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This article is about the engine. You may be looking for the Railway Series book, the Story Library book, the Engine Adventures book, the magazine story or the song.
"Express coming through!" & "Oh, the indignity!"
— Gordon's catchphrases




  • Number: 4
  • Class: GNR A1/1 Pacific
  • Designer: Sir Nigel Gresley
  • Builder: Doncaster Works, rebuilt Crewe Works
  • Built: 1922, rebuilt 1939
  • Configuration: 4-6-2
  • Top Speed: 100 mph
  • Arrived on Sodor: 1923

Gordon is a big blue express engine. He is Flying Scotsman's only remaining brother and the cousin of Mallard, Green Arrow, Spencer, Ryan, and The Flying Thistle. When Gordon was streamlined to compete in the Great Railway Show, he ran under the name The Shooting Star.

Bio in the Railway Series

Gordon was built experimentally by Sir Nigel Gresley at the Great Northern Railway's Doncaster Works in 1922 as the first A1 Pacific, what would become the prototype to the final A1 design. When Gresley was finished using Gordon for designing his A1 Pacifics, he sold Gordon, along with a spare boiler and firebox, to the North Western Railway.

Gordon is mainly used for passenger duties, pulling the North Western Railway's express, the Wild Nor' Wester, but has occasionally pulled goods trains, much to his dislike. He has been known to run into ditches and stop on hills to get out of doing these jobs, as he believes that these are below him.

In 1939, Gordon went to Crewe for a rebuild. His conjugated valve gear was replaced by a two-cylinder chassis (designed by the Fat Controller), he received a smoother running plate, Stanier underframes, wheels, cylinders, squared-off side windows, rectangular buffers and a Fowler tender.

Gordon has become famous after his adventures: In 1953, he pulled Queen Elizabeth II's royal train and in 1956, he travelled to London, where he was lauded by a large crowd. Gordon did not like the visit, however, as he discovered that London's big station was St. Pancras. In 1957, when Diesel arrived on trial and was having trouble moving some old trucks, he decided to make rumours about Duck giving Gordon a bad nickname, Galloping Sausage. So he, Henry and James decided to wheesh and yell at Duck to keep out of their sheds. However, when the truth came out that Duck had not made the nicknames, they begin to feel very silly about jumping to conclusions before knowing the true story. Then, in 1986, Gordon got to visit Carlisle when a Diesel taking a Railtour failed.

In 2011, he was dismissed from pulling the express regularly to Barrow due to the purchase of Pip and Emma. He likes this, because he can do two trips a day instead of one and he does not have to hurry.

Bio in the Television Series

Gordon has, to date, been the fastest engine on Sodor, but has sometimes had accidents, due to him trying to show off. In the fifth season, his brakes were not working and he could not stop, resulting in him crashing through the Kirk Ronan Station wall. Also, in the sixth season, he ignored Salty's advice about going slow while pulling trucks, resulting in him speeding down a rickety old branch line and tumbling into a field. Though he has proven to not be too big for his wheels and to be useful instead, like when Spencer first arrived on Sodor, he gave him advice about taking on water before going to Maron Station, in result, he ran out of water on Gordon's Hill and Gordon had to pull him from there. In the tenth season, he, along with Edward, criticised Rocky when he first arrived on Sodor and called him "new-fangled nonsense". Afterwards, when he crashed into Edward's pipes, which had fallen off his flatbeds, he derailed. In result, Rocky came and lifted him back onto the rails and cleared the pipes, proving how useful he is.

Gordon once tried taking a shortcut in order to beat Stanley to Great Waterton, but accidentally crashed into Ben's logs, but luckily, saved Stanley from crashing into them on the track below. When Gordon was given the task of taking the Lion of Sodor to the Duke and Duchess of Boxford's summer house with Ferdinand, he ignored his advice about going slowly over the Fenland, with the result of the statue falling into the muddy marsh. After the statue was cleaned, Gordon let Ferdinand be his front engine and they delivered the statue safely to the summer house. They have since then been good friends. One winter he, along with the rest of the steam team, had to find places to sleep, when the turntable at Tidmouth Sheds was frozen, so he decided to sleep there, in the one accessible berth, resulting in him getting stuck in there the next morning and remaining there for the rest of the day. He has since become a more sensible engine.

Once, he was waiting at Kellsthorpe Station while a workman was painting a telephone box on the other platform. But the man accidentally kicked his paint can onto the track next to Gordon, just as Connor raced through the station, splattering red paint all over Gordon. When Henry saw red spots all over Gordon, he assumed the blue engine had chicken pox.

In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Gordon says that Thomas is a silly little engine, making Thomas upset. Thomas wanted to take revenge, but ended up running Gordon's express coaches off the rails. Due to this incident, Thomas was sent away. Later, while he was pulling the express, Thomas nearly collided with him while chasing Sailor John and Skiff.

In The Great Race, Gordon introduces Thomas to his brother, the Flying Scotsman, at Vicarstown and later teases Thomas for wanting to compete in the Great Railway Show, believing that he is too small to compete. Gordon is selected by the Fat Controller to participate in the Great Race and is temporarily streamlined for the event. However, Gordon refuses to undergo the final safety checks and as a result, the workmen forget to attach his safety valve. Thomas brings the new safety valve to the Mainland and tries to warn Gordon, but Gordon competes in the race without it and his boiler explodes when he refuses to heed Thomas and Flying Scotsman's warnings. Gordon has to drop out of the race as a result. After the Great Railway Show is over and all of the foreign engines (bar Ashima) have gone home, Gordon meets up with Flying Scotsman, who admits that his opinion on Sudrian engines has improved significantly since the race.


Gordon is the fastest and most powerful engine on the rails and he knows it. He is extremely proud and inclined to boast. He is goodhearted, always willing to forgive and uses his superior strength to help smaller engines out of trouble.

Gordon's important position as the engine who usually pulls the Express has made him proud, pompous and self-important, with good reason too; he is the strongest engine on Sodor. Gordon's philosophy "tender engines don't shunt" meant that he looked down on tank engines and tender engines who do shunt, but after being locked in the shed with Henry and James after going on strike and before the seventeenth season, he seemed to have abandoned this philosophy.

Because of his rank in the social order of the North Western Railway, Gordon expects to get the important jobs and either sulks when he does not, or gets jealous of those who do. Sometimes, Gordon acts as a bully, particularly towards Edward, but following misadventures where Edward had to help him, Gordon had to acknowledge that despite being old, Edward is still a very useful engine. However, sometimes Gordon still doubts Edward is still reliable, such as the time he did not believe Edward could win a race against Spencer because "he's only a back engine" and "a waste of steam". However Gordon would soon stop bullying Edward after being tricked by Thomas, he learn his lesson after apologises to Edward saying that he promise not call him old or unreliable anymore.

Sometimes Gordon shows a kinder side and gives the younger engines advice, usually after he has had some mishap as a result of his foolhardiness. Some of his advice is not exactly honest, though, as James and Sir Handel have discovered.



GNR A1 class

According to The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways, Gordon is the experimental prototype for Sir Nigel Gresley's A1 Pacific design for the Great Northern Railway. Gordon was built at the GNR Doncaster Works in Yorkshire. Once the first batch of A1 Pacifics appeared in 1922 Gordon would have more than likely have been reclassified "A1/1" - the /1 indicating he is slightly different to the rest of the class.


Fowler Tender

Gordon, being an experimental engine, never received a number and was never put into regular traffic, he was only ever used on test runs. Owing to various problems Gordon was rebuilt in 1939 at Crewe. Sir Topham Hatt and Sir William Stanier worked together to rectify these problems - everything under the running board is of Stanier's design while the running board itself is that of Sir Topham Hatt's. In both the Railway Series and television series, Gordon is depicted with a Fowler tender.

Pennsylvania Railroad K4 class

As "The Shooting Star", Gordon's appearance is based on a streamlined Pennsylvania Railroad K4 (Hank's class), specifically #3768.


Gordon is painted NWR blue with NWR red-and-yellow lining and the number "4" painted on his tender sides in yellow. Before arriving on Sodor, he was painted Doncaster green with white and black lining.

In the Railway Series, he carries two builder's plates on the sides of his cab.

In The Great Race, in his streamlined form, he is painted NWR blue with silver, red, and dark blue linings. His number is still painted on his tender in yellow, now smaller and surrounded by a dark blue circle.



Learning Segments:



Gordon also appears in the magazine stories, A Long Way Up!, A Puzzle for Percy, A Special Story about Steam, Arthur and Emily, Back-to-Front, Behind Schedule, Bricks and Tunnels, Clean Getaway!, Diesel's Nasty Turn, Fast Food!, Fish and Fog!, Flying James, Gordon and Edward and Gordon the Town Engine, Henry's Secret, High-Speed Henry, How Does Percy Work?, Lazy Wheels, Leaves on the Line, Letting off Steam!, Looking Splendid, Lots of Luggage, Mighty Magnet!, Percy's Plight, Percy and Terence, Picture Posters, Proud Percy!, Railway Open Day, Really Useful Edward, Rhyming Engines, Rude James, Rushing Around, Rusty and the Cheeky Boys, Silly Skarloey, Sodor Goes Pop!, Sodor Rock, Squeaky Wheels, Steaming!, Steaming Along!, Stick with Steam, Stolen Apples, Super Stunt, That Caps it All, The Best Engine, The Big Ship, The Blue Engine Club, The Cat Controller!, The Cloud Factory!, The Lighthouse Light, The Runaway Percy and The Strongest.

Voice Actors


  • Gordon is named after a rude boy that lived on the Awdrys' street when Christopher was a child.
  • In Tender Engines, it is revealed that him and Flying Scotsman are the last of their kind.
  • One of Gordon's models was on display at Nitrogen Studios, but is now on display at the Hara Model Railway Museum.
  • The Halloween Engine in the eighth season episode, Halloween, was recycled from one of Gordon's scrap models.
  • In real life, Gordon's Shooting Star look would be too tall for the British Loading Guage
  • Gordon's upset face is used for Boulder in Rusty and the Boulder.
  • As of the CGI television series, Gordon's catchphrases are "Oh, the indignity!" and "Express coming through!"
  • Gordon has gone through numerous modifications throughout the television series. These include:
    • Season 4:
      • His brake pipe is facing downward.
      • He uses Duck's whistle sound in nearly all of his roles.
    • Thomas and the Magic Railroad:
      • His brake pipe is facing upward again.
      • He gained red lining on the cab side of his tender.
      • His rear bogie wheels became larger and moved forward, joining to his driving wheel chassis.
    • Season 8:
      • His eyebrows become thinner and arch more.
    • Season 10:
      • His cylinders, which appeared to be broken, were fixed.
      • The riveting on his buffer beam dissapears.
      • His eyebrows change shape completely.
    • Season 12
      • The lining on the cab side of his tender was removed.
    • Hero of the Rails:
      • He lost facial detail; wrinkles on his forehead when cross or worried.
      • He became slightly bigger.
    • Season 13:
      • The middle sections of his driving wheels are painted black.
    • Season 17:
      • He gained a permanent head lamp and tail lamp.
      • His wheels are fully blue again.
    • The Adventure Begins:
      • His side rods become silver.


"If you were a nice tank engine, you'd be alright! Now you'll have to pull the next train backwards".
"Look!" called some boys. "There's a new tank engine...oh, it's only Gordon back to front".
"Hullo!" called Thomas. "Playing Tank Engines? Sensible engine. Take my advice; scrap your tender and have a nice bunker!"

- Gordon jokingly mistaken for a tank engine, "Tenders and Turntables".

"Good riddance!" grumbled Gordon. "Chatting all night keeping important engines awake, who is he anyway?"
"He's City of Truro. He's famous".
"As famous as me? Nonsense!"
"He's famouser than you. He went 100 miles an hour before you were drawn or thought of!"
"So he says. But I didn't like his looks. He's got no dome!" said Gordon darkly. "Never trust domeless engines, they're not respectable! I never boast", Gordon continued modestly. "But a 100 miles an hour would be easy for me! Goodbye".

- Gordon and Duck arguing about City of Truro, "Domeless Engines".

"It's not fair!" grumbled Gordon.
"What isn't fair?" asked Edward.
"Letting branch line diesels pull main line trains!"
"Never mind, Gordon. I'm sure BoCo will let you pull his trucks sometimes".
Gordon spluttered.
"I won't pull BoCo's dirty trucks! I won't run on branch lines!"
"Why not? It would be a nice change".
"The Fat Controller would never approve!" said Gordon. "Branch lines are vulgar!"
Gordon puffed away. Edward chuckled and followed him to the station.

- Edward and Gordon taking about branch lines, "Wrong Road".

"When Gordon smiles, it changes his whole face. Hehehe. It is most interesting!"
That made Thomas and Percy laugh.

- Hiro talking about Gordon, "Hero of the Rails."

"O, the indignity!"

-Gordon's catchphrase when he is or sees something embarrassing.

"Yes Thomas we know each other, this is my brother, they call him the Flying Scotsman..."

-Gordon introducing Thomas to the Flying Scotsman.



Merchandise Gallery

See also

  •  :Category:Images of Gordon
North Western Railway
ThomasEdwardHenryGordonJamesPercyTobyDuckDonald and DouglasOliverBarryThe Austerity EngineThe Red EnginesDaisyBoCoBearThe Works DieselPip and EmmaPeel Godred Engines
HarveyEmilyFergusArthurMurdochMollyNevilleRosieWhiffBillyStanleyHankFloraVictorCharlieBash and DashFerdinandScruffBellePorterGlynnRyanDieselDerekDiesel 10'Arry and BertSaltyDennisDenDartSidneyPaxtonNormanPhilipFlynnWinstonStafford

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