Thomas is a tank engine. He works on his own branch line with Percy, Toby, Daisy and Mavis. He is always, however, extremely proud to run his own branch line, and is very fond of his two coaches, Annie and Clarabel and he is the main protagonist in Thomas and Friends series.
BioThomas was one of the first locomotives to arrive on the North Western Railway in May 1915. He came to Sodor as a station pilot at Vicarstown, where he shunted coaches for the bigger engines like Gordon and Henry. Thomas liked to play tricks on them but Gordon decided to pay him out by pulling him away before he had been uncoupled from his coaches. Thomas was pulled across Sodor at high speed and tired out, he vowed never to tease Gordon again.
Soon, he was desired to pull his own passenger train too, much to the amusement of the other engines. He got his chance when Henry became ill and no one could pull the passenger train. However, Thomas was so excited that he accidentally left his train and his passengers behind, believing he was pulling it easily. He soon realized his mistake and returned to pull the train. The engines laughed at him, though, and soon Thomas wanted to see the world.
Edward felt sorry for poor Thomas and offered to shunt coaches while Thomas took a goods train for him to Wellsworth. The Troublesome Trucks pushed him down Gordon's Hill into a siding. After this incident, Thomas was transferred to Wellsworth to learn the ways of being really useful. When James came rushing through one day and crashed into a field, Thomas came to his aid. As a reward for his quick and heroic action, the Fat Controller promised him his own branch line.
Thomas soon began running his branch line with his two new coaches, Annie and Clarabel, who he grew to love very much. He soon considered his branch line to be the most important part of the entire railway, he would constantly remind the bigger engines. Thomas had many adventures on his new line, meeting new friends, leaving his guard behind, getting fish inside his water tanks, getting stuck in the snow and having a famous race with Bertie the bus.
On the main line things were not going well, Gordon, Henry, and James were sulking, refusing to shunt coaches and trucks for themselves. Thomas was asked by the Fat Controller to run the main line with Edward while the big engines went on strike. The Fat Controller soon brought Percy to do Thomas' former work, Percy became Thomas' closest friend. Thomas had a brush with the law after he was booked for traveling from Anopha Quarry without cowcatchers or sideplates. The matter was resolved when Toby and Henrietta came to Sodor to help on the branch line. With Duck's arrival, Percy was sent to Thomas' Branch Line as a goods engine.
Thomas became conceited when he believed his driver's compliment. Thomas was too puffed up in the smoke-box, and one morning found himself rolling along the line, when a cleaner had accidentally started him up. He soon broke into a stationmaster's house and ruined the family's breakfast. The Fat Controller sent Thomas to the works and Daisy had to do Thomas' work, while he was away. He arrived back a few weeks later just in time to take over for a battered Percy, who just had a predicament with some trucks.
Thomas started to boast about his brilliant blue paint, much to the aggravation of Percy and Toby. Thomas paint soon became dirty as Percy accidentally caused poured coal all over him, which became more serious as time went on. Thomas and Percy began a quarrel; Toby thought it a great joke. Percy soon had his accident with coal and Thomas thought Percy had learned a lesson, but Percy began teasing Thomas again. Finally, Thomas apologized after Percy helped him after he punctured his water tank and the two became friends again.
Over the years Thomas and his friends soon became famous. Thomas was invited to a railway show in York. On the way the trip was troublesome, Thomas collided with a crossing gate and later he was being booked for parking after the lorry he was traveling on parked illegally. When Thomas arrived to the railway show he frightened a small child while stopping for a bag carelessly thrown onto the line, but Thomas made up for his misdemeanors by saving Green Arrow from a dip in a river, and was rewarded by being made an honorary member of the National Railway Museum and was given a commemorative plaque. Thomas arrived home from York and was greeted with a celebration.
Thomas has overcome many obstacles and has had numerous adventures over the years, like discovering the lost town of Great Waterton, restoring Hiro, working together with the diesels and making new friends along the way. Thomas is still cheeky because he is that sort of engine but always strives to be a Really Useful Engine and encourages everyone else to do the same.
Thomas is a cheeky little engine who often gets into scrapes, usually by being over-eager to do things best left to bigger and more sensible engines. But clouds never last long in Thomas' world and soon he’s bustling about again, playing his part in the yard and on his very own branch line. Thomas works hard and he always strives to be a Really Useful Engine.
Behind the ScenesThomas had several different scales of models in the television series. Thomas' main model was Gauge One. It was able to blow smoke from its funnel and had over 60 faces, which were removable. He was Radio Controlled and was given moving eyes. In the first three seasons of the television series, Thomas also had red lining on the back of his bunker. However, when characters received new models in 1994, the lining had been excluded for unknown reasons. Over the years new models have been made to replace the old ones.
When Thomas' spin-off series Jack and the Sodor Construction Company was made, Thomas received a large-scale model in-order to interact with the Sodor Construction Company road characters. Thomas' large-scale model had the same effects as his normal scale; Gauge One. This model is now on display at Thomas Land (Japan).
Hit Entertainment wanted Thomas to interact with the large scale Narrow gauge engines. So another large scale model of Thomas was made for Season 9. It had the same effects as his normal scale; Gauge One.
In order to interact with the large scale people, a large scale version of Thomas had been made since Season 1. It usually was featured in close-up scenes of Thomas' Cab, Thomas' Crew, Thomas' Whistle and Thomas' wheels. In the making of Thomas Comes to Breakfast this model of Thomas was used for the scenes inside of the house. The large scale face was later used for Duck in A Close Shave.
BasisThomas is based on the Billington E2-Class 0-6-0T locomotives built for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway between 1913 and 1916. He is apparently one of the last batch built as only these engines featured his distinctive extended-side-tanks, projecting forward over the leading wheels and little downsweeps at each end of footplate.
Thomas is painted in the NWR's standard blue livery with red-and-yellow lining and the number "1" painted on his tank sides in yellow with a red border. In the Railway Series, he carries two builder's plates on the sides of his cab.
In the Railway Series, Thomas was given a commemorative plaque during his trip to York. For some reason, Thomas does not bear this plaque anywhere visible on his body.
- Thomas was the first engine to have a number.
- Thomas appeared in the Children in Need charity single and was voiced by Ringo Starr.
- Christopher Awdry lost the original Thomas model when he was in the US.
- Thomas' driver's name is Bob.
- Three Thomas models are currently on display: one at Drayton Manor in the UK, one in Canada at Nitrogen Studios, and the large scale Thomas model used in the spin-off series, The Pack, in Japan at Thomas Land.