Edward Stewart Of Wellsworth is a mixed-traffic engine. He speaks with a politically correct (P.C.) English accent.
Edward was designed by Pettigrew and built by Sharp Stewart and Company in 1896 and worked on the Furness Railway before coming to Sodor in 1915 to finish the building of the North Western Railway. After his work was completed, Edward was kept in a shed in 1923 to the delight of the other engines, who claimed that he was too weak to work. Edward was eventually let out again, and proved that what he lacked in strength he made up for in work ethic.
Edward originally worked for the Wellsworth and Suddery Railway. He didn't carry a name, just the number 7. He was painted black with red stripes. In 1914, he helped to build the North Western Railway, a new railway that combined the Sodor and Mainland Railway and the Wellsworth and Suddery Railway, and the Knapford to Elsbridge Railway. In 1915, he was helped by a tank engine called Thomas. Sometime between 1910 and 1920, Edward was rebuilt with an enclosed cab and rear splasher fused with the cab. As with all tender engines acquired by the NWR between 1914 and 1946, he was given a Fowler tender. In 1922, he was retired from service, but when Edward felt that he was being neglected and was very bored and sad, he was allowed to come out. Sometime between 1946 and 1965, he was given a branch-line, that runs from Wellsworth to Brendam. He runs the branch-line with his friends BoCo and Salty. Bill and Ben and Timothy also work at the Port at Brendam and often meet Edward. Edward is the North Western Railway's first engine, and is the Railway's pride and joy, and even after 113 years of hard work he is still a really useful engine!
Edward is kind-hearted and always keen to help a friend in need. The small engines trust him to lend a listening ear and sympathetic advice. He is a hard worker too, and always does his best to finish a job. Sadly, the big engines often see Edward as old-fashioned and slow. While it is true he is the oldest engine on the North Western Railway - it must be noted he helped build it - he has proved time and time again that he is more than capable of working as hard as any engine, but he is a more clever and wiser engine, too.
Edward's persona differs slightly. Despite his reputation of being kind and friendly, Edward has sometime seemed to act cheeky. Edward has also acted with a lack of confidence in himself in that he keeps secrets from the other engines and The Fat Controller when once he was leaking steam, and likewise when he was told to pull the post train whilst Percy was being repaired. Sometimes, Edward has seemed to share the same personality as James, such as when he decided to show off his special waterwheel and laughed at Thomas when he was wearing a funny funnel.
Unlike most characters, Edward is not directly based upon any particular class of locomotive. The Reverend W. Awdry had stated that Edward is based on a heavily modified Sharp, Stewart and Co. "Larger Seagull", supplied to the Furness Railway in 1896, but this was a piece of retcon created for "The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways". Edward is based on a 4-4-0 Furness Railway K2 locomotive - the last of his kind, first built 1896 and approx. 48 ft 6 in long. Since his rebuild in 1921, Edward has his rear splasher flush with cab, two square cab windows as opposed to cutaway and rectangular cab lookouts as opposed to the round originals. Also since 1928, he has his flared-topped tender replaced with a flush-riveted 3500 gallon-type Fowler-style tender with horizontal strips removed and the rivets facing inward rather than outward. Sodor "historian" Martin Clutterbuck notes that Edward bears a close resemblance to a LNER D3/4 "Glen" (NBR Reid Class K) 4-4-0 from the London and North Eastern Railway. At any rate, the Reverend W. Awdry used an engine of this class to represent Edward on his model railway.
Crovan's Gate modifications to be seen are making rear splasher flush with cab, new cab windows as opposed to cutaway and new cab lookouts as opposed to the round originals. Edward also has the maximum speed of 40 mph.
The inspiration for Edward himself came from the Reverend W. Awdry's watching trains on the Great Western Railway as a child. He said in an interview with Brian Sibley for The Thomas the Tank Engine Man that, to him, the noise of the locomotives' exhaust almost sounded like dialogue - for example, the larger engine having trouble climbing the hills would appear to be saying, "I can't do it, I can't do it," and the smaller engine helping them would sound like it were saying, "I will do it! I will do it! I will do it!"
Edward is painted NWR blue with red stripes on his boiler, red lining on the side of his splashers and tender and the number "2" painted on his tender sides in bright yellow with a red border. He carries two plaques on his cab that reads "NWR No. 2, Rebuilt 1920, Crovans Gate Works". Before arriving on Sodor, Edward was painted in the Furness Railway's red livery with the number 35 on his cab sides, a yellow "FR" on his tender sides and black wheels.
Edward's Railway Series appearances are listed in chronological order:
- "The Three Railway Engines"
- "Thomas the Tank Engine"
- "James the Red Engine"
- "Troublesome Engines"
- "Henry the Green Engine"
- "Gordon the Big Engine"
- "Edward the Blue Engine"
- "Four Little Engines"
- "The Eight Famous Engines" (does not speak)
- "Duck and the Diesel Engine"
- "The Twin Engines"
- "Gallant Old Engine" (does not speak)
- "Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine"
- "Main Line Engines"
- "James and the Diesel Engines" (does not speak)
- "More About Thomas the Tank Engine" (does not speak)
- "Thomas and the Twins"
- "Thomas and the Fat Controller's Engines"
- "Thomas and Victoria"
In television series, Edward has appeared in every series.
- Calling All Engines
- The Great Discovery
- Hero of the Rails
- Misty Island Rescue
- Day of the Diesels
- Blue Mountain Mystery
- Keith Wickham (UK; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- William Hope (US; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Cathrine Disher
- やすひろ たかと (Japan; 第1-8シリーズ)
- のぞむ ささき (Japan; 第9シリーズ onwards)
- Francisco Colmenero (Mexico)
- Edward was the very first character created for the Railway Series, in 1943.
- Edward is the only engine whose crew has been named in the Railway Series. In the foreword of "Edward the Blue Engine" their names were given as Charlie Sand (driver) and Sidney Hever (fireman). Their surnames came from their duties (one of the driver's jobs is to sand the rails when they are slippery to let the engine's wheels grip, while the fireman "heaves" coal to the firebox); their Christian names came from an engine crew from the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway.
- The Learning Curve Wooden range inaccurately depicts Edward as a 0-4-0.
- 2 of Edward's models are currently on display; one at Drayton Manor and one in Canada at Nitrogen Studios.
- A rare promotional picture shows Edward wearing James' face.
- Edward was not seen in Thomas and the Magic Railroad as his model wasn't finished in time.
- Edward's whistle sounds like three medium blasts.
- In the episodes Steady Eddie and Charlie and Eddie, Edward refers to himself as "Eddie".
- In the 1985 annual story, Edward Cracks a Nut, Edward is incorrectly depicted as a 2-6-0.
- ERTL (normal and Gold Rail) (both discontinued)
- LC Wooden
- Take-Along (normal and metallic)
- My First Thomas (normal and talking)
- My Thomas Story Library
- Bandai Tecs
- Di Agostini
- Brio (discontinued)
|North Western Railway|
|Thomas • Edward • Henry • Gordon • James • Percy • Toby • Duck • Donald and Douglas • Oliver •Daisy • BoCo|
|Harvey • Emily • Fergus • Arthur • Murdoch • Molly • Neville • Rosie • Whiff • Billy • Stanley • Hank • Flora • Victor • Charlie •Bash and Dash • Ferdinand • Scruff • Flynn • Belle • Barry • Eagle|
|Paxton • Sidney • Salty • Derek • Dennis • Bear • Wendell • Pip and Emma • Dart •Den|