• Number: 64897 (formerly 4897 and 2993)
  • Class: LNER Class J39
  • Designer: Sir Nigel Gresley
  • Builder: Scotland
  • Built: 1935
  • Configuration: 0-6-0
  • Dispotion: Scrapped

Tavish is a Scottish tender engine who lives at Copley Hill.


Tavish was built in 1928 in Scotland. Like Herbert and Nigel, not much is known about his past. Other than, he was a Class J 0-6-0.

In 1952, Tavish was sent to Copley Hill shed in Leeds after Stephen's accident. Whilst he was was a hard worker who meant well, he got quite annoyed when winter came that year. It was his job to clear the lines of snow, and it was extremely difficult. Finally, when he had an argument with Sir Ralph about it, they were forced to work together, and they eventually became friends.

Like the rest of the engines, Tavish was very confused about Scott's outburst about Sir Ralph. Throughout the period of time that this happened however, he was working on goods duties and spending a lot of time away from the yard.

Several years later, Tavish was asked to take Hawk home after it was discovered that he had failed after leaving Copley Hill several weeks earlier. Stephen's words about the end of steam had affected Tavish like the other engines, and he and Nigel would often talk about the end of steam in harsh tones. At Halloween, he was telling ghost stories to the other engines, but Allen laughs at him, so Stephen tells a story instead.

In 1964, when Copley Hill was closed down, it is unknown where Tavish was reallocated to.(Possibly Dundee, Haymarket, St. Rollox or Aberdeen.) However, he did manage to see Allen for one last time as he pulled a final train to King's Cross.


Tavish is a well meaning and hard working engine, but he does seem to have a short temper.


Tavish is based on the real No. 64897, a LNER Class J39 0-6-0. There is a difference between the two engines however; Tavish is said to have been built in Scotland, whilst No. 64897 was built at Darlington Works. The real engine was withdrawn and cut up at Cowlairs Works in 1962.


Tavish is painted in unlined BR black.



Tavish was due to appear in Tale of the Tay, but this episode was cancelled.


  • Tavish is currently the only 0-6-0 tender engine in the series.
  • It is said that Tavish has a terrible accent, for which Simon Martin apologizes! This could possibly be the reason why Tavish has only a few speaking roles in the series.
  • When a Youtube user asked if Tavish was a spin-off to Donald and Douglas on Christmas, 1952, Simon Martin replied, "Not in a sense. Much more grumpy!" And the comment continued to here: "Scottish region engines aren't just limited to Donald and Douglas, though it is surprising how many of them are of the Class J 0-6-0 variety. J27, J17, J38, J39 (Tavish), J37, etc etc, that's before we even get onto the ex-Caledonian/Midland Railway varieties which include Donald & Douglas. Tavish is intended to be a representation of the norm - grubby 0-6-0s which dealt with goods primarily. I had wanted a J37 originally, but a J39 suffices."
  • The above commment reveals that Tavish was originally going to be a J37. This would have been more acurate for a Scottish Region engine, as unlike the J39s, the J37s were built for the former North British Railway, which was in Scotland. But it was changed because according to Simon, the J39 "suffices," which means, "To satisfy the needs or requirements of; be enough for."