Adams, also known by his number, 488, is a large green tank engine who lives on the Bluebell Railway.


The Railway Series

"Adams" used to work on the London and South Western Railway and was later saved from scrap and brought for preservation by the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society.

When Stepney visited the Island of Sodor, he mentioned Adams in a conversation with Edward. He and Cromford did not have names then, so the other engines nicknamed him "Adams", after his designer, William Adams. According to Stepney, his controller was unaware of this name change and intended to keep it a secret between the engines. [1]


According to Stepney, Adams is a lovely engine who "can stroll away with any load he is given".

Technical Details

Real-life History

Adams is based on the real No. 488, a London and South Western Railway (LSWR) 415 class "Radial Tank" engine, built by Neilson and Company in Glasgow, Scotland on 31 March, 1885, for hauling goods on the London and South Western Railway. Unlike its Railway Series counterpart, it does not have the name "Adams". 488 spent the years 1919 to 1946 on Colonel Stephens' East Kent Light Railway, before being brought back to the Southern for use on the Lyme Regis to Axminster branch line in Devon, along with two other 415 class engines, the rest of which had gone before the Second World War. 488 was withdrawn from service on 31 July, 1961, and replaced by the ubiquitous London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Ivatt Class 2MT Tanks [2] (one would later become Arthur's basis). 488 was then purchased by the Bluebell Railway, as it was the one having the original pattern of boiler.

488 is currently on static display on the Bluebell Railway as British Railways number 30583, the number and livery the engine carried until 1961 on the Axminster to Lyme Regis branch line in Devon.


Originally, Adams was painted in LSWR Drummond Green with black and white lining and his LSWR number 488 painted on his front buffer beam in yellow. For the Bluebell Railway's Branch Line Weekend in March 2019, he was repainted in BR black with red and white lining and his BR number 30583 painted on the side his bunker in white, plus the BR 'ferret-and-dartboard' logo on the sides of his cab.


The Railway Series

Companion volumes


  • Adams was sold to the military during the First World War and worked at Ridham Dock near Sittingbourne.



  1. RWS #18 "Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine"
  2. Steaming Around Britain Volume 7: The South West

* RWS only | ** T&F only


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