Toby is a small brown steam tram, who used to work on a small tramway in East Anglia with his coach, Henrietta. After his old railway closed, he was sent to the North Western Railway to help out on the Ffarquhar Branch Line, and helps take workmen and trucks of stone up the tramway to Anopha Quarry. Aside from Henrietta, Toby owns a coach named Victoria, and a goods van named Elsie.
Toby is a wise and experienced engine, and is full of advice to give to the younger and more inexperienced engines on the line. Although he may be older and weaker than some of the newer engines, Toby is still considered one of the most useful engines on the North Western Railway.
Toby was built at Stratford Works in 1914, and originally worked alongside his brothers at Great Yarmouth Docks, Norfolk, England. He was once chosen to attend a seaside village's festival, but when he arrived, he was turned away, as the organizers of the event claimed there was no room for him. (RWS; Toby, Trucks and Trouble)
Sometime after this, Toby was sent to a small tramway in East Anglia, where he worked with his faithful coach, Henrietta. However, the buses and lorries began taking over most of their work, and their line was on the brink of closure. During the tramway's final days, the Fat Controller and his family came to East Anglia to visit Toby, and even got the chance to ride in his cab. When the tramway was shut down, Toby was locked up in his shed.
However, in a pleasant turn of events, Toby was called by the Fat Controller to come to his railway when Thomas ran into trouble with an officious policeman while running along the tramway between Ffarquhar and Anopha Quarry without cowcatchers and sideplates. Toby brought Henrietta with him when he came to Sodor, and began working on the Quarry Tramway, taking the workmen up to the quarry and bringing down trucks of stone. Thomas was initially jealous of Toby, but after Toby managed to frighten the policeman, they became firm friends.
Toby's paintwork was worn-out and shabby when he came to Sodor, and was teased by James about this. However, James stopped teasing Toby after he crashed into a train of tar wagons at Killdane, and Toby was sent to help clean up the mess. As a reward for his hard work, Toby was given a new coat of paint, along with Henrietta.