Trevor the Traction Engine

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Trevor the Traction Engine
Thomas and Friends character
First appearance

Edward the Blue Engine
(The Railway Series)

"Saved from Scrap"
(Thomas and Friends)

Trevor the Traction Engine is a fictional anthropomorphic character from The Railway Series children's books by the Rev. W. Awdry, and the spin-off television series Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. Trevor is an agricultural engine – a traction engine designed for general farm work -, and is thus suited to his work on the Island of Sodor at Wellsworth Vicarage Orchard. Trevor is one of only two steam-powered road vehicles that appear in the books, the other being George the Steamroller.

Appearances, biography and persona[edit]

Railway Series[edit]

Trevor is first introduced in the story 'Saved from the Scrap', in Rev. Awdry's ninth Railway Series book Edward the Blue Engine.He is presented as a dilapidated traction engine driven by Jem Cole; having formerly performed odd-jobs on farms, he has now outlived his master's perceived usefulness.[1] The reader is told how Trevor was saved from being scrapped after being noticed by Edward the Blue Engine, who persuaded the local vicar (the Reverend Charles Laxey) to save Trevor; Trevor is taken to the vicar's orchard, where he saws firewood and gives children rides around the orchard on church fête days.[1]

He has made friends with BoCo and Edward, but is very quiet and shy. He loves the railway and has no prejudice against any of the engines. He now lives at the vicarage orchard at Wellsworth on Edward's Branch Line.


In The Railway Series book Edward the Blue Engine, Trevor is always painted black with gold boiler bands and chimney cap.

Trevor's second appearance is in the much later book Thomas and the Twins. In this he has a distinctly 'odd' appearance when compared with real preserved traction engines in general. This may be because he is painted all-over green, including his smokebox, and has bright yellow boiler bands. Traction engines and railway locomotives "always" have their smokeboxes painted black, presumably so as to not show the dirt from oil, ash and soot. On the other hand, his boiler is drawn larger than in the earlier book, with a diameter much more in keeping with the proportions of an 8nhp traction engine.

Throughout the television series, Trevor's shape resembles the pictures in the earlier book, but is consistently painted dark green with red wheels, black smokebox and gold boiler bands. However, he is correctly modelled with a third (middle) boiler band, which is 'missing' from the book illustrations; an omission which contributes to his 'odd' appearance in the book. This is an unusual occurrence, where the TV series portrayal of a 'Thomas' character is closer to the real thing than the book illustrations.

Ertl produced a model called "Scrap Trevor". It featured a rather rusty version of Trevor, as well as a bogie well wagon that had "Saved From Scrap" printed on the side.


Trevor is based around a William Foster & Co. traction engine[2] built in the 1920s for farm work and hauling heavy loads. The Rev. 'Teddy' Boston, who was a great friend of the Rev. W. Awdry, owned a similar 1927-built Foster traction engine called Fiery Elias,[3] which is probably the exact basis for Trevor. Many such traction engines are still used and looked after by steam enthusiasts, and are often the highlight of vintage vehicle rallies.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Awdry, Rev. W. (1954). "Saved from Scrap". Edward the Blue Engine. The Railway Series (2002 edition ed.). Egmont Publishing. pp. 32–47. ISBN 1-4052-0339-0. 
  2. ^ Clutterbuck, Martin (27 June 2010). "The Railway Series Engines and Characters". The Real Lives of Thomas the Tank Engine. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Clutterbuck, Martin (13 January 2008). "Trevor the Traction Engine". The Real Live of Thomas the Tank Engine. Retrieved 12 October 2013.