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Thomas & Friends character
First appearance

Four Little Engines (The Railway Series)

"Four Little Engines" (Thomas and Friends)
Voiced by Keith Wickham (UK/US)
1 (Narrow gauge Engine)
Gender "Male"

Skarloey is a fictional locomotive from The Railway Series by Rev. W. Awdry. He is one of the oldest engines on the Island of Sodor. Skarloey lives and works on the Skarloey Railway as Engine No.1.

Railway Series history[edit]

Skarloey came to the Island in 1865. At first he was badly behaved and refused to pull trucks. He also had a habit of "bucking", which was cured by adding an extra pair of wheels. At the same time, he received a cab, which made him more conceited. But after his brother Rheneas rescued him following an accident, he learnt the error of his ways.

Since then he has become a hard worker - at one point he worked so hard that he became quite ill, leaving Rheneas with the responsibility of running the line on his own until Sir Handel and Peter Sam arrived. When he was repaired, he went straight back to work. He mainly pulls coaches, and he is the engine usually put in charge of special trains, and is affectionately nicknamed "the Little Old Engine". He was also once the subject of a television programme, along with Rheneas and the other engines of the Skarloey Railway.

Skarloey in the TV series[edit]

Skarloey was introduced in the fourth season of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. The season placed a great focus on him and the other Narrow Gauge characters, with a number of tales from the original books televised.

As the series progressed, Skarloey's character waxed and waned, especially under the influence of HIT Entertainment. The Narrow Gauge engines took a full absence in 2004, but returned the following year alongside Rheneas, Sir Handel, Peter Sam, Rusty, Duncan and new arrivals, Mighty Mac (introduced 2005) and Fearless Freddie (introduced 2006). However, his character was altered to a more teenage personality. In recent episodes, he has tried to impress the other engines by bravely but foolishly going up the Incline with the coal trucks, and he was also carried across the Island on Thomas' flatbed in the Season 10 finale. In the CGI series, his classic personality has returned. Skarloey is now the respected leader of the Blue Mountain Quarry.

Skarloey's small gauge model (originally used in Season 4) was the second to return in the new era of Thomas and Friends (The first was Rusty in Calling All Engines). It is also used for the ghost engine that fell off an old iron bridge into a ravine in the Season 5 episode Duncan Gets Spooked.

In the Japanese version of Seasons 4-7, Skarloey is voiced by Tomohisa Aso. His new voice actor in Season 9 is Hideyuki Umezu.

From Spring 2012 onwards, Skarloey is now currently voiced by Keith Wickham (UK/US) in the CGI version of the series in both sides of the atlantic, respectively.


Skarloey has been released in a number of model ranges, including:

  • The Ertl Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends line
  • The Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway
  • The Take-Along Thomas & Friends line (released in 2006)
  • The Tomica/Track Master Motorised range (released in 2006)
  • The Tomy wind-up range (released in 2006)
  • The Mega Bloks Model (coming soon)


Skarloey is based on the locomotive Talyllyn which works at the Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn, Wales. Like the fictional character, Talyllyn was built in 1864, and has worked on its original railway since 1865.