|“||"Careful! I'm an antique you know!"||„|
|~ Stephen, The Afternoon Tea Express, seventeenth season|
Stephen, nicknamed "The Rocket", is owned by Sir Robert Norramby and is the oldest engine on Sodor.
Stephen is one of the earliest engines ever built. Newer engines may be faster and stronger than Stephen, but what he lacks in terms of strength or speed, he makes up for with his positive spirit, sense of humour, and knowledge. He used to work at docks and in mines, but now works as a tour-guide at Ulfstead Castle. He can often be seen pulling a blue open-topped carriage and also his very own coach. In King of the Railway, he was trapped in the Ulfstead Mine where he discovered King Godred's long lost crown in time for the official re-opening of the castle.
In the seventeenth season, he gave Percy a lucky horseshoe when he was having bad luck, helped him trick James and took the Afternoon Tea Express.
He and Millie were later waiting at the castle for a special shipment from the Mainland, when Marion saw the dinosaur models and Samson.
In the nineteenth season, he was taking passengers on a tour of the island when he discovered that the Sodor Suspension Bridge was damaged. He took his passengers to safety and then blocked the track just in time, to stop Gordon from crossing the collapsing bridge.
Stephen is a jolly old engine with a positive attitude and a good sense of humour. He is a good-hearted and quick-witted engine, and will not take any nonsense from engines like Spencer or Diesel. Some of the smaller engines look up to him for advice, and he is always willing to get the job done.
Stephen is based on Stephenson's Rocket. Though his design is based on the post-Rainhill modifications, Stephen has identified himself as the original Rocket, describing the Rainhill trials and his subsequent working years.
Stephen is painted golden yellow and black. He bears a gold nameplate reading "Rocket". His funnel is painted white with a gold finial and his domes, whistle, exhaust pipes, and boiler bands are bronze.
- Season 17 - The Lost Puff, The Phantom Express, Percy's Lucky Day, Too Many Fire Engines, Santa's Little Engine and The Afternoon Tea Express
- Season 18 - Marion and the Dinosaurs, Samson at Your Service (cameo) and Millie and the Volcano (cameo)
- Season 19 - Slow Stephen
- King of the Railway
- 2013 - The Lost Puff and Too Many Fire Engines! (speaks in speech bubble only)
- 2014 - The Afternoon Tea Express and Percy's Lucky Day
- 2015 - Marion and the Dinosaurs (speaks in speech bubble only)
- Stephen does not have chains for either his front or rear coupling.
- Stephen may have originally been intended to have a cab, as his Wooden Railway and Take-n-Play prototypes were seen with one.
- In the seventeenth season episode, Percy's Lucky Day, it is revealed that Stephen has a lucky horse shoe resting on his exhaust pipe.
- In the Polish narration, Stephen's name is Sławek, which is also Skarloey's name from the same narration.
- Stephen's name is more than likely derived from his builder, Robert Stephenson.
- Stephen has gone through a few changes since his introduction:
- When he was restored, he gained a lamp and front coupling.
- In the nineteenth season, he gained a tail lamp.
|“|| Percy: Did you ever see knights in shining armour?
Stephen: No! I may be old, but I'm not that old! And before you ask, I never saw dinosaurs either!
|~ Percy and Stephen discussing the latter's age, King of the Railway.|
|“|| Spencer: The visitors will wait a long time for their afternoon tea if Stephen is doing the job.
Stephen: I'll have you know they use to call me the Rocket, because I was so speedy! Spencer: Pah! Compared to a horse and cart maybe!
|~ Spencer insulting Stephen, "The Afternoon Tea Express", seventeenth season.|
|“|| Millie: Looks like someone is back to her old self.
Stephen: Yes Marion certainly isn't scared of dinosaurs anymore, in fact you could say she really "Digs" them!
|~ Millie and Stephen talking about Marion, Marion and the Dinosaurs, eighteenth season.|