"Your worthy Sir Topham Hatt thinks I need to learn. He is mistaken. We diesels don't need to learn, we know everything. We come to a yard and improve it. We are revolutionary!"
— Diesel, Duck and the Diesel Engine
Devious" Diesel, as his name implies, is a sinister diesel shunter and the first diesel engine to arrive on Sodor who originates from the Other Railway. In the television series, Diesel is a permanent resident of Sodor.

Bio in the Railway Series

When Diesel came on trial to the North Western Railway, Duck was asked to show him around. Duck was unimpressed by Diesel's claims of being "revolutionary" and left him to his own devices. As a result, Diesel was made into a laughing stock by the trucks for trying to pull some rusty old trucks and failing spectacularly and Diesel blamed Duck for not helping him. Diesel swore a vendetta and spread rumours that Duck had given the big engines rude nicknames. Duck was sent to Wellsworth pending an inquiry into the matter, but Diesel got too big for his buffers and tried telling lies about Henry. He was found out and sent home in disgrace.

Several years later, Diesel was brought back to help on Thomas' Branch Line whilst Percy was being repaired. Diesel tried to win Thomas and Toby over, without success and after he destroyed several trucks he was to be sent away. However, on his day of departure, Clarabel slipped on oily rails left by Daisy and came off at some points near Dryaw. Diesel, realising that Thomas was blocking his only way home, went to the rescue. Clarabel put in a good word for him and Diesel, although he returned to the Other Railway, is always welcome on Sodor.

Bio in the Television Series

Diesel first arrived on Sodor in the same way as he did in the Railway Series and was sent away for spreading rumours about the big engines, but returned when Duck and Percy needed help at Arlesburgh Harbour. Diesel proved to be as bad as ever and was sent away for good after shunting some trucks of china clay into the sea, but he somehow mysteriously sneaked back to give Mavis advice, taunt Gordon about the triumph of diesel power on the Mainland and shunt trucks in the Shunting Yards. It is possible that these events happened during Diesel's stay or that Diesel returned at some point with goods from the Mainland.

When Henry was derailed by some trucks, Diesel was brought back as a last resort to do his goods work, but his attempt to prove his worth resulted in him falling in a barge and he was sent back to the Mainland yet again.

Later on, Diesel returned yet again, this time to assist Fergus at the Sodor Cement Works. Diesel became jealous of Fergus' reputation as the "pride of the Cement Works" and concocted a scheme to make Fergus run away. Diesel was partially successful - he managed to make Fergus abandon his post for a time - but was ultimately foiled. Amazingly, Diesel was not sent back this time round and remained on the North Western Railway.

Despite remaining tricky and devious, Diesel learned how useful steam engines can be when Thomas brought fresh diesel fuel for him and the other diesel engines and James pushed him back to the Repair Yard when he broke down. However, he tried to convince Gordon that he was old and clapped out, Ben that there was a monster inside a tunnel and Thomas about the "Curse of the Cliffs" and scared him at Halloween.

But Diesel proved to have a good side inside him when he told Emily about his record he made for shunting lots of trucks in one day then any other diesels and proved to Thomas that he did not ruin the photograph for the billboard on purpose.

Although Diesel made fun of James when he was painted pink, he tried his best to prove himself to be as useful as the steam engines when he took all of the Jobi wood to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre - only to put himself in danger requiring Thomas to rescue him. However, Diesel tried again to prove how special he is when he took Thomas and Rosie's loads to market and stole James' pigs so that the children could see them. But it was only when Diesel brought the load of slate for the school that he proved himself Really Useful.

Diesel was also one of the Diesels that took over the Sodor Steamworks. He later teased Flynn for just standing around and doing nothing.

In Blue Mountain Mystery, Paxton told Diesel about Luke and Diesel tried to get Luke sent away from Sodor.

Diesel was annoyed when Percy thought he was the Monster of Brendam and later teased Thomas for being a stinky engine and teased Gordon when he was fitted with a yellow and black diesel bufferbeam. When he and Percy collected a calliope, he thought Percy would not be able to make it play, but was surprised when he did.

In the seventeenth season, Diesel was one of the diesels that brought the Christmas decorations to Tidmouth Sheds. Later, he was biffing trucks around even when Edward told him to stop. Diesel spilled the milk in the trucks and when the Fat Controller opened the truck doors, the milk splashed all over his trousers. When Hiro told Diesel, he told Hiro to toughen up with the trucks. But when Hiro would not listen, he coupled himself up on the back of his train and helped the trucks play tricks on Hiro. To make the trucks stop, Hiro braked suddenly before the platform, causing three barrels of cream to splash all over Hiro, Edward and the Fat Controller. Diesel tried to get away, but was blocked off by Thomas. As punishment, Diesel had to learn the proper way of handling trucks by Hiro.

In the eighteenth season, Diesel, along with Sidney, Den and Dart, hid from Paxton at the Dieselworks, which resulted in Paxton going on a wild goose chase to find all of the diesels and ended with Diesel running out of fuel, so Paxton helped him to the next station to get some more. Later, he argued with Thomas over who should be the back engine for a train of trucks heading from Ffarquhar Quarry to Brendam Docks and when he tried to delay Mavis returning to the quarry, Thomas took the train by himself, which resulted in him having an accident. Diesel even tried to blame Mavis for it, but the Fat Controller was wise to his tricks and he let Thomas work with her instead. He later joined the engines at Knapford during the Christmas Holidays and agreed with Sir Topham Hatt that the last train might have to be cancelled. He also teased Samson about how the tank engine got lost when he first came to Sodor.

In the nineteenth season, he tricked Percy into going to an old quarry so that he could do Percy's job of picking up the mayor to take him to a ceremony. Diesel later found Percy stuck in a flood with his fire out. He tried to rescue the tank engine but only made the situation worse when the water damaged his generator, so he got stuck too. After the two were rescued by the Search and Rescue team, Diesel was sent to have his engine repaired. He later covered Paxton in a cloud of black smoke from his engine, leaving Paxton's face covered in black spots.

At Christmas time, Diesel was being very unhelpful with the extra work, so Thomas and the other engines made a plan. On the night before Christmas morning, Thomas, Emily, Salty and Paxton pretended to be ghosts to scare Diesel, scaring him to the point where he flew off the line and derailed. After he was recovered the next day, he learned the true meaning of Christmas. On Christmas morning, Diesel was feeling very merry and he brought the Fat Controller to the Earl's Christmas lunch at Ulfstead Castle.

In the twentieth season, Diesel was shown to care for some ducklings that he thought were cute. He then realised that diesels can be nice. Later, Annie and Clarabel played a trick on Daisy while Thomas was on quarry duty, and after Diesel was sent to pull them instead, much to their dismay.

In The Great Race, Diesel wanted to go to The Great Railway Show, but the Fat Controller was hesitant. To prove himself, Diesel had crates put over Den, Dart and Paxton so that they would resemble trucks and put them in a long train. When the Fat Controller was in the final stages of choosing who would go to the show, Diesel would then demonstrate how strong he was by pulling the train, while in reality, Den, Dart and Paxton would be doing most of the work. However, his unusual train was blocking any way into Knapford Station Yard. Thomas was coupled to the train both so that he could get into the station and so that he could prove himself worthy to go to the show. The diesels hear Thomas's whistle and thought it was Diesel's horn, so they began pushing, much to Diesel's horror. Thomas then collided with Norman at a set of points and lost his left buffer as a result. Diesel later got stuck inside one of the crates, and was accidentally loaded onto a ship by Cranky.


Diesel is, in essence, the average pantomime villain. He is oily, malicious, devious, scheming and full of ideas to get revenge. He views himself and any other diesel of his kind as highly above the steam engines, and believes that all diesels are "revolutionary". However, despite his antics giving diesels on Sodor a bad reputation, which causes most steam engines, particularly Duck and Thomas, to mistrust him, he still wants to prove himself to be a really useful engine. He is also very proud to be the first diesel on Sodor.


Diesel is based on a BR Class 08. Over seventy members of this class survive today in preservation, while around 100 remain in service on the national rail network. They were in fact the most successful shunting engines in the world, with 996 of them built. The Diesel Shunter, Splatter, Dodge, 'Arry, Bert, Paxton, Sidney and The Great Railway Show Diesels are also members of the class.


Diesel is painted in the British Railways' black livery. His livery originates from British Railways in the 1950s, during the time when all shunting engines were painted black. His side rods were silver until the sixth season and have been black in every season after.


Railway Series

  • Duck and the Diesel Engine
  • The Little Old Engine (mentioned)
  • Thomas and the Evil Diesel

Television Series

  • Season 2 - Percy Takes the Plunge (cameo), Pop Goes the Diesel, Dirty Work, A Close Shave (mentioned) and Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree (cameo)
  • Season 3 - Gordon and the Famous Visitor (cameo), Thomas, Percy and the Dragon (cameo), Diesel Does it Again, Mavis, Edward, Trevor and the Really Useful Party (deleted scene), Tender Engines and Escape (cameo)
  • Season 4 - Rock 'n' Roll (mentioned) and Rusty to the Rescue (cameo)
  • Season 6 - The World's Strongest Engine
  • Season 7 - Fergus Breaks the Rules
  • Season 8 - Thomas to the Rescue, Squeak, Rattle and Roll and James Goes Too Far (does not speak)
  • Season 9 - Respect for Gordon, Bold and Brave and Flour Power
  • Season 10 - Thomas and the Shooting Star (mentioned) and Emily and the Special Coaches
  • Season 11 - Don't be Silly, Billy (does not speak) and Thomas and the Stinky Cheese
  • Season 12 - Thomas and the Billboard and Don't Go Back
  • Season 13 - Tickled Pink, Percy's Parcel (cameo), A Blooming Mess (cameo) and Thomas and the Runaway Kite (cameo)
  • Season 14 - Thomas' Tall Friend (cameo), James in the Dark (cameo), Toby and the Whistling Woods (cameo), Diesel's Special Delivery, Victor Says Yes (cameo), Thomas in Charge (cameo), Thomas' Crazy Day (cameo), O the Indignity and Jitters and Japes (cameo)
  • Season 15 - Surprise, Surprise (cameo), Stuck on You (cameo), Kevin the Steamie (cameo), Tree Trouble and Fiery Flynn
  • Season 16 - Percy and the Monster of Brendam, Thomas and the Rubbish Train, Bust My Buffers!, Percy and the Calliope and Emily's Winter Party Special (cameo)
  • Season 17 - Henry's Hero (cameo), The Missing Christmas Decorations, Away From the Sea (cameo), Gone Fishing (cameo) and No More Mr. Nice Engine
  • Season 18 - Disappearing Diesels, Thomas the Quarry Engine, Last Train for Christmas and Samson at Your Service
  • Season 19 - Henry Spots Trouble, Very Important Sheep (cameo), Diesel's Ghostly Christmas, Reds vs. Blues (cameo), Philip to the Rescue (cameo), Goodbye Fat Controller and Wild Water Rescue
  • Season 20 - Sidney Sings (stock footage cameo), Diesel and the Ducklings, Saving Time, Pouty James (cameo) and The Railcar and the Coaches
  • Other - Thomas & Friends in 4-D: Bubbling Boilers (cameo)


  • Calling All Engines!
  • The Great Discovery (cameo)
  • Hero of the Rails (cameo)
  • Misty Island Rescue
  • Day of the Diesels
  • Blue Mountain Mystery
  • King of the Railway
  • Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure (cameo)
  • The Great Race

He was also likely to appear in the WWII film.

Learning Segments: Models:

  • Season 8 - Steamies and Diesels Sounds (stock footage cameo)
  • Season 10 - Diesels and Steamers (cameo)
  • Calling All Engines! - Which Diesel Engine with Which Steam Engine? (cameo)


  • Season 9 - Getting to the Washdown
  • Calling All Engines - Banana Tricks

Magazine Stories

  • 1989 - Diesel's Christmas, The Party, Diesel's Race, Showing Off and One Good Turn
  • 1990 - One Bump Too Many, Daisy and Diesel and Too Hot
  • 1992 - Diesel Pulls Hard
  • 1993 - Roof Repairs! and Too Fast!
  • 1994 - A Special Treat!
  • 1995 - Watch Out, Gordon! (does not speak) and Tricking Trucks!
  • 1996 - Percy Saves the Day, Thomas Takes a Ride! (does not speak), Singing in the Rain! and Really Useful Oliver!
  • 1997 - Showing Off, Percy's Puzzling Trip!, Diesel and the Trucks, The Posh Coaches, April Fools and Diesel Becomes a Coach
  • 1998 - Runaway Percy!
  • 1999 - Duck and Diesel
  • 2000 - Back to Front!, Henry's Freight Cars and The End of the Rainbow! (mentioned)
  • 2001 - A Special Story About Diesel, Diesel Day! (does not speak), Down at the Docks, A Burst Balloon! (does not speak) and Diesel's Ditch
  • 2002 - The Fat Controller's Diesels! (does not speak), The Blue Engine Club (cameo), Diesels and Steam Engines, Clean Up Chaos and Diesel's Drums
  • 2003 - Shady Business! and New Year Promise!
  • 2004 - More Mischief!, Place to Play, Broken Biscuits, Engine Trouble, Toby's Troubles!, Ben's Blunder, Night Lights (cameo), Spotty Thomas , Fergus Runs Away, Dazzling Diesel! and Glider Rider (cameo)
  • 2005 - Spooky Shape, Perfect Percy, Snow Drop, Ben's Blunder, Pop Goes the Diesel and Squeak, Rattle and Roll
  • 2006 - Monster Mistake, Shower Power, Well, well! and Disgusted Diesels
  • 2007 - Flour Power, Look and Hook, Rusty's Rescue!, Everyone's Friend and Emily's Present
  • 2008 - Fast and First!, New Year Promise! and Come Back, Please!
  • 2010 - Diesel's Special Delivery, Disgusted Diesels, Creepy Causeway (cameo) and Proud Puffers (cameo)
  • 2011 - Flaming Flynn, Monster Mistake, Musical Trucks, The Treasure Hunt, (cameo), Scaredy Cat, Tickled Pink (mentioned), O, the Indignity (does not speak), Show Time, Slowcoach Diesel and O, the Indignity! (does not speak)
  • 2012 - Clever James, Bubbling Boiler, A Whoosh of Water! (cameo) and Thomas and the Rubbish Train
  • 2013 - Caught on Camera and Coal and Treacle
  • 2014 - No More Mr. Nice Engine
  • 2015 - Thomas Saves the Day and Diesel's Drums
  • 2016 - Tickled Pink!
  • 2017 - Thomas Saves the Day, Diesel and the Ducklings and The Kind Diesel

Diesel also appeared in the magazine stories, A Special Story about Steam, Blowing About!, Bulgy's Dream, Clean Getaway!, Diesel Display, Diesel's Drums, Diesel's Nasty Turn, Diesel Causes Delay, Engine Plates, Fishy Diesel!, Glider Rider, Henry and Diesel, Making a Mess!, Mountains and Mess!, Nice Neville, Percy and the Trucks, Rhyming Engines, Ride and Slide, Road Ride, Rocking About, Slick Trick!, Sodor's Strongest Engine, Special Places, Stick with Steam, The Christmas Sacks, The Runaway Percy and The UFO

Annual Stories

  • 1990 - Old Square Wheels
  • 1991 - Rusty Red Scrap Iron
  • 1992 - Galloping Sausage
  • 2001 - Thomas the Famous Engine


  • Welcome to the Island of Sodor Logan! (stock footage cameo)

Voice Actors

  • Kerry Shale (UK; thirteenth season onwards, US; nineteenth season onwards)
  • Michael Brandon (US; thirteenth season - Blue Mountain Mystery)
  • Martin Sherman (US; King of the Railway - eighteenth season)
  • Jorge Ornelas (Latin America; thirteenth season onwards)
  • Daisuke Gōri (Japan; second - eighth seasons, excluding the sixth season)
  • Hisao Egawa (Japan; sixth season only)
  • Ken Sanders (Japan; Calling All Engines! onwards)
  • Paweł Galia (Poland; thirteenth season only)
  • Janusz Wituch (Poland; Misty Island Rescue onwards)
  • Christoffer Staib (Norway; thirteenth season - sixteenth season, excluding Day of the Diesels, Blue Mountain Mystery and King of the Railway)
  • Helge Winther Larsen (Norway; Day of the Diesels onwards)
  • Martin May (Germany; thirteenth season onwards)
  • Christian Rudolf (Germany; Audio Books only)
  • Reinder van der Naalt (The Netherlands)
  • Anibal Munhoz (Brazil)
  • Jorge Teixeira (Spain; thirteenth season - nineteenth season)
  • Adolfo Pastor (Spain; The Great Race onwards)
  • Michel Lasorne (France and French speaking Canada; eighth - twelfth seasons)
  • Fabrice Trojani (France and French speaking Canada; thirteenth season onwards)
  • Gadi Levy (Israel)
  • Dor Srugo (Israel; King of the Railway only)
  • Petri Hanttu (Finland; Misty Island Rescue onwards)
  • Quổc Tín (Vietnam)
  • Alexander Kotov (Russia)
  • Bohdan Tůma (Czech Republic; Blue Mountain Mystery onwards)


  • Diesel was the first diesel to be introduced in both the Railway Series and television series.
  • According to the magazines and the DVD Bingo game, he and Bulgy are good friends.
  • Between the thirteenth and sixteenth seasons, Diesel was the only character from the model series to still be voiced by the narrator in the CGI Series, though this was only in the US narration.
  • Diesel has had a few modifications in the television series:
    • Season 6:
      • His side rods changed from silver to black.
      • His brake pipe began facing upwards.
    • Misty Island Rescue:
      • His horn sound changed to that of a generic diesel, sounding more like an "American" diesel.
    • Day of the Diesels:
      • His horn sound changed back to how it originally sounded.
    • Season 19:
      • He gained a light above his face.
      • His coupling chain became red.
      • He gained a permanent tail lamp.
    • Season 20:
      • His coupling chain changed back to black.
  • In some merchandise lines he is referred to as "Devious Diesel". It was not until Fergus Breaks the Rules that he was referred to by this name onscreen.
  • Diesel has travelled at well over his top speed of 20 miles per hour on numerous occasions.
  • Diesel's face in the magazine stories is often smaller than in the television series.
  • Nathan Clarke did an audio sample for Diesel on his DAA Management Page.


  • I'm Full of Surprises (entirely performed)
  • Will You Won't You (partially performed)
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