Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
The Railway Series

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) are a pair of blue goods engines from Scotland who work on the North Western Railway and are the railway's number 9 and 10 engines respectively.

The pair currently work as utility engines wherever they are needed, primarily on the Main Line, the Brendam Branch Line and the Little Western. Douglas has his own brake van, Toad.


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 skullduggery 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 a 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 the 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.


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. Donald and Douglas previously had a strong dislike of diesels, however over time their dislike for diesels has softened and they appear 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.


Donald and Douglas are painted in the standard blue livery used by the North Western Railway, with red and yellow lining. Their numbers (9 and 10 respectively) are painted on their tenders in yellow with red outlines. They have black running boards with red bufferbeams and valences. The pair also have brass nameplates with red backing, mounted on either side of their smokebox.

When they first arrived, Donald and Douglas were painted British Railways (BR) black with red and white lining on their tenders and cab sides and the BR early crest on their tenders. This livery is unusual, as the real CR 812s wore unlined black. After arriving on Sodor, their numbers were painted in place of the crests on their tenders.

When they were first constructed, Donald and Douglas were painted Caledonian Railway (CR) lined goods black and never received the railway's iconic lined blue livery.[1]


The Railway Series

Companion Volumes


  • Donald and Douglas' original numbers are fictional, much like Bear. The 812/652 Class BR numbers only went up to 57645.
  • While they usually referred as 'Donald and Douglas', in the Small Railway Engines story Ballast, they are refer as 'Douglas and Donald'.


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

See Also


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