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This article is about narrow gauge vans. You may be looking for standard gauge ones.

Vans, commonly referred to as Boxcars in the United States, are used all around narrow gauge railways like the Skarloey Railway for carrying special goods and other things and are used to transport them to different locations.

These vans are covered wagons used for transporting goods and merchandise. They have been seen on the Skarloey Railway, Mid Sodor Railway and Blue Mountain Quarry.


The Railway Series

On the Mid Sodor Railway, these vans were part of the goods train known as "The Horse and Cart".[1]

On the Skarloey Railway, Sir Handel was once pulling a special train of four vans down the line parallel to the site where George worked. George would not give the train enough room to pass and rammed his front roller into Sir Handel's train. The train and construction crews argued until a policeman broke them up and a barrier was built between the road and the rails.[2]

Thomas & Friends

These vans were used on the Mid Sodor Railway prior to it's closure.[3] On the Skarloey Railway, George once collided with Sir Handel's train, in which he was pulling two of these vans.[4]

Once, Rheneas took a long goods train with two of these vans across the Old Trestle Bridge. But while halfway across the bridge, he ran out of water and Skarloey was sent to pull Rheneas and his train to safety.[5]

Technical Details


In the Railway Series, these vans are based on the Talyllyn Railway's covered van No.28 and No.29, with added buffers. While Cora, a tool van, is based on the Talyllyn Railway's No.6 van.

In the television series, these vans are a hybrid of all three with added buffers.

The Mid Sodor van was a kit-built OO9 scale model of a Corris/Talyllyn railway van produced by Mike's models. Awdry's model of Cora was built from the same kit.


In the Railway Series, all Skarloey Railway vans were painted blue and some vans had "S.R." written on their sides in white lettering.

The Mid Sodor vans were painted grey and had "M.S." written on the sides in white lettering.

In the television series, they are commonly painted red with grey roofs. In the ninth series up until the twelfth, vans were also painted grey, dark brown and green with black. Since the sixteenth series, the vans are also painted yellow.



  • Cora is the only named tool van in the Railway Series. Unlike the other vans, Cora has a distinct window and chimney, and has room for a guard to be housed.
  • One large scale and four small scale red vans that were used in the television series are owned by Twitter user ThomasTankMerch.
  • A model of the Mid Sodor van was formerly on display at Reverend Teddy Boston's Cadeby Light Railway.[6]
  • The 2022 Bachmann catalog features a photoshpped edit of the blue vans as large scale (O gauge) models.



* RWS only | ** T&F only