Salty worked on an unnamed coastal railway for many years, where he acquired his vast collection of stories and songs and possibly his sailor's accent, before coming to Sodor to work at the Centre Island Quarry with Mavis, Bill, and Ben. Salty was upset, being used to working near the sea, but he soon won the trucks over with his tales and sea shanties, and as a reward for his hard work was sent to work at Brendam Docks. He, Bill and Ben were trapped at Brendam Docks one night, much to the annoyance of Cranky. He later teased Gordon about pulling trucks and being bossy.
Salty has shared many stories with his fellow engines that have often come into play later on. He told Percy that the carpet he was delivering might be magic, and odd happenings convinced Percy and Gordon that it was.
In the ninth season, he accidentally ran over a flagpole that Henry was meant to deliver to the Scottish Castle.
He later introduced Thomas to Billy, was one of the first engines to meet Stanley, looked at the docks for Thomas when he was missing, cheered at the docks when Thomas was found, and tried to take some woodsmen into the forest, but was blocked by trucks.
Salty later told the engines about the "strange engines" (Bash, Dash, and Ferdinand) that lived on Misty Island, a mysterious island not far from Sodor. He also told Thomas that the Star of Knapford could be magical.
In the sixteenth season, he told Percy about the "Monster of Brendam" and Edward tried to find him a present.
In the seventeenth season, he tried to make Kevin feel better about working with Cranky. Later, Salty started experiencing engine trouble, but refused to go to the Dieselworks, as he was worried that the Fat Controller might send him back to the quarry if he was not useful. This concern was strengthened with the arrival of Porter. Salty went to the Dieselworks, but ended up crashing into a flatbed of fuel cans in his hurry to return to the Docks. The fuel made his wheels slip, and he ended up colliding with a shipment of party decorations! Salty was now certain that he would be sent away, but, to his relief, the Fat Controller told him that he was meant to work with Porter, who had been sent to help him.
In the eighteenth season, he told the engines about the flatbeds of fear, encouraged Percy when Percy was missing Gator, along with Porter almost had a collision with Bill and Ben and also helped Timothy to play a trick on the twins.
In the nineteenth season, he pretended to be the Ghost of Christmas Past to frighten Diesel, and reminded him of his past mistakes. Salty later had to go to the Mainland as they were short of an engine, but he was afraid to go on a ship and travel by sea. However, he overcame his fears thanks to Thomas, who reminded him of his past tall tales which scared the other engines.
Salty is easy-going, friendly and very practical. He also enjoys telling stories revolving around the sea and fantasy. His seafaring ways and accent are sometimes ridiculed by the other engines, but his usefulness almost always helps the others overlook that. He can work with trucks like no other engine; this is due to his enjoyment of working to a musical rhythm like the trucks and it may also be due to his vast collection of sea shanties. He loves the sea so much that he pines for it when he is away from it for long periods of time.
Salty is a BR Class 07 diesel shunter. The number he has, 2991, is a real BR number belonging to a member of the class; built in 1962, this locomotive escaped the cutter's torch by becoming a static generator at Eastleigh Railway Works and is still working there under the ownership of Knights Rail Services as of March 2007.Salty's class was notorious for having their axleboxes run hot at high speed. This class of locomotive worked at Southampton docks, where they replaced the older Southern Railway USA Tanks (Rosie's class) and the LB&SCR E2 tanks (Thomas's class).
Salty is painted crimson with pink warning stripes along his body, wasp stripes on his front and rear and yellow buffer beams with signs of rust. At the top of his forehead, he has the brim of a skipper's hat.
In Salty's Surprise, it is revealed that due to a shortage of red paint, he was once painted green.
- Season 6 - Salty's Secret, Harvey to the Rescue (cameo), No Sleep for Cranky, It's Only Snow (deleted scene) and Gordon Takes a Tumble
- Season 7 - Bill, Ben and Fergus (cameo), What's the Matter with Henry? (cameo), James and the Queen of Sodor (cameo), The Spotless Record (cameo), Salty's Stormy Tale, Peace and Quiet, Best Dressed Engine (cameo) and Not So Hasty Puddings (cameo)
- Season 8 - Percy's New Whistle (cameo), Thomas to the Rescue, Emily's New Route (deleted scene), Edward the Great (cameo), Squeak, Rattle and Roll (does not speak), Thomas and the Circus, Fish, James Goes Too Far and Percy and the Magic Carpet
- Season 9 - Thomas and the Rainbow (cameo), Thomas and the Birthday Picnic (cameo), Henry and the Flagpole and Keeping Up with James (does not speak)
- Season 10 - Toby's Afternoon Off, Seeing the Sights (cameo) and Thomas and the Treasure
- Season 11 - Emily's Rubbish (deleted scene), Thomas Sets Sail, Don't be Silly, Billy, Hide and Peep (cameo) and Thomas in Trouble (does not speak)
- Season 12 - Henry Gets It Wrong and James Works it Out (mentioned in German dub)
- Season 14 - Being Percy (does not speak), Merry Winter Wish, and Thomas' Crazy Day (cameo)
- Season 15 - Gordon and Ferdinand (cameo), Percy's New Friends, Edward the Hero (cameo) and Tree Trouble (does not speak)
- Season 16 - Percy and the Monster of Brendam, Bust My Buffers!, Salty's Surprise, Sodor Surprise Day (cameo), Whiff's Wish (does not speak), Happy Birthday Sir! and The Christmas Tree Express (mentioned)
- Season 17 - Kevin's Cranky Friend, Not Now, Charlie!, Too Many Fire Engines (cameo), Away From the Sea and Gone Fishing (cameo)
- Season 18 - Old Reliable Edward (cameo), Flatbeds of Fear, Disappearing Diesels, Thomas the Quarry Engine, Missing Gator, No Steam Without Coal, Spencer's VIP (cameo), Toad's Bright Idea, Long Lost Friend, Emily Saves the World and Timothy and the Rainbow Truck
- Season 19 - Who's Geoffrey?, The Truth About Toby, A Cranky Christmas, Toad and the Whale, Salty All At Sea, Reds vs. Blues (cameo), The Little Engine Who Raced Ahead, No Help At All and Diesel's Ghostly Christmas
- Jack and the Sodor Construction Company - Mud, Glorious Mud (cameo)
- Calling All Engines! (does not speak)
- The Great Discovery (does not speak)
- Misty Island Rescue
- Day of the Diesels
- King of the Railway (cameo)
- Tale of the Brave
- The Adventure Begins (cameo)
- Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure
- The Great Race
- 2003 - Shipwrecked! and Flying Fish!
- 2004 - Salty by the Sea, It's Only Snow!, Name Fame (does not speak), On the Beach, Ship Ahoy!, Dockers' Dinner, Snake's Alive! (cameo), and Salty Gets Wet
- 2005 - Fresh Fish, Percy and the Magic Carpet, and Passenger Pick Up
- 2007 - Toby's Afternoon Off and BoCo the Brave (does not speak)
- 2008 - Funny Faces!
- 2010 - In a Spin (does not speak), Henry Gets It Wrong!, Disgusted Diesels (does not speak), and Percy and the Magic Carpet
- 2011 - A Home for Salty, Too Tired, Salty's Surprise!, Creepy Claw, Taking a Break, Winter Wish (does not speak), and Percy's New Friends (speaks in speech bubble only)
- 2012 - Edward's Big Rescue, The Fat Controller's Bedtime Story (Issue 644), Keeping up with James (cameo), and Taking Toby
- 2013 - Happy Birthday, Sir!, Being Percy (cameo), and Kevin's Cranky Friend (does not speak)
- 2014 - Salty's New Friend, Happy Birthday, Sir!, and Swanky Cranky!
- 2015 - Missing Gator
- Keith Wickham (UK/US; Misty Island Rescue onwards)
- Walter Wigand (Germany)
- Christian Greger Strøm (Norway; Misty Island Rescue - seventeenth season)
- Simen Sand (Norway; Day of the Diesels onwards, barring the sixteenth and seventeenth season)
- Thierry Kazazian (France and French speaking Canada)
- Naoki Tatsuta (Japan; sixth - eighth seasons)
- Ryuzou Ishino (Japan; ninth season onwards)
- Jarosław Domin (Poland; Misty Island Rescue only)
- Zbigniew Konopka (Poland; fourteenth season onwards)
- Jorge Santos (Latin America; fourteenth season onwards)
- Danny Houtkooper (The Netherlands; Misty Island Rescue only)
- Paul Disbergen (The Netherlands; fourteenth season onwards)
- Gadi Levy (Israel)
- Francisco Bretas (Brazil)
- Jorge Teixeira (Spain)
- Gaetano Lizzio (Italy)
- Denis Bespalyy (Russia; seventeenth season onwards)
- Salty differs slightly from his basis. Most Class 07s have a crankshaft at the end of their siderods. Salty lacks this feature.
- Some of Nitrogen Studios promos of Salty lack the rust on his bufferbeams.
- Salty appeared in The Great Discovery and Misty Island Rescue, despite his basis not being built until after both specials are meant to have taken place.
- One of Salty's models was on display at Nitrogen Studios; its current location is currently unknown.
- A production-made face of Salty is preserved by the Coffey Man Preservation from the Prop Gallery.
- Salty has gone several modifications throughout the Television Series. These include:
- Season 7:
- His horn sound changed.
- Calling All Engines:
- His horn sound changed again.
- Season 10
- His horn changed again.
- Misty Island Rescue:
- His cap brim became shorter
- He gained a permanent tail-lamp.
- Day of the Diesels:
- His horn sound changed to Derek's.
- Tale of the Brave:
- He gained a permanent lamp.
- Season 19:
- His cap brim became longer again.
- Season 7:
- His Take Along and early Take-n-Play model had a red running plate and bufferbeam.
- "Here comes 'Mr. Showoff'!" grouched Ben.
- "You have to admit, he's got a knack with those Trucks!" said Mavis.
- "Driver say's he'll bore the bolts off us with his stories!" huffed Bill.
- But Salty didn't say a word. He didn't come near the shed. Mavis was worried, she rolled alongside and asked him what he was doing on his own.
- "Oh I thought I might catch a bit of sea breeze."
- "You really do miss the sea, don't you?" asked Mavis.
- "Aye, I do."
- Mavis shows sympathy for Salty, Salty's Secret, sixth season.
- "Don't take me away from the sea boys... Don't take me away from the sea!"
- Salty and Porter singing, Away From The Sea, seventeenth season
- "Clattering Columbus! The world is heading straight for us!"
- Salty, Emily Saves the World, eighteenth season
- "We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas and a Salty new year!"
- Salty singing, A Cranky Christmas, nineteenth season
- ERTL (discontinued)
- Wooden Railway (regular; reintroduced, green, talking, oil splattered, and battery powered; battery powered discontinued)
- Take Along (discontinued)
- Motor Road and Rail (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (normal, talking, battery-operated, and green versions)
- Motorized Railway
- My First Thomas (talking)
- Bachmann (discontinued; still available in set)
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Pocket Fantasy (discontinued)
- LEGO (discontinued)
- Mega Bloks (discontinued)
- Discover Junction
- Collectible Railway
- Push Along
- Minis (Classic, Spooky, Old School, Sports, and DC super friends)
- Thomas and Friends Adventures (coming soon)