THE FAT CONTROLLER
The Fat Controller's proper name is Sir Topham Hatt.
Many years ago he went to work on the Island of Sodor as an engineer
to the company which was building a railway there. He was eventually
made a director of the line he helped to build.
When he became Chairman, the engines nicknamed him "The Fat Controller".
He knows they call him this and he doesn't mind because he
also knows they wouldn't do it to his face.
Thomas, an 0-6-0 tank engine, first came to Sodor on loan from
a line in the South of England. The Fat Controller took a special
interest in Thomas, and once he had proved himself to be a really
useful engine he gave him a branch line of his own. Thomas has worked
there happily ever since. His journey runs from Tidmouth to Ffarquhar,
where he lives. He has two coaches called Annie and Clarabel.
PERCY THE SMALL ENGINE
No one, not even the Fat Controller, knows where Percy really
came from. He's an 0-4-0 saddle-tank engine who has spent much
of his time on Sodor keeping Henry and Gordon in their places.
He has worked hard and the Fat Controller rewarded him by asking
him to help with the building of the new harbour at Knapford.
Now he helps Thomas with the goods traffic on the branch line
and in the yard at Ffarquhar.
TOBY THE TRAM ENGINE
Toby, an 0-6-0 tank engine was built for work in harbours and on
roadside tramways, which accounts for his unusual shape, his sideplates
and cowcatchers. He keeps the roadside tramway running properly and
helps Percy with goods trains too. He has a coach called Henrietta.
JAMES THE RED ENGINE
James is a 2-6-0 mixed traffic engine. He can pull trucks or coaches.
He came to the Island of Sodor as an 0-4-0, but the Fat Controller had
another pair of wheels added in front and replaced his wooden brakeblocks
which caught fire on Gordon's Hill when James first arrived.
James lives at Tidmouth. He is inclined to grumble but has many
times proved himself to be a valuable member of the engine fleet.
GORDON THE BIG ENGINE
GordOn, a 4-6-2 engine, was built at Doncaster on the other railway
as a test engine for a class of which The Flying Scotsman is the only
one left. Gordon is a boastful engine, but he works well and the Fat
Controller has been heard to remark that he wishes he had two of him.
But he is careful not to let Gordon hear him say it!
EDWARD THE BLUE ENGINE
Edward, a 4-4-0 engine, has been on the island almost as long as Thomas.
First he worked at Wellsworth and then at Vicarstown.
The Fat Controller brought him back to Wellsworth and put him in charge
of the branch line from there to Brendam. Edward works this line with
the help of the other engines.
Diesel is a standard Class 08 shunter from the mainland. He came to
the shed "on trial" but he quickly upset the other engines and was
sent away in disgrace. Later on, when an emergency arose and the
Fat Controller sent for a spare engine, he was not pleased when
Diesel was the only one available. But Diesel's behaviour improved
slightly on this visit and the bad feeling against him is now less
strong than it was.
Duck is an 0-6-0 pannier tank Western engine. Duck is his nickname
his proper name is Montague, but he prefers Duck. The Fat Controller
put him in charge of the branch line to Arlsburgh, which he runs with
Oliver, another Western engine.
Mavis belongs to the Ffarquhar Quarry Company. She was bought to shunt
in the sidings and was unreliable at first but after she had helped to
save Toby from his tightrope, the Fat Controller and Quarry Manager
decided to give her a chance and allowed her to go down the tramway
to Ffarquhar Yard. Now she has become quite useful and she and Toby
work the tramway very efficiently between them.
BILL AND BEN
Bill and Ben are identical twins. They are 0-4-0 saddle-tank engines
and belong to the Sodor China Clay Company. They work between the
china clay pits and the harbour at Brendam. Edward keeps them in
order and Boco soon learned their ways as well. Then he was able to
help when Gordon was sent down the wrong line by mistake!
HENRY THE GREEN ENGINE
The Fat Controller was angry with Henry when he first arrived.
It wasn't poor Henry's fault - he couldn't make enough steam because
his firebox was too small. Then Henry had an accident when he was
pulling The Flying Kipper, and the Fat Controller sent him to Crewe
to be rebuilt. He came back with a bigger firebox and a new shape and
now enjoys his work. He is based at Tidmouth with Gordon.
He is a 4-6-0 engine.
Bertie the bus came to the Island of Sodor soon after Thomas was given
his branch line. Like Thomas, he lives at Ffarquhar. Once he rescued
Thomas's passengers when he got stuck in a snowdrift. He also had a
race with Thomas, though Thomas won. Now they keep each other well
supplied With passengers and are the best of friends.
Harold is a helicopter who lives at Dryaw Airfield near Thomas's
branch line. Percy was the first of the Fat Controller's engines
to meet him. Percy thought Harold was noisy and Harold kept boasting
about how up-to-date he was. Percy challenged him to a race and won,
but Harold proved just how useful he was later by parachuting hot
drinks to Percy's passengers when he was stuck in a flood.
Now they are firm friends.
Trevor is a traction engine. He was sent to the scrapyard because
he was thought to be too old to work any more. This was where Edward
met him. Edward persuaded the Vicar of Wellsworth to buy Trevor and he
now lives in the vicarage orchard. He saws logs in winter and gives
rides to children at garden fetes in the summer.
Terence is a tractor with caterpillar tracks.
He lives on a farm near Ffarquhar.
His special tracks make him a useful friend to have around
as Thomas found out soon after meeting him - just the thing for
pulling a stuck engine out of a snowdrift.
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