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Donald and Douglas are twin Scottish mixed-traffic tender engines. Douglas tagged along with Donald to Sodor in order to escape from scrap, despite Donald being the only engine expected. After proving themselves to be really useful, they were both allowed to stay. They now work as utility engines on the NWR; working wherever they are needed. They work primarily on the Little Western, but sometimes on Edward's Branch Line and the Main Line. 


The Railway Series

Donald and Douglas were designed by John F. McIntosh and built by the St. Rollox Works for the Caledonian Railway in 1909. Upon nationalisation, they became part of the Scottish Region of British Railways, where they were renumbered 57646 and 57647. In 1959, Sir Topham Hatt needed a goods engine and by his request, BR decided to transfer 57646 (Donald) to Sodor.

To Sir Topham Hatt's surprise though, two engines arrived. Donald's twin Douglas (57647) could not stand to be separated from his brother and was smart enough to realise he would eventually be scrapped if he stayed in Scotland. Unfortunately for Sir Topham Hatt and any other worker, neither engine could be told apart: both claimed to have forgotten their numbers and indeed their numberplates had "slyly slipped off" during the journey from Scotland. This caused the Fat Controller to keep both until he could determine which engine was freeloading on his hospitality. It was later revealed that this piece of skulduggery had been planned not only by the two engines but also by their drivers and firemen, who were related as well.

The Fat Controller was unaware of Douglas' motive and threatened the two that whichever engine he found out to be the truant would be sent home. Both engines resolved to give outstanding service so that Hatt would want to keep both of them. This plan quickly went to pieces, however, after Douglas accidentally shunted Thomas' special coach, full of passengers, into a siding at Tidmouth, causing a great deal of fury for the passengers. Things went from bad to worse when Donald crashed into a signalbox at Knapford and Douglas accidentally destroyed the Spiteful Brake Van, who had caused trouble for him earlier.

Despite all this grief, the twins' professionalism, competency, strong work ethic and personable natures had begun to win them support, particularly when they demonstrated an aptitude for snowploughwork that they had learned in Scotland. After rescuing Henry from just such a snowy ordeal, the other engines came over to Donald and Douglas' side which ultimately led to the engines of Sodor taking industrial action. After a suggestion by Edward and being pushed into it by Gordon, Percy was presented to the Fat Controller as a deputation, arguing the twins' case on their behalf and pleading that, if sent away, they would be scrapped. Althought Hatt did not approve or appreciate them trying to interfere with his decision-making, he understood the engines' feelings upon the matters of saving steam engines and scrapping in general. In the end, Percy's statement and the twins' excellent performance was enough for Hatt to take pity on the twins and keep both. He demonstrated this intent with an offer of a fresh coat of paint for both engines, as well as giving them both nameplates to avoid any more confusion. By their request, they were painted NWR blue, in honour of their Caledonian heritage.

In 1967, Douglas helped save Oliver, Isabel and Toad from the prospect of scrap. The Fat Controller soon found out and arranged for the three to be repaired and painted in Great Western colours. Toad asked to be Douglas' brake van as a show of gratitude.

Since then, the twins have, by all accounts, "transformed" goods traffic on the mainline. Such is their versatility that they regularly see service on the Little Western and Edward's Branch Line, as well as duties as station-pilots at Tidmouth. A turntable has been provided for them at Arlesburgh, although briefly decommissioned after Oliver was pushed into it by some trucks.

After Donald teased Duck about his "quacking", Duck's crew got a humorous payback by slipping a small duckling into Donald's tender. When discovered, the duckling became friends with Donald and his crew and eventually settled down at Haultraugh, where a small pond was nearby. She was named Dilly by the stationmaster, but she is known to everyone else as Donald's duck.

Such a demanding work-load has begun to tax them however and in 1993 the Fat Controller borrowed a navy saddletank named Wilbertfrom the Dean Forest Railway to deputise for them on the Arlesburgh branch, with the intention of obtaining another engine of Wilbert's class to permanently fill that role.

Thomas & Friends

Donald and Douglas work together practically all the time, but they sometimes have a falling out. This was proven when the two crashed into Trevor's hay cart. Donald accused Douglas of pushing him into the cart while Douglas accused Donald of pulling him. The twins refused to speak to each other. When Duck needed help at the Sodor Ironworks, Donald took the opportunity to get away from Douglas. While Douglas missed his twin and was ready to makeup, Donald began to experience lapses incompetence and demanded an apology. Eventually, Donald was not looking where he was going and crashed through some buffers into a ditch. As soon as Douglas heard from Duck that Donald was in trouble, he immediately rushed over to help his twin and the two engines made up.

Later, Callan Castle was to be reopened by Lord Callan, so Donald and Douglas took some equipment up to the castle. The two argued whether or not the monster inside the lake existed or not. Unfortunately for the twins, a landslide occurs and the two became stranded. The Fat Controller promised help, but soon night came. The twins saw a shape moving towards them on the causeway. Donald and Douglas were petrified until they realised it was only Harvey who had come to help. Soon, the twins got their equipment to the castle on time and Lord Callan called them Really Useful engines.

In the eleventh series, some points were jammed and Gordon was sent to pick up the engineer to mend them, but instead picked up the carpenter. Gordon reversed to Abbey hoping to collect the engineer, but Douglas was in the way. Gordon decided that Douglas should go to Wellsworth and Donald to go to Maron to collect the engineer and Donald bring him to Douglas and Douglas bring him back to Gordon. The plan was carried out and the points were fixed; Gordon thanked the twins for helping him.

Afterwards, Harvey was sent to help the twins after a tree had been knocked down. Thomas, however, misunderstood the situation and accidentally sent Harvey the wrong way. Thomas was proud of himself for being so helpful until he saw that Donald and Douglas were stuck and needed Harvey's help. He found Harvey and gave him the correct directions needed to help the twins. Thanks to Thomas and Harvey, the line was cleared and the twins were on their way.

The twins later helped with the construction of the Harwick Branch Line, delivering most of the heavy construction materials. When Douglas went over the unstable trackbed that hides the tunnel into Calles Cavern it began to crack and the workmen only just stopped Donald from going over it. The twins witnessed Rocky lifting Captain Calles' Pirate Ship out of the cavern and helped deliver it to Arlesburgh Harbour. They later attended the branch line's opening ceremony.

Once, they were to clear snow from the tracks during winter, but they kept arguing over which tracks to clear next. Douglas was accidentally separated from his tender and left behind by Donald, who eventually found him in a siding with some help from Toby.

Donald and Douglas were among the engines who asked The Fat Controller to take them to the Great Railway Show, but they were not chosen.

Another snowy day, they had to take a large shipment of pipes to Vicarstown and Emily came along to help. During the journey, Douglas told Emily about some of Donald's accidents and she began laughing, which Donald could hear echoing through the pipes. Irritated, Donald stopped the train and got Douglas to take his place at the front. As they continued, Donald began telling Emily about Douglas' accidents, until Douglas stopped the train on Gordon's Hill and demanded that he and his brother swap back. With both twins uncoupled and busy squabbling and bumping each other, Emily was left holding the train on her own. They did not notice till too late that Emily and the train were slipping back down the hill - to make matters worse, a lump of coal shaken out of Donald's tender by a bump from Douglas had formed a giant snowball, which knocked Emily off the rails. Donald and Douglas instantly began arguing whose fault the accident was until Emily cut in and scolded them both for their behaviour. After Harvey had cleared away the mess, both twins took the rear of the train while Emily took the front and they reached Vicarstown without any further trouble.

Donald and Douglas were later seen at Knapford Station with Philip, Diesel, Emily, Gordon, Duck, Henry, James, Edward, Percy, Daisy, Oliver, Mr. Percival and Toby to welcome Thomas and his newest friend Nia to Sodor following the pair's adventure around the world.


Donald and Douglas are Scottish twin engines. They are practical, peppery, proud and level-minded, but, despite their maturity, they enjoy playing practical jokes and have been known to impersonate one another in the past. They were fitted with nameplates to specifically end this element of their humour.

Donald and Douglas are very able workers, strong performers and handle any task well. They are fully capable of being firm with the other big engines, such as Gordon and Henry and even the Troublesome Trucks know better than to try their tricks on them. They are both used to harsh winter conditions too. Coupled back to back, with a coach between their tenders, they are very capable of patrolling the lines, clearing them of the snow. The twins both pull their weight on the Main Line and both Duck and Edward's branch lines. They can enjoy a joke with any engine. They are happy to act as the brawn of the Fat Controller's steam-driven goods haulers. Both are smart. Between the two, Donald tends to be the charming, witty joker whereas Douglas is the quick-thinking, calmer-natured one of the pair. Both display a keen sense of wit and the pair usually get to have the last laugh, more often taking the moral high ground. But that does not mean they will not be just a little bit smug about it when a deserving engine meets their comeuppance.

Donald and Douglas hate to be parted from each other, but, like most twins, they occasionally have their arguments among themselves and can squabble with one another. Also, Donald and Douglas used to have a strong dislike of diesels. But over time their dislike for diesels has softened and they appeared to have grown accustomed to their diesel companions.

Technical Details


Donald and Douglas are both based on the Caledonian Railway McIntosh 812 Class 0-6-0 goods engine. Their numbers, however, would realistically place them in the 652 sub-class. One example survives in preservation.

Edward's ghost engine is also based on this design.

Donald and Douglas' basis

Livery === According to the Railway Series, Donald and Douglas were painted black from construction and arrived on Sodorin British Railways' goods livery; black with red-and-white lining on their tenders. They remained as such (with the addition of numbers on their tenders in yellow with red borders) until it was decided that both engines could stay, at which point they requested to be repainted in the NWR sky blue livery with red-and-yellow lining. They apparently like the colour, as it reminds them of the Caledonian Railway, where many of their shedmates carried a similar shade of blue. They received red nameplates with their names in gold at the same time. In the Railway Series their names are in all capitals, whereas in the television series only their initials are capitalised.

In the Railway Series, they carry two builder's plates on the sides of their cabs.

In the television series, the twins arrived in BR lined black and have remained in this livery ever since.


The Railway Series

  • The Twin Engines - Hullo Twins!, The Missing Coach, Break Van and The Deputation
  • Branch Line Engines - Thomas Comes to Breakfast (Donald does not speak, Douglas mentioned)
  • Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine - Bluebells of England (Douglas only) and Bowled Out
  • Mountain Engines - Mountain Engine (Donald only) and Danger Points (Donald does not speak)
  • Main Line Engines - Edward's Exploit
  • Small Railway Engines - Ballast (either one not seen)
  • Enterprising Engines - Tenders for Henry (Douglas; cameo), Super Rescue (Donald does not speak), Escape(Douglas only) and Little Western
  • Oliver the Western Engine - Donald's Duck (Douglas does not speak), Resource and Sagacity, Toad Stands By (Douglas only) and Bulgy (Donald only mentioned)
  • Duke the Lost Engine - Sleeping Beauty (Donald only; does not speak)
  • James and the Diesel Engines - Old Stuck-Up (Douglas does not speak), Crossed Lines (Donald only), Fire-Engine (Douglas mentioned) and Deep Freeze (Donald or Douglas cameo)
  • More About Thomas the Tank Engine - The Runaway (mentioned)
  • Gordon the High-Speed Engine - High-Speed Gordon (Douglas mistaken for Donald), Fire Escape and Gordon Proves His Point (Douglas only)
  • Thomas and the Twins - Scrambled Eggs (mentioned)
  • Jock the New Engine - Jock (Douglas only)
  • Henry and the Express - Out of Puff, Sliding Scales (cameo) and Henry Sees Red (Donald does not speak; Douglas cameo)
  • Wilbert the Forest Engine - Percy's Porridge (do not speak) and Wired Up (mentioned)
  • Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines - Edward and the Cabbages (mentioned) and Golden Jubilee(Douglas does not speak)
  • Thomas and his Friends - Buffer Bashing (Donald does not speak) and Centenary (mentioned)

Companion Volumes

  • 1970 - Twelve Happy Engines (Douglas does not speak; Donald mentioned)
  • 1972 - The Railway Series: Surprise Packet
  • 1976 - Famous Engines and Railway Map of the Island of Sodor
  • 1980 - Annual
  • 1986 - Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree and Thomas the Tank Engine: The Complete Collection
  • 1987 - The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways (mentioned)
  • 2005 - Sodor: Reading Between the Lines (mentioned)
  • 2007 - Thomas the Tank Engine: The New Collection

Thomas & Friends


Music Videos

  • Series 4 - Let's Have a Race (Donald only), Gone Fishing (Donald only), Don't Judge a Book By its Cover, The Island Song (Douglas only) and Thomas' Christmas Song
  • Series 5 - It's Great to be an Engine, The Snow Song, Donald's Duck, Harold the Helicopter (Donald only)and Percy's Seaside Trip (Donald only)
  • Series 6 - Little Engines (Douglas only), Down by the Docks (Donald only), Winter Wonderland, Boo! Boo! Choo-Choo (Douglas only) and Never, Never, Never Give Up
  • Series 7 - Five New Engines in the Shed (Donald only), The Red Balloon (Donald only), There Once Was an Engine Who Ran Away (Donald only) and The Whistle Song
  • Series 8 - A World Around You
  • Series 10 -  Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure - We Make a Team Together
  • The Great Race - Will You Won't You
  • Journey Beyond Sodor - I Want to Go Home (cameos)
  • Series 21 - Set Friendship in Motion, Doing it Right and Little Engines
  • Big World! Big Adventures! - We're Friends

Magazine Stories

  • 1993 - Roof Repairs! (Donald only; cameo) and The Visitor (Donald does not speak; Douglas is mentioned)
  • 1996 - Double Trouble
  • 1998 - Donald and Douglas, The Unlucky Engine, Donald's Duck! (Donald only) and Copycat! (Donald only; mentioned)
  • 2000 - Wet Wheels (do not speak)
  • 2001 - A Special Story About Donald and Douglas and Midnight Mavis
  • 2003 - New Year Promise!, The Most Beautiful Station and Castle Celebrations!
  • 2004 - Monster Mistake!, Special Signal (mentioned), Emily's Slide Show, Colour Quarrel!, Double Trouble!, The Haunted Mine and Duck's Little Joke! (Donald only)
  • 2006 - Monster Mistake
  • 2007 - Snow Chute and The Scottish Connection
  • 2008 - Treasure Chest! and New Year Promise!
  • 2011 - Monster Mistake (do not speak)

Donald and Douglas also appeared in the magazine stories, Fish and Chips, Flying the Flag, Monster Surprise, New Paint, The Best Engine, The Flying Broomstick, The Grand Controller and The Very Important Job.

Annual Stories

  • 1985 - Oliver Gets the Bird (Donald mentioned) and Donald's Duck (Donald mentioned) and The Twins' Passing Problem
  • 1986 - Old Groaner (mentioned) and Gordon's Stowaway (Donald mentioned)
  • 1987 - Donald and the Lost Tarpaulin (Donald only, Douglas mentioned)
  • 1988 - Jack-in-the-Box (Douglas mentioned)
  • 1989 - Post Early for Christmas (mentioned) and Quick Thinking (Donald only, Douglas mentioned)
  • 1990 - Donald and the Breakaways and Points of No Return (mentioned)
  • 1991 - Near Miss (mentioned), Trucks for Scrap (Douglas only) and In the Drink (Donald mentioned)
  • 1992 - A Problem for the Twins
  • 1993 - Oliver Gets the Bird (mentioned) and The Hut that Walked by Itself (Donald or Douglas)
  • 1997 - Pipe Dreams
  • 2000 - Double Trouble
  • 2001 - Donald and Douglas

Audio Files



First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 2 Series 7
First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 11 Series 11
First used Last used Sound Effect
Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure Active



First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 2 Series 7
First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 11 Series 11
First used Last used Sound Effect
Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure Active


  • In production notes for the episode, Donald and Douglas are noted for possible use as Percy's friends in Percy Takes the Plunge, along with Bill and Ben. [2]
  • According to a magazine story, Donald and Douglas were built at The Scottish Engine Company.
  • Donald and Douglas' television series models are currently on display at Hara Model Railway Museum in Japan. As a result of the eye mechanisms not being replaced after the twelfth series, new eyes and pupils have been put in for display.
  • In the My Thomas Story Library and Engine Adventures series, the twins were painted blue following their being allowed to stay, just as they were in the Railway Series.
  • The twins' original numbers are an in-joke, much like Bear. The 812/652 Class numbers only went up to 57645.
  • In the Railway Series, Donald and Douglas are nicknamed "The Caledonian Twins". In the television series, they are nicknamed "The Scottish Twins". This is because they originated from the Caledonian Railway, in Scotland. 
  • Both of their Wooden Railway models don't have funnels. 
  • Donald and Douglas' models did not have any water tanks on their tenders, this is also carried on to their CGI models. However, this was present on their large scale models.
  • In the Slovene dub of the series, Donald and Douglas are not Scottish. In fact, they are stated to be from Jesenice, a town in the Gorenjska region of Slovenia.
  • For the twins' speaking roles in the sixth series, Alec Baldwin did not attempt a Scottish accent when voicing them for the US releases, as Ringo Starr and George Carlin had done so before him. This is also evident with Duncan.


  • ERTL (discontinued)
  • Wooden Railway (discontinued)
  • Take Along (discontinued)
  • Take-n-Play (Douglas only, re-designed 2013; both twins re-introduced 2015; discontinued)
  • My First Thomas (discontinued)
  • Motor Road and Rail (discontinued)
  • TrackMaster (discontinued)
  • Trading Cards (discontinued)
  • Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
  • Mini Die Cast Collection (discontinued)
  • Departing Now (discontinued)
  • Thomas Town (discontinued)
  • Capsule Collection (Donald only)
  • Tomica (discontinued)
  • Bachmann
  • De Agostini (discontinued)
  • Capsule Plarail (Motorised and unmotorised, Japan only)
  • Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
  • Nakayoshi
  • Departing Now (discontinued)
  • Boss (discontinued)


  1. ↑ "Emily's Slide Show"
  2. ↑