Thomas the Tank Engine Wiki
For other uses, see Percy (disambiguation).

“That stupid old signal! No one listens to me now. They think I'm a silly little engine and order me about. I'll show them! I'll show them!”
― Percy[src]

Percy is a little green saddle tank engine who lives and works on the Island of Sodor, and is the North Western Railway's number 6 engine. His favourite job is pulling the Mail Train and he is Thomas' best friend.


Percy was built sometime after the turn of the 20th century, by the Avonside Engine Company, and had a subsequent rebuild in the period before he was sold second or third hand to the North Western Railway by a factory on the Mainland. He is said to have been found to contain Hunslet parts, among others, according to workers at Crovan's Gate Works.

Sometime between 1925 and 1935, when Gordon, James and Henry went on strike in protest of fetching their own coaches following Thomas' departure to run his branch line, the Fat Controller decided the railway needed another tank engine. At the engine workshop, the Fat Controller saw a green saddle tank. When the engine said that he was willing to work hard, the Fat Controller bought him and named him Percy. Bringing him back to Sodor, Percy was charged with running the branch line while Thomas ran the Main Line with Edward and was allowed to stay after the big engines surrendered and returned to work. At first, Percy liked to annoy the big engines. Percy was later waiting at Knapford, but forgot to whistle to the signalman and thus was startled when Gordon came running towards him with the express. Gordon managed to stop in time, but Percy was so frightened, he ran away and ended up stuck in a sandbank. He was rescued by Gordon and took up the duty of station pilot at Tidmouth.

Percy was still a cheeky engine and often liked to play jokes on Gordon and James, only for the two engines to have their revenge when Percy failed to recognize a "backing signal". After this, Percy was subject to bullying from the big engines until Duck arrived and helped Percy to put the big engines in their place, although Percy still received a reprimand from the Fat Controller for it.

With Duck's arrival, Percy was sent to Thomas' Branch Line to help build Knapford Harbour and has stayed there ever since as a goods engine. He met a self-centered white helicopter named Harold who said that railways were "slow and out-of-date", so Percy decided to race him and won. When Percy had to take the Sunday School children home, he came across a flooded paddock which swashed away his fire. Thankfully, he got some help from Harold (who dropped supplies of hot drinks for his crew and the passengers) and was able to get the children home.

Despite being really useful, Percy was prone to having accidents were due to him sometimes acting naughty or being careless. He was naughty when he asked the trucks to push him past a danger notice, only to end up in the water until he could be lifted out and taken to the works by Henry. When a diesel railcar named Daisy came to look after Thomas' Branch Line, she constantly kept leaving behind the milk van every time Percy shunted it for her. Fed up with taking the milk for her, Percy offered to take Toby's trucks for him while he took the milk. However, the trucks were unfamiliar with Percy and when he ordered them about, they decided to seek revenge by pushing him onto a line of stone trucks that caused an awkward predicament.

Technical Details


Percy is an 0-4-0 saddle tank believed to have been built by the Avonside Engine Company of Bristol, but prior to being purchased second or third hand by the Fat Controller acquired components from Hunslet of Leeds and other builders. He is not based on any specific engine, however his design is typical of industrial saddle tank engines used around the United Kingdom.


Percy is painted in the standard green livery used by the North Western Railway, with red and yellow lining. His number (6) is painted on his bunker sides in yellow with a red outline. He has a black running board with red bufferbeams and valences. He also has a brass dome.

In some illustrations, Percy has grey coal rails, however in the later volumes of The Railway Series they are consistently green.


The Railway Series

Companion Volumes

Pop-Up Books

Official Description

From Official Media:[2]

Percy (NWR No.6): An 0-4-0 saddletank engine of obscure antecedents. Sir Topham Hatt bought him second or third hand to help tide over a locomotive crisis. Percy is believed to have been built by Avonside of Bristol, but fitters at Crovan’s Gate have found components by Hunslet of Leeds and other builders. Appointed station pilot at Tidmouth in 1949, Percy was transferred to Knapford to assist in harbour reconstruction in 1955, and has been in charge of freight traffic on the Ffarquhar Branch ever since.

From Official Media:[3]

Percy (6): The Fat Controller needed a shunting engine and bought an appealing hybrid from a factory on the Mainland. Percy defies certain identification, and it appears he was put together by using any appropriate parts that came to hand - components from both Avonside of Bristol and Hunslet of Leeds are among the commonest but by no means exclusively. It is probably the former of these two major concerns that can claim responsibility. After purchase Percy saw service first in the yard ar Tidmouth, then assisting with the construction of the harbour near Knapford Junction. He is now in charge of freight traffic on the Ffarquhar branch. Several Percy look-alikes can be found on preserved railways but none is identical.


  • Percy is the only engine who is known to have been named by the Fat Controller.
  • Percy is the first engine in the series to have only four wheels.
  • He is one of the few characters created by Wilbert Awdry who is not precisely based on a real engine.
  • Percy - along with Rheneas, Agnes, Ruth, Lucy, Jemima and Beatrice - was featured on the 1986 single cover of Oh L'amour, a song by English synthpop duo Erasure.

See also