Sir Topham Hatt (nicknamed "The Fat Controller" by the engines and railway staff) is the Controller of the North Western Railway.
In the Railway Series, Sir Topham Hatt was the Controller of the North Western Railway until 1954, when he was succeeded by his son, Charles. In Thomas & Friends, Sir Topham Hatt has been the controller since his first appearance.
Topham Hatt was born in 1880. He was apprenticed at Swindon Works at the age of 14, where he struck a friendship with W.A. Stanier. He came to Sodor in 1901, and joined A.W.Dry and Co. at Tidmouth. On their recommendation, he became the Engineer to the Tidmouth, Knapford and Elsbridge Railway, and built the "Coffee Pot" engines that worked on the line. He joined the North Western Railway as Engineer upon its formation in 1914. He married Jane, sister of Mr. Handel Brown, in 1910, and had two children: Barbara Jane in 1911, and Charles Topham in 1914.
On the North Western Railway, Topham Hatt rose to General Manager in 1923, Managing Director in 1936, and upon Nationalization in 1948 he was created a Baronet on his appointment as Chairman of the Regional Executive. He retired from his position in 1952 and was succeeded by his son, Charles, whom the Railway Board had no hesitation in selecting as his successor. Sir Topham Hatt died at Wellsworth in 1956. (Book; The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways)
Sir Bertram Topham Hatt is the Controller of the North Western Railway, and the former Controller of the Skarloey Railway. He lives in a mansion on the outskirts of Wellsworth with his wife, and owns a pet cat and two cars.
When the Great Railway Show was being held on the Mainland, Sir Topham Hatt selected selected of his engines to take to the show: Henry for the strength competition, James and Emily for the best decorated parade, Gordon for the race, Percy for the shunting challenge and Philip as the flag carrier. He had originally planned to take Thomas to the show, but had no choice but to replace him with Percy when he became damaged in an accident.
Despite going out of his way for the railway show, such as repainting Emily and James and having Gordon fitted with streamlined casing, all of Sir Topham Hatt's efforts to win any of the events went unsuccessful, as all of his engines lost in their events and Gordon became badly damaged when his boiler exploded during the race. After Percy dropped out of the shunting challenge, Thomas participated in the event, but lost when he gave up his chance to let Ashima win. However, the judges were impressed by Thomas' excellent sportsmanship, and declared him as one of the winners of the event. Sir Topham Hatt praised Thomas, and was rewarded with a gold trophy. (TVS; The Great Race)