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The Foreign Engine

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This article is about the tender engine. You may be looking for the group of engines.
"Stupid thing. I've no patience."
— Gordon, The Eight Famous Engines

The Foreign Engine
  • Class: LMS "Patriot"
  • Designer: Sir Henry Fowler
  • Built: May 1934
  • Builder: LMS Crewe or Derby Works
  • Configuration: 4-6-0

The Foreign Engine, also known as Big City Engine, is a tender engine from the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.


The Foreign Engine once stayed the night at Vicarstown with Gordon and Duck. The three engines were involved in an argument about the confusion between the mainline stations in London. Gordon remembered a trip to King's Cross in his youth, and believed that London was restricted to Kings Cross (LNER). Duck thought that London was Paddington (GWR), as he had once worked there. The Foreign Engine thought that London was Euston (LMS).

Unbeknownst to them, they were all correct, as there were a number of stations in London for different railway companies. Even so, Gordon and Duck still continued the argument when the engine went away. Because of this, Gordon was eager to find out, but he was most disappointed to discover when he visited London that the station he visited was St. Pancras.


The Foreign Engine was rather pompous, conceited, and single minded.

According to his Wooden Railway description, the Foreign Engine is a quarrelsome engine from London, he travels from time to time for an overnight stay at the Big Station.

According to his Take-n-Play description, the Foreign Engine is a pompous character that thinks London trains are the best. During his visits to Sodor, the other engines always get upset with him.


The Foreign Engine is based on an original build LMS "Patriot" 4-6-0. As all the "Patriot" engines were scrapped, it can be assumed that he was as well. However, there is a project to build a new LMS Patriot, named "The Unknown Warrior".


The engine is painted BR brunswick green with red lining and grey wheels and cylinders. He presumably has a British Railways' crest on his tender. The Wooden Railway and Take-n-Play models have green wheels and an emblem on his tender with the letters BCE in red.


Railway Series



  • The story Gordon Goes Foreign from The Eight Famous Engines was going to be adapted for the television series. In order to create The Foreign Engine, the production crew were going to use Henry's model and adapt it with a new face and smoke deflectors. However, the episode was cancelled, and thus the engine never materialized.


All of the merchandise is under the name "Big City Engine".


Merchandise Gallery

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