The Railway SeriesEdit
Rheneas was built at Fletcher, Jennings & Co. in 1865, and arrived on the Skarloey Railway that same year. Contrary to Skarloey, he was stern and thoughtful, and did his work without hurry or fuss. After Skarloey received his cab and trailing wheels, Rheneas insulted him for his new appearance, and the two fell out after Skarloey called him a "stick-in-the-mud". A few days later, Skarloey had an accident when a landslide derailed him. Rheneas refused to help him at first, but eventually came to the rescue and reconciled with Skarloey. (RWS; Very Old Engines)
During the early 50's, the Skarloey Railway began facing hard times, and after Skarloey was put aside for emergency purposes only, Rheneas became the only engine working on the line. While taking a passenger train back home during a rainy day, Rheneas experienced tremendous pain when his valve gear jammed, and he became stranded on the loneliest part of the line. Rheneas refused to give up, and managed to get to the station just before the top station, saving the railway from closure. Rheneas was rewarded with an overhaul, and earned the nickname "Gallant Old Engine" by the railway staff. He returned to service years later. (RWS; Gallant Old Engine)
For his and Skarloey's 100th anniversary, Rheneas was filmed by the BBC, and his passengers all wore clothing of the 1860's. During the opening of the new loop line, Rheneas gave a speech, and told the visitors about Talyllyn and Dolgoch on the Talyllyn Railway. (RWS; Very Old Engines)
While taking a train full of visitors, Rheneas experienced trouble when his wheels slipped on the weedkiller that had been spread across the line, but managed to get his train to the next station safely. He later attended the naming ceremony of Ivo Hugh. (RWS; New Little Engine)
Rheneas' paintwork became scratched up and covered in slate dust after he went over the collapsing Blondin Bridge too fast and hit the . He complained about this to the other engines, who teased him. Rheneas was given a new coat of paint at the Steamworks, and was painted yellow as a joke for Thomas. (TVS; Blue Mountain Mystery)
Personality and TraitsEdit
Rheneas is a wise and old engine. He saved the railway from closure. Shortly afterward he was sent for repairs.
Rheneas is based on the Talyllyn Railway's Dolgoch.
In the Railway Series, Rheneas was painted in the Skarloey Railway's signature red livery with blue lining. When he was first built, he was painted with blue and gold lining. In Four Little Engines, Rheneas' wheels were painted red, but they became black in later books. His dome used to be red up until Very Old Engines, when it was painted gold. His name is painted on the sides of his boiler in gold writing.
In the television series, Rheneas is painted vermilion with black lining and gold boiler bands. He carries his name on a black nameplate in gold writing, and he carries his number on the sides of his coal bunker. In Blue Mountain Mystery, Rheneas was temporarily painted yellow with dark blue lining. He was repainted to his vermilion livery in later appearances.