This article is about the narrow gauge engine. You may be looking for the railway, the station or the Story Library book.

Skarloey, a narrow gauge saddle tank engine, is the oldest engine on the Skarloey Railway. Talyllyn, from the Talyllyn Railway, is his twin and Rheneas is his brother.


The Railway Series

Skarloey was built at Fletcher, Jennings & Co., Whitehaven in 1864 as a 0-4-0ST with no cab, which later caused him to bounce a lot, alongside his twin, Talyllyn. He was the first engine to arrive on the newly developed Skarloey Railway in May 1865, arriving by steam ship at Kirk Ronan Harbour, before being delivered to Crovan's Gate by Neil. His young antics proved bothersome but he soon matured when he received his cab and trailing wheels. He received these when he returned to Whitehaven in 1867, where he was briefly reunited with Talyllyn.

The trailing wheels improved his running greatly and this together with the cab made him a favourite with the men in spite of his shy steaming. In consequence Skarloey was always worked harder than Rheneas and in 1897 he returned to Whitehaven for a second and final time for heavy repairs. No further overhauls were done to him apart from general maintenance in the SR workshop; the result being that by 1945 his boiler and firebox were in such a poor state that he could only be steamed in dire emergency. On one such occasion in 1952, he damaged his springs whilst bringing home Sir Handel's train, resulting in him receiving a much-needed overhaul.

He was sent to Gibbons Bros. Ltd. in England for this, where he met his twin Talyllyn, who was there for the same purpose, for the first time in some 60 years. He returned almost as new in 1958, but was still somewhat shy in steaming. After many experiments, however, Mr. Ivo Hugh finally cured this fault by fitting a brick arch in his firebox and a "Kylchap" cowl on his blast pipe. This work was done in the SR's workshop with no outside help at all.

Since returning to service, he has been very much a voice of reason on the Skarloey Railway: he was responsible for Sir Handel's comeuppance when the latter became boastful about his new wheels and changed Duncan's views about passengers by telling him about the time when Rheneas saved the Railway.

At the celebrations for his and Rheneas' 100th birthday, he collected the Duke of Sodor (much to Peter Sam's confusion) and took him around the new loop line. He underwent another heavy overhaul at Crovan's Gate Works in 1985, returning to service in May of that year.

Skarloey later attended Ivo Hugh's naming ceremony and brought along a special train with important guests. However, he had to stop when a sow and her piglets strayed onto the line. His passengers had to come out to catch the pigs and return them to their field and Skarloey was late but arrived in time for the naming ceremony.

Thomas & Friends

When Skarloey first appeared in the fourth series, he brought people to the closed Mid Sodor Railway to buy the engines, taking Stuart and Falcon but leaving Duke behind. When a group of visitors planned on following the old line into the mountains to find Duke, they used Skarloey. He carried them into the mountains, searching for Duke for several days. Once Duke was found, Skarloey and Rheneas transported him back down to the Skarloey Railway for restoration.

Edward found Skarloey sitting in the shed where he had been sent for a rest. Skarloey told Edward about Rheneas going away to be mended and that he wished he could be mended too and pull coaches again. He received his chance when the coaches derailed Sir Handel, at which point he volunteered to pull the visitors' train in Sir Handel's stead. He scolded the coaches and set off, trying his best as he approached the hill. Downhill, one of his weak springs gave out and left Skarloey crooked. Determined to not let his passengers down, Skarloey limped to the station and got the passengers home. The driver promised to have him mended, saying that Skarloey deserved it. When Skarloey came home, Rusty helped him to the sheds. There, the fireman lit Skarloey's fire and the little engine declared his excitement to be like that of a young engine.

In the seventh series, Skarloey had an accident on the Old Trestle Bridge. This accident caused him to fear about going over the bridge. However, when he had to rescue his friend Rheneas at the other side of the bridge, he managed to overcome his fear of the bridge.

From the ninth to twelfth series, Skarloey acted like a childish engine and tried to prove his bravery by getting hauled up the winch on the incline and by having a race with Rheneas and Freddie. He has also acted timid, being scared of The Wharf and storms.

In Blue Mountain Mystery, Skarloey became the respected leader of the narrow gauge engines at the Blue Mountain Quarry.

In the eighteenth series, he once had to take an evening passenger train. Unfortunately, Duncan took his coaches because he was trying to stop a grumpy passenger that was one of his passengers from complaining about the train being crowded. However, this only resulted in angering Skarloey and his stranded passengers. The next day, Skarloey was delayed by Duncan again when he refused to leave the platform until the same grumpy passenger had boarded his train. Later during the Christmas holidays, Skarloey was upset by Duncan's constant grumbling. He, Rheneas and Rusty told the Thin Controller about this, who devised a plan to stop the grumpy engine from moaning all the time.

In the twenty-fourth series, he asked Peter Sam and Sir Handel what was Percy talking about and Peter Sam answered a railway show for little engines.


Skarloey is the sage of the Skarloey Railway and is an old, faithful little engine. Although once full of enthusiasm and his own ideas in his youth, Skarloey is now one of the oldest engines on the Island. He is a calm-natured, quaint and mature engine and may often try to guide or watch over less experienced narrow gauge engines in his firm but fair and friendly manner. He acts kindly to engines and passengers alike and always enjoys a gentle, smooth journey through the woods by the lakeside and stopping at all the gates and stiles he remembers so well.

In newer times, Skarloey had an occasional habit of being scared, timid, and clumsy. However, he went back to his older and more mature persona while working at the Blue Mountain Quarry and the railway.

Technical Details


Skarloey is based on the Talyllyn Railway's Talyllyn, a Fletcher Jennings Class C 0-4-2ST built in 1864. In the Railway Series, Talyllyn is Skarloey's twin. Rusty's Ghost Engine shares the same basis.


In the Railway Series, Skarloey is painted in SR standard red with blue and yellow lining and with his name painted in yellow on the sides of his saddle tank and has a brass dome. In the television series, Skarloey was originally painted red with white lining. From the ninth series onwards, he is painted crimson red with white and gold lining. He has red and gold name and number plates on the sides of his saddle tank and coal bunkers respectively.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos


Audio Files


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 4 Series 12
Skarloey's Whistle
First used Last used Sound Effect
Sleeping Beauty Home at Last
Peter Sam's Whistle
First used Last used Sound Effect
Blue Mountain Mystery Active
Skarloey's Whistle CGI


  • Skarloey was built at Fletcher, Jennings & Co. at Whitehaven, the same place as Rheneas, Captain Baxter, Talyllyn and Dolgoch.
  • His name is Sudric for "Lake in the Woods".
  • Skarloey's name on the Japanese Thomas website is backwards.
  • In the Polish narration, Skarloey's name is Sławek, which is coincidentally Stephen's name in the same narration.
  • In the French dub from the fourth to the seventh series, Skarloey was called Charles.
  • Skarloey's large scale model was used as Rusty's Ghost Engine in Duncan Gets Spooked.
  • Keith Wickham gives Skarloey a Welsh accent, reflecting his basis' origins.
  • The Rev. W. Awdry's model of Skarloey is currently on display at the Narrow Gauge Museum in Tywyn.
  • Skarloey's Wooden Railway toy was among the toys that were part of the lead paint crisis in 2005.
  • Though he was mentioned as Rheneas' brother in the Railway Series, the two have never been referred to as such in the television series.
  • Since Counting on Nia, Skarloey has gained a headlamp that was originally Timothy’s, albeit minus the handle.
  • Skarloey's small scale model is currently owned by ThomasTankMerch.


“As the men at the Works could not mend him at once, Edward asked them to put him on a siding close to Skarloey. Skarloey was pleased to see Edward.
"The Owner has just bought two more engines",
he said. "He told me I was a very old engine and deserved a good rest. He gave me this shed so that I could see everything and not be lonely. But I am lonely all the same", he continued sadly. "I miss Rheneas very much. Yesterday one of the new engines pushed him onto a truck and now he's gone to be mended. I wish I could be mended too and pull coaches again.”
―Skarloey talking to Edward, "Skarloey Remembers", "Four Little Engines"
“"I'm ashamed of you, Duncan", said Skarloey. "You should think of your passengers!"
"Passengers are just nuisances, they're always complaining!"
Skarloey was shocked. "That's no way to talk", he said. "Passengers are our coal and water. No passengers means no trains. No trains means no railway. And then we'd be on the scrapheap, my engine and don't you forget it! Thank goodness Rheneas is coming home soon. Perhaps he'll teach you some sense before its too late!'”
―Skarloey lecturing Duncan about passengers, "The Gallant Old Engine", "Gallant Old Engine"
Rheneas chuckled. "It cheered him too much! And those silly coaches made him worse. 'Such a handsome engine', they twitted. Six wheels and a cab, so distinguished my dears! Its a pleasure to see him. He soon got too big for his wheels.”
―Rheneas, "Stick-in-the-Mud", "Very Old Engines"



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