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For other uses, see Thomas (disambiguation).

“Thomas is a tank engine who lives at a big station on the Island of Sodor. He's a cheeky little engine with six small wheels, a short, stumpy funnel, a short, stumpy boiler, and a short stumpy dome.”
― The narrator introducing Thomas[src]

Thomas is a little blue 0-6-0 tank engine who lives and works on the Island of Sodor, and is the North Western Railway's number 1 engine.

Biography[]

Thomas started his life on the Island of Sodor as a cheeky little tank engine who initially worked as the station pilot at Knapford, shunting coaches for the Main Line engines, such as Henry and Gordon. He enjoyed playing tricks on them, including Gordon, "the biggest and proudest engine of all". He was taught a lesson when Gordon tricked him into being coupled to him during his express run. Tired out, he vowed never to tease Gordon again, realising he did not have to be important. Soon he desired to pull his own passenger train too, much to the bemusement of the other engines. He got his chance when Henry became ill, and no one could pull the passenger train. However, Thomas was so excited that he accidentally left his train and his passengers behind, believing he was pulling it easily. He soon realised his mistake and returned to pull the train. The engines laughed at him, though, and soon Thomas wanted to get out of the shunting yards and see the world. Edward offered him a chance to pull trucks, and Thomas excitedly took the job, not realising how troublesome trucks could be. The trucks pushed him down Gordon's Hill into a siding, where the Fat Controller told him to practice so that one day he would become as good as Edward. Thomas soon proved himself when he helped to rescue James from a nasty accident, using the Breakdown Train. As a reward for his quick and heroic action, the Fat Controller promised him his own branch line.

Thrilled, Thomas soon began running his branch line with his two faithful coaches, Annie and Clarabel, who he grew to love very much. He soon considered his branch line to be the most important part of the entire railway, a fact he would constantly remind the other engines of. However, he continued to make mistakes and dream big, and sometimes this got him into trouble, such as when he was so impatient that he left his guard behind at Elsbridge or when he wanted to fish, not realising the implications of a fish being in his boiler. His greatest mistake was when he got his snowplough broken in the winter and ended up stuck in a snowdrift, having to be rescued by Terence, whom he had insulted earlier for not having "real" wheels. He soon proved himself again, though, when he beat Bertie the Bus in a great race. He quickly became friends with both Terence and Bertie, despite their differences.

Although Thomas' branch line was indeed the pride of the line, on the main line, things were not going well for the Fat Controller, who was having to deal with Gordon, James, and Henry's sulking, refusing to do Thomas' former work of shunting themselves. After they went on strike, Thomas was brought back to help alongside Edward and their new friend, Percy, who quickly became Thomas' closest friend. Thomas also became friends with Toby after he was asked by the Fat Controller to help their railway avoid a lawsuit from a strict policeman. But Thomas still had some cheekiness in him, returning to teasing Gordon after Gordon slid into a ditch. He soon needed Gordon's help after he blatantly went past a danger sign and fell down a mine. They soon became friends after that and promised never to tease each other again. Thomas and Toby later helped Mrs. Kyndley at her cottage after she was snowed in and helped her celebrate Christmas with a very special Christmas party.

The following year, Thomas shared a shed on his branch line with Percy and Toby. However, he became conceited about his brilliant blue paint and soon paid the price when Percy accidentally caused a coal hopper to pour coal all over him. Thomas was angry at Percy, but the two friends soon made up after Percy had an accident with some coal trucks. Thomas soon met Trevor, a friend of Edward's, who proved his usefulness when he helped Thomas at the newly constructed harbor. Unfortunately, Thomas became ill a few months later and had to be sent to the Works, while Duck looked after his branch line. When Thomas came back, his brakes were stiff, and made it seem as if they were hard on. As a result, one day, when his fireman was ill, a substitute accidentally caused Thomas to run away, and Harold had to help stop him. Later, when the Viaduct needed to be repaired, the main line engines became late to drop off Thomas' passengers and, as a result, made him late for Bertie. Thomas continued to be of great service to Sir Topham Hatt's railway, although he still remained a cheeky little engine.

Thomas later became conceited again when he took his driver's compliment to heart and believed he no longer needed him to work his branch line. This was untrue, but Thomas was too puffed up with himself to not believe it and, one morning, found himself rolling along the line, when a cleaner had accidentally started him up. He soon broke into a stationmaster's house and ruined the family's breakfast. He had to be rescued by Donald and Douglas. As a result, the Fat Controller sent him to the works again. He arrived back a few weeks later just in time to take over for a battered Percy, who just had a predicament with some trucks. The following Christmas, Thomas was eager to sing carols with the other engines, though had to pick up a Christmas tree for the Fat Controller. Unfortunately, on his way back, he was caught in a snow drift and was lost. Donald and Douglas soon rescued him in time to sing carols with all his friends.

From the eighth series onwards, Thomas was given more duties on the Main Line.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad[]

ThomasAndTheMagicRailroad15

Thomas in Thomas and the Magic Railroad

While Sir Topham Hatt was on holiday, Thomas was asked to pick up Mr. Conductor, who would be acting as controller until his return. After hearing that Diesel 10 was planning to destroy the lost engine and the buffers that lead to her, Thomas set out on a quest to find and help her.

With help from Percy, he was able to locate the Magic Buffers and went through them with Lily. While on the Magic Railroad, he picked up a truck of Sodor coal that he had previously accidentally sent through the buffers. At the end of the line, he was sent to Muffle Mountain, where he fell off the mountainside and rolled through another portal. He later reconvened with Lily - along with Patch, Burnett Stone and Lady - back on the Magic Railroad.

After returning to Sodor, Thomas was chased along with Lady by Diesel 10. During the chase, Thomas only just managed to cross The Big Dipper before it collapsed, leaving Diesel 10 to fall off the bridge and into a barge. Afterwards, he returned to the Sodor Wishing Well with Lady.

The Adventure Begins[]

Thomas originally worked at Brighton on the Mainland, before arriving on Sodor. He arrived on Sodor some time after James and was bought to shunt coaches for the Main Line engines. Originally, he was painted teal green and numbered 70, later being repainted blue at the Sodor Steamworks. The first engine Thomas befriended was Edward. He liked to play tricks on Gordon, the biggest and proudest engine on the railway, but was taught a lesson when Gordon tricked him into being coupled to him during his express run. Tired out, he vowed never to tease Gordon again, realising he did not have to do so to be important.

Soon, he desired to pull his own passenger train too, much to the bemusement of the other engines. He got his chance when Henry became ill, and no one could pull the passenger train. When he mistook Edward's guard's whistle for his own, Thomas was so excited that he accidentally left his train and his passengers behind, believing he was pulling it easily. He soon became aware of his mistake and returned to pull the train.

Soon, Thomas wanted to get out of the shunting yards and see the world, however Gordon and James merely laughed at him because of his incident with the coaches. Edward offered him a chance to pull trucks and Thomas excitedly took the job, not realising how troublesome trucks could be. The trucks pushed him down Gordon's Hill into a siding at Maron, where the Fat Controller told him to practice so that one day he would become as good as Edward.

Thomas soon proved himself to the other engines when he saved James from a crash. James was pulling a train of trucks who were pushing him too fast, and when he tried to stop his brake blocks caught fire. Thomas chased after him and tried to couple to the back of the train to slow James down, but he failed to do so and James and his trucks derailed. After fetching Judy and Jerome, who lifted him back onto the tracks, he was given James' coaches, Annie and Clarabel, and his own branch line, which had previously been run by Glynn the "coffee pot" engine.[17]

Personality[]

Thomas is described as being a cheeky engine. He often gets into scrapes, usually by being over-eager to do things best left to bigger and more sensible engines. But clouds never last long in Thomas' life and he is soon bustling about again, playing his part in the yard and on his very own branch line, of which he is extremely proud.

He loves teasing the others, especially the bigger engines, such as Gordon and on occasion brags about his superiority, but is always brought down to earth in due course by anyone willing to correct him, especially the Fat Controller and his two coaches, Annie and Clarabel. If Thomas has one major character flaw, it is that he is forgetful and rather impatient. However, he is also cheerful, optimistic, idealistic, altruistic, kind-hearted, supportive and helpful.

A friend to all engines and a popular member of the Fat Controller's railway, Thomas is No.1 and does his best every day to live up to that through helping his friends and those that he cares about. He lives to be a Really Useful Engine and encourages everyone else to do the same. He likes to be better than James and Bertie in races. He can, however, also get annoyed about being useful such as the time when Rosie followed him around because she used to idolise him so much.

Because of his popularity amongst his fellow engines and the people of the railway, Thomas often likes to view himself as a leader to the other engines. He is quick to take action when necessary and - despite the dangers or fears he might experience - has a strong sense of bravery and will never leave any of his friends behind, even despite any previous conflicts. Because of this, the other engines often follow in his tracks. However, he can feel jealous or threatened if he feels a newer tank engine is trying to replace him, as shown with Stanley and Ryan. But in the end, Thomas is always willing to make amends with those whom he previously distrusted, proving his leadership.

Thomas was infamously known for his dislike of wearing a snowplough, often claiming his to be heavy and uncomfortable. On numerous occasions, he has shown he has no problems with doing anything to avoid wearing one, from banging it around to leaving it in disrepair and leaving it on a siding by claiming it did not fit properly. He does always get his comeuppance for these deeds, however, and knows that having a snowplough is important in bad snowy weather. He tolerates wearing a plough much better in the present day, but Thomas will still groan about it if given the chance, particularly when other engines make fun of him for this.

While most of the other engines and especially Annie and Clarabel tolerate his slight ego to a bare minimum, Thomas has often found himself going too far, driving away even close friends such as Percy, Toby, and even Edward. When these occasions happen, Thomas is very good at luring back friends when motivated, often pulling through his personal distastes to help others out and rekindle friendships.

Despite all this, he does have his pride and will sometimes take wrong advice at the wrong time - such as from Sailor John or Ace, as well as refusing help even when he needs it. Thomas also highly despises the smell of fish, and as such, when he once had the job of delivering fish, he wanted to finish quickly to avoid the smell, and ignored instructions, causing confusion and delay doing so. His dislike of fish is most prominent in the model series made by HiT Entertainment, and less prominent in the model series made by Gullane Entertainment and the CGI series.

In other cases, Thomas can be highly curious and positive, with slight hints of scepticism, stubbornness, and forgetfulness, including tendencies to daydream. He is also however depicted with a subtle tone of wisdom, helping engines like Sonny and Rajiv be really useful, despite their difficulties or insecurities in the past. Thomas also has a high perspective on odd objects or people, quickly growing suspicious upon seeing the tiger hunters' hidden cage, Diesel 10's plans to take over the railway of steam engines with his fellow diesels and Baz and Bernie's whispering. Backing up his perception is a very high sense of creativity, allowing him to quickly adapt to a tricky situation.

Technical Details[]

Basis[]

Like in The Railway Series, Thomas is based on a London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) Class E2 0-6-0T. Thomas is one of the second batch of E2s, built with extended side-tanks.

These engines were built by Brighton Works between 1913-1916 to replace the aging Stroudley LB&SCR E1 class and were primarily used for heavy shunting and short-distance goods trains in the London area and on the south coast. During their final working years, the E2 class worked as shunting engines at Southampton Docks alongside the USATC S100 Tank Engines (Rosie's basis), until they were replaced by the BR Class 07 diesel shunters (Salty's basis). In real life, all of the E2s were scrapped, with none surviving into preservation.

Thomas' appearance differs heavily from his basis. His proportions are heavily modified and he is missing a lot of extra details present on the real engines, such as safety valves and front stepladders. Additionally, Thomas has an extra window on his cab sides, two whistles instead of the usual single whistle, and added wheel splashers, something the original E2 class lacked.

His running board shape is also changed, with it only dipping at the front end. Unlike in The Railway Series, this is never fixed.

Livery[]

Thomas is painted in NWR cerulean with red lining on his tanks and boiler and yellow lining around his windows. His number (1) is painted on his side tanks in yellow with a red outline. He has a white running board with red bufferbeams and valences.

In the first three series of the Thomas & Friends television series, Thomas had red lining on the back of his coal bunker, but during the production of the third series episode, All at Sea, the lining was removed. The lining was reapplied in The Adventure Begins.

When he first arrives to the North Western Railway in The Adventure Begins, Thomas is painted teal green with white lining. His railway's initials LBSC were painted on the sides of his tank and the number 70 was painted on the sides of his bunker, both in yellow with red lining. His wheel rims were painted white.

In The Adventure Begins, Thomas is also shown to have a pink undercoat, similar to the one worn by James in the thirteenth series episode Tickled Pink. Learning Segments have also temporarily shown him with a cream undercoat and painted red.

Appearances[]

Thomas & Friends

Specials

Music Videos

Learning Segments


Videos

Magazine Stories

Thomas also appeared in the magazine stories, A Colourful Christmas, A Good Hiding Place, A Long Way Up!, A Rocket for Thomas, A Special Story about Guards and Porters, A Special Story about Steam, Animal Antics!, Back-to-Front, Bill and BoCo, Catch!, Christmas Puddings, Clever Climbers!, Clowning Around, Danger Signs!, Deep Dive, Double Attraction, Fair Scare!, Fish and Chips, Fish and Fog!, Fishy Diesel!, Flag Day, Fun and Games!, Funnels and Tunnels, Gordon the Town Engine, Harold and the Broken Tree, Harvest Time, Henry's Soaking!, Holiday Havoc!, In the Bag, Jack Frost, Just Right, Keeping Dry Lights On, Misbehaving, Monster Surprise, Party Time!, Picture Posters, Pirate Passengers, Really Important Luggage, Really Useful Edward, Reindeer Cheer!, Road Train, Santa Special, Scaredy Puffer!, Slick Trick!, Snap Happy, Sodor's Strong Man, Sodor's Strongest Engine, Spooky Station, Steaming Along!, Stormy Weather, Summer, Sunny Smile, The Balloon Race, The Best Band, The Big Ship, The Christmas Sacks, The Great Statue Robbery, The Mystery Tour, The Open Top Bus, The Runaway Percy and Think Pink.

Annual Stories

Books

My Thomas Story Library

Engine Adventures

Really Useful Stories

Audio Stories

Thomas & Friends Storytime

Video Games

Videos

Live Shows

Episodes

Thomas Creator Collective Presents

Thomas Creator Collective Presents

Music Videos

Official Description[]

From Official Website:[1]

Thomas the Tank Engine No.1: Thomas can be described as a cheeky, fussy little engine. He often gets into scrapes, usually by being over-eager to do things best left to bigger and more sensible engines. But clouds never last long in Thomas' life and he's soon bustling about again, playing his part in the yard and on his very own branch line, of which he is extremely proud.


Historical Note: Thomas is based on the London Brighton and South Coast Railway 0-6-0 E2 with extended side tanks.

From Official Website:[2]

Thomas: Thomas can be described as a cheeky, fussy little engine. He often gets into scrapes, usually by being over-eager to do things best left to bigger and more sensible engines. But clouds never last long in Thomas' world and soon he's bustling about again, playing his part in the yard and on his very own branch line, of which he is very proud.


Fun Fact: Thomas is based on the London Brighton and South Coast Railway 0-6-0 E2 with extended side tanks.

From Official Website:[3]

Thomas: Thomas is the No. 1 blue engine. He is a cheeky little engine who often gets into scrapes, usually by being over-eager to do things best left to bigger and more sensible engines. But clouds never last long in Thomas' world and soon he's bustling about again, playing his part in the yard and on his very own branch line. Thomas works hard and he always strives to be a Really Useful Engine.


Fun Fact: Thomas is based on the London Brighton and South Coast Railway 0-6-0 E2 with extended side tanks.

Songs[]

Audio Files[]

Themes[]

First used Last used Composers Theme Song
Series 1 Series 2 Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
Series 3 Series 4
Series 5
Series 6
Series 7
Series 8 Series 12 Robert Hartshorne

Whistles[]

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 1 Series 12
Hero of the Rails Series 24

In Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Thomas has a robot effect added to his whistle.

Only used Sound Effect
Thomas and the Magic Railroad

In Calling All Engines!, Thomas is shown to sleep-whistle.

Only used Sound Effect
Calling All Engines!

In the ninth series episode Thomas and the Birthday Picnic, Thomas has Douglas' fourth series whistle when he gives a sad low toot on his whistle.

Only used Sound Effect
Thomas and the Birthday Picnic

In the fifteenth series episode Wonky Whistle, Thomas has a distorted whistle sound due to his whistle being wonky.

Only used Sound Effect
Wonky Whistle

Trivia[]

  • Thomas was the first character to be introduced in Thomas & Friends.
  • In the American and Finnish casts, Thomas is the only character voiced by Joseph May and Juha Varis respectively in the series.
  • Thomas' LBSC number, 70, was actually carried by a real LB&SCR locomotive, an A1 named "Poplar" currently preserved by the Kent & East Sussex Railway. The number also represents the 70th anniversary of The Railway Series. All of the real E2s were numbered from 100 to 109.
  • Issue 190 of the Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends magazine erroneously states that Thomas is based on the LB&SCR A1 Class (the same class as Fenchurch). [18]
  • According to Sir Topham Hatt's "Frequently Asked Questions" on the 1997-1999 Official Website page, Thomas was given his name by the engine workshop which built him. The remainder of his name, The Tank Engine, is considered his family name, as he belongs to the family of Tank Engines in the same sense Sir Topham Hatt belongs to the family of Hatts.
  • Thomas is one of three characters to have a speaking role in every series and special, the other two being Henry and James.
  • On early Spanish translations of the Random House books, Thomas was known as Tomás.
  • Following Mr. Conductor in Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Thomas became the second character to narrate in first-person.
  • In Thomas and the Magic Railroad, Thomas is known to be the first and only Sodor engine to travel through the magic buffers then to the magical railway and to Muffle Mountain and back to Sodor again.
  • Thomas is the first engine to win a gold medal on a red ribbon, as shown in the season 7 episode Hooray For Thomas
  • In Calling All Engines!, Thomas sleep-whistles. This is apparently the steam engine version of snoring; instead of typical snoring sounds, Thomas makes warbling whistles after pausing before the next toot.
  • Thomas is the first character in the series to have lost his voice onscreen in the twenty-third series episode, Too Loud, Thomas!. With this, he is the third character on the show with a speech impediment (albeit temporarily) after Fergus and Theo.
  • Despite having lining present on his bunker, only a select few merchandise items have had it during their course. They were subsequently removed in renovations and items of Thomas with the bunker lining are currently rare to find.
  • Thomas' whistle from Thomas, You're the Leader was previously heard in most parts of the official website from 2004.
  • As the titled protagonist, Thomas has had the most appearances in Thomas & Friends.
  • Thomas has been written and played to be a certain age a few times during the series.
    • During the sixth series, Thomas was written to be three years old.[19]
    • Between the eighth and twelfth series, Thomas was written to be "roughly six years old".[20]
    • Martin Sherman played Thomas based off himself at age fifteen.[21]
    • Joseph May played Thomas with the mind of an eight-year-old.[22]
  • Didi Conn has said that Thomas was her favourite engine. In an interview with SiF, Ben Forster also said that Thomas was his favourite character.
  • To celebrate Easter in 2017, a giant 140 kg chocolate sculpture of Thomas was displayed at Kings Cross Station. Made out of real Belgian chocolate, the display piece was sculpted in two-hundred-fifty hours by three master chocolatiers and was surrounded by TrackMaster engines running around. An actor dressed as Sir Topham Hatt was on hand to hand out Easter eggs.
  • Thomas was the very first character on-screen to have a permanent lamp, though despite it being a key part of his design, some promotional images, illustrations and merchandise lines (the non-talking wooden and diecast ranges, early Hornby models, late 2011-early 2012 TrackMaster and numerous smaller toylines) omit the lamp completely.
  • Thomas has the distinction of having the first speaking role in the series premiere and last line of the series finale. However, he does not have the last line in the produced series finale.
  • Thomas is one of the three engines who have saved another engine from scrap (Hiro). The others include Douglas and Rusty.
  • Thomas erroneously uses Edward's whistle in some episodes of the fourth and fifth series. This would also translate onto his Japanese merchandise and the Thomas Land button press display.
  • According to a post by the official Thomas & Friends Facebook account, Thomas represents the Taurus zodiac sign.[23]
  • David Mitton owned a tugboat named Thomas, but it is unknown if he named the tugboat after Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • A minor difference between Thomas and the real-life E2s is that the counterweights on the former's wheels are all oriented in exactly the same position, whereas the real-life engines have the counterweights on their central driving wheels position in an offset manner, a detail which only his gauge 3.5 model has replicated.
  • Thomas has had the most amount of crashes in the entire series, either being involved or the cause of at least 74 of them.
    • The fourteenth and twenty-first series are the only series where Thomas has not been involved in any accident. He also did not have any accidents in Day of the Diesels and Tale of the Brave.

Quotes[]

“Cinders and ashes!”
― Thomas' original catchphrase
“Little engines can do big things!”
― Thomas' catchphrase in Thomas and the Magic Railroad
“Hello! I'm Thomas and I'm the number 1 blue engine! I work on the Fat Controller's railway and every day I make sure I'm a really useful engine!”
― Thomas' website audio
“Wake up, lazybones! Why don't you work hard like me?”
― Thomas' first line in Thomas and Gordon
“Hello, everyone! Today, I learned a very important lesson about...”
― Thomas' intro for Learn with Thomas

Video[]

See also[]

References[]

External Links[]


--- Dropped | * 1991-1994 maps only | ** 2014 map only

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