The Twin Engines
Author Wilbert Awdry
Illustrator John T. Kenney
Publication date 1960-Present
Published by Egmont Publishing
Edmund Ward
Publication Order
Preceded by
The Little Old Engine
Followed by
Branch Line Engines
The Twin Engines is the fifteenth book of the Railway Series and the first to feature twins. Main Line Engines, the twenty-first book will later be second to feature twins.


Dear Friends

Sir Topham Hatt has just been having a disturbing time! He ordered one goods engine from Scotland and was surprised to receive two!

They had both lost their numbers and no one knew which was which. So he didn't know which engine to keep.

The Author


Hullo Twins!Edit

The North Western Railway was hard at work bringing passengers to Tidmouth and ships to Brendam. Tired of the work, The Fat Controller after some rowdy conversations between Henry, Gordon, James and Duck will bring a goods engine from Scotland tomorrow. He also gets into trouble with the numbering as well with an inspector inside his office. The Fat Controller discovers that both engines had lost their numbers "on purpose" and so they were named Donald and Douglas by themselves. To settle the investigation, the inspector is ordered to give them numbers and set them to work in the yard.

The Missing CoachEdit

Donald was given number nine and Douglas ten painted on their tenders. The inspector orders them to work with Duck in pulling coaches and tackling the Troublesome Trucks easily. A new express in honour for Gordon has a special coach for Thomas to give passengers a close-up of how his branch line looks like. One afternoon, Donald was working on a goods train and Douglas was working in the yard so worried that he shunted the special coach with the express. Thomas was angry with the special coach not on his train and three tourists angrily demanded The Fat Controller to talk with them. The Scottish twins decided to swap tenders but Sir Topham Hatt isn't fooled by this to find out what's going on for himself.

Break VanEdit

The Fat Controller telephones Prime Minister MacMillan that he has to send one engine back to Scotland in twenty-four hours for their behaviour and he will choose which one to stay. A Spiteful Brakevan who is the leader of the Troublesome Trucks delays Douglas' goods train longer and Donald is annoyed with him. After that, the Brakevan behaved well, but Donald slipped on some rails and crashed into a signal box tender first. With both the signalman and Sir Topham Hatt cross, James hated and had to work with Donald's freight trains all day long.

The Spiteful Brakevan meanwhile sensed James' fury and tries to hold him back with Douglas having to help the red engine up Gordon's hill. James couldn't go longer and Douglas destroys The Spiteful Brakevan. The Fat Controller doesn't know which Scottish twin will he have to send him home to Scotland.

The DeputationEdit

Early winter forecasts forced Donald and Douglas to clear the line of snow and helps Henry out of it after he gets stuck in a snowdrift. The twins are still worried about which one will stay and who goes home. Percy is worried and Edward advises him they need a deputation to stop this from happening, but the engines don't correct this. Both Henry and Gordon elect Percy as their "disputation" and tells Sir Topham Hatt about the problem. This forces him to change his mind, tell the British Prime Minister that Donald and Douglas won't be scrapped or sent home and announces that the Scottish twins will have a new coat of paint and are allowed to stay on the NWR forever.



  • If The Fat Controller checked the B.R. rolls, then the Class 812's only rise to 57645 and not 57646. This was only a subtle joke.
  • Gordon references "Tugboat Annie", a 1950s Canadian television series about a tough old widow who captained a tugboat.
  • David Mitton said "The Missing Coach" for season two of Thomas and Friends was half-finished, but Britt Allcroft scrapped the idea because the plot became too complicated for young viewers.
  • One of the twins has the British Railways logo of a "cycling lion". This was used for the front and second illustrations of both the book and "Hullo Twins!".


  • In the fourth illustration of "The Missing Coach", Annie and Clarabel are at different lengths.
  • When James approaches The Spiteful Brakevan, his lampiron disappears.
  • When the engines mix up the pronunciation of "deputation", Edward is visible in the sheds, however he doesn't correct them.