Donald, formerly known by his BR number, 57646, is a Scottish mixed-traffic tender engine and the twin of Douglas. Originally, he was the only engine the Fat Controller was expecting, but he brought Douglas along with him to help his brother escape from scrap. He now works on the Little Western, but occasionally works on Edward's Branch Line and the Main Line.
The Railway SeriesEdit
In 1959, work on the North Western Railway increased during the summer period, so the Fat Controller requested an engine from the Other Railway to handle the goods traffic on the main line. Donald was chosen to go to Sodor, but Douglas, his twin brother, feared that he would be scrapped if he stayed behind, and so the two of them and their crews made plans to take both engines to Sodor.
When Donald arrived to Sodor with Douglas, the Fat Controller was most surprised: neither engine could be told apart, and they claimed to have forgotten their numbers, which had "slyly slipped off" on their journey to Sodor. Until he could determine which engine was the fraud, the Fat Controller was forced to keep both engines, and the twins vowed to give outstanding performances so that the Fat Controller would be so impressed that he would keep the both of them. Unfortunately, things became complicated for both engines after Donald crashed into a signal-box at Tidmouth.
Donald and Douglas quickly became popular with the other engines on the Fat Controller's Railway, and their strong work ethic, professionalism and competency won many of them over, especially during the winter period, when they displayed excellent knowledge in snow clearing from work that they had learned in Scotland. After rescuing Henry when he became stuck in the snow, the engines took the twins' side and became determined to have the both of them stay on the railway. After Percy told the Fat Controller that the twins would be scrapped if they were sent away, the Fat Controller began to take pity on the twins and chose to keep both of them, requesting nameplates for both engines as well as offering repaints for both twins. Donald, like his twin, chose NWR Blue, as it reminded him of his Caledonian heritage. (RWS; The Twin Engines)
When Henry became jealous of Flying Scotsman's two tenders, Donald helped Duck trick Henry into being given six dirty old tenders. Both he and Flying Scotsman were also present when Henry rescued two failed diesels.(RWS; Enterprising Engines) After Culdee came back to Sodor after undergoing an extensive overhaul in Switzerland, Donald took him back to the Culdee Fell Railway at Kirk Machan station. (RWS; Mountain Engines)
When the branch line going from Tidmouth to Arlesburgh was reopened, the Fat Controller put both twins in charge of ballast duties on the line. The twins would tell the other engines at the big station that "verra wee engines" brought the ballast down from the hills, which peaked the curiosity of the other engines. (RWS; Small Railway Engines) The Fat Controller had a turntable built at Arlesburgh West for both twins, as well as an extra berth at the engine sheds there for one of them to stay in.
Duck was later put in charge of running the Little Western, and he talked endlessly about his Great Western heritage, which irritated Donald. After Donald teased him about his "quacking", Duck's crew got back at him by popping a small duckling inside his water tank, which Donald's crew discovered when Donald stopped to take on more water. The duckling was tame and got along with both Donald and his crew, and rode in his cab until she eventually got off and settled down at Haultraugh. After that, Donald got back at Duck by having a nest with an egg placed behind his bunker, and got the last laugh. (RWS; Oliver the Western Engine)
Donald was present at Arlesburgh West when Duke was rediscovered and taken to the station by road. After Duke was dropped off at the station, Donald took him to Crovan's Gate. (RWS; Duke the Lost Engine)
Donald and Douglas both proved to be reliable, hard-working engines, but they soon found themselves becoming overworked. In order to ease their workload, the Fat Controller brought Wilbert to Sodor to help them out until he could afford an engine like him to help them out. (RWS; Wilbert the Forest Engine) In 2011, Donald and Douglas were both put in charge of taking ballast trains from Arlesburgh down to Tidmouth. On one particular day, Donald tried to move into a siding, but slipped on the frosty rails and destroyed the buffer stop at the end of the line. (RWS; Thomas and his Friends)
Like in the Railway Series, Donald came to Sodor with Douglas, but the Fat Controller was only expecting one engine. Things became complicated for the twins after Donald crashed into a signal-box. (TVS; Break Van) Fortunately, both twins managed to stay on Sodor after the engines requested that the Fat Controller keep the both of them. (TVS; The Deputation)
After Donald derailed after he crashed into a cart of hay that had been stuck on the line, he blamed Douglas for pushing him, and the two twins experienced a falling-out, refusing to speak to each-other and blaming one-another for causing the accident. When Duck needed assistance in the shunting yards, Donald used this as an opportunity to get away from Douglas, but became frustrated when Duck was not listening to him right. Things took a turn for the worse when Donald was not paying attention to where he was going and ran into a ditch, until Douglas came to his aid. Afterwards, the twins apologized and made up. (TVS; Twin Trouble)
Donald and Douglas were later put in charge of taking a train of decorations to Callan Castle, which was being reopened. The two twins briefly argued with each-other over whether or not the supposed monster living in the loch near the castle was real or not, but this was put aside when they became stranded on the way to the castle. The Fat Controller promised help, but Harvey and the Breakdown Train did not arrive until nighttime; the shape of the cranes in the mist terrified both engines, who thought it was the monster. Fortunately, they managed to get to Callan Castle in time. (TVS; Bad Day at Castle Loch)
When most of the points on the North Western Railway became faulty, Donald found himself stuck on the Main Line. When Gordon picked up the carpenter by accident instead of the engineer, both Donald and Douglas helped bring the engineer to him. Afterwards, Gordon thanked both twins for their assistance. (TVS; Gordon and the Engineer)
When the Harwick Branch Line was under construction, Donald and Douglas both assisted with the heavy goods trains, delivering the construction materials needed to build the new line. When the workmen discovered that the line was unsafe, Donald was flagged down before he could cross the dangerous section. After the pirate ship was lifted out of the cavern, Donald and Douglas both took the ship to Arlesburgh Harbour, where it would be put on display. Donald attended to the grand opening of the Harwick Branch Line following the line's completion. (TVS; Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure)
Donald, like his twin, is based on the Caledonian Railway 812 class. Introduced in 1899, these 0-6-0 tender engines were used as mixed-traffic engines during their years in service, and at least ninety-six were built. The sole remaining member of this class, 828, currently works on the Strathspey Railway in Scotland, and is the railway's oldest engine.
When he first arrived to Sodor, Donald was painted in the BR black goods livery. He was painted black all over with red bufferbeams, and was also painted with white and red lining on the sides of his cab and tender. In order to tell him apart from his twin, the Fat Controller had Douglas' number, 9, painted on his tender. After Donald was chosen to stay on the North Western Railway, he was painted in the railway's signature sky blue livery with red lining. He also carries his name on the sides of his smokebox on a red nameplate in gold lettering, and carries a builder's plate on the sides of his cab.
In the television series, Donald has always been painted BR black ever since his introduction. In the second season, he originally carried his nameplates on the sides of his smokebox, but after that, they moved to the centre of his boiler. Following his return to CGI, Donald' nameplates were moved back to his smokebox, just as they had been before. He also received more rivets, thicker handrails and a permanent headlamp. He also became slightly smaller than he originally was.