up he found himself with a much wider range of duties. Having worked for ScotRail for a season on their Caladonian Sleeper services, as well as stints on Rail Head Treatment and snowplough duties, Skippy’s first love is rail tours. Having had the honour to work with such engines as Flying Scotsman, ex-GWR No.3440 City of Truro and ex-SR No.35028 Clan Line amongst others, he has also hauled rail tours and specials himself from time to time.

In 2006, following his stint with ScotRail, Skippy was given the task of hauling City of Truro from Scotland to Sodor before returning home to Nottinghamshire. However, he suffered a severe engine failure just outside Barrow-in-Furness, and the cavalcade had to be rescued by No.4 Gordon. When it was discovered that the required repairs would be extensive, the NWR’s D6 Winston was entrusted the task of hauling both engines back to the NRM in York. Skippy was repaired at his Nottinghamshire home and returned to traffic feeling fitter than ever.

In 2008, he stood in for failed relative 67015 ‘David J Lloyd’ on a London Marylebone-Wrexham General service on behalf of WSMR. As of 2010, Skippy took up the role of ‘Thunderbird’ locomotive with 3 of his brothers on the East Coast Main Line.

The Class 67’s entered service in 1999/2000 to replace older locomotives currently working high speed mail services on behalf of English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS). When EWS lost the contract in 2003, the class initially appeared redundant. However, an increase in work followed, leading to the fleet tackling a range of duties across the country.

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: British Railways
LOCO TYPE: BR Class 44 “Peak” Co-Co
RWS ENTRY VOLUME: RWS #23 - Enterprising Engines
CREATOR: The Rev. W. Awdry

During the abolishment of steam on the Mainland, the Class 44 engines were introduced in 1959 – built by Derby Works, these powerful diesel-electric locomotives were the first big diesels to run on British Rails, each were equipped with a Sulzer engine and steam heating boilers for passenger services. They were nicknamed “Peaks” since they were first christened after British mountains.

The Fat Controller, in a need for extra motive power, approved two diesel locomotives for trial – as steam was fast dying out on the Other Railway, and following BoCo's arrival in 1965, he felt that there was still room for diesel traction on his own railway. The engines that arrived were a Class 44 Type 4 (Diesel 199) and a Western Diesel Hydraulic “Hymek” (Diesel 7101). Unlike 7101, 199 was very arrogant and upfront to the fact that, sure enough, Sodor would be next in Beeching's Modernisation Plan – at least that's what he thought. “Nothing ever happens to us. We are reliable,” were his poorly chosen words.

That all changed when 199 suffered a breakdown near Kellstrophe Road with an oil tanker train – coincidently at the same place and time when 7101's injector failed whilst pulling the Express. Sulking terribly and wailing for his fitter, 199 went from “Spamcan” to “Old Reliable” until Henry arrived on scene and performed his “Super Rescue”, hauling both diesels and their trains to the next big station – in spite of the fact that he himself had lost his regulator.
Following this incredible feat, the Fat Controller retained 7101 (now known as “Bear”) and sent 199 back to the Other Railway in disgrace.

No one knows what happened to “Spamcan” since, but it came as a surprise to all when he returned to Sodor on a passing visit (ERS #74) where, 30 years on, he still has trouble pulling tankers after Duck gave him a showing up on Gordon's Hill! It was never revealed how D199 remained in service all this time as the last of the “Peaks” were scrapped after the 1980's. Perhaps he was still stationed at Toton, in the East Midlands – where all the Class 44s were relegated to freight duties up till their withdrawals – and left as a “stand by” engine for just such an emergency.

To this day, two Class 44 diesels have been preserved: Great Gabel at the Midland Railway and Penyghent at the Peak Rail.


Wilbert proved to be a popular visitor to the Island of Sodor, drafted in as an interim engine to help Donald and Douglas while the Fat Controller searched for a more permanent solution. Named after the Thin Clergyman, he remains a popular engine in the fandom.

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: National Coal Board
LOCO TYPE: “Austerity” 50550 class
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: RWS #38 - Wilbert the Forest Engine
ORIGINAL NUMBER: No 3806 (Works No.)
CURRENT STATUS: Under Overhaul
LIVERY: Dark blue with red lining, black wheels
CREATOR: Christopher Awdry

‘Wilbert’ was drafted to help out Sodor by the Fat Controller, who was good friends with the Controller of the Dean Forest Railway. Initially brought to help out on Duck’s branchline as Donald and Douglas were struggling, Wilbert was diverted to Thomas’ branch line when Percy required maintenance after an incident involving porridge oats and rainwater!

Wilbert became well established at Ffarquahar and it was with sadness that the branchline engines bade farewell to him. Wilbert transferred to Duck’s line and showed quickly what an asset an engine of his type could be. Upon departure, the Fat Controller was heard to remark that he knew where to find an engine just like him!

This clever, cheerful and practical engine came back to Sodor for the Fiftieth Book Celebration (ERS #50) and was one of two engines to be banked up Gordon’s Hill by no less than Flying Scotsman as well as learning about Thomas’ early days on Sodor. Once again though, this witty engine’s time on Sodor was limited and he once more departed home to the Dean Forest Railway.

Construction of these began in 1942 for the War Effort, where Hunslet and other sub-contracted works such as Vulcan, Hudswell Clarke, Bagnall and Andrew Barclays built these for both domestic and international use, finding use on the Continent and at British Docks -except Southampton Docks, due to the sharp curvature.


When the war ended, some were sold to railways in France and the Netherlands. Others were bought by the LNER for domestic use and others were retained by the military. The engine we know as Wilbert was built in 1953 by Hunslet for the National Coal Board. Deployed to work in Rugeley, Staffordshire, the engine lead an uneventful life until withdrawal in the 1970s. Saved by preservationists, the engine was moved to the Forest of Dean in 1976 and some years later was restored. This engine had the distinction of running some of the first trains of the Forest of Dean Railway, as well as being the engine to double-header with ‘City of Truro’ upon the railway’s extension to Lakeside. In recent years Wilbert has been sidelined awaiting repairs, but the Forest of Dean Railway brought Wilbert back in 2012.

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: Southern Railways
RWS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #84 - Quinten the Museum Engine
CURRENT STATUS: Static Display
CREATOR: Christopher Signore

Quinten was the first twenty of his class to be built in 1942 at Brighton Works. The Southern Railway desperately needed a more reliable class to help with the war efforts, and with thanks to their Chief Mechanic Engineer, Quinten and his brothers proved to be light but powerful engines. With all superfluous features stripped away, the Q1 engines became the backbone of the Southern Goods Link – notable features include a smaller wheel diagram and a copper firebox rather than a steel one. When not on freight traffic, they also ran secondary passenger services. Their oddly-shaped boilers meant that they could be also be driven through a coach-wash for cleaning to save time and man labour.

Their only downfall was their poor braking system on unfitted good trains due to the light construction of the tender braking system, and partly since they were all built under the wartime austerity regime, and quickly pressed into service. Nonetheless, Quinten's class became an indispensable Southern class locomotive, lasting as long as 1966.

After the war and the threat of Dieselisation, Quinten's history become more colourful. When he was withdrawn he was preserved at the National Railway Museum, but was loaned to the Bluebell Railway for several occasions, over a period of nearly 30 years, before returning to the NRM in 2004 when his boiler ticket ran out.

During that time, Quinten was temporarily brought back to the NRM to celebrate the War Memorial Event at York as the museum has little or no additions of wartime engines, where upon he became familiar with James during his visit. The two engines reconnected once more, several years later, when Quinten was sent to the Fat Controller's Works to have minor repairs made prior his return to York again. As James's repairs were taking longer than expected, it was decided that Quinten would do his work until James returned to service – he proved to be very popular indeed by all the other engines with his work ethic and resourcefulness. His most notable mishap when he had a “clean getaway” after silly coaches towed him through the carriage wash!

In fact, come early 2007, when Green Arrow suffered mechanical problems and was unable to haul a planned railtour on Sodor, a fast turnaround was vital – as he was already familiar with the Sudrian engines, Quinten was temporarily re-tubed and send him over in GA's place. This made him, unfortunately, less powerful than before and could only run for short distances. But he managed to save the Fat Controller a lot of trouble, and remained as popular as ever with friends old a new, before returning home a month later where he remains on static display at the NRM.

Truthfully, the real C1 was still out of service long after 2004 when it met its boiler ticket. But Quinten proved memorable enough to twist real-time history just once for a second outing.  However, petitions have been set up to return the RL locomotive to full service. We can only hope that one day Quinten shall truly steam again...

The Q1 locomotives, designed by CME Oliver Bullied, were build to run goods trains on the Southern Railway during the Second World War. Using as few raw materials as possible, only 40 of these were built: their unusual box-shaped design made them light-weight, more powerful and a great deal faster than other larger locomotives – although most people thought their general appearance looked rather odd, earning them such nicknames as “Charlies”, “Coffee Pots” and – most famous of all – “Ugly Ducklings”.

Vector came to the Mid Sodor Heritage Railway with ideas above his station. He thought the railway was outdated and wanted to make an attempt to ‘modernise’ it by getting rid of Evan and Buzz. Inspired by what he had heard from standard gauge engines on the main line, he wanted to do something similar himself and aspire to their ‘greatness’. Initially, he tried to befriend Buzz as a ‘fellow Diesel’ in an attempt to oust Evan, but she declined his advance – Evan was a friend. His trickery and deceit made her look foolish in the eyes of the Manager, but it was his own complacency that brought about his downfall and saw him returned home again...

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: Unknown Industrial Complex
LOCO TYPE: 335 HP turbo-charged B-B diesel-hydraulic B-B – Funkey Diesel
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #95 – Vector The Diesel Engine
CURRENT LIVERY: Light Blue with white lining and yellow front
CREATOR: Jim Bob Dunnie

The Mid Sodor Heritage Railway were looking to invest in more powerful engines to help run their services. An industrial complex in the south of England, still running with a narrow gauge railway network made them an offer to trial one of their Diesel locomotives, No. 798332, otherwise known as Vector. Vector had been extensively rebuilt from an aesthetic point of view to resemble a Class 59 Diesel, from the original body of a Funkey Diesel locomotive imported from South Africa.

However, he didn’t prove as versatile as the railway’s management would have liked. Shunting work was particularly difficult, with crews complaining that the engine was too long and provided poor visibility range. And in retrospect, Vector’s modern and sleek design did not tie in well with the railway’s image of ‘linking to the past’. He was unceremoniously returned to the industrial railway following his contribution to a ‘controlled explosion’, supposed to be clearing a new section of line, caused more trouble than it was worth.

Vector is based on the Ffestiniog Railway’s Vale of Ffestiniog, imported from South Africa in 1993 from Pretoria Portland Cement Ltd in Port Elizabeth, along with another locomotive, which has been named Castell Caernarfon, and now based on the Welsh Highland Railway. Since it’s rebuild and arrival in traffic, it has been a mainstay of the Ffestiniog Railway and been an invaluable member of the railway’s fleet.

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: London, Midland & Scottish Railway
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #50 – The Useful Little Engine
BR NUMBER: 47614
CURRENT STATUS: Static Exhibit
CURRENT LIVERY: Midland Railway Red
CREATOR: Ryan Healy

Audrey and Jinty were based together at Barrow shed in the 1960s, and both were withdrawn around the same time. Like Jinty, she was saved by a Heritage group in the North West, backed by the Hatt Steam Trust. Audrey has remained with the railway since the very early days, and remained in Midland Railway red and guise.

Audrey visited the North Western Railway as part of the celebrations to mark the 50th Railway Series book, along with a raft of other locomotives associated with the Hatt Steam Trust and the Railway Series books themselves.

Whilst a favoured and much loved locomotive for the Heritage Railway, following the expiry of her boiler certificate in 2005, she’s been holed up as a prize exhibit in their new Locomotive Exhibition area, whilst she awaits her turn in the overhaul queue. The society claim to have plans to return Audrey to steam in the very near future, and are hopeful of a reunion with Jinty on the Wellsworth Branch.

Audrey is one of 422 3F tank engines built between 1924 and 1930 for the London Midland and Scottish Railway, with Jinty’s class being among the last group completed in 1931. The specific locomotive she is based upon is 47614, who was based at Barrow sheds in 1965, and sadly did not survive into the preservation era. Of the Jinty class, ten survived into preservation, with the final five being among the last tank engines to run for British Railways in 1967, with a further 47445 becoming property of the National Coal Board.

RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: RWS #12 - The Eight Famous Engines
BR NO: 47001
CREATOR: Rev. W. Awdry

Pug was one of five engines built for the LMS railway at 27A Bank Hill, where he was swiftly pressed to work. Most of his life was based around Barrow-in-Furness with dock shunting where the rails were especially tight for larger engines. Jinty was one of his old shed mates and the pair become firm friends; both were fortunate enough to be invited to Sodor to look after Thomas's Branch Line when the Fat Controller's Engines went away to England (RWS #12).

However, once Dieselisation struck the Other Railway, withdrawals for Pug's class began in 1963 – Pug was the last by 1966 to be condemned to the scrap-lines...however, due to a mix-up – whether by mistake or a deliberate attempt from his old crew – Pug was sheeted up and shunted in the furthest area of Barry Scrapyards with instructions that he was “NOT TO BE MOVED” – and over time was completely forgotten about.

Years later, in 1980, Pug was rediscovered when the Hatt Steam Trust was formed and was moved to Sodor for a complete overhaul with plans to send him on to a Heritage Railway in need. The work took longer than intended so Pug was unable to attend the celebrations for the 50th book of the Railway Series (ERS #50), but at last his overhaul was completed and proved his worth by helping Jinty with the Extension Work at Tidmouth Station (ERS #91) before being sent on to his new home.

The sole image of Pug in his RWS “cameo” told us that he was based on a Class 0F-C Engine for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Only five of these were constructed by Kitson & Co. of Leeds similarly based on the design of the common 0-4-0 saddletank shunters known as “Pugs” (so-called after the small, sturdy dogs of the same name). The difference being that the LMS Kitson shunters were built with extended saddle tanks and longer coal bunkers. Their designs made them useful for working in tight conditions at docksides and collieries, with some even finding work at the Comford and High Peak Railway in Derbyshire. None were sadly preserved.

RAILWAY OF ORIGIN: London & North Eastern Railway
RWS ENTRY VOLUME: RWS #23 - Enterprising Engines
CURRENT STATUS: Subject to overhaul
LIVERY: LNER Apple Green
CREATOR: The Rev. W. Awdry

Flying Scotsman came to the Island of Sodor in 1968 prior to his trip to the United States as part of a final farewell tour.  Here he was reunited with Gordon for the first time in many years, when he discovered that his Doncaster brothers had all been scrapped as part of the Modernisation plan.  In spite of the sad news, the two engines shared a very happy time together (RWS #26).  He returned to Sodor several years later when the 50th Railway Series book was published to celebrate with the other engines (ERS #50).


Flying Scotsman returned to Sodor in 2005 when the Fat Controller was running time trials between four Pacific locomotives from each of the Big Four Companies (save for The Great Western).  Much to his delight, he beat the other competitors, which included Gordon and Squaddie (ERS #120)!


The Fat Controller has been hoping that Flying Scotsman would be able to return to Sodor again at some point and has made a provisional agreement with the National Railway Museum for him to do a special rail-tour when he finally makes the triumphant return to service in the future.

Flying Scotsman is arguably one of the most famous steam engines in the world, having been exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition in the 1920s, appearing in it's own feature film, frequently used for publicity purposes for the LNER and for being the first locomotive in the world to be officially recorded travelling at 100mph.


Since then, the engine has toured the world having visited the United States in 1968 to 1973 and then again to Australia where it toured from 1988 to 1989.  The locomotive is currently subject to a lengthy and expensive overhaul at the National Railway Museum in York.

MANUFACTURER: The A1 Locomotive Trust
DESIGNER: A. H. Peppercorn
LOCO TYPE: British Railways A1 Pacific
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #153 - Tornado the New-Build Engine
CURRENT LIVERY: Brunswick Green
CREATOR: Simon Martin

Tornado has the distinction of being the first new standard gauge steam locomotive built for work in the United Kingdom for nearly 50 years.  He came to the Island of Sodor in the latter part of 2008 to visit the Fat Controller’s Railway, quickly winning the admiration of Gordon and even Dick & Dilworth the Freight Diesels.


However, the trip wasn’t all fun and games – poor Tornado blistering a fusible plug with both he and his train having to be towed back to Tidmouth by Bear, and then getting stuck in the snow on the Main Line!  But he redeemed himself in a big way when he ran a very special emergency train across the Island to Tidmouth General Hospital to help a sick patient.


Despite his difficulties, Tornado left the Island a hero and everyone is keen to see him return again in future! (ERS #153)

The A1 Trust’s Tornado was 18 years in the making and became the first new British standard gauge locomotive built since Evening Star.  Tornado has become a well-loved part of the British Railway Heritage scene, and even featured in a Top Gear special where the engine carried Jeremy Clarkson as he raced against Richard Hammond on a motorbike and James May in a car as they tried to replicate travel in a bygone age – however, it must be borne in mind, Tornado is a thoroughly modern machine!

A new engine who's not had the proper chance to shine just yet...

OWNER: The AC Locomotive Group 
LOCO TYPE: Class 89 Express-Electric 
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #195 – The Unexpected Electric Engine 
BR NUMBER: 89001 
CURRENT STATUS: Undergoing Repairs/Restoration 
CURRENT LIVERY: InterCity Executive Lined Grey 
CREATOR: Kyle Nicholas

The arrival of Avocet on Sodor was completely unforeseen by the engines of the North Western Railway, his presence being a closely guarded secret by those at the Crovan's Gate Works. After being purchased by the AC Locomotive Group, the heritage group discovered that the amount of work required to bring Avocet back to working order was much larger than they anticipated. However, their salvation came in the form of Sir Stephen Hatt, who brokered a deal that saw the large electric engine sent to Sodor to be repaired once the required funds were raised. 

Repairs took many years, with several components having to be rebuilt from scratch. However, his secret remained uncovered (with the exception of Duck), until he was transported to Peel Godred by Robert and Abbey one night in 2012. 

One unforeseen difficulty faced by Avocet on Sodor was his lack of ERTMS, leaving him unable to run by himself on the electric branch. Experiments were carried out under the cover of night, in which time Maude acted as a pilot to see if the ERTMS system could be “tricked” into accepting Avocet. This power went to her head, which lead to an explosive encounter in the shed one night. However, this confrontation did result in a less hostile partnership between the two engines. 

During a special train to celebrate his return to service, headed by himself and Maude, Avocet suffered a major failure, with a field converter in his motor becoming damaged mid-journey. He is currently undergoing further repairs at the Crovan's Gate Works, and the Fat Controller has promised his return to the Peel Godred branch line in good time.

Avocet is based on the British Rail Class 89; a prototype electric express engine developed to haul fast passenger trains on the East Coast Main Line. However, British Rail changed the specifications prior to the engine being completed, and the engine was left without a specific duty. 

Trails were run on many routes, although noting came of these, and following a failure in 1991 the locomotive was set aside for preservation by the Midland Railway Centre, before being purchased by the Great North Eastern Railway (who were suffering from a motive power shortage) following privatisation. 

Unfortunately the Class 89 suffered a further failure in 2001, when it was placed in storage until 2004, when it was placed in the care of the AC Locomotive Group. The locomotive was officially purchased by the group in 2006, and is currently in the process of restoration.

Originally nicknamed “Henry II” in the early stages of his construction, Arturo is proud to be considered as Henry's “twin”. He is loud and cheerful but never vain about his strength and speed, always putting others before himself. At times his constant optimism may be annoying to some, but hardly anything can keep him down for long.

Important Info

RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #112 - The Two Henrys



CURRENT LIVERY: BR Black / Red and White lining
CREATOR: Chris Signore

About the Character

With the expansion of Crovan's Gate Workshops to suit the repairs of every locomotive on Sodor, Sir Charles Topham Hatt became confident in the ability of his skilled engineers. So much so that he began to formulate plans to push them further with a grand scheme - inspired by how well Crewe had repaired Henry after his accident with the Flying Kipper, his idea was to rebuild a new Black Five locomotive based on the same plans used for Henry, using necessary parts from various sources. If successful, the engine would be donated to a Preservation Railway in need and thus open the doors for future big-game projects.

Unfortunately, this idea was never fully accomplished as it quietly fell to the wayside owing to financial complications.

However, his son Stephen Hatt decided to revive the idea in early 2003, and began picking up where his Father left off. The frames for the locomotive already existed, so once Stephen was able to acquire a LMS Black 5 boiler - fully restored with improvements, encompassing modern engineering techniques - he was able to finish the project with finding the few final pieces from the scraplines behind Crovan's Gate Works.

The biggest challenge by far was when Stephen Hatt added his own idea of including the Caprotti Valve Gear, designed by the Italian Engineer Atruro Caprotti, with his own personal adjustments.

The whole project was kept “in the dark” for many months until, at long last, the engine was completed in 2004 and ready for trialling. The engine carried the Number 33 until his first public appearance, which saw him photographed alongside a very surprised Henry - for many many months afterwards, the tabloids referred to them as “The Two Henrys”, as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the British Comedy duo, “The Two Ronnies”…

Unfortunately, while No.33 performed splendidly, there were many problems considering the Caprotti Valve Gear. Despite Stephen Hatt's own modifications to better its performance, it was clear that not even he or the Chief Mechanic Engineer could iron out the faults from the original plans. The final blow came when No.33 failed on a double-header run with The Flying Kipper, forcing his crew to dismantle his valve gear and allowing Henry to finish the journey by himself.

So it was, the valve gear experiment was deemed a failure, but No.33 was far from one himself. He was rebuilt back to his original Black 5 running gear and, as a dedication to the Italian Engineer, he was given the name “Atruro”, a name which he still carries with pride today on his new home. There are even talks of Atruro running a few railtours along the Mainland like many of his cousins and brothers before him…

Real Life Locomotive Basis

Arturo resembles a mixture of the LMS Stanier Class and the Caprtotti Black Five Locomotives. The latter was an experimental design by George Ivatt to improve the current design – first built in 1958, they were suited to “wear” Atruro's Valve Gear design. Other modifications for the Caprotti Black Fives included a higher-pitched boiler, a lower running place, an extended smokebox and the funnel set further forward. In service, they were remembered as being faster but less powerful. One of the Caprotti standard fives, 73129, and The Duke have since been preserved.

Rockland caused great surprise when he first arrived on the Arlesdale Railway - surely a stocky tank engine couldn't run the passenger services? In his own quiet way, Rockland soon proved his worth.

MANUFACTURER: Guest Engineering & Maintenance (Ltd)
Unspecificed Heritage Railway, England
LOCO TYPE: Unspecified
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #197 - Jock The Big Engine
CURRENT LIVERY: Unlined Caledonian Blue

Rockland is a sturdy tank engine from Norfolk, hired in for the 2013 summer season following the Arlesburgh Workshop fire. He might not look as streamlined as the tender engines who usually frequent the line but what he lacks in speed he makes up for in strength and sure-footedness.
Originally built by 'Guest Engineering & Maintenance (Ltd)' in 1964, he lives on an unspecified line in Norfolk, England.

Rockland is quite happy-go-lucky in character - laid back and never one to complain. This sees the others sometimes feel he is a little slow and simple, but in truth it is an act Rockland has perfected over the years to earn himself a quiet life. Perfectly on the ball and cunning when he needs to be in order to proof himself or to calm troublesome situations, anyone who underestimates him soon finds themselves in for a shock. Not that Rockland would ever tease over it, mind - he'll be too busy somewhere getting on with his work. If Rockland has one flaw, it's that he nearly always drops his H's when speaking.

Rockland is based on the Bure Valley Railway’s “Wroxham Broad”, sharing locomotive type and Caledonian blue paintwork. Rockland Broad is the name of another of the Norfolk broads.

Delilah - or 'Del' for short - is a big engine with a bigger heart. A hard-worker and good friend, she visited the Arlesdale Railway in 2013 for the Spring Gala and ended up staying a little longer than expected owing to a catastrophic workshop fire.

Important Information

MANUFACTURER: Davey Paxman & Co, 1927
Unspecificed Heritage Railway, England
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #197 - Jock The Big Engine
CURRENT LIVERY: Great Eastern Blue

About the Character

There is no doubting Del is big and strong, but she is also careful and gentle with her trains and rarely puts a wheel wrong. Left to her own devices she is more than a match for any engine, but her seemingly quiet ways often lead those who don’t know her to feel they have to stand up for - whether she accepts this quietly or gives a stern rebuke depends on the circumstances!

Although being a great asset to the Arlesdale line following the temporary loss of Mike, Bert and Rex after the Workshop fire, there was one problem for her crews - being too big for the railway's turntables!

Del was sent home prior to the summer holidays in 2013, but come the autumn of that year was visiting Rockland Broad's home railway in Norfolk for that line's seasonal gala.

Real Life Locomotive Basis

Delilah is based on Samson from the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch railway which visited R&ER in 2013 - which explains the choice of name for the character. Like her counterpart she wears deep blue paintwork, and shares all over technical specifications including the American style whistle - which is ‘far too loud for a decent engine’ according to Jock!

These two diesels are very special - they haul the Royal Train!

OWNER: Angel Trains, hired out to DB Schenker
LOCO TYPE: Class 67 Diesel-Electric
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #168 - A Sudrian Autumn
BR NUMBER: 67005 & 67006

These two friendly diesels have only visited Sodor once so far - and even then it was in secret! For security reasons the Royal Train is never advertised and often runs in secret, with even Signalmen not knowing about it's presence until very shortly before it passes them by.

On the night of their visit, a ship carrying the Prince and the Duchess was redirected to Sodor, and Queen's Messenger and Royal Sovereign made their way to Kirk Ronan to collect them. They were piloted in fine style by Squaddie, but unintentionally managed to scare Alex in the process!

The Class 67’s entered service in 1999/2000 to replace older locomotives currently working high speed mail services on behalf of English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS). When EWS lost the contract in 2003, the class initially appeared redundant. However, an increase in work followed, leading to the fleet tackling a range of duties across the country. 67005 & 67006 were allocated Royal Train duties in 2003 although both have occasionally been seen on other duties - including freight and RHTT!

This sister of Sodor resident Daphne arrived in 2012 with a rail tour.

Important Information

MANUFACTURER: English Electric, Vulcan Foundry
RWS/ERS ENTRY VOLUME: ERS #194 - Anniversary of the Deltics
RA: 5
BR NUMBER: D9000/9000/55022
CURRENT LIVERY: BR Blue, full Yellow Ends, White Windows

About the Character


Real Life Locomotive Basis

Originally constructed in the early 1960’s following the successful trials of the earlier prototype, the 22 strong ‘Deltic’ class were the mainstay of the London to Edinburgh express services throughout the 60’s and 70’s.
The locomotives were allocated to one of three depots, and their names depended on these; eight were named after racehorses and allocated to Finsbury Park. The rest were named after British Army regiments and were divided between Haymarket and Gateshead.

55010, ‘Royal Scots Grey’ was withdrawn in early January 1982 and has since been preserved. Often to be found hauling rail tours, over the years she has also been hired by freight companies and has been seen on the national network hauling trucks!