Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

The Austerity Engine is a saddle-tank engine the Fat Controller had intended to purchase for the North Western Railway.


The Railway Series

The Fat Controller felt he needed an extra engine (specifically an 0-6-0ST Austerity) which was small but powerful to give extra assistance on the Arlesburgh branch (or intended elsewhere), as Donald and Douglas were overworked during a busy time.

In order to assess the abilities of such an engine, he borrowed Wilbert from the Dean Forest Railway for a period in 1993. He told Wilbert that he knew where he could get another engine like him[1].

Technical Details


The Austerity Engine is based on an Austerity 0-6-0ST. This type was designed by Hunslet for War Department use in 1943, continued to be built for WD and industrial use until 1964 by various companies. It is unknown which company built this particular Austerity or when it was built.

Wilbert and Sixteen are also based on this engine. Other members of this class were featured in Thomas and the U.K. Trip and the Down at the Station segments.


The Railway Series

Companion volumes

A silhouette of an Austerity engine appears on some 1994 backcovers of Heinemann-published Railway Series books.


  • Christopher Awdry has confirmed that the engine was intended to be one of the many Austerity 0-6-0STs awaiting restoration around England. Contrary to speculation, it was not meant to be Barry, the latter character being confirmed by the author as having been thought up in the 1980s.
    • While not confirmed, it is possible Sixteen was meant to be the Austerity Engine, as it is uncertain whether or not he was based on any real member of the class.
  • Wilbert Awdry had a model of an Austerity named "Warrington" for use as a spare on the Ffarquhar Branch layout in case any of the other engines failed at an exhibition. It is unlikely that this model was intended represent the same engine as the real Warrington is preserved and operational at the Peak Rail under the name Royal Pioneer.



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