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

Bluebells forever!”

Stepney, named after a district in London, is a "Bluebell" engine who lives and works on the Bluebell Railway. He is Boxhill's and Fenchurch's brother. His friendly, enthusiastic attitude makes him a welcome visitor on Sir Topham Hatt's railway.

In the Railway Series, Stepney lives on the Mainland and works on the Bluebell Railway. In Thomas & Friends, Stepney works on a Sudrian branch line neighbouring the Skarloey Railway, also known as the "Bluebell Railway".


The Railway Series

Stepney was built at Brighton Works in Brighton, England in 1875 as an LB&SCR A1 class engine and later rebuilt as an A1X in 1912. He arrived on the Bluebell Railway on 17th May 1960, after the railway's founder Bernard Holden MBE helped to save the line for preservation. Stepney was the first engine to be rescued by the Bluebell Railway.

In 1962, Stepney came on loan to Sodor and worked briefly with Duck at Tidmouth before working on Thomas' Branch Line, which during the time he caught a cricket ball in one of his trucks while passing the Elsbridge Cricket Field. Towards the end of his stay, he returned to Tidmouth and on his last day double-headed the Express with Duck after Class 40 had failed.

Thomas & Friends

Stepney was stranded on a siding in the scrapyard at the Vicarstown Goods Depot where Rusty found him and helped arrange for him to be put back into service. He now runs the Bluebell Branch Line. He later travelled a long distance away from his railway to Sir Topham Hatt's railway as a visitor after getting tired of travelling on his branch line.

Stepney later wanted to have a change from his branch line and he was sent back to Sir Topham Hatt's railway (again on a visiting basis) to help Toby and Mavis at Anopha Quarry. This excursion nearly ended in disaster after 'Arry and Bert tried to scrap Stepney, luckily without success, after Stepney accidentally ventured into the Sodor Ironworks.

For a long time afterwards, Stepney had little actual contact or involvement with Sir Topham Hatt's railway. On a few occasions during the sixth series, he can be seen helping out with the other engines while he visited the North Western Railway. He can briefly be seen helping the other engines out by delivering trucks filled with flowers while the stations prepared for the Most Beautiful Station competition. A short time later, a hot air balloon was flying across the island and Duck accidentally ran into him due to gazing up at it. After he helped Edward with the running of The Loop Line, Stepney had virtually disappeared (not counting his stock footage appearances in the seventh series) until a while later, when he was hit by a truck full of sugar in an incident caused by Rosie. He has not been seen in the television series since.


Stepney is a bubbly, modest and humble chap who is bursting with enthusiasm. He is very eager to please and is every engine's friend. When given a job to do, he is determined to complete it to the best of his ability. Even if an engine might not like him at first, his personality wins them over. After being saved from scrap by Rusty and the Bluebell Railway, he now runs his own branch line, but loves visiting and helping out on the Fat Controller's Railway. He has an enthusiasm for learning and listening to advice, as well as keeping busy. Stepney can feel down in the dumps if he does not get enough work to do or if he does not get a good long run to stretch his wheels. Stepney is high-spirited, lively and is keen to see fair play. He is popular amongst the engines and is always game for more work. Unlike most of Sodor's engines, Stepney loves to work with trucks.

Technical Details

Real-life History

Stepney was built by Brighton Works in 1875 and was rebuilt into an A1X in 1912. During his last working years, Stepney worked on the Hayling Island branch line, until he was taken out of service in 1960 and placed on an out-of-use siding. He was bought by the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society and arrived on the railway on 17th May, making him the first standard gauge steam locomotive to be saved for the Bluebell Railway..

Since his first appearance in the Railway Series and Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, Stepney has become one of the most popular engines on the railway, with children all across the country coming to see him. Stepney has even participated in "Day Out with Thomas" events and has carried a face for these events.

Stepney was taken out of service in 2008, after his boiler ticket expired; but underwent a fast-track overhaul and returned to working order in 2010, just in time for the line's 50th Anniversary. In March 2014, Stepney was withdrawn from service following the failure of his main steam pipe. As of 2020, whilst he awaits to go into the workshop for new cylinders and significant work on his frames and boiler, Stepney is currently on display inside the Bluebell Railway's new 'Steam Works!' shed complete with his signature face from the former "Day Out with Thomas" events.


Stepney is painted in LB&SCR ochre gold, formally known as "Stroudley's Improved Engine Green", with green, red, white and black lining. His name is painted on his side tanks and the number "55" is painted on the sides of his bunker, both in white.

The real Stepney has a brass funnel top and brass number plates with a blue ground. He carries two builder's plates on the sides of his splashers. In 2010, he was painted in "Bluebell Black". On 14th January 2012, Stepney made an "only-morning" appearance in BR Lined Black with "cycling lion" crest and his BR number, 32655, for a special photographic charter. He carried the same BR Lined Black livery again on 17th April 2012 for another photographic charter; this time though with the later "ferret and dartboard" crest. He returned to "Bluebell Black" in time for his visit to the National Railway Museum's "Railfest" in the first week of June 2012. As of August 2014, he has returned to his famous "Improved Engine Green" livery, officially being released to the public in May 2015.


Official Description

From Official Website:[1]

Stepney: Saved from the scrap yard by Rusty, he is now a "Boys' Own Engine". Buzzing with enthusiasm and always eager to please, Stepney is every engine's friend. Thomas had to put him in his place though!

Historical Note: Stepney is an 0-6-0 Terrier engine, built in 1872 by William Stroudley for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. The Terriers are very light engines; some were kept in service by British Rail, because they were light enough to cross the swing bridges in the docks.

From Official Website:[2]

Stepney: Stepney was saved from the scrap yards by Rusty, and is now always buzzing with enthusiasm and eager to please. He has no main place to work, but instead, will help out wherever Sir Topham Hatt needs him.

Fun Fact: When Stepney first arrived at Sir Topham Hatt's railway, he was a "Special" on Thomas' branch line, which irritated Thomas. Since then, however, they have learned to work together and have become good friends.

From Official Website:[3]

Stepney: Stepney is busting with enthusiasm and eager to please, Stepney is every engine's friend. He loves helping out on Sir Topham Hatt's railway.

Fun Fact: Stepney was saved from the scrap yard by Rusty. Stepney is a 0-6-0 Terrier engine.

Audio Files


In the fourth series only, Stepney reuses and shares Rheneas' original whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 4 Series 4

In the US version of Thomas and Stepney, Stepney is incorrectly portrayed with Smudger and Ryan's whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and Stepney (US Only) Thomas and Stepney (US Only)

In one scene in the UK and US versions of Thomas And Stepney, Stepney incorrectly has Duke's original whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and Stepney (UK and US) Thomas and Stepney (UK and US)

In the fifth to seventh series, Stepney incorrectly has Skarloey's original whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 5 Series 7

In the twelfth series only, Stepney has Thomas' whistle, but at a higher pitch. It is also Bill's whistle, but a full octave lower in pitch.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 12 Series 12

In The Whistle Song, Stepney incorrectly has a different whistle, and at the end, he shares Fergus' Whistle Song whistle.

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

In Bluebells of England, Stepney is incorrectly portrayed with Henry’s whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Bluebells of England Bluebells of England


  • Stepney is currently withdrawn from service, following the failure of his main steam pipe. He was repainted from his British Railways black livery with red lining, which replicates that which he carried upon his arrival at the Bluebell Railway in May 1960. He now carries his original London, Brighton and South Coast Railway "Improved Engine Green Livery". A future overhaul has not been entirely ruled out.
  • In 1997, Britt Allcroft attempted to sue the Bluebell Railway for ripping off the character of Stepney, despite the fact he was built 88 years before being introduced in the franchise. This lawsuit attempt failed.
  • Alec Baldwin gave Stepney a Cockney accent in the US dub. This may have been intentional, as Stepney is a region of East London and the inhabitants of that area, amongst others, were known as Cockneys.
  • The prototype of Stepney's 1996 Wooden Railway toy has the original face and magnets of Thomas.
  • When the president of the Bluebell Railway Bernard Holden MBE died at the age of 104 on 4th October 2012, Stepney headed his funeral train on the 16th, due to being the first engine that the railway rescued. In 2014, Stepney also headed the funeral train for Jack Owen, who was his ex-driver.
  • At one time, the Official Website incorrectly stated that Stepney was a narrow gauge engine. Stepney was also incorrectly stated to be narrow gauge in Railway Rhymes. He was also included in a Take Along Narrow Gauge Gift Pack. The narrow gauge engines' nameboards sequence also includes Stepney. In the fourth series, Stepney's driver wore the same uniform that the narrow gauge engines' drivers wore.
  • In the Spanish and Czech dubs of the show, he is known as the Hyacinth engine instead of the Bluebell engine. In the Dutch dub, he is known as the Violet engine.
  • Both of Stepney's appearances in the seventh series were made up of stock footage.
  • Stepney was featured in the music video for Tracey Ullman's "Move Over Darling" in 1983.
  • Stepney's whistle has been heard in The Simpsons multiple times.
  • Although he has not been featured in the CGI series, Keith Wickham has voiced him in Thomas-saurus Rex.
  • From the sixth series onwards, the block under Stepney's smokebox became the same colour as his livery.
  • A Wooden Railway toy of Stepney, along with Thomas and a Fossil Truck, cameos in the second series of The Big Bang Theory, in the thirteenth episode "The Friendship Algorithm".
  • Stepney's television series model was on display at Drayton Manor in the UK and wore his chuckling face mask, but in December 2018, it went missing. On some days, he was not at the Exhibition.
  • His manufacturer is the same as Thomas'.
  • His whistle from Series 12 is Bill's, but twelve steps lower-pitched. It is also Thomas', but at a higher pitch. It was mistakenly reused for Stephen in the mobile app, Read and Play!.
  • He is the only returning character in Series 12 who did not appear in the CGI series.
  • Stepney had a total of ten facial expressions during the model series era, all of which were used on-screen.
  • Stepney is one of the four engines to be saved from scrap, with the others being Oliver, Hiro and Glynn. However, in the television series, Stepney was saved from scrap twice.
  • In some promotional artwork and television series tie-in book illustrations, he is seen often wearing the express headcode lamps.


External link

Stepney on the Bluebell Railway website.


* RWS only | ** T&F only

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