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The Red Engines

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There have been at least two unnamed red engines featured in The Railway Series.

The First Red Engine

"The driver won't choose you again. He wants big strong engines, like us."
— The Big Engines to Edward, Edward's Day Out, The Three Railway Engines


The First Red Engine
  • Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
  • Configuration: 4-6-2

The First Red Engine lived at Vicarstown Sheds with Edward, Henry, Gordon, 98462 and 87546, it is unknown what happened to the engine afterwards, although he/she could have returned back to The Other Railway.


It is implied that the engine, along with the four other engines, liked to hurt Edward's feelings due to him being smaller and weaker than them.


The engine's basis is not known, with no outside cylinders or motion. He/she looks a cross between Gordon and Henry in his old shape with a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement. However by the earlier illustrations made by Middleton, it is arguable that he/she is a LNER B13 with 2 additional trailing wheels.


The engine is painted in a red coat of paint, with yellow and black lining, and has red wheels and a black dome.


Railway Series


The Second Red Engine


The Second Red Engine
  • Class: L&YR Class 28
  • Builder: Horwich Works
  • Designer: George Hughes
  • Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm
  • Configuration: 2-6-0, originally 0-6-0

This red engine tried to push Henry out of a tunnel, but without success, it is unknown what happened to the engine following this event.

This engine was originally illustrated to be James. However, children wrote to the Reverend asking why James was red before he got repainted in the third book. With all the confusion, Awdry decided that it was not James; instead a different character altogether.


The engine's personality is somewhat unknown; it is possible he/she is a helpful and obedient sort, having tried to push Henry out of the tunnel, by order of the Fat Director.


This engine is based on a L&YR Class 28 with an added pony truck and a Fowler tender, very much like James. However it might have been the same basis as the first one, since the earlier illustrations showed he/she as a 4-6-2.


This engine is painted red with yellow and black lining. He has red wheels and a red dome.


Railway Series


  • The second red engine might actually be the same character as the first one. In fact, in the earlier illustrations, the two engines' wheel configurations are the same.
  • The engine's role in The Sad Story of Henry was replaced by Thomas when the story was adapted into the television series. Ironically, James took his role in The Adventure Begins.


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