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Toby is a steam tram who works on Thomas' Branch Line with his coach Henrietta. Toby is wise and always willing to share his experience and knowledge with the other engines. He is careful with every job he undertakes, causing him to rarely have any accidents.

In the Railway Series, Toby and Henrietta are accompanied by a coach called Victoria and a luggage van named Elsie.

Biography

The Railway Series

Toby was built by James Holden at the Great Eastern Railway's Stratford Works in Stratford, London, England on 30th June, 1914. He originally lived at Great Yarmouth Docks, Norfolk with his brothers. Sometime between June 1939 and January 1948 Toby was chosen to be an attraction at a seaside village's Festival and was repainted and polished for the event. However, after helping their branchline's engine and seeing how smart he looked, the branchline was afraid that he would show them up and did not let him join in the Festival. After that he worked on an unnamed tramway in East Anglia. In 1951, Toby came to work at the quarry on Thomas' Branch Line after his tramway closed, as it was found to be illegal for Thomas to go on the Quarry Tramroad without sideplates or cowcatchers. At first, Toby was teased by James for his shabby paint. However, James stopped teasing him after he crashed into some tar wagons.

Toby also got into a bit of trouble with a diesel shunter named Mavis, as she was unwilling to shunt trucks where they needed to be placed. After an accident, the two engines made up their quarrel and became good friends.

When Mavis was sent to the works after her accident with a lorry, Toby did her work at the quarry, leaving Percy to do Toby's work as well as his own. Toby once came off the rails at a crossing when the earth was swollen over the rails and ended up on the road. Luckily, with the fireman guiding the driver, they managed to reverse Toby back on the rails. The Fat Controller, however, heard about it, but rather than being cross, he only joked with him and told him that he should leave the roads to what they were made for.

By 2007, Toby was having trouble taking the workmen to the quarry as Henrietta did not have enough room in her to carry them all at once. Bertie usually helped, but one day, he was ill and Henrietta was so full that some workmen even had to ride on her balcony. As he went past a part of his line that went through a town, he stopped quickly when a car came out of a side street and nearly collided with him. To make matters worse, a policeman witnessed the workmen riding on Henrietta's balcony and after he made a report, an inspector spoke to the quarry manager, telling him that passengers were not allowed to ride on coach balconies. Luckily, Thomas managed to help Toby when he found an old and worn out coach named Victoria, who was used as a summer house for many years when she was taken out of service. Victoria was eventually restored and now works with Toby and Henrietta along their line.

Thomas & Friends

When the Horrid Lorries arrived on the Island, Toby found his work at the quarry being taken over by Lorry 2 and his work at the mill being taken over by Lorry 3. When the two lorries became damaged and sent back to the docks, Toby threw Lorry 2's remarks about usefulness back at him.

After many weeks of rain, Toby inspected a dam for potential damage due to rising floodwaters along his branch line. While crossing the dam, Toby found that it was breaking and tried to return to safety, but the dam collapsed just as Toby was crossing a wooden bridge, which broke off and carried Toby toward a waterfall. Haroldmanaged to drop one end of a rope to Toby and the other end to Percy, who pulled Toby to safety. Afterwards, a party was held for Toby and the Fat Controller praised Toby's bravery.

When taking the Fat Controller and his grandchildren to the seaside, the Fat Controller decided to use Toby for an exploration in search of a castle, which they found as well as a mine. Toby was scared of the mine's spooky atmosphere (certain it was haunted) and stayed on guard at night during the restoration. Thomas told Toby about the Old Warrior Ghost, who was really a narrow gauge engine named Bertram. After this, the two engines became good friends and now take visitors to and from the castle and mine. Toby once took the Fat Controller's family on vacation again, this time to a small river inlet.

Toby has had several winter escapades. The thick fog concealed Thomas' crash site from Toby's view and the foghorn had been damaged from the landslide Thomas had crashed into. Luckily, Cyril the Fogman managed to place a detonator on the rails to warn Toby just in time. During the holidays, Toby was unable to clear the snowdrifts by himself, so he needed Thomas' help to deliver a Christmas tree to the festivities on his branch line. During one harsh winter, Toby had to rescue Farmer McColl's lambs that were trapped on a hillside.

Toby was given a temporary three-chime whistle while his bell was being cleaned at the Steamworks. It helped with warning Thomas and Gordon that the tracks were blocked. He once was scared of Knapford Junction.

He once ran out of coal while delivering scrap to Crocks Scrap Yardand after a few unsuccessful attempts at stopping passing engines to ask for some of their coal, Reg decided to lift Toby into the air so that the next engine would see him. Unfortunately, Thomas passed by and thought Reg was about to scrap Toby. After the story spread across the island, Emily took Henrietta to the scrapyard so that Toby could explain the truth.

It was not long after Philip's arrival that Toby met him for the first time and was rather taken aback by the boxcab's talkative nature. Philip tried to talk Toby into racing with him, but the tram engine was reluctant, leading to Philip believing he Toby did not like him. However, after Toby told him that he simply prefers peace and quiet, the two became good friends after all. In the autumn, Toby became on edge when Percy told him and Thomas about a sound he heard under the watermill bridge and sent the trio into a panic when he reminded them that in a story, the little goat survived by going across the bridge first and telling the troll to eat his bigger brother. Luckily, the three soon discovered that the sound was only coming from a cow.

After Toby took Henrietta to the Steamworks to get her seats refurbished, he was given a replacement carriage named Hannah. However, Toby did not like Hannah as she ordered him to go faster than what was safe and nearly made him derail. He soon became fed up and abandoned her on a siding, only for her to be picked up by James. However, Hannah broke away and crashed, so Toby took her to the Steamworks to be mended, where he learned that Hannah and Henrietta were really sisters. Toby reunited with Henrietta and began working with her once again.

Temporarily, he took over Stephen's job while he was at the Steamworks, but was ridiculed by his passengers. He later changed their minds when he stopped the theft of King Godred's crown.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad

In the film, Toby encouraged the other engines to stand up to Diesel 10, and when after discussions, Toby then told the engines to get back to work, because Mr. Conductorwould want for them. After Diesel 10 eavesdropped on Thomas and Percy talking about the buffers that lead to the magic railroad and the lost engine Lady, Toby told them to carry on taking the Mail Train while he followed him to the Smelters Yard. There, he distracted Diesel 10 by ringing his bell, which resulted in Diesel 10 demolishing the shed that he, Splatter and Dodge were in. 

Personality

Toby is old, but wise, hardworking and knowledgeable enough about running branch lines to justify running Thomas' line with Daisy after Percy's accident with the trucks until Thomas came back. He is also savvy enough to control the trucks. However, his advanced age and design means that he is weaker than most of the other engines. While Toby is always ready to work hard without any fuss, he can be a bit temperamental sometimes, especially when young and inexperienced engines who are full of themselves make things difficult for him. However, work at the quarry line often soothes off his moods without any cause of grief to anyone, except of course his old faithful coach, Henrietta.

From the eighth to sixteenth series, however, Toby had been portrayed as being nervous about the capabilities of his work and uncertain about being an old steam tram, believing that he is not a proper engine, only good enough as a museum piece and not really special at all. However, he enjoys listening to the birds in the birdhouse next to his shed and is friends with the pigs at Farmer Trotter's Pig Farm.

From King of the Railway onwards, Toby has been portrayed with his original wiser and more jovial personality, as well as having more subtle shades of nervousness. He has also been shown to be placid and easy-going, enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside along Thomas' branch line.

Technical Details

Basis

Toby is based on the GER Class C53 0-6-0T Wisbech steam tram (reclassified as J70 by the LNER) built at Stratford Works. They were seen by the Reverend Wilbert and Christopher Awdry on a holiday at Yarmouth, hence Toby's origins. The J70 started their career on the Great Eastern Railway and were known as C53. They spent most of their career on the Wisbech and Upwell tramway pulling slow goods trains and, until 1927, passenger trains, though several were also assigned to the docks at Ipswich and Yarmouth. The first withdrawal came in 1942. Eventually, the sole survivor of this class was withdrawn from service and scrapped at Stratford Locomotive Works by 1955. They were replaced by BR Class 04s, Mavis' class.

According to The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways and Sodor: Reading Between the Lines, Toby is BR no. 68221. This tram was built as GER no. 127 on 30th June 1914 as part of a batch of three at Stratford. Shortly after grouping on 1st January 1923, it became LNER no. 7127, this changing to no. 8221 under Edward Thompson's 1944 re-numbering scheme. Upon nationalisation on 1st January 1948, it became no. 68221. It was withdrawn on 31st May 1951 from Ipswich Shed and scrapped at Stratford shortly after.

Toby's basis

Livery

In the Railway Series, Toby was painted brown with black cowcatchers and side plates (which had the initials LNER painted on the sides in yellow) before working on his tramway, where he was repainted grey-brown with grey side plates and cowcatchers. After helping James from an accident, he was repainted chocolate-brown with olive frames and blue side plates.

In the television series, Toby has always been brown with grey side plates and cowcatchers. His number is painted on his sides in yellow with red lining. Throughout the first to fifth series, Toby's wheels were painted red. They are currently painted black.

In Heart of Gold, Toby appears in half of his Railway Series livery; chocolate-brown with olive frames, in his fantasy sequence.

In the Railway Series, he carries two plaques on the sides of his cab stating that he works on the North Western Railway, his number and the last time and place that he was rebuilt.

In various books released by Publications International, the top side of his side plates are painted red, going along with his bufferbeams.

Appearances

The Railway Series

Companion Volumes

  • 1970 - Twelve Happy Engines (does not speak)
  • 1972 - The Railway Series: Surprise Packet
  • 1976 - Famous Engines and Railway Map of the Island of Sodor
  • 1984 - Thomas's Christmas Party
  • 1986 - Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree (does not speak) and Thomas the Tank Engine: The Complete Collection
  • 1987 - The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways and Thomas and the Evil Diesel
  • 1992 - Thomas and the Hurricane
  • 1995 - Thomas the Tank Engine and the Scrambled Eggs (does not speak)
  • 2005 - Sodor: Reading Between the Lines (mentioned)
  • 2007 - Thomas the Tank Engine: The New Collection

Thomas & Friends

Specials

Music Videos

  • Series 3 - Thomas' Anthem and I'm Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Series 4 - Thomas' Anthem Grand Finale, Let's Have a Race, Toby, Don't Judge a Book By its Cover, The Island Song and Thomas' Christmas Song
  • Series 5 - Accidents Will Happen, Every Cloud has a Silver Lining, It's Great to be an Engine, The Snow Song, Donald's Duck, Sir Topham Hatt, Come for the Ride, Harold the Helicopter and Percy's Seaside Trip
  • Thomas and the Magic Railroad - Really Useful Engine
  • Series 6 - James the Really Splendid Engine, Little Engines, Winter Wonderland and Never, Never, Never Give Up
  • Series 7 - Five New Engines in the Shed and The Whistle Song
  • Series 8 - Sounds, A World Around You, Determination, Patience and Engine Roll Call
  • Calling All Engines! - Busy, Trying, Together and New Engine Roll Call
  • Series 9 - Buffer Up and Share, Day and Night, Party Time, Pride and Every Day's a Special Day on Sodor
  • Jack and the Sodor Construction Company - The Work Song and One Friendly Family
  • Series 10 - Doing it Right, Favourite Place, H is for Harold, There's Always Something New, Responsibility, Strength, Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Engine Roll Call (Rock 'n' Roll version)
  • Series 11 - Engine Roll Call
  • The Great Discovery - There's a Job for Everyone, Where, oh Where is Thomas?, Engine Roll Call and Thomas, You're the Leader
  • Series 12 - Engine Roll Call
  • Hero of the Rails - Go, Go Thomas
  • Series 13 - Roll Along, Thomas, You're the Leader, Sounds, Determination and Engine Roll Call
  • Series 14 - All You Need, Sir Topham Hatt and Engine Roll Call
  • Day of the Diesels - Day of the Diesels
  • Series 15 - Hear the Engines Coming
  • Series 16 - Thomas and Percy and Go, Go Thomas
  • King of the Railway - Working Together Again, Searching Everywhere and It's Gonna be a Great Day
  • Series 17 - Hey, Hey Thomas!
  • Tale of the Brave - Let's Be Brave
  • Series 18 - It's Christmas Time and The Best Friends Express
  • Thomas' YouTube World Tour - Navigation, Never, Never, Never Give Up, It's Great to be an Engine, Thomas' Anthem, The Island Song, The Whistle Song, Ode to Gordon, Rules and Regulations and That's What Friends Are For
  • The Adventure Begins - Troublesome Trucks
  • Series 19 - Spring is Here! and Engine Roll Call
  • Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure - We Make a Team Together
  • Series 20 - Accidents Will Happen
  • The Great Race - Be Who You Are, and Go Far (cameo)
  • Journey Beyond Sodor - I Want to Go Home (does not speak)
  • Series 21 - Set Friendship in Motion, Doing it Right, Trying and Little Engines
  • Big World! Big Adventures! - Where in the World is Thomas? and We're Friends
  • Series 22 - Engine Roll Call and All the Girls Around the World

Learning Segments

  • Series 8 - Toby is Surprised to See..., How Does Thomas Get to the Timber Yards?, Guess the Engine - Henry, Toby and Thomas and Getting There
  • Calling All Engines! - Which Diesel Engine with Which Steam Engine?
  • Series 9 - Same Colour, Emily Respects, Which Route Should Thomas Take? (cameo), Getting Up Gordon's Hill, What Goes Where? (cameo), Who Respects Whom?, Who's Under the Coal Dust? - Jamesand What Does Toby See?
  • Series 10 - Where is Henry's Coal?, Percy's Story, Old Route New Route (cameo), Toby's Favourite Place, Where is Salty's Favourite Place to Work? (stock footage cameo), What's Found Where?, Who's Under the Coal Dust? - Emily, Toby's New Shed, Over the Bridge and Dot to Dot - Toby
  • Unknown - Pulling Coaches and Who's Going Where?

Videos

  • 2018 - Meet the New Steam Team (cameo)
  • 2019 - Meet James (cameo) and Meet Gordon (cameo)

Magazine Stories

  • 1987 - Thomas' Christmas Party
  • 1988 - Toby and the Stout Gentleman, Thomas in Trouble, James and the Tar Wagons, Thomas, Percy and the Coal, Percy and Harold (mentioned), The Runaway (mentioned), Cows, Ghost Train, Woolly Bear and Percy's Predicament
  • 1989 - Showing Off, Clearing Up, One Good Turn and A Surprise for Thomas (does not speak)
  • 1990 - Too Hot
  • 1993 - Roof Repairs! and Thomas and the Lamps
  • 1994 - Lucky Landing!
  • 1995 - The Engine Parade!
  • 1996 - Duck and the Deer! and Singing in the Rain!
  • 1997 - Clowning Around!
  • 1998 - Toby and the Stout Gentleman!
  • 1999 - Peter Sam (does not speak)
  • 2000 - A Shock for Mavis, Rude James, The Milk Train (does not speak), Toby's Treat!, Henrietta's Holiday, A Special Story About Henrietta (does not speak) and Painting the Shed
  • 2001 - A Special Story About Toby and A Song for Caroline (cameo)
  • 2002 - Toby to the Rescue! and Daisy and the Troublesome Trucks (mentioned)
  • 2003 - To the Harbour
  • 2004 - Toby and the Lambs, It's Only Snow!, Good as New (does not speak), Toby's Troubles!, Henry's Forest, All Puffed Out, Henry's Forest, The Big Wheel, Thomas Gets It Right (does not speak) and Glider Rider (does not speak)
  • 2005 - Percy and the Magic Carpet (cameo), You Can Do it, Toby! and Daisy and the Bull
  • 2006 - No Trouble for Toby, First-class Carriage, Toby Feels Left Out, Emily Knows Best, Thomas and the Statue (cameo) and Tunnel Trouble (does not speak)
  • 2007 - Toby's Afternoon Off, Rocky Ride, The Best Smile (does not speak) and A New Shed for Toby
  • 2008 - Toby's Triumph, Fearless Freddie (mentioned) and Funny Faces!
  • 2010 - The Best Present of All (cameo), Henry Gets It Wrong!, Misty Island Rescue (cameo), A Blooming Mess and Thomas and the Rainbow!
  • 2011 - Jitters and Japes, Tickled Pink (speaks in speech bubble only), A Lion on Sodor and Toby's Treat
  • 2012 - Rescue Team, Tender Trouble (does not speak), Edward's Big Rescue, The Fat Controller's Bedtime Story (Issue 645), Big Belle (speaks in speech bubble only) and Prize Guys (cameo)
  • 2013 - Being Percy (does not speak), Henrietta's Holiday, The Lost Puff, Toby to the Rescue and Christmas Tree Express
  • 2014 - Kite Flying (does not speak), Emily Makes a Splash! (mentioned) and That's Snow Business (speaks in speech bubble only)
  • 2015 - Signals Crossed, Toby and Bash, Silent Puffing! (cameo), Marion and the Dinosaurs The Perfect Present (cameo) and Henrietta's Holiday
  • 2016 - Toby and Bash and Tickled Pink! (mentioned)
  • 2017 - Den and Dart

Toby also appeared in the magazine stories, Arthur and Emily, Diesel's Nasty Turn, Henry's Soaking!, Percy and the Trucks, Spotting Shapes, Stolen Apples, Taking Toby, The Big Ship, The Lost Parcel and The Poorly Engine!.

Annual Stories

  • 1985 - Thomas and the Important Visitor (mentioned), The Strawberry Special and Unhappy Landing(mentioned)
  • 1986 - Terence Takes a Bath (not seen) and You Never Know
  • 1987 - Lost in the Snow (mentioned) and Percy's Passengers (does not speak)
  • 1988 - Responsibilities (mentioned)
  • 1989 - The Trouble with Sheep (mentioned) and Post Early for Christmas (mentioned)
  • 1990 - Thomas and the Cricketers (cameo) and Hosepipes and Shunters
  • 1992 - Percy and the Vicar's Prizes (does not speak)
  • 1993 - Thomas and the Snow Block
  • 1995 - Thank You, Thomas and Toby
  • 1996 - Rings a Bell! and The Wrong Shirt
  • 1997 - We Wish You a Merry Christmas! (does not speak)
  • 1998 - Toby and the Mail Train
  • 1999 - Toby Saves the Day (does not speak)
  • 2000 - Slow Down, Thomas! (does not speak), Thomas the Famous Engine (mentioned) and Star Engines (does not speak)
  • 2013 - The Biggest Present of All (cameo)

Audio Files

Bells

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 1 Series 12
First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 2 Series 3
First used Last used Sound Effect
Thomas and the Magic Railroad Thomas and the Magic Railroad
First used Last used Sound Effect
Hero of the Rails Active

Whistles

First used Last used Sound Effect
Series 4 Series 4
First used Sound Effect
Toby's New Whistle

Trivia

  • Toby is Christopher Awdry's favourite engine. On a trip in Yarmouth, he and his father got to ride in the cab of a J70 tram, thanks to Wilbert's good friend, the late Reverend Charlie Rand.
  • Due to an error in Thomas Comes Home, the illustrations of "Toby's Megatrain" show Toby with a face at the rear cab as well as the front cab. This is the only time in the Railway Series that Toby has been illustrated with two faces.
  • One of Toby's models is currently on display in Japan at the Hara Model Railway Museum (previously on display at Nitrogen Studios) and is currently wearing his worried face mask. Another was previously on display at Drayton Manor but the model was stolen from the display in early 2011[1].
  • In Baa!, Toby revealed that his favourite station is Maithwaite.
  • In an interview with SiF, Andrew Brenner stated that Toby was one of his favourite characters, along with JamesBill and Ben.
  • His second-third series bell sound can be faintly heard after Ryan stops the pirate ship during the wide dawn shot of Arlesburgh Harbour in Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure.
  • He was confused for being electric by Bridget Hatt in the first series episode, Toby and the Stout Gentleman and for being a diesel boxcab by Philip in the twentieth series episode, Toby's New Friend.
  • According to an interview with Mike O'Donnell, Toby's theme was used as a demo for the Series' opening theme. 
  • Even though he has six wheels, some merchandise of him has four.
  • In the arcade game "Magical Truck Adventures", two J70 tram engines were seen at the first level, each with a number 7, bearing a strong resemblance to Toby.
  • Toby is one of only eleven characters to appear in every series of the television series and one of only eight to speak in each one. However, he has not appeared in every special.
  • He has the same number as the Railway Series book he first appeared in. He is the only engine to have this trait.
  • Toby is the third character to be dropped from the Steam Team, the first two being Edward and Henry. He is also the only one whose position wasn't filled by a female character.
    • In a vision of things to come, while Tidmouth Sheds had seven berths, he slept outside on the building's left. In later appearances, he started sleeping at his shed more often, leading to the departures of Henry and Edward.
  • As Toby is based on the real life J70 No.68221, he is technically the first real engine to appear in the series.
  • He was the namesake of the Talyllyn Railway's inspection trolley, which later inspired Mark V.
  • Toby's chassis was seen pushing Toad and his train of trucks past the buffers that were set away by the points in the fifth series episode, Busy Going Backwards.
  • Although Toby has red wheels as shown in Busy Going Backwards, merchandise shows him with black wheels
  • Toby had the shortest name out of all the Steam Team members in spelling terms. The record later went to Nia.
  • Toby is the first engine in the series to not have a round face and the first to have a cowcatcher on his front. He is also the only Steam Team member with this distinction.

Quotes

“Hello, I'm Toby. the number seven brown tram engine. I work on the quarry line with my faithful coach Henrietta.”
―Toby's website audio

Merchandise

  • ERTL (normal, miniature, Gold Rail, pullback; all discontinued)
  • Nylint (Battery Operated set, pull along; all discontinued)
  • Wooden Railway (normal, talking, bronze (cancelled) and Battery-Powered; all discontinued)
  • Take Along (discontinued normal, metallic and in multi-packs)
  • My First Thomas (discontinued)
  • Royal Hampshire (discontinued)
  • Motor Road and Rail (normal and talking; discontinued outside Asia)
  • TrackMaster (normal, flip-face and talking)
  • Hornby (discontinued)
  • Bachmann (HO and large scale)
  • My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
  • Engine Adventures
  • Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
  • Mini Die Cast Collection (discontinued)
  • Departing Now (discontinued)
  • Thomas Town (discontinued)
  • Capsule Collection
  • Trading Cards
  • Take-n-Play (normal and talking; discontinued)
  • De Agostini (discontinued)
  • Brio (discontinued)
  • LEGO (discontinued)
  • Mega Bloks (discontinued)
  • Tomica
  • Pez
  • Discover Junction
  • Wind-up
  • Mini Mini Plarail (discontinued)
  • Puka-Q (discontinued)
  • Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
  • Diablock
  • DVD Bingo (discontinued)
  • Collectible Railway
  • Motorized Railway
  • Boss (discontinued)
  • Micro Rubber Engines
  • Push Along
  • Minis
    • Classic Minis
    • Robo Minis
    • Neon Minis
    • DC Super Friends Minis (as Blue Beetle and Nightwing)
    • Christmas Minis
    • Graffiti Minis
    • SpongeBob SquarePants Minis (as Karate SpongeBob)
    • Tootsie Minis (Sugar Daddy)
    • Construction Minis
    • Night time Minis
    • Back to School Minis
    • Hawaiian Minis
    • On the Farm Minis
  • Choro-Q (discontinued)
  • Sound Mobile (discontinued)
  • MV Sports (in three pack with Thomas and Mavis; discontinued)
  • Pre-Cut Model Engine Books (discontinued)
  • Rail Rollers
  • Adventures (discontinued)
  • Connected DE Colocoro Collection
  • Wood 
  • TrackMaster Push Along 

References

  1. ↑ "Roll Along Thomas - Toby "stolen" from Drayton Manor's Thomas Land"
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