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This article is about the engine. You may be looking for the Story Library book.

Rusty is a little narrow gauge diesel engine who carries out maintenance work and odd jobs around the Skarloey Railway.


Rusty's initial depiction in the TV series was with a much more determined and brave personality. In the fourth series, Rusty helped save Stepney, who was stranded on a siding in a scrapyard on the Other Railway, from scrap, and brought him to his branchline. When a Boulder went loose at the Quarry, Rusty narrowly escaped after being chased by the giant stone. Skarloey, Rheneas and Percy also escaped the chaos of Boulder. Along with Skarloey, Rheneas, and Elizabeth, Rusty saved the Skarloey Railway from abandonment. Rusty once saved Duncan from falling into a river from an old bridge after he refused to listen.

In a dream, Thomas saw Rusty working with Lady.

One Christmas, when Duncan began complaining more than ever, Rusty had the idea of telling the Thin Controller, who devised a plan. Rusty later saw Duncan lose his temper with Luke, who was blocking the track in front of him. But when Duncan felt sorry and helped Luke carry on his way, Rusty saw this too and told the Thin Controller.

He was later seen in a queue of engines at Ulfstead Castle after Percy told the latter there was to be a railway show there.

He is currently working at the Skarloey Railway, along with the other narrow gauge engines.


Rusty is a trusty, tame, friendly little diesel. He is a dedicated worker, often maintaining the line, while understanding and respecting the importance of his duties. He also has a rather distinctive two-tone horn. Rusty is quick to remind others with regards to proper conduct, particularly Duncan, who was initially very suspicious of the little diesel. But despite their arguments they both seem to make amends in the end, because of how kind and tolerant Rusty is. He has a good working relationship with both Skarloey and Peter Sam in particular. Caring, calm, and quick-thinking, Rusty is modestly a credit to the Skarloey Railway.

Sometimes, Rusty had an occasional habit of being prone to procrastination, impatient and careless but he has managed to contain his good work ethic, especially while working at the Blue Mountain Quarry and the railway.

Technical Details


Rusty is based on the Talyllyn Railway's Midlander, a Ruston 44/48HP diesel. Unlike his counterpart Rusty was never rebuilt with a different shaped radiator.


In the television series, Rusty is painted orange with yellow lining around his windows and white lettering. His radiator cap is brass.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

Audio Files


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Series 4 Series 7
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Tuneful Toots Tuneful Toots
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Series 9 Series 12
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Blue Mountain Mystery Active

On the Diesel’s Locomotion Mayhem ride at Drayton Manor Theme Park, Rusty is incorrectly portrayed with Diesel’s horn.

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Drayton Manor Theme Park Drayton Manor Theme Park


  • Rusty's name is a portmanteau of his builder Ruston and Hornsby.
  • According to a New York Times article from 1995, Britt Allcroft intended to make Rusty gender-neutral due to the lack of female characters in the series.[3] Because of this, the episodes Trucks, Home at Last and Rock 'n' Roll removed or changed any instance of Rusty being referred to in gender-specific pronouns, as the original stories refer to him as male. For example, Duncan's line "Send him packing! Send him packing!" is changed to "Send Rusty packing! Send Rusty packing!" The first two times in the television series that Rusty was referred to in gender-specific pronouns were Tuneful Toots and Duncan and the Old Mine, the US dubs of which referred to Rusty as female. They were edited for their DVD releases, now identifying Rusty as male.
    • The German dub of Duncan Gets Spooked also referred to Rusty as being female.
    • The first Polish dub portrays Rusty as female.
    • The Korean dub of the sixteenth series portrays Rusty as female.
  • Rusty's large scale model is currently on display in Japan at the Hara Model Railway Museum and is wearing his alternative happy face mask (previously on display at Nitrogen Studios).
  • In the television series, Rusty is near twice the size of his basis. This was so his eye mechanism and the motor could be accommodated. When he received a large scale model and later returned in CGI, he was the same larger size for continuity reasons.
  • Nitrogen Studios went to the Talyllyn Railway and took measurements of Rusty's basis in order to accurately render him in CGI. This was also the case with Skarloey, Rheneas, Sir Handel and Peter Sam.
  • Matt Wilkinson gave Rusty a West Country accent.
  • Rusty is the only narrow gauge diesel to ever be seen in the entire television series.
  • Rusty was called Rooky in the French dub.
  • Rusty was called Zlatko in the Slovenian dub.
  • The Strasburg Rail Road's No. 2 diesel shunter is painted to resemble Rusty, and beginning in 2020, it has been dressed up as him during Day Out With Thomas events.
  • Rusty's small scale model is currently owned by Twitter user ThomasTankMerch,[4]along with those of Duke, Skarloey and Sir Handel.
  • The horn Rusty uses during the Hit Entertainment model era is the same horn as Brum has in the British children's show, Brum, both came from the Morris Minor 1000 Van.
  • Rusty is one of three engines who were able to save an engine from scrap. The others include Douglas and Thomas.



* RWS only | ** T&F only