Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia


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This article is about the steam tram. You may be looking for the Railway Series book, the episode, or the song.
"What's important is to stand up on our own wheels to Diesel."
— Toby, Thomas and the Magic Railroad

  • Number: 7
  • Class: LNER J70 0-6-0
  • Designer: James Holden
  • Builder: Stratford Works
  • Built: 1914
  • Configuration: 0-6-0T
  • Arrived on Sodor: November 1951

Toby is a steam tram. He has two coaches named Henrietta and Victoria and a luggage van, Elsie.


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.

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. He later conquered his fear of the Whistling Woods with the help of James and Thomas.

In the fourteenth season, Toby was assigned to shunt coal trucks in the Whistling Woods. He was greatly frightened by strange noises and constantly reversed into the coal trucks by Thomas and James. He eventually confessed his fear, and along with Thomas and James' help, made it through the woods and was no longer scared.


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 has 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.


Toby was inspired by a GER C53 0-6-0T Wisbech steam tram (classed as J70 by the LNER) seen by the Reverend Wilbert and Christopher Awdry on a holiday at Yarmouth, hence Toby's origins.


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.


Railway Series

Television series


Magazine stories

Toby also appeared in the magazine stories, A Sticky Situation, All Puffed Out, Arthur and Emily, Daisy and the Troublesome Trucks, Diesel's Nasty Turn, Glider Rider, Henry's Forest, Henry's Soaking!, Percy and the Trucks, Peter Sam, Rude James, Spotting Shapes, Stolen Apples, Taking Toby, The Big Ship, The Big Wheel, The Lost Parcel, The Milk Train, and The Poorly Engine!.

Voice Actors

Theme Instrumental


  • 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 in the U.K but for unknown actual reasons has now been removed, the other is currently in Canada at Nitrogen Studios.
  • 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.
  • Toby's woodwork colour has changed shades over the years.
  • In CGI, Toby is regularly driven from his rear cab instead of his front one.
  • From "Hero of the Rails" onwards, the chime of Toby's bell became the same as Flora's.
  • Toby gained a rounder roof in the TV series.
  • In a interview with SiF, Andrew Brenner stated that Toby was one of his favourite characters, along with James, Bill and Ben.


  • "Come on, Grandfather!" cried the children. "Do look at this engine!"
  • "That's a tram engine, Stephen." said the Fat Controller.
  • "Is it electric?" asked Bridget.
  • "WHOOSH!!" hissed Toby.
  • "Shh!" said her brother. "You've offended him!"
  • "But trams are electric, aren't they?"
  • "They are mostly, but this is a steam tram!"
  • "May we go in it, Grandfather? Please?"
  • "Stop!" said the Fat Controller to the guard. They all scrambled into Henrietta.
  • "Hip! Hip! Hooray!" chanted Henrietta, but Toby did not sing.
  • "Electric indeed! Electric indeed!" he snorted. He felt very hurt.

- Bridget Hatt mistakes Toby for an electric tram, Toby and the Stout Gentleman, Toby the Tram Engine.

"James," he asked, "Why are you red?"
"I am a splendid engine," answered James, "READY for anything! You never see my paint dirty."
"Oh!" said Toby, innocently, "That's why you once needed bootlaces, to be ready I suppose!"
James went redder than ever and snorted off.

- Toby ribbing James about his bootlace, Toby the Tram Engine



Merchandise Gallery

See Also

North Western Railway
ThomasEdwardHenryGordonJamesPercyTobyDuckDonald and DouglasOliverBarryThe Austerity EngineThe Red EnginesDaisyBoCoBearThe Works DieselPip and EmmaPeel Godred Engines
HarveyEmilyFergusArthurMurdochMollyNevilleRosieWhiffBillyStanleyHankFloraVictorCharlieBash and DashFerdinandScruffBellePorterDerekDiesel 10'Arry and BertSaltyDennisDenDartSidneyPaxtonNormanFlynnWinstonStafford

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