The drivers, often called engineers in recent US narrations, drive and maintain the engines and, along with the fireman, keep the engines in control and provide a voice of reason when an engine is being difficult.
A driver's uniform consists of blue trousers, a black tie, a white shirt with a blue jacket over it, and a blue cap. The drivers on the Narrow Gauge Railway wear the same outfits, but in grey instead of blue.
- Keith Wickham (UK/US; No Steam Without Coal and Long Lost Friend)
- Glenn Wrage (US; Long Lost Friend)
- Takeshi Endo (Japan; first - second seasons)
- Kōzō Shioya (Japan; Whistles and Sneezes, Percy and the Signal, A Close Shave, Woolly Bear, Thomas Gets Bumped, Henry's Forest, Thomas, Percy and the Dragon, No Joke for James, Thomas and Percy's Christmas Adventure, and Thomas and Stepney)
- Ryōichi Tanaka (Japan; first, sixth, and seventh seasons)
- Hirohiko Kakegawa (Japan; second season)
- Yūki Satō (Japan; Percy, James and the Fruitful Day, Trucks!, Special Funnel, Rusty to the Rescue, Percy's Chocolate Crunch, Trusty Rusty, and Percy's New Whistle)
- Yasuhiko Tokuyama (Japan; fifth season)
- Toshio Kobayashi (Japan; sixth season)
- Naoki Tatsuta (Japan; Henry and the Wishing Tree)
- In newer episodes of Thomas and Friends, drivers and firemen act almost purely as background characters and are very rarely acknowledged.
- To date, eight drivers have been named: Charlie Sand, Edward's driver, Ted, Henry's driver, Joe, Culdee's driver, Bob, Thomas' driver in the CGI series, Mr. Arkwright, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Bennett and Mr. Roberts.
- There have been recent complaints about the lack of female drivers. Mary Creagh, a labour Front-bencher, has said it was a negative stereotype, and says it will make women less likely to become train drivers if they are put off in their early years. She also criticised the lack of female characters. HiT Entertainment responded saying there has been a "historical imbalance" but that there will be more female characters/engines in development.
- As in real life, being an engine driver (in terms of steam engines) is a job you cannot 'walk straight into'. There is a hierarchy to becoming a driver: one would start out as a cleaner and then becomes a passed cleaner. Passed cleaners are still cleaners but they occasionally act as firemen. Afterwards, a passed cleaner becomes a trainee fireman before becoming a fireman. Some time later, he/she becomes a passed fireman. Passed firemen, as you can imagine, are still firemen but they occasionally drive. After that, passed firemen finally become drivers. The whole process, progressing from cleaner to driver, normally takes about 9 - 13 years.