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The North Western Railway faced a locomotive shortage in its early days. Aside from the Coffee Pots and the four Wellsworth and Suddery Railway Tank Engines, the railway had no engines of its own. As a result, engines were leased from the Midland and Furness railways on the Mainland until more could be purchased, and they were heavily relied on during the First World War. Edward was one of the engines to arrive, largely due to this arrangement.

By 1923, most of these engines had returned to their original railways and replacements had been secured. No precise details of these engines were given, so little is known about them. The two Red Engines seen in The Three Railway Engines are believed to possibly be some of these engines; as the real Midland Railway engines carried red liveries.

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