"I'd like to introduce you to my new friend, Rebecca of England! Rebecca is a steam engine who's recently come here, to work on the Island of Sodor. When Rebecca first arrived, she was so nervous. She made some clumsy mistakes and was worried she wouldn't fit in. Rebecca is a very special engine. She's as big as Gordon, and she's just as fast! Rebecca has become very popular on Sodor. Rebecca's now joined us at Tidmouth Sheds, and we all love having her around. Welcome to Sodor, Rebecca!" - Thomas talks about Rebecca in Meet the Characters!
Rebecca is a new character who debuted in Series 22 of Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures!. She is a Bulleid Pacific engine originally from the Mainland, who moved to Sodor to become a new member of the Steam Team.
Rebecca originally lived on the Southern Railway, later part of the British Railways. She was originally painted a dark green with black on her roof. Due to demand and passenger overload, Sir Topham Hatt needed a new engine to help Gordon with the Express, and he met Rebecca while visiting the Southern Railway. Rebecca was originally nervous about the offer to work on Sodor, but after being reassured that there was nothing to be scared of, she took up the job. Before she left for Sodor, Rebecca was given a repaint to fit in with her new job. She decided to be repainted yellow with a large red and orange stripe, and her roof was painted blue. Rebecca chose the new colour scheme, hoping she would get noticed. To complete her new look, nameplates were added to her smoke deflectors, and the number “22” was painted on her cab. To also help signify her position as a member of the North Western Railway, the letters “N.W.R.” were painted on her tender.
Before Rebecca arrived on Sodor, Henry left Tidmouth Sheds in order to take up a new job involving working on and taking goods trains to the Mainland, and Sir Topham Hatt brought Rebecca to Sodor to serve as a secondary Express engine alongside Gordon. Though she arrived a day earlier than what Sir Topham Hatt expected and nearly bumped him and Winston off the rails when she tried to stop at Knapford. Her first job was to pull the express, though she caused a small mishap when she accidentally collected Flying Scotsman's passengers at Vicarstown early. After hearing how the other engines mentioned how fast and strong they were, Rebecca decided that she would leave the stations early to prove how she can get things done fast, but this caused a lot of confusion and the passengers got angry. Sir Topham Hatt scolded her at the end of her first day about what is happening, and Rebecca apologised for what she did. Rebecca was then officially welcomed into Tidmouth Sheds as the Steam Team’s seventh member.
Rebecca met Belle, Marion, and Harvey and complimented them on their water cannons, diggers, and crane respectively. Rebecca then felt as if she was not special due to not having a special feature. After hearing Duck mention that the crew at the Sodor Steamworks "can do anything", Rebecca goes there to get the features fitted on her, but to no avail. Thomas and Marion help Rebecca realise that complimenting others and making them feel good about themselves is her special quality. When Sir Topham Hatt arrived asking for an engine to take the Troublesome Trucks, Thomas, James and Percy placed the special's responsibilites on Rebecca, leaving the entire Steam Team concerned about their tricks. Contrary to expectations, she pulled them just fine, leaving the trucks confused and Thomas, James and Percy in their own predicaments. She arrived back at Tidmouth Sheds almost bumping Sir Topham off the rails, she helped Percy to find Thomas, but he got in danger himself. When Diesel played a trick on her and she took the fruits and vegs and she saw Millie at Ulfstead Castle.
Rebecca is based on the Southern Railway "West Country" and "Battle of Britain" class (also known as "Light Pacifics"), a class of 4-6-2 tender locomotives designed by Oliver Bulleid and built between 1945 and 1951. These engines were classified as mixed-traffic locomotives when introduced, and used for a wide variety of passenger and goods trains, including famous expresses such as the 'Golden Arrow' and the 'Atlantic Coast Express'. The "West Country" and "Battle of Britain" class engines were smaller and lighter versions of Bulleid's earlier "Merchant Navy" class, originally built with 'air-smoothed' casing, chain-driven valve gear and tenders with tall streamlined sides. Ten unrebuilt members of the class have been preserved, one of them, Blackmoor Vale on the Bluebell Railway, and another, Winston Churchill at the National Railway Museum. Another preserved member of the class, Swanage, appeared in Thomas and the U.K. Trip when Gacaphin and Mukku were visiting several heritage railways.
While Rebecca is modelled on the unrebuilt version of the locomotive, her tender design resembles the cut-down version used by rebuilt and unrebuilt members of the class in British Railways service. Additionally, she features several differences over her real-life basis, including an altered front end with a larger and lower bufferbeam, driving wheels which share the same design as Hiro's, and plain disc wheels for her front bogie, trailing truck and tender, as opposed to the Bulleid Firth Brown disc wheels found on her prototype. Rebecca's cylinders and cab roof also have a significantly different shape compared to those on the real "Light Pacifics".
Rebecca is painted yellow and blue, with red and orange stripes on her body and tender. Her cab has the number “22” painted in white, and her tender has the lettering “N.W.R.” also painted in white. She has navy blue nameplates on her smoke deflectors. Her footplate is coloured red with two small lights, and she also has a blue roof covering the top of her body and cab.
- Rachael Louise Miller (UK/US)
- Beata Wyrąbkiewicz (Poland)
- Orly Tagar (Israel)
- Manuela Bäcker (Germany)
- Maki Uchiyama (Japan)
- Ella Pyhältö (Finland)
Thomas & Friends
- Series 21 - A Shed for Edward (indirectly mentioned)
- Series 22 - Forever and Ever (indirectly mentioned), Confusion Without Delay, What Rebecca Does, Seeing is Believing, Apology Impossible, Samson and the Fireworks, Thomas' Animal Ark, Counting on Nia and Hunt the Truck (cameo)
- Series 23 - Free the Roads (mentioned), Chucklesome Trucks, Gordon Gets the Giggles, Diesel Do Right, Steam Team to the Rescue!, Diesel Glows Away (cameo), Out of Site (fantasy), First Day on Sodor (life lesson), Panicky Percy and Rangers of the Rails
- Series 24 - Thomas and the Royal Engine, A New Arrival, World of Tomorrow, Emily's Best Friend, Emily to the Rescue, Nia and the Unfriendly Elephant, James the Super Engine, Sonny's Second Chance, Gordon and Rebecca, Coming Through!, Nia's Bright Idea and Thomas' Animal Friends
- Series 22 - Big World! Big Adventures!, Engine Roll Call, All the Girls Around the World (speaking role), The Steam Team and Let's Dream
- Series 24 - Party Train
- Meet the Characters! - Meet Rebecca of England and Meet Nia of Kenya (cameo)
- Share a selfie for Children In Need!
- Meet the Steam Team - Meet Percy, Meet Rebecca, Meet James, Meet Emily, Meet Gordon and Meet Nia
- TrackMaster (with scrap truck and decorations, based on What Rebecca Does; discontinued)
- Adventures (cancelled; discontinued)
- Push Along
- Motor Road and Rail (with blue tanker)
- Minis (Classic and Advent)
- Capsule Plarail
- Minis (Classic 75th Anniversary, Racing and Anniversary)
- Rebecca’s number is a reference to her being introduced in Series 22.
- Rebecca is the third engine in the franchise to have NWR lettering on her. The first was Emma and the second was Rosie.
- Rebecca is the only streamlined engine to be part of the Steam Team.
- According to art of her prototype liveries, she was originally going to be named “Miranda”.
- Rebecca’s nameplate text, number and “N.W.R.” lettering are depicted in the font ”Flange BQ”, which is also the font used in the Thomas & Friends logo and in episode titles and credits from Series 8 onwards.
- Rebecca joining the Steam Team in Confusion Without Delay was done in order to address criticism from feminist and social justice groups over a lack of female members in the main cast.
- According to a fact file in a UK magazine, Thomas was originally supposed to meet Rebecca on the Mainland. This idea was likely dropped during production.
- Rebecca's Motor Road and Rail model incorrectly depicts the blue-coloured parts of her as black.
- Rebecca is the third character in the series to be numbered 22. The first was Isobella, and the second was Luke.
- Rebecca is the newest, second-youngest and second-fastest member of the Steam Team, with Gordon being faster and stronger than her. Despite this, Rebecca is visually larger than Gordon.
- Rebecca is the last new character created by Andrew Brenner prior to his departure from the series in 2018.
- Rebecca's basis, the SR West Country "Battle of Britain" class, appeared in two episodes before her introduction; Mighty Mac and Thomas and the Birthday Picnic. Coincidentally, she uses the same whistle sound as Mighty.
- She is the only member of the Steam Team to not appear in any of the feature-length specials of the series as they all took place before she arrived on Sodor.
- Rebecca has the longest name of the Steam Team members in spelling terms.