Toby is a brown square tram engine who works on Thomas' Branch Line. Toby has two coaches named Henrietta and Victoria and a luggage van called Elsie.
Toby is the No. 7 brown tram engine. He's square – old-fashioned both in looks and nature. Toby's always happy to work and is usually found on the Quarry line with his faithful coach, Henrietta. Toby was built by James Holden at GER's Stratford Works in Stratford, London, England in 1914 and originally lived at Great Yarmouth Docks, Norfolk and worked in the harbour with his brothers long ago back in the 1920's before working on an unnamed tramway. In 1951, Toby came to work at the quarry on Thomas' Branch Line after his old railway in East Anglia closed, as it was found to be illegal for Thomas to go on the quarry tramroad without sideplates or cowcatchers.
Toby is old and, at first, was teased by James for his shabby paint. James stopped calling him names after he crashed into some tar wagons and Toby was given chocolate brown paint for his hard work.
When Toby was brought to Sodor on November 1951, he competed in the Sodor Championship and had to go slow to win. Toby then went on a camping trip with the rest of the Steam Team on the Mainland but Gordon kept having nightmares so Toby gave him company.
When he was first introduced, Toby was old but hardworking, and knew enough about running a branchline to justify running Thomas' with Thomas and Daisy after Percy's accident with the trucks. He is also savvy enough to control the trucks. However, his advanced age and design means that he is weaker than the other engines. Since the eighth series, Toby has been portrayed as being nervous about the capabilities of his work and uncertain about being an old steam tram, believing that he is not a proper engine, only good enough as a museum piece and not really special at all.
Toby enjoys listening to the birds in the birdhouse next to his shed. He also is friends with the pigs at Farmer Trotter's Pig Farm.
Toby was inspired by a GER Wisbech steam tram J70 0-6-0T seen by the Reverend Wilbert and Christopher Awdry on a holiday at Yarmouth, hence Toby's origins.
Toby was painted brown with black cowcatchers and sideplates (which sported "LNER" in bright yellow letters) before working on his tramway, where he was repainted greyish brown with grey sideplates and cowcatchers. After helping James he was repainted chocolate brown with olive frames and blue sideplates.
Toby has a number "7" painted on his sides in bright yellow with a red border.
He carries two plaques on the sides of his cab stating that he works on the NWR, his number, and the last time and place that he was rebuilt.
- Colm Feore (Thomas and the Magic Railroad)
- William Hope (US; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Ben Small (UK; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Whenever he speaks, he sounds like he has a stuffy nose.
- The Wooden Railway and Brio ranges incorrectly depict Toby as an 0-4-0.
- In Thomas Comes Home, the illustrations of "Toby's Megatrain" show Toby with a face at the rear cab as well as the front cab. This is the only time in the Railway Series that Toby has been illustrated with two faces.
- Two Toby models are currently on display; one at Drayton Manor in the U.K. and one in Canada at Nitrogen Studios.
- Toby is Christopher Awdry's favourite engine. This is because while on a trip in Yarmouth, he and his father got to ride in the cab of one.