Rusty the Diesel
Thomas & Friends character
First appearance The Little Old Engine (1959)
Created by Rev. W. Awdry
Voiced by Matt Wilkinson (UK/US)
Number 5 (Narrow gauge engine)
Gender Male (Railway Series; TV Series 9 onwards)
Female (Series 9, US,TV)
Neutral (TV Series 4-Calling All Engines!)
Nationality British English

Rusty is a fictional narrow gauge diesel locomotive character in Wilbert Awdry's Railway Series books and in the accompanying television series Thomas & Friends. Rusty lives and works on the Skarloey Railway on the Island of Sodor as Engine No. 5.

Rusty first appeared in the railway series in Volume 14, The Little Old Engine.


Rusty is a very self-assured and dedicated diesel with a huge heart who was built in 1957 by Ruston and Hornsby. He loves adventure and the other engines, which makes their lives much easier. He is used for maintenance work and motive power in case of emergency or breakdown.


Rusty's name is a portmanteau of Ruston and Hornsby, the locomotive's manufacturers. In the TV series this was developed by giving the engine a rust-colour (Rusty was black in the Railway Series).


Rusty is based on the locomotive Midlander who works at the Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn, Mid-Wales. Like the fictional character, Midlander also carries the number 5, and was acquired by the Talyllyn Railway in 1957. Although the fictional locomotive was new when acquired by the Skarloey Railway, Midlander was 8 years old when purchased by the Talyllyn Railway.

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