Peter Sam

Peter Sam is a semi-fictitious engine in the railway books by the Reverend Awdry. He first appeared in print back in 1955 in the book Four Little Engines. I had this book as a Christmas present back in 1955.

And there he is, from that 1955 Christmas present.

image002Now I said semi-fictional because he is based on a real engine and some of the story line in Four Little Engines is fairly factual.

The engine was built to work on a slate quarry line in mid Wales that linked the Corris area with Machynlleth. The engine, with no name but just the number 4 was built in 1921.

A section of the Corris Railway has been re-started – a 21st century re-opening. It runs from Corris to Maespoeth.


It’s a lovely little line at the moment and the visit includes a museum at Corris and a guided tour of sheds and works at Maespoeth.

But of course, the line had no locos and has had to build replacements from scratch. The one in service is a replica of the original number 4.


After the Corris line closed, in 1948, Two Corris engines were purchased by the Talyllyn railway. Number 4 was one of them and it was given the name Edward Thomas who was a former manager of this railway. By the way, the Talyllyn was the first preservation line in the UK and it still runs and still uses Edward Thomas. And here is that 1921 engine at Tywyn departing with a train for Nant Gwernol.


This is another delightful journey, of course.

The Reverend Awdry invented a line like the Talyllyn for his fictitious island of Sodor and changed the engine names just a bit so Edward Thomas became Peter Sam.

So we have a wonderful mix of reality and fiction.

By the way, the photos were all taken on a horribly wet August 23rd 2015.

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