Stepney, named after a district in London, is a tank engine who lives and works on the Bluebell Railway. He is Boxhill's and Fenchurch's brother. His enthusiastic attitude, together with his friendliness, make him a welcome visitor on Sir Topham Hatt's railway.
In the Railway Series, Stepney lives on the Mainland and works on the Bluebell Railway. In Thomas & Friends, Stepney works on a branch line neighbouring the Skarloey Railway, also known as the "Bluebell Railway".
The Railway Series
Stepney was built at Brighton Works in Brighton, England in 1875 as an LB&SCR A1 class engine and later rebuilt as an A1X in 1912. He arrived on the Bluebell Railway on 17th May 1960, after the railway's founder Bernard Holden MBE helped to save the line for preservation. Stepney was the first engine to be rescued by the Bluebell Railway.
In 1962, Stepney came on loan to Sodor and worked briefly with Duck at Tidmouth before working on Thomas' Branch Line, which during the time he caught a cricket ball in one of his trucks while passing the Elsbridge Cricket Field. Towards the end of his stay, he returned to Tidmouth and on his last day double-headed the Express with Duck after the Diesel had failed.
Thomas & Friends
Stepney was stranded on a siding in the scrapyard at the Vicarstown Goods Depot where Rusty found him and helped arrange for him to be put back into service. He now runs the Bluebell Branch Line. He later travelled to Sir Topham Hat's railway as a visitor after getting tired of travelling on his branch line.
Stepney later wanted to have a change from his branch line and he was sent back to Sir Topham Hat's railway (again on a visiting basis) to help Toby and Mavis at Anopha Quarry. This excursion nearly ended in disaster after 'Arry and Bert tried to scrap Stepney, luckily without success, after Stepney accidentally ventured into the Sodor Ironworks. Stepney later helped Edward with the running of The Loop Line and when there was a Hot Air Balloon flying across the island, Duck accidentally ran into him due to gazing up at it. A while later, he was hit by a truck full of sugar in an incident caused by Rosie. Later, his absence makes all the engines think that the incident damaged him beyond repairs and was scrapped and smelted, but after Rosie apologized to Emily, Stepney came back alive and well.
Stepney is a bubbly, honest and humble chap who is bursting with enthusiasm. He is very eager to please and is every engine's friend. Even if an engine might not like him at first, his personality wins them over. After being saved from scrap by Rusty and the Bluebell Railway, he now runs his own branch line, but loves visiting and helping out on the Fat Controller's Railway. He has an enthusiasm for learning and listening to advice, as well as keeping busy. Stepney can feel down in the dumps if he does not get enough work to do or if he does not get a good long run to stretch his wheels. Stepney is high-spirited, lively and is keen to see fair play. He is popular amongst the engines and is always game for more work.
Stepney was built by Brighton Works in 1875 and was rebuilt into an A1X in 1912. During his final working years, Stepney worked on the Hayling Island branch line, until he was taken out of service in 1960 and placed on an out-of-used siding. He was bought by the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society and arrived on the railway on 17th May, making him the first standard gauge steam locomotive in the United Kingdom to be preserved.
Since his first appearance in the Railway Series and Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, Stepney has become one of the most popular engines on the railway, with children all across the country coming to see him. Stepney has even participated in "Day Out with Thomas" events and has carried a face for these events.
Stepney was taken out of service in 2008, after his boiler ticket expired, but underwent a fast-track overhaul and returned to working order in 2010, just in time for the line's 50th Anniversary. In March 2014, Stepney was withdrawn from service following the failure of his main steam pipe. He is currently awaiting new cylinders and significant work on his frames and boiler.
Stepney is painted in the LB&SCR goldenrod livery, formally known as "Stroudley's Improved Engine Green", with green, red, white and black lining. His name is painted on his side tanks and the number "55" is painted on the sides of his bunker, both in white. The real Stepney has a brass funnel top and brass numberplates with a blue ground. He carries two builder's plates on the sides of his splashers.
In 2010, he was painted in "Bluebell Black". On 14th January 2012, Stepney made an "only-morning" appearance in BR Lined Black with "cycling lion" crest and his BR number, 32655, for a special photographic charter. He carried1 the same BR Lined Black livery again on 17th April 2012 for another photographic charter; this time though with the later "ferret and dartboard" crest. He returned to "Bluebell Black"in time for his visit to the National Railway Museum's "Railfest" in the first week of June 2012.
As of August 2014, he has returned to his famous "Improved Engine Green" livery, officially being released to the public in May 2015.
In some promotional artwork and television series tie-in book illustrations, he is seen often wearing the express headcode lamps.
Thomas & Friends
- Series 4 - Rusty To Rescue, Thomas & Stepney, Train Stop Play, Bowled Out, Henry & Elephant,Thomas & Special letter (Does Not Speak) & Mind That Bike
- Series 5 - Stepney Gets Lost
- Series 6 - James and the Red Balloon (does not speak),Gordon takes a tumble (cameo) Edward the Very Useful Engine (does not speak)
- Series 7- Edward Brass band (Stock Fotage;Does not speak), James & the queen on Sodor (Stock fotage;Cameo) Trusty Rusty (Stock footage;Does Not Speak)
- Series 12- Rosie Funfair Special (Does Not Speak in UK version)
He may appear in the twenty-fifth series.
- Mark Moraghan (UK/US)