Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
For other uses, see Toby (disambiguation).

“It's that Toby. He's a fusspot. He..."
"Toby has forgotten more about trucks than you will ever know.”
Mavis & the Quarry Manager argue about Toby[src]

Toby is a brown square tram engine who works on Thomas' Branch Line with his coach Henrietta. Toby is wise and always willing to share his experience and knowledge with the other engines. He is careful with every job he undertakes, causing him to rarely have any accidents.

In The Railway Series, Toby and Henrietta are accompanied by a coach named Victoria and a luggage van named Elsie.

Toby's main duties are taking workmen to and from the quarry as well as taking stone and slate from there to the harbour alongside Percy. He also does mixed traffic duties, both on the branch line and main line.


The Railway Series

Toby was built by James Holden at the Great Eastern Railway's Stratford Works in Stratford, London, England circa 1914. He originally lived at Ipswich Docks, Suffolk with his brothers. Sometime between 1945 and 1946 Toby was chosen to be an attraction at a seaside village's festival and was repainted and polished for the event. However, after helping their branch line's engine and seeing how smart he looked, the branch line was afraid that he would show them up and did not let him join in the festival. After that he worked on an unnamed tramway in East Anglia. In 1951, Toby came to work at the quarry on Thomas' Branch Line after his tramway closed, as it was found to be illegal for Thomas to go on the Quarry Tramroad without side plates or cowcatchers. At first, Toby was teased by James for his shabby paint. However, James stopped teasing him after he crashed into some tar tankers.

Toby also got into a bit of trouble with a diesel shunter named Mavis, as she was unwilling to shunt trucks where they needed to be placed. After an accident, the two engines made up their quarrel and became good friends.

When Mavis was sent to the works after her accident with a lorry, Toby did her work at the quarry, leaving Percy to do Toby's work as well as his own. Toby once came off the rails at a crossing when the earth was swollen over the rails and ended up on the road. Luckily, with the fireman guiding the driver, they managed to reverse Toby back on the rails. The Fat Controller, however, heard about it, but rather than being cross, he only joked with him and told him that he should leave the roads to what they were made for.

By 2007, Toby was having trouble taking the workmen to the quarry as Henrietta did not have enough room in her to carry them all at once. Bertie usually helped, but one day, he was ill and Henrietta was so full that some workmen even had to ride on her balcony. As he went past a part of his line that went through a town, he stopped quickly when a car came out of a side street and nearly collided with him. To make matters worse, a policeman witnessed the workmen riding on Henrietta's balcony. After he made a report, an inspector spoke to the quarry manager, telling him that passengers were not allowed to ride on coach balconies. Luckily, Thomas managed to help Toby when he found an old and worn out coach named Victoria, who was used as a summer house for many years when she was taken out of service. Victoria was eventually restored and now works with Toby and Henrietta along their line.

Thomas & Friends

When the Horrid Lorries arrived on the Island, Toby found his work at the quarry being taken over by Lorry 2 and his work at the mill being taken over by Lorry 3. When the two lorries became damaged and sent back to the docks, Toby threw Lorry 2's remarks about usefulness back at him.

After many weeks of rain, Toby inspected a dam for potential damage due to rising floodwaters along his branch line. While crossing the dam, Toby found that it was breaking and tried to return to safety, but the dam collapsed just as Toby was crossing a wooden bridge, which broke off and carried Toby toward a waterfall. Harold managed to drop one end of a rope to Toby and the other end to Percy, who pulled Toby to safety. Afterwards, a party was held for Toby and the Fat Controller praised Toby's bravery.

While taking his grandchildren to the seaside, the Fat Controller decided to go with Toby for an exploration in search of a castle, which they found as well as a mine. Toby was scared of the mine's spooky atmosphere believing it was haunted and stayed on guard at night during its restoration. Thomas told Toby about the Old Warrior Ghost, who was really a narrow gauge engine named Bertram. After this, the two engines became good friends and now take visitors to and from the castle and mine. Toby once took the Fat Controller's family on vacation again, this time to a small river inlet.

Toby has had several winter escapades; thick fog once concealed Thomas' crash site from Toby's view and the foghorn had been damaged from the landslide Thomas had crashed into. Luckily for them, Cyril the Fogman managed to place a detonator on the rails to warn Toby just in time. During the holidays, Toby was unable to clear the snowdrifts by himself, so he needed Thomas' help to deliver a Christmas tree to the festivities on his branch line. During one harsh winter, Toby had to rescue Farmer McColl's lambs that were trapped on a hillside.

Toby sometimes thinks he is too old and that he is not a proper engine, like when Gordon called him a "slowcoach" when climbing up Gordon's Hill or when he thought he would be put on display in a museum.

Toby was given a temporary three-chime whistle while his bell was being cleaned at the Steamworks. It helped with warning Thomas and Gordon that the tracks were blocked. He once was scared of Knapford Junction.

Toby once ran out of coal while delivering scrap to Wellsworth Scrap Yard and after a few unsuccessful attempts at stopping passing engines to ask for some of their coal, Reg decided to lift Toby into the air so that the next engine would see him. However, Thomas passed by and thought Reg was about to scrap Toby. After the story spread across the island, Emily took Henrietta to the scrapyard so that Toby could explain the truth.

It was not long after Philip's arrival that Toby met him for the first time and was rather taken aback by the boxcab's talkative nature. Philip tried to talk Toby into racing with him, but the tram engine was reluctant, leading to Philip believing he Toby did not like him. However, after Toby told him that he simply prefers peace and quiet, the two became good friends after all. In the autumn, Toby became on edge when Percy told him and Thomas about a sound he heard under the watermill bridge and sent the trio into a panic when he reminded them that in a story, the little goat survived by going across the bridge first and telling the troll to eat his bigger brother. The three soon discovered that the sound was only coming from a cow.

After Toby took Henrietta to the Steamworks to get her seats refurbished, he was given a replacement carriage named Hannah. However, Toby did not like Hannah as she ordered him to go faster than what was safe and nearly made him derail. He soon became fed up and abandoned her on a siding, only for her to be picked up by James. However, Hannah broke away and crashed, so Toby took her to the Steamworks to be mended, where he learned that Hannah and Henrietta were really sisters. Toby reunited with Henrietta and began working with her once again.

Temporarily, he took over Stephen's job while he was at the Steamworks, but was ridiculed by his passengers. He later changed their minds when he stopped the theft of King Godred's crown.

One morning on the way to the quarry, the Rickety Old Bridge finally collapsed after Toby and Henrietta crossed it. When they tried to return home that evening, they learned of this, and Ruth was called in to find a solution. She ended up designing a mechanism that could carry a single engine and coach from one end of the chasm to the other, dubbing it the “Walking Bridge”.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad

Toby in Thomas and the Magic Railroad

In the film, Toby told Gordon that if Diesel 10 found Lady, he would lead to the destruction of all the steam engines. After Diesel 10 eavesdropped on Thomas and Percy talking about the buffers to the Magic Railroad, Toby told them to carry on taking the Mail Train while he followed Diesel 10 to the Smelters Yard. There, he distracted Diesel 10 by ringing his bell, which resulted in Diesel 10 demolishing the shed that he, and Splatter and Dodge were in.


Toby is old, but wise, hardworking and knowledgeable enough about running branch lines to justify running Thomas' line with Daisy after Percy's accident with the trucks until Thomas came back. He is also savvy enough to control the trucks. However, his advanced age and design means that he is weaker than the other engines. While Toby is always ready to work hard without any fuss, he can be a bit temperamental sometimes, especially when young and inexperienced engines who are full of themselves make things difficult for him, particularly Mavis and Daisy. However, work at the quarry line often soothes off his moods without any cause of grief to anyone, except of course his old faithful coach, Henrietta.

In the Hit Entertainment model era and throughout the CGI era, Toby occasionally suffered insecurity and questioning the capabilities of his own work and having senses of uncertainties. But Toby can usually be more cheerful and friendly, as well as having subtle shades of nervousness on top of being placid and easy-going, enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside along Thomas' branch line. He even enjoys listening to the birds in the birdhouse next to his shed and is friends with the pigs at Farmer Trotter's Pig Farm. Although usually nervous and timid at times, and occasionally complaining in bad working conditions, Toby usually maintains a healthy sense of humor, and is not above laughing at juvenile level antics (notably, when making fun of Sir Topham Hatt's white safari hat).

Technical Details


Toby is based on a GER Class C53 0-6-0T Wisbech steam tram (reclassified as J70 by the LNER) built at Stratford Works. They were seen by the Rev. W. Awdry and Christopher Awdry on a holiday at Yarmouth, hence Toby's origins. The J70 started their career on the Great Eastern Railway and were known as C53. They spent most of their career on the Wisbech and Upwell tramway pulling slow goods trains and, until 1927, passenger trains, though several were also assigned to the docks at Ipswich and Yarmouth. The first withdrawal came in 1942. Eventually, the sole survivor of this class was withdrawn from service and scrapped at Stratford Locomotive Works by 1955. They were replaced by BR Class 04s, Mavis' class.

According to The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways and Sodor: Reading Between the Lines, Toby's original number plates had been removed prior to his arrival in 1951. However, it is noted that BR no. 68221 was withdrawn around this time, possibly implying this was his original number. This tram was built as GER no. 127 on 30 June 1914 as part of a batch of three at Stratford. In 124, after the grouping, it became LNER no. 7127, this changing to no. 8221 in May 1946 under Edward Thompson's 1946 re-numbering scheme. Upon nationalisation on 1 January 1948, it became no. 68221 in July 1948. It was withdrawn on 31 May 1951 from Ipswich Shed and scrapped at Stratford shortly after.


In The Railway Series, Toby was painted brown with black cowcatchers and side plates and his company's initials (LNER) painted on his side plates in yellow before working on his tramway, where he was repainted grey-brown with grey cowcatchers and side plates. After helping James from an accident, he was repainted chocolate-brown with olive frames, beige trims and blue side plates.

In the television series, Toby has always been brown with grey side plates and cowcatchers. His number (7) is painted on his sides in yellow with red lining. Throughout the first to fifth series, Toby's wheels were painted red. Starting from the sixth series, they were painted black.

In some illustrations of The Railway Series, Toby has a golden builder's plate on the side of his cab.

In various books released by Publications International, the top side of his side plates are painted red, going along with his buffer beams. In The Railway Series, Toby has silver buffers, while in the television series they are black.


The Railway Series

Companion Volumes

Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

Learning Segments


Magazine Stories

Toby also appeared in the magazine stories, Arthur and Emily, Diesel's Nasty Turn, Henry's Soaking!, Percy and the Trucks, Spotting Shapes, Stolen Apples, Taking Toby, The Big Ship and The Lost Parcel.

Annual Stories


Audio Stories

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Audio Files



First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 1 Read and Play!
First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 2 Series 3
First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and the Magic Railroad Thomas and the Magic Railroad
First used Last used Sound Effect
Hero of the Rails Series 24

In the Official Website, as well as the mobile games Express Delivery, Magical Tracks, Thomas & Friends: MINIS and Thomas & Friends: Adventures! apps, along with the 2018 update of Go, Go Thomas!, Thomas' musical day for Percy in the kids app "Speakaboos," the Nintendo 3DS game Steaming Around Sodor, Thomas' Magical Birthday Wishes, and Learning with Thomas, Toby is incorrectly portrayed with Lady/Flora’s bell.

First used Last used Sound Effect
The Official Website (2015 version) Learning with Thomas


Toby also has an unseen whistle, despite him usually having a bell, but it was only heard in the fourth series. This is Percy's whistle sound from the second half of the third series. This was reused again for Logan.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 4 Series 4

In the Sing Along mode of the Engines Working Together game, Toby is incorrectly portrayed with Thomas' whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Engines Working Together Engines Working Together

In Toby's New Whistle only, Toby was given a three-chime whistle, which was a stock sound effect recorded from Southern Railway Mikado No. 4501, which is preserved at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Toby's New Whistle Toby's New Whistle

In the Misty Island Rescue PC Game, Toby is incorrectly portrayed with Henry's whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Misty Island Rescue (PC game) Misty Island Rescue (PC game)

At one point in the Many Moods game, Toby is incorrectly portrayed with James' whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Many Moods Many Moods

In the mobile app, Read and Play!, Toby incorrectly has a sad whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Read and Play! Read and Play!

In Journey Beyond Sodor, Toby incorrectly has a different whistle.

First used Last used Sound Effect
Journey Beyond Sodor Journey Beyond Sodor


  • Toby is Christopher Awdry's favourite engine. On a trip in Yarmouth, he and his father got to ride in the cab of a J70 which is believed to be 68221, thanks to Wilbert's good friend, the late Reverend Charlie Rand.
  • According to an interview with Mike O'Donnell, Toby's theme was used as a demo for the television series' opening theme.
  • Toby is the only engine introduced in the first series to not return in Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go!.
  • In the fifth series episode, "Baa!", Toby revealed that his favourite station is Maithwaite.
  • One of Toby's television series models is currently on display in Japan at the Hara Model Railway Museum (previously on display at Nitrogen Studios) and is currently wearing his scared face. Another was previously on display at Drayton Manor but the model was stolen in 2011.[1] His grinning face was on his television series model when he first arrived in 2009 and was put on display at the Discover Thomas & Friends Exhibition, but it was replaced by a replica face.
  • Toby's screen used sleeping face mask is now owned by Twitter user ThomasTankMerch.
  • In an interview with SiF, Andrew Brenner stated that Toby was one of his favourite characters, along with James, Bill and Ben.[2]
  • In the Official Website, the Nintendo 3DS game "Steaming Around Sodor", Thomas' Musical Day for Percy in the kids app "Speakaboos", the mobile games such as Express Delivery, Magical Tracks, Thomas & Friends: MINIS, the 2018 update of Go Go Thomas!, Thomas & Friends: Adventures! and the mini series "Thomas' Magical Birthday Wishes", he had Flora's bell sound.
  • Toby was confused for being electric by Bridget Hatt in the first series episode, "Toby and the Stout Gentleman" and for being a diesel boxcab by Philip in the twentieth series episode, "Toby's New Friend."
  • Rob Rackstraw gives Toby a West Country accent in the UK dub.
  • Toby's bell from the second to third series was later heard in Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure after Ryan stops the pirate ship during the wide shot of Arlesburgh Harbour.
    • It was also heard in many episodes of the 2014 animated series, The Tom and Jerry Show.
    • It has also been heard as the default error sound on OS/2 Warp 3.
  • Even though he has six wheels, some merchandise of him has four.
  • Toby's Wooden Railway models do not have funnels, panels, bells and red buffer beams, but his final Wood model does (excluding his funnel on his prototype and his roof is facing the wrong way).
  • Toby's Minis toys do not have side plates, cowcatchers and red buffer beams.
  • In the arcade game "Magical Truck Adventure" by SEGA, two J70 tram engines were seen at the first level and another was seen in an ending cutscene, each with a number 7, bearing a strong resemblance to Toby.
  • Toby is one of only ten characters to appear in every series of the television series and one of only eight to speak in each one. However, he has not appeared in every special.
  • Toby was the namesake of the Talyllyn Railway's inspection trolley, which later inspired Ivo's Flying Bedstead.
  • Toby was supposed to appear in the seventh series episode, "Emily's New Coaches", but was dropped and replaced with Oliver.
  • Toby had a total of fifteen facial expressions during the model series era. All of which were used on-screen. His convinced, content, startled, depressed, original angry and drowsy faces were not used on-screen at first. They were likely made during production of the first and second series. His drowsy face eventually only appeared on-screen in the second series episode, Daisy. His convinced, content and original angry faces eventually appeared on-screen in the third series. His content face had a recast during Calling All Engines! all the way until the eleventh series, excluding the tenth series. His convinced face also had a recast during the tenth series. His startled face eventually appeared on-screen in both the fourth and fifth series, then was later recasted and the eyebrows were modified to resemble a nervous face during the Gullane Entertainment era all the way until the end of the model era, excluding the eighth, tenth series, Calling All Engines! and The Great Discovery. His depressed face eventually appeared on-screen in the sixth series episode, Toby had a Little Lamb, then was later recasted during the eighth, ninth series and The Great Discovery.
  • Although it has never been officially stated, it is believed that Toby and Hurricane are cousins, as both Toby's basis and Hurricane's basis were built by the same man, James Holden.


“Hello, I'm Toby. the number seven brown tram engine. I work on the quarry line with my faithful coach Henrietta.”
―Toby's website audio



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