Edward's prototype
From the Railway Magazine, July 1934

Edward, according to the Rev Awdry himself, is based on a Sharp Stewart "Larger Seagull" loco supplied to the Furness Railway in 1896. The locomotive above, no 125, is actually a one-off intermediary between the Larger Seagulls and their successors. He is happy about something from all the steam he is letting off.

Seagulls in service with the Furness Railway
The top engine is No 34, later 46, and the bottom, no 39.
From The Furness Railway: Its Rise and Development by W. McGowan Gradon, 1946

Crovan's Gate modifications to be seen are making rear splasher flush with cab, new cab windows as opposed to cutaway and new cab lookouts as opposed to the round originals.

There are some locomotives, however, who have this endowment from scratch, a classic clean British design including the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement, flat footplate, round-topped boiler, space between boiler and footplate, no outside cylinders or motion, splashers over driving wheels, rear spasher merged with cab, and two rectangular cab windows. An example is this D20, which in real life has the splashers fused together although separately beaded.

Edward and BoCo
The extremely similar D34 ("Glen") and D40 are preserved at the Glasgow Transport Museum.

From Tony Grigg's notes on "The Island of Sodor":
Number 2 "Edward"
Edward is a 4-4-0 tender locomotive of the "larger Seagull" type built by Sharp Stewart in 1896 which once worked on the Furness Railway.

Rev. Awdry's drawing of Edward and Gordon
Edward and Gordon as rendered by the Rev W Awdry in the 1940s. With thanks to Jim Gratton.

Edward is based at Wellsworth (Edward's junction) for work on the Brendam Branch Line, known as "Edward's Branch Line" which he works with BoCo to the Brendam Bay China Clay quarry and Bill and Ben.

Tom Wright adds:
-Edward is described as a Furness Railway "Larger Seagull", heavily modified to cure shy steaming. Although the 'Larger Seagull' bears little resemblance, I suspect that this was merely a case of Awdry trying to explain away an illustrator's blunder.

Edward was the first engine in the first picture of the first story of the first book – "The Three Railway Engines" (1945). Edward finally got his own book, "Edward the Blue Engine" in 1954.

Modeller's Corner

The Rev Awdry did indeed have a model of Edward.

The Rev W Adry's model of Edward
"Adapted from a standard 4-4-0 KMR 2P kit", later rebuilt by Stewart Reidpath with new chassis and motor. In the Awdry Study of the NGRM in Tywyn, Wales.
Hornby logo
have introduced an Edward model in 2006 based on their LNER Shire class with cylinders and motion removed - I would have still preferred the LMS 2P as a basis:
Hornby model of Edward
This Gem kit of a D34 "Glen" from D&P Models needs a lick of blue paint.
D&P Model of D34 'Glen'
Hornby model of Edward
Bachmann Trains' version of Edward available from Amazon US

Collector's Corner

Tomy model of Edward
Classic ERTL model of Edward
Learning Curve Wooden model of Edward
Learning Curve model of Edward
Classic ERTL model of Edward
Learning Curve Wooden model of Edward
Learning Curve/ERTL-2 Take-Along version of Edward

Preamble <----

----> Gordon