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Salty is a diesel shunter who works at Brendam Docks.
Salty worked on an unnamed coastal railway for many years, where he acquired his vast collection of stories and songs and possibly his sailor's accent, before coming to Sodor to work at the Centre Island Quarry with Mavis, Bill and Ben. Salty was upset, being used to working near the sea, but he soon won the trucks over with his tales and sea shanties, and as a reward for his hard work was sent to work at Brendam Docks.
Salty's presence at the docks led to Cranky having a huge distaste for Salty's stories. Cranky snapped at Salty when he pulled up, and when Salty thinks that Cranky needs company, this made him recall a story about a lonely old Grand Banks lighthouse keeper. He starts to tell this story to Bill and Ben (who haven't heard it before), infuriating Cranky. Salty, Bill and Ben being trapped at Brendam Docks led to Salty telling the twins many stories all night, making Cranky very grateful when Harvey arrived to clear their line.
Gordon told Salty to keep his distance lest he make his paint sooty, but Salty pointed out that his job requires him to get sooty and Gordon only doesn't know because he's too full of himself. When Gordon had to pull freight cars, he decided to "show Salty how an express engine pulls freight cars", but he ended up ignoring a "Go slow" sign and had a horrific accident. Salty apologizes for teasing him, and Gordon apologizes for being too full of himself.
Salty has shared many stories with his fellow engines that have often come into play later on. He told Percy that the carpet he was delivering might be magic, and odd happenings convinced Percy and Gordon that it was.
Later, he accidentally ran over a flagpole that Henry was meant to deliver to the Scottish Castle.
He later introduced Thomas to Billy, was one of the first engines to meet Stanley, looked at the docks for Thomas when he was missing, cheered at the docks when Thomas was found, and tried to take some woodsmen into the forest, but was blocked by trucks.
Salty later told the engines about the "strange engines" (Bash, Dash, and Ferdinand) that lived on Misty Island, a mysterious island not far from Sodor. He also told Thomas that the Star of Knapford could be magical.
He later told Percy about the "Monster of Brendam" and Edward tried to find him a present.
Later, he tried to make Kevin feel better about working with Cranky. Later, Salty started experiencing engine trouble, but refused to go to the Dieselworks, as he was worried that the Fat Controller might send him back to the quarry if he was not useful. This concern was strengthened with the arrival of Porter. Salty went to the Dieselworks, but ended up crashing into a flatbed of fuel cans in his hurry to return to the Docks. The fuel made his wheels slip, and he ended up colliding with a shipment of party decorations! Salty was now certain that he would be sent away, but, to his relief, the Fat Controller told him that he was meant to work with Porter, who had been sent to help him.
Then, he told the engines about the flatbeds of fear, encouraged Percy when Percy was missing Gator, along with Porter almost had a collision with Bill and Ben and also helped Timothy to play a trick on the twins.
Later, Salty had to go to the Mainland as they were short of an engine, but he was afraid to go on a ship and travel by sea. However, he overcame his fears thanks to Thomas, who reminded him of his past tall tales which scared the other engines, he later pretended to be the Ghost of Christmas Past to frighten Diesel, and reminded him of his past mistakes.
Later, he told Edward, Henry, James, Cranky and Porter about a "lost pirate".
Salty is easy-going, friendly and very practical. He also enjoys telling stories revolving around the sea and fantasy. His seafaring ways and accent are sometimes ridiculed by the other engines, but his usefulness almost always helps the others overlook that. He can work with trucks like no other engine; this is due to his enjoyment of working to a musical rhythm like the trucks and it may also be due to his vast collection of sea shanties. He loves the sea so much that he pines for it when he is away from it for long periods of time.
Salty is based on a BR Class 07 diesel shunter. The number he has, 2991, is a real BR number belonging to a member of the class; built in 1962, this locomotive escaped the cutter's torch by becoming a static generator at Eastleigh Railway Works and is still working there under the ownership of Knights Rail Services as of March 2007. This class of locomotives worked at Southampton Docks, where they replaced the older SR USA (Rosie's class) and LB&SCR E2 (Thomas's class) tank engines.
Salty is painted crimson with pink warning stripes along his body, yellow and black hazard stripes on his front and rear and yellow buffer beams with signs of rust. At the top of his forehead, he has the brim of a skipper's hat. His name is painted on his rear section and his number is painted on his cab sides, both in black.