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The LNER 12 Ton Vans are ventilated vans used for transporting goods and merchandise throughout various railways.

They are also simply known as vans or trucks in the UK narration or cars in the US narration. In the television series, they serve as Sodor's main type of van.


The Railway Series

When Diesel came on trial to the North Western Railway, he attempted to shunt some old, rusty and empty vans. Diesel found it difficult to move the vans and was very forceful with them, as they had stiff joints and some of their brakes were on. He got so frustrated with the trucks that he accidentally overturned some when their brakes finally snapped. Diesel could not move the remaining trucks and was forced to give up, as a result, he was made into a laughing stock by the other trucks[1].

Thomas & Friends

Percy once had to deliver these vans of sugar, but on his way to the chocolate factory, he slipped on an oily track and crashed into the factory's wall[2].

Arthur once had to take some vans of fruit, but he sped down Gordon's Hill a bit too fast, causing the vans to be destroyed and the fruit and vegetables to fly everywhere[3].

These vans have often been used for The Flying Kipper and have been involved in many accidents while part of the train. Since the eighth season, the vans have been known to transport other things, such as fireworks equipment and ice cream.

In Journey Beyond Sodor, Thomas took some of these trucks to the Mainland in place of Henry who had derailed with them prior. The trucks mocked and teased Thomas for not knowing his way around the Mainland. They later aided James who went searching for Thomas.

During his visit to Africa, Thomas met some of the African counterpart of these trucks. Unlike the Troublesome Trucks on Sodor, these proved to be very helpful.

Fed up of Bill and Ben's tricks, Edward decided to give the Twins a taste of their own medicine. He hid a special van loaded with decoration for the annual Christmas party at Ulfstead Castle, and the Twins initially believed they had hid the truck themselves. They frantically searched all over the Island for the "missing van".[4].


The trucks on Sodor are described as being Troublesome Trucks. The African trucks are depicted as being silly, polite, helpful and enjoy singing.

Types of sentient vans in the Railway Series:

Types of sentient vans in the television series:


These vans are based on LNER 12 Ton Covered Vans.


These vans are painted in many colours, like orange, grey, brown, black, white and red. Since the thirteenth season, all the vans were painted cream, until the twentieth season, where the vans were given new liveries.

In the Railway Series, sentient vans had their faces to their bodies and it matched their livery. In the television series, they have grey faces.

There have also been vans with special liveries depicted with logos for various businesses and companies.