"There are two ways of doing things...the wrong way and the Great Western Way..."
Duck is a Great Western Railway engine who works on The Little Western.
Duck worked as the station pilot at Paddington before moving to Sodor in 1955 to take over Percy's shunting duties at Tidmouth, leaving the latter free to assist with the construction of Knapford Harbour. Duck was a hard worker, but the others mistook his work ethic for simplicity and tried to use this to their advantage. They soon found their mistake when Duck and Percy took revenge on them by barring them from entering the shed. Duck earned a reprimand from the Fat Controller for this, but so did the other engines, who were told, as Duck put it, that it is the Fat Controller's railway, and as controller, he is the one who gives the orders.
When Diesel arrived in the same year, the others took a liking to his flattery, but Duck was doubtful and left Diesel to his own devices, which resulted in the latter getting into a mishap with some old trucks. Duck tried to help Diesel when the trucks started to tease him, but to no avail. Diesel vowed to get revenge and inspired by several incidents occurring around the yard in Duck's absence, spread rumours that Duck had given offensive nicknames to the others. Duck was sent to work as a banker for Edward at Wellsworth pending further inquiry and after bravely stopping a runaway goods train at his own risk, he regained the respect of the others. Of course, by this time the others were aware that the matter was all Diesel's fault, but Duck's heroism certainly helped.
Duck would later show Donald and Douglas around when they arrived and they soon became friends. He also allowed Stepney to take a special visitor and helped him double-head a passenger train when Class 40 broke down from sucking an inspector's hat into his air-intake. When Peter Sam told Duck about a duke coming to Sodor, Duck tells him that all dukes have been scrapped, causing him to worry. Whether or not Peter Sam meant that it was the Duke of Sodor or the engine Duke, Duck was most likely unaware of what Peter Sam meant, but as Skarloey had put it, Duck was probably pulling Peter Sam's wheels.
Duck continued working on the Main Line until 1967. When Donald and Douglas brought in new ballast for the track, they mention that "verra wee engines" bring it down from the hills. Duck was curious about this and asks to take some trucks along the line that is later known as the Tidmouth-Arlesburgh branch line - nicknamed "The Little Western". It is there that Duck meets three small engines, Rex, Mike and Bert, who all bring in the ballast and helped restore the branch line. Duck was later asked to run it with help from Oliver and on occasion, Donald and Douglas. Later, his whistle got clogged after his driver boiled an egg on it. Thomas and Rex teased him and Mike said that engines should not make such rude sounds as it makes them an improper engine.
One time, a double-decker bus named Bulgy tried to steal Duck's passengers in 1967, but got stuck under a bridge where Duck encountered him. When his passengers realised that Bulgy lied to them by saying he was a railway bus and accepted railway tickets, Duck managed to regain his passengers and made it safely across the bridge, where he brought the passengers home in good time. Bulgy, however, was turned into a hen-house close to his line.
Duck would later help Henry with the Flying Kipper as a banker in 1983, only to end up crashing into his rear trucks when the tail lamp fell off. He also helped Thomas and Percy triple-head the express when Gordon and Henry were unavailable.
Duck and Percy often worked at the harbour. The workload eventually got too heavy in 1991 and Sir Topham Hatt III had brought Diesel back to help. Duck and Percy were furious and went on strike until the Fat Controller made them work again. When Diesel pushed some trucks into the sea, he was sent away. Duck and Percy gladly did the work alone. Duck often liked to watch the boats sail at Brendam. One day, a regatta was being held and Duck wished he could sail to faraway lands. Percy and Harold ignored Duck's remarks. When a man had hurt his hand, Duck brought him to Bertie, who would take the man to the hospital. Thanks to Bertie's remarks at Duck for flying along the rails, Duck now knew that rails could take him to as many places as water could.
Later, Duck was trapped at the docks with the big engines and Cranky in 1998. A tramp steamer crashed into the shed causing it and Cranky to topple over while also causing the engines to be trapped underneath the shed. Luckily, Thomas and Percy rescued them. Afterwards, George refused to let Duck get his truck off the Main Line, resulting in Gordon crashing into it. Duck was spared punishment when the Fat Controller was told George was to blame for Duck not clearing the Main Line before Gordon came through.
When Harold broke down at Callan Castle in 2013, Duck was asked to take him to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre for repairs, with Thomas as his back engine. However Thomas wanted Harold to see the sights of Sodor, so he tricked Duck into going to Knapford. After this, Duck became cross with Thomas. Thomas tried to warn Duck about a narrow tunnel up ahead, but Duck took no notice and ended up damaging Harold's rotor blades. After this, the two engines made up and worked together to deliver Harold to the rescue centre.
He once ran into a flood whilst working on his branch line in 2014 and had to wait until James brought Rocky to help him. Unfortunately, Oliver and Percy ran into them due to a broken signal knocked down by Rocky's swinging crane arm and delayed Duck's rescue. During one hectic summer, the Fat Controller was not sure how to handle the number of passengers travelling on his railway. Duck suggested bringing slip coaches, which he had used on the Great Western Railway, to the Island. However, James lied and used the idea as his own, initially receiving praise only to cause trouble. Duck soon took control of the slip coaches and things worked out perfectly, with the coaches now appearing to be used year round. He later ran a red signal by mistake while trying to show how fast he could be and almost collided with Oliver.
Duck helped with building the new Harwick Branch Line in 2015 and was very excited and surprised to see Donald and Douglas whom he had not seen for ages. He later brought Rocky to lift Thomas out of the cavern that he had fallen into and sometime later attended the branch line's opening ceremony.
One day, when a storm struck the island, he and Oliver were responsible for taking people safely home. At Arlesburgh, the two met Skiff and warned him to get to safety, upsetting the rail boat. When he had finished his jobs, Duck headed for home with the Slip Coaches; however, neither they nor Oliver and Toad, who were travelling to Arlesburgh on the opposite track, were aware that a lightning strike had caused a tree to fall on the line. Thankfully, Skiff, who had been blown away by the storm, was able to warn them just in time.
Duck, along with all of the Fat Controller's engines, wanted to go to the Great Railway Show of 2016, but he was among the many engines that were not chosen. After another big storm in 2018, Harwick school was damaged. Duck searched for a suitable temporary replacement classroom for the children. He eventually found one in Dexter, an old branch line coach that had been left on a siding.
Duck is a kind engine who is always happy to give advice.
Duck is based on a Great Western Railway 57xx Class 0-6-0 pannier tank engine with added sand boxes. Duck's Great Western number, 5741, was that of a real 57xx, one of the first fifty 57xx Class (Nos. 5700-5749) built by the North British Locomotive Co. on 31st March, 1929 and scrapped at Swindon on 31st May, 1958. However, according to Sodor: Reading Between the Lines, "...through this might not, in fact, be the number with which he was allocated when built...". 863 of these engines were built by various manufacturers over a twenty-one year period, making it the most produced class of British tank engine. Sixteen of these engines survive in preservation. However in Percy the Small Engine and The Eight Famous Engines, Duck was incorrectly illustrated as a Great Western Railway 64xx Class 0-6-0 pannier tank engine. On top of that, none of the 57xx's were autofitted to work with autocoaches.
In the Railway Series, Duck is painted in GWR Brunswick green with yellow lining and black wheels, splashers and pipes. He has the letters "GWR" written on his pannier tanks in yellow and red. He had brass GWR numberplates on his cab sides (5741) along with a builder's plate on either side of his cab, as well as a brass safety valve cover. Despite his appearance on arrival, it is said in The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways that he was in British Railways livery which would make sense for 1955. It is highly likely that he would have carried the Lion and Wheel insignia during this period. The Swindon trained Sir Topham Hatt soon allowed him to revert to his GWR livery though, possibly at the same time he was given above running plate sand boxes. It is worth pointing out his number plate is not necessarily the one originally assigned to him during his building.
In the television series, Duck is painted in NWR apple green, unlined, with a green safety valve cover and black wheels. His number is painted on each side of his cab in yellow, upon a black background with a yellow border.
- According to SiF's interview with Sam Barlow, Duck was originally considered to be part of the Steam Team, but was dropped in favour of Emily so as to give a female character a more prominent role.