The Flying Thistle arrived on Sodor as a visiting engine. Percy was the first to meet him, but the other engines did not think he was real at first. He arrived to run an express line that had not been used in a while. While running it, he broke down and was helped back by Donald. He was later cheered up by Gordon.
The Flying Thistle is based on an LNER A3 pacific. Gordon and Flying Scotsman are other members of this class.
The Flying Thistle is painted red with yellow lining and has a crest painted on the sides of his tender. He has yellow nameplates with his name in black mounted on his middle wheel arch on either side.