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This article is about the steam tram. You may be looking for the Railway Series book, or the episode.
"What Toby doesn't know about branch line problems isn't worth knowing. Our Toby's an experienced engine!"
— Sir Topham Hatt, Percy's Predicament, Branch Line Engines

Toby is a GER C53 steam tram who came to Sodor after his tramway closed down. He has two coaches named Henrietta and Victoria and a luggage van named Elsie. He works on Thomas' Branch Line and originates from the Great Eastern Railway.


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.


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 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


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.
  • 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 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


North Western Railway
ThomasEdwardHenryGordonJamesPercyTobyDuckDonald and DouglasOliverBarryHarveyEmilyFergusArthurMurdochThe Austerity EngineThe Red EngineBill and BenDaisyBoCoBearMavisThe Works DieselDieselDerekDiesel 10'Arry and BertSplatter and DodgeSaltyPip and EmmaPeel Godred Engines

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