Duke the Lost Engine
Author Wilbert Awdry
Illustrator Peter and Gunvor Edwards
Publication date 1970-Present
Published by Edmund Ward
Egmont Publishing
Publication Order
Preceded by
Oliver the Western Engine
Followed by
Tramway Engines
Duke the Lost Engine is the twenty-fifth and penultimate book of the Railway Series.


Dear Friends,

An engine lost in the South American jungle was found after thirty years. A tree has grown through its chimney and hornets nested in its firebox. When mended it gave good service for thirty more years.

"The Duke" was lost too; not in the jungle but in his own shed which a landslide had buried. Not long ago he was dug out and mended. His own railway had been pulled up, so he is now at the Thin Controller's.

The Author



Once upon a time there were three engines. Their names were Duke, Stuart and Falcon while they worked on the Mid Sodor Railway. Stanley, known as No. 2 was turned into a generator at the back of the shed because of his roughness on the track. The other three engines worked together for several years now until in 1947, the Mid Sodor Railway was closed down due to heavy flooding. Stuart and Falcon were brought and no one wanted Duke, but they left him in the shed for years now. A landslide buried his shed later on with "His Grace", Lieutenant Colonel Robert Charles Norramby killed in action during World War II by retreating Axis forces and both Stuart & Falcon came to the Skarloey Railway named Peter Sam and Sir Handel.


During the years on the Mid Sodor Railway, Falcon was brought to the railway and the Manager wanted him and Duke to take a passenger train across it without knowing or knowing that Stanley was to talk with him in the sheds. The journey went well with Duke being a "fusspot" by Falcon to watch the track. At a steep ledge, the blue tank engine derails and Duke hauls him to safety after more water was needed. The Manager apologises to the passengers which they didn't mind it and made Duke a wonderful hero.

You Can't Win!Edit

Duke's getting very old and Stuart tries to play against him. Duke laughs over this and his special trains are kept in good shape. One day when taking a train, his valves leak which meant both Stuart and Falcon have to take the train for him as a rescue attempt. At Maithwaite station, the cavalcade splits up and Stuart takes Falcon's train with Duke coupled in front packed with passengers going to the Mainland to watch football, cricktt and tourists. Both the old engine and his driver chortled, but made a good plan and crosses the hill without a hinch. At Arlesburgh, a boy says to his father why there was a need for two engines which the father says that Stuart lost his heart so Duke had to help him out. Stuart merely got cross with the two passengers and Duke calmed him down with a "first impressions count" procedure.

Sleeping BeautyEdit

Inside the office of the Arlesdale Railway, three men were looking over maps to find Duke but they couldn't find him. The Small Controller says that Duke must be near the village of Ulfstead, but new British Prime Minister Edward Heath and John Peyton, Transport Minister and Conservative Richard Edward Geoffrey Howe believe Duke could be somewhere else because of the landslide in "Granpuff". Reverend Awdry tells Rex, Mike and Bert about the plan and Mr. Fergus Duncan who looks in the second illustration as dazingly confused sends Bert to help out with the project.

The tour goes on and on until Reverend Boston stumbles over and falls through the hole. Duke feels like a hostage taken by a gunman, but the Reverend said he couldn't find the shed door. With no suitable trucks on the Arlesdale Railway, Duke was taken by road and Donald hauling him on a lowloader. The engine finds himself on the Skarloey Railway and after Peter Sam & Sir Handel tried to play tricks on him, the old engine dozed happily in the sunshine.



  • Stanley is referred to as "No. 2" in "Granpuff".
  • "Bulldog" is based on an incident of what happened on a railway in Wales.


  • Falcon gains a headlamp while puffing through a tunnel.
  • Duke has no buffers according to the text which Awdry could mistake Duke for having buffers.
  • The map on the wall spells Ulfstead as "Ulfsted".
  • Duke's face is slanted sideways while speaking to Stanley.
  • Falcon's nameplate reads "Falon" in "Bulldog".
  • Duke's tender is missing the Mid Sodor Railway's crest in "Bulldog".
  • Duke's footplate is straight throughout "You Can't Win!", but it is dipped in the front and rear in the final illustration.

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