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For other uses, see Edward (disambiguation).

“People say I'm old-fashioned, but I don't care. The Fat Controller says I'm a useful engine.”
― Edward to Trevor[src]

Edward is a blue mixed-traffic tender engine who lives and works on the Island of Sodor, and is the North Western Railway's number 2 engine.


When Edward first arrived on Sodor, the Fat Controller was a young man and Edward would bring him on a journey on his favourite carriage called the Open-Topped Carriage. He was one of the oldest standard-gauge engines to be on Sodor.

By the beginning of the series, Edward was confined to Tidmouth Sheds. This was much to the delight of the other engines, who claimed that he was too old and weak to work. Edward was eventually let out again and proved that what he lacked in strength, he made up for in work by pushing a stubborn Gordon and his heavy goods train up the hill.

When Thomas was fed up with fetching coaches for the big engines, Edward offered Thomas to take his trucks. However, Thomas, having no experience with trucks, was pushed down the hill and diverted into a siding. Later, Edward helped James double-head a passenger train when the splendid red engine was acting out.

For some time afterwards, Edward was getting so old that his parts caused him to clank as he went along, which led to the bigger engines teasing him about his age. Gordon and Henry teased him about when a group of cows caused half of his cattle trucks to break away and derail, but later got their comeuppance when they encountered a cow named Bluebell on a bridge. Later on, Edward saved an old traction engine named Trevor from scrap when he encouraged the Vicar of Wellsworth to buy him.

That same year, James would still talk down to Edward's age and how slow he is. But after he was left running down the Main Line without a driver thanks to two naughty boys who played with his controls, Edward proved himself to be a hero when he brought the inspector and James' fireman to slow him down. James could not thank Edward enough for his heroic actions and the Fat Controller sent Edward to the works to have his worn parts mended as a reward. When Edward came back, everyone was very pleased to see him again.

Edward's branch line runs from Wellsworth to Brendam Docks. From the docks is a short spur line to the China Clay Works managed by the Sodor China Clay Company, which was founded in 1948[5]. Edward had two twin tank engines named Bill and Ben help take trucks from the clay works to the docks. When the twins were playing tricks on a new diesel named BoCo, Edward put a stop to it and showed BoCo how to handle them. Soon, Edward and Gordon were both talking about branch lines, most to the disapproval of Gordon. That night there was a mishap at Tidmouth, which in favour, Edward's train went first which sent him down the mainline (this was caused when the signalman at Wellsworth was not informed of the delay) and Gordon went down to Brendam.

Some few evenings later, when Edward was taking a passenger train filled with enthusiasts home to Tidmouth, his crank-pin snapped, forcing the driver and fireman to take off his side rods. However, Edward was able to pull the heavy train back to Tidmouth, very late, but with triumph. BoCo looked after Edward's branch line while Edward was sent to the works again for repairs.

When Trevor was to be the main star attraction for the Vicar's garden party, Edward wanted to help but did not know how. His chance came when the Vicar forgot to promote the party by putting up the posters, so he suggested having them put up on his cab and coaches as part of the party's advertisement. His plan worked and so many people came to the party that they raised a lot of money for the children. The Vicar later thanked Edward and his crew for their idea.

Edward has a penchant for telling spooky stories on Halloween that the other engines enjoy. In the fifth series episode Haunted Henry, Edward told Henry that whenever an owl hoots, mist rolls in and when the mist is about, there is a ghost about too. In the sixth series episode Scaredy Engines, he told them a story of a ghost engine that returns to the smelters in search of his lost whistle, every Halloween.

In addition to running his branch line, Edward often acts as a banker for other engines up Gordon's Hill to help them when their trains are too heavy. In spite of Edward's great history with the railway and his good relationship with the other engines, his old age makes some engines think that he is unreliable. Gordon would sometimes still tease and talk down about him, even going as far as suggesting that he should "retire". When Percy told his driver about this, who told Sir Topham Hatt, he arranged for Edward to show Stepney how to run the loop line, while Duck did his work. Unfortunately, Duck got stuck on Gordon's Hill when the Troublesome Trucks held him back. When Gordon came behind him, he could not push Duck up the hill. Edward was sent to help the double train up and when they arrived at Knapford Station, the Fat Controller rebuked Gordon for his horrible comments about Edward. Gordon apologised to Edward the following day and from then on, he never suggested him "retiring".

Since then, Edward's skill as a banker is always valued among Gordon and the others, as seen in Edward the Great and You Can Do it, Toby!; in Chickens to School, Edward exclaimed that he’s "always helping Gordon up the hill!" However, his speed left a lot to be desired. In As Good as Gordon, Emily had to wait for Edward at the crossing. Impatient, Emily snidely told him to hurry up, calling him "Slowcoach". When Spencer visited the Island of Sodor and beat Gordon's record, he insulted the Sudrian engines, who became fed up with Spencer's boastfulness. They wanted to race Spencer to the Duke and Duchess of Boxford's Summer House, but the Fat Controller chose Edward to go there instead. Although Gordon and James insulted Edward about his abilities to beat Spencer, he regardless tried his best and had several moments of triumph during the race. Gordon saw how hard Edward was trying and took back his earlier words, encouraging Edward instead and called him "a credit to the railway!" Edward eventually won due to Spencer falling asleep and felt like the pride of the Sodor railway — and he was right.

Edward has always been a kind and wise engine, though, in some scenarios, he has acted a bit judgemental to newcomers. For example, when Harvey first arrived, he claimed he "doesn't even look like an engine". He was also one of the engines to spread rumours that Neville wanted to bump the steam engines and agreed with Gordon's element of doubt about Rocky, who Edward called "newfangled nonsense". This was apparently because Edward has worked on Sodor the longest and because he had known all of its inhabitants for that long, he was wary of meeting anyone new. However, he later learned of Harvey and Rocky's usefulness by their episode's ends.

When Percy was in need of repair, the engines nominated Edward to take the mail in his place. But in truth, Edward did not know what to do. In order not to embarrass himself, he did not ask Percy for advice. This resulted in him delivering the mail to all the wrong places which got him into a muddle and crash into some barriers, while Percy kindly told Edward what to do.

Edward has also acted excitable and even vain on some occasions. Once, he was given the task of taking the new brass water wheel to Great Waterton. He ignored the Fat Controller's advice to take the express track, instead taking all the bumpy tracks to show off to other engines, which almost resulted in the water wheel being scrapped. Some time later, he wanted to help Thomas to chase after the Fat Controller's grandchildren's kite. Since then, Edward has tried to regain his usual self. Unfortunately, this one day made Charlie think he was too old to have fun. Edward was upset about this so he tried to be as fun as Charlie, but this only caused even more trouble. Since then, he has just stuck to being the wise and kind engine that he was of old.

In the fifteenth series, Edward was sent to work with Harold for the day, being given the chance to be a hero. After observing Gordon and Rocky in action, Edward resolved to fulfil his hero role by being "strong and fast and stern". On his way to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, Edward found a miserable Charlie and cheered him up by telling him a joke, collected Dowager Hatt's suitcase when it was sent to the wrong station and rescued a lost Katie the sheepdog. Edward was still determined to be what he thought was a hero but found that his time spent helping others had made him late for Harold, who was not at the Rescue Centre when Edward chuffed in. The Fat Controller reassured Edward that being kind, funny and gentle was Edward being himself, enough to be a hero and everyone cheered for him. Harold arrived looking for Edward, who just smiled.

Gordon still proved to be ungrateful for Edward's help, not even saying so much as a "thank you" for his efforts. When Edward complained about this, Thomas came up with a plan; he challenged Gordon to a race across the island, to which Gordon gave him a ten-minute head start to give him more of a chance. However, Thomas pulled onto the same track as Gordon, forcing the bigger engine to go slowly. At Gordon's Hill, they were going so slowly that Gordon became stuck, forcing Gordon to swallow his pride and beg Edward to help him. Edward forgave Gordon and gave him a push and this time, Gordon gave his thanks as he descended down the other side.

In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, he told Thomas (who was being mended at the Steamworks) that Rocky had discovered a pirate ship in the cavern in which Thomas had fallen into earlier (despite Thomas discovering it first). Later, while working at the Docks, Salty told him, Henry, James, Porter and Cranky about a "lost pirate".

When Thomas felt that Max and Monty's recklessness was going too far, Edward told Thomas to ignore them. He laughed at Thomas, Percy and Toby for being scared of a cow which they thought was a troll and was also scared of going out in the night when the engines thought a glowing Henry was a ghost. Edward was among the engines who were afraid Hugo was the start of steam engines being replaced.

Edward was one of the many engines who wanted to go to the Great Railway Show but was not chosen.

When the Fat Controller replaced his public address system at Knapford, Edward picked it up and took it to Crocks Scrap Yard. However, the new P.A. system proved more trouble than it was worth. Luckily, Reg had not scrapped the old system and Edward brought it back to Knapford, much to the Fat Controller's relief. Sometime later, after James crashed through Tidmouth Sheds, Edward was sent to Philip's shed until his berth was repaired. However, Philip proved too chatty for Edward to get a good night's sleep, so he tried looking for somewhere else to rest. However, nowhere proved suitable and Edward became so tired he fell asleep, which made him nearly collide with Percy. Luckily, Philip managed to wake Edward up in time and Edward told the truth about why he left Philip's shed. Philip promised to be quieter and proved to be such a good company that Edward decided to stay with him even after Tidmouth was repaired.

Edward is well-known for being able to keep Bill and Ben in order, but sometimes the twins have still proven to be troublesome; once, they invented a game called "Hunt the Truck" and played it on Nia. Bill and Ben were annoyed when Edward made them give the truck back and decided to have some more fun, hiding Edward's truck from him. However, Edward knew all their hiding places and was quick to find where it had gone. He then pretended to be worried that the truck going missing would ruin Sir Robert Norramby's Christmas party, prompting the twins to feel guilty and search for it across the island, not realising of course that Edward had the truck all along until they went to the party to apologise.

Later, when Edward was pulling scrap trucks, Emily helped Edward to the Wellsworth Scrap Yard for the sake of helping her best friend, leaving her sand trucks in the siding at Brendam Docks.


Edward is very kind-hearted, mature, wise and keen to help a friend in need. The small engines trust him to lend a listening ear and sympathetic advice. He is a hard worker too and always does his best to finish a job. Edward has also been the voice of reason to misguided engines. If ever an engine misbehaves or acts out, it is Edward that the Fat Controller turns to in order to soothe things out. As he runs a branch line, Edward knows the responsibilities it takes to be successful doing so, including shunting. This sometimes puts him at odds with Gordon, James and Henry, who firmly believed that tender engines are too important for menial jobs such as shunting. Because of this, Edward found himself treated harshly for his shunting duties until Sir Topham Hatt shut the big engines up in their sheds.

Unfortunately, the big engines, especially Gordon, often see Edward as old-fashioned and slow. While it is true he is one of the oldest engines on the North Western Railway (which he helped build), he has proved time and time again that he is more than capable of working as hard as any engine. He and BoCo have been the only engines who can look after Bill and Ben and know how to put them in their place should they misbehave. Like any otherwise old engine, he stands for no nonsense from anyone, especially from the bigger engines.

From the sixth to eleventh series, Edward occasionally faced insecurities and self-doubt within himself, such as keeping secrets from the other engines and Sir Topham Hatt, when he was once leaking steam and likewise when he was told to pull the post train whilst Percy was being repaired. He also had an occasional habit of being rude and cheeky, such as disbelieving Rocky when he thought he did not need help with his goods train, blamed Diesel, Arry and Bert for ruining their sheds when Tidmouth Sheds were being rebuilt, being unwelcome to Harvey when he was new to the railway and spreading rumours about Neville. Edward usually got harassed by Gordon and James such as when Gordon said he was a waste of steam and when James got annoyed with him going slow. However, both engines later learnt that Edward still has a heart and is still a useful engine. This made the engines regret their actions towards the blue engine. Overall, Edward keeps his best wheel forward forever and always no matter the circumstance.

Even with all his years of patience, Edward can grow impatient with engines who cause trouble, especially Bill and Ben. He can be very canny in dealing with these engines when he has to be, as he managed to pull off an elaborate scheme to give Bill and Ben a taste of their own medicine. Edward is also not above indulging in certain levels of mischief; he laughed when he first saw Thomas wake Gordon with his whistle, and went in with Thomas’ plan of teaching Gordon a lesson with the same level of slyness and smugness as the tank engine himself, particularly when Gordon was forced to beg Edward for a push.

Technical Details


Like in The Railway Series, Edward is based on a heavily modified Sharp, Stewart and Company "Larger Seagull" K2 class.

These locomotives were built in two batches: the first of six in 1896, with two extra members of the class being built later in 1900. All eight of the locomotives survived into the 1923 grouping and lasted through to the late 1920s and early 1930s, performing secondary duties around Barrow-in-Furness. In real life, all of the K2s were scrapped, with none surviving into preservation.

Visible modifications made to Edward include:

  • Making his wheel splashers flush with the cab, thus also removing the coupling rod splashers
  • New cab side windows as opposed to cutaways in his cab side sheets
  • Square cab lookouts as opposed to the original round ones.
  • A higher pitched boiler and longer smokebox.
  • The replacement of his original Furness Railway tender with a Fowler tender.


Edward is painted in NWR cerulean with red lining on his cab, splashers, tender and boiler and yellow lining around his windows. His number (2) is painted on his tender in yellow with a red outline. He has a white running board with red bufferbeams and valences.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

Learning Segments


Magazine Stories

Edward also appeared in the magazine stories, A Perfect Garden, Bill and BoCo, Chiff Chaff, Edward's Scarecrow, Flying James, Gordon and Edward, Lamp Light!, Percy's Stories, Really Useful Edward, Road Train, Slick Trick! and The Big Ship


My Thomas Story Library

Audio Stories

Thomas & Friends Storytime

Video Games

Official Description

From Official Website:[1]

Edward the Blue Engine No.2: Edward is an older engine, but the most important thing about him is that he's kind: kind to small engines who get into difficulties; kind to big engines even when they're rude or impatient; kind to trucks and coaches which he almost never bumps. When the other engines misbehave it's Edward that Sir Topham Hatt turns to, to calm every-one down and restore order. Edward sometimes gets puffed, but never very cross.

Historical Note: Edward is based on an ordinary 4-4-0 locomotive. The origin of the design is uncertain.

From Official Website:[2][3]

Edward: Edward is one of the older engines in Sir Topham Hatt's railway. The most important thing about Edward is that he's good-willed and kind. When the other engines misbehave, it's Edward that Sir Topham Hatt turns to in order to calm everyone down and restore order.

Fun Fact: Edward did not have a number on his side in the first original stories. It was only after Book 6 in the Railway Series that Edward received his #2, which he is now known for.

From Official Website:[4]

Edward: Edward is the No. 2 blue engine who is a good friend to everyone. He is one of the older and wiser engines on Sir Topham Hatt's railway.

Fun Fact: Edward did not have a number on his side in the first original stories. It was only after Book 6 in the Railway Series that Edward received his #2. Edward is based on a 4-4-0 locomotive.

Audio Files


Only used Composers Theme Song
Series 1 Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
Series 2
Series 3
Series 6
Series 8 Series 12 Robert Hartshorne
Series 15


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 1 Series 12
Hero of the Rails Series 24

Throughout the fourth series and in some scenes of the fifth series, Edward has his whistle at two steps lower-pitched. This whistle would later be reused for Emily between Calling All Engines! and the twelfth series.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 4 Series 5


  • Edward was the first character created by Rev. W. Awdry.
  • Edward is the first engine to save someone from scrap.
  • Edward was the only engine of the first seven engines created by Awdry to not be in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. According to producer Philip D. Fehrle, there was not enough screen time or opportunity to utilise him in a way that added real value to the film.
  • Edward is one of three engines to have their whistle sounds change pitch but return to the original, the others being Percy and Skarloey.
  • Edward was once Sodor's poster engine.[6]
  • According to Ian McCue, Edward leaving Tidmouth Sheds in A Shed for Edward was planned prior to the development of Big World! Big Adventures! and Rebecca (under her original name Miranda) would have taken his place in the sheds.
  • In some international dubs, Edward's name was changed:
    • In the Greek and early Hebrew dubs, as well as the Italian dub from the fifteenth series to Tale of the Brave, Edward is called Eddie.
    • In the French dub, Edward is spelled Edouard between the first and seventh series.
    • In early Spanish translations of the Random House books, as well as the European Portuguese dub of Calling All Engines!, Edward was known as Eduardo.
    • In the Polish dub, Edward is called Edek.
    • In the Bosnian and Croatian dubs, Edward is called Edo.
  • Edward is Michael White's favourite character.
  • Edward's normal whistle sound was reused for Percy's Ghost Engine.
  • In 2014, Edward and Henry's whistle sounds at Drayton Manor Theme Park were accidentally swapped when they changed shed berths with each other.
  • Around 1994, it was questioned whether Edward would be changed to a female character named Alice with a possible pink or blue livery. However, Britt Allcroft felt like it "might spoil the integrity of what Awdry created," she said.[7][8][9]
  • Edward's close-up whistle is reused for Percy's with the blue part covered in green vinyl in the first series.
  • Upon close inspection, part of Edward’s theme first introduced in the first series of the show appears to somewhat resemble part of the charity single, Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid.
    • Ironically, the song was first released in December 1984, just a couple of months after the show first aired.


“Hello, I'm Edward. The number 2 blue engine. I am the steadiest engine on Sodor.”
― Edward's website audio
“Edward the steady, is at the ready!”
― Steady Eddie
“I will do it, I will do it!”
― Edward and Gordon in The Adventure Begins
“Oh, dear. But I must say, you don't seem very reliable, always getting stuck on your own hill.”
― Old Reliable Edward
“Why is Gordon so ungrateful? He doesn't even say 'thank you' when I give him a push! He only says how old and unreliable I am!”
― Edward to Thomas, Old Reliable Edward

See also


--- Dropped | * 1991-1994 maps only | ** 2014 map only