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Diesel 199 (D199), nicknamed "Spamcan" and "Old Reliable", is a diesel engine who once visited the North Western Railway on trial and on loan from British Railways.


The Railway Series

Diesel 199 was built in the early 1960s at Derby Works. In 1967, he came on trial to Sodor with another diesel engine, Diesel 7101. Diesel 199 soon made himself an enemy of the steam engines when he claimed that "steam engines spoil our image". Vulgar noises greeted this until Duck and Diesel 7101 managed to shut up Diesel 199.

The next day, Diesel 199 ironically failed with a train of fuel and oil tankers at a signal box, blocking the crossing. Henry, whose regulator had already jammed, came to help. However, after Diesel 7101's ejector leaked, making him unable to pull his passenger train, Henry was asked to help him as well. Henry, with some help from Diesel 7101, was still able to move and bravely pulled Diesel 199, the tankers and the passengers to the next station. The Fat Controller was not impressed, and Diesel 199 was soon sent home in disgrace for insulting the steam engines on the North Western Railway. However, his companion Diesel 7101 was given a second chance.

In the magazines, Diesel 199, along with Class 40, returned to Sodor to celebrate "Diesel Day" with the other diesels.


Diesel 199 was pompous, rude and sided with the general belief amongst diesels that steam engines are subpar to diesel power. He is blatantly arrogant and enjoys bad-mouthing the steam engines. However, he earned the nickname "Spamcan" by a signalman after he failed to pull a train of fuel and oil tankers, and he subsided when the signalman jokingly threatened to cut him up with a tin opener.

Diesel 199 thought he was more reliable than the steam engines. However, one day he broke down and quickly lost his nickname from "Old Reliable" to "Spamcan." In fact, everyone was rather pleased when he was sent away from Sodor back to the Other Railway in disgrace.

Technical Details


Diesel 199 is based on a BR Class 46 "Peak" 1Co-Co1. The Class 46s never made it up to D199. They were numbered between D138 - D193. 56 of them were built from 1961 to 1963, and three of them are preserved, while one (46009) was destroyed in a crash test in 1984.


Diesel 199 is painted in BR Rail Blue with yellow warning panels. His number, D199 is painted on the sides of his cab in white.



  • Diesel 199's rear cab has a headcode reading "AC 10".
  • Diesel 199 was labelled as "199 Diesel" on the Official Website and his 1995 Ertl packaging.
  • Diesel 199's Ertl toy was later recycled for Diesel 10's Ertl toy.
  • Diesel 199 has appeared at many Days Out with Thomas events all around the United Kingdom.
  • In the early magazines, Diesel 199's appearance was based on his Ertl toy as he had a red coupling.
  • In Diesel 199's trading card promo, he is incorrectly depicted as a Co-Co.
  • Diesel 199's class, along with the earlier Class 44 and Class 45, was given the nickname "Peak" because the 10 Class 44 diesels were named after British mountains.
  • Diesel 199’s nickname, Spamcan, was also one of the nicknames for the Southern Railway’s Merchant Navy Class Pacific locomotives, in reference to their air smoothed casings (of which were eventually removed in the late 1950s), designed by Oliver Bulleid.



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