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

Spencer is a silver streamlined tender engine from the Mainland who is privately owned by The Duke and Duchess of Boxford and is Gordon's cousin. He commonly visits the Island of Sodor with his owners.


During his first visit to Sodor, Spencer took the Duke and Duchess of Boxford on a trip around Sodor. He ignored Gordon's warnings about taking on water and thus ran out on his hill; however, he blamed the incident on a leaky tank and had to rely on Gordon to take him to Maron.

Upon his next visit, Spencer challenged Edward to a race and maintained a lead for the majority of it. However, he vainly fell asleep while the Duke and Duchess stopped to take photos and lost to Edward who got onto the summer house branch line first.

Spencer has since developed a rivalry with Thomas, who has often tried to outshine Spencer - largely without success.

Spencer returned to Sodor to help build a new summer house for the Duke and Duchess of Boxford, much to the annoyance of all the engines. First, he insulted the other steam engines - especially Thomas by calling him a "toy tank engine", which as a result they had a competition of strength. However, Spencer neglected to build the new summer house when he became suspicious about Thomas and thought he was being a tricky tank engine. Unfortunately for him, he ended up getting slate down his funnel at Sodor Slate Quarry. When Spencer discovered Percy's mail vans, he got into trouble with the Fat Controller, who thought that Spencer was hiding the mail coaches all that time. Afterwards, Spencer lost his pride when his owners turned up for their holiday. He then got stuck in the mud when he chased Thomas to Knapford. After being rescued by Hiro, Spencer apologised to Thomas and Hiro and they all worked together to finish the summer house.

Sir Robert Norramby borrowed Spencer as his private engine during the restoration of Ulfstead Castle. He transported the Earl around and much to his embarrassment, had to pull some stones for the job. During that time, he attempted to have races with Gordon, only to call off the race when they met Connor and Caitlin during one of their runs. After the restoration was complete, Connor, Caitlin, Gordon and Spencer had another race from Ulfstead's grounds.

Spencer brought a VIP from the Mainland to present the Fat Controller with an award. Due to showing off, he ended up on Edward's Branch Line. Once he finally arrived at Knapford, the Deputy Minister crossly announced that he would not travel back to the Mainland with Spencer. Throughout the day, as the other engines were showing off, Spencer felt sorry for himself and wished he had done his work properly. He learned from his mistake and successfully brought the Deputy Minister back to Sodor the following day.

One day, Spencer was travelling through Henry's Tunnel and almost ran into Thomas who was hiding in the tunnel pretending to be a made-up engine called Geoffrey in an attempt to trick the Fat Controller. One winter, he had to stay on Sodor because the Vicarstown Bridge was blocked with snow. He teased Henry by telling him he might see an abominable snowman, only to be scared when the two engines saw something covered in snow walking towards them. Spencer tried to run away, but his valves became blocked. Luckily, it was only the Fat Controller, who got into trouble in the snow. Later, Spencer had to take the Duke and Duchess to Callan Castle when his valve gear had snapped and broke down. Due to this, Thomas, Bertie and Harold had to take the Duke and Duchess to Callan Castle instead.

Spencer would then go on to participate in the Great Railway Show where he served as a UK representative and competed in The Great Race event against Gordon and Flying Scotsman, as well as Axel and Etienne. He came in second place, narrowly losing to Etienne.

On New Year's Eve, Spencer was to take guests to Callan Castle. He decided to take platform 1 and Gordon went on platform 2, but they got the wrong coaches. The passengers got upset and Gordon and Spencer had to take the express passengers to the stations they had missed. They later apologised and watched the fireworks together.


Spencer is very arrogant, snobby, egotistical, bossy and pompous and considers himself to be above doing menial duties such as shunting. He is very proud of his speed, with his ego far exceeding the likes of Gordon and James. Although the engines were impressed by him when he first came to Sodor, he constantly antagonized them and they would eventually grow to dislike him, especially Thomas and Gordon. When he came to build the summer house, the engines dreaded his arrival, saying that having him around for one day was already horrible. During his prolonged stay on Sodor, Spencer proved himself to be very nosy, sneaky, disobedient and rather neglectful, and was willing to abandon his work in order to get petty revenge on Thomas.

While most steam engines have a sense of camaraderie due to dieselization, Spencer has no such sympathy and is willing to scrap even fellow steam engines if he views them as beneath him. Following Hiro’s discovery, Spencer spent the entire summer trying to get him scrapped, going to great lengths in his efforts to do so and only stopping after Hiro was successfully restored.

Gordon and Spencer strongly dislike each other despite being “cousins”. This is mainly because of Spencer's pompous behaviour, which exceeds even that of Gordon's. His arrogance has also shown that he is not willing to take advice from other engines, which only results in him needing help from those he shrugs off. Despite this, he has shown a kind side when he realized his mistakes, especially when reprimanded by the Duke and Duchess or Sir Topham Hatt for causing trouble. This side once came through when he helped Percy find his way home to Tidmouth Sheds. Despite his pompousness, he also wants to be really useful just like all the other locomotives.

While Spencer does dislike goods trains to an extent, he will pull trucks when needed. He does have some preferences though, as he hauled construction supplies for the Duke and Duchess of Boxford's summer house without complaint, while he grumbled when he was to pull stone trucks for Ulfstead Castle's restoration.

Technical Details


Spencer is based on a London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Class A4 Pacific, a type of streamlined 4-6-2 tender locomotive designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built between 1935 and 1938. The A4s were designed for high-speed, long-distance express services such as the 'Silver Jubilee', the 'Coronation', and the 'West Riding Limited' and many members of the class set new world speed records for steam locomotives, including Mallard. Originally built with side valances covering their wheels, the A4s later had these removed during the Second World War to improve maintenance, an appearance which Spencer shares. Spencer is also fitted with a corridor tender, which many A4s used to change crews during non-stop runs to Scotland in LNER and British Railways service. Six A4s survive in preservation, including Mallard and Sir Nigel Gresley; the latter named after the class's designer.


In his earlier appearances, Spencer was painted blue-grey with black lining. From the tenth series onwards, he is painted metallic silver, still with black lining. He has a red nameplate with his name painted on them in gold on the sides of his smokebox. However on many of his different merchandise models his name is in yellow and even around his nameplate. His livery may have been inspired by that of the first four A4s, which were painted in a silver-grey livery for use on the LNER's 'Silver Jubilee' service. From the nineteenth series onwards, Spencer has also gained permanent lamps on his front.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos



Magazine Stories

Spencer also appeared in the magazine story, Spotty Spencer.

Official Description

From Official Website[1]

Spencer: Spencer is just about the shiniest, sleekest engine the Island of Sodor has ever seen. A striking silver express engine, Spencer was brought to the Island as the private engine of the visiting Duke and Duchess.

Fun Fact: Spencer ends up in need of a little help from another fast engine, Gordon, when he thinks that being big and fast means he doesn't need to take advice from friends.

From Official Website[2]

Spencer: A striking silver express engine, Spencer is just about the shiniest, sleekest engine the Island of Sodor has ever seen. Spencer is very strong and very fast - and he makes sure the other engines know it!

Fun Fact: Spencer was brought to the Island as the private engine of the visiting Duke and Duchess of Boxford. Spencer is based on an LNER Class A4.

Audio Files



First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 7 Active

In The Whistle Song, Spencer is portrayed with a different whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
The Whistle Song The Whistle Song


First used Last used Sound Effect
Edward the Great Edward the Great


  • Spencer's concept art shows that he was originally going to have a Kylchap double-chimney, which was something four A4s (including Mallard) were built with. All other A4s had received this double-chimney by the late 1950s.
    • His ERTL toy and Hornby model depict him with this feature.
  • On the Steamies vs. Diesels DVD, Spencer is mistakenly called a diesel, even though he is a steam engine. This is because in the game, Spencer says he does not have a whistle, but has a horn instead. However, his picture clearly shows him having a whistle.
  • Spencer's whistle is a stock sound effect of a GWR whistle, which can be found on the BBC Sound Effects Library. The same whistle was used for Thomas in the audiobooks of Thomas and the Dinosaur and Thomas and the Tiger.
  • Even though Spencer's tender wheels are black, most merchandise ranges have them in the same blue-grey/metallic silver livery as his body, excluding Motor road and rail, pre-2014 TrackMaster, Hornby and Bachmann.
  • Spencer's Hornby model incorrectly features him with black wheels. All other merchandise models have him with correct silver wheels.
  • In his The Great Race promotional video, it states that Spencer is the holder of the world speed record for steam locomotives. In the actual special, it is stated that he is a former world record holder.
  • Spencer is the first steam engine to be the main antagonist in a special, with that special being Hero of the Rails. Overall, he is the only major villain in the series to be a steam engine.
  • At many Day Out with Thomas events, Spencer has Mavis' face.
  • Spencer's classic theme is a musical variation of Coronation Scot's theme composed by Vivian Ellis.
  • Spencer is one of only two characters to have bronze buffers, then gain silver ones; the other is Emily.
  • Fitting his position as a chauffeur, Spencer's name has been affiliated with several fictional characters with similar positions.
  • In the magazines "The Fat Controller's Engine Fact File", it is stated that Spencer and Gordon are cousins. This was never mentioned in the show, however; Spencer simply refers to Gordon as a friend.
  • Spencer's television series model used to be on display at Nitrogen Studios in Canada and wore his smug face mask.
  • Spencer appears on a magazine in an episode of the Irish soap opera, Fair City.
  • Spencer's Wooden Railway toy depicts him with what appears to be side valances, as the bottom of his frame is straight as opposed to curved.
  • Spencer's Wooden Railway, Wood, TrackMaster Revolution, and Motorized toys depict him with his model series happy face, instead of his CGI one.


“Who are you?!"
"This is Spencer, he's the fastest engine in the world!"
"Humph!" but secretly Gordon was impressed.
"I'm the Duke and Duchess' private engine. I take them everywhere!”
James introduces Spencer to Gordon, Gordon and Spencer, seventh season
“Next to him we have Spencer. And just listen to those local crowds go wild!"
"Ha, ha, ha! No, no! Thank you! Ha, ha, ha!"
"He's certainly well known on the Mainland and a former world record holder in his own right.”
―The Great Railway Show Announcer talking about Spencer, The Great Race



* RWS only | ** T&F only