When Stafford first arrived on the Island, Spencer was given the job of showing him around. Spencer failed to listen to a warning about Stafford's battery running out and when it did, Spencer did not notice. Spencer later ran out of coal and Stafford had to shunt him to Knapford. There the Fat Controller called Stafford a really useful engine and welcomed him to Sodor.
He then became jealous of the steam engines because of the noises they made, and tried to be like them, but only caused confusion and delay when he did a job that was meant to be done quietly. In the end, he decided he was happy to be quiet Stafford the Electric Shunting Engine.
Stafford once shunted a wagon filled with the Entertainers' luggage for Daisy, but she pulled away as she did not want to pull it and he could not catch up as his batteries would not get him as far as Harwick.
Like in the television series, Stafford once shunted a wagon filled with the Entertainers' luggage for Daisy, but she pulled away as she did not want to pull it and he could not catch up as his batteries would not get him as far as Harwick.
Stafford is a humble, courteous little chap with a Yorkshire accent. He is a very different sort of engine from any other on the North Western Railway. This is because Stafford is an electric battery engine; he is not a steam engine or a diesel engine. Stafford is fueled by recharging his battery, which needs to be done frequently so he can go about his work as a shunting engine. Stafford is very patient, calm and mannerly. He does not let the antics of the bigger, haughtier engines bother him too much, keeps level-headed as he goes about his day, and brushes off any troubles without much fuss. He is more than content with taking things slow and not having to travel long distances and he is more than proud to work on the Fat Controller's railway.
Stafford is based on the North Staffordshire Railway's battery-electric No. 1. Built in 1917 by Stoke Railway Works in Stoke-On-Trent, it was used as a shunting engine at the Thomas Bolton & Sons electrical supply factory and the nearby railway station at Oakamore. Taken out of service in 1963, it is now preserved at the National Railway Museum.
Stafford is made of veneered wood with yellow lining. The number "1917" and gold nameplates are on his sides.