Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
This article is about the narrow gauge engine. You may be looking for the standard gauge engine.

Douglas is a 0-4-0WT built in 1918 by Andrew Barclay and Co. Ltd. for the Airservice Construction Corps.

Technical Details

Real-life history

From 1921 until 1945, Douglas worked at the Royal Air Force railway at Calshot Spit, Southampton. After a period in store at Calshot, he was bought in 1949 by Abelson and Co. Ltd. who presented him to the Talyllyn Railway in 1953. After overhaul and alteration from 2ft to 2ft 3in gauge, he entered service in 1954 and was named "Douglas" at the donor's request. Although smaller than the other engines, he has performed well and was returned to service in 1995, having been fitted with a new boiler, turned out in his old Air Ministry Works and Buildings livery.

In 2000, Douglas was repainted into Duncan, taking over as the Talyllyn's main Skarloey engine from Edward Thomas. The events were branded as "Duncan Days", and Duncan's face had a hat and a more fleshy skin tone to avoid rights issues with Gullane Entertainment. In 2008, Douglas was withdrawn for overhaul and Sir Haydn took over as main Skarloey engine until its own withdrawal for overhaul in 2012, with Douglas returning the following year. On "Duncan's" return on the 28 May, 2013, he was assisted by "Rusty" (Midlander) as Douglas' repairs were not fully complete, returning to regular that summer. Douglas would continue as "Duncan" until 2015, with Edward Thomas becoming the main Skarloey engine from 2016 onwards and the events were rebranded as "Peter Sam's Party", though Douglas was dressed up as Duncan for the 2016 and 2017 events.

In 2018, Douglas' centenary was celebrated. As it coincided with the centenary of the Royal Air Force, Douglas was repainted into the Royal Air Force blue livery and was adopted by the Royal Air Force Foundation.


Douglas is currently painted in the Royal Air (RAF) blue livery. The RAF roundel is painted on the sides of his boiler. In his appearance in The Railway Series, Douglas is painted in the Talyllyn Railway deep bronze green with black and yellow lining livery.


The Railway Series

Companion Volumes


  • As Douglas' tall cab scraped against the tunnels, it became an inspiration for the story "Home at Last" from The Railway Series book, The Little Old Engine. In addition, Douglas was known for being a rough rider due to his short wheelbase, which was what inspired Duncan's "rock 'n' roll" tendencies.
  • Douglas' overhaul was the main reason for why Duncan was not included in Blue Mountain Mystery, as Nitrogen Studios went to the Talyllyn Railway to get measurements for their models of the Skarloey Railway Engines when Douglas was having his overhaul, and why Duncan did not appear in the show again until the eighteenth series, by which time Arc Productions had taken over the animation. They did not take measurements of Douglas when modeling Duncan, however, and as a result Duncan appears to be based loosely on his original television series model rather than Douglas.


* RWS only | ** T&F only