Tom Rolt was built at the Talyllyn's Pendre Works, using parts of a seldom-used 3ft gauge Andrew Barclay 0-4-0WT, built in 1949 for Bord na Mona, the Irish turf board. An 0-4-2T, it is the line's newest, largest, most powerful steam locomotive, having entered service in 1991. It is named after the author L. T. C. Rolt, who inspired the Talyllyn's preservation and was its manager in 1951 and 1952.
On May 6th, 1991, Tom Rolt's name was unveiled by L. T. C. Rolt's wife, Sonia.
In August 2000, Tom Rolt returned to service after its annual boiler inspection and overhaul. It always carries the standard TR deep bronze green livery. In 2007, Tom Rolt was withdrawn from service for an overhaul, but came back into service in early 2009.
Ivo Hugh is based on Tom Rolt.
Tom Rolt is running in the standard Talyllyn Railway green livery, lined with black borders and yellow lining.
- One of Tom Rolt's alternative names was at one point intended to be "Irish Pete".