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Toby was built by James Holden at GER's Stratford Works in Stratford, London, England in 1914 and originally lived at Great Yarmouth Docks, Norfolk with his brothers before working on an unnamed tramway. In 1951, Toby came to work at the quarry on Thomas' Branch Line after his old railway in East Anglia closed, as it was found to be illegal for Thomas to go on the quarry tramroad without sideplates or cowcatchers.
Toby is old and, at first, was teased by James for his shabby paint. James stopped calling him names after he crashed into some tar wagons and Toby was given chocolate-brown paint for his hard work and a new coat for Henrietta as well.
Toby also got into a bit of a controversy with a female Diesel shunter named Mavis as she was not willing to shunt the trucks where they needed to be. After an accident with some trucks, the two engines made up their quarrel and are now good friends.
After this, he was sent to the works to be mended, but ran out of water on the main line, due to the signalman not understanding about Toby's low water capacity. In result, James had to push Toby to the works while pulling the express.
In the fifth season, Toby discovered an old castle and an old mine, and, while staying on guard, met the Old Warrior Ghost, who was really a narrow gauge engine named Bertram. After this, the two engines became good friends and now take visitors to and from the castle and mine. Later on, Toby had to rescue Farmer McColl's lambs that were trapped on a hillside.
In the eighth season, Toby had to fill in for Edward and pushed Gordon up Gordon's Hill. He then went on to take Alicia Botti to a special picnic for a concert. Soon after he discovered the old Sodor Tramways sign.
In the thirteenth season, he was given a temporary three-chime whistle while his bell was being cleaned at the Steamworks. It helped with warning Thomas and Gordon that the tracks were blocked.
In the fourteenth season, Toby was assigned to shunt coal trucks in the Whistling Woods. He was greatly frightened by strange noises. Eventually he overcame his fear, along with help from Thomas and James. Later he gave Thomas advice on what old engines like to do, in hopes of helping him with Dowager Hatt's trip.
In the fifteenth season, Toby was assigned to work with Bash for the day as Bash's reward. Seeing how much he liked Sodor, Toby decided to find Bash a place to live there, much to Bash' chagrin. Eventually he listened to Bash and took him home. Toby also helped James when they were rescue engines for the day. Later, Toby was shy when Belle tried to befriend him, but eventually they became friends.
In the sixteenth season, Toby was frightened by a shape in the fog that Percy described and ran away, causing his pipes to bump into Butch's magnet. Later, he and Rheneas went to find a Christmas tree on Misty Island for the narrow gauge engines.
In the eighteenth season, Toby became afraid of Knapford Junction and had trouble trying to find his right signal on the station's new signal bridge.
When he was first introduced, Toby was old but hardworking and knew enough about running a branch line to justify running Thomas' with Thomas and Daisy after Percy's accident with the trucks. He is also savvy enough to control the trucks. However, his advanced age and design means that he is weaker than the other engines.
Since the eighth season, Toby had been portrayed as being nervous about the capabilities of his work and uncertain about being an old steam tram, believing that he is not a proper engine, only good enough as a museum piece and not really special at all.
Toby enjoys listening to the birds in the birdhouse next to his shed. He also is friends with the pigs at Farmer Trotter's Pig Farm.
Since King of the Railway, Toby has been portrayed closer to his original wiser and more jovial personality, having more subtle shades of nervousness.
In the Railway Series Toby was painted brown with black cowcatchers and sideplates (which sported "LNER" in bright yellow letters) before working on his tramway, where he was repainted greyish-brown with grey sideplates and cowcatchers. After helping James he was repainted chocolate-brown with olive frames and blue sideplates.
In the television series, Toby has consistently been painted brown with grey sideplates and cowcatchers. Toby has a number "7" painted on his sides in bright yellow with a red border.
In the Railway Series, he carries two plaques on the sides of his cab stating that he works on the NWR, his number, and the last time and place that he was rebuilt.
Toby on the big Screen
Toby was voiced by Colm Feore in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. In the movie, after Diesel 10 eavesdropped on Thomas and Percy talking about the buffers to the magic railroad, Toby followed him to the Smelters Yard. There, he distracted Diesel 10 by ringing his bell, in result of Diesel 10 demolishing the shed that he, Splatter, and Dodge were in.
- Colm Feore (Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- William Hope (US; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Ben Small (UK; Hero of the Rails - eighteenth season)
- Yasuhiko Kawazu (Japan; first - eighth seasons)
- Tomohiro Tsuboi (Japan; Season 9 onwards)
- Espen Sandvik (Norway; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Herman López (Mexico; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Tom Deininger (Germany; Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Volker Hanisch (Germany; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Mieczysław Morański (Poland; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Albert Cohen (Israel; Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- Gadi Levi (Israel)
- Fadulli Costa (Brazil; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- The Wooden Railway and Brio ranges incorrectly depict Toby as an 0-4-0.
- In Thomas Comes Home, the illustrations of "Toby's Megatrain" show Toby with a face at the rear cab as well as the front cab. This is the only time in the Railway Series that Toby has been illustrated with two faces.
- Two Toby models have been on public display; one was at Drayton Manor (until the model ended up being stolen in early 2011), another was on display in Canada at Nitrogen Studios, but now is currently in Japan.
- Toby is Christopher Awdry's favourite engine. This is because while on a trip in Yarmouth, he and his father got to ride in the cab of a J70 tram, thanks to Wilbert's good friend, the late Charlie Rand.
- In the CGI series, Toby is regularly driven from his rear cab instead of his front one.
- In an interview with SiF , Andrew Brenner stated that Toby was one of his favourite characters, along with James, Bill, and Ben.
- In real life, Toby would be the sole-surviving member of his class, and of his design.
- ERTL (normal and Gold Rail; both discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (normal, talking, bronze (discontinued), and Battery-Powered)
- Take-Along (normal, metallic, and in multi-packs; all discontinued)
- My First Thomas
- Motor Road and Rail (normal and talking; discontinued outside Asia)
- TrackMaster (normal, flip-face, and talking)
- Hornby (discontinued)
- Bachmann (HO and large scale)
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Bandai (several versions; discontinued)
- Trading Cards
- Take-n-Play (normal and talking)
- De Agostini (discontinued)
- Brio (discontinued)
- LEGO (discontinued)
- Mega Bloks (discontinued)
- Discover Junction
- DVD Bingo (discontinued)
- Collectible Railway
- Motorized Railway
- Departing Now
- Micro Rubber Engines
- Push Along
|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|