|This article is about the engine. You may be looking for the Railway Series book, the excavator, the magazine story, or the other magazine story.|
Bio in the Railway Series
Oliver worked on the Great Western Railway. Sometime during the 1960s, he ran away for fear of being scrapped with his coach, Isabel, and a brakevan named Toad. The three were forced to hide between signalboxes and rely on the goodwill of signalmen to pass at safe times. When control got wind of the runaways, they hid in an old quarry branch and had the cutting blocked by rubbish to avoid being spotted by the Diesels outside. The runaways decided it was safe to leave at some point, but before they could reach the greener pastures of Sodor, Oliver ran out of coal. Luckily, Douglas was able to rescue Oliver and hid him on a siding at Crovan's Gate. The Fat Controller soon found out and arranged for the three to be repaired and painted in Great Western colours. Toad decided to be Douglas' brakevan to thank him, and the Fat Controller rescued an autocoach named Dulcie and gave her to Oliver.
Oliver was then sent to work on the Tidmouth-Arlesburgh branch line, but became conceited after the big engines gave him their respect in recognition of his adventures and pushed his weight around, prompting several ballast trucks to push him into a turntable well. Oliver received little respect from the trucks after the incident, but got his own back by pulling the ringleader, S. C. Ruffey, apart. Oliver is now well-respected by the trucks, out of fear they will be pulled apart too.
Bio in the television series
Oliver and Toad were escaping from scrap when Douglas found, saved, and brought them to the North Western Railway. The other engines were impressed by his adventures and the attention soon went to Oliver's smokebox. He was so conceited that he ignored Duck and Donald's advice about trucks and several pushed him into the turntable well. Upon his return from the Works, Oliver regained his respect after pulling the ringleader of the trucks, S. C. Ruffey, apart. Oliver has since had many adventures, such as running Thomas' Branch Line during the engines' trip to England, discovering an abandoned house which was later turned into a tea-house, spending a night as a snowman after crashing into one in the village, and being saved by Emily when he was about to be hit by Thomas. He then gave Gordon instructions when he was lost. Later, he was constantly telling Toad the story of how they escaped from scrap, and was then very surprised when Toad told Oliver about his own adventure.
Oliver escaped the dreaded scrapyards of the Mainland, mainly thanks to Douglas, but also as the result of sympathetic signalmen, luck, and using "goods only" routes under cover of darkness, with some close calls along the way. Despite his previous heroism and daring feats, Oliver is an engine who is willing to admit every day is a learning curve. When he was still new to Sodor, he let the other engines' responses to his courage, resource, and sagacity from his amazing recounts of daring escapes and adventures get to his smokebox and he became conceited. However, when troublesome trucks pushed him into the turntable well, he grew into a much more humble, settled engine and was far warier of trucks. But later, with some help from his brake van Toad, he did gain much respect and authority among the trucks when he showed his strength with the ringleader of the trucks, S. C. Ruffey, a little more than he had perhaps been intending. Oliver still has gumption, but is now a more obedient, sensible engine. He feels his responsibility on the railway deeply, is ever thankful for being aided in his escape from scrap by Douglas, and is a trustworthy, tenacious, plucky engine. However, he does occasionally has one or two temper problems and grumbles quite easily (which has been correctly proven in Season 7), but despite this setback, Oliver is still one of the more really useful, and well-behaved engines on Sodor (as seen in Gordon Takes a Shortcut). As of the eighteenth season, Oliver enjoys telling Toad stories, but Toad has already heard most of his stories.
Oliver is based on a GWR 14xx 0-4-2T. These engines were fitted with a mechanical system allowing the driver to control the locomotive remotely from the cab of an 'autocoach', such as Isabel. The particular engine Oliver is based on, No. 1436, was built at Swindon Works in the August of 1934 and worked until it was withdrawn in 1958. It was scrapped the following year.
In the Railway Series, Oliver is painted in the GWR's green livery with yellow lining, black wheels and a brass GWR numberplate on his cab side. In the television series, his paint had faded by the time he was rescued, leaving him a rusty-red colour. After his rescue, he was repainted green and has remained so since.
In the Railway Series, he carries two builder's plates on the sides of his cab.
- Oliver was named after Oliver Wicks, who was a much respected member of Stroud Baptist Church. He was the Reverend W. Awdry's next door neighbour in Rodborough, Stroud.
- Recent information has revealed that there really was a 1436 on the Great Western Railway.
- In the story Oliver Gets the Bird from the 1985 Thomas and Friends annual, Oliver was incorrectly depicted as an 0-4-4. In Wilbert the Forest Engine, Oliver was incorrectly depicted as an 0-6-0.
- One of Oliver's models is currently on display at Nitrogen Studios.
- When Oliver returned in the eighteenth season, he had some modifications. These include:
- A permanent lamp.
- Black side-rods and lamp irons.
- More hand rails.
- His face is slightly smaller.
- The 'GWR' logo and his number are slightly bigger.
- His driving wheels are slightly further away from each other.
- His bufferbeam is significantly smaller.
- His running board was painted black, like it was in the Railway Series. His running board is also thicker a lot more compared to his basis.
- He lost his guard irons on his cab windows, the counterweights on his wheels, his middle lamp iron and the lamp iron on top of his smokebox.
- He appears to be smaller compared to his model counterpart and prototype.
- He also speaks with a West Country accent, reflecting his basis' origins.
- "Yon's an enterprising engine," Douglas thought. "I won away here with Donald; but I'd've been feared to do it on my own."
- Douglas, Enterprising Engines
- "Oliver's no use at all; thinks he's very clever.
Says that he can manage us; that's the best joke ever!
When he orders us about, with the greatest folly,
We just push him down the well, Pop goes old Ollie!"
- Troublesome Trucks teasing, Oliver the Western Engine
- ERTL (discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (reintroduced 2006 and 2014)
- Take-Along (normal and metallic; discontinued)
- Take-n-Play (coming soon)
- Motor Road and Rail (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (UK only; discontinued)
- My First Thomas (normal and talking)
- Hornby (discontinued)
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Trading Cards (discontinued)
- Brio (discontinued)
- Bandai (several versions; discontinued)
- De Agostini
- Wind-up (Japan only)
- Nakayoshi (discontinued)
|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 • Derek • Diesel 10 • 'Arry and Bert • Salty • Dennis • Den • Dart • Sidney • Paxton • Norman • Flynn • Winston • Stafford|