|This article is about the engine. You may be looking for the Railway Series book, the Story Library book, the magazine story or the song.|
Gordon is a big blue express engine. He is Flying Scotsman's only remaining brother and the cousin of Mallard, Green Arrow, Spencer and The Flying Thistle. When Gordon was streamlined to compete in the Great Railway Show, he ran under the name The Shooting Star.
Bio in the Railway Series
Gordon was built experimentally by Sir Nigel Gresley at the Great Northern Railway's Doncaster Works in 1922 as an "A0" Pacific, a so-called "prototype". When Gresley was finished using Gordon for designing his A1 Pacifics, he sold Gordon, along with a spare boiler and firebox, to the North Western Railway.
Gordon is mainly used for passenger duties, pulling the North Western Railway's express, the Wild Nor' Wester, but has occasionally pulled goods trains, much to his dislike. He has been known to run into ditches and stop on hills to get out of doing these jobs, as he believes that these are below him.
In 1939, Gordon went to Crewe for a rebuild. His conjugated valve gear was replaced by a two-cylinder chassis (designed by the Fat Controller), he received a smoother running plate, Stanier underframes, wheels, cylinders, squared-off side windows, rectangular buffers and a Fowler tender.
Gordon has become famous after his adventures: In 1953, he pulled Queen Elizabeth II's royal train and in 1956, he travelled to London, where he was lauded by a large crowd. Gordon did not like the visit, however, as he discovered that London's big station was St. Pancras. In 1957, when Diesel arrived on trial and was having trouble moving some old trucks, he decided to make rumours about Duck giving Gordon a bad nickname, Galloping Sausage. So he, Henry and James decided to wheesh and yell at Duck to keep out of their sheds. However, when the truth came out that Duck had not made the nicknames, they begin to feel very silly about jumping to conclusions before knowing the true story. Then, in 1986, Gordon got to visit Carlisle when a Diesel taking a Railtour failed.
In 2011, he was dismissed from pulling the express regularly to Barrow due to the purchase of Pip and Emma. He likes this, because he can do two trips a day instead of one and he does not have to hurry.
Bio in the Television Series
Gordon has, to date, been the fastest engine on Sodor, but has sometimes had accidents, due to him trying to show off. In the fifth season, his brakes were not working and he could not stop, resulting in him crashing through the Kirk Ronan Station wall. Also, in the sixth season, he ignored Salty's advice about going slow while pulling trucks, resulting in him speeding down a rickety old branch line and tumbling into a field. Though he has proven to not be too big for his wheels and to be useful instead, like when Spencer first arrived on Sodor, he gave him advice about taking on water before going to Maron Station, in result, he ran out of water on Gordon's Hill and Gordon had to pull him from there. In the tenth season, he, along with Edward, criticised Rocky when he first arrived on Sodor and called him "new-fangled nonsense". Afterwards, when he crashed into Edward's pipes, which had fallen off his flatbeds, he derailed. In result, Rocky came and lifted him back onto the rails and cleared the pipes, proving how useful he is.
Gordon once tried taking a shortcut in order to beat Stanley to Great Waterton, but accidentally crashed into Ben's logs, but luckily, saved Stanley from crashing into them on the track below. When Gordon was given the task of taking the Lion of Sodor to the Duke and Duchess of Boxford's summer house with Ferdinand, he ignored his advice about going slowly over the Fenland, with the result of the statue falling into the muddy marsh. After the statue was cleaned, Gordon let Ferdinand be his front engine and they delivered the statue safely to the summer house. They have since then been good friends. One winter he, along with the rest of the steam team, had to find places to sleep, when the turntable at Tidmouth Sheds was frozen, so he decided to sleep there, in the one accessible berth, resulting in him getting stuck in there the next morning and remaining there for the rest of the day. He has since become a more sensible engine.
Once, he was waiting at Kellsthorpe Station while a workman was painting a telephone box on the other platform. But the man accidentally kicked his paint can onto the track next to Gordon, just as Connor raced through the station, splattering red paint all over Gordon. When Henry saw red spots all over Gordon, he assumed the blue engine had chicken pox.
In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Gordon says that Thomas is a silly little engine, making Thomas upset. Thomas wanted to take revenge, but ended up running Gordon's express coaches off the rails. Due to this incident, Thomas was sent away. Later, while he was pulling the express, Thomas nearly collided with him while chasing Sailor John and Skiff.
In The Great Race, Gordon introduces Thomas to his brother, the Flying Scotsman, at Vicarstown and later teases Thomas for wanting to compete in the Great Railway Show, believing that he is too small to compete. Gordon is selected by the Fat Controller to participate in the Great Race and is streamlined for the event. However, Gordon refuses to undergo the final safety checks and as a result, the workmen forget to attach his safety valve. Thomas brings the new safety valve to the Mainland and tries to warn Gordon, but Gordon competes in the race without it and his boiler nearly explodes when he refuses to heed Thomas and Flying Scotsman's warnings.
Gordon is the fastest and most powerful engine on the rails and he knows it. He is extremely proud and inclined to boast. He is goodhearted, always willing to forgive and uses his superior strength to help smaller engines out of trouble.
Gordon's important position as the engine who usually pulls the Express has made him proud, pompous and self-important, with good reason too; he is the strongest engine on Sodor. Gordon's philosophy "tender engines don't shunt" meant that he looked down on tank engines and tender engines who do shunt, but after being locked in the shed with Henry and James after going on strike and before the seventeenth season, he seemed to have abandoned this philosophy.
Because of his rank in the social order of the North Western Railway, Gordon expects to get the important jobs and either sulks when he does not, or gets jealous of those who do. Sometimes, Gordon acts as a bully, particularly towards Edward, but following misadventures where Edward had to help him, Gordon had to acknowledge that despite being old, Edward is still a very useful engine. However, sometimes Gordon still doubts Edward is still reliable, such as the time he did not believe Edward could win a race against Spencer because "he's only a back engine" and "a waste of steam".
Sometimes Gordon shows a kinder side and gives the younger engines advice, usually after he has had some mishap as a result of his foolhardiness. Some of his advice is not exactly honest, though, as James and Sir Handel have discovered.
According to Sudrian "historian" Martin Clutterbuck, Gordon is supposed to be an experimental prototype for Sir Nigel Gresley's A1 Pacific design for the Great Northern Railway - the so-called "A0". Gordon was then built at Doncaster Works, Yorkshire and tested against a similar LNER Pacific in 1923. Gordon, being an experimental engine, never received a number and was later rebuilt at Crewe with LMS underparts and a six-wheel tender, owing to various problems. Gordon has since been rebuilt below the footplate according to Stanier designs, his running plate being Sir Topham Hatt's own design.
As "The Shooting Star", Gordon's appearance is based on a streamlined Pennsylvania Railroad K4, specifically #3768.
Gordon is painted NWR blue with NWR red-and-yellow lining and the number "4" painted on his tender sides in yellow. Before arriving on Sodor, he was painted Doncaster green with white and black lining.
In the Railway Series, he carries two builder's plates on the sides of his cab.
In The Great Race, in his streamlined form, he is painted light blue with silver, black, red, yellow and dark blue lining. His number is still painted on his tender in yellow, now smaller and surrounded by a dark blue circle.
- Neil Crone (Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Keith Wickham (UK; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Kerry Shale (US; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Kenji Utsumi (Japan; first - eighth seasons)
- Kenta Miyake (Japan; Calling All Engines! onwards)
- Thierry Kazazian (France and French speaking Canada; eighth - fifteenth seasons)
- Bernard Demory (France and French speaking Canada; fifteenth season onwards)
- Øyvind Borgemoen Lyse (Norway; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Norbert Gescher (Germany; Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Tetje Mierendorf (Germany; twelfth season onwards)
- Gerardo Reyero (Latin America; Thomas and the Magic Railroad; TV Version)
- Dafnis Fernández (Latin America; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Leo Richardson (The Netherlands)
- Sławomir Pacek (Poland; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Miłogost Reczek (Poland; Samson at Your Service and Emily Saves the World only)
- Danny Segev (Israel; Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Nir Ron (Israel)
- Salvador Serrano (Spain)
- Pasi Ruohonen (Finland; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Vladimir Antonik (Russia; thirteenth - sixteenth seasons)
- Denis Bespalyy (Russia; King of the Railway onwards)
- One of Gordon's models was on display at Nitrogen Studios, but is now on display at the Hara Model Railway Museum. Another model is in storage at Drayton Manor.
- As of the CGI television series, Gordon's catchphrase is "Oh, the indignity!"
- Gordon is named after a rude boy that lived on the Awdrys' street when Christopher was a child.
- In the annual story, Galloping Sausage, Gordon is portrayed with a 4-6-4 wheel arrangement.
- The Halloween Engine in the eighth season episode, Halloween, was recycled from one of Gordon's scrap models.
- Gordon went through numerous changes throughout the television series. These include:
- Season 4:
- His brake pipe is facing downward.
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad:
- His brake pipe is facing upward again.
- He gained red lining on the cab side of his tender.
- His rear bogie was joined to his driving wheel chassis.
- Season 8:
- His eyebrows become thinner and arch more.
- Season 10:
- His pistons, which appeared to be broken, were fixed.
- His eyebrows change shape completely.
- Hero of the Rails:
- He lost facial detail; wrinkles on his forehead when cross or worried.
- Season 13:
- The middle sections of his driving wheels are painted black.
- Season 17:
- He gained a head lamp and tail lamp, as requested by Sam Wilkinson.
- His wheels are fully blue again.
- The Adventure Begins:
- His side rods become silver.
- Season 4:
- In The Great Race, he is completely redesigned to be streamlined with a new livery and tender for the race, which was made just for the special.
- "If you were a nice tank engine, you'd be alright! Now you'll have to pull the next train backwards".
- "Look!" called some boys. "There's a new tank engine...oh, it's only Gordon back to front".
- "Hullo!" called Thomas. "Playing Tank Engines? Sensible engine. Take my advice; scrap your tender and have a nice bunker!"
- Gordon jokingly mistaken for a tank engine, "Tenders and Turntables".
- "Good riddance!" grumbled Gordon. "Chatting all night keeping important engines awake, who is he anyway?"
- "He's City of Truro. He's famous".
- "As famous as me? Nonsense!"
- "He's famouser than you. He went 100 miles an hour before you were drawn or thought of!"
- "So he says. But I didn't like his looks. He's got no dome!" said Gordon darkly. "Never trust domeless engines, they're not respectable! I never boast", Gordon continued modestly. "But a 100 miles an hour would be easy for me! Goodbye".
- Gordon and Duck arguing about City of Truro, "Domeless Engines".
- "It's not fair!" grumbled Gordon.
- "What isn't fair?" asked Edward.
- "Letting branch line diesels pull main line trains!"
- "Never mind, Gordon. I'm sure BoCo will let you pull his trucks sometimes".
- Gordon spluttered.
- "I won't pull BoCo's dirty trucks! I won't run on branch lines!"
- "Why not? It would be a nice change".
- "The Fat Controller would never approve!" said Gordon. "Branch lines are vulgar!"
- Gordon puffed away. Edward chuckled and followed him to the station.
- Edward and Gordon taking about branch lines, "Wrong Road".
- "When Gordon smiles, it changes his whole face. Hehehe. It is most interesting!"
- That made Thomas and Percy laugh.
- Hiro talking about Gordon, "Hero of the Rails."
- ERTL (normal and Gold Rail; both discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (normal, talking and limited edition A Better View for Gordon, limited edition discontinued, Battery-Operated)
- Take Along (discontinued normal, metallic and lights and sounds)
- Interactive Learning Railway (discontinued)
- Limited Edition Collection
- My First Thomas
- Motor Road and Rail (normal, talking and angry; discontinued outside Asia)
- TrackMaster (normal, talking, RC and greatest moments)
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
- Mini Die Cast Collection (normal and with Santa hat; discontinued)
- Departing Now (discontinued)
- Thomas Town (discontinued)
- Capsule Collection
- Take-n-Play (normal, talking, pull back, snowy and shooting star)
- De Agostini (discontinued)
- Trading Cards
- Woody Capsule Series
- Brio (discontinued)
- Wind-up (normal, several different expressions and metallic)
- Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
- Mega Bloks (discontinued)
- Collectible Railway
- Motorized Railway
- Push Along
- Departing Now
- Boss (with grey express coach; discontinued)
- Padlock and Key
- Switch-On Keychains
- Micro Rubber Engines
- Pico Pico
- Minis (classic, metallic, winter, racers and graffiti; Unknown: Double Bubble)
- Pre-Cut Model Engine Books (discontinued)
- Rail Rollers
|North Western Railway|
|Thomas • Edward • Henry • Gordon • James • Percy • Toby • Duck • Donald and Douglas • Oliver • Barry • The Austerity Engine • The Red Engines • Daisy • BoCo • Bear • The Works Diesel • Pip and Emma • Peel Godred Engines|
|Harvey • Emily • Fergus • Arthur • Murdoch • Molly • Neville • Rosie • Whiff • Billy • Stanley • Hank • Flora • Victor • Charlie • Bash and Dash • Ferdinand • Scruff • Belle • Porter • Glynn • Ryan • Derek • Diesel 10 • 'Arry and Bert • Salty • Dennis • Den • Dart • Sidney • Paxton • Norman • Philip • Flynn • Winston • Stafford •