Bio in the Railway Series
Rusty was built by Ruston and Hornsby Ltd. in Lincoln, England. He was bought by Sir Handel Brown direct from the builders in 1957 to assist Sir Handel and Peter Sam. While they handled passengers and goods, Rusty was paired with CME Mr. Ivo Hugh to repair the ageing trackbed along the line.
When Sir Handel pretended to be ill, Rusty was asked to assist Peter Sam with the slate trucks and later that day had to perform a rescue operation at the quarry when Peter Sam had an accident on the incline.
Following the return of Skarloey, Rusty was put back on maintenance duties, but had an argument with Duncan about taking care on a "bad bit" of track south of Cros-ny-Cuirn. While initially refusing to help the conceited Duncan when he derailed, Skarloey reminded Rusty of his responsibility towards the passengers and he set out at once, later making up the quarrel with Duncan. Later that year, Rusty and Mr. Hugh were chosen to demonstrate to a television crew how they maintained the line at Quarry Siding.
In 1961, Rusty and Mr. Hugh discovered a washed out section of track south of the tunnel and the railway was closed temporarily while he and the workmen repaired the line. He was later present when Rheneas finally returned home.
In 1964, the Lakeside loop line extension was opened in a grand ceremony at Quarry Siding. Rusty was asked to bring visitors to celebrate the occasion.
In 1984, Rusty was in charge of carrying away tree branches and other cuttings, which were being trimmed from the line so that passengers could get a better view.
In 1995, Rusty was put in charge of the weedkiller train, a job he disliked because it required slow speeds. The weedkiller later created trouble for Rheneas, who could not get a firm grip on the wet, greasy rails. He later had to take Sir Handel's trains after Sir Handel had caused his firebars to collapse.
Bio in Television Series
Rusty has always been a helpful little diesel. He has mostly been seen clearing lines, and doing other railway maintenance work. In the fourth season, Rusty helped saved Stepney, who was stranded on a siding in a scrapyard on the Other Railway, from scrap. When the Boulder went loose at the Quarry, Rusty narrowly escaped his own destruction after being chased by the giant stone. Along with Skarloey, Rheneas, and Elizabeth, he saved the Skarloey Railway from abandonment. Rusty once saved Duncan from falling into a river from an old bridge. He is currently working at the Blue Mountain Quarry and the Skarloey Railway, along with the other narrow gauge engines.
One Christmas, when Duncan began complaining more than ever, Rusty had the idea of telling the Thin Controller, who devised a plan. Rusty later saw Duncan lose his temper with Luke, who was blocking the track in front of him. But when Duncan felt sorry and helped Luke carry on his way, Rusty saw this too and told the Thin Controller.
Rusty is a trusty, tame, friendly little diesel. He is a dedicated worker, often maintaining the line, while understanding and respecting the importance of his duties. He also has a rather distinctive two-tone horn. Rusty is quick to remind others with regards to proper conduct, particularly Duncan, who was initially very suspicious of the little diesel. But despite their arguments they both seem to make amends in the end, because of how kind and tolerant Rusty is. He has a good working relationship with both Skarloey and Peter Sam in particular. Caring, calm, and quick-thinking, Rusty is modestly a credit to the Skarloey Railway.
- Matt Wilkinson (UK/US; sixteenth season onwards)
- Hideo Ishikawa (Japan; fourth - seventh seasons)
- Tokuyoshi Kawashima (Japan: ninth season onwards)
- Arash Marandi (Germany)
- Stan Limburg (The Netherlands)
- Christian Greger Strøm (Norway; sixteenth - seventeenth season)
- Scott Maurstad (Norway; Blue Mountain Mystery only)
- Luis Leonardo Suárez (Latin America; Blue Mountain Mystery onwards)
- Krzysztof Szczerbiński (Poland; Blue Mountain Mystery - seventeenth season)
- Grzegorz Kwiecień (Poland; eighteenth season onwards)
- Carlos Moreno (Spain; Blue Mountain Mystery onwards)
- A major continuity error occurred in the original American broadcasts of the ninth season, where Rusty was referred to as female by Michael Brandon. While Rusty was clearly stated as being male in the original books, not once in the television series had he been referred to in gender-specific terms until then. Nonetheless, the two episodes that contained this error, Tuneful Toots and Duncan and the Old Mine, were edited for their DVD releases, now identifying Rusty as male.
- In the television series, Rusty is nearly twice the size of his basis. This was so his eye moving equipment and motors could be accommodated. When he received a large scale model and later returned in CGI, he was the same larger size for continuity reasons.
- Rusty has been through some modifications in the television series. These include:
- Season 5 (large scale model only):
- Larger face.
- His grey buffers became silver.
- Season 9:
- He receives a two tone horn.
- Season 12:
- Slightly smaller face.
- Season 16:
- Face went back to its Season 5 size.
- Added air vents.
- Rivet detailing on his cab.
- More accurate chassis to his basis.
- Season 5 (large scale model only):
- Rusty's large scale model is currently on display in Japan at the Hara Railway Museum (previously on display at Nitrogen Studios).
- At Diesel's Locomotion Mayhem at Drayton Manor's Thomas Land, Rusty is depicted with side rods and 6 wheels.
- ERTL (normal and metallic; discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (reissued in three-pack; separate)
- Take Along (three-pack and Faulty Whistles four-pack; discontinued)
- Motor Road and Rail (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (discontinued)
- My First Thomas
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Thomas Engine Collection Series (discontinued)
- Thomas Town (discontinued)
- Trading Cards (discontinued)
- De Agostini (discontinued)
- Brio (discontinued)
- Nakayoshi (discontinued)
- Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
- Mega Bloks (discontinued)