Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia


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This article is about the engine. You may be looking for the song or the Story Library book.
"Queens are in charge and tell everybody what to do. I'd like to be a queen."
— Emily, Emily Knows Best, ninth season



  • Class: GNR G3 Stirling Single 
  • Designer: Patrick Stirling
  • Builder: Doncaster Works
  • Built: 1894 or 1895
  • Configuration: 4-2-2
  • Top Speed: 85 mph

Emily is a large Stirling Single tender engine.


When Emily was a new engine on Sodor, she was ignored by the other engines for pulling Annie and Clarabel without Thomas' permission or knowledge. The matter was resolved after she saved both Thomas and Oliver from a nasty accident on the cross-points, and she was rewarded with two new coaches. Emily proved to be kind-hearted, as she was the only engine concerned about Henry when he was ill due to leaky tubes and when she stuck up for Salty when Thomas and Percy were teasing him. 

However, Emily has proven to be a nuisance on occasion as she bossed everyone about when they were clearing up after a storm; Thomas when taking passengers, and Percy when shunting trucks. When pulling the express for the first time, she was determined to keep to Gordon's timing, only to run out of water.

When Thomas had to stay at Knapford Sheds, Emily did not like his company at first as she just wanted some sleep. However, she learned how comfortable it is to have the company of friends and once Tidmouth Sheds was rebuilt, she was transferred there to be with her new shedmates.

Like most engines, Emily can get quite puffed up in the smokebox. When she was called "Excellent Emily", she ignored the advice of Murdoch, Thomas, and Duck only to get herself into trouble. Afterwards, she took their advice to get her job done.

Emily tries her best to make her friends happy. When she assumed that Mavis was sad, she took flowers to the quarry, but only created a mess. When she tried to help her friends with the football/soccer match, she neglected to fetch the dirty washing, which turned out to be the football/soccer team's uniforms. Also, when the Fat Controller lost his top hat, Emily went to find it without success and then took the special Christmas train without permission. However, she always makes amends for her friends' sake.

She later took Paxton to the Sodor Dieselworks after he was damaged during an accident at the Blue Mountain Quarry.

When Thomas hid his snowplough, Emily had to do Thomas' work and saved him when he got stuck in the snow again.

Thomas told Emily about the "Flatbeds of Fear," but Emily did not believe in it and said there was an explanation. She eventually believed in it, until Thomas told her that it was just one of Salty's tall tales.

When the Steam Team tried to clear the tracks of snow for Connor to deliver the last train for Christmas, Emily was unable to clear them from the Sodor side, but was happy to see Hiro as he cleared it from the other direction, then was disappointed when they mistook Harold for Father Christmas by believing his red port lamp to be Rudolph's nose.

She was later informed by Paxton about the rumour that Toby was to be scrapped, but Henrietta overheard and knew it wasn't true. Emily took her to find Toby, and once they found him safe, Emily gave him some of her coal.

When Henry confided in Emily that he feared catching chicken pox from Stephen and Bridget Hatt, she assured him that he could not get chicken pox, joking that he worries too much.

She became fascinated with Caitlin being able to go at such high speeds and wondered what it would be like to be fast, becoming depressed when she could not do so. However, in the end, she managed to save Caitlin when she descended down a steep hill with broken brakes.

When Thomas was fed up with Diesel's selfishness during the holidays, Emily partook in his plan to mend the diesel's ways, much to her joy and amusement. She later attended the Earl's Christmas lunch with several other engines, including Thomas and a reformed Diesel.

Emily would then go on to be part of The Great Railway Show, competing in the Best Decorated Engine Parade along with James, Carlos, Rajiv, and Yong Bao.


In the seventh season, Emily acts as a sisterly figure to the others. Emily is kind and friendly and always sensitive to the other engines' feelings. If she wrongs someone, knowingly or not, she is quick to apologise.

From the eighth season onwards, however, Emily can tend to get into trouble because of her fussy and bossy attitude, but she is nicer than she lets on. She seems to want to strive to be one of the best, and it sometimes causes mishaps, though she usually makes up for her mistakes when she realises her errors.

From the seventeenth season onwards, however, her personality has reverted more to how it was in the seventh season.


Emily is based on a GNR G3 Stirling Single. The only surviving member of her class (No. 1) is on display at the National Railway Museum.


Emily is painted emerald green with gold and yellow lining. She has chocolate running-boards and her buffers were originally bronze but are now silver. For The Great Race, gold trim and flowers were added to her coat for her participation in the Best Decorated Engine Parade.


Television series


Learning Segments:



Magazine stories

Emily also appears in the magazine stories, Arthur and Emily, Caught Out, Frying or Flying, Green Engine, Peep and Sleep, Picture Posters, Rushing Around, Seeing Steam, Take Off with Terence, The Camel Train, The Smartest Engine, and Working Whistles.

Voice Actors


  • Although the second female steam engine to ever appear in the television series (the first being Lady), Emily is the first female steam engine to appear and remain on a regular basis.
  • Emily has a Scottish accent in the UK version, reflecting the origin of her designer. But in the US dub, she has an American accent.
  • Emily is the first character to be the main female steam engine ever since Emily's New Coaches aired on broadcast.
  • One of Emily's models was on display in Canada at Nitrogen Studios, it is now part of the touring Thomas and Friends: Explore the Rails exhibit.
  • Some literary articles show her being sisterly mostly to Thomas and James: according to a magazine bio, she has a particular fondness for James and treats him like a little brother. In Railway Rhymes, the author states that Emily and Thomas act like brother and sister.
  • Emily is the only member of the Steam Team not created by Wilbert Awdry.
  • According to Robert Gauld-Galliers's concept art, Emily was originally going to have handrails on top of her smokebox, three front coupling chains and a gold symbol on her wheel arch.
  • From the thirteenth to fifteenth seasons, Emily was incorrectly shown as emitting smoke from her safety valve.
  • In The Great Race, Emily's stats card says that she is a 4-2-0, but she's actually a 4-2-2.
  • Emily had many modifications throughout the television series. These include:
    • Season 8:
      • Her buffers changed from bronze to silver.
      • She shares the same whistle sound as Henry.
    • Season 9:
      • Her whistle becomes an pitched-up version of Henry's whistle.
    • Season 11:
      • Her forward buffer housings' colour changed from black to red.
    • Season 12:
      • Her face became larger.
    • Hero of the Rails:
      • Her face became a bit smaller.
      • Her whistle is the same as Henry again.
    • No Snow For Thomas:
      • She received a permanent lamp, a taillamp, a new whistle sound, which is Stephen's at a higher pitch and lampirons.
    • Season 19:
      • She gains a brake pipe.
      • She received more prominent front and rear brake-pipe outlets. Strangely, the ones that have been there since she was introduced have not been removed.
      • Her side rods become silver.
    • Snow Place Like Home and parts of Best Engine Ever only:
      • Her brake pipe faces downwards.



Merchandise Gallery

See Also

North Western Railway
ThomasEdwardHenryGordonJamesPercyTobyDuckDonald and DouglasOliverBarryThe Austerity EngineThe Red EnginesDaisyBoCoBearThe Works DieselPip and EmmaPeel Godred Engines
HarveyEmilyFergusArthurMurdochMollyNevilleRosieWhiffBillyStanleyHankFloraVictorCharlieBash and DashFerdinandScruffBellePorterGlynnRyanDerekDiesel 10'Arry and BertSaltyDennisDenDartSidneyPaxtonNormanPhilipFlynnWinstonStafford

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