Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

Axel is a Belgian streamlined tender engine who participated in the Great Railway Show. He was a contender in the Great Race.


Thomas & Friends

Axel, along with the other international engines, accidentally arrived on the Island of Sodor when the ferry they were traveling on stopped at Brendam Docks instead of the Mainland. He was the engine approached by the Dock Manager to explain their presence and was informed they had got off at the wrong place. Embarrassed, Axel proceeded to order the other engines back onto the ship.

Axel competed in the Great Race alongside Gordon (known as "the Shooting Star" at the time), the Flying Scotsman, Spencer and Etienne. He spent the majority of the race in last place, but after Scotsman slowed to express concerns on the explosion of Gordon's boiler, he managed to overtake Flying Scotsman and finish third.

After the Great Railway Show ended, Axel left the Mainland and returned to Belgium.


Axel is a smooth, streamlined tender engine built for speed; Effortlessly cool, his good looks and style have made him very popular with fans of steam. 

Technical Details


Axel is based on an NMBS/SNCB Type 12. One of these locomotives, 12.004, is preserved at the Train World railway museum in Brussels, Belgium.


Axel is painted red with black and yellow lining, the same colour scheme as the Belgian flag.


Audio Files


Since The Great Race, Axel shares the same whistle sound as Luke's.

First used Last used Sound Effect
The Great Race Active

In the mobile game Race On!, his whistle sound is lower-pitched.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Race On! Race On!


  • Axel is the second French-speaking engine in the series, the first being Millie and the third being Etienne. He and Etienne are the first standard gauge French-speaking engines in the series. Despite that though, Axel is not from France, though he may have come from a French-speaking territory.
  • He shares Luke's whistle sound.
  • Axel's Take-n-Play toy has a few errors:
    • His tender is backwards, although this was fixed on his Adventures/Collectible Railway toy since it has two-way connectors, and are not one directional. This could also be fixed by using the Adventures to Take-n-Play adapters as well.
    • He has buffers at the back of his cab above the magnet.
    • His Take-n-Play prototype had Vinnie's tender repainted; this was corrected on his final model.
  • His name means "Father of Peace".
  • Axel is the first 4-4-2 in the television series, although his trailing wheel is often omitted.



International Characters

* RWS only | ** T&F only | ✦ Changed location