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This article is about 'the engine'. You may be looking for 'the excavator, the Story Library book, the Engine Adventures book, the Railway Series book, the 1997 magazine story or the 1998 magazine story'.
"Oh, yes! My escape from that scrapyard was probably the greatest escape anyone's ever had!"
— Oliver, Toad's Adventure, eighteenth season

Oliver is a Great Western 14xx auto tank engine who works on the Little Western. He has two Great Western autocoaches, named Isabel and Dulcie, and a brake van named Toad, who he shares with Douglas.

Bio in the Railway Series

Oliver worked on the Great Western Railway. Sometime during the 1960s, he ran away for fear of being scrapped with his coach, Isabel, and a brake van named Toad. The three were forced to hide between signalboxes and rely on the goodwill of signalmen to pass at safe times. When control got wind of the runaways, they hid in an old quarry branch and had the cutting blocked by rubbish to avoid being spotted by the diesels outside. The runaways decided it was safe to leave at some point, but before they could reach the greener pastures of Sodor, Oliver ran out of coal. Luckily, Douglas was able to rescue Oliver and took him to Sodor, taking him to Crovan's Gate WorksThe Fat Controller soon found out and arranged for the three to be repaired and painted in Great Western colours. Toad decided to be Douglas' brake van to thank him, and the Fat Controller rescued an auto coach named Dulcie and gave her to Oliver.

Oliver was then sent to work on the Tidmouth-Arlesburgh branch line, but became conceited after the big engines gave him their respect in recognition of his adventures and pushed his weight around, prompting several ballast trucks to push him into a turntable well. Oliver received little respect from the trucks after the incident, but got his own back by pulling the ringleader, S.C. Ruffey, apart. Oliver is now well-respected by the trucks, out of fear they will be pulled apart too.

Bio in the television series

Oliver and Toad were escaping from scrap when Douglas found, saved, and brought them to the North Western Railway. The other engines were impressed by his adventures and the attention soon went to Oliver's smokebox. He was so conceited that he ignored Duck and Donald's advice about trucks and several pushed him into the turntable well. Upon his return from the Works, Oliver regained his respect after pulling the ringleader of the trucks, S.C. Ruffey, apart. Oliver has since had many adventures, such as running Thomas' Branch Line during the engines' trip to England, discovering an abandoned house which was later turned into a tea-house, spending a night as a snowman after crashing into one in the village, and being saved by Emily when he was about to be hit by Thomas.

In the eighteenth season, Oliver started repeatedly telling everyone about his "escape" from the scrapyard, even to the point of annoying Toad. After his brake van had an adventure without him, James told Oliver to listen to Toad's story for once. During a flood, he collided with Rocky and James who were rescuing Duck, who had stalled underwater. He also nearly collided with Duck after the latter ran a red signal by mistake. Later, he broke down whilst on his way to the docks to deliver some trucks. When Gator arrived to take the train, Oliver was surprised by his unusual shape, and wondered where Gator's lamp was, unaware it wasn't working properly.

In the nineteenth season, he began to get fed up of Toad singing during their journeys, and explained to Duck that Toad is always like this when he's in a good mood. Later Toad told Oliver that he saw a whale, and he didn't believe him at first until he saw the whale for himself. He then helped with rescuing the whale.

In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Oliver helps to build the new Harwick Branch Line. Marion believed that he had made a wish to turn himself into a digger, and the Arlesdale engines had granted his wish. It wasn't until the branch line's opening ceremony that Marion discovered there are in fact two Olivers.

In the twentieth season, Oliver is taking the passengers home to make run to Tidmouth and back and he stopped the fallen tree by Skiff after the lightning hitting the fallen tree.


Oliver escaped the dreaded scrapyards of the Mainland, mainly thanks to Douglas, but also as the result of sympathetic signalmen, luck, and using "goods only" routes under cover of darkness, with some close calls along the way. Despite his previous heroism and daring feats, Oliver is an engine who is willing to admit every day is a learning curve. When he was still new to Sodor, he let the other engines' responses to his courage, resource, and sagacity from his amazing recounts of daring escapes and adventures get to his smokebox and he became conceited. However, when troublesome trucks pushed him into the turntable well, he grew into a much more humble, settled engine and was far warier of trucks. But later, with some help from his brake van Toad, he did gain much respect and authority among the trucks when he showed his strength with the ringleader of the trucks, S.C. Ruffey, a little more than he had perhaps been intending. Oliver still has gumption, but is now a more obedient, sensible engine. He feels his responsibility on the railway deeply, is ever thankful for being aided in his escape from scrap by Douglas, and is a trustworthy, tenacious, plucky engine. However, he can still be occasionally boastful, or temperamental; but despite this setback, Oliver is still one of the more really useful, and well-behaved engines on Sodor.


Oliver is based on a GWR 14xx 0-4-2T. These engines were fitted with a mechanical system allowing the driver to control the locomotive remotely from the cab of an 'autocoach', such as Isabel. The particular engine Oliver is based on, No. 1436, was built at Swindon Works in the August of 1934 and worked until it was withdrawn in 1958. It was scrapped at Swindon Works the following year.


In the Railway Series, Oliver is painted in the GWR's green livery with yellow lining, black wheels, a brass GWR numberplate on his cab side, and a brass safety valve bonnet. Before he came to Sodor, Oliver was painted in BR unlined brunswick green with late BR crest logo.

In the television series, his paint had faded by the time he was rescued, leaving him a rusty-red colour. After his rescue, he was repainted in unlined NWR green with a GWR crest and has remained so ever since.

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


Railway Series

Television Series


He also appeared in two eighth season music videos.

Magazine Stories

Oliver also appeared in the magazine stories, A Long Way Up!, Bumpers and Buffers, Diesel's Nasty Turn, Do-Nothing Dennis, Letting off Steam!, Mountains and Mess!, Ride and Slide, Seal Passenger, Seeing Sails, Snow Engine, So Many Stories, Special Passengers, The Flying Broomstick and The Great Race.

Annual Stories

Voice Actors


  • Joe Mills gives Oliver a Cornish accent.
  • Oliver is named after Oliver Wicks, who was a much respected member of Stroud Baptist Church. He was the Reverend W. Awdry's next door neighbour in Rodborough, Stroud.
  • Recent information has revealed that there really was a 1436 on the Great Western Railway.
  • Oliver's third season whistle sound was Gordon's at a higher pitch. The same whistle sound was later reused for Neville and Flying Scotsman.
  • One of Oliver's models was on display at Nitrogen Studios but is now on display at the Hara Model Railway Museum in Japan.
  • Oliver's theme from the Classic Series is a musical variation on the theme from the 1963 film The Great Escape.
  • Oliver has had many modifications throughout the television series. These include:
    • Season 4:
      • His whistle sound changed to a lower pitched version of Duck's.
    • Season 12:
      • Thicker eyebrows.
    • Season 18:
      • Black side-rods and lamp irons.
      • More hand rails.
      • His boiler and cab windows are slightly smaller.
      • His back cab windows gained yellow lining to mach his front windows.
      • His whistle guard became slightly taller.
      • The 'GWR' logo, his number, and his trailing wheels are slightly bigger.
      • His driving wheels are slightly further away from each other.
      • His bufferbeam is significantly smaller.
      • His running board was painted black, like it was in the Railway Series, and is also thicker than on his basis.
      • The frame around his coupling hook changed to black.
      • He lost his guard irons on his cab windows, the counterweights on his wheels, his middle lamp iron and the lamp iron on top of his smokebox.
      • The four rods (one on the top currently holding his tail lamp) on the back of his coal bunker became black.
      • His smokebox saddle is narrower.
      • His top feed has moved forward slightly.
      • He is slightly taller, but is also noticeably scaled down compared to his model form and his basis.
      • His dome is taller and thinner.
      • His funnel is thinner and less detailed compared to his model form and his basis.
      • He gained rivets on his smokebox and on the sides of his bufferbeams.
      • He gained a permanent headlamp and taillamp.
      • His whistle design changes
    • Season 19:
      • His siderods became grey again.
      • The rivets on the sides of his bufferbeams have changed to red.
      • The frame around his coupling hook became red again.


"Yon's an enterprising engine," Douglas thought. "I won away here with Donald; but I'd've been feared to do it on my own."

- Douglas, Enterprising Engines

"Oliver's no use at all; thinks he's very clever.
Says that he can manage us; that's the best joke ever!
When he orders us about, with the greatest folly,
We just push him down the well, Pop goes old Ollie!"

- Troublesome Trucks teasing, Oliver the Western Engine

"I'm a Great Western engine, I shouldn't have to shiver!"

-Oliver, Snow Engine, Seventh Season


* RWS only | ** T&F only

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