James is a red mixed-traffic L&YR Class 28 engine who works on the North Western Railway.
James was built around 1912/13 for mixed-traffic work as a 0-6-0 with a three-chime steam whistle. Prior to his arrival on Sodor in 1923, he was given a pony truck making him a 2-6-0 instead of his original 0-6-0 configuration and a regular steam whistle. On his first day, his trucks and his old wooden brakes caused him to derail. After that, he was given red paint and proper brakes. However, he caused trouble for the Fat Controller when he sprayed his shiny new hat. He was threatened to be repainted blue, and became very cross, and bumped the coaches so hard, he caused a hole in one of them, which needed to be repaired by a bootlace! After that, he came much more sensible, and redeemed himself when he took a line of troublesome trucks by himself, and the Express, after Gordon got sent down the wrong line by "instincts". He also seems to carry on a rivalry with Percy, which is seen a lot of the times they are together.
According to The Adventure Begins, James arrived on Sodor some time after Gordon, at which time he was painted black. His wooden brakes were prone to catching fire and he had trouble stopping quickly; if anyone noticed a burning smell from his brakes, he would deny smelling anything out of the ordinary. James originally owned Annie and Clarabel and believed The Fat Controller would soon give him his own branch line. James acted as a bully towards Thomas when the tank engine first arrived, but soon after gained some respect for him. They became close friends following James' accident. Some Troublesome Trucks made his wooden brakes catch fire, prompting Thomas to chase after him. James' guard attempted to couple Thomas to the back of the train to slow James down, but as this failed, James could not stop and came off the rails at a bend, scratching his paintwork and destroying most of his trucks. Thomas fetched Jerome and Judy, who lifted James back onto the rails. Thomas then took James to the Steamworks for repairs. When James returned as a splendid red engine, Thomas and Edward did not recognize him. Upon declaring he was ready for his coaches, James realised that his coaches were now Thomas' and the little tank engine now had his own branch line.
James has had several mishaps, most of them caused by his pride of his paintwork. While using Toad as a brake van on a mainline goods train, he refused to slow down. When a coupling snapped, his train rolled down Gordon's Hill uncontrollably. Toad was able to stop the train before colliding with Thomas, who was pulling a special train with Sir Topham Hatt and his mother. Another incident occurred during a flood in the winter, when James and Rocky inadvertently knocked down a signal. When they stopped to rescue Duck from a flooded track, Oliver was unaware that the track was occupied. He saw them at the last minute, but it was too late to avoid a collision. Immediately afterwards, Percy came around the bend and ran into Oliver. James owned up to Sir Topham Hatt, admitting he should have waited for Rocky to be secured properly before leaving. In Tale of the Brave, James teases Percy for being afraid of monsters. One night, he gets asked to pull The Flying Kipper since Henry is on the mainland. As he is pulling the train, he hears a voice saying hello to him. It is Gator, but James cannot see his face in the dark. James gets scared by his unusual shape and races away. As he raises out, he end up derailing at the Fenland track. The other engines tease him about his accident, so James decides to play a trick on Percy so he will be teased instead. That night, when Percy is taking the mail, James uses the Scrap Monster to scare Percy. The next day, he tries to apologise to Percy, but Percy will not forgive him. The two engines later meet at the Clay Pits and James decides to show Percy how brave he can be. He puffs into the pits looking for the monster, not noticing his whistle is shaking the cliffs. He sees a dinosaur skeleton sticking out of the cliff wall and races backwards as fast as he can. But his whistling had started a landslide, so Percy pushed him forward and they raced to safety. Once Percy had been repaired, James apologised for teasing him.
In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, James teases Thomas for not waking up after having raced against Bertie and Henry for thinking he saw a ghostly sailboat before Salty tells him, along with Edward and Henry, about a "lost pirate". In the nineteenth season, he and Gordon had heard about "Geoffrey". Later, James and Thomas were to work together to take football fans to and from Dryaw. However, both James and Thomas ended up causing trouble because they were trying to see whether reds or blues were the best. James later came off the rails near a stone bridge, and Philip rescued him by positioning himself underneath James.
In the twentieth season, he became so conceited that his coaches were taken away. This put him in so much of a bad mood that he was left in the sheds until he was given a second chance. But his job of carrying waist trucks returned him into his grumpy mood. After being reprimanded, he changed his attitude, but it's not too long until he returned back to his old self again. He later fell behind Glynn when Glynn and Stephen were racing.
In The Great Race, James was one of the engines who laughed at Thomas for thinking the latter would be taken to The Great Railway Show. James would later be part of the show, competing in the Best Decorated Engine Parade alongside Emily, Carlos, Yong Bao, and Rajiv.
James is very proud of his splendid red paint work. He hates pulling trucks, and believes that he should only pull coaches. He thinks himself superior to the others, and can be shallow, boastful, naughty, and vain, particularly to those who appeared old-fashioned, weak, slow, or dirty. This has caused him to have somewhat of a rivalry with Toby. However, on a number of occasions, he has found himself in need of help from those whom he has insulted and is, in the end, apologetic.
Despite everything else, James has shown a caring side, is normally hard-working, and like everybody else, wants to be responsible, reliable and really useful engine on the Fat Controller's railway.
James is based on a Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Class 28.
James is painted NWR red with black lining and gold stripes. Before arriving on Sodor, he was painted black with red lining.
- Season 1 - Emily Helps Out (cameo), Percy Saves the Day, Henry's Happy Day (cameo), James and the Big Red Balloon, Bulgy Returns (does not speak), Trust a Diesel, Gordon and Spencer the Fast Engines, Thomas and the Snow (cameo), and Thomas' Three Cheers (stock footage cameo)
- Season 2 - Slow Coaches, Race with the Mail, Duck and Dilly, Small Engines, Mike and James, Gordon and the Bend (does not speak), That's My Special, Stepney's Journey Out, and Flying Scotsman Departs
- Season 3 - Percy and the Other Railway, The New Controller, Edward and the Thieves, The Ghost of the Viaduct, and Snowed up Engines
- Season 4 - Best Decorated Engine, Brake Coaches, Cows and Whistles (cameo), The Wrong Sort of Coal, and James and Flynn
- Season 5 - Sodor Snowstorm, Henry to the Rescue, Percy and James, Sodor Wash Day, Samson and Logan, and Bears
- Season 6 - Mystery Coming Through, Timothy the Ghost Engine, James and the Royal Train, and Edward and the Express
- Season 8 - Waddling Wilbert, Henry Gets the Coaches, Bradford Returns, Snowploughing at Christmas, The Diesel that Stole Christmas, Goodbye Glynn (cameo), and Glynn's Christmas Wish
He will appear in the seventh season.
- Thomas and the Storm
- Gordon and Spencer: An LNER Rivalry
- The Ghost Engine of Sodor
- The Curse of the Kipper
- Sodor and the Mystery of Christmas
- The Adventure Begins (Sequel)
- The Big Race
He will appear in The Return of Sailor John.
- James is the only Sodor Steam Team member to not have a video for Meet the Contenders.
|North Western Railway|
|Thomas • Edward • Henry • Gordon • James • Percy • Toby • Duck • Donald and Douglas • Oliver • Geoffrey • Harvey • Emily • Fergus • Arthur • Murdoch • Molly • Neville • Rosie • Whiff • Billy • Stanley • Hank • Flora • Victor • Charlie • Scruff • Belle • Porter • Glynn • Ryan • Diesel • Daisy • BoCo • Bear • Dave • Derek • 'Arry and Bert • Diesel 10 • Salty • Dennis • Den • Dart • Sidney • Paxton • Norman • Philip • Flynn • Winston • Stafford • Jeff • Angus • Taro •|