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Philippa (nicknamed "Pip") and Emma are two diesel-electric engines which make up an InterCity 125 High Speed Train.


The Railway Series

In 1986, when Gordon took a railtour to Carlisle, Pip and Emma were asked to take the express back to Tidmouth for him. Pip's cooling system was faulty, but Emma was in order. Unfortunately, Emma failed near Crovan's Gate and James had to pull them back home. The engines were quick to befriend Pip and Emma, and after Gordon had returned, Douglas took them back to Barrow-in-Furness. [1]

In 1995, Pip and Emma were borrowed to take the Prince of Wales and some guests to Tidmouth for the Golden Jubilee of The Railway Series. [2]

In 2011, the Fat Controller purchased Pip and Emma to run a faster express service to London following privatisation. He had been interested in purchasing them since at least 2005. As a single unit, they were somewhat restricted in their use, but the Fat Controller considered this a price worth paying for their services. They brought Prince Charles to Tidmouth to unveil a bust of the Thin Clergyman in celebration of the latter's centenary. [3]


Pip and Emma are kind and friendly. They quickly became good friends with the other engines. Although they suffered problems with their cooling systems, they are efficient and reliable.

Technical Details


Pip and Emma are based on a British Rail (BR) Class 43 High Speed Train (HST). This class holds the world record for fastest rail speed for a diesel-electric engine: 238 kph or 148 mph, which was set in 1987. The majority of these are still in service, while others, for example, the HSTs that served the Great Western, East Coast and Midland Mainlines have been withdrawn after forty years of service. Further withdrawls are announced for the 2020s, with the intention of replacing the entire class with the Hitachi Intercity Express Train (IET).

The High-Speed Post Train is also based on a BR Class 43 HST.


Pip and Emma are painted in the BR yellow and blue livery. Their rear ends and their BR Mk3 coaches are painted blue and white. Their rooftops are painted dark grey. After they were bought by the Fat Controller, the BR Double Arrow logo and "InterCity 125", which were painted on Emma's sides, and later on Pip's, were replaced by the initials "NWR" and red nameplates with their names on them in gold.  



  • The phrase "pip emma" was used in the signals developed by the British Army signallers in the First World War to mean post meridiem, or p.m.
  • The last book in the Railway Series, Thomas and his Friends marked Pip's only speaking role. Until then, only Emma had spoken.
  • Emma is the first engine portrayed to be painted with the initials for the North Western Railway.
  • The longest formation or 'rake' of coaches Pip and Emma have pulled is five as shown in the story "Golden Jubilee". They have also pulled four coaches, as shown in the story "Centenary," and three coaches, their shortest rake, as shown in the story "Thomas and the Swan".
  • Emma is one of the only engines in the franchise to have the North Western Railway's initials (NWR) painted on her. The other engines are Rosie and Rebecca. They are also the only characters in The Railway Series to have these letters.


The Railway Series

Main Series



* RWS only | ** T&F only | --- Dropped