“I’m here to introduce to you, the new Steam Team! We all have different roles to play but when we work together, we are the best team ever! We’re called the Steam Team because we’re all steam engines. We live here at Tidmouth Sheds on the Island of Sodor. So, let’s meet the team! James is the number 5 red engine! He’s really funny, although he knows it, and can be a bit of a showoff. He’s always talking about his splendid, shiny red paint, which is fair as it is red and shiny... but it’s not as splendid as being blue! Then there’s my best friend, Percy! He’s the kindest, sweetest engine you’ll ever meet. Percy is green with the number 6 on his side. Percy can worry too much, but he’s the most trustworthy friend anyone can wish for! One of my newest friends is Nia, who’s from Kenya in Africa. She’s a tank engine like me! She’s orange and has a beautiful pattern painted on the sides. Nia is a great friend, and she loves working with the team! Gordon is blue like me, and wears the number 4 on his tender! Tenders are where bigger engines keep their coal and water because they don’t have tanks like tank engines. Gordon is a big and fast engine, and he pulls the Express coaches! He can be grumpy sometimes, but maybe it’s because he’s not as useful as me! Someone who can cheer even Gordon up is our new friend Rebecca! She came over from the Mainland, and is the newest member of the Steam Team. She’s painted a bright sunshine yellow which matches her sunny outlook on life. Rebecca makes everyone feel good! Finally, there’s Emily the emerald green engine! She doesn’t have a number, but that’s not something she worries about. Emily is clever and thoughtful, and a really useful engine! So there you have it... hang on, I forgot about me, Thomas! I’m the seventh member of the Steam Team, but I’m the number 1! Just don’t tell Gordon... no, I’m just being cheeky. No one‘s the leader, and we all make a great team!” - Thomas‘ introduction to the Big World! Big Adventures! Steam Team.
The Steam Team is the collective term for the seven engines who live at Tidmouth Sheds who serve as the series’ main cast.
- Starting in Big World! Big Adventures! and Series 22, Nia and Rebecca were introduced in order to replace Edward and Henry respectively. According to Ian McCue, this was done in order to fulfil demands from feminist groups to correct the gender imbalance due to Emily being the only female member in the main cast. Nia and Rebecca’s introduction was also done in order to diversify the series with an increased focus on female and racial representation, to make girls and children of other ethnicities and skin colours have new positive role models created specifically for them to identify with. According to ratings figures, 40% of the series’ views comes from female audiences, further justifying the need for extra female members in the main cast. Toby was also dropped in order to focus on the change in the gender distribution.
- James is the only member to be antagonist in a special, Tale of the Brave.
- Nia is the only member to come from a country other than England. She is also the only member voiced by a person of colour, and the only member introduced in a special. Nia was introduced in order to have a member of the main cast designed to represent racially ethnic audiences and to avoid criticism of the show being racist towards people of colour.
- Thomas and Toby are the only male members to have not been voiced by Keith Wickham at any point in the UK dub.
- Gordon, Emily, Edward and Henry are the only members to have retained the same voice actors since the start of the CGI series. Toby also retained the same voice actor from 2009, but only in the US dub.
- Emily is the only female Steam Team member of a few things:
- The only female member to not have visible eyelashes, eyeliner and lips.
- The only female member to not have her name written on her, as Nia has her name written on the African patterned stripe on the side of her tanks, while Rebecca has a nameplate on her smoke deflectors.
- The only female member to not have six driving wheels.
- The only female member introduced before the full CGI switchover.
- The only female member to not directly replace another member.
- The only female member to not have a large stripe on her main body.
- The only female member to not have a red running board.
- The only female member to have separate voice actresses in the English dubs.
- Percy is the only member other than Thomas to be main protagonist in a special, in this case, Day of the Diesels and Tale of the Brave.
- Before the introduction of Nia and Rebecca, Emily was the only female member, the only member not created by Rev. W. Awdry, the only member not introduced in Series 1, and the only member to not originate from the Railway Series. She was also the newest member up until Nia and Rebecca’s debuts.
- Thomas, Percy, James and Toby (UK dub only) are the only members to have changed voice actor through the CGI series’s run.
- Prior to Series 23, Gordon is the only member of the Big World! Big Adventures! lineup to have a different snowplough design (in this case, the same as Henry). Thomas, Percy and Nia all shared one design, while James, Emily and Rebecca shared another design. Starting in Series 23, Gordon now has the same snowplough design as James, Emily and Rebecca.
- Prior to Series 24, Emily was the only member to not have a number.
- Nia is the only member whose snowplough isn’t the same colour as themselves. While her livery’s main colour is orange, her snowplough is black.
- James, Nia and Rebecca are the only members to currently have the same voice actor in both the UK and US dubs.
- Gordon is the only member as of Series 22 to have originated from the first Railway Series book, The Three Railway Engines.
- Percy is the smallest engine of the group, while Rebecca is the largest.
- Gordon is the oldest engine of the group, while Percy is the youngest.
- The order of the berths the group (as of the Big World! Big Adventures! era) sleeps in at Tidmouth Sheds is from left to right; Rebecca, Gordon, Nia, James, Thomas, Percy and Emily.
- Thomas, Edward, Henry, Gordon and James are the only members to appear in The Adventure Begins, as the special took place before Percy, Toby and all three female members arrived on Sodor.
- Rebecca is the only member to not appear in a full-length special, as she only appeared after the specials were changed to a double-length episode format.