Trevor the Traction Engine

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Trevor the Traction Engine
Thomas and Friends character
File:Trevor 1986.jpg
Trevor's Model
First appearanceEdward the Blue Engine (1954)
Created byRev. W. Awdry
Voiced byNigel Pilkington (UK)
Christopher Ragland (US)
NationalityBritish English Logo.png Search Trevor the Traction Engine on Amazon.

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. He is voiced by Nigel Pilkington in the UK, and Christopher Ragland in the US in the CGI Series.

Appearances, biography and persona[edit]

Railway Series[edit]

Trevor is first introduced in the story 'Saved from 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.

Television series[edit]

As in the Railway Series, Edward discovered Trevor in Crock's Scrap Yard, and later persuaded the Vicar to purchase Trevor and restore him for work at the Wellsworth Vicarage. Some time after this, Trevor temporarily ran out of work at the vicarage and so was loaned to Sir Topham Hatt to help with the construction of Knapford Harbour, during which time he met Thomas. Both Trevor and Edward also helped the Vicar to organize a garden party to raise money for a seaside trip for underprivileged children, during which Trevor proved how useful he could be after he and Terence rescued Bertie, who had gotten stuck in the mud at the Vicarage orchard.

In later seasons, Trevor has been seen working in other places on the Island such as Farmer McColl's Field, the Sodor Airport, and once was an attraction at the Sodor Steam Fair. He has also had two accidents when pulling carts, both times due to the cart being stuck on a level crossing and then being destroyed after Gordon crashed into it.

Trevor appeared in feature length specials including: The Great Discovery and Journey Beyond Sodor.


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.

Theme tune[edit]

Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell, the former composers of the TV series, based Trevor's theme tune on the classical military march music Entrance of the Gladiators by Julius Fučík.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topic Children's literature : How the Wizard Came to Oz, Stan Lee (Judge Dredd), Peter Goes, Satyajit Ray, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Toad Catchers' Creek, The Penguins of Doom
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  • Traction engine
  • Cadeby Light Railway – former home of the 'real' Trevor
  • Travis the Tractor

External links[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Awdry, Rev. W. (1954). "Saved from Scrap". Edward the Blue Engine. The Railway Series (2002 ed.). Egmont Publishing. pp. 32–47. ISBN 1-4052-0339-0. Search this book on Logo.png
  2. Clutterbuck, Martin (27 June 2010). "The Railway Series Engines and Characters". The Real Lives of Thomas the Tank Engine. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. Clutterbuck, Martin (13 January 2008). "Trevor the Traction Engine". The Real Live of Thomas the Tank Engine. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  • Awdry, Christopher, Thomas and the Twins
  • Awdry, Rev. W. and G., The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways
  • Awdry, Christopher, Sodor: Reading Between the Lines
  • Sibley, Brian, The Thomas the Tank Engine Man

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