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

“What Toby doesn't know about branch line problems isn't worth knowing. Our Toby's an experienced engine!”
Sir Topham Hatt[src]

Toby is a brown square tram engine who lives and works on the Island of Sodor, and is the North Western Railway's number 7 engine.


Toby used to work on a tramway between Lower Arlesburgh and Arlesdale End in the North of the Island of Sodor with his faifthful coach, Henrietta. Eventually, as time went on, business on the line would slow down due to the factories sending their goods via lorries, and passengers choosing to ride in buses and cars. The line would soon close down, and the passengers held a farewell celebration for Toby, who went to sleep in his shed that night, believing that he would never be used again. However, the following morning, Toby's driver and fireman had exciting news. They had received a letter from the Fat Controller, and he wanted Toby to come to work on the North Western Railway. A few days later, Toby arrived at Lower Tidmouth, bringing Henrietta with him. He quickly set to work on Thomas' Branch Line. At first, Toby was teased by James for his shabby paint. However, James stopped teasing him after he had an accident where he crashed into some tar tankers. Throughout this exchange both Toby and James were literally or inadvertently dirty objects.

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 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 towards 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 his 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 that 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 her 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 machine 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' with Daisy after Percy's accident 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.

From the eighth series onwards, Toby occasionally suffered insecurity, self consciousness, and questioning the capabilities of his own work and having senses of uncertainties in the tenth series, Toby acted childish about his roof with holes being removed from his shed, though he had a reason why he was acting childish of why he did not approve of his old roof being removed. When he was given a job of taking Allicia Botti to the concert after being cleaned, he started to worry by making several mistakes such as going too fast and spilling the tea in Henrietta, puffing through a dusty branch line and going through a mud puddle, resulting in Allicia Botti being upset about his dirty appearance when he arrived at the airport.

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, such as 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 humour, and is not above laughing at juvenile level antics (notably, when he and Thomas were making fun of Sir Topham Hatt's white safari hat).

Toby's wise and knowledgeable side was still sometimes shown such as when he told Emily that she needs to be clever in order to be a queen and laughed at her, and when he told her how to get help after him, Percy, and Mavis got into an accident. Toby was also shown to be wise when he helped Den out when it came to dealing with troublesome trucks and when it came to him being brave and stopping the thieves from stealing King Godred's crown.

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.


Toby is painted brown with grey sideplates and cowcatchers. His number (7) is painted on his middle side panel in yellow with a red outline. He has red bufferbeams. Between the first and fifth series, Toby's wheels were painted red. Starting from the sixth series, they were painted black.

In various books released by Publications International, the top side of his side plates are painted red, going along with his buffer beams.


Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

Learning Segments


Magazine Stories

Toby also appeared in the magazine stories, Arthur and Emily, Henry's Soaking!, Stolen Apples, The Big Ship and The Lost Parcel.

Annual Stories

Official Description[]

From Official Website:[1]

Toby the Tram Engine No.7: Toby is old-fashioned, both in looks and outlook. Every engine, no matter how old, wants to be Really Useful and having once nearly been scrapped, Toby is always happy to work. He's not above being temperamental sometimes but, since he works mainly up an outlying quarry line, he can work off his moods without causing grief to anyone except his own faithful coach Henrietta.

Historical Note: Toby is a steam-driven 0-6-0 tram engine designed by Mr Holden of the Great Eastern Railway for use on roadside tramways and harbour lines.

From Official Website:[2][3]

Toby: Toby is old, both in looks and outlook. Every engine, no matter how old, wants to be Really Useful and having once nearly been scrapped, Toby is always happy to work. He's not above being temperamental sometimes, but since he works mainly up an outlying quarry line, he can work off his moods without causing grief to anyone except his own faithful coach Henrietta.

Fun Fact: Sir Topham Hatt brought Toby to his railway to help out with Thomas' branch line.

From Official Website:[4]

Toby: Toby is the No. 7 brown tram engine. He’s square – old-fashioned both in looks and nature. Toby’s always happy to work and is usually found on the Quarry line with his faithful coach, Henrietta.

Fun Fact: Sir Topham Hatt brought Toby to his railway to help out with Thomas' branch line. Toby is based on a steam driven 0-6-0 tram engine.

Audio Files[]


First used Last used Composer Theme Song Note
Series 1 Series 2 Mike O'Donnell
Junior Campbell
Series 3
Series 4
Series 5 Mixed with Oliver's theme.
Series 6 Series 7
Series 8 Series 12 Robert Hartshorne
Series 14 Series 19


First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 1 Series 12
Series 2 Series 3
Thomas and the Magic Railroad
Hero of the Rails Series 24


Toby also has an unseen whistle, only heard in the fourth series. This is Percy's whistle sound from the second half of the third series and was later reused again for Logan.

Only used Sound Effect
Series 4

In the thirteenth series episode Toby's New Whistle, Toby was temporarily given a three-chime steam whistle. This uses a stock sound effect recorded from Southern Railway Mikado No. 4501, which is preserved at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. The sound is also Hiro's whistle, but seventeen steps higher-pitched.

Only used Sound Effect
Toby's New Whistle


  • According to an interview with Mike O'Donnell, Toby's theme was used as a demo for the television series' opening theme.
  • Toby's favourite station is Maithwaite.[7]
  • Toby has been shown to be quite popular among several people who worked on the series:
  • Rob Rackstraw gives Toby a West Country accent in the UK dub. His voice sounds more like Reg the Hedge from Merlin the Magical Puppy.
  • Ben Small based Toby's voice off Lance Corporal Jack Jones from the BBC British sitcom, 'Dad's Army'.
  • Colm Feore gives Toby an old English accent.
  • Toby's bell sound from the first series is sourced from a "last orders" bell at Nag's Head, a pub in London.
  • 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.
  • While Toby has six wheels in the television series, some merchandise ranges with other six-wheeled engines depict him with only four due to difficulty navigating curved track.
  • 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.
  • He was the only member of the Steam Team not to have a berth at Tidmouth Sheds from Calling All Engines! onwards.
  • Toby was the namesake of the Talyllyn Railway's inspection trolley, which later inspired Ivo's Flying Bedstead.


“Hello, I'm Toby. the number 7 brown tram engine. I work on the quarry line with my faithful coach Henrietta.”
― Toby's website audio

See also[]


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

* 1991 map only | ** 2014 map only