|This article is about the engine. You may be looking for the Railway Series book.|
Edward is a blue Furness Railway K2 class mixed-traffic engine. He runs his own branch line with BoCo. Edward is one of the oldest engines on Sodor and is occasionally made fun of for his old age. Edward is very wise and optimistic and spreads his knowledge and encouraging attitude towards the other engines.
Edward was built by Sharp Stewart and Company in Manchester, England in 1896 and worked on the Furness Railway before coming to Sodor in 1915 to finish the building of the North Western Railway. After his work was completed, Edward was kept in a shed, to the delight of the other engines, who claimed that he was too weak to work. Edward was eventually let out again and proved that what he lacked in strength he made up for in work ethic.
Edward is kind-hearted and always keen to help a friend in need. The small engines trust him to lend a listening ear and sympathetic advice. He is a hard worker too, and always does his best to finish a job.
Sadly, the big engines often see Edward as old-fashioned and slow. While it is true he is the oldest engine on the North Western Railway - it must be noted he helped build it - he has proved time and time again that he is more than capable of working as hard as any engine, but he is a more clever and wiser engine, too.
Unlike most characters, Edward is not directly based upon any particular class of locomotive. The Reverend W. Awdry had stated that Edward is based on a heavily modified Sharp, Stewart and Co. "Larger Seagull", supplied to the Furness Railway in 1896.
Sodor "historian" Martin Clutterbuck notes that Edward bears a close resemblance to a LNER D3/4 "Glen" (NBR Reid Class K) 4-4-0 from the London and North Eastern Railway. At any rate, the Reverend W. Awdry used an engine of this class to represent Edward on his model railway.
Crovan's Gate modifications to be seen are making the rear splasher flush with the cab, new cab windows as opposed to cutaway, and new cab lookouts as opposed to the round originals.
The inspiration for Edward himself came from the Reverend W. Awdry's watching trains on the Great Western Railway as a child. He said in an interview with Brian Sibley for The Thomas the Tank Engine Man that, to him, the noise of the locomotives' exhaust almost sounded like dialogue - for example, the larger engine having trouble climbing the hills would appear to be saying, "I can't do it, I can't do it," and the smaller engine helping them would sound like it were saying, "I will do it! I will do it! I will do it!" Later, Reverend Awdry told his son a bedtime story about an engine who was sad because he was never taken out of the shed for being old. Upon being asked what the engine's name was by his son, the Reverend Awdry picked the name Edward out of thin air.
Edward is painted NWR blue with the NWR red and yellow lining and the number "2" painted on his tender sides in bright yellow with a red border. In the Railway Series, he carries two builder's plates on the sides of his cab.
It can be assumed that, before arriving on Sodor, Edward was painted in the Furness Railway's red livery with the letters "FR" written in yellow on his tender sides and black wheels.
- Edward was the very first character created for the Railway Series, in 1943.
- Edward is the only engine whose crew has been named in the Railway Series. In the foreword of "Edward the Blue Engine" their names were given as Charlie Sand (driver) and Sidney Hever (fireman). Their surnames came from their duties (one of the driver's jobs is to sand the rails when they are slippery to let the engine's wheels grip, while the fireman "heaves" coal to the firebox); their Christian names came from an engine crew from the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway.
- Edward was not seen in Thomas and the Magic Railroad as his model was not finished in time.
- ERTL (normal and Gold Rail; discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (several versions)
- Take-Along (normal and metallic; discontinued)
- Bandai Tecs
- Brio (discontinued)
|North Western Railway|
|Thomas • Edward • Henry • Gordon • James • Percy • Toby • Duck • Donald and Douglas • Oliver • Barry • Harvey • Emily • Fergus • Arthur • Murdoch • The Austerity Engine • The Red Engine • Bill and Ben • Daisy • BoCo • Bear • Mavis • The Works Diesel • Diesel • Derek • Diesel 10 • 'Arry and Bert • Splatter and Dodge • Salty • Pip and Emma • Peel Godred Engines|