Douglas in his standard livery

Years built



Andrew Barclay Sons & Co. Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

Number Produced


Years in Operation

1921-1945 RAF. 1949 bought by Abelson & Co. 1953- current Talyllyn Railway.

Fleet Numbers

Builder Number 1431, Talyllyn Railway Number 6



Number Preserved


Number Scrapped


l x w x h)

15' 6" Long



V - E - T - D

Douglas is a type of 0-4-0WT narrow-gauge tank engine steam locomotive built in 1918 by Andrew Barclay and Co. Ltd. for the Airservice Construction Corps.

From 1921 until 1945 "he" worked at the RAF (Royal Airforce) railway at Calshot Spit, Southampton in the UK. After a period in storage at Calshot, he was bought in 1949 by Abelson and Co. Ltd. who eventually leased or sold him to the Talyllyn Railway in 1953.

After overhaul and alteration from 2ft to 2ft 3in gauge, he entered service in 1954 and was named "Douglas" at the donor's request. Although smaller than the other locos he has performed well and was returned to service in 1995, having been fitted with a new boiler with his old Air Ministry Works and Buildings livery.

Douglas was known for being a rough rider along the rails and had a habit for swaying and rocking along the tracks, especially in the 70's. Douglas was ideal for use on permanent way trains as well as goods and shunting duties however after some alterations, was allowed to pull passenger services such as the "Duncan Days" event. The old rock and roll style nature of Douglas is what inspired the Rev.W.Awdry to create the character, Duncan in the Railway Series books, when he was visiting the Talyllyn raiwlay.

An extensive overhaul now complete, this loco returned to service in the summer of 2013.  Making its first appearance in June at the hands of engineers, the running-in period was successfully completed and the loco handed over to the loco department in July.  Still carrying the bright red livery of 'Duncan' this loco is a firm favourite of children.


  • Between 2001 and 2008, Douglas was painted red and blue and running under the guise of "Duncan". He is currently under overhaul, so Sir Haydn has taken over the duties for the children's day by running under the guise of "Sir Handel".
  • Douglas is currently painted in red and blue in the guise of Duncan; a Thomas and Friends character. Although in the television series he is painted yellow.


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