Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
For other uses, see Donald and Douglas (disambiguation).

“It's Donald and Douglas sir. They say, sir, that if you send them away, sir, they'll be turned into Scrap, sir. That'd be dreadful, sir. Please, sir, don't send them away, sir. They're nice engines, sir.”
Percy's deputation with Sir Topham Hatt[src]

Donald and Douglas (originally known by their old numbers, 57646 and 57647, respectively) are a pair of Caledonian Railway black mixed-traffic tender engines from Scotland. Douglas tagged along with Donald to Sodor in order to escape from scrap, despite Donald being the only engine expected. After proving themselves to be really useful, they were both allowed to stay. They now work as utility engines on the North Western Railway; working wherever they are needed. They work primarily on the Little Western, but sometimes on Edward's Branch Line and the Main Line.


The Railway Series

Donald and Douglas were designed by John F. McIntosh and built by the St. Rollox Works for the Caledonian Railway in 1909. Upon nationalisation, they became part of the Scottish Region of British Railways, where they were renumbered 57646 and 57647. In 1959, Sir Topham Hatt needed a goods engine and by his request, BR decided to transfer 57646 (Donald) to Sodor.

To Sir Topham Hatt's surprise though, two engines arrived. Donald's twin Douglas (57647) could not stand to be separated from his brother and was smart enough to realise he would eventually be scrapped if he stayed in Scotland. Unfortunately for Sir Topham Hatt and any other worker, neither engine could be told apart: both claimed to have forgotten their numbers and indeed their number plates had "slyly slipped off" during the journey from Scotland. This caused the Fat Controller to keep both until he could determine which engine was freeloading on his hospitality. It was later revealed that this piece of skulduggery had been planned not only by the two engines but also by their drivers and firemen, who were related as well.

The Fat Controller was unaware of Douglas' motive and threatened the two that whichever engine he found out to be the truant would be sent home. Both engines resolved to give outstanding service so that Sir Topham Hatt would want to keep both of them. This plan quickly went to pieces, however, after Douglas accidentally shunted Thomas' special coach, full of passengers, into a siding at Tidmouth, causing a great deal of fury for the passengers. Things went from bad to worse when Donald crashed into a signal box at Knapford and Douglas accidentally destroyed the Spiteful Brake Van, who had caused trouble for him earlier.

Despite all this grief, the twins' professionalism, competency, strong work ethic and personable natures had begun to win them support, particularly when they demonstrated an aptitude for snowplough work that they had learned in Scotland. After rescuing Henry from just such a snowy ordeal, the other engines came over to Donald and Douglas' side which ultimately led to the engines of Sodor taking industrial action. After a suggestion by Edward and being pushed into it by Gordon, Percy was presented to the Fat Controller as a deputation to argue the twins' case on their behalf and pleading that if they were sent away, they would be scrapped. Although Sir Topham Hatt did not approve or appreciate them trying to interfere with his decision-making, he understood the engines' feelings upon the matters of saving steam engines and scrapping in general. In the end, Percy's statement and the twins' excellent performance was enough for The Fat Controller to take pity on the twins and keep both. He demonstrated this intent with an offer of a fresh coat of paint for both engines, as well as giving them both nameplates to avoid any more confusion. By their request, they were painted NWR blue, in honour of their Caledonian heritage.

In 1967, Douglas helped save Oliver, Isabel and Toad from the prospect of scrap. The Fat Controller soon found out and arranged for the three to be repaired and painted in Great Western colours. Toad asked to be Douglas' brake van as a show of gratitude.

Since then, the twins have, by all accounts, "transformed" goods traffic on the mainline. Such is their versatility that they regularly see service on the Little Western and Edward's Branch Line, as well as duties as station-pilots at Tidmouth. A turntable has been provided for them at Arlesburgh, although briefly decommissioned after Oliver was pushed into it by some trucks. They expressed their disgruntlement to him in Scots.

After Donald teased Duck about his "quacking", Duck's crew got a humorous payback by slipping a small duckling into Donald's tender. When discovered, the duckling became friends with Donald and his crew and eventually settled down at Haultraugh, where a small pond was nearby. She was named Dilly by the stationmaster, but she is known to everyone else as Donald's duck.

Such a demanding work-load has begun to tax them however and in 1993 the Fat Controller borrowed a navy saddle tank engine named Wilbert from the Dean Forest Railway to deputise for them on the Arlesburgh branch, with the intention of obtaining another engine of Wilbert's class to permanently fill that role.

In 2011, after bringing ballast from the Arlesdale Railway, they each slipped into a set of buffers which were nearly finished.

Thomas & Friends

Donald and Douglas work together practically all the time, but they sometimes fall out with each other. This was shown when the two crashed into Trevor's hay cart. Donald accused Douglas of pushing him into the cart while Douglas accused Donald of pulling him. The twins refused to speak to each other, leading to Donald taking the opportunity to help Duck at the Sodor Ironworks so as to get away from Douglas. While Douglas missed his twin and was ready to make up, Donald began to experience lapses of incompetence and demanded an apology. Eventually, Donald was not looking where he was going and crashed through some buffers into a ditch. As soon as Douglas heard from Duck that Donald was in trouble, he immediately rushed over to help his twin and the two engines made up.

Later, Callan Castle was to be reopened by Lord Callan and Donald and Douglas took some equipment up to the castle. The two argued whether or not the monster inside the lake existed. Unfortunately for the twins, a landslide occurred and the two became stranded. The Fat Controller promised help, but soon night came. The twins saw a shape moving towards them on the causeway and were petrified until they realised it was only Harvey who had come to help. Soon, the twins got their equipment to the castle on time and Lord Callan called them Really Useful engines.

In the eleventh series, some points were jammed and Gordon was sent to pick up the engineer to mend them. Unfortunately, Gordon instead picked up a carpenter. He tried to reverse to Abbey hoping to collect the engineer, but Douglas was in the way. Gordon decided that Douglas should go to Wellsworth which was where Donald was and that Donald go to Maron to collect the engineer and Donald bring him to Douglas and Douglas bring him back to Gordon. The plan was carried out and the points were fixed; Gordon thanked the twins for helping him.

Afterwards, Harvey was sent to help the twins after a tree had been knocked down. Thomas, however, misunderstood the situation and accidentally sent Harvey the wrong way. Thomas was proud of himself for being so helpful until he saw that Donald and Douglas were stuck and needed Harvey's help. He found Harvey and gave him the correct directions needed to help the twins. Thanks to Thomas and Harvey, the line was cleared and the twins were on their way.

The twins later helped with the construction of the Harwick Branch Line, delivering most of the heavy construction materials. When Douglas went over the unstable trackbed that hid the tunnel into Calles Cavern it began to crack and the workmen only just stopped Donald from going over it. The twins witnessed Rocky lifting Captain Calles' Pirate Ship out of the cavern and helped deliver it to Arlesburgh Harbour. They later attended the branch line's opening ceremony.

Once, they had to clear snow from the tracks during winter, but they kept arguing over which tracks to clear next. Douglas was accidentally separated from his tender and left behind by Donald, who eventually found him in a siding with some help from Toby.

Donald and Douglas were among the engines who asked the Fat Controller to take them to the Great Railway Show, but they were not chosen.

Another snowy day, they had to take a large shipment of pipes to Vicarstown and Emily came along to help. During the journey, Douglas told Emily about some of Donald's accidents and she began laughing which Donald could hear echoing through the pipes. Irritated, Donald stopped the train and got Douglas to take his place at the front. As they continued, Donald began telling Emily about Douglas' accidents, until Douglas stopped the train on Gordon's Hill and demanded that he and his brother swap back. With both twins uncoupled and busy squabbling and bumping each other, Emily was left holding the train on her own. They did not notice till too late that Emily and the train were slipping back down the hill - to make matters worse, a lump of coal shaken out of Donald's tender by a bump from Douglas had formed a giant snowball, which knocked Emily off the rails. Donald and Douglas instantly began arguing whose fault the accident was until Emily cut in and scolded them both for their behaviour. After Harvey had cleared away the mess, both twins took the rear of the train while Emily took the front and they reached Vicarstown without any further trouble.

Donald and Douglas were later seen at Knapford Station with Philip, Diesel, Emily, Gordon, Duck, Henry, James, Edward, Percy, Daisy, Oliver, Toby and Mr. Percival to welcome Thomas and his newest friend Nia to Sodor following the pair's adventure around the world.


Donald and Douglas are Scottish twin engines. They are practical, peppery, proud and level-minded, but, despite their maturity, they enjoy playing practical jokes and have been known to impersonate one another in the past. They were fitted with nameplates to specifically end this element of their humour.

Donald and Douglas are very able workers, strong performers and handle any task well. They are fully capable of being firm with the other big engines, such as Gordon and Henry and even the Troublesome Trucks know better than to try their tricks on them. They are both used to harsh winter conditions too. Coupled back to back, with a coach between their tenders, they are very capable of patrolling the lines, clearing them of the snow. The twins both pull their weight on the Main Line and both Duck and Edward's branch lines. They can enjoy a joke with any engine. They are happy to act as the brawn of the Fat Controller's steam-driven goods haulers. Both are smart. Between the two, Donald tends to be the charming, witty joker whereas Douglas is the quick-thinking, calmer-natured one of the pair. Both display a keen sense of wit and the pair usually get to have the last laugh, more often taking the moral high ground. But that does not mean they will not be just a little bit smug about it when a deserving engine meets their comeuppance.

Donald and Douglas hate to be parted from each other, but, like most twins, they occasionally have their arguments among themselves and can squabble with one another. Also, Donald and Douglas used to have a strong dislike of diesels. But over time their dislike for diesels has softened and they appeared to have grown accustomed to their diesel companions.

Technical Details


Donald and Douglas are both based on Caledonian Railway (CR) McIntosh 812 Class 0-6-0 goods engines. Their numbers, however, would realistically place them in the 652 sub-class. One example, No. 828, survives in preservation. This engine appears in the Character Encyclopedia.

Edward's ghost engine is also based on a CR McIntosh 812 Class; however, it does not have a tender.


According to the Railway Series, Donald and Douglas were painted in CR lined goods black from construction and arrived on Sodor in BR goods black with red-and-white lining on their tenders. They remained as such (with the addition of numbers on their tenders in yellow with red borders) until it was decided that both engines could stay, at which point they requested to be repainted in NWR bright blue with red-and-yellow lining. They apparently like the colour, as it reminds them of the Caledonian Railway, where many of their shed mates, as well as 828, carried a similar shade of blue. They received red nameplates with their names in gold at the same time. In the Railway Series, their names are in all capitals, whereas in the television series only their initials are capitalised.

In some illustrations of the Railway Series, Donald and Douglas both have a golden builder's plate on the side of their cabs.

In the television series, Donald and Douglas arrived on Sodor painted in BR lined black and have remained in this livery ever since.


The Railway Series

Companion Volumes

Thomas & Friends


Music Videos


Magazine Stories

Donald and Douglas also appeared in the magazine stories, Fish and Chips, Flying the Flag, Monster Surprise, New Paint, The Best Engine, The Grand Controller and The Very Important Job.

Annual Stories

Audio Files




First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 2 Series 7

In Thomas The Tank Engine (Kids Station Game), Donald is incorrectly portrayed with a higher-pitched version of Duck's whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas the Tank Engine (Kids Station Game) Thomas the Tank Engine (Kids Station Game)

From Series 4 to Series 11, in the game, Engines Working Together, and in one scene in Dowager Hatt's Busy Day, Donald reuses and shares Duck's whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 4 Dowager Hatt's Busy Day

In the Sing Along Mode of the Engines Working Together game, Donald is incorrectly portrayed with Thomas' whistle.

Since Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Donald has Stephen's whistle at four steps lower in pitch.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure Series 21

In Drayton Manor Theme Park when Donald's Duck plays and when said song ends, (even though he is not at said theme park), Fun Cubes, Ten Engine Friends and the mobile app, Read and Play!, Donald is incorrectly portrayed with Douglas' fourth series whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Drayton Manor Theme Park Read and Play!

In the mobile game app, Race On!, Donald is incorrectly portrayed with Douglas' current whistle.

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


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 2 Read and Play!

From the third to seventh series, Douglas shared Donald's whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 3 Series 7

From most international versions of Thomas and Stepney, one scene in Toad Stands By to Series 11, the game, Engines Working Together and the mobile app, Read and Play!, Douglas reuses and shares Duck's whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and Stepney (Most of the international dubs, except the US dub) Read and Play!

In the fourth series only, Douglas incorrectly has Thomas' whistle, but ten steps lower-pitched.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 4 Series 4

In the Sing Along mode of the Engines Working Together game, Douglas is incorrectly portrayed with Thomas' whistle at its normal pitch.

Since Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Douglas has Stephen's whistle at seven steps lower in pitch.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure Series 21

In one scene in Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Douglas is incorrectly portrayed with Oliver's whistle.

In the mobile app, Race On! and one scene in Emily in the Middle, Douglas is incorrectly portrayed with Donald's current whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Race On! Emily in the Middle

In one page of Donald and Douglas in the mobile app Read and Play!, either Donald or Douglas is incorrectly portrayed with a different whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Donald and Douglas: (Read and Play!) Donald and Douglas: (Read and Play!)


  • In production notes for the episode, Donald and Douglas are noted for possible use as Percy's friends in the second series episode, "Percy Takes the Plunge", along with Bill and Ben.[2]
  • According to a magazine story, Donald and Douglas were built at The Scottish Engine Company around the same time as Emily, however this is inaccurate as their basis was built between 1899 and 1909 and Emily's was built between 1870 and 1895.
  • Donald and Douglas' television series models are currently on display at Hara Model Railway Museum in Japan. As a result of the eye mechanisms not being replaced after the twelfth series, new eyes and pupils have been put in for display.
  • In the My Thomas Story Library and Engine Adventures series, Donald and Douglas were painted blue following their being allowed to stay, just as they were in the Railway Series. Their nameplates are located on the sides of their boilers, whereas in the Railway Series they are found on the sides of their smoke boxes.
  • Donald and Douglas' original numbers are fictional, much like Bear. The 812/652 Class BR numbers only went up to 57645.
  • In the Railway Series, Donald and Douglas are nicknamed "The Caledonian Twins". In the television series, they are nicknamed "The Scottish Twins". This is because they originated from the Caledonian Railway, in Scotland.
  • Donald and Douglas' models did not have any water tanks on their tenders, this is also carried on to their CGI models. However, this was present in their large scale models.
  • In the Slovenian dub of the series, Donald and Douglas are not Scottish. They are stated to be from Jesenice, a town in the Gorenjska region of Slovenia, and speak in a regional accent.
  • In the Korean versions of the twentieth and twenty-first series, Donald was a big brother and Douglas was a little brother.
  • For Donald and Douglas' speaking roles in the sixth series, Alec Baldwin didn't attempt a Scottish accent when voicing them for the US releases, as Ringo Starr, Michael Angelis and George Carlin had done so before him. This is also evident with Duncan.
  • In the fourth series episode, "Thomas and the Special Letter", the narrators accidentally call Douglas "Donald."
  • Donald and Douglas' original whistle sounds are Duck's, but at one step lower-pitched (Donald) and three steps lower-pitched (Douglas), respectively.
  • Throughout the fourth to eleventh series, with the exception of the sixth and seventh series, (where he has his original whistle), Donald shared Duck's whistle sound with Gordon, although Gordon regained his original whistle sound throughout the fifth series, with the exception in some scenes in Gordon and the Gremlin, Bye George! and the eighth series episode Thomas to the Rescue.
    • Throughout Thomas and Stepney in the UK narration and one scene in Toad Stands By to Series 11 with the exception of the rest of the fourth, sixth and seventh series (where he has Thomas' whistle, but some steps lower-pitched and shared Donald's original whistle), Douglas shared Duck's whistle sound with Donald, Gordon and Duck, although Gordon regained his original whistle sound throughout the fifth series, with the exception in some scenes in Gordon and the Gremlin, Bye George! and the eighth series episode Thomas to the Rescue.
    • Throughout the fourth series only, with the exception of Thomas and Stepney in the UK narration and one scene in Toad Stands By (where he has Duck's whistle), Douglas gained a new whistle sound, which is Thomas' at some steps lower-pitched. This sound was also reused for Molly but two steps lower-pitched.
  • According to a Twitter post from SiF, when Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure was in pre-production an idea was proposed to give Donald and Douglas new blue liveries similar to the ones they sported in the Railway Series. This was rejected in favour of keeping their original liveries as how most fans remembered them.[3]
  • Wooden Railway models of Donald and Douglas appear in the Japanese Drama Rikon Bengoshi (2004).
  • Donald and Douglas had a total of eleven facial expressions during the model series era, all of which were used on-screen.


“Ye're a muckle nuisance! It's ta leave ye behind, I be wantin'!”
―Donald to the Spiteful Brake Van, Break Van, second series

“Och, no! I'm Douglas. Donald's my brother! He's the difficult one.”
―Douglas to Emily, Emily in the Middle, twenty-first series



* RWS only | ** T&F only | --- Dropped