Edward was built in 1896 for the Furness Railway. He worked hard and loyaly on the Furness for 19 years. During that time, he became good friends with an engine known as Albert and his coaches. He was noted for being a shy steamer, even for his class.
In 1914, the newly formed North Western Railway found itself in desperate need of new, more powerful motive power, its small fleet of engines being antiquated and undersized. Chief Engineer Mr. Topham Hatt struck deals with the nearby Furness and Midland Railways to loan several of their engines. Edward was one of these engines, and also the first to arrive in January the following year. He, with his tremendous enthusiasm and work ethic, was the driving force behind the railway's construction. When the Vicarstown Rolling Bridge was completed near the end of 1915, he was the first engine to cross it.
During the railway's construction, he worked closely and struck a close friendship with Mr. Hatt. Every year until 1923, he would pull a special birthday train for him. Mr. Hatt took an intrest in curing Edward's shy steaming, but none of his modifications had much success.
By 1919, most of the railway's construction was complete and war traffic ceased, and the Mainland railways began calling their engines home. Topham asked the Board of Directors to offer to purchase Edward from the Furness, which was accepted in 1921, much to the two's delight. After this, he was sent to the Crovan's Gate Steamworks for a partial rebuild and to be repainted to his now familiar blue livery. Between then and 1923, he hauled the Wild Nor' Wester.
By 1922, most of the loaned engines had gone home and the North Western found itself in a locomotive crisis, Edward was near enough single handedly running the Main Line. Topham Hatt, now a director, bought what he thought was a GCR Atlantic to relieve Edward of the Express and some of the other more strenuous services. However the engine, named Henry, proved a failure and required Edward to rescue him on his first train. While most of the other engines were unkind to Henry, Edward reassured him that he was useful and had a place on the railway.
While Edward was forced to carry on with the main services for another year, Henry was able to take over some trains, taking a lot of weight off his wheels.
Edward is kindhearted, optimistic, knowledgeable, wise and always keen to help a friend in need. The small engines trust him to lend a listening ear and sympathetic advice. He has a great work ethic too, and always does his best to finish a job. If an engine ever misbehaves, it's Edward that the Fat Controller turns to in order to soothe things out.
Sadly, most of the bigger engines often see Edward as old-fashioned and slow. While it is true he is the oldest engine on the North Western Railway, he has proved time and time again that he is more than capable of working as hard as any newer engine, but he is a more clever and wiser engine, too. In fact, he and BoCo are the only engines who can keep Bill and Ben in order, and he knows when to put them in their place should they misbehave, and like any other wise old engine, he stands for no nonsense from anyone, especially from the bigger engines.
He is known to take newer and younger engines under his wheels and teach them how to be Really Useful.
Edward is painted in the North Western Railway's passenger livery; blue with red and yellow lining. The number "2" is painted on the sides of his tender in yellow.
Until 1922, Edward was painted in the Furness Railway's Indian Red livery with black lining, the letters "FR" written in yellow on his tender sides and black wheels.
- He was named in 1901 after the new King, Edward VII.
- He is one of the few engines to know Sudric, the native language of Sodor.
|North Western Railway|
|Thomas • Edward • Henry • Gordon • James • Percy • Toby • Duck • Donald • Douglas • Oliver • Emily • Arthur • Charlie • Samson • Murdoch • Molly • Rosie • Whiff • Billy • Stanley • Hank • Flora • Scruff • Porter • Harvey • Barry • Connor • Caitlin • Neville • Belle • Ryan • Fergus • Victor • Marion • Dustin • Daisy • BoCo • Bear • Derek • 'Arry • Bert • Diesel • Brush • Diesel Ten • Den • Dart • Sidney • Norman • Paxton • Philip • Pip • Emma • Salty • Dennis • Stafford • Flynn • Winston • Skiff|