Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

Butch, also known as the "Sodor Heavy Recovery Unit", is a yellow and navy blue breakdown lorry. He is kept busy in construction areas, clearing rubble, towing broken-down or stranded vehicles or assisting in engine rescues.


Thomas & Friends

Butch first appeared towing Lorry 3 to the docks after he broke down. After that, he received many cameo appearances. He also helped with the demolition of Tidmouth Sheds in Calling All Engines! and the rebuild of Great Waterton in The Great Discovery. He is now part of the Search and Rescue Team.

In the fifteenth series, he was given a magnet.

In the sixteenth series, Butch broke down and needed to be towed to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre by Flynn.

In the seventeenth series, Butch towed Flynn to the Rescue Centre when he got a flat tyre when racing to a fire. He later told Flynn about the fire at Brendam Docks and encouraged him to fight it.

In the nineteenth series, Butch accidentally sprayed Thomas with mud after he got stuck while pulling a tractor. He also tried to move a whale back to the ocean but could not when it was discovered that the tide was too far out.

Later, Butch was present when the Mayor of Sodor presented the Search and Rescue Centre with a new alarm bell and was also present to help Diesel and Percy when they were stuck in the water at the Old Quarry.

After Thomas had an accident, he derailed far away from the rails so he was pulled by Butch to the Steamworks. Butch later attempted to get Rocky back on the rails by himself, but only stopped when his engine was at risk of blowing out.


Butch is serious about his job and loves working, especially with his railway friends. Despite his size, Butch has a kind heart and is always ready when his service is needed.

Technical Details


Butch is based on a hybrid of a Scammell Constructor and Scammell pioneer. According to the official website, he was constructed out of parts from a diesel, a lorry and a crane.


Butch's front is painted yellow and his trailer is painted navy blue, with "SODOR HEAVY RECOVERY UNIT" written on both sides in white. Since Misty Island Rescue, he has the logo of the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre on his cab doors.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

Learning Segments


Magazine Stories

Official Description

From Official Website:[1]

Butch the Breakdown Truck: Butch has an immense engine and is very powerful - hence his name! However, despite his size, he is a kind-hearted giant and always takes his work seriously. Best of all, Butch loves working in the company of Engines.

Historical Note: Butch is not based upon any particular type of breakdown truck. He was built from the parts of various vehicles.

From Official Website:[2]

Butch: Butch, who serves as the Sodor Heavy Recovery Unit, is an extremely powerful breakdown truck with an immense engine. He is serious about his job and loves working, especially with his railway friends. Despite his size, Butch has a kind heart and is always ready when his service is needed.

Fun Fact: Butch was actually manufactured from parts of different Sodor vehicles, including a crane, a truck and a diesel engine.

Audio Files


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 15 Active


  • Ivan shares the same horn sound as him.
  • Until the fifteenth series, Butch primarily appeared as a background character and his only speaking role was in a LeapPad book called Thomas the Really Useful Engine.
  • In the Norwegian dub of the nineteenth series, Butch is called "Buck"; however, the subtitles still refer to him as Butch.
  • Butch is one of three characters to have been given a face after originally not having one, the other two being Henrietta and Big Mickey.
    • He is also so far the only character who did not have a face originally, but was given one in the same season he was introduced in.
  • Butch's magnet from the fifteenth series episode, Stuck on You was later reused for a magnet at The Steelworks in Journey Beyond Sodor.
  • Butch's model is on display at Drayton Manor.
  • Butch is the only character from the show to have only one face mask created.
  • He is the only road vehicle to be constructed out of a lorry, crane and a diesel.
  • Butch was only referred to by name once in the model series, as the rest of his appearances in that era were cameos.
  • He has a driver in Horrid Lorry, referred to as "Tow Truck Man". He provided exposition for the fates of Lorries 1 and 3.
  • He is one of twelve non-human characters to make his first speaking role after his debut series and/or special, the other eleven being Flying Scotsman, Toad, Bert, Paxton, Norman, Sidney, Yong Bao, Rajiv, Shane, Big Mickey (since he did not have a face until the twenty-first series) and Shankar. He and Big Mickey are also the only non-rail non-human character to not speak in his debut season. Furthermore, Toad is the only rolling stock character in this case.


"Fire! Fire! Come on, Flynn! Get ready to rescue. There's a fire!"
"You don't need me, Butch. Belle can put it out. She's already on guard at Ulfstead Castle".
"But the fire's not at Ulfstead Castle. It's at Brendam Docks. Belle can't go, she has to stay at the fireworks!"
"Come on, Flynn. We need you! You're the only engine who can put out the fire!"

- Butch motivates Flynn, "Too Many Fire Engines", seventeenth series.



Non-rail vehicles

* RWS only | ** T&F only | *** Other Media only