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The North Western Railway (abbreviated as NWR) is The Fat Controller's Railway and was first created in 1914 after a government-funded joining of the Island of Sodor's standard gauge (4'8½") railways. The railways involved were the Sodor and Mainland, the Tidmouth, Knapford and Elsbridge Light and the Wellsworth and Suddery Railways. In 1948, it became the "North-Western Region" of British Railways, but this term was never used as the railway kept its operating independence. With Privatisation in the early 1990s, it officially became the North Western Railway.
The railway's motto is "Nil unquam simile", which, translated from Latin, means "There's nothing quite like it!"
- The Main Line
- Norramby Branch Line
- Kirk Ronan Branch Line
- Peel Godred Branch Line
- Edward's Branch Line
- Thomas' Branch Line
- The Little Western
In the television series, the railway also has the following lines:
- Quarry Branch Line
- Ulfstead Branch Line
- Toby's Branch Line
- The Loop Line
- Stepney's Branch Line
- Misty Valley Branch Line
- Killdane Branch Line
- Harwick Branch Line
The Fat Controller's Railway
The standard gauge railway on Sodor in the television series is affectionately known as The Fat Controller's Railway (US: Sir Topham Hatt's Railway). It is greatly expanded with many more engines. The railway's largest station (and presumed headquarters) is located at Knapford. Its railway works are the Sodor Steamworks, located at Crovan's Gate and the Vicarstown Dieselworks. Some merchandising and promotional material has referred to it as Sodor Railways. The Adventure Begins marks the first time the name North Western Railway is stated in the TV series.
Railway Series Only
- According to the The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways, the North Western Railway at least has a total of eighty locomotives. A vast majority being undocumented in the Railway Series.
Television Series Only
- In the television series, Diesel, Mavis, Bill and Ben have been owned by the North Western Railway despite being owned by British Railways and private railways respectively. In addition, Stepney, The Diesel and the Skarloey Railway have been incorrectly referred to being owned by the North Western Railway in both the television series and magazines.