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For other uses, see Emily (disambiguation).

“Number 12 safety engine to the rescue!”
― Emily[src]

Emily is an emerald tender engine who lives and works on the Island of Sodor, and is the North Western Railway's number 12 engine.


When Emily was new to Sodor, she was ignored for borrowing Annie and Clarabel without Thomas' knowledge, to the shock of the other engines. The matter was resolved after she saved Oliver from a nasty accident and she was rewarded with two new coaches.[5]

Emily proved to be kind-hearted, as she was the only engine concerned about Henry when he was ill due to leaky tubes and stuck up for Salty when Thomas and Percy were teasing him.[6][7] She also came up with the suggestion that Bulgy could help the farmer deliver his vegetables around the island, after his passenger services went wrong due to some chickens sleeping in his luggage racks.[8]

One winter, Emily decided she would "help" Thomas by telling him what he was doing wrong. This offended Thomas, resulting in him ignoring Emily when she told him to wear his snowplough. Emily later helped Thomas when he became stuck in a snowdrift, but was scolded for not having told Thomas that it was Sir Topham Hatt's orders.[9]

During summer, she was assigned to make runs to the Flour Mill. She soon met up with James, who had been assigned to the Black Loch run and told her that there was a monster in the Loch. After having difficulty with the Troublesome Trucks at the Flour Mill and accidentally shunting some of them into a pond, she was reassigned to the Black Loch run, where she discovered the "monster" was just a family of seals. She then continued to run the line to Black Loch for the rest of the Summer.[10]

While pulling the Express for the first time, Emily was determined to keep to Gordon's timing, but became impatient and ran out of water.[11]

Following a storm on Sodor, Emily was tasked with bringing timber to repair a barn at McColl Farm. Throughout the day, she would boss around others who were helping to clear up the storm's damage, but after a confrontation with Elizabeth and some advice from Thomas, learned to be more polite and delivered the timber on time.[12]

When Thomas had to stay at Knapford Sheds temporarily, Emily did not like his company at first as she did not want him to disturb her sleep. Later, however, she learned how comfortable it is to have the company of friends, missing Thomas when he did not return to the sheds one night. Originally disappointed once Tidmouth Sheds was rebuilt, she was delighted to find that the shed had gained a seventh berth and she was transferred there to be with her new shed mates.[13]

Emily was once asked to collect a set of special coaches to be awarded to Gordon. These were stolen by Diesel in retaliation to her having not listened to him earlier, leading her to chase him around the Island, only being able to catch him when Sir Topham Hatt intervened. After finding out that Diesel had wanted to tell her about him having broken a record for shunting trucks, Emily made amends by gifting Diesel a new motor and apologising for ignoring him.[14]

On Whiff's first day on Sodor, Emily was asked to help him collect rubbish trucks. She initially avoided him due to being laughed at by the other engines, but apologised after she realised she would need his help to move some trucks out of Spencer's way.[15]

When Thomas hid his snowplough one winter, Emily had to do Thomas' work for him, including ploughing the tracks and later running his branch line. She later rescued Thomas after he got stuck in a snowdrift while trying to recover his snowplough.[16]

During one foggy day, Thomas told Emily about the Flatbeds of Fear, but Emily did not believe in it and said there must be a sensible explanation. After taking the train on from Henry, she began to believe in it after hearing the whistling noises for herself, until Thomas informed her that it was just one of Salty's tall tales.[17]

When the other engines tried to clear the tracks of snow for Connor to deliver the last train for Christmas, Emily struggled at a deep drift near the Vicarstown Bridge. Fortunately, Hiro helped by charging the drift from the other side, allowing Connor to pass through.[18]

One of Emily's most exciting jobs was taking a giant model of a globe to the Sodor Animal Park. While attempting to show it off, however, she lost the globe, leading her to have to chase it all the way to Brendam Docks.[19]

After Emily was informed by Paxton about the rumour that Toby was to be scrapped, Henrietta overheard this and knew it was not true. Emily took her to find Toby and once they found him safe, Emily gave him some of her coal.[20]

After being helped to the Sodor Steamworks by her, Emily became fascinated with Caitlin being able to go at such high speeds and wondered what it would be like to be fast, becoming depressed when she could not do so. Emily eventually regained her self-confidence after managing to save Caitlin when she became a runaway after her brakes broke on a steep hill.[21]

When Thomas was fed up with Diesel's selfishness during the holidays, Emily partook in Thomas' plan to mend the diesel's ways, much to her joy and amusement. She later attended the Earl's Christmas lunch with several other engines.[22]

Emily was one of the Sodor engines that took part in the Great Railway Show and competed in the Best Decorated Engine Parade alongside James, but the two lost to Rajiv. After Percy dropped out of the Shunting Challenge, she encouraged Thomas to take his place, declaring him Sodor's last chance to win.[23]

Emily was once assigned Thomas' duties with Annie and Clarabel while Gordon took her trucks of scrap when Dowager Hatt took charge of the railway temporarily while Sir Topham Hatt was ill. After Dowager Hatt's changes resulted in much confusion and delay, Emily confronted her about the situation and helped the Dowager to get things back on track before Sir Topham Hatt returned.[24]

One winter, Emily helped Donald and Douglas pull a heavy train of steel pipes to Vicarstown, but ended up being derailed at the bottom of Gordon's Hill due to the twins' constant bickering. After scolding the pair for their childishness and being lifted back onto the rails by Harvey, she took the train from the front while the twins pushed together from the back, reaching Vicarstown without any further trouble.[25]

Following a storm, Emily took the Sodor Rangers on a camping trip so that Nia had more time to finish her shunting in Knapford Yards, but derailed whilst trying to get a fallen tree off of the line. Later that night, Nia brought her the truck of camping supplies she had forgotten to pick up from the yards - fortunately, the Rangers had been able to set up a camp using the survival skills they had learned. Emily and Nia stayed with them throughout the night and the next morning she was rerailed with their help.[26]

When a sand sculpture was to be unveiled at Tidmouth Town Square, the rest of the Steam Team were working in pairs, leading Emily to feel left out. While searching for a "best friend" to work with, Emily became distracted and forgot to deliver her trucks of sand, which were gone by the time she returned. Fortunately, Emily found out at the unveiling that Thomas had noticed Emily forgot her trucks and delivered them for her, much to her relief.[27]

Later, when an emergency drill turned into a real emergency, Emily came to the rescue with Rocky, saving Gordon from a collapsing bridge and helping clear up a three-engine pile-up with James, Percy and Rebecca. As a reward for her quick thinking, Sir Topham Hatt appointed her the railway's official "safety engine" and had her number 12 painted on her tender.[28]


Emily is a kind, caring, helpful and intelligent engine, who speaks with a Scottish accent. She is sensitive to the feelings of others and is quick to apologise if she wrongs someone, whether knowingly or not. She will stand up for other engines if they are being teased or treated unfairly and is unafraid to speak her mind, even to authority figures.

Emily often acts as a level-headed voice of reason, particularly when the other engines jump to conclusions or when a friend needs moral support. She is also a very competent, clever, adaptable and quick-thinking engine, and as such is often relied upon for advice, a trait which eventually led her to becoming the railway's official "safety engine".

Though Emily can occasionally come off as bossy, rude or impatient, these traits are usually unintentional on her part and come from a place of concern for the well-being of others. She does, however, have occasions where she can be quite vain or overconfident, usually as a result of feeling she knows best, though once brought back down to earth she is always sure to make amends.

Since around the eighteenth series, Emily has been prone to feelings of inadequacy or jealousy, often longing for more excitement in her life when she hears of others' adventures, or for the same talents as them.

Technical Details[]


Emily is based on a Great Northern Railway (GNR) 1003 class Stirling Single 4-2-2.

Designed by Patrick Stirling in 1870 with 8ft 1in driving wheels and outside cylinders, these engines were specifically built for high-speed expresses between London and York. These engine were capable of hauling 280 tonne trains at 50 mph, though they could reach 85 mph on lighter services. A total of fifty-three engines were built at Doncaster between 1870 and 1895, officially divided into two classes: the 47 "No. 1 class" engines between 4/1870 and 12/1893 and the 6 "1003 class" engines between 11/1894 and 4/1895. Emily is of the latter class, which feature an updated Stirling boiler, larger cylinders and most notably an upgraded cab. The last of the Stirling Singles, No. 1006, was withdrawn on 14th February 1916.

The only surviving member of all classes, the pioneer No. 1, is on display at the National Railway Museum. The engine in preservation carried a small capacity Sturrock tender, which was given in its first restoration in 1910. A derelict original Stirling Single tender used as a water and sludge carrier was later found in Peterborough and, after restoration, was paired with the engine in 2014.


Emily is painted emerald with yellow lining and brass fittings. Her valences and the back section of her running board are painted chocolate brown, while the top of the front section of her running board is grey. Her bufferbeams are red.

When Emily debuted, she had bronze buffers with black buffer shanks. In the eighth series, her buffers became silver, while her buffer shanks later became red in the eleventh series. In the twenty-third series episode Chucklesome Trucks, Emily's buffers were briefly black as a mistake, but returned to being silver in later episodes.

For the Great Railway Show, gold trim and flowers were added to her livery for her participation in the best-decorated engine parade. After she returned to Sodor, she was repainted to her original livery.

From the twenty-fourth series episode Emily to the Rescue onwards, Emily has her number 12 painted on the middle square on the sides of her tender in beige with chocolate brown borders.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

Learning Segments


Annual Stories

Magazine Stories

Emily also appears in the magazine stories, Arthur and Emily, Peep and Sleep, Picture Posters, Rushing Around, Take Off with Terence, The Camel Train, The Smartest Engine and Working Whistles


My Thomas Story Library

Engine Adventures

Really Useful Stories

Audio Stories

Thomas & Friends Storytime

Video Games

Official Description[]

From Official Website[1][2]

Emily: Emily is a beautiful engine with shiny paintwork and gleaming brass fittings. After she rescued Oliver and Toad when they were stuck on the tracks, Sir Topham Hatt rewarded her with a brand new pair of coaches.

Fun Fact: Before Emily got her own coaches, she pulled Annie and Clarabel for a short time - much to Thomas' dismay!

From Official Website[3]

Emily: Emily is a beautiful emerald green engine with shiny paintwork and gleaming brass fittings. She can be a little bossy and think she knows best, but is always ready to help a friend. She is the newest member of the Steam Team.

Fun Fact: After Emily rescued Oliver and Toad, who were stuck on the tracks, Sir Topham Hatt rewarded her with a brand new pair of coaches. Emily is based on a GNR Stirling Single.

Audio Files[]


First used Last used Composers Theme Song
Series 7 Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
Series 7 (US Version) Series 19 Robert Hartshorne


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 7
Series 8 Thomas' Magical Birthday Wishes
Calling All Engines! Thomas & Friends: Adventures!
Hero of the Rails The Lost Puff
No Snow for Thomas Series 24

In The Great Discovery, Emily makes a warbled sound on her whistle. This is a distorted version of her whistle from the 2004 UK DVD It's Great to Be an Engine!, which is in turn Henry's whistle at ten steps lower-pitched.

First used Last used Sound Effect
It's Great to be an Engine! The Great Discovery

In one scene from the sixteenth series episode Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor, Emily has Henry's whistle at a step and a half lower in pitch.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor Thomas and the Sounds of Sodor


  • Emily was the second female steam engine and the first female tender engine introduced in Thomas & Friends, the first female steam engine to be introduced in a series not based off the Rev. W Awdry, and as well as the fourth female engine in Thomas & Friends overall, the first being Daisy, the second being Mavis, and the third being Lady.
  • Michael Angelis, Pierce Brosnan, and Teresa Gallagher have all given Emily a Scottish accent, reflecting the origin of her designer. Due to one episode and one special featuring her having an English narrator, she ends up with a Scottish accent in the US dub. Other productions featuring her with a speaking role give her an American accent in the US dub and the UK dub in Bubbling Boilers and her singing voice in The Great Race. Rachael Miller retained the UK narration's Scottish accent in Thomas' Magical Birthday Wishes.
  • With one of Thomas' models being an exception, Emily is the only engine that was originally on display at Nitrogen Studios that had her live-action model sent over to the Explore the Rails Exhibition in the United States while everyone else was sent to either Drayton Manor in the United Kingdom or the Hara Model Railway Museum in Japan. Therefore, she is also the only engine from the Steam Team that had her live-action model sent to the Explore the Rails Exhibition.
  • Emily is the first character besides Thomas himself to say his original catchphrase, "Cinders and ashes!", which was done in the thirteenth series episode Tickled Pink.
    • Coincidentally enough, Emily is also the first character other than Thomas to say the show's rebranded opening monologue, "All aboard for a big adventure!" She does so in Rangers of the Rails.
    • She is also the only member of the Steam Team besides Thomas to do so.
  • Between the eighth and twelfth series, she was written to be roughly Thomas' age (but feels slightly older than Thomas) and older than Percy.[29]
  • Some literary articles show Emily being sisterly mostly to Thomas and James. According to a magazine bio, she has a particular fondness for James and treats him like a little brother. In Railway Rhymes, the author states that Thomas and Emily act like brother and sister.
  • According to Emily's Slide Show, Emily was built around the same time as Donald and Douglas. In real life, however, this is inaccurate; Donald and Douglas' basis was built between 1899 and 1909, and Emily's basis was built between 1870 and 1895.
  • Before Big World! Big Adventures!, Emily was the only member of the Steam Team not created by Wilbert Awdry, as well as the only female member, the only member who was not introduced in The Railway Series, the first series up until Nia and Rebecca's debuts. And until the twenty-fourth series, she was also the only member to lack a number, both before and after the addition of Nia and Rebecca. Despite this, she remains the only female Steam Team member not to have nameplates.
  • Emily is one of only two characters to have bronze buffers, then gain silver ones; the other is Spencer. Likewise, she and Spencer are also the only characters introduced in the seventh series to appear in full CGI.
  • According to Robert Gauld-Galliers's concept art, Emily was originally going to have handrails on top of her smokebox, three front coupling chains and a gold builder's plate on her wheel arch. The handrails, though not present on the original model, would later be added as part of the twenty-third series updates to the Steam Team.
  • Emily's CGI whistle sound was sourced off of an LMS Fowler 3F "Jinty".
  • Emily is the only female engine to retain separate English voice actors throughout the CGI era of the original series.
  • Emily's name was spelled Emilie in the French dub of the seventh series.
  • Emily was the first steam engine in the series to be seen with only two drive wheels and the first engine overall to gain her number on-screen.
  • Emily's Ertl bio states her large driving wheels cause her to struggle with traction, a factor that affected her basis, a fact which has never been shown nor stated in the television series itself.
    • Another factor that affected Emily's basis was the front end's tendency to oscillate side-to-side when at speed due to the force of the pistons onto a single pair of driving wheels. This can actually be seen with her model throughout the model series.
  • Emily shares her name with Hilary Fortnam's granddaughter. Fortnam was the youngest daughter of The Railway Series creator Wilbert Awdry.
  • Emily, along with Nia, is the only character in the Steam Team not to have an English accent.
  • Emily's original whistle would later be used for Peter Sam and Freddie from the ninth to twelfth series (for Peter Sam) and the tenth to twelfth series (for Freddie). In fact, it is sourced from SNCF 141 R 1126.
    • Emily's whistle used in Calling All Engines! to the twelfth series is the same one Edward had in the fourth to the fifth series episode James and the Trouble with Trees and the game that is only available in Japan, Thomas the Tank Engine (Kids Station Game).
  • Unlike most other characters being introduced at the time she gained it - whose numbers were often derived from numerical statistics relating to the characters or the show - there appears to be no specific logic to giving Emily the number 12. It is possible the number may be an in-joke to multiple fandom members giving her the number 12, as well as fan mail for the number 12 as the unofficial twelfth member of the first original eleven engines.
    • As of the end of the series, Emily is the last numbered engine whose number follows the original counting pattern, where the engines' numbers go in order.
    • Emily was originally going to be given the number 13 (as Harvey was technically the twelfth standard gauge steam engine), however Mattel deemed it unlucky, so she was given the number 12 instead.
    • The reason Emily was given a number was because after the Meet the Steam Team shorts, the production crew felt she needed a number as she was the only one in the shorts without one.
  • Although portrayed younger in the show, when it comes to her basis, Emily is the oldest member of the Steam Team by age.
  • Emily is the only female steam team member not to have visible eyelashes.


“Hello, I'm Emily. I'm an emerald green engine and I'm always ready to help a friend in need.”
― Emily's website audio
“There must be a perfectly sensible explanation.”
― Emily[src]
“Can't the engineers do something to change my shape, Victor?"
"Why would you want to do that? You're a great engine, Emily; just the way you are!”
― Emily and Victor[src]
“I was so busy trying to find a best friend I didn't realise I was surrounded by them all along.”
― Emily[src]


See Also[]


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