Edward is an old and wise mixed-traffic tender engine, who works on the Brendam Branch Line alongside BoCo. He was one of the first engines to arrive on the North Western Railway, and helped to build the line.
Edward is one of the oldest engines on the Island of Sodor, as well as one of the wisest. Due to his age, he is often made fun of by the bigger, stronger engines, but he still retains his optimism and spreads his knowledge to the younger engines.
Edward was built at Sharp, Stuart & Co. in Glasgow, Scotland in 1896, and worked on the Furness Railway until he was brought to Sodor in 1915 to help finish the construction of the North Western Railway. The Furness Railway found him a shy steamer and were not interested in getting him back, so they sold him to the North Western Railway for a "nominal sum". (Book; The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways)
After his work was finished in 1916, Edward was left in the shed and was presumably forgotten about. The bigger engines made fun of him, believing that he was too old to work again. However, Edward's Driver and Fireman came to the shed, and upon seeing how sad he was, they decided to let him out and allowed him to pull a passenger train, much to his delight.
The next day, Edward was let out of the shed to shunt trucks in the yard, when he was informed that Gordon had become stuck on the hill on the Main Line with a goods train. Edward went to the scene and helped Gordon over the hill, but Gordon did not thank him for helping him. His crew were pleased with his work, though, and promised him a new coat of paint.
After Gordon's safety valve burst, Edward was called to pull the express, but he was too weak to move train on his own. Henry, who was bricked up in the Ballahoo Tunnel, was allowed to come out and assist Edward, and together they double-headed the train to the station. (RWS; The Three Railway Engines)
When Thomas began grumbling in the shed, Edward was the only engine who felt sorry for him, and allowed him to take his train of trucks to Wellsworth while he handled his shunting duties in the yard. Edward warned Thomas to be careful with the trucks, but Thomas was so excited that he ignored his warning. (RWS; Thomas the Tank Engine) When James returned from the Works, Edward was allowed to double-head a train with him. (RWS; James the Red Engine)
Edward was later called to Tidmouth to handle the shunting duties in the yard, as the big engines were refusing to arrange their own trains. However, the big engines began treating Edward with disrespect, leading the Fat Controller to shutting them up in the shed and bringing a new tank engine, Percy, to the railway to help Edward. While the big engines were shut up in the shed, Edward and Thomas both looked after the Main Line trains. The big engines eventually saw the error of their ways and came out of the shed, and Edward began teaching Percy about shunting trucks in the yard. (RWS; Troublesome Engines)
Although Edward proved to be a useful engine, his age was beginning to catch up to him. His parts began to clank as he puffed along, and the bigger engines began to tease him for his age. He was teased by Gordon and Henry even more when a herd of cows broke away some of the cattle trucks on his train, but they received their comeuppance when they ran into a cow on the Main Line the next day.
Whilst making a trip to the Scrapyard, Edward met Trevor, a traction engine who was due to be broken up within a week. Edward decided to find Trevor a new home, and when he came across the Vicar of Wellsworth, he asked him to buy him. After seeing how hard-working he was, the Vicar bought Trevor.
Edward soon began to run late with his trains, most likely due to the fact that he was becoming weaker overtime. James was incredibly rude to him and insulted him behind his back to the other engines, believing him to be nothing but a "pile of old iron". James later ran into trouble when two boys meddled with his controls, and he was left running along the Main Line without a crew to stop him. Edward raced after James with an inspector and his crew, and when he managed to pull up beside him, James' crew got into his cab and slowed him down. James apologized to Edward dearly and thanked him for his heroic efforts, and the Fat Controller rewarded Edward with a visit to the Works to have his old parts mended. When Edward returned, everyone was very pleased to see him. (RWS; Edward the Blue Engine)
Edward was one of the first engines to arrive on the North Western Railway, and handled the shunting duties in the yard at Knapford. When Thomas came to the railway, Edward took him under his wing and began teaching him how to shunt trucks in the yard, and was one of the few engines on the line who did not tease him.
After Thomas failed to pull his first passenger train correctly, Edward sympathized with him and allowed him to take his goods train while he handled his shunting duties in the yard, but Thomas nearly derailed when he ran out of control with the trucks. When the Fat Controller found out about this, he punished both Edward and Thomas by making them work in the yard full-time until he could trust them again. He eventually allowed them to go back to doing their old work when Thomas rescued James after his accident. (TVS; The Adventure Begins)