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Donald and Douglas the Scottish Twins

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Donald and Douglas the Scottish Twins
Thomas & Friends character
File:DonaldCGI.png File:DouglasCGI.png
First appearanceThe Twin Engines (1960) (RWS)
Break Van (T&F)
Last appearanceThomas and his Friends (RWS)
Big World, Big Adventures (T&F)
Created byRev. W. Awdry
Voiced byJoe Mills
Rob Rackstraw (Donald from Series 20 onward)

Search Donald and Douglas on Amazon.

Donald and Douglas are two anthropomorphic twin steam locomotives from The Railway Series books by the Rev. W. Awdry. They also appear in Thomas & Friends, the television series based on the books.[1][2] Actor Joe Mills is the voice of both Donald & Douglas.[3]

The engines' Scottish heritage has been referenced in a number of stories. In the book Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine, Douglas mentions the song 'The Bluebells of Scotland'. [4] While in Jock the New Engine, Douglas regards the unnamed engine's unusual colour: "Some o' the engines up in the Highlands were yon [that] colour. Jocks, we used to call them." He goes on to suggest that "Jock" might be a good choice, and so the title character gets his typically Scottish name, and is painted in the distinctive pale green livery of the Highland Railway. [5]

In The Railway Series and in My Thomas Story Library, Donald and Douglas were painted North Western Railway blue when Sir Topham Hatt (the Fat Controller) decided to keep them that colour; in the television series they remained black.

Awdry made a model of Donald for his model railway in 1959, from a Tri-ang 3F locomotive.[6]


Donald and Douglas are based on the Caledonian Railway 812 Class. In The Railway Series, one of them is numbered 57646. None of the original 812 class carried this number — the highest numbered was 57645. In the Railway Series they carry a blue livery similar to that used on the Caledonian Railway. They also appear in British Railways black with red and white lining. The engines have deep-toned whistles, which Gordon and Henry observed made them sound like buses or ships. Although unusual on Sodor, such whistles were typical of the Caledonian Railway and LMS.

One Caledonian '812' class survived into preservation: 828 is currently based on the Strathspey Railway, Aviemore, Scotland and was placed back in service after a long overhaul.

Douglas on the Mid Hants Railway[edit]

In 2000, the Mid Hants Railway in Hampshire converted a Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST class engine into a tender engine reminiscent of the LSWR 700 class 0-6-0 tender engines, a move which was greeted by a negative reaction from railway enthusiasts as it was not a true replica but a 'look-a-like'. This rebuilt locomotive poses as Douglas for special events.


  3. "Movie Watch". Western Mail. March 26, 2016. ProQuest 1775781750.
  4. Awdry, Rev. W. (1963). Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine. Edmund Ward. p. 4. ISBN 0-7182-0017-9. Search this book on
  5. Awdry, Christoper (1990). Jock the New Engine. Heinemann. pp. 44–5. ISBN 0-434-97611-3. Search this book on
  6. "Donald and Douglas". The Real Lives of Thomas the Tank Engine. Retrieved 14 November 2020.

External links[edit]

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