Percy is cheeky and innocent, but can occasionally become arrogant and argue with the other engines. He is Thomas' best friend and enjoys his company, even if the two argue at times for various reasons.
Percy's origins are rather obscured; it is believed that he was built by the Avonside Engine Company sometime between 1900 and 1925, but fitters at Crovan's Gate have found parts from Hunslet, Leeds and other various companies. (Book; The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways) He lived at a workshop in England with other engines, who, like him, were waiting to be bought.
After Thomas was transferred to the Ffarquhar Branch Line, Gordon, Henry and James went on strike in protest of the extra work they had to do, refusing to do their normal jobs and behaving badly when they did. The Fat Controller believed that the railway needed another tank engine, and came to the Engine Workshop to choose a new engine. After spotting Percy, the Fat Controller selected him as his new engine and bought him, naming him "Percy".
When Percy came to Sodor, he was given the job of working on the Ffarquhar Branch Line while Thomas and Edward worked on the Main Line. After the big engines apologized and came out of the shed, Thomas was sent back to his branch line, and Edward began teaching Percy how to sort out trucks in the yard. When Edward left to take some trucks to the quarry, Percy was left alone in the yard. After shunting some trucks in a siding on the other side of the Main Line, Percy ran back to the junction and waited for the Signalman to change the points, but he forgot to whistle to let him know that he was there. Gordon thundered down Percy's line with the express and came to a stop just before he could hit him, but Percy was so frightened that he ran away down the line, with no Driver or Fireman to stop him. Percy managed to come to a stop when the Signalman at Maron changed the points and set him on a siding which ended at a bank of earth, and Gordon arrived to rescue him. Percy then became the station pilot at Tidmouth, shunting coaches and trucks for the bigger engines. (RWS; Troublesome Engines)
When the weather became colder, Percy spotted workmen wearing scarves as he did his work, and wanted to wear one too. As he made his way over to the station to fetch the coaches, Percy tried to sneak up on the coaches and surprise them, but ran into a luggage trolley that was on his line. Percy was left covered in dirty clothing and jam, and the Fat Controller's new trousers were draped around his funnel like a scarf, while his top hat rested on his lamp-iron. Ever since his accident, Percy began to dislike scarves. (RWS; Henry the Green Engine)
Percy had always enjoyed teasing the bigger engines since his arrival, but became increasingly more cheeky to them overtime. After being tricked by him, Gordon and James became tired of Percy's tricks and decided to get back at him, convincing him that "backing signals" were real when he was taking some trucks to Knapford. When he reached the Junction, Percy came across a signal pointing upward and believed that this was the backing signal, but his Driver explained that backing signals did not exist. Percy tried to start up quickly before he could be seen, but unfortunately for him, Gordon had seen everything.
When Percy was becoming overworked, the Fat Controller purchased a new engine called Duck to help him with the shunting duties in the yard. Although Duck was a useful engine, the big engines teased him and began ordering him around, so the two engines decided to get back at them by blocking the entrance to the sheds, refusing to let the big engines in. The Fat Controller came to the scene and scolded Percy and Duck for causing a disturbance, but also scolded the big engines for creating it. Sometime after this, Percy was transferred to Knapford.
Percy helped out with the construction of the new harbour, delivering trucks of stone for the workmen to use for their building. As he was taking a train of stone to the Harbour, Percy met Harold, a helicopter who lived in an airfield near the branch line. Harold believed that the railways were slow and out-of-date, which annoyed Percy. Percy later spotted Harold hovering above him as he was taking a train of stone along the branch line, and he and his crew decided to race him back to the Harbour. Percy believed that they had lost the race, but his Fireman noticed that Harold had not yet landed. Percy's crew and the workmen happily sang about their victory, much to Percy's delight.
Percy was later asked by Thomas if he could take the Sunday School children back home for him, to which he agreed. However, the weather became cloudy and rainy, and when it began to storm, the Vicar asked Percy to take him and the children back home. Percy made his way along the line, but came across a stretch of line that was flooded by the storm. Using floorboards from the Guard's van, Percy was able to build up steam again, and after Harold dropped off hot drinks for the people, Percy managed to reach the station. Ever since then, Percy began working on the Ffarquhar Branch Line, handling the goods traffic for the other engines. (RWS; Percy the Small Engine)
Personality and Traits
Changes in Design
- Percy is, to date, the only engine who has been named by the Fat Controller.