Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
This article is about the diesel engine. You may be looking for the song or the Story Library book.

Salty is a dockyard diesel engine from the Mainland who works at Brendam Docks. He also enjoys telling stories revolving around the sea and fantasy. He is often blunt about his indifference to the rivalry between steam engines and diesel engines.


Salty worked on an unnamed coastal railway for many years, where he acquired his vast collection of stories, songs and possibly his sailor's accent, before coming to Sodor to work at Ffarquhar Quarry with Mavis, Bill and Ben. Salty was upset, being used to working near the sea, but he soon won the trucks over with his tales and sea shanties and as a reward for his hard work was sent to work at Brendam Docks.

Salty's presence at the docks led to Cranky having a huge distaste for Salty's stories. Cranky snapped at Salty when he pulled up and when Salty thought that Cranky needed company, this made him recall a story about a lonely old Grand Banks lighthouse keeper. He started to tell this story to Bill and Ben (who had not heard it before) which infuriated Cranky and led to him dropping a load of pipes he had which knocked over the Brendam Docks sheds. With Salty, Bill and Ben being trapped at Brendam Docks, Salty decided to tell the twins many stories all night. When Harvey arrived to clear their line the next day, Cranky was very grateful.

Gordon once told Salty to keep his distance in case he made his paint sooty, but Salty pointed out that his job requires him to get sooty and Gordon does not know that because he's too full of himself. When Gordon had to pull trucks, he decided to "show Salty how an express engine pulls trucks". Unfortunately, he ignored a "Go slow" sign and had a horrific accident. Salty apologised for teasing him and Gordon apologised for being too full of himself.

Later, he and Fergus saved a ship from crashing into the rocks when the lighthouse lamp went out. He and Harvey later asked Murdoch about his past, which annoyed him.

Salty has shared many stories with his fellow engines that have often come into play later on. He told Percy that the carpet he was delivering was apparently magic and odd happenings convinced Percy and Gordon that it was.

Once, he accidentally ran over a flagpole that Henry was meant to deliver to the Scottish Castle.

He also told a story about a treasure on Sodor and Thomas followed all of Salty's clues and eventually found the treasure, just as the new Maritime Museum opened.

He later introduced Thomas to Billy, was one of the first engines to meet Stanley, looked at the docks for Thomas when he was missing, cheered when Thomas was found and tried to take some woodsmen into the forest, but was blocked by trucks.

Salty later told the engines about the "strange engines" (Bash, Dash and Ferdinand) that lived on Misty Island, a mysterious island not far from Sodor. He also told Thomas that the Star of Knapford could be magical.

He later told Percy about the "Monster of Brendam" and Edward tried to find him a present.

When Kevin was sent to work at Brendam Docks, Salty tried to make him feel better about working with Cranky. Later, Salty started experiencing engine trouble. However, he refused to go to the Dieselworks as he was worried that the Fat Controller might send him back to the quarry if he was not useful. This concern was strengthened with the arrival of Porter. Salty went to the Dieselworks, but ended up crashing into a flatbed of fuel cans in his hurry to return to the Docks. The fuel made his wheels slip and he ended up colliding with a shipment of party decorations. Salty was certain that he would be sent away. But, to his relief, the Fat Controller told him that he was meant to work with Porter, who had been sent to help him.

One foggy day, he told the engines about the flatbeds of fear. When Percy was missing Gator, Salty encouraged him to get on with his work. Salty and Porter both almost had a collision with Bill and Ben and also helped Timothy to play a trick on the twins.

Much later, Salty had been sent to work on the Mainland as they were short of an engine, but he was afraid to go on a ship and travel by sea. However, he overcame his fears thanks to Thomas, who reminded him of his past tall tales which scared the other engines. He later pretended to be the Ghost of Christmas Past to frighten Diesel and reminded him of his past mistakes.

He also told Edward, Henry, James, Cranky and Porter about a "lost pirate" when Henry saw Skiff and Sailor John and mistook them for a ghost boat the previous night.

Salty - along with Porter and Cranky - were among the few who mistook Henry for a ghost, when the big green engine was accidentally given "glow-in-the-dark" paint at the Sodor Steamworks.

When the Great Railway Show was being held, Salty, amongst the other engines, wanted to compete in the events, but he was not chosen. He was also at the docks when the international engines competing in the competition came to Sodor by mistake on the ferry, one of which accidently bumped into Thomas, causing him to dangle over the ferry and she saved him. Thomas was too speechless to say anything because of how beautiful the engine looked, so Salty introduced Thomas to the engine (to Thomas' embarrassment), who introduced herself as Ashima.

When Harvey's crane stopped working completely when he was at Brendam Docks, he was too shy to ask Salty or Cranky for help. So, to settle things, he decided to play a game of I-Spy while attempting to sneak out of the docks. After Harvey derailed at a tunnel, Salty almost collided into him, while finally being able to figure out what Harvey had spied. He also told the story of the Sea Serpents, who eventually worked together to get what they wanted; this convinced Cranky and Carly to start working together. He also thanked Nia for sorting out the trucks at the docks.

Later, Cranky accidentally knocked Salty off of the docks and into the sea. When he was finally lifted out, Thomas took him to the Dieselworks to be repaired. During his stay there, Salty - along with many of the other diesels - got trapped when the doors malfunctioned as a result of Den slipping on some seaweed that had fallen off of Salty.


Unlike some diesels, Salty is an easy-going, jolly, friendly, and very practical diesel who very rarely gets upset. He also enjoys telling stories revolving around the sea and fantasy. His seafaring ways and nautical accent are sometimes ridiculed and teased by the other engines (though Percy and Thomas imitated his accent since they thought he was amazing), but his usefulness almost always helps the others overlook that. He can work with trucks like no other engine; this is due to his enjoyment of working to a musical rhythm like the trucks and it may also be due to his vast collection of sea shanties. He loves the sea so much that he pines for it when he is away from it for long periods of time. He was once afraid to travel by ocean due to his knowledge of sea tales, but he overcame that. He also has a pirate accent.

Technical Details


Salty is based on a British Rail (BR) Class 07 diesel-electric shunter. The number he has, D2991, is a real BR number belonging to a member of the class; built in 1962, this locomotive escaped the cutter's torch by becoming a static generator at Eastleigh Railway Works and is still working there under the ownership of Knights Rail Services as of March 2007. This class of locomotives worked at Southampton Docks, where they replaced the older SR USA (Rosie's class) and LB&SCR E2 (Thomas' class) tank engines. The Class 07 was notorious for having their axleboxes run hot whenever they were operated at speeds higher than their top speed allows for. This is believed to be the reason why the class was withdrawn much earlier than other diesels of that era.

Salty differs slightly from his basis. Most Class 07s have a crankshaft at the end of their siderods. Salty lacks this feature.


Salty is painted crimson with scarlet warning stripes along his body, yellow and black hazard stripes on his front and rear and yellow buffer beams with signs of rust. At the top of his forehead, he has the brim of a skipper's hat. His name is painted on his rear section in black and his number 2991 is painted on the sides of his cab, also in black.

In the sixteenth series episode "Salty's Surprise", it is revealed that due to a shortage of red paint, he was once painted green.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

Learning Segments


Magazine Stories

Salty also appeared in the magazine stories, Diesel Display, Diesels with Measles!, Fish and Fog!, Glider Rider, Gone Fishing, Hooked Hat, Sea-Bound Salty, Seeing Sails and So Many Stories.


Official Description

From Official Website[1]

Salty: Salty, The Dockside Diesel loves to tell tales of his life by the sea. He often works in the quarry, but is happiest down by the docks. Salty has a big heart and will always rush to the aid of any engine, be it steam or fellow diesel.

Fun Fact: Salty was able to calm the rambunctious Troublesome Trucks by singing his favourite songs and getting them to work to his musical rhythm.

From Official Website[2]

Salty: Salty, The Dockside Diesel, is a hard working engine who loves to tell tales of his life by the sea. He will occasionally work in the quarry and other areas on the Island, but is happiest down by the docks.

Fun Fact: Salty is a little rough around the edges but has a great big heart and will always rush to aid of any engine, be it steam or fellow diesel.

From Official Website[3]

Salty: Salty, the Dockside Diesel, is a hard working engine who loves to tell tales of his life by the sea. He will occasionally work in the quarry and other areas on the island, but is happiest down by the docks. Salty is a little rough around the edges but has a great big heart and will always rush to the aid of any engine, be it Steamie or fellow Diesel.

Fun Fact: Salty worked on an unnamed coastal railway for many years, where he acquired his vast collection of stories and songs, before coming to Sodor. Salty is based on BR Class 07 0-6-0 Dock Shunter.

Audio Files



First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 6 Series 6
First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 7 Adventures

In the eighth series, Calling All Engines!, the tenth series and Thomas and Friends: Adventures!, Salty has Derek's horn at two steps higher-pitched.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 8 Thomas & Friends: Adventures!

In the tenth series episode, Toby's Afternoon Off to the twelfth series and Thomas' Musical Day for Percy in the kids app Speakaboos, Salty reuses 'Arry and Bert's horn sounds from the eighth series episode, Percy's New Whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Toby's Afternoon Off Thomas' Musical Day for Percy (Speakaboos)

Salty's current horn sound since Day of the Diesels reuses Derek's horn sound at its regular pitch.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Day of the Diesels Active

In the album Nursery Rhymes, Salty's horn is two steps lower-pitched.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Nursery Rhymes Nursery Rhymes


In the mobile app Read and Play!, Salty is incorrectly portrayed with a whistle, and he uses Thomas and Molly's whistle sounds combined. He shares this with Charlie in the same app.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Read and Play! Read and Play!


  • Salty has been cut from more episodes than any other engine, being cut from a total of four episodes, with those being the sixth series episode, "It's Only Snow", the eighth series episode, "Emily's New Route", the ninth series episode, "Thomas and the New Engine" and the eleventh series episode, "Emily's Rubbish".
  • Salty consistently speaks with a West Country English accent, which matches his bio and his deep love for the sea.
  • Some Nitrogen Studios promos of Salty lack the rust on his bufferbeams.
  • Salty's television series model used to be on display at Nitrogen Studios and wore his happy face mask.
  • A production-made face of Salty is preserved by the Coffey Man Preservation from the Prop Gallery.
  • One of Salty's happy face masks is now in possession of Twitter user ThomasTankMerch.
  • In certain regions during the Days Out with Thomas events, he had Mavis' face.
  • Salty's current horn sound from Day of the Diesels onwards is reused from Derek's horn sound, which in turn is a stock truck horn sound effect that has been used in many other forms of media, such as the Tom and Jerry Show episodes, "Molecular Breakup" and "Road Trippin'" The Woody Woodpecker episode, "Time Warped", and the Cars Toon Mater's Tall Tales episode "Unidentified Flying Mater".
  • Salty's horn sound from the seventh series was used for him in most of his merchandise, except for Wooden Railway, in which his model used his current horn sound, otherwise known as Derek's, and My First Thomas, where he had his original horn sound from the sixth series only, but at a different design.
  • Salty's horn from the sixth series is from the magic train from the PS2/PC game Play with the Teletubbies.
  • His horn sound from the seventh series was later reused for Diesel 10 in Calling All Engines! and Patrick in the Jack and the Sodor Construction Company's episode On Site with Thomas.
  • Salty's horn sound from the tenth series episode Toby's Afternoon Off to the twelfth series and Thomas' Musical Day for Percy in the kids app, Speakaboos is the same as 'Arry and Bert's horns from the eighth series episode, Percy's New Whistle.
  • Salty had a total of twelve facial expressions, two of which (sleeping and angry) were not used on-screen.
  • Salty is the only diesel whose Nakayoshi toy has not been discontinued.


“Here comes 'Mr. Showoff'!" grouched Ben.
"You have to admit, he's got a knack with those trucks!" said Mavis.
"Driver says he'll bore the bolts off us with his stories!" huffed Bill.
But Salty didn't say a word. He didn't come near the shed. Mavis was worried, she rolled alongside and asked him what he was doing on his own.
"Oh, I thought I might catch a bit of sea breeze."
"You really do miss the sea, don't you?" asked Mavis.
"Aye, I do.”
―Mavis shows sympathy for Salty, Salty's Secret, sixth series
“Don't take me away from the sea boys... Don't take me away from the sea!”
―Salty and Porter singing, Away From The Sea, seventeenth series
“Clattering Columbus! The world is heading straight for us!”
―Salty, Emily Saves the World, eighteenth series
“We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas and a Salty new year!”
―Salty singing, A Cranky Christmas, nineteenth series
“Every creak is another step near the scrap yard.”



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