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Mavis is a privately-owned diesel shunter who works for the Ffarquhar Quarry Company, based at Ffarquhar Quarry. In the television series, she also works at the Sodor Slate Quarry.


The Railway Series

Mavis was supplied by the Drewry Car Company and sent to Sodor in 1962. Mavis was particularly fond of putting the trucks at Ffarquhar Quarry in different places, despite Toby's protests. Toby finally lost patience and left Mavis to her own devices. Mavis - urged by Daisy - started to ignore Toby's advice and ended up looking silly when she got stuck in the middle of a crossing outside Ffarquhar.

Mavis was then forbidden to leave the quarry, but when a thaw increased production at Ffarquhar Quarry, Mavis persuaded the manager to let her go up to the first crossing in order to shunt trucks quicker and formulated a plan to pass the level crossing with help from the trucks. However, the plan backfired when the trucks decided to bump Toby instead and he ended up being suspended by flimsy rails over a rushing stream and Mavis had to help. Mavis confessed, but the Fat Controller and Mavis' manager were pleased by Mavis' courage and honesty and allowed her occasional trips to Ffarquhar.

In 1987, Mavis was involved in a collision with a lorry and Toby had to do her work while she was absent. She returned to the quarry for the next few years until 1991 when she took Toby's stone trains while Thomas was in York and in 1995 attended the Golden Jubilee of the Railway Series at the Big Station.

Thomas & Friends

When she was introduced, just like in the Railway Series, Mavis continuously put the trucks at Ffarquhar Quarry in different places, much to Toby's frustration. Toby finally left Mavis to put the trucks wherever she wanted. Mavis was supported to do so by Diesel and took the trucks to a level crossing, where the trucks held her back and she got stuck on the crossing, trapping Bertie and Terence. Mavis was rescued by Toby and sent back to the quarry. She felt embarrassed after the accident and upset when she was not allowed to leave the quarry. Percy tried to knock some sense into her, but she refused to listen. She eventually made a plan with the trucks to go as far up the line as possible, but this resulted in putting Toby in danger. Mavis rescued Toby and the Fat Controller let her go further down the line occasionally.

In the fourth series, Mavis was one of the engines who took over the jobs of the engines who went to England. In the fifth series, she had clearly matured and she and Toby received help at the quarry from Stepney, who was visiting the railway.

In the sixth series, she was able to keep Bill and Ben in order. When Salty came to work at the quarry, he was upset that he was not working by the sea, so Mavis did her best to comfort him while trying to stop Bill and Ben from complaining about Salty's talent with working with trucks. Mavis tried to stop Bill from being so jealous and grumpy when Ben went to get new buffers.

In the seventh series, Fergus was sent to help Mavis and the twins. Mavis got on well with Fergus and helped him out of a rockslide caused by Bill and Ben. In the eighth series, Mavis was one of the diesels given bad fuel. This resulted in her and the other diesels breaking down, so Thomas collected new fuel and helped them.

When the steam engines and diesel engines were arguing, Thomas turned to Mavis for help since she is one of the few nice diesels and the two organised a meeting to sort things out. She also helped with the construction of the Sodor Airport, including taking away rubble from the wrecked tower.

In the ninth series, Mavis was involved in a collision with Percy and Toby. In the tenth series, Toby went to Mavis for help with his jobs, but she was too busy. In the eleventh series, Mavis was left without fuel when Billy did not deliver it. In the twelfth series, Mavis was having a wash at the Sodor Slate Quarry when she was derailed by Thomas, who was racing with Diesel.

When Spencer got on the verge of discovering Hiro, Mavis distracted him from Thomas and Percy by guiding him to back upright underneath the operating slate hopper. This led to Spencer being taken for repairs at the Steamworks.

In the thirteenth series, Mavis was awoken early by Thomas, comforted Percy who was upset about having no job, was given flowers as a surprise from Emily (who assumed she was upset) and attended Hiro's welcome party. She was later convinced by Thomas to shunt trucks at Brendam Docks to impress a Railway Inspector alongside Percy.

Mavis broke down one day and was taken to the Dieselworks by Salty, where she was surprised to see Percy there. In the fifteenth series, she told Spencer - who could not see properly due to heavy fog - that he was at the quarry when he thought he found the Duke and Duchess of Boxford's Summer House. She later broke down again and was helped by Diesel. In the sixteenth series, she told Gordon to get his bufferbeam mended, even when he tried to convince her he was fine without it and helped a composer with his song alongside Thomas and some of the Steam Team.

In the eighteenth series, Diesel took her to see the sights of Sodor, while Thomas did her job at Ffarquhar Quarry.

In the nineteenth series, she got damaged by stones from the hopper and had to go to the Dieselworks to be repaired and Den was sent to the quarry to replace her. She comforted Dart when he started to miss Den and once she was fixed, she went back to the quarry.

In the twenty-first series, Mavis is one of the engines who spread Den and Dart's rumours about Daisy being prepared to be scrapped when the duo could not acquire a spare spring to repair Daisy.


When Mavis first came to Sodor, she was naïve, arrogant and did not take advice very well. She was mostly interested in her own ideas but was brought down to earth after her embarrassing incident at the Ffarquhar crossing. Still, she wanted to see more of the line and schemed to have the trucks push her past the level crossing beyond the quarry - this inadvertently resulted in a near accident for Toby. After rescuing him, Mavis resolved to change her ways for good. She is now more capable of keeping the trucks in line and more willing to take advice.

Unlike many Diesels, Mavis shows respect for the steam engines and unlike most engines, hauling trucks makes her feel important. She is a reliable, honest, and hard-working engine.

Over the course of time, Mavis has matured and acts as a motherly figure to the other engines. As a result, she keeps a stern attitude with the troublesome trucks and holds zero patience towards troublesome antics like those from Diesel. Although Mavis means well, she can at times feel cooped up in the quarry, but always cheers up at the chance to stretch her wheels.


Mavis is a based on a British Rail (BR) Class 04 0-6-0 diesel locomotive. She is more specifically based on the BR Class 04's that worked on the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway, as they were fitted with additional cowcatchers and side plates so they could run near public roads. Twenty of these locomotives are preserved, including one "tramway" example.


Mavis is painted black with yellow hazard stripes on her front and rear. Her name is painted on the sides of her cab in white and "THE FFARQUHAR QUARRY CO LTD", is painted on her side plates, also in white. In the television series, a dot was added next to "CO" and "LTD".


  • Awdry's model of Mavis was actually made in 1962. It was not until ten years later in 1972 that Mavis debuted in The Railway Series itself.
  • Mavis was the last character Wilbert Awdry created before he retired from writing the Railway Series.