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This article is about the mountain engine. You may be looking for Godred MacHarold, Godred Crovan or King Godred.

Godred, named after a famed Sudrian king, was a narrow gauge mountain-climbing engine who worked on the Culdee Fell Railway.


The Railway Series

Godred was built by the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1900, and arrived on Sodor alongside the other four engines in time for the railway's inspection and opening. He was named after Godred MacHarold, a famed Sudrian king, which was believed by Culdee to be the cause of his arrogance; Godred believed that nothing bad could happen to him, and that should he be in trouble, his automatic brakes would save him. Despite being looked over by his crew and the manager, Godred continued acting on in his pompous ways.

On June 4, 1900, just over a month after the railway had officially opened, Godred was coming back down the mountain with his coach, when he derailed on Devil's Back and rolled down the mountain. Luckily, his coach remained on the rails so nobody was hurt in the accident, but Godred was badly damaged. When he was recovered the following day, Godred was found to be beyond being repaired and the Manager knew it would be too expensive to mend him, so he was left at the back of the shed where he was eventually scrapped. His remains were cannibalized to help keep the other engines going until newer engines could arrive and they could go to Switzerland for overhauls.

Culdee later told the cautionary story of Godred to Skarloey, Rheneas, Sir Handel and Duncan during his brief stay at Crovan's Gate. [1] He also told No. 6 about Godred when he was sent to the back of the shed for being naughty. [2]


Godred appears in a "What happens each day on Sodor?" feature, where the Fat Controller would be attending special events throughout his day. On one day, it is said the Fat Controller names a new engine on Sodor, Godred.


Godred was very arrogant, supercilious and reckless; Culdee speculated that this was due to the nature of his naming. He believed that nothing bad could ever happen to him and put too much faith into his automatic brakes, believing that they would save him if he was ever in the face of danger. Despite all warnings, Godred never learned sense, and paid the price when he met his unfortunate demise on the mountain.

Technical Details


Godred was based on No. 1 L.A.D.A.S., an engine who worked on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. L.A.D.A.S was a 0-4-2 rack-equipped tank engine built by the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works in 1895. The engine was named after Laura Alice Duff Assheton-Smith, the daughter of a major landowner, and was the railway's only engine to carry the number one.

On 6 April, 1896, L.A.D.A.S. was taking the railway's first public passenger train, when she derailed while coming down the line and fell down the mountain, the fall destroying the engine. A passenger died from loss of blood after jumping from the carriage. L.A.D.A.S. was found to be beyond being repaired, so she was scrapped. To this day, the Snowdon Mountain Railway has never replaced her with another engine carrying her number.


Godred was painted in the Culdee Fell Railway's livery of purple with orange lining. His number (1) was painted on the sides and back of his cab in yellow and he had a red nameplate with a gold boarder on the sides of his tanks with his name (Godred) on them, also in gold. His buffer beams are painted red.

In a magazine story, Godred was painted red with yellow lining. His buffer beams were painted grey with black buffers. Among other changes, Godred had arch-shaped windows, standard buffers and a straightened boiler.

Background Information

Made Up?

Godred's actual existence has been the source of some confusion and debate since his debut. At the end of the story "Bad Look-Out" from The Railway Series book, Mountain Engines, it is said that Culdee had only made both the story and Godred up. However, no other engine carrying his number was seen in any of the stories. Furthermore, both The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways and Sodor: Reading Between the Lines confirm that Godred did indeed exist and met his demise when he fell down the mountain.

The explanation for it is that the Rev. W. Awdry wanted his fictional railway to mirror its real-life counterpart as close as possible. However, as this would result in the "death" of a character, he chose to end the story the way he did so as to avoid upsetting younger readers.

Cause of the Accident

The exact cause of Godred's accident has never been determined or confirmed by either Wilbert or Christopher Awdry. In The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways, it is said that it was generally believed that a stone lodged between two teeth of the rack-rail had caused the accident, but that it had never been proved.

L.A.D.A.S.'s accident was caused by subsidence of the track, leading to the pinion wheel disengaging; this was amended by fitting guard-bars to the rack-rail. As the Culdee Fell Railway opened four years after L.A.D.A.S.'s accident, it seems likely that the guard-rails would have been required by the Board of Trade from the outset, meaning that a different chain of events would have had to occur to cause the derailment, somehow disengaging both the pinion wheels and the gripper connecting to the engine, which connects with the guard-bars to prevent such an accident from happening.


The Railway Series

Companion Volumes


Magazine Stories

  • Godred has appeared in a Play and Learn magazine magazine.

Video Releases


  • While Stepney the Bluebell Engine featured a scene of engines being cut up for scrap, Godred is currently the only character directly confirmed to have suffered this fate in a story (not counting the Spiteful Brake Van or S.C. Ruffey, who are both rolling stock).
    • As such, he is unfortunately the only engine in the franchise to be killed off during a story.
  • Like the other engines of the Culdee Fell Railway, Godred had a face as each end.
  • In the Korean version of The Railway Series book, Mountain Engines, Godred's name is "Loui".
  • The name Godred is the English equivalent from Guðrøðr.


View content

Ertl Company

Name Released Discontinued Highlights Photo
2002 (US)
2004 (UK)
Originally sold under Shining Time Station brand as a "Special Edition" character

Trading Cards

Name Released Discontinued Highlights Photo
Trading Cards


International Characters

* RWS only | ** T&F only | ✦ Changed location