- There are two ways of doing things: the Great Western way, or the wrong way. I'm Great Western and..."
"Don't we know it!"
- — Duck, Henry, Gordon and James, Duck and the Diesel Engine
In the Railway Series, Duck has two Great Western autocoaches named Alice and Mirabel. In the television series, he has three Great Western Slip Coaches, collectively nicknamed "Slippies".
Bio in the Railway Series
Duck worked at Paddington before moving to Sodor in 1955 to take over Percy's shunting duties at Tidmouth, leaving the latter free to assist with the construction of Knapford Harbour. Duck was a hard worker, but the others mistook his work ethic for simplicity and tried to use this to their advantage. They soon found their mistake when Duck and Percy took revenge on them by barring them from the shed. Duck earned a reprimand from the Fat Controller for this.
When Diesel arrived, the others took a liking to his flattery, but Duck was doubtful and left Diesel to his own devices, which resulted in the latter getting into a mishap with some old trucks. Duck tried to help Diesel when the trucks started to tease him, but to no avail. Diesel vowed to get revenge and inspired by several incidents occurring around the yard in Duck's absence, spread rumours that Duck had given offensive nicknames to the others. Duck was sent to work as a banker for Edward at Wellsworth pending further inquiry and after bravely stopping a runaway goods train at his own risk, he regained the respect of the others. Of course, by this time the others were aware that the matter was all Diesel's fault, but Duck's heroism certainly helped.
Duck would later show Donald and Douglas around when they arrived and they soon became friends. He also allowed Stepney to take a special visitor and helped him double-head a passenger train when the Diesel broke down from sucking an inspector's hat into his air-intake. When Peter Sam told Duck about a duke coming to Sodor, Duck tells him that all dukes have been scrapped, causing him to worry. Whether or not Peter Sam meant that it was the Duke of Sodor or the engine Duke, Duck was most likely unaware of what Peter Sam meant, but as Skarloey had put it, Duck was probably pulling Peter Sam's wheels.
Duck continued working on the Main Line until 1967. When Donald and Douglas brought in new ballast for the track, they mention that "verra wee engines" bring it down from the hills. Duck was curious about this and asks to take some trucks along the line that is later known as the Tidmouth-Arlesburgh branch line - nicknamed "The Little Western". It is there that Duck meets three small engines, Rex, Mike and Bert, who all bring in the ballast and helped restore the branch line. Duck was later asked to run it with help from Oliver and on occasion, Donald and Douglas.
One time, a double decker bus named Bulgy tried to steal Duck's passengers, but got stuck under a bridge where Duck encountered him. When his passengers realised that Bulgy lied to them by saying he was a railway bus and accepted railway tickets, Duck managed to regain his passengers and made it safely across the bridge, where he brought the passengers home in good time. Bulgy, however, was turned into a hen-house close to his line.
Duck would later help Henry with the Flying Kipper as a banker, only to end up crashing into his rear trucks when the tail lamp fell off. He also helped Thomas and Percy triple-head the express when neither Gordon nor Henry could do it.
Bio in the Television Series
Duck reprises his roles from the Railway Series from when he first came to Sodor to when he developed a rivalry with Diesel and Bulgy. Duck and Percy often worked at the harbour. The workload eventually got too heavy and the Fat Controller had brought Diesel to help. Duck and Percy were furious and went on strike until the Fat Controller made them work again. When Diesel pushed some trucks into the sea, he was sent away. Duck and Percy gladly did the work alone. Duck often liked to watch the boats sail at Brendam. One day, a regatta was being held and Duck wished he could sail to faraway lands. Percy and Harold ignored Duck's remarks. When a man had hurt his hand, Duck brought him to Bertie, who would take the man to the hospital. Thanks to Bertie's remarks at Duck for flying along the rails, Duck now knew that rails could take him to as many places as water could.
Duck has had many adventures, such as: helping Stepney take the express to Crovan's Gate after the Diesel broke down, supporting Oliver when he took on S.C. Ruffey and the other trucks, went to the Big City with the engines after they received a letter from a little girl and tried to help Henry with getting the Flying Kipper up Gordon's Hill, but ended up crashing into it after the tail lamp fell off.
Later, Duck was trapped at the docks with the big engines and Cranky. A tramp steamer crashed into the shed causing it and Cranky to topple over while also causing the engines to be trapped underneath the shed. Luckily, Thomas and Percy rescued them. Afterwards, George refused to let Duck get his truck off the Main Line, resulting in Gordon crashing into it. Duck was spared punishment when the Fat Controller was told George was to blame for Duck not clearing the Main Line before Gordon came through.
Sometimes it appears the Fat Controller has deputised Duck at other places on the railway. He has been seen in various yards along the Main Line and Edward's Branch Line doing mostly goods work.
When Harold broke down at Callan Castle, Duck was asked to take him to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre for repairs, with Thomas as his back engine. However Thomas wanted Harold to see the sights of Sodor, so he tricked Duck into going to Knapford. After this, Duck became cross with Thomas. Thomas tried to warn Duck about a narrow tunnel up ahead, but Duck took no notice and ended up damaging Harold's rotor blades. After this, the two engines made up and worked together to deliver Harold to the rescue centre.
He once ran into a flood whilst working on his branch line and had to wait until James brought Rocky to help him. Unfortunately, Oliver and Percy ran into them due to a broken signal knocked down by Rocky's swinging crane arm and delayed Duck's rescue. During one hectic summer, the Fat Controller was not sure how to handle the number of passengers travelling on his railway. Duck suggested bringing slip coaches, which he had used on the Great Western Railway, to the Island. However, James lied and used the idea as his own, initially receiving praise only to cause trouble. Duck soon took control of the slip coaches and things worked out perfectly, with the coaches now appearing to be used year round. He later ran a red signal by mistake while trying to show how fast he could be and almost collided with Oliver.
In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Duck helped with building the new Harwick Branch Line and was very excited and surprised to see Donald and Douglas whom he had not seen for ages. He later brought Rocky to lift Thomas out of the cavern that he had fallen into and sometime later attended the branch line's opening ceremony.
In the twentieth season, Duck and the Slip Coaches nearly collided with Ryan while the purple tank engine was taking passengers and a mail truck for Daisy at the same time. Another time, he and Oliver were responsible for taking people safely home when a storm struck the Island. At Arlesburgh, the two met Skiff and warned him to get to safety, upsetting the rail boat. When he had finished his jobs, Duck headed for home with the Slip Coaches, however they nor Oliver and Toad, who were travelling to Arlesburgh on the opposite track, were aware that a lightning strike had caused a tree to fall on the line. Thankfully, Skiff, who had been blown away by the storm, was able to warn them just in time. Later, as in the Railway Series, his whistle got clogged after his driver boiled an egg on it. Thomas and Rex teased him and Mike said that engines should not make such rude sounds as it makes them an improper engine.
In The Great Race, Duck along with all of the Fat Controller's engines wanted to go to the Great Railway Show, however he was not chosen.
Duck is a Great Western pannier tank engine. His real name is Montague, but he is usually called Duck, which he prefers. This is said to be because he waddles, though he does not really. Duck knows how to hold his own and tends to stand for no nonsense from any engines that might get ideas above their station and try to order him or others about. He likes things to run like clockwork, without fuss and is a very efficient, loyal engine. He takes tremendous pride in the responsibilities bestowed upon him, particularly in his role of running his own branch line with Oliver, sometimes known as the "Little Western" as a result.
Duck is cheerful, busy and tends to bustle about. He is very proud of his noble Great Western heritage, often claiming that "there are two ways of doing things: the Great Western way, or the wrong way", occasionally to the frustration of other engines. He strongly admires City of Truro and enjoyed talking "Great Western" with him when he visited the North Western Railway.
Duck is often welcoming of newcomers, even most diesels, in spite of having lies told about him by Devious Diesel not long after his arrival. He will often support the underdog, stick up for his friends and help others see the error of their ways. However, occasionally he does have the "Tank Engine sense" of teasing the bigger engines such as Gordon. Duck is also known to have a rivalry with James. But he has earned the respect of the bigger engines and has firm friendships with Edward, Percy, Oliver, Toad, BoCo and the Scottish twins.
Duck is based on a Great Western Railway 57xx Class 0-6-0 pannier tank engine with added sand boxes. Duck's Great Western number, 5741, was that of a real 57xx, built by the North British Locomotive Co. in 1929 and scrapped at Swindon in 1958. 863 of these engines were built by various manufacturers over a 21 year period, making it the most produced class of British tank engine. 16 of these engines survive in preservation.
In the Railway Series, Duck is painted in the Great Western Railway's Brunswick green livery with yellow lining and black wheels, splashers and pipes. He has the letters "GWR" written on his pannier tanks in yellow and red. He had brass GWR numberplates on his cab sides (5741) along with a builder's plate on either side of his cab, as well as a brass safety valve cover. Despite his appearance on arrival, it is said in The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways that he was in British Railways livery which would make sense for 1955. It is highly likely he would of carried the Lion and Wheel insignia during this period. The Swindon trained Sir Topham Hatt soon allowed him to revert to GWR livery though, possibly at the same time he was given above running plate sand boxes. It is worth pointing out his number plate is not necessarily the one originally assigned to him during his building.
In the television series, Duck is painted in the North Western Railway's green livery, unlined, with a green safety valve cover and black wheels. The number "8" is painted on each side of his cab in yellow, upon a black background with a yellow border.