Rusty is a diesel engine who does maintenance work and odd jobs on the Skarloey Railway.
Bio in the Railway Series
Rusty was built by Ruston and Hornsby Ltd. in Lincoln, England. He was bought by Sir Handel Brown direct from the builders in 1957 to assist Sir Handel and Peter Sam. While they handled passengers and goods, Rusty was paired with CME Mr. Ivo Hugh to repair the ageing trackbed along the line.
When Sir Handel pretended to be ill, Rusty was asked to assist Peter Sam with the slate trucks and later that day had to perform a rescue operation at the quarry when Peter Sam had an accident on the incline.
Following the return of Skarloey, Rusty was put back on maintenance duties, but had an argument with Duncan about taking care on a "bad bit" of track south of Cros-ny-Cuirn. While initially refusing to help the conceited Duncan when he derailed, Skarloey reminded Rusty of his responsibility towards the passengers and he set out at once, later making up the quarrel with Duncan. Later that year, Rusty and Mr. Hugh were chosen to demonstrate to a television crew how they maintained the line at Quarry Siding.
In 1961, Rusty and Mr. Hugh discovered a washed out section of track south of the tunnel and the railway was closed temporarily while he and the workmen repaired the line. He was later present when Rheneas finally returned home.
In 1964, the Lakeside loop line extension was opened in a grand ceremony at Quarry Siding. Rusty was asked to bring visitors to celebrate the occasion.
In 1984, Rusty was in charge of carrying away tree branches and other cuttings, which were being trimmed from the line so that passengers could get a better view.
In 1995, Rusty was put in charge of the weedkiller train, a job he disliked because it required slow speeds. The weedkiller later created trouble for Rheneas, who could not get a firm grip on the wet, greasy rails. He later had to take Sir Handel's trains after Sir Handel had caused his firebars to collapse.
Bio in the Television Series
Rusty has always been a helpful little diesel. He has mostly been seen clearing lines, and doing other railway maintenance work. In the fourth season, Rusty helped saved Stepney, who was stranded on a siding in a scrapyard on the Other Railway, from scrap. When the Boulder went loose at the Quarry, Rusty narrowly escaped his own destruction after being chased by the giant stone. Along with Skarloey, Rheneas, and Elizabeth, he saved the Skarloey Railway from abandonment. Rusty once saved Duncan from falling into a river from an old bridge.
One Christmas, when Duncan began complaining more than ever, Rusty had the idea of telling the Thin Controller, who devised a plan. Rusty later saw Duncan lose his temper with Luke, who was blocking the track in front of him. But when Duncan felt sorry and helped Luke carry on his way, Rusty saw this too and told the Thin Controller.
He is currently working at the Skarloey Railway, along with the other narrow gauge engines.
Rusty is a trusty, tame, friendly little diesel. He is a dedicated worker, often maintaining the line, while understanding and respecting the importance of his duties. He also has a rather distinctive two-tone horn. Rusty is quick to remind others with regards to proper conduct, particularly Duncan, who was initially very suspicious of the little diesel. But despite their arguments they both seem to make amends in the end, because of how kind and tolerant Rusty is. He has a good working relationship with both Skarloey and Peter Sam in particular. Caring, calm, and quick-thinking, Rusty is modestly a credit to the Skarloey Railway.
Rusty is based on the Talyllyn Railway's Midlander, a Ruston Hornsby diesel, Unlike his basis, Rusty was never fitted with a different shaped radiator.
In the Railway Series, Rusty is painted charcoal-black with yellow lining and lettering. In the television series, he is painted orange with yellow lining and white lettering.
In The Thomas Way DVD, the Mr. Perkins segment features a re-illustrated version of Trucks!. In this, Rusty is painted orange, like in the television series.