Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
The Railway Series

This article is about the engine. You may be looking for the station, the railway, the Culdee Fell Railway station or the Story Library Book.

Skarloey, a red 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.


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.

After the Sodor and Mainland Railway sold two of its locomotives to raise funds, the line was left with the problem of a lack of motive power in case of emergency. The line needed to haul slate to the harbour even when Neil was away. The solution devised was to build a haulage wagon, into which a narrow gauge engine could be hoisted and engage with the standard gauge tracks, albeit at very low speed. Rheneas' long wheelbase was deemed unsuitable for the wagon, so Skarloey would be used whenever an emergency arose while Rheneas continued to run the Skarloey Railway.

The frequent journeys wore Skarloey out, however 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 was sidelined and 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.


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.

Technical Details


Skarloey is based on the Talyllyn Railway's Talyllyn, a Fletcher Jennings Class C 0-4-2ST, originally Class A 0-4-0st, built in 1864. In the Railway Series, Talyllyn is Skarloey's twin.


Skarloey is painted in the Skarloey Railway (SR)'s standard red livery with blue lining and black wheels. His name is written on his tanks in yellow, while his number (1) is placed on his bunker in black-backed brass plates. He has a brass dome, black running board and red bufferbeams.



  • His name is Sudric for "Lake in the Woods".
  • The Rev. W. Awdry's model of Skarloey is currently on display at the Narrow Gauge Museum in Tywyn.
  • Skarloey's ERTL toy was originally intended to be based off of his design in The Railway Series. It was later changed to his television series design in the final release

* RWS only | ** T&F only