"Express coming through!"
— Gordon's catchphrase

Gordon is a big blue express engine. He is Flying Scotsman's only remaining brother, and the cousin of Mallard, Green Arrow, Spencer and The Flying Thistle.

Bio in the Railway SeriesEdit

Gordon was built experimentally by Sir Nigel Gresley at the Great Northern Railway's Doncaster Works in 1922 as an "A0" Pacific, a so-called "prototype". When Gresley was finished using Gordon for designing his A1 Pacifics, he sold Gordon, along with a spare boiler and firebox, to the North Western Railway.

Gordon is mainly used for passenger duties, pulling the North Western Railway's express, the Wild Nor' Wester, but has occasionally pulled goods trains, much to his dislike. He has been known to run into ditches and stop on hills to get out of doing these jobs, as he believes that these are below him.

In 1939, Gordon went to Crewe for a rebuild. His conjugated valve gear was replaced by a two-cylinder chassis (designed by the Fat Controller), he received a smoother running plate, Stanier underframes, wheels, cylinders, squared-off side windows, rectangular buffers, and a Fowler tender.

Gordon has become famous after his adventures: In 1953, he pulled Queen Elizabeth II's royal train and in 1956, he travelled to London, where he was lauded by a large crowd. Gordon did not like the visit, however, as he discovered that London's big station was St. Pancras. In 1957, when Diesel arrived on trial and was having trouble moving some old trucks, he decided to make rumours about Duck giving Gordon a bad nickname, Galloping Sausage. So he, Henry, and James decided to wheesh and yelled at Duck to keep out of their sheds. However, when the truth came out that Duck had not made the nicknames, they begin to feel very silly about jumping to conclusions before knowing the true story. Then, in 1986, Gordon got to visit Carlisle when a Diesel taking a Railtour failed.

In 2011, he was dismissed from pulling the express regularly to Barrow due to the purchase of Pip and Emma. He likes this, because he can do two trips a day instead of one and he does not have to hurry.


Gordon is the fastest and most powerful engine on the rails and he knows it. He is extremely proud and inclined to boast. He is goodhearted, always willing to forgive, and uses his superior strength to help smaller engines out of trouble.

Gordon's important position as the engine who usually pulls the Express has made him proud, pompous and self-important, with good reason too; he is the strongest engine on Sodor. Gordon's philosophy "tender engines don't shunt" meant that he looked down on tank engines and tender engines who do shunt, but after being locked in the shed with Henry and James after going on strike and before the seventeenth season, he seems to have abandoned this philosophy.

Because of his rank in the social order of the North Western Railway, Gordon expects to get the important jobs and either sulks when he does not, or gets jealous of those who do. Sometimes, Gordon acts as a bully, particularly towards Edward, but following misadventures where Edward had to help him, Gordon had to acknowledge that despite being old, Edward is still a very useful engine. However, sometimes Gordon still doubts Edward is still reliable, such as the time he did not believe Edward could win a race against Spencer because "he's only a back engine" and "a waste of steam".

Sometimes Gordon shows a kinder side and gives the younger engines advice, usually after he has had some mishap as a result of his foolhardiness. Some of his advice is not exactly honest, though, as James and Sir Handel have discovered.



GNR A1 class

According to The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways, Gordon is the experimental prototype for Sir Nigel Gresley's A1 Pacific design for the Great Northern Railway. Gordon was built at the GNR Doncaster Works in Yorkshire. Once the first batch of A1 Pacifics appeared in 1922 Gordon would have more than likely have been reclassified "A1/1" - the /1 indicating he is slightly different to the rest of the class.


Fowler Tender

Gordon, being an experimental engine, never received a number and was never put into regular traffic, he was only ever used on test runs. Owing to various problems Gordon was rebuilt in 1939 at Crewe. Sir Topham Hatt and Sir William Stanier worked together to rectify these problems - everything under the running board is of Stanier's design while the running board itself is that of Sir Topham Hatt's. In both the Railway Series and television series, Gordon is depicted with a Fowler tender.

Pennsylvania Railroad K4 class

As "The Shooting Star", Gordon's appearance is based on a streamlined Pennsylvania Railroad K4 (Hank's class), specifically #3768.


Gordon is painted NWR blue with NWR red-and-yellow lining and the number "4" painted on his tender sides in yellow. Before arriving on Sodor, he was painted Doncaster green with white and black lining.

In the Railway Series, he carries two builder's plates on the sides of his cab.


Railway SeriesEdit

Television seriesEdit



  • One of Gordon's models was on display at Nitrogen Studios, but is now on display at the Hara Model Railway Museum. Another model is in storage at Drayton Manor.
  • As of the CGI television series, Gordon's catchphrase is "Oh, the indignity!"
  • Gordon is named after a rude boy that lived on the Awdrys' street when Christopher was a child.
  • In the annual story, Galloping Sausage, Gordon is portrayed with a 4-6-4 wheel arrangement.
  • The Halloween Engine in the eighth season episode, Halloween, was recycled from one of Gordon's scrap models.
  • Gordon's whistle is once again Edward's and Henry's whistle, but with a lower pitch.
  • Gordon went through numerous changes throughout the TV series. These include:
    • Season 4:
      • His brake pipe is facing downward.
      • In some episodes, he has Duck's whistle sound.
    • Thomas and the Magic Railroad:
      • His brake pipe is facing upward again
      • He gained red lining on the cab side of his tender.
      • His rear bogie was joined to his driving wheel chassis.
    • Season 10:
      • His pistons, which appeared to be broken, were fixed.
    • Season 13:
      • The middle sections of his driving wheels are painted black.
    • Season 17:
      • He gained a head lamp and tail lamp, as requested by Sam Wilkinson.
      • His wheels are fully blue again.
    • The Adventure Begins:
      • His side-rods become silver.


"If you were a nice tank engine, you'd be alright! Now you'll have to pull the next train backwards."
"Look!" called some boys. "There's a new tank engine...oh, it's only Gordon back to front."
"Hullo!" called Thomas. "Playing Tank Engines? Sensible engine. Take my advice; scrap your tender and have a nice bunker!"

- Gordon jokingly mistaken for a tank engine, "Tenders and Turntables."

"Good riddance!" grumbled Gordon. "Chatting all night keeping important engines awake, who is he anyway?"
"He's City of Truro. He's famous."
"As famous as me? Nonsense!"
"He's famouser than you. He went 100 miles an hour before you were drawn or thought of!"
"So he says. But I didn't like his looks. He's got no dome!" said Gordon darkly. "Never trust domeless engines, they're not respectable! I never boast," Gordon continued modestly. "But a 100 miles an hour would be easy for me! Goodbye."

- Gordon and Duck arguing about City of Truro, "Domeless Engines."

"It's not fair!" grumbled Gordon.
"What isn't fair?" asked Edward.
"Letting branch line diesels pull main line trains!"
"Never mind, Gordon. I'm sure BoCo will let you pull his trucks sometimes."
Gordon spluttered.
"I won't pull BoCo's dirty trucks! I won't run on branch lines!"
"Why not? It would be a nice change."
"The Fat Controller would never approve!" said Gordon. "Branch lines are vulgar!"
Gordon puffed away. Edward chuckled and followed him to the station.

- Edward and Gordon taking about branch lines, "Wrong Road."


  • ERTL (normal and Gold Rail; both discontinued)
  • Wooden Railway (normal, talking and limited edition A Better View for Gordon, limited edition discontinued, Battery-Operated)
  • Take Along (normal, metallic, and lights and sounds; discontinued)
  • Interactive Learning Railway (discontinued)
  • Limited Edition Collection
  • My First Thomas
  • Motor Road and Rail (normal, talking and angry; discontinued outside Asia)
  • TrackMaster (normal, talking, RC, and greatest moments)
  • Hornby
  • Bachmann
  • My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
  • Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
  • Mini Die Cast Collection (normal and with Santa hat; discontinued)
  • Departing Now (discontinued)
  • Thomas Town (discontinued)
  • Capsule Collection
  • Take-n-Play (normal, talking, and pull back)
  • De Agostini (discontinued)
  • Trading Cards
  • Tomica
  • Woody Capsule Series
  • Brio (discontinued)
  • Wind-up (normal, several different expressions and metallic)
  • Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
  • Pez
  • Nakayoshi
  • Mega Bloks (discontinued)
  • Diablock
  • Collectible Railway
  • Motorized Railway
  • Push Along
  • Departing Now
  • Boss (with grey express coach; discontinued)
  • Padlock and Key
  • Switch-On Keychains
  • Micro Rubber Engines
  • Pico Pico
  • Minis (classic, metallic, winter, racers and graffiti; Unknown: Double Bubble)
  • Choro-Q
  • Pre-Cut Model Engine Books (discontinued)
  • Rail Rollers