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The Thin Controller

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This article is about the Railway Series character. You may be looking for the TV series character, the steam engine, the magazine story or the Story Library book.
""We have no money to mend you," he said, "and if happens again, I'll leave you at the back of the shed!" Why does he always pick on me? It's no fair."
— Duncan, Mountain Engines

So far, there have been three controllers who have managed the Skarloey Railway in the Railway Series.

Bio in the Railway Series

Mr. Mack


Mr. Mack was the first manager of the Skarloey Railway. When he retired, he was succeeded by Mr. Peter Sam. He only appeared in Very Old Engines.

He did not know much about engines' feelings and after failing time and time again to steam Skarloey, he lost patience and covered him up with a tarpaulin. Later, while traveling on Skarloey, he was knocked into a bush after he closed Skarloey's regulator too quickly and he rode in Beatrice for the remainder of the journey. However, Mr. Mack did gain patience after he brought Mr. Bobbie to be Skarloey's driver. He then arranged for Skarloey to have an extra set of wheels and be rebuilt with a cab.

Mr. Peter Sam (1915-)


Mr. Peter Sam, was the former controller of the Skarloey Railway. He succeeded the previous narrow gauge controller, Mr. Mack, and was hired by the owner, Sir Handel Brown.

By the late 1940s, he was first hired as Rheneas' driver when the railway was facing hard times, and he also served as guard for all of the trains. When Stuart and Falcon were purchased by the Skarloey Railway, Stuart was renamed Peter Sam in his honour. He then attended Skarloey and Rheneas' hundredth birthday, and invited Sir Robert Norramby, the Duke of Sodor. In 1959, Mr. Peter Sam found an old saloon coach in a garden at Harwick. When he retired in 1980, he was succeeded by his son, Roger Sam.

Mr. Roger Sam (1948-)


Mr. Roger Sam, is the current controller of the Skarloey Railway. After ten years of acting as assistant manager, he took over the role of his father in 1980 with the unanimous approval of the Skarloey Railway Board.

In 1982, he chose Sir Handel to visit the Talyllyn Railway to help while Talyllyn was being mended. He later arranged for another engine to be built and help out with the additional traffic that had come to the railway line over the years. He named the engine, Ivo Hugh, after the railway's former foreman.

When Sir Handel broke his firebars loose on purpose, Mr. Roger Sam sent him to the shed and he awaited for repairs. However, Sir Handel thought that Mr. Roger Sam had locked him in the shed in disgrace, and longed to be let out. When the Thin Controller finally came to see Sir Handel, he was quick to confess that he damaged his firebars on purpose. The Thin Controller, thinking quickly, thanked Sir Handel for admitting his mistake and arranged for him to receive some new firebars. However, he neglected to tell him that they had only been delivered that morning.

Bio in the Television Series


In the television series, the role of the controller of the Skarloey Railway was first taken by Sir Topham Hatt in the fourth season. In the ninth season, Mr. Peregrine Percival became the second controller of the Skarloey Railway. He was hired to help Sir Topham Hatt manage the ever-increasing size of his railway industry.

Mr. Percival also manages the Culdee Fell Railway in the television series and runs a Cable Railway in the magazines. He is married and has five children.


Mr. Mack did not know much about an engines' feelings, and did not have the proper patience to steam an engine. However, he did gain patience after he brought Mr. Bobbie to be Skarloey's driver.

Mr. Peter Sam was rather strict and reprimanded engines whenever they would get into trouble; Sir Handel was most impressed by this. He was firm, but fair, and once jokingly threatened to . However, Duncan thought that the Thin Controller only picked on him.


Railway Series

The Thin Controllers, Mr. Mack, Mr. Peter Sam and Mr. Percival have appeared in the My Thomas Story Library series. Mr. Peter Sam also made an appearance in the Mr. Perkins segment on The Thomas Way; in the US version, he was referred to as Mr. Percival.


  • In the television series, Mr. Percival is also referred to as the "Thin Controller" in the UK narration.


Skarloey Railway
SkarloeyRheneasSir HandelPeter SamRustyDuncanIvo HughDukeFredMark V
BertramMighty MacFreddieLukeProteus

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