|“||That would never suit His Grace!||„|
|~ Duke’s catchphrase|
Duke, named after His Grace The Duke of Sodor, is one of the oldest engines on the Island of Sodor, and is considered a hero amongst the other engines. Also one of the wisest and most experienced engines on Sodor, Duke enjoys teaching others the proper way to do things. He is old, wise, kind and gentle, but maintains his authority at all times. He first tells the story of Smudger (T&F)/No.2/Stanley (RWS). Duke tried to warn Smudger/ No.2/Stanley to be careful, but he took no notice. When the Mid Sodor Railway went bankrupt and Stuart and Falcon were sold, Duke was sheeted and locked away in a small shed for many years, until a group of adventurers found him, buried under the soil that had washed down from the mountains. He was taken to the Skarloey Railway where he now lives and happily works again.
Duke only appears in Season 4. A large portrait of him is seen in various episodes, including Season 5. He makes a stock footage cameo in Season 7. It is unknown when he will return to the television series.
Duke is based off Prince, a George England "Small England" class 0-4-0 saddle tank tender locomotive from the Ffestiniog Railway in Porthmadog, North Wales. Built in 1863, Prince also has the distinction of being one of the oldest operating steam locomotives in the world.
- Duke’s nickname, “Granpuff”, came about after Wilbert Awdry’s grandchildren affectionately called their grandfather that name whenever he would smoke his pipe, as the smoke from the pipe looked like that coming out from the funnel of a steam locomotive.