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Thomas (released as Thomas the Tank Engine until 2000) is a small blue tank engine.

Product Description

Character Card

The most famous of all the vehicles on the Island of Sodor, Thomas the Tank Engine is considered by all to be a "really useful engine". He is a cheeky, fussy little engine who is always eager to help.

2018 box description

Meet the story-starter. Every child's imagination has stories to tell – and this cheeky steam engine is the perfect helper. Children create the stories, Thomas just delivers inspiration.


  • 1993 (small face, flat top thin funnel and dome, wooden smokebox, stepped footplate, ledge on rear, solid black painted coal, flat magnets, thin wheels, staples on chassis)
  • 1993 (flat top wide funnel and dome)
  • 1993 (beveled top funnel and dome, lower smokebox extension, flat footplate, speckled painted coal)
  • 1994 (rounded funnel and dome, solid black painted coal, no staples on chassis)
  • 1995 (big round magnets)
  • 1996 (small round magnets)
  • 1997 (big, flatter round magnets, thick wheels)
  • 1998 (plastic rounded funnel, small plastic encased magnets)
  • 1999 (larger face with minor changes, realistic funnel, plastic smokebox)
  • 2001 (name printed on chassis)
  • 2002 (new larger face, bigger smokebox, wide boiler, no ledge on rear, new details, shorter dome)
  • 2004 (red stripes on boiler)
  • 2011 (CG style face)
  • 2013 (updated face, curved edges, longer magnet guards, other minor details)
  • 2015 (hollowed out wheels)
  • 2017 (smaller face)
  • 2018 (printed details on exposed wood, flat dome, shorter length)
  • Mid 2018 (metal pins in chassis, darker paint)
  • 2019 (printed details on painted wood)




  • Thomas has the most variations of any character in the Thomas Wooden Railway, with more prototypes, changes, and variants than any other character in the range.
  • Thomas is included in more sets and multi-car packs than any other character in the Thomas Wooden Railway.
  • The very first prototype of Thomas seen featured red wheels held in by nails, no coal bunker details, and a different face.
  • Roy Wilson's original third handmade Thomas had a much thinner funnel and dome than later models.