Non-rail vehicles (Thomas and Friends)

Non-rail vehicles (Thomas and Friends)

The television series Thomas and Friends and the original Railway Series books are well known for its anthropomorphic railway engines. This article lists the characters over the years who are not rail-based.


Recurring characters


Terence is an orange tractor fitted with caterpillar tracks. He often pulls other vehicles who have become stuck. When Thomas first encountered Terence, he insulted Terence’s caterpillars, but later discovered their usefulness when Terence pulled him out of a snowdrift. Terence also had a removable bulldozer blade that he used to clear snow or any sort of rubble.

Terence works on a farm by Thomas’ branch line. Terence first appears in Season 1 (1984), with cameos in the 6th and 7th seasons. He also cameos in The Great Discovery.

Terence is available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster (battery and non-battery operated) railway toy systems.


Bertie (voiced by Rupert Degas) is a red bus. He raced Thomas and, though he lost, the two have been firm friends ever since.

Bertie has been seen frequently since his debut in Season 1.

Bertie is available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster railway toy systems.


Discovered by Edward in a scrapyard, Trevor the traction engine was due to be broken up before he was saved by the Vicar of Wellsworth. He now lives in the Vicarage Orchard and is often used for light haulage work, and at the vicarage fete to give all the children rides. He is painted dark green with red lining, gold boiler bands and red wheels.

Trevor has been seen often since his debut in Season 2.

Trevor is available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster (not battery operated) railway toy systems.


Harold (voiced by Keith Wickham) is a white helicopter who patrols the skies of Sodor. Nicknamed "whirlybird" by the engines, he enjoys a good-natured rivalry with them. He was introduced in Season 2 and has been seen often since his debut. Harold is modeled on the Sikorsky H-19 helicopter.

Harold is available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster (not battery operated) railway toy systems.


Bulgy is a red and cream, bad-tempered double-decker bus, later repainted green and cream. He hated railways, and believed that some day they would all be replaced by roads. He even carried a poster on his side telling people to "JOIN THE ANTI-RAIL LEAGUE". His favourite phrase is "Free the roads!" He also wears a large sign saying "RAILWAY BUS," although he isn't really.

When he first arrived, he tried to steal Duck’s and Oliver's passengers by pretending to be a railway bus. Bulgy was determined to get the passengers to the Big Station before Duck, but was stopped when he became stuck under a low bridge after taking a short cut. Eventually he was turned into a henhouse by Duck's branch line.

Bulgy was only prominently featured in two episodes, 'Bulgy' in Season 3 and 'Bulgy Rides Again' in Season 7. He also made a cameo in Seasons 4, 7 and 12. However, Bulgy's green livery was changed to red, and converted into a regular bus in Season 12 for unknown reasons.

Bulgy is available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster railway toy systems.


George is a green steamroller with yellow boiler band and red lining who despises the engines. He can often be heard chanting, "Railways are no good; turn 'em into roads! Pull 'em up! Turn 'em into roads!". He rarely comes out on top, as his enthusiasm for beating the railways can make him careless.

George made his first appearance in the Season 4 episode "Steam Roller" and also appeared in the Season 5 episodes "Lady Hatt's Birthday Party" and "Bye George" as well as the special feature Calling All Engines. He has made a number of cameo and background appearances since.

George is available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster (not battery operated) railway toy systems.


Caroline is an elderly red and gold automobile used by the cricketers on the Island of Sodor. She does not like high speeds as these wear her out, overheating her motor. She does have a softer side, and she appreciates the engines after Stepney helped her back to the field in the Season 4 episode 'Train Stops Play'. She also appears in Season 5's 'Lady Hatt's Birthday Party' and cameos in Seasons 8 and the episode Percy and the Oil Painting in Season 9.

Caroline is available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster (battery and non-battery operated) railway toy systems.


Cranky from the Take-along-Thomas toy series.

Cranky (voiced by Matt Wilkinson) is a grey-green tower crane who works at Brendom Docks loading and unloading ships. He finds the engines tiresome, particularly the smaller ones, and enjoys teasing them, in particular using the term "bugs" to deride them. Cranky cannot move on his own, but he can be dismantled and rebuilt in other locations if necessary.

Cranky first appeared in Season 5 and has made numerous appearances since. On one occasion he was toppled when a runaway tramp steamer collided with the engine shed.

Cranky is available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster railway toy systems.


Butch (voiced by Rupert Degas) is an amber and navy blue breakdown vehicle. He helps clear rubble and haul broken down cars and lorries. His number plate is 'BRK 03', and is also known as the 'Sodor Heavy Recovery Unit'. His only named appearance was in the Series 5 episode "Horrid Lorry", in which he had no face. In further background appearances, he is given a small, stubbled face on his radiator.

Butch's model has been recreated for the show's CGI overhaul, and cameos in the straight-to-D.V.D. Misty Island Rescue special. Since the opening of the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, Butch has the logo of said establishment on his cab doors. Butch received a speaking role in a Season 15 episode, his first ever speaking role since his debut in season 5. He has since been fitted with a magnet that can lift metal objects.

Promotional materials state that he uses parts from diesel engines, lorries, and cranes, and is similar in profile to a vintage 6x4 wrecker from Mack Trucks.

Tiger Moth

Tiger Moth is a red-and-yellow biplane. Tiger Moth has had few features but several cameos. He was first seen in Season 5.

Tiger Moth is loosely based on a de Havilland Tiger Moth, which shares its name, but its radial engine and tail actually resemble the Sopwith Camel.

In the magazines, the character of Tiger Moth is extended- to the point where he is depicted with a face.

Tiger Moth was available in the wooden railway toy system.


Elizabeth is a maroon vintage Sentinel steam lorry. She was once the Fat Controller's first lorry, however she was stored in a shed for some time before she was found by accident. Now she works at the quarries with Rusty. She does not like laziness or rudeness, and will respond to both in the strongest terms. Although she believes roads are superior to rails, she often helps the engines out.

Elizabeth was first introduced in Season 6 and has appeared in the 7th, 8th and 11th series.


Jeremy is a white and blue jet plane who believes planes are better than trains. He first appears in "Thomas and the Jet Plane" in Season 10.

He speaks with a booming voice and appeared in the episodes 'Percy and the Left Luggage' and 'Thomas and the Spaceship' and he has made a cameo in 'Dream On' and 'Sticky Toffee Thomas'. He also made a passing appearance in 'The Great Discovery'.

Jeremy is reminiscent of a corporate styled jet similar to a Cessna Citation X or a Hawker Jet. He doesn't look like a Boeing or Airbus passenger jet.


Madge is a snub-nosed green and cream lorry with a three-wheeled cab and a flatbed. Her first appearance was in the episode 'Cool Truckings' and then 'Wash Behind Your Buffers' in Season 11's special DVD, 'Engines and Escapades'. She is described as having a motherly attitude towards the Skarloey engines, and often eager to please-so much so she forgets her own priorities. Madge is based on a Scammell Lorry, commonly called 'Scammell Scarabs' and were used frequently around British Railways.

She is the first character to appear in a DVD-exclusive, 'Engines and Escapades'. She also appears in 'The Great Discovery'. Madge made a cameo in 'Hero of the Rails'.

Madge has been released in Wooden Railway, Take-along, and Trackmaster ranges.


Kevin (voiced by Matt Wilkinson) is a mobile crane who works alongside Victor at the Sodor Steamworks. Kevin calls Victor "Boss" and he's young and somewhat accident prone, which can be a bother to Victor, but the two work well together.[1]

Kevin catchphrase is "It was a slip of the hook!" This has become so well known that most of the engines can finish the line for him.

Kevin is a road crane based on a 20 ton Ransome Rapier crane.[2] Kevin wears a yellow livery with black warning stripes.


Captain (voiced by Keith Wickham) is a blue, red and yellow coast guard lifeboat who first appears in Misty Island Rescue. He is part of Sodor Search and Rescue Team, along with Harold and Rocky.

Captain is based on an Ex-Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Liverpool Class Lifeboat.


Flynn (voiced by Rupert Degas) is a red fire engine with an American accent. First appearing in the series 15 episode Firey Flynn, he bears the Rescue Centre insignia on his cab doors, and is equipped to go road to rail. He resembles a 1964 Oshkosh W800 4x4 aircraft rescue fire engine.[3][4][5]

He officially appeared prominently in the 2011 special Day of the Diesels, (the prequal to series 15).

Minor characters


Bulstrode is a cream, black and maroon self-propelled barge who worked at the harbour on the Island of Sodor. He was used to carry cargo like coal and stone, but always complained about not being loaded fast enough. Percy accidentally pushed trucks off a dock and into his hull, causing damage to him and the trucks. The trucks then giggled and said to him, "Serves you right! You were always barging in and moaning!" He was then towed to Knapford Beach, where he was used as a children's playground.

Bulstrode is available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster (not battery operated) railway toy systems.

The Horrid Lorries

The three Horrid lorries came to Sodor to replace the engines, but were sent away following a series of accidents. Lorry 2 accidentally drove down and off a steep mountain road on his way from the quarry, Lorry 3 broke down after being overloaded with flour, and Lorry 1 reversed straight into the sea.

All three are painted red and carry numberplates, which read "LOR 1"(L0R 1), "LOR 2"(L0R 2) and "LOR 3"(L0R 3). Thomas christened them "The Brothers Grim: Smashed, Broken & Sunk" after their accidents. According to the official series website, they consider themselves brothers and were all built at the same time for transporting goods.

In the video game Thomas & Friends: Trouble on the Tracks, Horrid Lorry No. 1 is shown to still be working on the island. The Fat Controller asks him to collect coal from the mines for the engines in the shed after James who was supposed to collect it had an accident.

The lorries were available in the wooden, take-along, and trackmaster (uk) railway toy systems.


Thumper is a reddish orange quarry machine with two arms and caterpillar tracks, used to loosen rocks in the quarry. He was only featured in one Season 5 story, 'Rusty and the Boulder', with no dialogue.

Thumper was available in the wooden and take-along railway toy systems.


Colin is a green stationary steam crane who works at the Wharf. Colin has never been to a party because he cannot move, so Freddie decides to hold the party at the Wharf. Colin has made his debut in Season 12 the episode is "The Party Surprise". He can load and unload cargo from trucks and barges.

The Pack

In Season 6, a new set of characters was introduced called 'The Pack'. This was a gang of construction machines owned by Miss Jenny. The characters were devised by then-producer Phil Fehrle with the intention of being turned into a spin-off series, possibly as a rival to Bob the Builder. This series never materialised, and prior to 2006, the Pack only ever appeared in the episodes 'Jack Jumps In' and 'A Friend In Need'. However, they have recently been featured with 4 new characters in a new DVD entitled On Site with Thomas; though whether the episodes on this DVD form part of the official Thomas canon or not is debatable. In The Great Discovery, Almost all of the pack are seen. The exceptions are Nelson, Patrick, Isabella and Byron.


Jack from the Take-along-Thomas toy series.

A friendly and enthusiastic front loader. Jack was first seen in the episode 'Jack Jumps In' when he joined the Pack. Despite a couple of accidents, he was able to prove himself when he saved Thomas from disaster, and is now part of the team. Jack is painted red and cream and has the number 11.

It is unclear what type of vehicle Jack is based on, although he resemble a Nuffield Tractor. Concept artwork shows Jack with a backhoe.

In Japanese version he is voiced by Naomi Shindou


Alfie is an excavator and a fast worker whose motto is, "More work means more dirt; more dirt means more fun!" He loves working hard, and handles even the toughest of jobs with ease. He is painted green and has the number 12 painted on his sides and on the back of his cab.

In some examples of merchandise Alfie is depicted with freckles, although he evidently doesn't have any in the TV Series. It is unknown of what Alfie is based on, although he does resemble a 1960 K1C10 & K Excavator.


Oliver is a wise old excavator, larger than Alfie, who keeps an eye on the other members of the Pack. He is brown and light green and has the number 14 painted on his cab in red. He should not be confused with the steam engine Oliver. Oliver is also capable of switching between different tools, including a chisel and wrecking ball.

Max and Monty

Max and Monty are the devious and troublesome red Dump truck twins. They are known to cause trouble for the Pack Members and also the engines; but are sternly scolded by Miss Jenny when they are found out! Despite being unruly at times with dangerous stunts, they have a good side in them – somewhere – and still do the work like everyone else. They are painted red and grey and have the numbers 15 and 16 respectively.


Kelly is a dark blue crane truck (with yellow crane arm) and the oldest member of the Pack, having originally belonged to Miss Jenny's father. He is good friends with Isabella and seems to trust Jack. He seems to be good at heart and to get on with everyone (except perhaps the dump truck twins). He has the number 17 painted on the sides of his cab.


Byron from the Wooden Thomas toy series.

Byron is a boisterous yellow bulldozer with a big blade. He is a bit conceited, but likes to be useful like the rest of the Pack. He has the number 18 painted on his sides.


Ned is an old brown and tan steam shovel. He means well, but he can sometimes be clumsy. Indeed, he once nearly caused a terrible accident by knocking out the keystone of a railway bridge when Thomas was due to cross with a goods train in "A friend in need". He has the number 19 painted on his cab as well as 'Packard and Co.', but later changed to "Sodor Construction Company" on "On Site with Thomas".


Isobella is a vintage lorry who looks almost identical to Elizabeth, apart from her bright yellow paintwork and her flatbed. She is a hard worker, but does not like getting dirty. She has the number 22 painted on her sides.

Despite many misconceptions of her name being spelt "Isabella", official material proves that her name is correctly spelt as "Isobella".[6]


Patrick from the Take-along-Thomas toy series.

Patrick is a concrete transport truck. He was found to be quite a boastful soul in his first appearance. He knows all there is to know about cement and thinks it is one of the essential means of keeping the building site running. Patrick is older than a lot of the other machines and has a lot of experience in construction, he means well despite his pride and boastfulness, and likes to help the younger less experienced machines. He is painted puce with yellow bits. He has the number 23.


Buster is a simple red-brown steamroller who goes about his job with glee and pride knowing all is right with the world. What Buster lacks in imagination, he makes up for in heart, commitment and hard work and is liked by all the machines in the yard. He is the only member of the Pack not to wear a number.


Nelson is an intelligent Ballast tractor whose job is to haul construction workers to and from work. As the bearer of such weighty loads, he often feels overworked, but will never complain. He is proud of his paint job and is happiest when he looks his best. He wears the number 10 and is painted black and gold.

The website of series art director Bob Gauld-Galliers features a sketch of a thirteenth Pack character, Nigel, a green-and-gold transporter who wears the number 21. Because of the similarity in name and prototype, it is possible that Nigel is the character who eventually became Nelson.[7]

Prop Vehicles

There are several vehicles that appear in various episodes as props. The Ertl Company range of die-cast models featured a number of them and named these "characters" for ease of identification, for example the Dyson Low Loader and the Sodor Soft-Side Truck.

From Season 3 onwards, a number of the background vehicles were used from the defunct television series TUGS. These included boats, cars, lorries and cranes. Also appearing are fire engines based on a 1956 Dennis F8 fire engine.

The Fat Controller's Car

Sir Topham Hatt goes almost everywhere in it. He has had a few accidents while driving it, namely, popping one of its tires in a pothole, and sliding into a ditch, a haystack, and a pond. In the Season 11 story Thomas and the Runaway Car, Thomas collected a "new" car that looks identical to the old one. Whether or not this is a new one or merely the old one is currently unknown. The original S1-4 Car Was Static, But The S5-present design was seen driving about..


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