Douglas, originally known by his BR number, 57647, is a Scottish mixed-traffic tender engine and the twin of Donald. Originally, only Donald was expected to arrive to Sodor, but Douglas came along with him, fearing that he would be scrapped if he stayed behind. He now works on the Little Western, but occasionally works on Edward's Branch Line and the Main Line.
The Railway SeriesEdit
When work on the North Western Railway increased during the summer period, the Fat Controller was in need of another engine. In order to handle the goods traffic on the Main Line, he requested a goods engine from Scotland. Donald was chosen to go to Sodor, but Douglas could not stand to be separated from his twin and feared that if he stayed behind, he would be scrapped, so he, his twin and their crews made plans to go to Sodor together.
Much to the Fat Controller's surprise, both engines arrived to Sodor instead of one. Both engines could not be told apart, and claimed they had forgotten their numbers, which had "slyly" slipped off on their way to Sodor. Until he could determine which engine was the truant, the Fat Controller was forced to keep both. In order to convince him to keep both engines, both twins gave excellent performance, but things became complicated for them after Douglas shunted Thomas' special coach full of passengers in a siding, causing an uproar at the station. Douglas swapped tenders with Donald in order to fool the Fat Controller, but he immediately found out about this and reprimanded the both of them. Their plans were further strained after Douglas destroyed the Spiteful Brakevan by accident.
Despite their past mistakes, the twins began to win the other engines over with their determination, professionalism and competency, especially during the winter period, when they displayed excellent knowledge in clearing snow from the line. After the twins rescued Henry from a snowdrift, they gained the support of the other engines, who became determined to have the Fat Controller keep both on the railway. After a suggestion by Edward, Percy told the Fat Controller that the twins would be scrapped if he were to send them back and pleaded that he keep them both. After some consideration, the Fat Controller felt sympathetic for both twins and kept them, requesting nameplates for both and offering them new coats of paint. Douglas chose NWR blue, as it reminded him of his Caledonian heritage. (RWS; The Twin Engines)
Later on, Douglas had a conversation with Percy about the current state of steam and about the Bluebell Railway preserving steam engines, when they saw Stepney passing through Knapford. (RWS; Stepney the Bluebell Engine) When the branch line going from Tidmouth to Arlesburgh was reopened, the Fat Controller put the twins in charge of taking loaded ballast trains down to the big station. The twins would tell the other engines that "verra wee engines" brought the ballast down from the hills, which peaked their curiosity. (RWS; Small Railway Engines)
One night, after he took a goods train to the Other Railway and was preparing to leave, Douglas discovered a small tank engine, Oliver, in the yard, who had ran out of coal as he was escaping to Sodor along with Isabel, his auto-coach, and Toad, a brake van. Douglas agreed to save them, and he took them all the way to Crovan's Gate, where they were hidden until the Fat Controller found out about this and had Oliver restored for the Little Western. To show his appreciation, Toad became Douglas' brakevan. (RWS; Enterprising Engines)
The Fat Controller had a turntable built at Arlesburgh West for Donald and Douglas, as well as an extra berth in the engine shed for one of them to use. However, their turntable was briefly put out of service after Oliver derailed and fell in the turntable well. (RWS; Oliver the Western Engine) When Jock was first put into service, Douglas was present as he was undergoing his first tests, and his yellow-green livery reminded him of the livery the engines that worked in the Highlands of Scotland wore, who were referred to as "Jocks". Jock liked the name, so the name stuck to him. (RWS; Jock the New Engine)
Though Donald and Douglas were excellent workers, they soon found themselves becoming overworked, so the Fat Controller arranged for Wilbert to work with them until he could afford an engine like him to help them out. (RWS; Wilbert the Forest Engine) When the North Western Railway was in need of more ballast, Donald and Douglas both worked tirelessly delivering ballast from Arlesburgh down to Tidmouth. When he went into a siding to rest, Douglas' brakes failed, causing him to crash into the set of recently-restored buffers that were being repainted. Douglas found himself covered in red paint, as well as the remains of the destroyed buffers. (RWS; Thomas and his Friends)
Douglas, 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, Douglas 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, 10, painted on his tender. After Douglas 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, Douglas 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, Douglas' 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.