This article is about the character. You may be looking for the magazine story.

Flying Thistle is a big crimson express tender engine who works on a railway on the Mainland.


Flying Thistle arrived on Sodor as a visiting engine. Percy was the first to meet him, but the other engines did not think he was real at first. He arrived to run an express line that had not been used in a while. While running it, he broke down and was helped back by Donald. He was later cheered up by Gordon. [1]

Bill and Ben once mistook Flying Thistle for Gordon. [2]

Technical Details


Flying Thistle is based on a London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) A3 Pacific. Gordon and Flying Scotsman are also based on this engine along with their brothers and sisters. Scotsman is also Flying Thistle's first namesake, with his second being another member of his class: the Knight of the Thistle.


Flying Thistle is painted crimson with yellow lining and light grey wheels. He has a gold nameplate on the sides of his middle wheel arch with his name on them in black. He has a crest painted on the sides of his tender.


Magazine Stories


  • In his first appearance, Flying Thistle had a face but in his second and final appearance he was faceless.
  • Flying Thistle's name may possibly be a combination of Flying Scotsman and the A1/A3 Pacific, Knight of the Thistle. Flying Scotsman is the only A1/A3 that was preserved, as well as the only Gresley-built non-streamlined design, and Knight of the Thistle, later renamed to just Knight of Thistle in December 1932, who was built in 1924 and entered service in August of that year, later being withdrawn and sold for scrap in June 1964.



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