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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 Derby Works in 1963. In 1967, he came on trial to Sodor with another, more friendly diesel engine, known as 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 with 199 and he 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 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]


Diesel 199, along with Class 40, returned to Sodor to celebrate "Diesel Day" with the other diesels. [2]


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 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.

Technical Details


Diesel 199 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.


Diesel 199 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.



  • 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 reused 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 ten Class 44 engines were named after mountains in the United Kingdom.
  • 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 Bullied.



* RWS only | ** T&F only