Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
This article is about the television series character. You may be looking for the Railway Series character.

The Duchess of Loughborough, commonly known as Duchess is a large cream-coloured tender engine that works on the Mainland. Her job is to transport the Royal Family to all their royal appointments.


Upon first meeting Thomas, Duchess mistook his coach for one of her own. Later, when Thomas went to the washdown, Duchess accidentally backed into him and caused him to be covered in coal dust. While the two engines were there, Duchess formally introduced herself to Thomas and apologised for her earlier behaviour, explaining that she had an important job and could not be late.

Duchess later met Thomas again on the Main Line, where the two briefly talked. Duchess continued on her way shortly after; however the two soon met once again when Duchess' safety valve burst and she was stranded. Upon learning that she was also headed to London, Thomas helped push Duchess and her train to Victoria Station. While there, Thomas first learned of her status as a royal engine when Sir Topham Hatt noticed the crown on her buffer beam and the Queen stepped out of her coaches.


Duchess is described as "a lovely, warm, bubbly sort of effervescent engine who is very anxious to get things right." Although friendly, she can be forgetful, and she strives to be on time. Her tendencies to hurry can sometimes make her seem like she has lost her manners. Despite this, she is good-hearted and very respectful, always looking to be the best she can.

Technical Details


Duchess is based on the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Coronation Class. Designed by William Stanier and built at Crewe Works between 1937 and 1948, these 4-6-2 tender locomotives were built for express passenger services and - on a test - were the most powerful steam locomotives ever used in Great Britain. They were in service until 1962 to 1964 when they were withdrawn from service and scrapped en masse. Three examples have been preserved, including No. 6229 Duchess of Hamilton at the National Railway Museum.

Duchess has some modifications from her original basis:

  • Her smokebox, chimney, smoke deflectors and front frames are based on the Royal Scot Class.
  • She has an LNER corridor tender of the same design as Flying Scotsman's.
  • She also has circular buffers as opposed to oval ones, as well as a single chimney as opposed to the double chimney used on the Coronation class.


Duchess is painted cream with gold lining and boiler bands. Her wheels, running plate, and buffer shanks are painted dark red, while her front bufferbeam is black. She has two golden nameplates with red backing, one on each side of her boiler, as well as a removable crown symbol on her front end when carrying the Royal Family. Her company's initials, LMS, are painted on her tender in gold with a red drop shadow, while her number is painted in gold on the side of her cab.


Official Description

From Official Media:[1]

Duchess: Duchess is a very important engine indeed - she is a Royal Engine with the royal seal on her front. She has the very special task of transporting the royal family! While Duchess can seem a little self-important at first, she just wants to make sure everything is perfect for her extra-special passengers. Duchess means well and is very hardworking. She takes great pride in her work and proves to be a good friend to Thomas when he has his own special job - taking The Fat Controller to meet the Queen!

Audio Files


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 24 Active


  • Duchess' number is 2020, referencing to the year she was introduced.
  • Duchess was the last new character created before the series’ conclusion and subsequent reboot.
  • When Thomas first meets Duchess, she does not have the royal crest on her footplate. She only gains it after she meets Thomas again, as she is now pulling the Royal Train.
  • The decision to base Duchess on an LMS Coronation Class was inspired by real-life classmate Duchess of Sutherland, which pulled the Royal Train in 2002 and 2005.[1]
  • Despite her full name being Duchess of Loughborough, her nameplate only reads Duchess.
  • Duchess' whistle is a stock sound effect of an LMS whistle, which can be found on the BBC Sound Effects Library.
  • Multiple parts of Duchess' CGI model are recycled from other characters:
    • Her chassis is recycled from Merlin's, with additional cab wheels.
    • Her tender is recycled from Flying Scotsman's standard tender with the lining error fixed (though the tender still erroneously has six wheels instead of eight).
  • Like with Merlin’s own eccentric side rods, Duchess’ are not animated properly as they do not complete a full rotation around her larger connecting rods.
  • In a promotional image for The Royal Engine, Duchess is missing her tender. This error was covered up in another version by placing Sir Topham Hatt in front of where her tender would be.
  • Duchess is the first created under David Stoten's tenure as head writer of the series as well as the only character created by Michael White.
  • In several promos, Duchess is shown to have blush, despite not having any in her introductory episode. This may have been a concept for her.
  • Duchess' full name, Duchess of Loughborough, is completely fictional. None of the real members of her class received this name.
  • Duchess share the same name as a character from TUGS (one of the liners, the other two liners being Princess Alice and S.S. Vienna).




* RWS only | ** T&F only