Barry, named after Barry Island, the home of the scrapyard in South Wales where he was rescued, was a potential character for The Railway Series. He was to first appear in the book, Barry the Rescue Engine - which was initially thought to be the thirty-ninth volume of the Railway Series, however, it ended up becoming cancelled and replaced by Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines.
According to the newly updated The Railway Series: A Brief History page on the Sodor Island Fansite, Barry is a BR Standard Class 2. Barry is logically a 2MT 2-6-0 instead of a 2MT 2-6-2T as none of the tank engines were sent to the Barry Island Scrapyards. Three engines of this class survive, all of which were saved from the Woodham Brothers Scrapyard in Barry. A fourth is undergoing conversion to tank engine form on the Bluebell Railway.
- According to Chapter 15 of The Thomas the Tank Engine Man entitled "Really Useful Engines", Christopher Awdry explains that he submitted the outline for Barry, but the response from the young fans was that they wanted Thomas and his friends, not anymore new engines. So he quoted: "But, I haven't altogether given up; you could say Barry is dead but not yet buried!"
- Additionally, it has also been suggested that the publishers demanded to have more Thomas centric books. This was likely compounded by the fact that, at the time, the television series based on the books was running strong and had catapulted Thomas into the spotlight.