Toad is a Great Western brake van who escaped from scrap with Oliver and Isabel.


The Railway Series

Toad worked with Oliver on the Great Western Railway before being threatened with the prospect of scrapping. Oliver, Toad and an autocoach named Isabel ran away for the greener pastures of the North Western Railway, but Oliver ran out of coal en route. Luckily, they were rescued by Douglas and brought back to Sodor. Afterwards, Toad asked to be Douglas' brake van as a show of thanks.

When S.C. Ruffey began to start a trend of disrespecting the engines, Toad had the idea for Oliver to show him and his lieutenants the error of their ways. This turned out better than expected, for Oliver pulled S.C. Ruffey apart and won back the respect of the trucks.

Thomas & Friends

Toad was tired of always going backwards and wanted to be a leader for a change. The trucks decided to teach Toad to be careful what he wishes for by breaking away from Oliver on Gordon's Hill and as a result, he crashed into some level crossing gates, narrowly avoided Gordon and James and stopped by taking a plunge into a muddy pond. Afterwards, Toad decided that always going backwards was not so bad after all.

While Gator was on Sodor, he once took some of Oliver's trucks with Toad, who kept insisting that Gator should stop and relight his lamp. After being briefly taken off the train after forcing them to stop with his brakes, Toad had the "bright" idea of giving Gator one of his lamps to replace his broken one. This idea worked and Gator thanked Toad once they had finished their journey.

By the eighteenth series episode, Toad's Adventure, Toad had become bored of repeatedly hearing the story of Oliver's escape and longed for an adventure story of his own to tell. His wish was granted when he went to work with James, who ran much too fast and hit a fallen branch on Gordon's Hill, uncoupling his trucks. Toad managed to stop the trucks and prevented a crash with Thomas and Percy. When he returned to the Yard, he told a disbelieving Oliver all about it.

Toad eventually began to sing during his journeys with Oliver, which the Western engine liked at first, but quickly got fed up of listening. Later, as they were passing Bluff's Cove, Toad spotted a whale stranded on the beach and tried to tell Oliver, but Oliver thought Toad was joking. But later that day when the two passed the same area again, Oliver saw the whale and apologised to Toad. They informed the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, but after a few attempts at moving the whale proved unsuccessful, Toad had the idea of using a flatbed to transport the whale to Brendam, where Cranky gently placed the whale back into the water. Now whenever Toad passes through Bluffs Cove, he remembers his friend and sings about him.

In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure he, along with Oliver, helped to build the new Harwick Branch Line and attended the line's opening.


Toad is a polite, gentlemanly brake van. He is also somewhat imaginative and a bit of an optimist. Toad minds his manners well and is always quick to refer to the engines as "Mr.", "Miss" or "Sir". He escaped from scrap with Oliver, with some help from Douglas. Toad is very loyal, keeps Oliver's trucks in order and has his best interests at heart. He has a cunning streak within him should the trucks cause any particular bother and does like fun when it comes his way, but he is typically calm, obedient and content in his work.

Technical Details


Toad is based on a Great Western Railway Diagram AA2 brake van. Early vans were just 10 or 16 tons weight, but this gradually increased to 20 and 25 tons. A brake van on the Mid Hants Railway (AA23 No. 35907) was renumbered 56831 and given 16 ton markings to match Toad in the television series. A number of these brake vans survive in preservation.

Toad's basis


Toad is painted grey with "GW 56831" written on his side in white. Before being repaired in Enterprising Engines and in an illustration portraying him before Escape from the subsequent book, Toad was painted brown. In the Railway Series, his face is the same colour as his bodywork, but in the television series he has a light grey face.


The Railway Series

  • Enterprising Engines - Escape (does not speak) and Little Western (does not speak)
  • Oliver the Western Engine - Resource and Sagacity (does not speak) and Toad Stands By

Companion volumes

  • 1976 - Famous Engines
  • 1987 - The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways (mentioned)
  • 1996 - Thomas the Tank Engine: The Complete Collection
  • 2005 - Sodor: Reading Between the Lines (mentioned

Thomas & Friends

He was to appear in the sixth series with Oliver, but was cut out for unknown reasons. His clenched face was also used on some trucks in the eighth and ninth series episodes, Fish and Emily Knows Best respectively.


  • 1992 - Thomas and the U.K. Trip (cameo)
  • 2005 - Calling All Engines! (faceless; music video cameo)
  • 2014 - Tale of the Brave (cameo)
  • 2015 - Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure
  • 2016 - The Great Race (cameo)
  • 2017 - Journey Beyond Sodor (cameo)

Music Videos

  • Series 4 - Don't Judge a Book By its Cover and The Island Song
  • Series 5 - Accidents Will Happen and Come for the Ride
  • Series 6 - Little Engines and Boo! Boo! Choo-Choo
  • Series 7 - Troublesome Trucks and The Whistle Song
  • Series 8 - A World Around You (faceless), Emily and Surprises
  • Calling All Engines! - Busy (faceless)
  • Series 9 - Party Time (faceless)
  • Tale of the Brave - Let's Be Brave
  • Thomas' YouTube World Tour - Down by the Docks, It's Great to be an Engine, The Island Song and Rules and Regulations
  • Series 19 - Engine Roll Call and Spring is Here!
  • Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure - We Make a Team Together
  • Series 20 - James the Really Splendid Engine and Accidents Will Happen
  • The Great Race - Will You Won't You (cameo) and Be Who You Are, and Go Far (cameo)
  • Journey Beyond Sodor - I Want to Go Home (cameo)
  • Series 21 - Set Friendship in Motion, Doing it Right and Little Engines
  • Series 22 - Engine Roll Call and The Steam Team


  • 2018 - Still the Best of Friends (cameo) and Different Ways to See the World (cameo)


  • 1996 - Annual
  • 2001 - A Better View for Gordon and other Thomas the Tank Engine Stories
  • 2004 - Oliver (does not speak)
  • 2006 - Thomas, James and the Red Balloon (faceless cameo)
  • 2008 - Thomas' Sticker Express
  • 2009 - Thomas and the Circus (faceless cameo)
  • 2010 - Movie Theater
  • 2011 - The Big Book of Engines (mentioned)
  • 2015 - Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure: Sticker Activity Bookand Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure: The Movie Storybook (cameo)
  • 2018 - Character Encyclopedia

Magazine Stories

  • 2004 - Snow Engine

Toad also appeared in the magazine stories, A Long Way Up!, The Great Race, The Snow Engine! and Toad Returns.

Annual Stories

  • 1993 - Oliver Gets the Bird (does not speak)
  • 1995 - Oliver's Sparkler (cameo)
  • 1996 - All Pull Together (does not speak)

Video Games

  • 1998 - Magical Adventure
  • 2000 - Thomas the Tank Engine
  • 2007 - DVD Bingo
  • 2008 - Begins Educational Learning


  • I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside (performed)

Voice Actors

  • Joe Mills (UK/US; eighteenth series onwards)
  • Yūsuke Numata (Japan; fourth-seventh series)
  • Kunihiro Kawamoto (Japan; eighteenth series onwards)
  • Paweł Ciołkosz (Poland; eighteenth series onwards)
  • Achim Schülke (Germany)
  • Nir Ron (Israel; Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure)
  • Fabrice Trojani (France and French speaking Canada; eighteenth series onwards)
  • Bardo Miranda (Latin America; eighteenth series onwards)
  • Reinder van der Naalt (The Netherlands)
  • Armando Bungău (Romania)
  • Denis Bespaliy (Russia; eighteenth series onwards, excluding Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure)


  • Toad's model was originally displayed at Nitrogen Studios.
  • Toad's ERTL toy incorrectly states that his number is "5683".
  • Toad's name originates from a nickname ("toad") given to brake vans on the Great Western Railway. It can also be considered a subtle pun: a brake van is 'towed' everywhere it goes.
  • When Toad returned in the eighteenth series, he had some modifications. These include:
    • Grey buffers.
    • Grey handrails as opposed to his original white handrails.
    • His glass windows were removed and replaced with open windows.
    • Only one side has the Great Western insignia, number and tonnage.
    • He is slightly longer and taller than his model form.
      • His design also more closely resembles a 20-ton van than a 16-ton van.
    • He is a lighter shade of grey.
  • Both Toad's physical and CGI models deviate a bit from their real-life counterpart: in real-life, Toad's basis has sandboxes near the handbrake and also has a white interior with a desk, seat, etc. Toad lacks these features, both in the model and CGI forms.
  • Toad was called Crapaud in the French dub from Series 3 to 7.
  • In Latin America, Toad gains an Argentinean accent in the eighteenth series episode, Toad's Bright Idea.
  • In the Days Out with Thomas events, his face was worn by Class 40.
  • Toad's 16-ton markings are inaccurate as none of the AA2 vehicles received 16-ton markings. In actuality, they were only worn by the early AA3s.
  • His Hornby and Bachmann models incorrectly depict him as being an AA15 due to their toolings being based on them.
  • During the model series era, Toad had a total of eight different facial expressions, one of which was an angry face that was not used on-screen.[4]
  • One of Toad's facemasks is now owned by Twitter user TomsProps.


  • ERTL (discontinued)
  • Wooden Railway (re-introduced in 2006; discontinued)
  • Take Along (discontinued)
  • Take-n-Play (discontinued)
  • Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
  • Mini Die Cast Collection (discontinued)
  • Motor Road and Rail (discontinued outside Asia)
  • TrackMaster (discontinued)
  • My First Thomas (discontinued)
  • Trading Cards (discontinued)
  • Hornby (discontinued)
  • Bachmann
  • Nakayoshi (discontinued)
  • Capsule Plarail (normal and clear)
  • Brio (discontinued)


  1. ↑ T&F S5 #23 "Busy Going Backwards"
  2. ↑ "TrackMaster"
  3. ↑ The Official Website
  4. ↑ SeansModels on Twitter
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