Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

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

D199 was built at Derby Works in 1963. In 1967, he came on trial to Sodor with another, more friendly diesel engine, known as D7101. D199 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 D7101 managed to shut up D199.

The next day, D199 ironically failed with a train of fuel and oil tankers at a signal box, blocking the crossing and only wails for his fitter. Henry, whose regulator had already jammed, came to help. However, after D7101's ejector leaked, making him unable to pull his passenger train, Henry was asked to help him as well. Henry, with some help from D7101, was still able to move and bravely pulled D199, the tankers and the passengers to the next station. The Fat Controller was not impressed with 199 and he was soon sent home in disgrace for insulting the steam engines on the North Western Railway. However, his companion, D7101, was given a second chance due to the fact that he willingly helped Henry and expressed his disagreement with 199. The Fat Controller purchased 7101 and the engines affectionately named him “Bear”—the only name 199 ever had was “Spamcan”, which the signalman called him as an insult after he broke down.[1]


D199, along with Class 40, returned to Sodor to celebrate "Diesel Day" with the other diesels. [2]


D199 was a pompous, rude, and snooty Diesel who sided with the general belief amongst diesels that steam engines are subpar to more reliable diesel power. He is blatantly arrogant and enjoys bad-mouthing the steam engines before being silenced by Duck and D7101. However, he earned the nickname "Spamcan" from a signalman after he failed to pull a train of fuel and oil tankers; only sulking, and moaning for his fitter along with being offended at his aforementioned nickname before subsiding when the signalman jokingly threatened to cut him up with a tin opener.

D199 thought he was more reliable than the steam engines. However, one day he broke down and quickly lost his nickname of "Old Reliable", which was replaced with "Spamcan." In fact, everyone was rather pleased when he was sent away from Sodor back to the Other Railway in disgrace.

Despite this, in the Magazine Diesel Day!, like Class 40, it's possible that his arrogance has toned down to some extent, enough to allow him to be given a second chance to participate in the Diesel Day events and return to Sodor a few times.

Technical Details


D199 is based on a British Rail (BR) Class 46 "Peak" 1Co-Co1 diesel-electric engine. The Class 46s never made it up to D199. They were numbered between D138 to D193. Fifty-six of them were built from 1961 to 1963, with three of them preserved by heritage railways, such as the Midland Railway - Butterly, while one (46009) was destroyed in a crash test in 1984.


D199 is painted in the BR Rail Blue livery. He has yellow warning panels on his front and back end. The BR Double Arrow logo is painted on his sides in white and "D199" is painted on the sides of his cab, also in white. His rooftop is painted light grey. His buffer beams are painted red with black buffers.


Official Description

From Official Website:[1]

199 Diesel: 199 thinks he's so good - much more reliable than all the steam engines. But he broke down one day and his nickname quickly changed from "Old Reliable" to "Spamcan". Everyone was rather pleased when he was sent back from the Island of Sodor to the Other Railway.

Historical Note: "199" is one of the Class 44 to 46 Diesels, used mainly on the routes from St. Pancras to Leicester, Derby, Sheffield, Leeds and Carlisle. They have now been replaced by High Speed Trains.

From Official Media:[2]

D 199: Like most diesels, D 199 has a negative attitude toward the steam engines and has the strong belief that "all important jobs should be for diesels. Steam engines are only good for their parts."

Fun Fact: When D 199 was last seen, Sir Topham Hatt had sent him away for causing too much trouble. We do not know his current whereabouts.


  • D199's rear cab throughout most of his merchandise has a headcode reading "AC 10".
  • A 2005 Smith Thompson magazine incorrectly advertises D199 as part of the release to Steamies vs. Diesels.
  • D199 was labelled as "199 Diesel" on the Official Website and his 1995 Ertl packaging.
  • D199's Ertl toy was later reused for Diesel 10's Ertl toy.
  • D199 has appeared at many Days Out with Thomas events all around the United Kingdom.
  • In the early magazines, D199's appearance was based on his Ertl toy as he had a red coupling.
  • In D199's trading card promo, he is incorrectly depicted as a Co-Co.
  • D199's class, along with the earlier Class 44 and Class 45, was given the nickname "Peak" because the ten Class 44 engines were named after mountains in the United Kingdom.
  • D199’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.
  • Had D199 received a TOPS number, it would most likely have been "BR 46062".



* RWS only | ** T&F only