Emily is a Stirling Single tender engine. She works mostly on the Main Line and once ran the Misty Valley Branch Line. She also has her own set of coaches. Emily acts as a sisterly figure to the other engines, and though she can be bossy at times, she has a big heart.
When Emily was a new engine on Sodor, she was ignored by the other engines for pulling Annie and Clarabel without Thomas' permission or knowledge. The matter was resolved after she saved both Thomas and Oliver from a nasty accident on the cross-points, and she was rewarded with two new coaches. Emily proved to be kind-hearted, as she was the only engine concerned about Henry when he was ill due to leaky tubes and when she stuck up for Salty when Thomas and Percy were teasing him.
However, Emily has proven to be a nuisance on occasion as she bossed everyone about when they were clearing up after a storm; Thomas when taking passengers, and Percy when shunting trucks. When pulling the express for the first time, she was determined to keep to Gordon's timing, only to run out of water.
When Thomas had to stay at Knapford Sheds, Emily did not like his company at first as she just wanted some sleep. However, she learned how comfortable it is to have the company of friends and once Tidmouth Sheds was rebuilt, she was transferred there to be with her new shedmates.
Like most engines, Emily can get quite puffed up in the smokebox. When she was called "Excellent Emily", she ignored the advice of Murdoch, Thomas, and Duck only to get herself into trouble. Afterwards, she took their advice to get her job done.
Emily tries her best to make her friends happy. When she assumed that Mavis was sad, she took flowers to the quarry, but only created a mess. When she tried to help her friends with the football/soccer match, she neglected to fetch the dirty washing, which turned out to be the football/soccer team's uniforms. Also, when the Fat Controller lost his top hat, Emily went to find it without success and then took the special Christmas train without permission. However, she always makes amends for her friends' sake.
When Thomas hid his snowplough, Emily had to do Thomas' work and saved him when he got stuck in the snow again.
Thomas told Emily about the Flatbeds of Fear, but Emily did not believe in it and said there was a sensible explanation. She eventually believed in it, until Thomas told her that it was just one of Salty's tall tales. Later, she was very excited to collect a special which was a giant model of a globe of the world to take it to the Animal Park. She could not wait to show it to the other engines.
When the Steam Team tried to clear the tracks of snow for Connor to deliver the last train for Christmas, Emily was unable to clear them from the Sodor side, but was happy to see Hiro as he cleared it from the other direction, then was disappointed when they mistook Harold for Father Christmas by believing his red port lamp to be Rudolph's nose.
She was later informed by Paxton about the rumour that Toby was to be scrapped, but Henrietta overheard and knew it was not true. Emily took her to find Toby and once they found him safe, Emily gave him some of her coal.
She became fascinated with Caitlin being able to go at such high speeds and wondered what it would be like to be fast, becoming depressed when she could not do so. However, in the end, she managed to save Caitlin when she descended down a steep hill with broken brakes.
When Thomas was fed up with Diesel's selfishness during the holidays, Emily partook in his plan to mend the diesel's ways, much to her joy and amusement. She later attended the Earl's Christmas lunch with several other engines, including Thomas and a reformed Diesel.
Emily went with the other Sodor engines to be part of The Great Railway Show, competing in the Best Decorated Engine Parade along with James, Carlos, Rajiv and Yong Bao, but she and James lost to Rajiv. After Percy dropped out of the Shunting Challenge, she encouraged Thomas to take his place, declaring him Sodor's last chance to win.
Once, when the Fat Controller was ill, Dowager Hatt took charge of the railway. She assigned Emily to Thomas' job of pulling Annie and Clarabel, while Gordon was assigned to her job of taking scrap to the scrapyards. This resulted in lots of confusion and delay, culminating with a massive hold up outside of Knapford. Emily pointed this out to the Dowager and was able to help her get things back on track before the Fat Controller returned.
Later, she helped Donald and Douglas pull a heavy train of steel pipes to Vicarstown, but the journey became difficult when the twins kept teasing each other and arguing about swapping places. When they stopped on Gordon's Hill, Emily was left holding the train while Donald and Douglas continued to bicker. Eventually, Emily slipped down the hill and was knocked off the rails by a giant, heavy snowball, which had formed from a lump of coal shaken out of Donald's tender when Douglas bumped him. Once Harvey had cleared up the mess, Emily took the front while both twins pushed and they reached Vicarstown without any further trouble.
Emily acts as a sisterly figure to the others. She is kind and compassionate and is always sensitive to the other engines' feelings. If she accidentally upsets someone, knowingly or not, she is quick to apologise.
From the eighth to the sixteenth seasons, however, Emily had a habit of being fussy, bossy and rude to others. She had strived to be the best and sometimes caused mishaps, but always made up for them when she realised her errors.
From the King of the Railway onwards, Emily has been portrayed more closely to her original personality, with subtler shades of bossiness and overconfidence. She also often acts as a voice of reason, particularly when James gets too big for his wheels, or when a friend needs moral support.
Emily is based on a Great Northern Railway G3 Stirling Single 4-2-2. Designed by Patrick Stirling in 1870 with 8 ft 1in driving wheels and outside cylinders, they were specifically built for high speed expresses between London and York. These locomotives were capable of hauling 280 ton trains at 50 mph, though they could reach 85 mph on lighter services. A total of 53 were built at Doncaster between 1870 and 1895, in three series introduced in 1870, 1884 and 1894 respectively; the last was withdrawn in 1916. The only surviving member of her class (No. 1) is on display at the National Railway Museum. The locomotive in preservation carried a small capacity Sturrock tender, which was given in its first restoration in 1910. Recently, a derelict original Stirling Single tender used as a water and sludge carrier was found in Peterborough and, after restoration, was paired with the locomotive in 2014.
Emily is painted emerald green with gold and yellow lining. She has chocolate coloured running-boards and her buffers were originally bronze but are now silver. For the Great Railway Show, gold trim and flowers were added to her coat for her participation in the best decorated engine parade. After she returned to Sodor, she was painted back again.
- Teresa Gallagher (UK (Hero of the Rails onwards))
- Jules de Jongh (US (Hero of the Rails onwards))
- Blanche Ravalec (France and French speaking Canada (eighth season onwards))
- Diana Pérez (Latin America (Hero of the Rails onwards))
- Although the second female steam engine to ever appear in the television series (the first being Lady), Emily is the first female steam engine to appear and remain on a regular basis.
- Michael Angelis, Pierce Brosnan and Teresa Gallagher give Emily a Scottish accent reflecting the origin of her designer.
- One of Emily's models was on display in Canada at Nitrogen Studios, it is now part of the touring Thomas and Friends: Explore the Rails exhibit.
- Emily is the first character besides Thomas himself to say his phrase, "Cinders and ashes!", which was done in the thirteenth season episode, Tickled Pink.
- Some literary articles show her being sisterly mostly to Thomas and James: according to a magazine bio, she has a particular fondness for James and treats him like a little brother. In Railway Rhymes, the author states that Emily and Thomas act like brother and sister.
- According to Emily's Slide Show, she was built around the same time as Donald and Douglas.
- Emily's seventh season whistle sound would later be re-used for Peter Sam and Freddie.
- Her whistle was also used in the Mr. Men Show episode "Parks".
- Before Big World! Big Adventures!, Emily was the only member of the Steam Team not created by Wilbert Awdry, as well as the only female member up until the debuts of Nia and Rebecca and the only member who was not introduced in the first season. She has always been, however, the only member to not have a number.
- According to Robert Gauld-Galliers's concept art, Emily was originally going to have handrails on top of her smokebox, three front coupling chains and a gold builder's plate on her wheel arch.
- Emily was called Emilie in the French dub of the seventh season.
- Emily had many modifications throughout the television series. These include:
- Season 8:
- Her buffers changed from bronze to silver.
- She shares the same whistle sound as Henry.
- Season 9:
- Season 11:
- Her forward buffer housings' colour changed from black to red.
- The colour of her running board changed from dark grey to light grey. Presumably, this was done to match her running board colour to the other engines in the steam team.
- Season 12:
- Her face became larger.
- Hero of the Rails:
- Her face became a bit thinner.
- Her whistle sound is the same as Henry again.
- Season 13:
- Steam incorrectly emits from her safety valve.
- Tree Trouble:
- Steam no longer comes out of her safety valve.
- No Snow for Thomas:
- She gains a permanent headlamp and tail-lamp, as well as lamp irons.
- She gains a new whistle sound.
- Season 19:
- She gains brake pipes.
- She received more prominent front and rear brake-pipe outlets. Strangely, the front ones that have been there since she was introduced have not been removed.
- Her side rods became silver.
- Snow Place Like Home and parts of Best Engine Ever only:
- Her brake pipe faces downwards.
- Season 8:
- Will You Won't You (performed)
- Be Who You Are and Go Far (performed)
- The Most Important Thing is Being Friends (performed)
- ERTL (discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (normal, talking, roll and whistle, and streamlined)
- Take Along (normal and metallic; discontinued)
- Motor Road and Rail (discontinued outside Asia)
- TrackMaster (normal, Splish, Splash, Splosh! and Snow Clearing versions)
- My First Thomas (normal and talking)
- Hornby (discontinued)
- Bachmann (HO and large scale)
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Trading Cards
- Take-n-Play (normal and talking)
- Limited Edition Collection
- Mega Bloks (discontinued)
- Capsule Plarail (normal and metallic)
- Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
- Woody Capsule Series
- Boss (with Milk Tanker; discontinued)
- Collectible Railway
- Padlock and Key
- Micro Rubber Engines
- Minis (classic, spooky, DC super friends and sweets)
- Rail Rollers