Bio in the Railway Series
Duke was built at Boston Lodge in Minffordd, Wales in 1879 before being transported to Sodor for the opening of the Mid Sodor Railway in 1880.
In 1947, the line closed and Duke was sheeted and sheltered in the Arlesdale Sheds. He believed that The Duke of Sodor would come to rescue him, but as time went on, he did not show, and Duke began to have doubts which grew stronger and stronger. He was later discovered by Mr. Fergus Duncan, the Reverend Teddy Boston and the Reverend W. Awdry in 1969 and taken by road and rail to Crovan's Gate, where he was restored and returned to service in 1982. He now works on the Skarloey Railway.
Bio in the Television Series
Duke lived on the Mid Sodor Railway with several engines including Stuart, Falcon, and briefly Smudger, until the line went bankrupt and Stuart and Falcon were sold. Duke, however, was sheeted until a group of adventurers found his shed, buried under soil that had washed down from the mountains. Skarloey and Rheneas took him back to the Skarloey Railway, where he was soon returned to service.
Duke is one of the oldest and most experienced engines of the Skarloey Railway. He is also the mentor of Peter Sam and Sir Handel, from their younger days on the Mid Sodor Railway, when they were called Stuart and Falcon respectively. Although once lost for many years in an old shed that nature tucked away and forgot, after the Mid Sodor Railway came to an end, he was found by rescuers, although quite by accident, when one dropped in through his shed roof. He may have a head teacher attitude and maintain his authority at all times, but can be quick to apply his knowledge and years of experience to help guide and correct any younger engine. He is proud of his name and keen to uphold the respect it merits. He can often be heard to say "That would never suit his Grace!" upon hearing or seeing something that he takes a disapproval to, or pedantically stating how he thinks someone would have adhered to the rules and regulations in his young days. Despite their teasing ways, Sir Handel and Peter Sam in particular have grown to become very fond of Duke and dearly nicknamed him "Granpuff" for his long service to the railway.
The story of Duke being rediscovered was based upon a true story about an engine abandoned in the Brazilian rainforest. Duke himself is based on Prince, a George England tender engine from the Ffestiniog Railway at Porthmadog, North Wales. Bertram is another member of this class.
In the Railway Series, Duke was painted dark red-brown with red lining. On the Mid Sodor Railway, Duke was numbered 1 and his tender bears the Mid Sodor Railway's crest. When he moved to the Skarloey Railway, he was not repainted red with yellow and blue lining and does not bear the number 8 for unknown reasons. In Great Little Engines and New Little Engine, he was painted brown. In the television series, Duke was painted brown with yellow lining and has two red plaques on either side of his saddletank with his name written in gold.
On the Reverend W. Awdry's model railway, he had "The Duke" written on his sides and "MS" written on his tender.
- Masaharu Satō (Japan)
- Duke's current grace is Sir Robert Norramby.
- The official website states that Duke is the oldest of the narrow gauge engines. However, Skarloey and Rheneas are older, having been built in 1864 and 1865, respectively, while Duke was built in 1879.
- Duke's model and Smudger's face were used to create Bertram as a last minute resort due to financial difficulties, which is why Duke never appeared after the fourth season (excluding portraits and stock footage cameos).
- The Reverend W. Awdry's model of "The Duke" was at the Reverend Teddy Boston's Cadeby Light Railway, before the railway finally closed in 2005.
- Duke was the first narrow gauge engine to not be based on an engine from the Talyllyn Railway.
- Unlike Duke's basis, Prince, who is built to the Ffestiniog Railway's gauge of 1'11½", Duke was built to the 2'3" gauge of the Mid Sodor and Skarloey Railways.
- Duke's affectionate nickname of "Granpuff" that was given to him by Stuart and Falcon was the same affectionate nickname Wilbert Awdry was given by his grandchildren due to their observation of smoke coming from his pipe looking like that of a steam engine.
- Sometimes they would wink at each other and chant solemnly. "Engines come and engines go, Granpuff 'goes on' forever!"
- "You imprudent scallywags." Duke would say indignantly. "Whatever are young engines coming to nowadays?!"
- "Never mind Granpuff, we're only young once."
- "Well you better mind, unless you want to end up like No.2...."
- Stuart and Falcon teasing Duke, "Granpuff", "Duke the Lost Engine".
- Duke was alone locked up in the shed.
- "Where's his grace?" he wondered. "Its not like him to forget me."
- But his grace had been killed in the war. And the new Duke, a boy, hadn't heard of his little engine.
- "Oh well," said Duke to himself. "I'll go to sleep. It will help to pass the time."
- Years passed, winter torrents washed soils from the hills over the shed. Trees and bushes grew around. You wouldn't have known a shed was there, let alone a little engine asleep inside it.
- Duke alone locked up in his shed, "Granpuff", "Duke the Lost Engine".
- ERTL (normal and metallic; discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (two versions; discontinued)
- Take Along (discontinued)
- Take-n-Play (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (discontinued)
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
- Mini Die Cast Collection (discontinued)
- Departing Now (discontinued)
- Trading Cards (discontinued)
- De Agostini (discontinued)
- Brio (discontinued)
- Nakayoshi (discontinued)
- Wind-up (Japan only)
- Waku Waku