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"I'm a plain blunt engine; I speak as I find! Tunnels should be tunnels and not rabbit holes! This railway is no good at all!"
— Duncan, Home at Last, fourth season

  • Number: 6
  • Builder: Andrew Barclay and Co. Ltd.
  • Designer: Andrew Barclay
  • Configuration: 0-4-0WT
  • Built: 1928
  • Arrived on Sodor: 1958

Duncan is a narrow gauge tank engine who came to the Skarloey Railway as a spare engine after Peter Sam's accident with the slate trucks.

Bio in the Railway Series

Duncan was built by Andrew Barclay at Kilmarnock, Scotland and worked in a factory in Scotland, which Peter Sam claims is the source of his strong language and volatile temper.

In 1958, Duncan was bought secondhand to Sodor as a spare engine, as the workload was too much for Sir Handel and Peter Sam to manage unassisted. He came soon after Peter Sam's accident with the slate trucks and was re-gauged to 2ft 3in. Duncan was rude and arrogant at first. However, following derailments in the tunnel and on a stretch of track south of Cros-ny-Cuirn, he began to see sense and made up his feud with Rusty, whom he had detested for being a Diesel.

He was still selfish and prone to temper tantrums and actually stalled on Rheneas Viaduct on the claims that he was overworked and not polished enough. Skarloey, fed up with his careless attitude, finally taught him sense with the story of Rheneas' single handed running of the railway and how passengers are far more important than a polish.

Duncan is currently visiting the Talyllyn Railway in Wales as a tourist attraction and is currently being overhauled. Sir Handel has been brought in to do Duncan's work until he is mended.

Bio in the Television Series

Duncan has also been very cocky, but this has often fired back at him. His driver and firemen spooked him one evening when fireflies formed the shape of an engine. This put Duncan in his place, thinking he had just seen a ghost. His ego once landed him in a swamp, after being careless working on the incline railway.

Duncan is well known and often teased for his temper. He has met his match before, a passenger who grumbled more than him! Despite his rough exterior, he heroically helped Luke up the hill around Christmas time, showing his kinder side.


Duncan is a Scottish narrow gauge engine. He initially arrived to the Skarloey Railway as a spare engine after Peter Sam had a nasty accident with some trucks that broke free from the incline. He was prone to boisterous bouncing about, which became known as "rock 'n' roll", whenever the mood took him, which once caused him to derail in the mouth of a tunnel. He speaks with a Scottish accent and is a rather tall engine. He often grumbles and complains, usually about not being polished or being over-worked, and can be rude, rough, and bad tempered. He claims to be a plain-speaking engine who believes in plain speaking, an approach which can cause him to make callous or belligerent remarks. Duncan can be a competitive engine too, particularly with James. He can be careless and make rash decisions which usually leads to his own downfall, but is not always quick to apologise or realise the error of his ways. However, upon Skarloey recalling Rheneas' gallant act to get his passengers home, Duncan admitted he had the wrong attitude and tried hard to be a more useful, respectable engine in future. In spite of his ways, Duncan can be a little misunderstood as he is focused, confident, resourceful, and has a big heart.


Duncan is based on the Talyllyn Railway's Douglas. This engine is currently selected to be dressed up as Duncan on special events associated with the "Thomas the Tank Engine" franchise.


In the Railway Series, Duncan is painted in the Skarloey Railway's red livery with blue-and-yellow lining. In the television series he is painted golden yellow with black lining and gold boiler bands.


Railway Series

Television series


Magazines stories

Duncan also appeared in the magazine stories, Cable Car Cheer!, Hello, Skarloey!, Musical Duncan, Rock 'n' Roll Rescue, Rocking About, Roll and Rock, Smoke Signals, The Cliff Railway, Duncan Gets Upset, and The Mountain Railway.

Voice Actors

Theme Instrumental


  • One of Duncan's models is currently on display in Japan.
  • When the narrow gauge engines received large scale models, the wrinkles on Duncan's forehead disappeared.
    • He also gained slightly larger eyes, nose and thicker eyebrows. However, they changed back to how they were in the fourth season when he returned in full CGI.
  • One magazine image shows Duncan with a tender.
  • Duncan's latest wooden railway model has a lamp for a whistle.
  • When Duncan returned in the eighteenth season, he had some modifications. These include:
    • Red running board 
    • Permanent lamp, lamp iron, and brakepipe.
    • Slightly thinner funnel.
    • Slightly smaller dome and windows.
    • Smaller boiler and slightly larger cab.
    • Brass nameplate.
    • Shorter and wider sand dome.
    • Sanding gear under the cab.
    • Riveting under his coal bunker.
    • Outdented, and unpainted lining on his cab, and bunker.
  • The Reverend W. Awdry's model of Duncan is currently on display at the Narrow Gauge Museum in Tywyn.
  • Throughout the fourth and fifth seasons, Duncan's model lacked a whistle, yet he was still heard whistling on many occasions. This error was fixed in the sixth season when he gained a whistle.
  • Duncan is the only narrow gauge engine whose whistle sound has not changed since the fourth season.


"Who is Duncan?"
"He came as a spare engine after my accident."
"Is he useful?!"
"He'll pull anything, and I'm sure he means well, but he's bouncy and rude. He used to work in a factory, and his language is often...strong."
"I understand," said Skarloey gravely.

- Skarloey and Peter Sam talking about Duncan, "Home at Last", "The Little Old Engine".



Merchandise Gallery

See also

Skarloey Railway
SkarloeyRheneasSir HandelPeter SamRustyDuncanIvo HughDukeFredMark VMinistry of Defence Engine
BertramMighty MacFreddieLukeProteus

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