Edward is a blue Furness Railway K2 class mixed-traffic engine. He runs his own branch line. Edward is one of the oldest engines on Sodor and is occasionally made fun of for his old age. Edward is very wise and optimistic and spreads his knowledge and encouraging attitude towards the other engines.
Edward has also acted excitable in some episodes. In the twelfth season episode, Steady Eddie, he was given a task of taking the new water wheel to Great Waterton. He ignored the Fat Controller's advice to take the express track, took all the bumpy tracks to show off and resulted in the water wheel almost being scrapped. In Thomas and the Runaway Kite, he wanted to help Thomas to chase after the Fat Controller's grandchildren's kite. Since then, Edward has tried to regain his usual self, which one day made Charlie think he was too old to have fun in Charlie and Eddie. Edward was upset about this so he tried to be as fun as Charlie, but this only caused even more trouble. Since then, he has just stuck to being the wise and kind engine that he was of old.
In the fifteenth season, Edward was sent to work with Harold for the day, being given the chance to be a hero. After observing Gordon and Rocky in action, Edward resolved to fulfill his hero role by being "strong and fast and stern". On his way to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre, Edward found a miserable Charlie and cheered him up by telling him a joke, collected Dowager Hatt's suitcase when it was sent to the wrong station and rescued a lost Katie the sheepdog. Edward was still determined to be what he thought a hero but found that his time spent helping others had made him late for Harold, who was not at the Rescue Centre when Edward chuffed in. The Fat Controller reassured Edward that being kind, funny and gentle was Edward being himself, enough to be a hero and everyone cheered for him. Harold arrived looking for Edward, who just smiled.
In the eighteenth season, he was still being teased by Gordon, who thought he was unreliable for breaking down frequently, but Edward claimed that he had not broken down in ages. When Gordon later got stuck on his hill, Edward came to push him. As they reached the top of the hill, Gordon just carried on without saying "thank you." Edward complained about Gordon's ungratefulness to Thomas, who came up with a plan. Thomas challenged Gordon to a race across the island. As Gordon nearly caught him up, Thomas pulled onto the same track which meant Gordon had no choice but to follow him. At Gordon's Hill, the two engines were going so slowly that Gordon stopped and got stuck again. As Thomas carried on his way, Edward arrived. This time, it was Edward's turn to call Gordon unreliable for always getting stuck on his own hill. Edward then began to carry on his way too, but Gordon begged him to help. Gordon promised to never call him old and unreliable again. Edward forgave Gordon and gave him a push. The big blue engine even said "thank you" once they had reached the top of the hill.
In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, he told Thomas, who was being mended at the Steamworks, that Rocky had discovered a pirate ship in the cavern in which Thomas had fallen into earlier (despite Thomas discovering it first). Later, while working at the Docks, Salty told him, Henry, James, Porter and Cranky about a "lost pirate."
When Thomas felt that Max and Monty's recklessness was going too far, Edward told Thomas to ignore them. He laughed at Thomas, Percy and Toby for being scared of a cow which they thought was a troll, and he was also scared of going out in the night when the engines thought a glowing Henry was a ghost. Edward was among the engines who were afraid Hugo was the start of steamies being replaced.
In The Great Race, Edward was one of the many engines who wanted to go to The Great Railway Show but instead was left on Sodor.
When Henry had an accident at Vicarstown on the viaduct, while taking a goods train to the Mainland, Edward took Judy and Jerome to the accident scene that evening, where they lifted Henry back to safety.
In the twenty-first season, Edward arrived at Knapford to pick up the old public service announcement system which the Fat Controller had just replaced and took it to Crocks Scrap Yard. When Thomas, Percy and Toby could not understand the new P.A. system and took the trains to the wrong places, they tried to fix it, but it became badly burnt out and no longer working. Edward then returned to Crocks Scrap Yard to have Reg urgently return the old public service announcement. When Edward brought it back, the Fat Controller praised him for saving the old public service announcement.
When his shed was being repaired after James had an accident, Edward was sent to Phillip's Shed, then the steamworks and Brendam Docks but they were all too noisy for him to get a good night's sleep. He later decided that he would stay at Wellsworth Sheds with Philip instead of Tidmouth from now on.
When Bill and Ben made up a game called "Hunt the Truck" and played it on Nia, Edward threatened to take the trucks he brought for them away if they did not give back the truck to Nia. When Bill and Ben tried to hide an important truck from Edward, the wise old engine knew what the twins were up to and took the truck from where they already hid it. He would later pretend to be worried that the truck going missing would ruin Sir Robert Norramby's Christmas party, prompting the twins to search for it without realising that Edward had set up his own trick for them.
Edward is kindhearted and always keen to help a friend in need. The small engines trust him to lend a listening ear and sympathetic advice. He is a hard worker too, and always does his best to finish a job. If ever an engine misbehaves or acts out, it's Edward that the Fat Controller turns to in order to soothe things out.
Sadly, the big engines often see Edward as old-fashioned and slow. While it is true he is the oldest engine on the North Western Railway - it must be noted he helped build it - he has proved time and time again that he is more than capable of working as hard as any engine, but he is a more clever and wiser engine, too. In fact, he and BoCo are the only engines who look after Bill and Ben, and know when to put them in their place should they misbehave, and like any other wise old engine, he stands for no nonsense from anyone, especially from the bigger engines.
From The Great Festival Adventure to the fifteenth season however, Edward's persona changed slightly. Despite his reputation of being kind and friendly, Edward has acted cheeky. Edward also acted with a lack of confidence in himself in that he keeps secrets from the other engines and Sir Topham Hatt, when he was once leaking steam and likewise when he was told to pull the post train whilst Percy was being repaired. Sometimes, Edward even shared the same personality as James, such as when he decided to show off his special waterwheel and laughed at Thomas when he was wearing a funny funnel.
However, since the seventeenth season, Edward has been portrayed with his original personality.
The Reverend W. Awdry stated that Edward is based on a heavily modified Sharp, Stewart and Co. "Larger Seagull" K2 Class, supplied to the Furness Railway in 1896.
Sodor "historian" Martin Clutterbuck notes that Edward bears a close resemblance to an LNER D3/4 "Glen" (NBR Reid Class K) 4-4-0 from the London and North Eastern Railway. At any rate, the Reverend W. Awdry used an engine of this class to represent Edward on his model railway.
Visible Crovan's Gate Works modifications are: making the rear splasher flush with the cab, new cab windows as opposed to cutaways in his cab side sheets, and square cab lookouts as opposed to the original round ones.
Edward is painted in the NWR's blue livery with red and yellow lining and the number "2" painted on his tender sides in bright yellow with a red border. In the Railway Series, he carries two builder's plates on the sides of his cab.
It can be assumed that, before arriving on Sodor, Edward was painted in the Furness Railway's Indian Red livery with the letters "FR" written in yellow on his tender sides and black wheels.
The inspiration for Edward himself came from the Reverend W. Awdry's watching trains on the Great Western Railway as a child. He said in an interview with Brian Sibley for The Thomas the Tank Engine Man that, to him, the noise of the locomotives' exhaust almost sounded like dialogue - for example, the larger engine having trouble climbing the hills would appear to be saying, "I can't do it, I can't do it" and the smaller engine helping them would sound like it was saying, "I will do it! I will do it! I will do it!" Later, Reverend Awdry told his son a bedtime story about an engine who was sad because he was never taken out of the shed for being old. Upon being asked what the engine's name was by his son, the Reverend Awdry picked the name Edward out of thin air.
- Keith Wickham (UK; Hero of the Rails - Journey Beyond Sodor)
- Darren Boyd (UK;Twenty First Season onwards)
- William Hope (US; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Nozomu Sasaki (Japan; Calling All Engines! onwards)
- Øyvind Borgemoen Lyse (Norway; Hero of the Rails - Tale of the Brave)
- Herman López (Latin America; Hero of the Rails onwards; except Tale of the Brave)
- Wojciech Chorąży (Poland; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Petteri Hynönen (Finland; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Dan Shatzberg (Israel)
- Celso Alves (Brazil; Hero of the Rails onwards)
- Alexander Kotov (Russia; thirteenth - sixteenth seasons)
- Denis Bespalyy (Russia; King of the Railway - Last Train for Christmas)
- Anton Savenkov (Russia; nineteenth season onwards)
- Edward was the very first character created for the Railway Series, in 1942.
- Edward is one of few characters to appear in every season of the television series and one of even fewer characters to have a speaking role in each one.
- Edward is the only engine whose crew has been named in the Railway Series. In the foreword of "Edward the Blue Engine" their names were given as Charlie Sand (driver) and Sidney Heaver (fireman). Their surnames came from their duties (one of the driver's jobs is to sand the rails when they are slippery to let the engine's wheels grip, while the fireman "heaves" coal to the firebox); their first names came from an engine crew from the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway.
- Three of Edward's models are currently on display; two at Drayton Manor and the other is in Japan at the Hara Model Railway Museum (previously on display at Nitrogen Studios). One of Edward's production made face masks is also owned by Twitter user Thomas Merchandise.
- In Steady Eddie, Charlie and Eddie and Edward the Hero, Edward refers to himself as "Eddie". Charlie also refers to him by this name. "Eddie" also happens to be Edward's real name in the Greek narration and in Italy from the fifteenth season onwards; however, in the Engine Roll call he is referred as Edward.
- In the French dub, Edward is called Edouard in the first seven seasons.
- He is Michael White's favourite character.
- According to Britt Allcroft, there was a suggestion that Edward should become female and be renamed to "Alice" in the US dub, but he ended up retaining his original name and gender.
- Edward, along with Henry, are the first characters to be removed from the Steam Team.
- Edward went through several aesthetic changes in the television series:
- Season 4:
- The lining on his wheel arches became slightly thinner and moved outward.
- His whistle was at a lower pitch.
- Season 5:
- In Happy Ever After, his whistle returned to its original pitch.
- Season 6:
- His safety valve disappeared.
- His stepladder became longer.
- The gap at the back of his tender became smaller.
- His eyebrows become smaller and longer and are raised up slightly.
- Season 8:
- His eyebrows become thinner.
- Season 9:
- His eyebrows are lowered and become even thinner.
- Season 10:
- The riveting on his front bufferbeam disappeared.
- His buffers were moved downward and widened in length.
- Season 12:
- His face became bigger, now matching his smokebox/boiler size.
- His pupils also became smaller.
- His eyebrows become thicker and change shape.
- The gap between his second and third boiler bands became larger.
- Hero of the Rails:
- He slightly decreased in height.
- His buffers became bigger and moved towards the centre of his bufferbeam.
- His pupils returned to their larger size.
- Season 17:
- He gained a lamp and tail lamp.
- Season 18:
- His handrails were painted black.
- The Adventure Begins:
- His handrails were painted silver again.
- The inside of his tender became blue.
- His side rods become silver.
- Season 4:
- The 2014 re-designs of TrackMaster and Take-n-Play Edward and an illustration the annual story Edward Cracks a Nut incorrectly depict him as a 2-6-0.
- Wooden Railway (several versions)
- Take Along (discontinued normal and metallic)
- Take-n-Play (normal and talking)