Oliver the Western Engine
Author Wilbert Awdry
Illustrator Peter and Gunvor Edwards
Publication date 1969-Present
Published by Edmund Ward
Egmont Publishing
Publication Order
Preceded by
Enterprising Engines
Followed by
Duke the Lost Engine
Oliver the Western Engine is the twenty-fourth book of the Railway Series.


Dear M.,

We both wanted to call this book Little Western Engines, but Publishers are stern men. They did not approve.

They, of course, don't know the trouble we've had with Oliver. We hope he has learnt sense, but goodness knows what will happen when he has a book all to himself....

I know! If Oliver gets uppish, we'll set Messrs. Kaye & Ward on to him. That'll teach him!



Donald's DuckEdit

The Fat Controller has re-opened Duck's Branch Line, but plans to expand more control on the railway. The Arlesburgh Shed was built by him with an extra berth for Donald and Douglas, but Sir Topham Hatt decided that Duck should run the Branch line all to himself. Duck talks so much that Donald makes a quacking noise and the Great Western Engine believes something is up with the Scottish engine. Duck uses a duckling in Donald's tender and at the water tower, it gave birth when Donald was on a goods service. Donald plans another prank on Duck and sees a nest-box with an egg in it under his cab. Duck conceded defeat and Donald in victory, but the duckling was named Dilly by the stationmaster.

Resource and SagacityEdit

Oliver was rescued by Douglas as The Other Railway tried to hunt him down and scrap him. He, Isabel and Toad were painted in Great Western colours. The Fat Controller also rescued Dulcie as she joined Isabel on Oliver's passenger train after James, Gordon and Henry overheard his GWR adventures. The Troublesome Trucks pay him out when Oliver said to look sharp and were smartly in control. The turntable was wrecked by Oliver, cab first and the Scottish twins spoke in Scots about their turntable and Sir Topham Hatt spoke angrily in English. The cause of the accident was on the Troublesome Trucks and Oliver was being very silly indeed.

Toad Stands ByEdit

After the turntable was repaired, S. C. Ruffey and the Troublesome Trucks start to sing a rude song about Oliver. Duck tried to shut them up, but to no avail and the trucks gave up on the song losing their breaths. Oliver was unimpressed about this and shouldn't have smashed the turntable in the first place. Toad was worried about this and asked Douglas to share it with Oliver. Duck wasn't sure and said about "sand on the rails" from Stepney in 1963, but Oliver agrees to put S. C. Ruffey out of action. The Troublesome Trucks were marshalled two by two, the charge had started by Oliver and finally, S. C. Ruffey broke apart with his load on the track.

The Fat Controller finds that Oliver won't tell the trucks about bad discipline as he tells British Prime Minister Harold Wilson that S. C. Ruffey was unserviceable before it came, but with rusty frames and rotten timber. The trucks behaved to Oliver afterwards without being crushed to death by his pulling.


The Arlesdale Railway and Duck's Branch Line bring thousands of tourists on Earth to travel on both railways. A rude bus named Bulgy plans to scrap railways from Sir Topham Hatt and uses roads as a new value across the Island of Sodor. Oliver and Duck were worried that Bulgy could steal their passengers and accepting the railway tickets. This happened at the station when Bulgy's sign says "RAILWAY BUS", but gets away with it at the station. Alice and Mirabel joined Duck on the chase, while Isabel and Dulcie stayed with Oliver. Bulgy crashed at a bridge and the passengers demand their money back from the bus driver.

Duck's passengers get into the train and the train crossed safely without further damage to the bridge. The Fat Controller punishes Bulgy for his mistake and launches a shuttle service on the railway. This was to be the best day ever for Bulgy's angry passengers as he is turned into a henhouse for the hens.



  • Wilbert Awdry wanted to call the book "Little Western Engines" but the publishers turned it down because they want an engine's name to be in the title. He will fight with the publishers after calling the book "Oliver the Western Engine".
  • "M", in the foreword is refered to the Reverend's late wife, Margaret Awdry who died in 1989 aged seventy-seven.


  • Haultraugh is misspelt as "Haultreath" in the third illustration of "Bulgy". This could be from Awdry who didn't know how to spell the station.
  • In the previous illustration of "Bulgy" (the second one), Bert is incorrectly sketched as a 0-8-0 while Rex is made as a 4-8-0. Reverend Awdry could've made the mistake believing them as a 0-8-2 and a 2-8-2 classification.